Friday Favorites Jen

Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

In my dream world, I’m a mix of Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray, and Emeril Lagasse (with a fun dash of Guy Fieri thrown in). In reality, I’m kind of like Lucy in the old “I Love Lucy” shows! But, I do have some absolute favorite tools for the kitchen, and I wanted to share them with you today!

Pampered Chef Mix 'n Chop

Pampered Chef Mix ‘n Chop

This mix ‘n chop is the bomb! I love this thing and use it all the time. It’s perfect for breaking up ground beef as it browns, but you can use it on chicken too. Once the chicken is pretty tender, this mix ‘n chop will do exactly as it sounds – it will chop it right up for you! You don’t have to have strong hands either. It is super sturdy, and you can pop it in the dishwasher. I have bought one for my adult kids too!

Jar Key

My mom gave me one of these little guys, and it is amazing! It’s hard to tell what it does, but I’m telling you, it’s a lifesaver. You know how hard it can be to open a jar of salsa, pickles, or olives? Just put this jar key on the lid – the little tongue goes under the edge of the jar top – and voila! It pops the seal easily, and you can open that jar right up! Brilliant!!

Jar Key

Toaster Tongs

Toaster Tongs

My husband scares me to death when he sticks a knife into the plugged-in toaster!! Crazy, not to mention dangerous! His precious bagel is not worth the risk. So I have these handy dandy toaster tongs. This is another kitchen item I buy for my adult kiddos!

Pampered Chef Ice Cream Scoop

Ice cream is a favorite in our house, and this is by far the best ice cream scoop I’ve ever bought. Mine is probably over a dozen years old and still looks brand new. Ice cream can be rock hard, and this scoop does the trick!

Instant Pot

Instant Pot

Last but not least – my Instant Pot. I love this thing! It has truly been a game-changer for us in making dinner. I probably use it 4-5 times a week! It’s super easy to use; we’ve even made hard-boiled eggs in it. And it cleans up great! Definitely, the best kitchen buy we’ve made in a long time!

Oh, and a little tip: if your Instant Pot seal doesn’t seem to be sealed as well (like I said, we use ours all the time!), stick the top in the fridge for maybe 10 minutes. Then try to use it – it will seal perfectly!

As you can probably tell, I’m no chef! But I do love kitchen tools. When they’re useful, handy, and wash up easily, I’m all over them! I’d love to hear what your favorite kitchen tools are! Share yours in the comments!

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Jen Dodrill is a Navy brat from a long line of Navy brats. Born in Virginia, she moved to the Florida panhandle in 6th grade. After vowing to never date a Navy guy, she moved to Nashville, TN where she met and fell in love with Eddie who was - you guessed it - in the delayed-entry-program for the Navy. They met in June, married the following February, and over 35 years later are still sweethearts. They moved back to West Tennessee in 2008 after his retirement. Jen stayed home to raise their 5 kids, and she homeschooled the youngest three. The “baby” graduated in 2020, but Jen refuses to bow to empty-nest syndrome! She teaches Oral Communication as an adjunct instructor for Dyersburg State Community College and blogs at Jen Dodrill History at Home. Jen also writes curriculum under History at Home at TeachersPayTeachers and Boom Learning! When she’s not working, she’s spending time with her kids and adorable granddaughters. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and her favorite place – Pinterest! You can also visit her site "History at Home" at