Wednesday, January 7, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad.

So what are some of my favorite things? I am sharing them today. Being that this is a food blog, I will be featuring only my favorite items to the theme of Kitchen and nothing more. Keep your chones on.

1. My favorite kitchen gadget is my microplane, without a doubt. It grates cheese, garlic, onions, spices (such as the nutmeg shown in the pic), citrus peel, and on occasion - my fingernail. I have been in love with this tool since the day I got it. If you don't have one, I urge you to get one. Even if you don't cook much, it's just so much fun to have around.

2. Who cut the cheese? I love cheese and I love this cheese slicer. This slicer makes even little slices to top crackers, fill sandwiches or roll into lefse (a tortilla like flatbread here in Norway). It took a few coaching sessions from Boyfriend to get just the right slice but once I got the hang of it, I've been slicing cheese all on my own just like the big girl I am.

3. Who doesn't want the perfect scoop? I know I do! With the help of my mini ice cream scoop, I always get the perfect little scoop. Whether it's ice cream for my ice cream sandwiches, a little mound of sour cream, just the right amount for a potato latke, or 2 scoops for cupcakes - the result is always just what I need.

4. Boyfriend owns a lot of electronic gadgets and knick-knacks. When shopping with me at the local kitchen tools store, he remarked that kitchen gadgets are to me what electronic doo-dads are to him. He's absolutely right. I have a whole drawerful of little gadgets with dubious uses that I bought because they looked interesting. One such item is a chatchke that measures out spaghetti portions based on the number of people dining. Well, there are two issues with the gadget - A) I don't always use spaghetti and B) it's a bitch to use. I got uncooked spaghetti everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Anyways, I digress...#4 isn't about the useless spaghetti tool. It's about one of the gadgets I bought on a whim and totally love. This is my risotto spoon. The idea is that the hole further moves the grains of rice making for a more creamy risotto. I can't say that I have noticed a difference in my risotto with the use of this spoon but I feel like serious risotto maker just holding it in my hot little hand.

5. Tired of tongs that don't pick up? Hate it when your tongs scratch up your nice teflon pots and pans? Me I bought a teflon coated tong and have tossed all my old ones away. I do almost everything with this - I pick up items, use it to serve, pull pasta out of its cooking water, and then toss that same pasta in its sauce that's been cooking in a non-stick pan! I love it! This is easily the most frequently used item in my kitchen. Look at's like a natural extension of my hand. Get one!

6. Cutting makes me happy. Slicing, dicing, chopping, and hacking away at something calms me like swinging a golf club might calm somebody else without an affinity for cutlery. This knife is my favorite. I heart it.

7. Do your friends accuse you of being anal retentive? Do you NEED to get every last bit of batter or frosting out of the bowl or else it just eats you up inside? If the answer is yes, then you must get a really good rubber spatula. My favorite is from Williams-Sonoma in the US but any good rubber spatula will will change your world.

8. Jars - I dig old glass jars for holding stuff. Homemade salad dressing, a balsamic reduction, leftovers, tea, whatever. I just think it's prettier in a jar.

9. Labeled sauce pourers. I'm sure there's a real term for this but I'm just too tired tonight to remember it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I used the term when shopping for them. My old Italian teacher used to say, "La Vecchia e' brutta" or roughly translated, "Old age is a bitch." Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh yes, sauce pourers. I label mine. CRUET!!!! Oh, thank god...that was bound to bother me all night.

10. Gettin' crazy with the label maker. I labeled all the major shelves in our kitchen. It doens't help. Things stil get put in odd places but most of the gratification was putting the little labels on the shelves for the promise of organization. This one is where I keep all the stuff my mom sends me.

11. The French got something right! Well, ok fine...a lot of things but most of them are to do with food. I love baking on my Silpat. I don't think I'll ever bake cookies directly onto a cookie sheet, foil, or parchment paper again. Je t'adore, Silpat. Je t'adore.

12. As you can tell, I'm a little bit anal retentive, I like labeling things and I like organization so it makes a world of sense that I would own something like this. This is the world's best sink caddy. It's got a spot for our round pot scrubber, our long scrubbers for hard to reach places, our sponge and our pan scraper. Gold Star to Boyfriend for finding this little gem while I obsessed about which small rubber spatula to buy from Williams-Sonoma.

13. Who doesn't love fake cheese out of a can? This stuff will last beyond Armageddon. It's also what's for dinner when Kimberly doesn't cook.

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