1. The Uber Sexy Crock Pot. Never to be seen on Top Chef but what a life saver. Plus knowing that a meal is ready when I come home from the day is pretty darn awesome. Want the easiest recipe ever? 1 bag frozen chicken breasts, 1 jar salsa, 1 packet taco seasoning = chicken tacos. Or 1 bag of frozen meatballs and a jar of spaghetti sauce = meatball subs. Another fave? This Honey Sesame Chicken. It's from the blog Foodie with Family which has many awesome yet doable recipes.
2. The Straight From the 90s Bread Machine. Ours gets used for three things: pizza dough, sandwich bread and cinnamon rolls. Sunday means pizza for dinner at our house, and since fresh dough is just a matter of throwing a couple ingredients in the machine, we always make ours from scratch. I know the recipe by heart: 1 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 4 cups bread flour, 2 tsp yeast. Most all commissaries and grocery stores carry bread flour and jars of quick rising yeast, or you can check out King Arthur Flour for all kinds of baking supply goodies.
3. The Swiss Army Knife Cuisinart Griddler. Another thing that gets used a couple times a week. It comes with interchangeable plates that are either flat (griddle) or ridged (grill). An awesome upgrade is to get the waffle plates that fit on it so you can toss that waffle iron. The plates detach and go in the dishwasher which is pretty darn awesome. Breakfast for dinner is a popular meal at our house, and the Griddler is pretty kid friendly, so they can help with dinner. The grill function is really a grilled cheese function at our house, another kids-can-make-it-themselves meal.
Hope this helps!
Hope this helps!