Everyone has something for the kitchen that they can’t do without. Here are my top 5 favorite kitchen gadgets and tools.Microplane Zester Grater
– A few years ago, I won a Microplane Zester Grater while attending a taping of the Martha Stewart show. It was a life changing tool. Seriously! Zest – from lemons, limes, oranges and more – can really brighten up a dish (without adding intense acidity). And it’s fabulous for grating parmesan, romano and other hard cheeses into ultra-fine shreds.OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cups
– When I first saw these measuring cups in a store years ago, I had to have them. So, onto my wedding registry they went. And boy, am I glad they did! I love the angled measurements inside the cups, which make it super easy to tell if you have the right measurement or not. So easy and convenient!Santoku Knife
– When it comes to chopping, my santoku knife is my go-to. I have a no-name brand, and it works great. Someday, I will shell out a little more (mine was just $10) and get a great one – either way, it’s so worth it since it makes chopping a total breeze.Mortar and Pestle
– When it comes to making pestos, spice rubs and even preparing spices like cardamom, a mortar and pestle is a must-have. The one I own is a small marble mortar and pestle
, but really a larger one is a better investment since it can handle bigger quantities of ingredients.Rice Cooker
– When I was in college, a friend from Hawaii turned me onto the awesomeness of rice cookers. You add the rice, water and a dash of oil to the bowl of the rice cooker, and it cooks it up perfectly every single time. It takes just a few minutes to start the process, and then you are free to do whatever else you need while the rice cooks – if you love rice, this is a great way to have great rice at home all the time.Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.