3 Must-Haves For Any Busy Kitchen With The Best Mac & Cheese Recipe

Henckles Knife Block Set

There are three things my busy kitchen cannot function without and they are a slow cooker, everyday frying pan and knife block set. I am no chef, but I am always in the kitchen and I do love to cook. 

chef and bread knives

Henckels Fine Edge Fit Chef Knife and Bread Knife

Busy kitchen must-have: a slow cooker

KitchenAid Architect Programmable Slow Cooker

KitchenAid Architect Programmable Slow Cooker

One of my favourite things to cook with is a slow cooker. There are so many benefits to cooking with this versatile appliance. The one-step preparation is exactly what every busy kitchen needs, you put all the ingredients into the cooker and you’re done! Not to mention, clean-up is a breeze. There isn’t a line-up of pots and pans that need washing, just the slow cooker and your prep supplies. Does your family eat meat? A slow cooker tenderizes meat to perfection, and you can even cook less-expensive cuts of meat with delicious tender results. 

A slow cooker is perfect for soups and stews, granola, one-pot meals or batch cooking. And the best part is, you can put the recipe ingredients in it before leaving for work and you have a ready to serve dinner when you get home. The recipe ideas are endless, but our family favourite is Mac and Cheese – find the simple recipe below

Recipe: Simple Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

KitchenAid Architect Programmable Slow Cooker

  •  Prep Time 15 minutes
  •  Cook Time 2 hours


  • 1 bag (approx. 454g) of Scoobi Doo Pasta noodles (or noodles of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb block of mozzarella cheese cut into cubes (approx. 200g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray or olive oil


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 2 minutes less than package directions call for an al dente pasta
  2. Coat the slow cooker with olive oil or a cooking spray. Add the noodles in the slow cooker and spoon in the butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the noodles are coated.
  3. Add the evaporated milk, whole milk, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and mustard powder.
  4. Stir until combined.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stir every 30 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, stir until all the cheese is combined and formed into a sauce.

This dish will stay good in the freezer for up to about 3 months. Make sure you store it in an airtight container and thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Something else that is important in our kitchen is our prep tools, specifically our knife set.

The most important prep tool: a good knife set

Henckels Fine Edge Fit 12 Piece Knife Block Set

Henckels Fine Edge Fit 12 Piece Knife Block Set

This Henckels Knife Block Set has everything you need in the kitchen to master your meals. Ever wonder what all the knives in the block are used for and if you really need them? The answer is YES!

full henckels knife set - busy kitchen essential

Paring Knife: You can use this in place of a conventional peeler, coring tomatoes, hulling strawberries, cutting small fruit, veggies or garlic.

Bagel & Tomato Knife: This knife has scalloped edge and is amazing for food with crust or a firm exterior and soft interior like tomatoes, bread and cuts cheese with ease!

Utility Knife: This is kind of like an al purpose tool for around the kitchen. You can use this with potatoes, apples, small squash, cucumbers, sandwiches, etc.

Bread Knife: This knife allows you to cut bread without squishing it.  It cuts without having to press down on the bread so you don’t have squishy, uneven bread.

Chef’s Knife: Use this on pretty much anything, chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing

Steak Knives: Use these every day at the table! 

Looking for the perfect everyday frying pan?

Every busy kitchen needs an amazing pan! We cook eggs every single morning and our go to is The Rock Classic Non-Stick Frypan Combo. It’s important to have a pan with a great release so your food cooks evenly and doesn’t burn or stick. For perfect eggs, you’ll want to start off with a very thin coating of oil (we love coconut) and it helps to give colour and flavour to your eggs and all your foods. Wash and repeat! 

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Danielle Perciballi

Danielle is a mama of 3 and entrepreneur. She is the creator of life of macs which explores parenthood and lifestyle from a genuine place. Offering conscientious perspective on products, healthy alternatives, nutritious food (with a splash of vegan), DIY and all things that simplify family life. Follow along the journey at @lifeofmacs.