Friday, April 20, 2012

My Bakers Dozen of Kitchen Favorites

Oh wow oh weee wowza peeps!!!   I'm so sorry, I don't know where I've been or why I've been gone so long!   Well other than the fact that we've pretty much eaten some form or fashion of salad for the last few weeks and quite frankly I'm bored enough with salads much less push that boredom to you!!!

Today I'm going to search the ole' Pinterest and see what kind of goodies I can whip up with all these veggies I have from my basket last week.
You can't see it all but I have a LOT of zucchini in there.

However today I am finally doing a post that I had the thought to do last week (hey, at least I got pictures when I had the thought!!).  Our beautiful Court will be getting married in June and of course this brings the thoughts and questions about what do I register for and what do I really need??   So for Court and all you other budding home cooks out there I'm going to show you a Bakers Dozen of my favorite and most used kitchen items.    They are in no particular order, just the things I use the most and have found to serve me well in the kitchen.  I've tried to include links where possible and please forgive the "condition" of my kitchen items.....remember they are used OFTEN so they are display worthy  :0)

A good cookie/sheet/jelly roll pan.   This is used for everything from cookies to sheet cakes to bacon wrapped little smokies to well you name it!!    I use this pan several times a week and the versatility of it    is fabulous.  As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of buying a second one.

These lovely things are cooling racks.  I use them for lots of things besides cookies.  I like to sit my loaf pans on them when I bake bread. I can stretch bacon across them and nest inside that handy pan above to bake in the oven.  They are very versatile and these are nice and cheap. I have two square and two round and they serve me well.  Inexpensive & worth buying.

My sweet Mama gave me this one year (many years ago) in my stocking.
It fits inside that jelly roll pan (see how versatile that pan is??).  It's a Silpat mat and if you bake cookies then you need this.  Skip a few days at the Starbucks or take your lunch to work for a week but it's worth the $20 to not burn your cookies again!!!

This goodie is a little more expensive but honestly I cannot begin to tell you the amount of money this thing saves me year after year!!!  My beloved FoodSaver.   I buy so much fruit and veggies and meat on sale then bring it home prep it and toss in the freezer. Bye Bye Freezer burn peeps!!! 
Save the pennies, it's worth it!

I think if I had to run out of the house and could only grab one thing in my kitchen this would probably be the one thing I grabbed.  Sure they come in prettier newer colors but you know my little old white KitchenAid mixer is a trooper.  It makes baking a breeze.  Ask for one for your birthday or a wedding gift.  My sweet Mama gave me this one years and years and years ago, it's still going strong!

A good baking dish. This is probably my favorite.
Le Creuset  makes wonderful stoneware pieces and no they are not inexpensive but they are an investment.   I'm not a fan of the clear glass pyrex for baking.  I feel like this gives me more even consistent baking results.  Plus this one is the PERFECT size for making my Chicken Pot Pie and brownies.  

This is my Pampered Chef Measure-All cup and I adore it!!  It's very old and as long as you don't let anyone slap it in the dishwasher it will serve you well for many years!  It's great especially for measuring sticky things like peanut butter, shortening, corn syrup, etc. because it pops them out and you don't have to dig and scrape to get everything out of the measuring cup.  

Another Pampered Chef item is my Food Chopper and seriously I could NOT live without this.  I mean seriously...why would I ever chop onions any other way.  It's fast, easy cleanup and so much easier.  When I buy onions in bulk I chop them up with this and put them in the Food Saver and toss in the freezer. Next time I need chopped onions for something, they are chopped and ready to go!! It chops everything but onions are my fave use for this little gem AND I'm gonna need another one soon, I've darn near worn this one out but it's at least 10 years old!!

A BIG ole' iron skillet.  (no that's not rust...I just didn't scrape off the last thing I cooked very well)
Seriously, there is no better more versatile skillet on the planet.  It goes on the stove and in the oven and as long as you don't wash it with anything but hot water, you'll have it forever.  It gets super hot and you get the added bonus of a little extra iron in your food and seriously don't we all need that!!!
The best way to find these are at flea markets, garage sales.  Season them well and enjoy for the rest of your life!!   It's the only skillet you really need!

This is one of those items that you won't use that often but man when you need it NEED it!
It's an Oil & Candy Thermometer. I put this thing to the test this past Christmas when I was making Peanut Brittle nonstop.  Like I said it's not going to get used a lot (unless you fry very much) but it's worth it when you need it and this one is digital for those of us with more "mature" eyes!!

My beloved Crock Pot.  Not going to lie, I have more than one of these!!  This is my favorite, I like the shape and the size.  It gets a work out and there really is nothing like coming home to a fully cooked dinner.  I use mine all the time and some form of slow cooker is a definite necessity in your kitchen.

ok, we all think our cookware is the best and it's an investment.  Good cookware is truly an investment and I finally have cookware that I love. It wasn't cheap but I think it was worth the money.  I am not a fan of non-stick cookware.  I just don't feel like feeding my family that non=stick coating with their food.  I'm sorry, I just think those are avoidable chemicals we don't need in our bodies!!  So moving on My choice is this Calphalon Hard Anodized cookware and this big 7 quart pot is my absolute favorite!!
It's a big pot but it does everything I need it to do and it's just awful looking but it ALWAYS get hand washed and used.  A pot this size is worth the money and you'll be surprised that it will be your go to pot..worth the money!

My last item is an assortment of handy kitchen tools.  Most are Pampered Chef and all are used!! We will start from left and move to the right.
Sifter....seriously if you read this blog you know how I feel about sifting.  Just get one and use it!
Pampered Chef Crinkle Cutter- fun and easy to cut up potatoes & veggies
Potato Masher - I don't use it for potatoes, I use it to mash up ground beef more than anything.
Pastry Blender-  nice to have when you need it 
Pampered Chef Scoops-- I have these in two sizes.  It's the hygienic way to eat raw cookie dough :0)
Actually these are very useful items and I use both sizes equally.
Pampered Chef egg slicer- I use it mostly to slice eggs, shocking I know. It also does strawberries, bananas, kiwi, and mushrooms.  It's a nice quick handy tool. I use it almost everyday on the hard boiled eggs that I keep in the refrigerator for breakfast.  

There you have it my peeps....My Bakers Dozen of kitchen favorites.  I hope I've given you some thoughts of new ways to use your kitchen tools, something new to save for, or for Court and any other new bride, some things to make sure you included on your registry.  Ask me questions if you have any.  I love to talk about my favorite things!!  And if you sell Pampered Chef then contact me, I think we could talk about an ad for you on the ole' blog here!!  

Have a great weekend my peeps!!! I'll be watching my not so little grown up baby boy play baseball!!!

Peace, Love & Yummies!!!


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