A Few of My Favorite Kitchen Things – kitchen essentials you don’t want to live without!
Hi! Just popping in today for a short visit…
This is actually an addendum to yesterday’s post, where I shared a delightful opportunity I recently had to work with Anne Tollett of Hanover Avenue, an amazingly creative, interior designer from Richmond, Virginia. She designed a gorgeous, high-end (but affordable) kitchen and we worked together to make this kitchen user-friendly (from a cook’s point of view). We collaborated on how to make it the perfect place for family/friends to congregate, socialize and enjoy great food.
I also had the opportunity to stock the drawers, shelves and cabinets of this lovely kitchen with lots of my favorite things – pots, pans, small appliances, dishes, serving bowls, platters and all of my favorite utensils and gadgets. You can check them all out on Anne’s post, over at Hanover Avenue, but I thought I’d tell you about a few of them here as well.
A good kitchen scale – this is essential if you want to measure accurately. There are lots of recipes that call for milliliters or grams, and a kitchen scale can do instant conversions. They’re also great for portion control, if you’re trying to eat healthy. Ever wonder how bakeries make all of their cake layers exactly the same size? They use a scale! Here at The Cafe, I use mine almost every day!
A good quality zester – lots of my recipes call for “the finely grated zest of one lemon, lime, orange, etc.” A zester makes this job a breeze. These are also perfect for grating hard cheeses, garlic and ginger.
An immersion (or stick) blender – this is definitely essential in my kitchen, especially in the cooler months. I use this for silky smooth soups and sauces. This one can also mix, whisk, beat, froth, shred, chop, liquefy and crush! And I love that it’s cordless.
A mortar and pestle – this might seem frivolous, but I love having a small mortar and pestle. There are lots of herbs and spices that will give infinitely better flavor to your food if crushed just before using; like peppercorns, cumin, coriander, cardamon, etc. It’s also great for pulverizing nuts, making pesto, crushing garlic, etc.
A candy thermometer – although these are essential for making candy, there are lots of other uses for them as well. If you’re new at working with yeast this inexpensive thermometer will be a lifesaver. I always use mine to make caramel sauce.
A springform pan – I can’t tell you how many springform pans I’ve been through over the years but this one is a keeper, super good quality and made to last!
An instant read digital thermometer – essential if you like to grill. No more dry or over-cooked meats if you have one of these! This one is a beauty!
A non-stick whisk – I love whisks and have a bunch of them in my utensil drawer; having one that’s non-stick whisk is super helpful, as I love my non-stick pans and want to keep them for a while. This one has silicone-coated stainless steel wires.
Quality bakeware – I’ve had lots of bakeware over the years, but several years ago Scott bought me several of these cake pans. After the first cake, I was sold! I had used one of my old cake pans and two of these. There was a
big huge difference in how the cakes rose and also in the beautiful color of the crust with the new pans. I love the straight sides of these pans, as they give really professional looking results.
Last, but not least; a good garlic press – mine is always in the dishwasher, since I use this little gadget ALL the time! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m quite lazy and might not always use fresh garlic if it weren’t for this handy little tool. You don’t have to even peel the garlic – just throw in a clove (or two!), give it a squeeze and you’re done, then into the dishwasher it goes!
All of these can be found at one of my favorite stores, Williams Sonoma, and on their website. They can also be found on Amazon, a shopping site I love because of their wonderful customer service and super fast shipping. I order, in two days, it’s on my doorstep and I don’t have to drive all over town.
So that’s it. A peek into “my kitchen essentials list” and a deeper look into the Hanover Avenue dream kitchen. Anne is sharing even more fun kitchen “stuff” on her site today – Hanover Avenue – click on over and visit her, you’ll love her beautiful site – be sure to say “hi” from me!