Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Kitchen Essentials

I LOVE kitchen tools. It's one of my favorite things to shop for, and I started buying them back in college, nice things when my friends still spent all their money on clothes and cocktails.

I'm so lucky to have a well-stocked kitchen, but I do cherish a handful of items the most.
Everyone is different and has their favorite tools, but these are mine. What are yours?

1. The Heavy Cutting Board

This cutting board is pretty heavy and I keep it on top of the island. It was a gift from Donna, my mom's best friend and a fantastic Italian baker and cook. She didn't have the space for it so gave it to me. It's sturdy and has a lip on either side to keep it secure against the counter. I use the other side when rolling out pastry or dough. It's the primary workstation in my kitchen.

2. The Salt Piglet

I love this not-too-common salt dispenser.
I was inspired while watching Nigella Lawson's cooking show. She has a bigger one; I ordered mine from King Arthur Flour, and it keeps salt ready and in reach. Not too mention how cute it is!

3. The Hot Water Kettle

For making tea, or soups that require boiling water.

I also use it to hard-boil eggs. (Put the eggs in the kettle, fill with water, allow to boil and turn off. Let the eggs sit in the kettle for 20 minutes before removing.)

4. The Senseo Coffeepot

A little specific, but I am pretty committed to this pot. I love coffee and this machine makes a single or double with a delicious frothy layer on top. It now comes in red- too bad it didn't when I got mine :(
I buy the coffee pods in bulk from Amazon since it's cheaper than the grocery store. Unfortunately I am the only coffee drinker in the house so NH doesn't appreciate how lovely it is.

5. The Bread Machine

A must have for me, since I love to make bread and pizza and use it a lot.

It's a hand-me-down from Mom- the best kind of kitchen essential; it was given when I graduated and moved into my first post-college apartment.
My first tries with it solo were a little rocky (the infamous 'first pizza dough' evening that ended with delivery), but I have conquered it and my adversary is now my friend.

6. The Wooden Spoon with a Crack in It

Every cook has their quirks; I guess my attachment to this spoon is one of mine.

I have a vase filled with wooden spoons that were wedding presents. I almost never use them because I always choose this one. It's a college relic, and at this point I really can't remember how it got the crack in it. Probably by doing something stupid.
It's an essential because I know that I'll be sad the day I can't use it anymore, despite it's less than perfect state.

7. The Sugar Bowl

This is Nigella Lawson's little sugar bowl, a birthday gift from my brother John a few years ago.

Since I try not to eat real sugar, it is filled with Splenda packets. :-)

8. The green Le Creuset pot

Until recently my biggest pot was a pasta pot with a very thin bottom. Cooking in it was always a problem, there really was no way not to burn ingredients in it. I adore this pot and its big sister behind it (hasn't been used yet but it's meant to be for when I'm feeding more mouths :-).
And when I'm not using them, they make such pretty decoration!

9. The Oatmeal Bowls

Two bowls from Anthropologie, I use them every single day for my breakfast. I love using these pretty bowls to make eating more pleasurable; as I make my way through my oatmeal the flower appears at the bottom. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe! It's hard to find attractive stoneware, so I feel lucky to have these.

I prefer the one with the blue flower :-)

10. The Container of Oatmeal and its Measuring Cup

I prefer McCann's Quick Cooking Oats and this container holds two boxes at once. I keep this pretty 1/2 cup measure in here for the oats. Just little things to make the cooking process more enjoyable. Again, an essential because I use it daily.

Everyone is different and has their favorite tools, but these are mine. WHAT ARE YOUR KITCHEN ESSENTIALS?
If you'd like to join me and write about your favorites, please post them with a link to this blog and let me know in the comments here.
I'll try to post a round-up if I get enough responses.



LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I too love kitchen tools; and hey, I have that same cutting board!! :0)

My absolute FAVORITE kitchen tools, that I can't live without, are my BlendTec blender, KitchenAid food processor, cherry-pitter, apple-slicer/-corer, and my Black & Decker steamer :0)

Anonymous said...

Cool post!!!

Mine would have to be my medium sized sauce pan. I use it For oatmeal, of course, and tons of other stuff. In terms of gadgets, I gotta say my stick blender :)