Monday, March 16, 2009

KITCHEN GADGETS PART 2

You can visit Kitchen Gadgets Part 1 at thethreemclaughlins.blogspot.com

My lovely sister has detailed some fabulous items, most of which I have as well. I also own a spice grater. I will never use pre-grated nutmeg again. It is truly a beautiful thing. I even try to come up with excuses to use nutmeg. Hmmmm......could I put some in this recipe? Try it.

Mini spatulas are fabulous and at least two are necessary. I almost always need one while the other one is in the dishwasher. This is also true for my tongs. I have some basic OXO tongs that I bought at Walmart. Initially just one set, but I was constantly needing to rinse them off and reuse them and pulling them out of the dishwasher. So now I have two.

The Microplane zester is just as beautiful as the spice grater. There is nothing quite like the smell of a freshly zested orange, lemon or lime. I don't have that little citrus zester/peeler, Martha. It is on my must-have list.

I used to hate those scoops. The ones with the handle you squeeze? They reminded me of the grouchy lunch lady in elementary school and the instant mashed potatoes they used to serve us all the time. However, I recently acquired two, a larger one and a smaller one (need the middle) and I get so much pleasure out of knowing that each and every cookie is the exact same size.

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So, I went through my kitchen and picked out the things I love and can't live without the most. It's a longer list than I expected. So I need to divide it up. I have two lists. Baking and Other. Today I will post the baking items. Enjoy!!!


First and most important for me when I am baking is my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. This was a wedding gift from my Honey's boss - nearly 12 years ago - and it still works like new. I don't know how I would otherwise get the butter and sugar whipped so light and fluffy. I don't do all with it that it is capable of. Grinding meat, etc. is a little intimidating still. But if you wait long enough, you can be sure that I will give it a try.

This spatula came with my food processor. I Luuuuuuuuuuvvvv it! I use it for everything. I would love to get my hands on another one. It's great for mixing up brownies, scraping the bowl, mixing just about anything, really. I'm not a wooden or bamboo spoon fan, but I can't live without this plastic masterpiece.

My measuring spoons and cups are very dear to my heart. They are stainless and heavy and shiny and stack so nicely... I have the regular sizes and the odd sizes. That means for spoons I have: 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 2 tsp, 1 T, 1 1/2 T, and 2 T. For cups: 1/4 c, 1/3 c, 1/2 c, 2/3 c, 3/4 c, 1 c, 1 1/2 c, and 2 c. Fifteen pieces of Pure. Baking. Happiness.

These mixing bowls are the best. They were also a wedding gift. Don't you ever love to measure out all of the ingredients and have them spread out on the counter before you begin? It looks lovely, it feels great and I know the food tastes better when I enjoy the process that much. Plus, the little tiny bowls are SO cute! The teeniest one is just adorable when it has a tsp or two of vanilla in it. Or some freshly grated nutmeg.

A good whisk is essential. I have balloon whisks like this one, but they're not my favorite. My favorites are the cheap ones from the grocery store.

Pastry cutters are fun. I don't know why I get so much pleasure out of cutting shortening or butter into flour, but I do. Almost giddy.

This is a silicone mat Santa Claus gave me a couple of years ago. It's for rolling out dough, etc. on the counter. The best use I've found for it is rolling out fondant. Didn't have to use a single sprinkle of cornstarch or powdered sugar, which therefore did not alter the consistency or compromise the integrity of the fondant.

If we could have a brief moment of silence please, for the rolling pin
(if only so gasps and awe are more audible)
.

This rolling pin. It's stainless steel. Rolls on ball bearings. Red silicone. Heavy. Big. If you were here, I would let you hold it. (I know you have now decided that I am a complete LUNATIC!)



Good food coloring is important, I think. The liquid compromises your recipes. The gel is much better. Much more concentrated. My ultimate wish is for powdered food coloring.

My pampered chef stone is the only thing I will bake on. I've tried the cookie sheets with air in them, I've tried the DeMarle silpat on the little perforated baking pan. Everything cooks so much better on my stone. Of course, mine does not look like that picture. It's all dark and seasoned. Also a wedding gift. I have one rectangle and one large circle. I would like at least one more rectangle. I get a lot of joy out of two pans going at once. Especially one in each oven. Ahhhhhhhhh..........

This is my silpat. A silicone baking mat. Items do not stick to this. I don't use it always, but often. Especially for my favorite cookies. Like the little delicate Swedish Cream Wafers I make for Christmas. They deserve the silpat (on top of the stone, of course).

A good cooling rack is a wonderful thing. These are Pampered Chef racks. They stack. They have these lovely soft feet on them. The legs fold closed for easy storage. I use my cooling racks alot!

I could wander through the kitchen gadget sections of Walmart, Target, Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, etc. for the longest time. Looking, touching, mentally cataloging... I am seriously a kitchen gadget snob. Not because I demand the best or most expensive version. (My favorite whisks come from King Soopers.) Simply because I get so much pleasure out of using them and having them in my drawer. Stay tuned for the next installment of Kitchen Gadgets. Martha, it's your go if you have more to share (I know you do).

2 comments:

Martha said...

Oh dear Lord! I'm in the mood for some delectable desserts after reading your baking post! I only have a few of these items, as I am money and space challenged at the moment. BUT, I will eventually own all of these and enjoy using them equally as much! I'm so excite for kitchen gadgets part 3!

Landee said...

Oh my....... it's like.... I can't even believe I had you over to my house for dinner. I'm so embarassed by my non-stoneware and non-ball bearing rolling pin I can hardly stand it.

Unbelieveable.