These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share my favorite kitchen finds with the BakeSpace community. Some of you may know me from my food blog, ErinCooks.com, and a few of you might even remember me from elsewhere. I’ve actually been writing online at various domains and services since 1998. Back then I had a strong tendency towards drama and over-shares, but nowadays my blogging is pretty much contained to the kitchen and kitten realms.
In this, our inaugural Kitchen Finds post, we share our personal Top 10 list of must-have items for your kitchen. Suffice to say that there aren’t any “rain drops on roses” or “brown paper packages tied up with string” in our favorite things. Do any of your well-loved tools overlap with ours?
I simply can’t say enough about the joy my Silpats bring me on an almost daily basis. These silicone mats are the perfect baking accompaniment. Nothing, and I mean nothing, sticks to these things. Cookies, meatballs, and even dipped candies all release cleanly when layered on this non-stick surface. If you haven’t tried one before, you’re definitely in for a treat.
Of course your mixer doesn’t have to be pink, but mine is and I adore it. I use it all the time. It’s definitely the item in my kitchen that gets the most consistent use. My grandmother tried very hard to talk me out of getting my KitchenAid in this particular shade, but I was adamant and I’ve never regretted my decision for a moment.
I hate traditional cling wraps with a fiery passion and I honestly don’t understand why people haven’t completely eschewed them in favor of the magical Glad Press’n Seal. I buy this stuff in bulk at my local Costco. If you don’t have a reusable container handy, this product will tightly seal-in anything and cut down your spilling anxiety 100%.
A good cast iron skillet isn’t just a pot that your ancient ancestors owned; these affordable pans are a cooking essential. You can purchase a 20-inch skillet for around $20, and it won’t just last forever — it will actually improve over time. Skillets are great for cooking steaks indoors, whipping up savory gravy, or making corn bread — believe me, the possibilities are endless and once you own one you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
I coveted this pretty set of utensils for several years before a kind friend finally took pity and gave me a set as a gift. These fun utensils are a fabulous way to add a splash of color to your cooking and serving. Of course it also helps that the whole gorgeous (yet functional) set fits in quite nicely with my super girlie, heavy on the pink and pastels, kitchen theme.
Trust me… while this sounds contrary to popular belief, I bet you aren’t using enough salt in your food. Seasoning is the key to good cooking and we’ve all been terrified into believing that we’re going to kill ourselves if we use more than a dash of salt in dish. While we can agree to disagree on the proper amount, I highly suggest using Penzey’s Kosher Salt as your kitchen flavoring staple. It’s my favorite!
I look forward to the weekends even more now that I have this fabulous contraption to whip up my morning coffee. There is nothing quite as heavenly as the smell of freshly ground beans and the feeling you get when you press down the metal plunger on a coffee press. It’s just such an elegant way to jack yourself up on caffeine, don’t you agree?
The powers that be (and usually I would also agree) swear that you should never purchase celebrity endorsed cookware. While you’re essentially asking for poor quality, there are always exceptions to the rule, and in my opinion the Rachael Ray Furi Santoku Knife falls into this category. I’ve had mine for almost four years, and with regular sharpening and proper care I couldn’t be happier. I find that my more expensive brand name knives tend to feel too heavy and clunky, but this knife fits my cooking style to a tee.
Garlic and onions are no match for this citrus scented liquid. My aversion to garlic has practically disappeared now that I keep a supply of this practical kitchen soap in stock. I no longer wake-up in the middle of the night wondering, “What’s that awful smell?” only to realize that it’s the “eau de garlic” emanating from my hands.
Cookie cutters always make me think of the movie Mermaids, when Mrs. Flax (as portrayed by Cher) would use various stars and hearts in the creation of all her daughters’ meals — much to their chagrin. But mini-cookie cutters don’t have to be completely relegated to tacky appetizers. I use mine to make shaped-chocolates, pretty-up pies, and yes…on occasion I’ve been known to serve pumpkin shaped-cheese and crackers. Some may find that tacky, but I like to think of it as “kitsch,” and there’s nothing wrong with a little kitsch in your life.