Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My 5 Most Favorite Kitchen Items

If there is something I love it is seeing what people use in their kitchens. I also think if you watch anyone prepare a meal you can learn something new and implement it into your own kitchen and cooking skills.  

Cooking is a big hobby of mine and there are a few staple items I use over and over. I'm sharing them today because I think it is fun and because it might help one of you out. Also, this isn't a sponsored post in any way I'm just sharing from one friend to another. 

Oh, and this really is 7 items not 5.... I'm great at math. 

My Top 7 Favorite Kitchen Items

Yes, we can both admit these are expensive but they are worth it. I put this on my wedding registry and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law purchased it for me. However, even if I hadn't received it off my registry I still would have purchased it. They have similar ones at TJMaxx as well that are a good deal too if you don't want to dish out the money for a LeCreuset. 

This Dutch Oven is amazing and also very forgiving. You can cook on the stove with it and bake with it in the oven. You can let it simmer for hours on the stove or you can use it to bake bread. It's so versatile. 

Also, I should tell you that there was a morning that I was prepping some chicken for dinner. I thought I would cook it, turn it off, go to choir to play piano and then come back and finish dinner. Well, I was sitting at the piano in the middle of choir and it dawned on me that I had not turned off my pan! Eeeek! However, I knew the lid was on and I knew how sturdy this pan was so I just figured I'd have some blackened chicken. The chicken was indeed a piece of charcoal but our apartment didn't burn down and after some scrubbing the pan works just as well. 

Another super versatile piece is my cast iron skillet. I actually own two. The one in the picture was my Grandma's on my Dad's side. She was a famous chef in Albuquerque, NM and had her own little cafe. I'm pretty sure I inherited her love of cooking and I'm so glad I got her cast iron skillet. 

If you want a cast iron skillet you can get your own at Walmart for around $20. I think these are so fun because the more you cook with them the more they season and add flavor to your foods. You can cook steak, hamburgers, eggs, potatoes, bacon and so much more in these pans. 

You can never wash these with soap either because it strips the seasoning but my sister-in-law purchased me a chainmail scrubber and it cleans the pans amazingly. 

Side note - if you have a glass stove top read the manual to see if you can use cast iron on there. 

3. Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons were on my wedding registry and I also purchased a few more when I was in Burma. I think these stir foods really well and they also don't scratch the bottom of your pan nor do they melt. Win! Win!

You need some wooden spoons in your life.

4. Scissors

I learned how handy scissors are when I was at someone's house and discovered that their favorite kitchen utensil was a pair of scissors. I put them to the test and agree that they are super handy!

You can use scissors to cut up chicken, veggies and a whole lot of other things. I think scissors make cutting fat off of meat much easier rather than trying to chop it with a knife.

5. Cuisinart Submersion Blender

This gadget right here was a game changer! It makes smoothies in no time and I love that it is so small. It's much easier to use this than to get out my huge heavy blender. You can also blend soups, potatoes, and drinks with this. I use this thing all the time.

Oh, and I must credit Dena for introducing this to me! Her website is full of amazingly quick and healthy meals.

This coffee maker is the pour over method and you get your coffee grinds wet and let them 'bloom'. Somehow that helps take some of the acidic taste out and leaves you with a smooth cup of coffee. 

They do slay this is a 'slow' coffee maker and by slow they mean a whole whopping 5 minutes. I have a lot to say about how our culture is focused on making everything so fast that we can't even take 5 minutes to make a pot of coffee.... however, that's not what this post is about. =) I just think living abroad gave me a different perspective on slowing down because I used to be the person that wouldn't make a coffee if it too more than 5 minutes. 

7. Spiral Gravy Whisk 

This thing makes amazing gravy and leaves no chunks. When I went to Burma Pam had one and then our friend, Linda, that came to visit was gracious enough to bring me one. That thing came all the way back to the US with me and I use it every time I make gravy. I believe it is from Pampered Chef. 

Things I don't own: 

A KitchenAid Mixer - Not only are they Goliathly gigantic but they don't mix the bottom of the bowl. It drives me nuts. I use a hand mixer and it works just fine. 

Keurig - see notes about slowing down ;) However, I have friends that have them and they are pretty fun. I've also seen a new teal one around and it is super pretty. 

Automatic Can Openers - Do I need to explain why? 

A normal coffee pot - I just have never purchased one. I don't have a good reason either. I guess I just use my Cheme and other brewing devices. 

What gadget do you have that you use all the time? 

Do you ever watch people in their kitchen and learn skills or am I the only creeper out there? ;) 

What item do you not have?  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Home Tour: The Kitchen & Dining Room

I love my kitchen!

When Dave and I were house hunting I knew a nice kitchen was a must for me. I cook a lot, it is something I'm passionate about and I wanted a place that I would love to be in. I also told Dave that I had to have a gas stove or a house that had the connections for one. I just think gas stoves cook better as you can control the heat very well and it is either 'on or off' all the way. I am not a fan of flattop stoves. I know many people are but they just aren't my thing.

I guess a white kitchen was a must for me too. I don't mind dark colors but I prefer white and bright and cheery. Half my cabinets are a deep espresso but I think it blends well and balances out the rest of the white in the kitchen. Oh, and you'll see that I have many pink kitchen gadgets. I love them a lot too. =)

This kitchen was move in ready. We didn't add to it or renovate. I'm really glad we didn't purchase a reno house because old homes, as we are learning, have a lot of work to them as is. I might have to post about that a different day.

Anyways, my kitchen is amazing and I really love it. Here's a peek into it.

The Sink Area & Glass Door Cabinets 

I have had several people ask me about these glass door cabinets: "Do you like them? Is it hard to keep your cabinets organized?" And I'll tell you what I tell them, I'm weird and my cabinets would be this organized even if they weren't glass. I love organized cabinets. However, my pantry isn't organized but my dishes and utensils and silverware have to be. I'm special like that.

The cute cherry blossom tea cups were hand painted ones I purchased in Korea. I put them up high so if kids came over they could easily access every day dishes without easily accessing my tea cups. =)

I like the modern hardware on the doors.

To the left of my sink is a pull out trash can / recycle drawer. I really like that the trash is hidden. I also have never been a person to recycle but it is only $12 a quarter so we do it. 

The stove area 

To the left of the stove were these really fun open shelves. They look a little different now as I moved my coffee stuff to a coffee cart but I still put flour, sugar, brown sugar and a few decor items on there. 

The prints are from Maria Watercolor and I highly recommend her beautiful work. I did a full post and giveaway about her shop and you can see that here.

Bar Seating Area 

To the left of the stove is a seating area where I have two white bar stools. I sit here a lot in the mornings or like now, when I'm blogging. Dave doesn't like this area because he thinks it's too cramped but that's okay. It works great for what I need and sometimes Dave will sit here with me if I really want him too. =)

The bar stools were purchased from Wayfair and I'm pretty sure I paid right around $100 for both of them. They aren't selling these exact ones anymore but they have a big selection to choose from. <-- Also, not sponsored by Wayfair at all (I wish!) but just wanted to share about their awesome products. 

The Brick Beam and Dining Room 

People always comment how they love this brick beam. I like it too, except when we had a horrendous storm and some water came through it. Aaaaaaah! #oldhouseproblems.

Our table is a hand me down. It's simple and works great for us.

Refrigerator & Pantry Area

If you are at the stove and do a 180 the refrigerator and pantry are there. The pantry is the perfect size. That little area to the left is where I put my coffee cart. I didn't have it yet when I took these pictures but I hope to do an update on that coffee cart one of these days. 

And there you have the kitchen friends! I'm really thankful for it. It's been a super fun kitchen to cook in.

If you missed any of the other house tours you can see them here:

Master Bedroom
The Living Room 
The Spanish Guest Bathroom

What's your favorite room in your house? 

What is a 'must have' in a kitchen for you? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...