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10 Essential Life Tips From Martha Stewart Slideshow

10 Essential Life Tips From Martha Stewart Slideshow

There’s a lot to learn from Martha

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10 Essential Life Tips from Martha Stewart

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In the course of her 30-plus years as an entertainer and businesswoman, Stewart has picked up quite a bit of valuable experience which she shares with the masses. Stewart has a say on everything from how to pick yourself up by the bootstraps when maybe your pie isn’t perfect, to the types of people you should surround yourself with, to the one ingredient no cook should ever have in their kitchen. And is there anyone more qualified to offer advice than her? We’re not so sure there is.

Always Do Things Yourself

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“I say, ‘You own it if you made it.’ You don't own the pie if you buy it. You just don't. Doing projects really gives people self-confidence. Nothing is better than taking the pie out of the oven. What it does for you personally, and for your family's idea of you, is something you can't buy.”

Become a Good Person First, and a Successful One Second

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“The ultimate goal is to be an interesting, useful, wholesome person. If you're successful on top of that, then you're way ahead of everybody.”

Be Open to New Techniques and Advice

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“You have to be open to change. I never stop making sure that what I say is the best of what could be said about a particular thing. It's a constant evolution. If I planted a tree one way yesterday and somebody tells me of a better way to plant a tree, I think, ‘You know, they're right, that's better.’ Then I change my way to accommodate the new way of planting trees.”

Even If Something Isn’t Perfect, You Can Make It Work

“So the pie isn't perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.”

Keep Your Entertaining Simple and Guest-Focused

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Her top three tips for being a perfect host? “1. Pay attention to your guests. 2. Interact with them. 3. Feed them fine food and wine.”

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All

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“I learned many years ago never to criticize, only compliment. Even if their home is horrifyingly awful.”

Invest in Yourself and Your Passions

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“Once you realize that you have identified a passion, invest in yourself. Figure out what you need to know, what kind of experience and expertise you need to develop to do the things that you feel in your heart you will enjoy and that will sustain you both mentally and economically.”

Stay Away From Truffle Oil… Seriously, You Don’t Need It

Surround Yourself With Enthusiastic, Interesting People to Help Keep Inspired

“I try to seek out and surround myself with people who just percolate fresh, original, and creative ideas.”

Take Your Job Seriously

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“I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There's no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life.”


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.


10 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Want to be a better cook? Make sure you have these 10 essential kitchen tools.

If your kitchen is in need of a major overhaul, it doesn’t seem like some simple implements could make a huge difference when you’re in desperate need of a new stove or fridge. But believe us when we say these little guys can really upgrade your kitchen experience. New York life stylist Blair French walks us through all of the utensils that can totally transform how you cook up a storm at home.

1. Sharp high-quality knives

Every cooking expert will tell you that sharp high-quality knives top the list of kitchen essentials.

“As a caterer, I’ve been stranded on many a ‘kitchen island’ in clients’ homes with nothing more than a bunch of expensive, useless, often dull knives,” says French. “As a result, I always bring my chef’s knife &ndash it’s the most essential of them all.”

The life stylist also suggests a sharp paring knife and serrated knife.

High-quality doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. French recommends stocking your knife collection with knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand as well as have a decent weight to them. Also, sharp knives will cut better and even prevent you from cutting yourself. French adds, “I’ve hurt myself more often working with dull knives by overcompensating with more muscle power to do the job the knife should be doing.”

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, $44.95 at Amazon

2. Hardwood cutting boards

Cutting boards are invaluable in the kitchen. They not only protect your counter, they help keep knives sharper and allow you to easily transport cut food from one place to another. French recommends cutting boards made of hardwood that provide adequate cutting space. She says, “I personally prefer hardwood cutting boards such as maple, mesquite or walnut. Bamboo is nice, too, and less expensive.”

Regardless of the cutting board you choose, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you will be cutting. “Adequate size and space are not only essential to your cooking enjoyment, but also for keeping your chopped goods from rolling [onto the counter or floor],” adds French. Keep a collection of cutting boards near the stove so you always have a clean cutting board within reach.

3. Mixing bowls

A durable (and even colorful) set of mixing bowls can make your meal prep time less messy and more efficient. French suggests mixing bowls made of stainless steel or another nonreactive material so “you needn’t worry about your tomato sauces and lemon pepper marinades tasting like the bowl.”

Buy a set (or two) of mixing bowls that nest they will easily store and save space. Additionally, the different sizes of bowls can accomplish many different culinary uses, including mixing, whipping, separating, combining and storing. Colorful bowls will also brighten up your kitchen.

Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, $22.49 at Amazon

4. Measuring cups and spoons

One set of measuring cups and spoons is essential, but two or more sets will allow you to measure different ingredients in similar amounts without having to wash and rewash.

Measuring cups and spoons are especially important in baking, when precise amounts of ingredients are required, but these handy tools can be used in every recipe. As a bonus, a large measuring cup can even double as a ladle.

Harmonious Lifestyles Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons, $41.10 at Amazon

5. Grater

A grater is the perfect tool for shredding cheese, but this multi-purpose gadget is ideal for grating other flavorful ingredients. Large hole graters can shred potatoes, carrots, apples and other produce. Small hole graters or microplanes can grate ginger, garlic, spices and citrus peel.

French says, “I have yet to find a better way to grate cheese, fresh nutmeg or make citrus zest. And trust me on this one &ndash I’ve tried. A grater is the greatest!”

Cuisinart Boxed Grater, $11.95 at Amazon

A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.