A quick post on all of the sharp things I find essential in my kitchen besides my knives. I'll just list some of the obvious ones first: vegetable peeler, corkscrew, can/bottle opener, and a pizza cutter are all pretty indispensable. I like using my pizza cutter for cutting dough and candy. I don't use my apple slicer very often, but I don't think an apple corer is a handy tool.

I keep a box grater and a micro plane. I love my micro plane for zest, nutmeg, fresh garlic and ginger.

If you don't have a mandolin, and you like working with vegetables, you are really missing out! Razor thin slices of potato for homemade chips, julienne carrots, or veggie noodles out of eggplant, zucchini or cucumber...a really versatile tool for cooks looking to get creative.

I seem to be using my kitchen shears more and more these days, especially for butchery. They are just easier to work with around things like chicken carcasses. I'll also use them a lot for snipping herbs or scallions.

The last three are technically appliances, but I wanted to mention them here. I keep an extra coffee grinder just for whole spices. Whole spices keep significantly longer than ground ones, and freshly ground spices pack a much greater punch.

The second is my immersion (stick) blender. A few years ago my bar blender died and I said I would get a new one when I had a project my stick couldn't handle. Still haven't bought it. Now, I'm not a smoothie guy and don't make my own nut butters, but other than that, I can't think of a time where the immersion blender couldn't do the job. I especially like it for hot soups or sauces, because use can blend right in the pot.

Finally, my food processor is easily the most used small appliance in my kitchen (besides the microwave). Hummus, pesto, salsa, mayo, shredding cheese or slaw, making pie crust...I've pretty much warn it out. (Julie, if you are reading this...just a hint for a future gift :))

Are all of these tools absolutely necessary? No, but I can say the time and energy they save have often made the difference between me making something from scratch and letting someone else make it for me.

If you can think of things I missed that you have found essential, leave a comment. I'm always looking for better ways of doing things.

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