Tuesday, April 7, 2015

a few faves : kitchen

Whenever we hear of people getting married, or having a baby, or whatever may constitute creating a registry of some sort, we all generally start listing all the things they "must" have or should-learn-from-our-mistakes and not get.  I try to keep my mouth shut unless they ask for my specific advice... because we all live and learn from the "stuff" we accumulate and everyone's needs and wants are different.  However, for no particular reason other than I like making figures like the one above, I made a list of the things I just can't live without in my kitchen.  Maybe its useful to you, maybe you just like a peek into my life... take it or leave it, these are a few of my favorite things.

1  The pizza cutter.  We had a cheap wheel style cutter... but I really hated it.  It was hard to clean and didn't do a great job.  Enter Kyle's genius.  My husband eats a lot of pizza and just about as soon as we got married he started requesting a rocker-style pizza cutter.  So my dad and I found one at a knife warehouse somewhere in TN.  I have no idea what brand it is, but you can get a similar one here.  I use it at least once a week, and for more than pizza.  I recently used it to cut bread dough into smaller pieces to make rolls.  It is so much easier to quickly wipe down than a wheel style and it doesn't drag the cheese with it when you make a slice.

2  The non-stick griddle.  This one in particular is a Calphalon stainless steel 12 in round non-stick griddle found at Target.  I love my stainless-steel Emeril cookware, but if I only ever own one non-stick pan for the rest of my life, this would be it.  I don't even put it away.  It stays on the stove all day because I use it at least once a day.  The non-stick is fantastic... I don't need to spray anything before making pancakes.  This is the one pan I do not allow in the dishwasher even if it is "dishwasher safe".  Incidentally this was a gift from my mom to Kyle so he would have a good pan for his quesadilla making.  My no-cook husband is reason for my first 2 things on the kitchen list!

3  The cookie scoop.  I have mentioned this before.  I have no idea when I acquired this little gadget, but it revolutionized my cookie making skills.  No more sticky hands and uneven, multi-sized cookies.  This little thing is a big deal in my kitchen.

4  The Kitchenaid.  This was the dream item that I feel like everyone wants, but I never thought I would own.  Except that my aunt and grandmother used coupons and more coupons and deals to get me one as a wedding present.  And then it sat on my kitchen counter for a year because I was a little intimidated by it and also had a smaller handheld mixer to use.  But then I tried it out with the cookies I make... and there has been no turning back.  It is amazing.  And makes baking cookies and muffins and bread a breeze.

5  The giant cutting board.  This is the newest addition to my kitchen and I am in love.  You can't beat this $10 IKEA find.  I love having a very large cutting area always out on my counter top.  My previous cutting board was about half this size and made chopping large quantities and dinner prep a lot more difficult with constantly trying to make sure things weren't falling off of it and making room for the next round of chopping.  I can cut an entire onion and not worry about it on this thing.

6  The microplane.  I requested this for the few times that I ever wanted to zest a citrus fruit.  But now I use it all the time.  It grates fresh cinnamon, and parmesan cheese, and ginger for stir-fry.  I can't believe it took me as long as it did to finally get one!

What is on your kitchen must-have list?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


wearing :  capri leggings all the time.  I promise they aren't being worn as pants in public.  I purchased the ones in the photo above (lightweight, comfy and cheap!) and these (a pocket for your phone in leggings?!) at Forever21 for awesome prices.  I'm completely in love with their workout gear. 

sipping :  Blenheim ginger ale.  This is serious ginger ale.  The "mild" just about blows my head off... that good kind of burn in the back of your throat at the end.  I can't imagine how hot the "hot" really is.  I'm a little too scared to try it out.  This was something we found down here, but I can only ever find it at little farmers markets around here so I just grab one or two as a special treat on occasion. On the beer front... as soon as it reaches 70 degrees, it is acceptable weather for Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.

wish listing :  My birthday is this month so of course I made a wish list for that.  Otherwise... I dropped my phone from about 8 inches at the end of our park visit today and shattered the screen.  Thankfully it is still useable, but I am starting to look into my options for fixing it.  Waiting to hear back from a couple of companies to find out if they fix HTC screens, otherwise I will have to go the phone insurance route... which would mean a couple of days without a phone and a hefty fee to replace it.

writing :  Just the blog.  I should probably think about actually writing things in Myles' baby book again.

exploring :  My parents will be here for spring break next week, and their visits are notoriously rainy. Next week is looking like it won't be an exception.  But I have been wanting to check out The Community Tap whenever we get a break from home improvement projects (just kidding dad.  kinda).  They are next door to a favorite little local store but I have never been inside.  It looks like it sells local microbrews and wines, with tastings and events.  Something I would love to do with my parents since Kyle isn't much into any of that.  He will be working the entire time but I do hope to get a little mini-date in; thinking about trying out Rita's italian ice and custards for dessert one night.

As always, I am linking up with Anne and Jenna.  Go say hi and check out what everyone else is currently up to!