One of the aspects of cooking that I love the most is that the seasons always seem to breathe new life into my kitchen every couple of months. As much as I love being inspired by the fruits and veggies that pop up in the spring and summer months, I have a serious soft spot for home cooking in the fall and winter months. I tend to hibernate a bit this time of year and find that cooking a hearty meal in my kitchen makes me happiest. These are a few essential tools that I find myself reaching for regularly throughout the winter.
1. Dutch Oven
I love my Dutch Oven so much that I never put it away. It happily rests on top of my stove all winter because I think it looks pretty and it’s a good reminder that something in my refrigerator is begging to be braised. Everyone should own one of these lovely pots. It’s worth it’s weight in gold.
2. Instant Read Thermometer
Because I enjoy cooking roasts and hearty proteins throughout the winter, an instant read thermometer is perfect for taking accurate temperatures to assist in cooking meat perfectly. If you’re willing to invest, I’d recommend getting a Thermapen which can also be used as a candy thermometer. Perfect for winter holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day when you might be working with hot sugar for candy or other confectioneries.
3. Citrus Juicer
Nothing balances out all of the hearty flavors that accompany comfort foods than a splash of citrus. The good news is that citrus is in season and better than ever right now. I’m using mine on a regular basis these days.
Kelsey Nixon shares her passion for the basics on Kelsey’s Essentials, a series showcasing tips, tools, & techniques that no home cook should be without. Kelsey got her start in food media when she created Kelsey’s Kitchen, a college cooking show emphasizing fast, fun and affordable meals. She earned her professional culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu – Hollywood. In 2008, she was a finalist on The Next Food Network Star. Kelsey lives in New York City with her husband Robby where she spends her days developing recipes and cooking up a storm. She has a cookbook scheduled to come out in 2013. Keep up with Kelsey on her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Photos courtesy Kylie Whiting