Cooking can be a chore or it can be a pleasure. For most of us it is something we dread, as the family comes home and asks us what is for dinner tonight. But when you have the time to enjoy cooking, it is one of the real pleasures of life. This is why I always plan to spend my Sunday afternoons hanging around my kitchen, cooking up a storm and loving every minute of it.

But if you don’t have the right tools to do the job, it can go from fun to a back breaking chore in about two minutes. If you have someone in your home who loves to cook, or if you are that person, here are a couple of unexpected tools that you may not have considered that can make getting creative in the kitchen a lot of fun and really rewarding.

Measure Away

I always thought that all measuring devices, meaning cups and spoons, were the same. I used the same old beat-up ones that my mother had used and was happy. But when my husband bought me a set of state of the art aluminum measuring cups and spoons that were both metric and imperial, I was in heaven. No more converting from those British online recipes, no more guessing if my math was right. They are a joy to use, make life easier and I now have two sets of each so I can bake without having to stop and clean out the one set when I move from measuring butter to measuring sugar for cakes. Well worth the indulgence.

Seal It Up

I often love to cook ahead of time, sometimes even doing something like making a complicated marinade the day before and then setting it aside. Sometimes a friend of mine comes back from a fishing trip with a gift, a whole salmon. What I always love to do in these circumstances is prep and freeze; using my commercial vacuum sealer to seal in all that goodness and hard work.

You can find these little life savers online and while it isn’t something I use every day, they are worth the investment. They can take a whole roast and seal it in perfectly, sauces and all, ready for a quick pop into the slow cooker on another day. From veggies to pies, this makes my day long excursions into cooking pay off on those days when cooking isn’t an option.

Pressing It Into Service

I love garlic and will probably find just about any excuse to include it in a recipe. It is healthy, good for your heart and just plain tasty. What it isn’t is easy to chop. Those little heads just seem to slide around on my chopping board, so I invested in a good high quality garlic press, and have never looked back. These simple little devices make cooking with my favorite condiment a pleasure, and I think that using a press instead of chopping up the garlic actually distributes the flavor better.

No Problem with Shortcuts

As you can see from this little list, I really do believe in taking the easy route if there is a tool that makes it possible. From measuring with ease to storing your masterpieces and spicing them up with some easy to add garlic, the key here is making cooking fun.