These mini tongs are the best! This was another one of those items I started using in someone's client, then found out how useful they were. It's the item I didn't know I needed until I had it!

Similarly, these 7-cup Pyrex bowls are great for prep ahead meals. I'll cook up a large risotto, then spoon it into four bowls so they're ready to heat and serve for individual lunch or dinner on the go.

Cutest thing ever! I'm already looking forward to the next picnic on this portable waterproof blanket

Obviously this salad dressing shaker is not in my equipment box, but after seeing it at a client's house, I feel like everyone should have at least two! The lid sits airtight for easy shaking and then tilts to pour from the angled nozzle. It's good quality, easy to clean, and holds about 1.5 cups of dressing. Yum.

mazzo luigi coffee grinder personal chef

Unicorn cookie cutters! I'm imagining how cute these would be at a unicorn themed party. Yes!!!

Of course I bring my own freshly sharpened knives to cook sessions. To transport them safely, I place them in these knife guards. If you're traveling anywhere with a kitchen knife, this is the minimalist way. I mean, who doesn't travel with knives, right?!

I spotted this corkscrew at a client's house and went home to order it for myself! After breaking so many, it was nice to find a great quality one for under $10.

sous vide personal chef
cocktail shakers personal chef
aldo rossi tea kettle personal chef
cuisinart convection and toaster oven personal chef

Thanksgiving Inspiration

My Kitchen Wish List

Martha Steward turkey platter personal chef

Matchy matchy my white dish fetish is this Cordon Bleu salad dressing pitcher. Assemble-your-own salad buffet is a weekly theme in this home. I say, let the colors of the food shine on white dishes.

nachosaurus and the tacosaurus personal chef

I wear this Garmin Vivo watch to every cook session because of its ability to undergo lots of water splashing on it and never get phased. After a cook session, I head to the gym and can track my one-minute rest between sets. It has some other heart rate and miles tracked features as well. It's pretty amazing!

Yes, it's the nachosaurus and the tacosaurus. You may have heard they were extinct, but indeed I found them online.

Mickey Mouse oven gloves personal chef
kitchenaid stand mixer personal chef

It seems like the holidays are always just around the corner.

A proper Americano starts with a proper grinder. Coffee in our house is no joke. This Mazzo Luigi coffee grinder is proof.

This is the best quality insulated tote I've ever had. I bring it to parties, picnics, and haul groceries in it. Those lightweight grocery bags don't last long, but I anticipate this heavy duty one lasting at least ten years.

There are the fancy crockpots that brown, steam, and do miraculous things apparently, but I like the old fashioned "just make me a stew" crockpot. This All Clad crockpot is a fantastic size for dinner and leftovers the next day. Ohhh, the possibilities...

I love the subtle design imprinted in these white Jamie Oliver bowls. They're the perfect size for breakfast cereal, soup and actually most of our weeknight dinners.

oxo bar set personal chef
magnet measuring spoons personal chef
instant pot personal chef
Jamie Oliver bowls personal chef

This Kitchenaid stand mixer had me at the beautiful color.

Showing up for a cook session, I always bring a box of my favorite utensils. This is my inventory and highly recommended brands. Roll to to the bottom of the page for kids' gifts.

fine point black sharpie personal chef
yeti temperature control personal chef
garmin vivo watch personal chef

These are some fun items I think kids would love to see wrapped up at their next birthday party.

Breville immersion blender personal chef
cordon bleu dinner plates personal chef

I do have to get off work at some point and this OXO bar set is just the perfect high quality set I prefer. Just add ice.

Waterford decanter that can be personalized with my initials so everyone knows, hands off!

LED lightsaber chopsticks personal chef
oyster knife personal chef
oxo measuring cups personal chef
Weeknight Dinners for the Health Conscious of Charlottesville, Virginia

Mmmm, oysters. Shucking them, however, is not fun. This oyster knife does the job though!

Just vacuum seal the filet mignon in plastic pouches, then heat slowly in a temperature-controlled water bath. Behold the Sous Vide, but I like that this one is half the size of other sous vide machines, small enough to fit in a drawer. Works with iPhone and Android.

Summer Kitchen Fun 

aldo rossi tea kettle personal chef

This silicone spatula is my number one kitchen tool at home and in my portable tool box. I love this spatula! If I'm in my home kitchen, it's likely in my hand.

unicorn cookie cutters personal chef

You may notice this Breville immersion blender attached to my hand during half the cook session. I use it to puree marinara, vegetable soups, salad dressings, and pesto. It's way less cleanup than a food processor.

I prefer presenting my dishes on white plates to let the food be the star. These Cordon Bleu dinner plates are the best quality I've found. I may have the whole set!

I'm hoping my husband sees some of these and gets them for me. I'm also putting on my wish list that my kitchen gets bigger so I can have more appliances on the counter.

I don't bring these items to cook sessions with me, but do find them really handy at home. Some of these items I may have learned about from someone else's kitchen then bought one for myself, ha!

These European-made dishtowels are heavenly. Thick, professional-grade, super absorbent and 100% cotton. Of course they come in a rainbow of colors.

knife guards personal chef

You know I love the OXO brand. These are the highly recommended quality measuring cups.

squirrel topped napkin rings personal chef

This is a non-porous, natural granite mortar and pestle set for grinding herbs, spices, nuts and seeds to release their full flavor and aroma. I can smell the basil pesto already.

probe thermometer with a cord personal chef

For kids or adults, behold the portable bento box. It's BPA-free with removable compartments, leak proof, and has kid-friendly latches. Yes please!

european made dishtowels personal chef

I may or may not own this unicorn tea bag holder. Not sayin.

The weight of these cocktail shakers are ideal. Cocktail Kingdom puts out amazingly good quality products. Without these, there would be no happy hour at my house.

What tea love wouldn't be fascinated with this Aldo Rossi tea kettle. The simplicity of the design has me and the fact that it's Italian art.

Happy Holidays! Gift ideas...

I love this OXO mini whisk! I use it for simple sauces on a daily basis. So cute. I've had the same one for about five years and currently shows no signs of wear.

cordon bleu salad dressing personal chef

Items in my own Kitchen

These are the cutest buddy hooks. The plastic guys screw into the wall and can hold your potholder, dish towels, or just be decorative.

Ever since I learned that you can make risotto in an Instant Pot, I have wanted one! This is the model I have my eye on. Meanwhile, I've been collecting Instant Pot recipes.

I admit, I am in love with the OXO brand. They seem to truly test their products and understand the consumer. This OXO peeler is excellent for peeling potatoes, cucumbers, and making lemon twists.

This is my second favorite kitchen tool after the immersion blender. Behold, the OXO fine mesh sieve for rinsing rice and quinoa plus draining pasta and sauces. I've tested out numerous models and learned to never buy an off-brand sieve. Cheap sieves fail by rusting, the handle breaking, or having weird edges that catch food particles, making cleaning difficult.

Wusthof knife personal chef

For cutting meat, I prefer this white plastic cutting board. The white color easily shows off any deep nicks or food stains so I know when it's time to replace. It's also dishwasher safe, bonus.

vitamix personal chef

Guess what to put on this platter? Martha Stewart makes a pretty good quality turkey serving plate.

soup tureen personal chef

Making cocktails was never more fun after purchasing this Breville Motorized Citrus Press. I spotted this model behind a bar one night and the next night (thanks to Amazon overnight shipping) it was in our kitchen making margaritas.

A more formal Thanksgiving requires a soup tureen. This one is topped with a pewter deer and has all the signs of Autumn.

You'll find yourself using this juice press more often than you think. There is a large (orange) press, medium (lemon), and small (lime). I find the sizes silly. Just get the lemon size and call it good for all three citrus fruits. If you drink cocktails at all, bonus.

portable bento box personal chef

This Tovolo slotted spatula is in daily use at my house for frittatas, quesadillas and turning everything over in the oven. It is silicone so won't scratch your precious cookie sheets and pans.

I probably go through one new meat thermometer a month. I think throwing it into my equipment box doesn't help. Either the cord gets damaged or the brain unit stops working. I have found, however, that I do love the probe thermometer with a cord. The probe goes into the meat while the cord and brain of the thermometer can be outside the oven. Genius.

I may have 52 of these 2-cup Pyrex bowls that hold mostly salad items. In summer, I'll prep each bowl with a different item like black beans, crumbled feta, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, sliced olives or cilantro then for dinner, open up each one and set it on the dinner table for a salad buffet.

all clad crockpot personal chef

LED Lightsaber chopsticks!!! Maybe these should be on my wish list instead of the kids' section. Hmmm

unicorn tea bag holder personal chef

This Tovolo silicone masher is the brain behind guacamole mashing, refried beans, and of course, mashed potatoes. I love all things silicone, so easy to clean. The Tovolo brand is known for its fun colors.

Jamie Oliver bowls personal chef

My new best friend, the Cuisinart Convection & Toaster Oven. Gone are the days of microwaving and here to stay are the days of the speed convection oven.

Protect those cute little hands with these Mickey Mouse oven gloves. So cute. I wonder if they come in adult size.

An animal theme is starting. These squirrel-topped napkin rings are so cute. I think they could actually be a year round staple for the dining table.

These silicone baking mats are the best invention. I place one atop a cookie sheet to protect it from stains and unnecessary scrubbing. Once out of the oven, just wipe clean with minimal mess.

Before the Vitamix, I had a pretty amazing Oster blender, but had to kick that to the curb when I discovered how this high-powered motor can puree salad dressings made with nuts as well as truly make my smoothies smooth. There is so much you can do in the Vitamix. Between my hand blender and this guy, my kitchen appliance life is complete.

ceramic pans personal chef
aldo rossi tea kettle personal chef

The perfect coupe glass is essential to the perfect cocktail. I enjoy the weight of this particular glass. It's just begging for the addition of liquid intelligence.

What chef wouldn't drool over this carbon steel Wusthof knife.

I tried out several crappy models before appreciating this OXO can opener. I added the can opener to my equipment box when I began to encounter those crazy Swiss-style can openers that I can't figure out!

I always carry a bamboo cutting board for vegetables. I love how this one can be personalized! I'm already planning on who to gift it to next.

This six-sided Cuisipro grater is like a Swiss army knife. I can zest lemons, grate cheese, mince ginger, and mandolin slice zucchini.

For labeling Pyrex containers, I place a strip of masking tape on the top and fill out the label with a fine-point black Sharpie. The fine point makes for better writing of the name of the dish and date.

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For the Kids...or the Kid in You

Not in the equipment box, but in my car awaits a Yeti temperature-controlled giant glass of ice water. I get really parched after a long cook session and this thing saves my day.

My Kitchen Equipment Box

We're trying to save the plant over here and this compost bin is my go to for that purpose. I forego the bags, however, and just rinse between uses. Even if you dump the contents behind a bush in the backyard, you are helping the ecosystem and keeping the deer away from your blooming flowers.

I personally find All Clad to be the absolute best brand for pots and pans. There are many different finishes, but the best are the tri-ply and five-ply. This is the tri-ply set and has all the pots you'll need for a proper dinner. Feel free to burn away then watch the residue wipe right out without soaking or scrubbing.

All things flamingo are just fun! This summer tablecloth has flamingos AND pineapple, yes! I love that it appears hand painted, but of course not because it's machine washable.

Of course I'm in love with the fact that these ceramic pans come in my favorite color, but also the best darn non-stick pans ever. I use them most often for pancakes and eggs with never a mess to cleanup. Burn away and they will forgive.

There's nothing worse than measuring spoons on a ring! You use one and then have to wash the whole stack. These magnetic measuring spoons are great for stacking and storing. There are other magnetic measuring spoons on the market, but I highly recommend choosing a name brand. I've tried some of the generic brands and after a few washings, the magnetic label falls off. Fail.

You always need chip clips! These are handy for the usual - chips, crackers, cookies, all the stuff that you push to the back of the cupboard so they don't tempt you.

perfect coupe glass personal chef

Garlic, potatoes and onions should always be kept in your cupboard, never in the refrigerator. This is a fantastic little garlic keeper that looks cute on your shelf too.

Waterford decanter personal chef

This is a must-have in your kitchen for winter. Le Creuset is the best quality. I have tried other brands and they often need replacement after two to five years. Once you have one of these, you'll find yourself using it daily and wonder how you lived this long without it.