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Top 5 essentials every family kitchen needs

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Work the space

Between breakfast, lunch, dinner and all-day noshing, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a family home. Make the space work for you with these products that maximize your kitchen's organization and functionality.
1

Rev-a-Shelf Lazy Susan Cabinet Inserts

Rev-a-Shelf Lazy Susan Cabinet Inserts

Corner cabinets are too often a catchall for cobwebs and unloved pots and pans. It's no wonder, since the space inside corner cabinets is difficult to access. But if you're working to keep a family fed and happy, it's important to maximize all the space available in your kitchen. Thankfully, Rev-a-Shelf offers a variety of lazy Susan inserts for corner cabinets. The lazy Susans allow you to stock the cabinet full of pantry or cooking items, and they spin easily so that your kitchen staples are always easy to access. (Home Depot, $102 and up)

2

Rubbermaid Pull-Down Cabinet Spice Rack

Rubbermaid Pull-Down Cabinet Spice Rack

Every mom knows that the savvy application of spices to meals can add pizzazz and flavor to an otherwise boring dish. But the more spices you accumulate, the more maddening it is to find what you need in the rush of dinner preparation. Obviously, there are a ton of spice racks and organizational tools to choose from, but we especially like the Rubbermaid Pull-Down Spice Rack. It installs into a cabinet shelf, and you just have to pull the rack down to easily see all of the spices you own, even if you installed it above eye level. (Lowe's, $20)

3

LG Super-Capacity French Door Refrigerator

LG Super-Capacity French Door Refrigerator

A refrigerator is many things. It's a preserver, organizer and stockpiler of foods. And if it's good at its job, it's a striking piece of a kitchen's design and actually entices family members to eat healthfully. We recommend the LG Door-in-Door French Door Refrigerator because it does everything a family refrigerator should do. This super-capacity refrigerator boasts 31 cubic feet of storage space with an additional door-in-door feature that's perfect for easy access to frequently reached-for foods. And it looks pretty sweet, too. (LG, $3,149)

4

Delta Touch2O
Faucet

Delta Touch2O Faucet

Cooking is messy. Mealtime is messy. Children are messy. Really, it's shocking that kitchens aren't entirely disgusting with all that mess. That's why we love the Delta Touch2O faucets. They mitigate messes by allowing you or your kids to just tap the faucet with a part of your hand (or body) that isn't covered in nastiness. Just think: Now you'll be able to mix Rice Krispies treats and wash off finger paint without trashing the faucet and sink. The Touch2O technology is available in several styles. (FaucetDirect, starting at $200)

5

Simply Calphalon 12-inch Jumbo Fryer

Over time, it's easy to accumulate pots and pans that are seldom used. But ask any mom and she'll tell you there are usually one or two cookware items that she uses daily for most cooking needs. If you haven't yet found that one item of cookware that you can't live without, or if perhaps your go-to pan is looking a little worse for wear, we suggest investing in the Simply Calphalon 12-inch Jumbo Fryer. It's large enough to fry a whole chicken, but it's also useful for sautéing smaller meals. You can simmer stew in the pan or use it for a quick stir-fry. It's even safe in the oven. And if all that isn't enough to make you run to the store, the pan is nonstick for easy cleanup. (Cooking.com, $50)

Simply Calphalon 12-inch Jumbo Fryer

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