Teachers Who Cook Part II: Gadgets Appliances and Cookbooks

Hi friends! 

Miss L's Busy Bees and I are back again with our blog series! Today is all about our favorite "stuff" in the kitchen. I have so many but I am hoping to break it down for those of you just starting out and those of you who want to add to your arsenal of "stuff" in your kitchen. 

I tried to link to as many of the items as possible, so just click on the links above the images if there is something you're interested in.

Favorite Gadgets and Appliances

This is by far my favorite kitchen appliance ever in the history of the world. It is pricey, but I got it as a wedding present from my Godmother (wasn't even on my registry… she's just wonderful). It's an investment, but I seriously use if every week. If you're getting married anytime soon, I highly recommend adding this to your registry. 

KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red

I love my knife set. I have a knife set similar to this. I have two knives that are my absolute favorite and use all the time. Good knives make cooking so much easier. I swear. If nothing else, go but one good chopping knife and your life will be forever changed. 

I am obsessed with the Pioneer Woman (you will see this more as the post goes on :) so I have her pots and pans set in turquoise. I use them for EVERYTHING. 

Because I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman, I watch her cooking show all the time, and she is ALWAYS using a cast iron skillet. I went out and got one and honestly don't know how I ever cooked without it. You do have to hand-wash it, but that doesn't stop me from using it 3-4 times a week still. 

I don't use the food processor every single week, but I LOVE using it to a make Pioneer Woman salsa, shredding LOTS of cheese, and making pesto. 

I have 4 pairs of tongs and use them all every week. I have no idea why, but this is one of three utensils that I use ALL THE TIME. Chicken, vegetables, steak… I use them all the time. 

The second utensil I use all the time. Again, I have 3 spatulas and they are all used every week. Pancakes, cookies, potatoes, and vegetables. I use them to flip everything :). 

Last constantly used utensils are my wooden spoons. I use them for making marinara sauce, green chile, and any other things that need stirring. Again, always used all week even though I have three :). 


I feel like I don't even know where to start with cookbooks. This is a picture of my cookbook cabinet.

I buy cookbooks like I buy books. I love to look at them before I get into bed, especially Bareefoot Contessa ones. I broke up into categories again.

I really do try to make stuff "healthier" when I can, which is why a lot of my cookbooks say "light" or "low-calorie." I have found that most recipes can be made better for you, so I try to do just that when I can.

If you are just starting out, and want super simple recipes any of the following cookbooks are great. I even used some of these when my husband (my then boyfriend) and I lived in the dorms in college, and his tiny dorm room has a little kitchenette that we cooked in.

This one doesn't even look like a cookbook, because it is so little, but I LOVED it in college because we could find our favorite foods from restaurants and this guide makes them simpler and healthier. It's still one of my favorites for weekday dinner.

This was another one I used ALL.THE.TIME in college. Some of his recipes are a little trickier, but in general, super easy and much healthier than the original versions of foods. 
Now Eat This!: 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories 

This one is so great for so many different reasons. Haley (Miss L's Busy Bees) has been trying to convince me of slow cooker meals, and I'm not there quite yet. I just hate prepping the meals, and I really hate having to get stuff in the slow-cooker in the morning. I do plan to work on it more this year (going from a 2 minute commute to a 30 minute commute might be the motivation). Anyway this one has it all… crockpot, large pans, dutch ovens. All of these meals take one pot! (Hello easy clean-up- Love cooking-HATE cleaning!) 

Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook (Weight Watchers Cooking) 
Again! Amazingly fast (and healthy!) meals in this book. I love how it's broken up into 15, 20, and 30 minute meals. If it's going to be a super crazy week, this is my go to book. 

Cooking Light Complete Meals in Minutes: Over 700 Great Recipes

These are my absolute, use almost every single week, and obsessed with cookbooks

Cooking Light The New Way to Cook Light: Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today's Home Cook by Editors of Cooking Light (10/16/2012)

Hands down, this is my most used cookbook. It depends on the type of cook you are, but if there is one cookbook I HAD to have, this would be it!

LOVE this cookbook too! It's petty new and she takes a lot of great recipes and makes them "skinny!"

  The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor

This cookbook isn't actually released yet (you can pre-order now-which I already did, because that's how much I love her first cookbook). I love that her new concept will be all about quick fix and slow-cooker recipes, so I know it will become another staple in my kitchen.

  Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes

I love this Weight Watcher cookbook. Again, it takes the most common recipes and just makes them "lighter.

  Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, Fifth Edition: Over 500 Delicious Recipes for the Healthy Cook's Kitchen

Another great Cooking Light cookbook. I don't use this one was much as my other Cooking Light cookbook, but it is great when I get a craving for a "comfort food."

  Cooking Light Comfort Food: Home-Cooked, Delicious Classics Made Light

These are my favorites in a a different way.

 I AM OBSESSED WITH LOVE The Pioneer Woman and The Barefoot Contessa, and Farmhouse Rules. I will be honest and say I don't make their meals every single week, but these are the cookbooks I use WAY more on the weekends and in the summer.

These are kind of like my guilty pleasure cookbooks. Now some recipes really are fast, weekday friendly, and even light. I am just saying that they aren't something I use for recipes for a whole week of meals. In general, I make a A Pioneer Woman meal a week and a Barefoot Contessa meal or Farmhouse Rules meal tends to appear more on the weekends :).

I  have ALL of these cookbooks because… well… I am obsessed.

I HIGHLY recommend The Pioneer Women Dinnertime cookbook for the most bang for your buck of her cookbooks :).

I hope you found some new "stuff" and cookbooks to add to your kitchen. Don't forget to check out Haley's post for all her favorite stuff and cookbooks! 

We also have another freebie for you that can be found in our TPT stores. This is really a meal planner just for teachers. This is so you can plan out your whole week of dinners, but also breakfast, lunches, and snacks. I am really good about the dinner part of meal planning, but during the school year, I struggle a lot more with the other stuff. Hopefully this will help us all. Just click on the image below to get your freebie! 

If you didn't get to read last week's post (Teachers Who Cook Part I: Meal Planning) don't forget to check it out!


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