Thursday, February 17, 2011

favorites in the kitchen

My friend Amanda gave her favorites in the kitchen a couple of weeks ago and ever since my brain has been processing just what items I could not live without in our kitchen.  But before I get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start it off with a picture of where it all happens.

Here’s a pic of the entire kitchen space…kind of small, there is not a lot of counter space, and yet a perfect work triangle exists.  You can’t tell but we only have one drawer in the entire space.


When we first were married I tried to keep the counters clear of clutter.  But 4 1/2 years and a non-existent counter later, I’ve learned to adapt.  I now keep things I use a least a few times a week on the counter or else they would never get used.  In the tray above I keep oils (walnut oil is a favorite) and kitchen utensils and to the right of the range I keep the appliances I use the most.  (the jars to the right of the stove contain kosher salt and regular table salt) Due to the one TINY drawer, our silverware is kept on the counter and in a drawer in our coffee table.


Also to make things a little easier everything for the most part is grouped together.  The coffee station  is next to where I make lists, in the cabinet above are all the coffee mugs.  The cookbooks are in one section and in the cabinet above contains all my baking necessities.  On the counter in glass jars are the 3 ingredients I use almost daily: oatmeal, white unbleached flour, and sugar.  I’ve found being organized in the kitchen and eliminating all those items that rarely get used allows for the kitchen to function better and in turn I want to cook more.

Now for the top 10:

1.    Kitchen Aid 7 Cup Food Processor       

-I use this all the time.  It can be annoying to clean but I literally send it through the dishwasher almost every night.  I use it to grate cheese, grind bread into crumbs, make salsa, you name it I use this.  It makes dinner prep go so quickly.   I used to use a grater but if you saw my hands you would realize why I now use my processor.  Too many accidents!
2.    Kitchen Aid Professional Stand Mixer
-Way before we were married I actually asked for a stand mixer for my birthday.  I liked to cook!  But when we got married I passed the old one down to my sister and upgraded to the Professional for one reason only.  I like making a lot of YEAST breads and the Professional finally has the power to work the dough for me. 

3.    Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven
-The yellow orange pot on the stove is my vintage dutch oven.  My dad gave it to my mom back 25+ years ago and when I asked for one for Christmas one year my mom unearthed it and gave me hers.  I love it.  It’s super easy to clean and it is hands down my go to pot.  Cooks Illustrated rated this one just as highly and it’s far less expensive.

4.    Silicone spatulas
-These spatulas from Williams-Sonoma are great for everything!  (ps…if they ever crack or anything they will replace them no charge)

5.    Good knives
-Last year for my birthday I finally received the knife I always wanted.  The Wustof 8” Chef’s knife.  Good knives make all the difference and are so worth the expense.  You will have them forever.  I didn’t believe it until I used them at work for years on end. 

6.    Ball Jars

-There’s another post coming for these.  I transformed our pantry with jars…I love it.  But I also use them to hold salt and chia seeds on the counter.

7.    Stainless Steel Cookware
-I have All-Clad pots and Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless pots and I like them both almost the same.  The Cuisinart are much cheaper but do an excellent job.  Yes you may need to use a little more oil or butter but I think it’s worth it.

8.    Mrs. Meyers Soaps
-Yum, I don’t think dish and hand soap could get any yummier smelling or look any cuter next to the sink!

9.    White Dish Cloths
-From Target, the cheap ones.  I go through a dish cloth a day at least cleaning up our counters, sink, etc. in the kitchen.  White is best you can always bleach them!

10.  My cookbook collection

-The Barefoot Contessa collection is on display for easy access along with my 4 favorite Cooks Illustrated cookbooks (Best Make Ahead, Best New Recipe, Best Light Recipe, Best Cooking for Two). I turn to these any time I’m hankering for a new recipe or looking for a tried and true.  They ALWAYS turn out delicious!

Other Favorites:

-Pyrex glass cooking dishes

-Le Creuset bakeware
-DeLonghi Coffeemaker

-Oxo cooking tools
-A rubber potholder (good for opening jars)
-Ziploc freezer bags


  1. I'm getting a cast iron dutch (french) oven someday!! :-) It's been on my list.

    Do you eat Chia seeds or do you have chia pet in the kitchen?

    I may be stealing your and Amanda's idea!! What a fun post!

  2. I can't wait for your someday...the best things are worth waiting for:)

    I eat chia seeds. They are like flax seeds but smaller and black and they are said to pack a better nutritional punch than flax. I'm looking forward to posting on it very soon!

    Can't wait to hear what you love in the kitchen!