Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Five of My Favorites

Some of my friends posted on their blogs lately about their favorite kitchen tools. That got me thinking about my kitchen tools. I love my kitchen tools. I have probably spent more of my discretionary money on them than on anything else since I've been married, including clothes and CDs and movies. Fashion and entertainment don't really have much pull on me, but food! That's a different story. I like food. Therefore, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I want my time there to be as pleasant and as efficient as possible.

Here are my five most well-used kitchen tools:

My KitchenAid mixer. Used nearly every day, mostly for kneading bread. I've given up buying store bread entirely because Bean eats half a loaf in one sitting and that scares me. When I make my own bread, he only eats a slice or two because it really fills hims up.

I love stoneware. I have lots. The bread pans probably get used the most. I bought them because I hated greasing the loaf pans when I make bread. I'm so glad I did. Between these and the KitchenAid the amount of bread baking I do isn't nearly so much of a burden on my time.

I hate slicing cheese with a knife. I can never get it even, and it's always too thick or too thin. To me this is a basic kitchen essential and I'm surprised how many people don't have one and end up experiencing unnecessary pain and frustration cutting their cheese. Maybe cheese isn't as important to them as it is to me. That's probably it. Cheese is pretty important to me.

Garlic is also important to me. FRESH garlic and lots of it. Like, if the recipe calls for a clove, put in six. (I noticed this morning that Roo still has garlic breath from dinner last night.) Garlic is awesome. It is a natural antibiotic/antiviral/antifungal that actually tastes good. You can't get cooler than that. And there is no easier way to let garlic into your life than with a good garlic press. Mine's from Pampered Chef.

I have a lot of stuff from Pampered Chef. Their small Mix 'N Scraper also made my top five. I use this for everything. Anytime I am cooking on the stove I reach for this because it's heat-resistant and scrapes the pan way better than a spoon, making cleanup much easier later. Then of course anytime I need to scrape out a bowl I use it too. I like it because it's just a little bit spoon-shaped, which means you can scoop and serve with it too (mashed potatoes come to mind). One of my priorities in the kitchen is keeping cleanup to a minimum, so any time I can use one tool that does the job of several I'm all over it.

What are your favorite kitchen tools?

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