Brett Ferdock/CNN Underscored

Just because Molly Yeh is a celebrity chef, cookbook author and restaurateur doesn’t mean she can instantly win over her kids in the kitchen. “They help out a lot with taste-testing and don’t hold back their opinions,” she says of her daughters, Bernie and Ira. And, she says with a laugh, “They give negative feedback every single day!”

But Yeh, who’s starred on Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm” since 2018, shares that her picky daughters are “very happy” every time they dine on the Asian-inspired feast she just created for meal prep delivery service Blue Apron. On the limited-edition menu: ginger-scallion burgers with fried eggs, pickled cucumbers and hoisin sauce; peanut noodles with bok choy; crunchy cabbage slaw; and miso apple pie with pistachio-coconut crumble. “It’s inspired by flavors near and dear to my heart,” she says. “My mom would always make those noodles for me.”

Yeh adds that she’s been receiving Blue Apron prep kits for almost a decade. “You’re still doing the cooking and the food is still coming out fresh, but everything is perfectly proportioned so you’re not stuck with a bunch of parsley,” she says. Otherwise, she makes dinner in the family’s home in East Grand Fork, Minnesota, dines out at her new local restaurant, Bernie’s, or — yes, it’s true! — whips up leftovers. “I just had spaghetti and meatballs from last night and it was delicious!”

So, how to make family mealtimes less chaotic? Yeh prepared a list of kitchen must-haves for CNN Underscored.

Forget digging through your drawer for measuring cups and squinting to read the numbers. With the convenience of a compact digital food scale that measures in pounds, ounces and grams, “You can just weigh everything right there,” Yeh says. “You have less dishes to deal with and less moving around the kitchen with kids around. And the measurements are going to be perfect!” The “Molly on the Range” author even teases, “I’m kind of hoping the tide shifts and I can write recipes just using weights!”

Related: The best kitchen scales of 2023

Yeh handles this curved tool to flip everything from burgers to eggs. “It’s the best shape for cooking,” she says. (She uses a nonstick one too, but no squares!). Heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe, the metal turner features a curved blade and a clear angle at the edge to slide under food.

Salads, Blue Apron noodles and slaw are just some of the foods Yeh tosses in these lightweight and unbreakable stainless steel bowls. “I love that they’re convenient for everything,” she raves. Yeh places them on the table for serving (“I don’t need to make it look fancy”), sticks the bowls in the fridge to keep the leftovers fresh and even lets her youngest daughter play with them on the floor as a sensory activity.

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“I never knew I could love a ladle,” Yeh jokes. But she’s smitten with this flexible yet sturdy silicone tool (available in 15 colors). “It allows you to scoop up every single last drop at the bottom of a pot because it can mold into the corners,” she says. FYI, Yeh says she’s currently “really into” preparing bean soup, broccoli soup, tomato-parmesan soup and chicken noodle soup.

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Yeh likes to cook her vegetables, bacon and baked goods on this durable aluminum pan. (She likes quarter sheets too.) She also places the food on parchment sheets instead, using a nonstick spray or tearing off paper from a roll. “It just makes the cleanup so much easier,” she explains.

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Just one good cast-iron pan can serve many purposes. “It’s great for things like casseroles, meatballs or grilled cheese,” she says. “It’s a one-pot meal.” Yeh actually loves the cookware so much that she owns several: “I’m obsessed with them — like if we get one for the show, I’m like, ‘Don’t pack it away! Let me use it for a little bit!’” Among her favorites is this sleek heavyweight enamel-coated pan from her own line; it’s best for braising and slow-cooking.

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When it comes to slicing and dicing, “I’m very minimal,” she says. “I use one chef’s knife and one serrated knife.” She picks the Misen brand for both utensils because, she explains, “They have a good, heavy weight, so they feel nice in my hand and stay sharp for a while. They’re really inexpensive too.”

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