My interpretation of the word gadget is something you can get by without, whereas equipment is something you have to have to perform the task. I love both gadgets and equipment and feel that what is one man’s gadget is another man’s equipment and that you can never have enough of either.
My pride and joy is my Kitchen Aid mixer. When I got it I went all out and got the 6 qt. bowl lift model and I love it. The only thing that would make it better is to take it into an auto body shop and have flames painted down the sides like the one Alton Brown used to use on the Food Network show ‘Good Eats’. Don’t laugh, I’ve seriously considered it!
There are some things to consider if you are thinking about purchasing one of these behemoths. First thing is, do you have the counter space to leave it out? If not, keep in mind that it weighs over 25 pounds and it takes some muscle to lift it out of a cabinet. If you think you have enough counter space to leave it out, make sure you have enough clearance. The 6 qt. bowl lift model is almost 17” tall, I do not have the clearance under my cabinets to store it on my counter. So, I’ve gotten rid of my weight lifting equipment and use my mixer instead.
Another important item is see through canisters. Decorative ceramic canisters are not the place to store flours and sugars. My choice is see though square or rectangular Tupperware or Snapware. Both brands slide in side by side, taking up much less room than round containers, and stack well. Get containers large enough for entire bags of flour or sugar.
For cookie baking I love using serving scoops. I have two of them, a 1 tbsp. and a 2 tbsp. They make very uniform size and shaped cookies that cook consistently and are pretty. I have to admit, I shape every cookie I make after scooping it onto the sheet.
If you’re over the age of 30, you’ve probably used brown paper bags to cool cookies. A couple years ago I graduated to non-stick cooling racks with criss-cross wires and I love them! Anyone who bakes cookies should have two or three of them.
Pot holders, something everyone has, and never has enough of. The little crocheted and knitted ones that your grandmother made for you, or your daughter made for you in Girls Scouts, should be kept only as heirlooms. You will burn yourself for sure, pretty though they are. Last year I found some silicone potholders that I love! They are a little pricey but definitely worth the money.
Measuring equipment, not gadgets mind you, equipment. I cannot get by without two standard sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons. The orange are Tupperware circa 1973, the white ones are also Tupperware, but I’m pretty sure they are less than 15 years old. The white measuring spoons are the best as you can see that they have a flared end and will sit flat on your counter.
I also believe in two and four cup glass measuring cups and have several of the small glass ones for liquid measurement of teaspoons and tablespoons, those are very handy. My next purchase will be a plunge type measuring cup which will be great for peanut butter, shortening, etc.
Spatulas, spoonulas, whatever. You don’t have as many of them as you need. The three I use the most are the narrow one from Food Network, but I am not crazy about wooden handles on anything because gunk can get up in the joint and is hard to clean out; the large one from William’s Sonoma, but it also has a wooden handle and isn’t flexible at all. Ahh, the bright yellow one with no brand name that I bought at a hardware store! It is my go to for everything I do. It’s flexible, there are no crevices to gather goo, and it is absolutely perfect. The only problem is I’ve looked high and low to find more and haven’t had any luck. If I ever find them again I’ll buy one in each size they have and ditch all my others.