Practically everyone has a messy kitchen drawer, but it doesn't take that much to clean it up and refresh it with tools you'd really use. If you only have a couple of your own personal favorites in your kitchen drawer, you'll be a lot more organized!
If there are tools you only use occasionally, put them somewhere else, like in the back of the pantry. That way, they're there when you need them, but not in the way every day. And if you have tools in that drawer that have been collecting dust since your wedding, toss ’em! But if you're looking for new kitchen utensils, look no farther than Giada's favorite kitchen tools:
Microplane Gourmet Paddle Graters for $16.95, Williams-Sonoma
The Microplane Grater is one of those fortunate culinary accidents: What originated as an excellent smoothing tool for woodworkers proved to be an indispensable grating tool for cooks. Improved with a soft-grip handle for a firm, comfortable hold, it has razor-sharp, stainless-steel teeth that allow grating in both directions — saving time and energy.
The paddle-shaped grater is available in three versions: Fine, for zesting citrus fruits and pureeing onions, garlic, peppers and ginger; Medium Ribbon, for grating soft cheeses and chocolate as well as shredding coconut; and Coarse, for grating hard cheeses and chocolate as well as shredding cabbage and potatoes. The Slider Attachment (sold separately) holds smaller ingredients steady while protecting the cook's fingers. 3" wide, 12 1/4" long. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.
OXO Good Grips 12" tongs for $10.99 Great, sturdy tongs are a must in any kitchen. They make flipping chicken, steak, veggies or bread a cinch.
Le Creuset or Williams-Sonoma Spatula Spoon for $8.95 each, Sur La Table
These spatulas help mix food with great ease, and they can withstand the heat in a kitchen —they're resistant up to 800 degrees. They won't scratch your nonstick pans and are dishwasher safe. Plus I love all the fun colors.
Ateco Cookie Cutters, set of 9 for $20, Sur La TableThese are good for cookies, mini pizzas, molding, etc. Stainless-steel cutters precisely shape cookie and pastry dough, tea sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres into ovals. Set includes graduated cutters and a tin for convenient storage.
Silpat Baking Mat for $24.95, Williams-Sonoma Before baking your next batch of cookies or sticky buns, cover the baking sheet with this flexible nonstick liner and enjoy the difference it makes. The reusable silicone-coated sheet, which was developed for French patisseries, also provides an excellent surface for rolling out pastry dough, and cleanup is a breeze. It can be rolled up for compact storage.
Olivewood Spoons for $15, Williams-SonomaGenerations of French chefs have relied on wooden spoons like this one for stirring stews and sauces and mixing light batters. Carved from olive, a durable Mediterranean hardwood renowned for its beautiful grain, the spoon won't scratch, stain or absorb flavors or odors; the handle stays cool even when you're stirring foods over high heat. The spoon's smooth surface makes it safe for use with nonstick pans. We recommend washing by hand.
Although you could use any wooden spoon, these will last longer because the wood is sturdier and it won't absorb odors.
Oneida Pasta Scoop for $7.99, Target You'll love this pasta scoop, which is perfect for serving guests. Made of stainless steel and tarnish resistant, it features a mirror finish and is dishwasher safe.
Signature Series: 5-piece mini-tool set for $5.99, Bed Bath & BeyondThese are ideal for anyone who cooks for one or two people. They are dishwasher-safe, affordable and easy to store because they are so small (making them the perfect size for kids to use).
OXO Pasta Scoop with large handle for $19.99
I love using this to fish out medium- to small-size pasta and vegetables, anything that I may drop in a hot liquid. And best of all, it's easy to store and clean.
Lovin' Spoonful Measuring Set (spoons) for $14, AnthropologieThese are my favorite measuring spoons — and not because they are necessarily better than any other, but because they are dainty, pretty and make baking more fun. They are so cute!