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Monday, December 16, 2013

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (for the Kitchen)

I love to cook, but I am practical and have a very small kitchen, so there are items I consider useful and necessary, but other items superfluous.  For example, I don't own a rice cooker and I never buy one on a gift registry.  I don't see the point.  I have a pan that I cook rice in that also is useful for cooking many other things.  If you love your rice cooker, I am happy for you.  These are a few of my favorite things, for the kitchen, and one wish list item.  You can click on any of these pictures, to see the item on Amazon. (And they are affiliate links.)

1. A Good Quality Apron.  I have a white, canvas apron, that sees a lot of use.  It's almost like my security blanket.  I even sit down to meals with it on.  I love that it prevents my clothes from getting stained.  And I have spilled and splattered a number of items on it, enough to show me I just can't cook without it.

2. Silicone Baster/Pastry Brush.  I bought one of these a couple years ago, and it changed my life!  The old types with natural hairs or plastic bristles were always shedding into my food or melting.  Ugh.  It was so frustrating.  I love the new silicone type so much, I bought myself a second one to have on hand.  They withstand high heat so I can use them to butter cold pans, hot pans, grease my skillet when I make pancakes, and baste meat on the grill.

3.  Citrus Reamer.  I have owned one of these for about 15 years now--and I use it all the time.  It is a handy little tool to pull out when you have a recipe that calls for freshly squeeze lemon or lime juice.  And the freshly squeezed juice tastes so much better than the bottled variety.

4. Kitchen Scale.  I use my scale to measure spaghetti noodles, to measure chocolate for my brownie recipe, and for dividing up items that I buy from my natural food co-op to split with friends.  I also use it when I make soap.

5. Microplane Grater.  Now this is the item on my wish list.  I still don't own one, all these years after they have grown in popularity.  Maybe there will be one in my stocking this year--wink, wink.  :)

6. Muffin Batter Scoop.  I have had one of these for many years, and I do use it a lot as we make muffins regularly.  It makes quick work of scooping that batter into those little cups.  I also use mine when we want big cookies--and who doesn't like big cookies?!?

7. Silicone Oven Mitts.  These are wonderful!  Let me tell you.  I received a pair of mitts a couple years ago on Christmas that had neoprene on the gripper part.  The neoprene melted the first time I made my bread, which I bake in a dutch oven at 450°F!  I was not happy.  But I continued to use them almost the whole year.  Close to last Christmas I decided to take them back to the store and ask if they could exchange them.  They did--what great customer service!  And I got a silicone pair, like these.  Mine, like these, have fabric on the inside, so they are comfortable.  The silicone is easy to clean, I just rinse mine off, so they stay clean, and I like that.  The silicone withstands really high temperatures.  I have never even felt that my hands were near to being uncomfortably hot, inside these mitts.

8. Pastry Roller.  This is a handy little tool.  Sometimes you want to roll out a little bit of pie crust or bread dough, and you don't want to pull out your big rolling pin.  I use this for pizza crust (even a big pizza, on my pizza stone--this helps me roll the crust out really thinly), crust for my chicken pot pies, and when I want to make individual flatbread (recipe coming soon).

9. Salad Spinner.  How did I get by for so long without one of these?!?  We never had one, when I was growing up, so I never thought to buy one.  I finally did a couple years ago, and it was life changing.  I used to HATE making salad, but I know it's healthy, and my whole family likes it, so I would make it.  Now that I have a salad spinner, it makes the whole process quicker and smoother.

10. Silicone Spatulas.  I have a number of these.  They are great.  The silicone withstands high heat, so you can use them to stir hot sauces.  They are flexible, allowing you to scrape every last bit of cookie dough and muffin batter out of the mixing bowl.  If you don't have a set of these, go buy some.  I know you won't be sorry.  :)

What is your favorite kitchen tool?

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1 comment:

  1. I'd have to agree with your simple, but excellent list. #3 and #8 especially.
    But I am a sucker for buying in multiples, opps!