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Love Loves: cooking

February 28, 2011

We all know that to do any task, you’re more likely to succeed if you have the proper tools.  For example after we had a contract on our previous home, we were given a list from the inspector of things we needed to address before closing, which was soon, so we had to get the entire list done quickly.  One small problem was a leaky handle in the shower.  There was some sort of rubber piece inside that had broken and needed to be replaced to stop the leaking.  My handy-man dad offered to help with some of the list to help expedite the process, and this is an item he added to his list.

He has hundreds of tools, and has a mental list of even more existing tools that he doesn’t own.  Lucky for us, when he went to remove the handle, and couldn’t after at least 15 minutes of trying, he knew it was because he didn’t have the proper tool.  After a quick stop to Lowe’s to pick it up – he fixed the washer in under five minutes.

As a cook, I have several tools to help me get a delicious meal on the table so I thought I’d start blogging about some of my favorite tools and products.  Introducing my Love Loves.  My favorite things that I use and love.  For the first one, we’ll start with cooking:

1. Oneida Bamboo Solid Turner

This was a birthday gift from my grandmother one year, and I told her soon after, it was an item I’ve always missed having but didn’t even realize I needed!  The shape of this “turner” is what makes it so great.  It’s very sturdy so I use it when I’m browning ground meat to break up the chunks, and because it’s bamboo, it won’t scratch my non-stick pans.  It also has a slight bend in it, so you can use it as a spoon to serve whatever delicious goodness you’ve created.  This is the first tool I grab for when cooking, and it is dishwasher safe which makes it even better!  Add one to your kitchen here.

2. Pepper Mill

I love pepper.  This is the exact one I have, but any pepper mill will do.  Freshly cracked pepper has no rival.  It adds so much to anything you’d salt and pepper.  We received this set as a wedding gift, and there has been no turning back for me.  I adore the extra flavor on my scrambled eggs every morning, and love it for roasting vegetables.  The best thing about pepper, and especially freshly cracked pepper, is it adds no fat or calories but it will add a tremendous amount of flavor to your food.  By switching to a pepper mill, your perceived cooking skills will increase by at least 10 points, I promise! Get this one here.

3. Simply Calphalon 5 qt. Saute Pan

I believe my grandmother gave me this the same birthday she gave me the bamboo turner, and it quickly rose in the ranks to become my most used cook wear piece.  It is huge!  5 qts. is a lot of food.  I love the fact that the bottom is perfectly flat, so you can fit five fish filets or chicken breasts in the bottom easily to pan sear at one time, I’ve even used it to boil lasagna and it’s great for one pot dishes.  It’s just a great pan…I’m not sure how many other ways to say it. Get one here.

4. KitchenAid Santoku Knife

Simply the best knife to chop with.  KitchenAid’s not the best knife brand, but it’s what I have, and it gets the job done.  One day I’ll upgrade to a Henckels or a WÜSTHOF….
To get one of these, I would go to a Marshall’s or TJ Maxx…they always have santoku knives.

5. Family Circle Magazine Subscription

Better than any cookbook I’ve ever purchased, this subscription has recipes that have never let me down.  It’s not expensive to subscribe, and it will be completely worth the $10 or so it costs for two years.  They have great food photography to help inspire you to try the recipes they print, and I would say 80% get officially copied onto a recipe card and stuck in my “tried-and-true” recipe card box.  Sign up for a subscription here.

Have any favorite products you think I would love?  Give me some suggestions and I’ll give them a try!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 4:41 pm

    I received a rice cooker from my mother-in-law a couple years ago. She loved hers and wanted to spread the love. At first I didn’t like it, the rice was a bit too wet. It sat in a cupboard for over 6 months. One day I decided that the hands off approach to a rice cooker had its benefits, I adjusted the amount of water and presto – fluffy rice 🙂 Now the cooker is my right-hand tool, parked in the pantry next to the rice.

    So, if you don’t have one, they are cheap to buy, or find a used one (, it’s a handy thing for moms!

  2. March 1, 2011 4:17 am

    yeah nice

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