Seven Kitchen Gadgets I Can't Live Without

Like most people, I love food. So when I'm at home I'm in the kitchen quite a lot; cooking meals and creating recipes. I'm not really into baking (as in cakes, biscuits etc) but I love making meals from scratch and can whip up a rather impressive repertoire of both British and worldwide cuisines without too much trouble. (Well, apart from creating the illusion that a bomb just went off in the fact, every time I make dinner my husband says it looks like we've just thrown an all-night party.)

To be a good cook, you need the right tools. So here are the five appliances and utensils I use the most when recreating World War II cooking up a storm:

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1. Blender(s)
I actually have two blenders - one for making smoothies and sauces, and a hand blender for soups etc. It's a lot easier just to stick an immersion blender into the saucepan and blitz up the soup than to transfer the hot soup from the pan into the blender and back again. (My husband also has another blender, a Nutribullet type thing, which he uses to grind nuts, mix pancake batter and make the odd smoothie. I'm yet to use this one, though.) 

2. Food processor
As well as a blender, a food processor is a must. They're great time savers and you can do so many things with them. I use mine for all the jobs my blender just can't quite do. Get a good one and you'll be able to put pretty much anything in it.

3. Steamer
My favourite method of cooking vegetables is steaming - it kills fewer nutrients than boiling and is just really quick and easy. I've had my steamer for over 12 years now and I still use it on an almost daily basis.

4. A really good knife
If you're serious about cooking, you need at least one good knife. Trust me, you'll be chopping a lot. And if you want your knives to stay sharp, make sure you invest in this next item...

5. Wooden chopping board

When I first moved out, I bought a glass chopping board. BIG mistake. Glass wears down your knives and makes them dull, which means they need sharpening more often, which shortens their lifespan. Both wooden and plastic chopping boards keep your knives sharp; however, wood is a natural resource and also antibacterial. Buy yourself a wooden board and learn how to take care of it properly.

6. Kettle
I think a good old kettle is a staple in any British kitchen. I use mine multiple times a day to make tea, coffee and just to boil water to use when I'm cooking - it's a lot quicker than waiting for it to heat up on the hob.

7. Handheld grater/zester
This is so useful for zesting lemons, limes and oranges and grating things like ginger, garlic, chillies, chocolate and anything small. I had to get one after seeing all my favourite chefs using them and now I wouldn't be without mine.

There are so many more things I could list which help me in the kitchen, but these are my absolute essentials. What are your favourite kitchen appliances?

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