I’m starting with products I believe will last a long time (or they should!).
They are not a chef’s “top of the line”–but they are my top of the line.
Cooking is a hobby and a passion for me. I don’t spend money on designer clothes, concerts, theaters, gyms, etc. I spend it on kitchen items and food.
ABOVE: Cuisinart $149 at Costco
I bought a KitchenAid Food Processor ($279) a year and a half ago, but the the multipurpose blade separated from the white stem during use. Replacement blade? $40. Also, the bowl tends to crack easily from regular use–another $40. I wrote the company and never heard back. I guess I should have bought the Cuisinart to begin with. Lesson learned.
I use my food processor almost everyday. As a matter of fact, this came with an order slip to pick up another bowl for $16. I believe I will, as often I’m washing to re-use. Food processors make my cooking life easier. If I’m chopping veggies by hand, I can be mixing pastry or pureeing in the processor. It’s a life saver for people who have vegetable gardens. Fast marinara and pesto too!
ABOVE: KitchenAid Mixer
I may not care for their food processors, but KitchenAid makes a great mixer! Again, I bought this at Costco. I can’t remember the exact cost, but I believe it was around $249. One of my very favorite Christmas presents. I use it all of the time! No more little beaters to deal with. I always burned those little motors out anyway. Once I got used to adjusting the settings on a professional mixer (“mix on medium” in a regular recipe–does not equal medium on this appliance), it was a breeze to use.
Oh, and a note on the professional mixer: My mother bought one too, and she called one day to say she was mixing a gluten free bread mix and beating at high (per the directions). She said it was super loud and beating the dough to death. Needless to say, her bread died, and she learned the hard way that “High” on the professional is actually more like Medium (4) on this mixer.
ABOVE: Zyliss Can Opener
I love this gadget! I paid $14.99 at Macy’s. I can’t stand electric openers, and I prefer the hand crank because certain brands hurt my hand or don’t cut the lid evenly without repeated tries. This one does an excellent job and it has a little magnet attachment to help pull up the lid–just like the electric openers.
ABOVE: Le Creuset Oval 8 qt French Oven
I love my Le Creuset. I’ve collected used pieces from thrift stores and one time I even raced to the city when I was the first person to email a guy and be added to his list for a set of Le Creuset on Craig’s List. Yes, I entered a strange man’s home alone to pick up a set of black enamel on cast iron Le Creuset. I’m sick, I know.
Imagine my surprise (and Mark’s jaw dropping as I screamed in public!) when I saw this at Costco. I don’t know if they have a deal with Costco or what, but you cannot find 8 qt Le Creuset at the Le Ceuset shop. Maybe they make them for Costco. I paid $199–a steal when you compare the cost to a 7.5 qt for $270 and a 9 qt for $300. These pans will last my life time, and probably be in good enough condition to pass down to my son. They are high quality enamel cast iron.
E. Guittard Chocolate – Semisweet Dark Chocolate Wafers for Baking and Eating, 61% Cocoa
I am not a soda pop person. Pop has always made me feel kind of tired and out of sorts. I avoided drinking it for years. When my friend (Thanks Deb!) shared this with us at a party this summer, Mark really loved it, so he gave me a sip. Mmmm! I like to have a little of the Natural Twist flavor with my popcorn. I tried the cola, but the caffiene is a bit too much for me (I’m a caffiene light weight). Mark likes every flavor. I still rarely drink it, but for folks who have a hard time giving up the unhealthy soder pops, I think this is worth a try. Why is it on my list of favorites? I nag and whine about soda pop to my loved ones, and I finally found one that doesn’t scare the ba-jeebers out of me when they drink it.
The great thing about Zevia is that it doesn’t mess with my sugar levels. The company claims it has no effect on blood sugar levels–ranks zero on the glycemic index. It is also gluten and dairy free. Approx. $5.99 six-pack (get it on sale!)
PS I use stevia sweetener in my tea!
One more for now:
I love these Mario Batali 5-Piece Measuring Prep Bowl Sets! I have two sets –the one in Persimmon orange (above) and a set in Pesto green. The first set was a gift from my friend Liz (Thanks Liz!), and the second was a find at GoodWill. They are perfect for prepping and measuring foods for cooking and baking.
You can get them here at Amazon.com for about $9.99 set.
I have lots of favorite things, and I’m always hunting around online for other people’s ‘favorite” things lists. if you have any favorites, please let me know!