Marin Mama’s Favorite Kitchen Items

Marin mama's favorite kitchen items.

Happy Sunday! Since tomorrow is Cyber Monday, I thought I would jump on here and share with you all some of my favorite kitchen items, in case that special someone you’re shopping for loves to cook. Be forewarned, you will hear the word “LOVE” a lot in this post because I’m showing you all my favorite kitchen items that make being a home chef so much easier and fun. These are items that I use all of the time, so to me they are kitchen staples.

I love my Vitamix Blender.  I honestly use it at least 3 times a day, and it’s truly one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  I use it to make nut milks, smoothies, protein shakes, salad dressings and to puree soups.  There are so many other things that this blender can do.  It puree’s your kale and spinach so fine that you never taste bits of kale or spinach in your smoothies. This blender is a bit on the pricier side, but it has totally paid for itself over the years, as it’s one of my most used gadgets.

Vitamix Blender


I also adore my Cuisinart 14-cup food processor. I didn’t use this as much until I started cooking in mass quantities as the kids got older, but now I’m addicted. I use this for making pestos, cookies, especially my gluten-free healthy cookie bites, no bake cacao energy balls, and so much more. It rocks!

Cuisinart 14-cup food processor.

If you’re deciding between investing in either a Vitamix or a large food processor, then I would invest in the Vitamix and pick up one of these Cuisinart mini-preps for those smaller jobs. When a job it too small for my blender, I use my mini prep. Honestly my mini prep and blender are a beautiful team. I love the pine-nut dressing that I make with my mini-prep.

Cuisinart mini prep photo.

I love my cast iron skillets from Lodge. I have a 10-inch and 12-inch pan, and I use them both all of the time. They cook everything evenly, and I love that I can pan-sear something on the stove and then put it in the oven to finish off. I make so many different things in these pans from chicken parmesan, parmesan crusted pork chops, sausage and arugula pizza, deep-dish pepperoni pizza, one-pan Mexican quinoa wraps to big party cookies. They’re a workhorse of a pan, and the best part is that you can get a 12-inch pan for $22 at Target. This is a pan that every cook needs in their kitchen.

Lodge cast iron skillets.

You all know how much I love making popovers. I make popovers at least 2x a week in my house and this Nordic Ware Grand popover Pan is the best. It may cost more than the normal popover pan, but it makes the perfect popover and you popovers won’t stick to the pan. The pan is made of cast iron, so it cooks the popovers up evenly. I’ve had mine for 5 years now and I use it at least once a week, if not more, and it’s still looks brand new. If you find yourself making popovers quite often, then I would invest in a good quality popover pan.  By the way, I love you all so much, so I’m going to be giving away one of these popover pans next week,  so stay tuned!

Popovers cooling on rack

Santa brought me my Le Creuset green dutch oven 10 years ago, and it’s been one of my favorite pans ever since.


I use this dutch oven for everything from making soups, sauces to steel-cut oats. It has superior heat distribution and can go from stove top to the oven, plus the vibrant colors make it fun to cook in.

green dutch oven on stove

I also love my Le creuset 2 1/4 qt. signature saucepan. I use this sauce pan for making quinoa, millet, re-heating soups, cooking black beans, warming overnight oats, you name it!  Between this and my dutch oven, I’m all set!

le creuset sauce pan.

I love these GreenPan’s from Willams Sonoma. They are stainless steel ceramic non-stick fry pans, diamond advanced. They’re free of PFOA, PFAS, lead and cadmium. We have the 10-inch and 12-inch fry pans, and I use these all the time. Williams Sonoma has a special on the them right now, so check it out.

GreenPan from Williams Sonoma.

Let’s move onto some stocking stuffers ideas for the cook in your house.


Marin Mama confession here, I’m going to publicly admit that I have 8 sets of measuring spoons and 6 sets of measuring cups, and I use them all the time. I mean we all have 12 forks, spoons and knives, so why not have a few sets of measuring cups and spoons. I bake and cook a lot, so it’s so nice to be able to just put each spoon or cup in the dishwasher after each use, rather than having to clean and dry each one every time you need a clean one. What a hassle! This is just a little something that makes my life a bit easier. Everyone could use another set of measuring spoons or cups, so why not toss either into their stocking!

I love these measuring cups from Sur La Table as they have 8 measuring cups which include the non-standard ones like 2/3 & 3/4 cups, which I use quite often. I also love these measuring spoons, as they come with the cute little scrapper which comes in handy when leveling out flour or spices. These measuring spoons are also great addition, as they have the odd measurements like 1/8 teaspoon, 1/2 tsp and 1/2 tbl.

Check out the below video to see my favorite kitchen drawer and time saving hack. You will also see in the below video that I have 3 small wire whisks that I use all the time. These are another one of my favorite everyday staples.


Smaller sized spatulas are a must in my kitchen. I actually use these more than my larger spatulas. They’re just so easy to maneuver, and they fit into nut butter jars and cans easily.  I also love having extra spatulas, as I’m always using them at the same time, and don’t have to wash in-between. They’re a kitchen must! Plus this little set from William and Sonoma is so cute! These are on my Christmas list!

Small rubber spatulas.

I love my lemon juicer and I use it at least twice a day, as I’m always squeezing up a lemon for either a kale salad, or one of my five favorite salad dressings. I also use it to squeeze up limes, so you don’t really need 2 separate juicers, as you can use this one for both jobs. This bad boy below has lasted for 12 years.

Juiced lemons

I love my microplane zester and I use it all the time to zest lemons, limes and ginger. It’s awesome!

Microplane zester

This garlic press from OXO is one of my other most used gadgets. When a recipe calls for minced garlic on my blog, this is the device I use. I use it at least once a day, as I put garlic in just about everything.

Garlic press

If you’re looking for a great kitchen chef’s knife and paring knife, then look no further!  I adore my chef’s knife and paring knife from Global, and right now they’re both on sale at Williams Sonoma. These knives are super light and gets the job done!

Global knives.

Another item that I have a few to many of, are glass measuring cups. These pyrex measuring cups are the best for measuring liquid ingredients. I have 3 of the 1-cup measuring cups and 1 of the 4-cup, 1 of the 8-cup and 2 of the 2-cup. I use these all the time, really as much as my dry measuring cups. Glass is the way to go as it can be put in the dishwasher, microwave and it can hold hot liquids.

Pyrex measuring cups

I love these oven mitts from cuisinart. They make grabbing a hot pan or tray out of the oven super easy, and they slide over you hand and high up your arm so you never have to worry about burning your hand or arm, especially when using a cast iron skillet. I just can’t say enough about them, they rock!

Green oven mitts

For drying dishes, hands or wiping up messes, flour sack towels are a MUST in my house and you can’t have too many of them! They can be bleached for easy clean up, and they’re a workhorse of a towel, as they’re super absorbent and dry quickly. These make the perfect stocking stuffer for any kitchen!

Flour sack towels.

I hope this post was fun and that you found some items on here that you may want to purchase for your kitchen, or loved one! I do realize that I said the word LOVE about 100 times in this post, but I’m posting my favorite things and when I love something, I just have to shout it out!

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget or item? Please share!

With love Jackie

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