More of My Favorite Things

I had so much fun posting My Favorite Things , I thought I’d do it again!  This time I’m keeping a low budget theme.   I know most of us are saving our pennies to survive the recession.

Christmas has come and gone.  Mark and I stuck to our agreement to keep things low key–no big ticket item.  We agreed on gifting one another a book of our own choosing.

We went to the bookstore to pick out our books, but neither of us could make a decision on which book we wanted to buy, so we’ll have to go out and try another time.

There is something about knowing I’m supposed to pick out one book that makes me want to be sure I pick out the best possible book for me!  Mark and I have done this before, and the same thing happened.  It’s as if I’ll never buy another book again, so I have to make darn good and sure I take my time and don’t waste my one precious choice on some book that is completely unworthy of my fingers turning the pages.   Any other time I go shopping for a book, I’m not so picky.  As a matter of fact, I usually find several worthy books when I’m out doing regular, non-gift,  book shopping, but this is supposed to be a special gift book.  A Christmas book, no less!

Speaking of books, I am a cookbook fanatic.  My most treasured possessions are my cookbooks.  How much do I love my cookbooks?  If my house burned down tonight, once I made sure my husband and dog were safely out of harm’s way, I’d be screaming, “Save the cookbooks! For the love of God, my cookbooks are burning!”

Which brings me to my first favorite thing.

One of my favorite cookbooks is by Chef Art Smith,

“Back to the Table:  A Reunion of Food and Family”


Art’s Hummingbird Cake is my all time favorite!

I gave this cookbook to my son and his girlfriend, Olivia,  for Christmas.   We made the biscuits together here.


Up next, is my favorite new gadget.   I love it so much I bought a second and stuck it my son’s Christmas stocking this year!

Zyliss Stir-Fry All Purpose Spatula


Best of all?  High grade silicone – heat resistant to 600°F

They say you can use this on your non-stick cookware as well.  I use it with my enamel coated Le Creuset .

Another stuffer I added to son’s stocking (he actually asked for this one) is this great pot scraper.  I use it to clean my dishes before loading in the dishwasher, and to scrape all my pots and pans.  It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Progressive Pot Scraper


I see these at all of the kitchen shops, for under $2.

Lodge Logic Pro 20-x-10 7/16 In Cast Iron Grill/ Griddle


It’s reversible!  I use it for many things:  grilled salmon, chicken breasts, hamburgers, grilled vegetables, pancakes, and so much more.

It fits nicely over two of my gas burners.

How about a glass of vino?

In this economy, I’m not just buying for the pretty labels anymore 🙂  I’m actually looking to find wines that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to serve to my wine loving friends, but they have to cost under $10.  Most importantly, I have to love them too!

I discovered a wine at Trader Joe’s, and what do you know?  Not only is this a great tasting wine, but it has a pretty cool label too!

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in town, I’m so sorry.  Trader Joe’s has some of the   more affordable wines around.

I paid $5.99  for this one…




Read what the The Wine Ponce says about it on his blog. He knows so much more than I’ll ever know about wine.  I just know which ones taste great to me.

Last, but not least….


Silpat Baking Mats

I don’t know how much money I’ve wasted on parchment paper, but when I tried one of these baking mats, I never looked back.   If you love to bake cookies, you have to have one of these mats.  I find them a bit spendy, but since they are reusable, and save money in the long run, I think they’re worth it.


Well, I’m always on the lookout for more great kitchen stuff, so I’ll keep ya posted.

In the meantime, please email me any favorite kitchen gadgets, cookware, foods, etc to me at

or leave a comment.


13 thoughts on “More of My Favorite Things

  1. I just got a similar grill/griddle for Christmas!

    But I loved this:

    “Save the cookbooks! For the love of God, my cookbooks are burning!”

    You are so Fabulous 🙂

  2. MAVEN: Well, I made it out to Half Price Books and ended up buying three used books for less than the price of one new one, so I have more to add to my collection.
    Hey, let me know what you think of the grill. Mark really gets into it when he uses it. Of course, we’re cleaning up grease splatters for days after 🙂
    You’re the fabulous one!

  3. Those nylon pot scrubbers are a god-send. I LOVE mine. My sister got me a bunch of them a few years ago and I use them AT least once a day…if not more. I also LOVE my reversible cast iron griddle. I leave it on top of my stove because I use it THAT often. AND, lastly, you know I’m a cookbook whore too. I’ve gotten even more since the last photo I sent. As I mentioned yesterday, that sow, Rachel Ray’s, latest cookbook is a bust. Glad I didn’t actually pay for it.

  4. I love my grill/griddle. I put towels down around it.. so the grease splatter is minimal… but not close enough to catch fire. It’s really great for grilling sandwiches and heating up tortillas. I use it almost daily so I keep mine on the stove too. When heating tortillas I keep the far end off so I can use that as a warmer.

    I will have to check out some of that wine.

    I saw a mat you used in a post recently about making biscuits.. with circles on it. How do you like that? do you have to flour it like any other surface to roll stuff out on it without sticking?

  5. Freddy: The grill/griddle is a must have. I have to admit, the first time I saw it was on RR’s show.
    What new cookbooks have you collected? I’m embarrassed to admit how many I’ve collected in a year. I cannot possibly use them all in my lifetime. I have started using the library, and when I leave, my arms are loaded with cookbooks. It’s an addiction.
    I’m sick. Sounds like you’re sick too. 😉

    KIM: I like the idea of using one side as a tortilla warmer! The wine is divine!The mat is a retro tupperware from the early 80s (I think). I had a Tupperware party and was gifted all these cool items. This was my keeper. Perfect for rolling out dough. Sometimes i have to add a little flour–minimal, but the measurements for pies are cool and it helps with clean up. I use a scraper on my counters when I make breads.

  6. I love all of these suggestions. I laugh because my first thought was to send you and Mark to Half Price Books with a budgeted amount–then stock up on various gems.! But you have that covered. I left my George Foreman grill behind, I hated it. I am definitely going to check out that cool griddle. Hope your 2009 is shaping up so far~

  7. Angelnina, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your style of writing. You’re funny and “deep” all at the same time. May you have a wonderful 2009 and may all your wishes come true.

  8. MLP: I am so happy I thought of it. The books are so enjoyable..AND affordable.
    Yes, please do check out that grill. It’s a winner.

    TERESA: Well, your food is exactly the stuff we love to eat, so I was happy to find you.
    My husband describes me as “funny and deep” too, so I laughed when I read what you said.
    Best wishes for your year as well, and thank you!

  9. I would freak out if my cookbooks burned! I don’t have a huge collection, as I have a rule that if I’ve kept a cookboor for a year and not made at least one recipe from it (or used it as a reference book) then it must go on to someone else. My fav is Cotton Country Collection, a Junior League (GASP!) cookbook from Monroe, La. I’ve made so many things from that book that it’s almost my “family” cookbook. And I love and use my silicone pot scrubbers daily. Or almost daily, depending on if I couldn’t convince Jaime to wash the dishes. 🙂

    Still envious of your Le Creuset cookware. I’m looking for new stuff. Trying to decide between LC & Calphalon.

  10. All great finds. I can’t live without my silpats.
    Everytime I read about great wine under $10 dollars, I find they are closer to 3 times that much here in Canada. (that goes for all alcohol) Life is so unfair…

  11. First time to read your blog! You crack me up! I still cant help but laugh when I read that line! Hope you dont mind but I’d like to invite you to take some time to drop by at Foodista. We have launched an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia where you can contribute and share what you know about food and cooking techniques.

    We also have a small embeddable widget that will help you build traffic from Foodista-related pages. Check it out here.

  12. If you like your griddle you should check out the Blackstone Griddle Grill. We run a B and B called “Riffles and Runs B and B” and we cook all of our breakfast meats on it. No more grease in the house. Enough room to prepare fajitas for 20 people. We never use our regular grill since we bought the Blackstone.

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