#2: My Kitchenaid. This thing is the workhorse of my kitchen, and I wouldn’t be able to do a LOT of things without it. This is the pro-600 model, which has a huge motor and can whip for hours on end without tiring. I don’t think my marshmallows would be very good without it. (I also love that it has a stainless bowl for pouring in molten sugar, AND has an ice cream maker than attaches on.)
#3: Kitchen clogs. Yes, those are my dirty shoes. But, these dirty shoes save my back and legs day after day. I learned my lesson when making my sister’s wedding cake and dessert table: not used to wearing shoes in the house, I cooked for 3 long days straight, and upon waking up on wedding day, I couldn’t move. Wearing good shoes is crucial for keeping your back safe! (Sneakers are totally ok as well, really just anything with a good sole!). Plus, you only need to spill liquid hot sugar once and you’ll remember. (Also great for when I spill blobs of buttercream on the floor, which totally happens, at least I don’t bail! Nonslip sole = life saver).
#4: Half sheets: Throw away your cookie sheets, people. These industrial 1/2 sheets are the only baking sheets you need. Large enough for cookies, raised rim for cakes, marshmallows. Heck, throw some foil in there and roast your veggies on it too. I have 4 of them and somedays it is still not enough. These are made by Chicago Metallic – heavy grade, won’t warp. Oh, and they’re cheap: about $25 for two.
#6, 7, and 8: A good spatula, whisk, and offset. The holy trilogy of tools, these 3 are the must-haves. A good, wide rubber spatula with a wide handle and big scraping surface will make scraping, folding and stirring easy. (These industrial ones are about $10 and are lightyears better than the home-cook ones sold in kitchen stores. If you can find one, pick up one.). A good whisk is solid and has a thick handle to hold – it’ll save your forearms! And lastly, an offset is all you need to ice cakes like a pro (great for spreading batters out evenly in a pan, as well).
#9: Digital thermometer: This cheapo model has lasted me over 4 years, and I use it for everything. Cooking sugar to 118′ celcius for Italian meringue buttercream. Roasting chicken to 165′ (I’m a lousy cook when it comes to roasting, and rely heavily on the thermometer to make sure I’m not overcooking that roast beef!). The probe can dangle in a pot of cooking sugar, or you can shove it into a turkey, close the oven door entireally, and let that bird roast while keeping you informed of the current temperature. Not bad for $12.