Kendall's Cure-all Chicken Soup

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I posted this recipe the other night on my stories and you guys WENT. NUTS. Who knew all I had to do was share a chicken soup recipe to meet so many more of you! 😂

This is a soup I’ve adapted over the years to help with any flu-like symptoms, stuffy noses, rainy days or cold nights. Notice this is not chicken noodle soup. You will find no noodles up in here.

A few reasons:

  1. Because I generally avoid unnecessary gluten AND

  2. when you’re fighting off infections, eliminating sugar and simple carbs will cut your down time in half. Infections feed off of sugar so eliminating it kills it! Look at that!

Anyway, back to the soup. This chicken soup is so hearty you won’t miss the noodles. Plus, noodles get soggy after a few days and this soup is best on day three. Yes, day three.

The biggest trick to making this soup from scratch in under an hour is buying a store bought rotisserie chicken. This cuts cooking time in half and the taste is spot on!

This last time I made it I actually roasted my own chicken (I know, how very Ina Garten of me) but now I understand why Jeffery requests a roast chicken every Friday night because it is SO DAMN GOOD. And if you don’t know who Jeffery is it might be time for you to binge watch some Barefoot Contessa.

I don’t think it makes much difference in the soup because it’s no longer a roast chicken on its on, but if you’ve got time and you’re feeling fancy I say go for it!

I add a little grated fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese on top and take my gluten on the side in the form of crunchy, crusty garlic bread if I’m not avoiding gluten/grains that day.

Pro tip: prep and chop all your veggies. Use a garbage bowl to cut down on trips to the garbage and read the entire recipe all the way through before starting!

AND without further ado…the recipe!



FANCY ROAST CHICKEN

What you’ll need:

4-6lb Whole Chicken

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup avocado oil (higher smoke point but can use good olive oil also)

Cast iron pan or baking sheet



What to do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While preheating rinse chicken, remove giblets and pat dry with paper towel. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Rub all over chicken and especially under skin. Once its all evenly coated top and bottom, drizzle what ever left over you have of the seasoning mixture into your baking dish (I used a cast iron pan) and place the chicken on top, breast side up.

Once the oven is preheated, place the chicken on the center rack. Once the chicken is in, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. The super hot oven helps the skin get crispy at first and then the lower temperature helps it cook evenly without burning.

Leave in the oven for 20 minutes per pound or until it reaches and internal temperature of 165. And if you still don’t have a meat thermometer (because I know you don’t) go get yourself one stat! You will never have to guess if your meat is cooked ever again.

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FOR THE SOUP

What you’ll need:

1 celery stalk, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch of carrots (or half a bag), diced

1 very large onion or 2/3 smaller guys, diced

1 leek (you only eat the white/light green part. ask your grocer if you can find it. Its with all that green stuff you usually avoid in the produce department but they’re worth it I swear! Also, you’ll get to know your produce guy! Its always good to know the produce guy…)

1 box of mushrooms, any kind work. I use baby bells., sliced

1 box of chicken stock

1 box of chicken broth or bone broth

1 bunch of kale (or kale in a bag), chopped

handful of parsley (if you have it. helps add bright flavor to the soup!), chopped

salt and pepper


What to do:

If using a rotisserie chicken, de-skin the chicken and place in the botton of a dutch over or stock pot.

Over medium heat, let the skin crisp up. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the bottom after it start to brown to de-galze the pan. Remove the skin then add a little olive oil and then add in garlic.

*If using your own roast chicken, take some of the pan juice and use that as your oil, and then add the garlic from there.*

Let the garlic cook for about two minutes and add the onion.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir and let cook for five minutes.

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Then add carrots and celery and continue to cook.

Add another small pinch of salt and pepper for the carrots and celery and stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes.

Add in leeks and stir to combine


Once combined add in both boxes of stock. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.

Once boiling, drop the heat a bit and add in the sliced mushrooms.

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Break apart the chicken and add in the meat (and bones if still attached. we’ll remove them later).

Once all the chicken is added cook for another 10-15 minutes at least.

You can let this cook for as long as you’d like really.

After 15 minutes, use tongs to remove the bones and/or skin. This is also a great time to go through and shred the chicken.

Once the bones are removed and the chicken is somewhat shredded, add in kale.

*If you bought it as a bunch just remove the stems and rough chop it before adding to the soup. If you bought prewashed in a bag slowly add it in batches. It will wilt down quickly so you can add more.

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With the kale added you can add in some fresh parsley if you’d like and you’re ready to serve!

You will be eating this all week and it only gets better with time!

Let me know how you like and it and tag me so I can see on Instagram!

This soup will kick any cold and make you feel better instantly!

Happy cooking!

xx Kendall






How to Heal Your Gut + Balance Your Hormones

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Two weeks ago I wrote a post about what steps to take to help balance your hormones. The first step I explained was to heal you gut.

This is step number one forever and always because our gut, or microbiome, is connected to every part of our body. This why not only can you have bloating, gas and diarrehea but mood swings, hormonal imbalances, anxiety or inflmaed skin from dybiosis of the gut.

If your gut is out of balance so is the rest of you.

With our standard diet, stress load and eating patterns, most people suffer from an unhealthy microbiome.

What is your micro biome you might ask? Your microbiome is comprised of the trillions of different microbial cells that populate your digestive system. These bacteria help you digest, regulate bodily functions and are crucial to your day to day living.

Your immune system lives in your gut which is why reaching for an antibiotic every time you get sick isn’t a wise choice. Antibiotics destroy good AND bad bacteria in your gut leaving you with a potentially weakened immune system and an imbalanced gut.

Chronic stress and poor sleep quality can also alter your unique microbiome which is why the key to balancing hormones (which stem from a balanced gut) goes beyond what food is on your plate.

The more balanced your gut is the more energy you have, the less inflammation you produce and the stronger your body fucitons.

So how do we heal our gut?!


It’s a multi-step process that is rooted in ridding your body of inflammation. When you reduce inflammation you promote healing, whether its your gut, your chronic back pain or anxiety. Less inflammation = more healing.

First step to healing your gut is to crowd out bad bacteria with good bacteria.

Incorporate the following...

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Probiotic foods:

  • fermented apple cider vinegar (use as salad dressing, in a lemon tea, as a marinade or drizzled over vegetables.

  • yogurt (full fat greek yogurt if dairy is not an issue or low sugar nut milk yogurt)

  • kimchi (fermented cabbage) or saurcraut

Healthy fats:

  • grass fed butter (*not conventional butter.* Butter from grass fed cows contains vitamin A. Cows produce vitamin A when fed their natural diet of grass as opposed to corn and wheat (conventional cows) which causes inflammation.

  • ghee or clarified butter

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • avocados

  • nuts + seeds (ex: almonds + cashews, chia/hemp/flax seeds)

Colorful vegetables:

  • beets

  • dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula etc.)

  • carrots

  • broccoli

  • squash

Berries:

  • blueberries

  • blackberries

  • cherries

  • raspberries

Wild Caught Fish/Grass Fed/Free Range Meats:

  • Free Range eggs

  • Wild Caught Salmon

When healing your gut, sticking to eating colorful, high quality foods will almost certainly get you back up and running in no time. Just be sure to avoid the following foods as to not undo any of your progress.

These foods will disrupt your microbiome and should be avoided during the healing process (and should be consumed sparingly any other time).

Processed Foods:

  • anything prepackaged with more than five ingredients

  • added sugars (in dressings, condiments, etc.)

  • soda, “diet” anything (aspartame negatively affects gut bacteria)

Refined Vegetable Oils

  • canola oil

  • corn oil

  • soybean

Conventional Meats/Seafood

Fried foods (fried in refined vegetable oils)

Refined grains

Now that you know what foods to incoporate/elimintate you can begin the process of healing.

Second step to healing your gut is incorporating a good quality probiotic into you supplement regimen is helpful to add back in good for you bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. Taking a prebiotic or keeping in mind to incoproate more fiber rich foods in your diet will help feed the good bacteria as well!

Third step is to avoid any antibiotics or synthetic drugs. Like mentioned above, these wreak havoc on your system and cause dybiosis of the gut (a fancy way of saying an imbalance). Don’t ruin all your hard work of eating right and managing stress by tossing back some antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle.

(If you don’t take an antibiotic you will feel better in a week, if you take an antibiotic you’ll feel better in week. A week is a week and your body is fully equipped to handle a cold or flu here and there!)

Fourth step is sleep. Sleeping between seven and eight hours a night is crucial. This is a non-negotiable. If you beleive you can’t fall asleep early enough to get eight hours, add in magnesium to your bedtime routine. It helps you relax and calm down from the day so you have an easier time drifting off to sleep. My favorite is Natural Calm and I make it warm and sip like a tea.

The fifth step is CHEW YOUR FOOD. I can’t say this enough because we ALL eat way too fast. We scarf down food in between meetings, before rushing out the door or on our way to and from places. We wonder why we have stomach pains all day afterwards.

Taking the time to chew your food ALOT, like 30-40 times, helps your digestive system TREMENDOUSLY. If you chew your food well, you do 90% of the work and alleviate your digestive system from doing the heavy lifting...which is what causes bubbles and the sounds and the uncomfortable bloat (because your body has to release different acids in order to break down the food which causes excess gas).

So, in short, next time you chew think about how many times your chewing before you swallow. You’ll be amazed!

If you take these simple steps and start implementing them right away, you will notice immediate changes in your digestion and be on the road to healing your hormones the holistic way without synthetic creams or pills.

**Now in addition to these key steps, there is something you can drink every morning that will only help your healing.  

After drinking 1L of water first thing in the morning, I make a gut healing tonic that I drink every morning; before coffee, before eating, before anything.

It has helped me regulate my hormones (because it balances my gut), has helped reduce acid reflux and reduced bloat from overeating.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 2 Tbsp Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 Tsp Manuka Honey

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 1 Scoop Collagen

  • 8 oz. water just off the boil

Put the ACV, honey, lemon and collagen together in a mug and top off with the hot water. Sip like a tea and enjoy!

This tea gives you great gut bacteria from the ACV and Manuka honey helps eliminate inflammation, lemon juice has a good amount of vitamin C and antioxidants and the amino acids in collagen help repair the lining of your gut.

Hope you find this information to be a helpful starting ground toward healing your gut and ultimately healing not only your hormones but most of the other functions of your body.

Hugs + high vibes!

Xx Kendall

What is burn out!? My Story + What it Meant to me

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We’ve all been there, crying for no reason, feeling unbelievebaly overwhelmed and wrought with anxiety. We take it as it comes and hope it passes in a few days. But then it doesn’t.

A week later something else happens, and then a few days after that another meltdown and suddnely we start to question WTF is actually going on. Why can’t we handle life? Why can’t we handle our job, our relationships, working out, cooking meals, maintaining a home, paying bills and bathing like everyone else?!

Why are we the ones who can’t handle it all while everyone else seemingly floats on by through life?!

The fact is were all barely keeping our heads above water. Chaos and overwhelm are things this generation thrives on. Or *think* they thrive on.

We often forget we are not pre-programmed for all this. Our software is in the middle of being updated and we just expect to go from Windows 95 to Windows XP overnight (but really, what WIndows is even current these days?! #MacGirl). Never before have we been expected to do so many things in one day often with little or poor quality sleep and terrible fueling habits.

For me, burn out came through a few times. The last two incidents I can recall were both related to physical burn out and quite honestly, my job.

For the past three years I was a spin instructor and most recently left my “dream job” at SoulCycle. I say dream job in quotes because as an instructor that’s where you aspire to be, or atleast I did. So it was a pretty big deal I left so quickly.

I absolutely loved what I did (and still do!) but what I thought was something I could do for a few more years wound up being something I could only do for a few months.

Burn out manifests in a myriad of ways. It can be a chronic, unexplained pain, fainting and seriously injuring yourself, constantly sick, car accidents, inability to fall asleep (yet so damn exhausted all the time), loss of color in your face underneath the acne you never knew you had...you name it.

The reason why burn out takes so many different forms is because the universe, God, source, whatever you call THAT THING is trying it’s damnedest to get your attention. To tell you:

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

Now we’ll get into the scientific aspect of how your body actually becomes burnt out (or clinically called “adrenal fatigue” but I want you know that burning out is a gift from the powers that be. The signs were there right along but you may have chosen not to listen. The signals eventually had to pull some weight to get you wake up and realize what was happening so they gave you just enough of a nudge that you’d notice, but not enough where you’d die.

For me, after being bedridden with the Flu twice in two months (after months of not sleeping) I ignored the obvious signs and went head first into Soul training the day after my fever finally broke.

Fast forward through 5 weeks of training, I’m now teaching rooster classes an hour away from my home, 8pm classes in Manhattan and no days off. The adrenaline was great and I was excited! Tired! But oh so excited.

But the signs started creeping in. I would get caught in freak traffic that would prevent me from getting to class. I would forget theme rides, I would miss my alarm and race like hell to the studio.

These, my friends, are the little signs. These are precisely the things we chalk up to bad luck or forgetfulness or being a flake. But these are the subtle nudges from the universe that you are way outta alignment. This is the point when we need to make adjustments.

But we don’t, so I’ll go on.

After three months of these things happening repeatedly, I met...The Migraine.

I never had a migraine before so I was SURE it was sinus allergies. I’d self medicate with caffeine and only be mildly uncomfortable. Two days, three days...five days went by and only then did I think this was strange.

Eventually advil, Excedrin and even caffeine wouldn’t take the edge off. I couldn’t move and the pain on a scale of 1-10 was at an 11. Shit, like a thousand. I didn’t understand how the human body could be in so much pain and not die.

It got so bad that I was afraid to go to sleep at night because I knew I’d wake up with a migraine in the morning.

What I’m getting at here is how obvious it all seems in hindsight. But when you’re in it you can’t see that what your doing is anything exceptional. You go to the chiro, acupuncturist, you get a massage but nothing gives. You don’t think for a second that anything you’re feeling is due to your daily routine or habits or job or what you eat or how much you work out. Something is obviously just broke in your body and you need to fix it.

Wrong.

So on day 21 the pain got so bad I was convinced my brain was hemorrhaging. I (barely) drove myself to the emergency room and then it clicked.

As I laid there, moaning in pain in some dark room in the back of the ER I asked the universe, “How did I get here?!”

How did I, a health coach, a fitness instructor, young spiritual whateveryouwannacallit get to this place of pain and agony.

This wave of “knowing” came over me and without a shadow of a doubt I knew it was my rock bottom. I knew in that moment that the job I dreamed of, the way I was doing it, was not serving my highest good.

I knew all the signs I had ignored had been sent on purpose: I hit someone's car, I missed classes, people asked me if I was sick because I was gray all the time, I had a face full of preteen acne and I hadn’t slept 8 hours in 6 months.

I knew in that moment that I had to quit.

The doctors came in and ordered some IV pain relievers that took about 3 hours to kick in but could find no plausible reason for my migraines (as many usually don’t).

They ordered a CT and thankfully I wasn’t hemorrhaging (like I initially believed) and prescribed a follow up MRI which proved nothing either.

During my first conversation with the Neurologist later that week, his second questions to me was “what’s your sleep look like?” and there it was. After our conversation he was 90% sure it was from lack of a consistent sleep schedule. My circadian rhythm had no rhythm.

At the time, my schedule didn’t allow for consistent sleep. By the following week I was putting in my two weeks and the day I put in my notice I didn’t get a headache.

Or the following day or the day after that. The pain subsided by nearly half. It was like my body knew the rest was coming and it didn’t have to shout so loud.

I haven’t had a headache since my last week of teaching. I spent the entire summer sleeping eight hours a night, walking daily, fiercely protecting my adrenals from excess caffeine, inflammatory foods and let myself off the hook from anything causing stress.

I share this all with you in hopes that it makes you feel less alone and less like you are broken. Sharing your story is wildly uncomfortable (because who the eff cares?!) but also kind of cathartic. So thank you for allowing me this space to share.

Now, you may have been reading some of that and realizing some of those points resonated with you. That you may be in fact ignoring signs or currently in burn out.

If that’s the case I’d like to talk a little be about what chemically happens to you when you are in the thick of it.

ADRENDAL FATIGUE

Our bodies are blessed with instinctive knowledge of fight or flight. From our cavemen days we’ve learned to interpret stress as a threat.

When we experience something stressful, whether it be subconscious stress, financial stress, working-out-too-much stress, excess caffeine, etc., our bodies can’t tell the difference.

Immediately cortisol levels in your body (the hormone that supports fight or flight) spike in effort to help you make a quick decisions for survival. Your digestion shuts down, your blood pressure raises and stores of blood sugar move through the body.

This is helpful if you see a bear.

This is not helpful if you’re at your cubicle at work.


Excess release of cortisol in your body due to chronic stress (subconscious or environmental) causes weight gain (because your body thinks we might starve #survival), “tired but wired” feeling at bedtime, short temper, no-reason-cries and lowered immune system to name a few.

Usually we can do this for short bursts of time. A week, maybe a month (but we’ll probably get sick at some point) but release of excess cortisol over a prolonged period of time will result is adrenal fatigue. Your system has been burning at too high of a voltage for too long that it will need a reboot.

This is when you hit rock bottom, you burn out, have your dark night of the soul or “come to Jesus”...whatever you wanna call it.

But the beautiful thing about this is that this point usually brings immense introspection and reflection. We make change after this happens. We listen to our bodies. We treat them will empathy and compassion because we’ve been given no other choice.

Now if you’re in burn out right now, ask yourself when was the last time you took care of yourself? When was the last time you got 8 hours of sleep!? (And don’t hit me with that bullshit “I only need 6hrs of sleep.” 3% percent of the population only needs 6hrs, the odds are not in your favor...)

When was the last time you cleared your calendar of non-priority engagements so you could take a bath and get to bed on time? When was the last time you evaluated the current state of your life and the activities in it? Are they serving your highest good?


If you’re in burn out right now there are three things to do tonight to start digging your way out:

  1. Write a letter to yourself about your life at this very moment. What you love, what you hate, what you no longer want to do. Read it back to you and see what makes you feel that knot in your throat...and then make a plan to eliminate it or change it for the better.

  2. Take a bath. With epsom salt and magnesium and make it really luxurious and over the top. Soak and be still without your phone. Light a candle, get fancy. Afterwards put on fresh, clean pjs and get into bed without any electronics blaring in the background, leave your phone across the room and just breathe deep.

  3. SLEEP. Do whatever you have to do to get the best night’s sleep. Use essential oils, lower the temperature in the room, pull down the shades and sleep for 8 hours like your life depends on it (because it does).


If you want more tips on how to set yourself up for a perfect night’s sleep, grab a copy of my eBook here.

Yes, there are foods to eat, supplements to take + mindset shifts that need to take place as well but it all starts here. It’s way less complicated than we think if we just tune into our instincts.

If this was at all helpful, I’d love to hear your feedback. There is more to dissect here and hope to bring you more information each week!

With all the love + light,

Xx Kendall


ONE MONTH TO WELLNESS

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Throughout our conversations we’ve had on Instagram over the past few months I want you to know that I hear you, I see you and I am you.

I remember being so burnt out, emotionally all over the place and just trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me. I’d google my symptoms looking for answers when in reality I had the answers all along, I just needed to dig deeper. My acne, mood swings + chronic fatigue I thought were part of my personality. I had this constant negative self talk that was lazy + unfocused. 

Now, after a lot of trial and error, I feel clear headed and emotionally sound. Sure I have my days, but they’re far and fewer between. I feel like a fog has been lifted off of me and I’m finally learning who I really am.

Since my mission is to help as many of you either rebalance your hormones, lose weight or eliminate anxiety, I’m happy to announce I’ve opened up ONE MONTH, 1:1 coaching with me until the end of September.

It can begin as soon as you enroll and includes: 

-health history assessment

-4 weekly calls

-grocery lists

-my Balanced Babe ebook

-unlimited email/text access to me

…plus an optional grocery tour!

This is for you if you’ve been thinking about gaining support around some of your struggles but aren’t yet ready to commit to my 6-month program.

Space is limited and enrollment will only be available until Sept. 30th.

Cost of investment:

(2) Payments of $249 (excluding grocery tour)

OR

(2) payments of $299 WITH 3-hour grocery tour

If you’re seriously considering working together, I encourage you to fill out the form located at the end of this next page to apply!


 
 

Must Have Kitchen Items to Make #allthethings

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Recently, my (now) fiancé and I (that sounds so fancy and I’m still not used to calling him that, LOL!) finished renovating my childhood home we bought together back in December.

One of our favorite parts of the new house, and where we spend 90% of our time, is the kitchen. It’s literally our dream kitchen and I thank Tim everyday for bringing my vision to life. We still have some shelving to finish up but for the most part it's a fully functioning piece of art, (well, atleast I think so).

When we first moved into the house, we had nothing. We literally went out and bought 4 plates, a couple glasses and on set of utensils. Slowly but surely we’ve been able to add to the collection of kitchen items we needed.

Halfway through the summer, Tim finally got around to proposing (finallllllly!) and soon family + friends were generously sending us wonderful (+ helpful!) gifts to fill our cabinets!

Tim argued with me that we didn’t need most of it but after a few months he’s realized just how much proper equipment makes cooking a BREEZE!

Isn’t it the worst when you find a recipe you want to make, the pictures have your mouth drooling but then you read down through the instructions and it says “with a hand mixer blend ingredients…”, “sear each side in your cast iron pan…” or “fill your slow cooker and set to low for 8 hours…”

Nothing is more defeating than not having the right tools. You feel like a rookie and remind yourself, “this is why I don’t cook!”

So I thought I’d put together a list of things I feel are absolute necessities in any kitchen that will never go out of style or use. These are small investments but you’ll most likely never have to buy it again.

  1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Because you never think you’ll use one and then you get one and realize cooking, baking + making could’ve been a hell of alot easier with one of these guys. I’ve made batches of homemade pizza dough in this, Christmas cookies galore, whipped cream + pasta. You may be thinking “I’ll never make any of that” but you will. If you have the right tools.

  2. Le Creuset Dutch Oven. There are dutch ovens a plenty at every HomeGoods (and if you get lucky there may even be a Le Creuset hidden on a shelf) but this dutch oven is the perfect tool to make any kind of soup, meat sauce, chilli or even roast chicken! Plus it’s so pretty that I just leave mine out on the counter and stare at it adoringly. (I got a little gold knob for it too so she’s all dressed up.)

  3. Nespresso Machine. Now, this might not be a necessity depending on how seriously you take your coffee but I’m a BIG fan of my Nespresso machine my mom gifted us. I can make cappuccinos and lattes like the best starbucks barista around. Plus, since Tim doesn’t drink much coffee getting a regular ol’ coffee pot didn’t make much sense. (The half-caffinated pods are my favorite because the regular ones make me feel like Jessie Spano in Saved By The Bell. They have around 60 mg of caffeine vs >100mg.)

  4. Food Processor. This is another one of those things you think you’ll never use but then you go to make a fancy pesto and really wish you could but you can’t because you don’t have one. We got ours on Sunday and have already used it three times this week: to make homemade breadcrumbs (because we had none on hand) and to make that fancy pesto. They’re relatively inexpensive and something you’ll never have to replace most likely. Great for chopping up herbs, all kinds of pesto, sauces and rubs, to make breadcrumbs and slice and dice just about anything else.

  5. Nutri Bullet. The only thing better than a Nutri Bullet, in my opinion, is a Vitamix. But since a VItamix is not in our current budget our bullet does just as good of a job making my morning smoothies. If you are someone who loves a good, well blended protein shake, you must get yourself one of these. Get a high powered one however. It might cost you a few dollars more but it’s so worth it. Say goodbye to the days of clumpy smoothies and ill blended ingredients. Plus, if your not totally convinced on the food processor, you can make pesto and breadcrumbs in here!

  6. Electric Wine Opener. Yes, opening a bottle of wine with a corkscrew is just as well but makes it such a breeze it’s hard to go back. This is the best housewarming gift, or gift for any occasion for that matter. Plus for people that get intimidated with opening a bottle, this puts their mind at ease knowing it’s just one button!

  7. Cast Iron Pan. This is the money pan. We cook most of our meals in one of these guys (also, if you’ve never cooked your bacon in one of these you must! It gets so crispy, it’s delicious!) You’ll only ever need to buy one so make sure it’s a big one. These things get better with age (they season themselves the more you cook on them) and your food will becoming uniquely your own with a well-used cast iron pan.

  8. Slow Cooker. Now, I cannot lie, I’m a slow cooker novice. But the amount of recipes I’ve found for a slow cooker, the rave reviews I hear on the daily or set-it-and-forget-it type of cooking it allows, I don’t know wtf I’ve been doing all this time. We just got our delivered this week (after I found the one I wanted on MASSIVE sale) and I can’t wait to get my hands on it to whip up some chili this weekend.

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

I think half the battle of learning to love the kitchen is in not having the right tools on hand. Imagine trying to build a house with a screwdriver and a hammer...it’s impossible! The same can be said for cooking in the kitchen.

Start small, scour HomeGoods for discounted finds, save up those Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons and get to it! The first meal you cook that goes off without a hitch because you have everything you need will crack open the inner Emeril Lagasse in you. I can see it now.

What are some of your favorite items in your kitchen?! We’re still building our collection in this new house of ours and would love to know what you can live without!

Xx Kendall