It’s Black Friday everyone and rather than post a recipe I decided to be like Oprah and post some of my favorite things! I wish I could really be like Oprah and give them all away to you all, but unfortunately I don’t have Oprah’s budget, bummer! Every item listed here is something I use pretty much everyday in my kitchen, and they are all things that I truly love. So come on and check out some of my favorite things, and who knows some of them might be or become some of your favorite things as well!
Lifefactory water bottles. I LOVE, LOVE these glass water bottles and will not use anything else. The bottle and caps can be washed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. I feel safe drinking my water and beverages from these bottles, as they are made of glass, there is no leaching or metallic taste, and your beverage actually tastes like it’s supposed to. We have all 3 sizes in the house. I love and use the 22oz bottle the most. I have a bottle in my car at all times for keeping hydrated on-the-go. My kids take the 16oz bottles to school, and Eli use’s the 9oz bottle in his lunchbox. These bottles make a perfect gift for a loved one, teacher or co-worker! If you’re local to the area, you can pick up these bottles in all sizes at your local Paradise Foods.
I love my Vitamix blender! This blender rocks and I honestly use it at least 2 times a day! It’s truly one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I use it to puree soups, make homemade peanut and almond butter, salad dressings, as well as make smoothies and juices. There are so many other things that this blender can do. It puree’s your kale and spinach so fine that you never taste bits of kale or spinach in your smoothies. Men, if you’re looking to get your wife or girlfriend a special gift, then get her this blender, I guarantee she will love it! I will say that it’s a bit pricey, but it has totally paid for itself over the years as it’s one of my most used gadgets. I mean I’m saving money on purchasing juices, smoothies and salad dressings, because I make them all a home now thanks to this blender.
When a job it too small for my blender, I use my mini prep. Honestly my mini prep and blender are a beautiful team. I have a larger cuisinart, but I rarely use it as my mini prep and vitamix can handle most any job!
I love my cast iron skillets from Lodge. I have a 10-inch and 12-inch pan and I use them both all of the time. I gave up non-stick pans about 10 years back and these pans make up for any non-stick pan. They cook everything evenly, and I love that I can sauté something in them on the stove and then put it all in the oven to finish off. I make so many different things in these pans from chicken parmesan, parmesan pork chops, sausage and deep dish pizza to cookies. They’re a workhorse of a pan, and the best part is that you can get a 12-inch pan for $22. This is a pan that everyone needs in their kitchen.
You all know how much I love making popovers. I make popovers at least 2x a week in my house and this Nordic ware Grand popover Pan is the best. It may cost more than the normal popover pan, but it makes the perfect popover and you popovers won’t stick to the pan. The pan is made of cast iron, so it cooks up the popovers evenly. I’ve had mine for 3 years now and I use it at least once a week, if not more, and it’s still looks brand new. If you find yourself making popovers quite often, then I would invest in a good quality popover pan. For those of you that are local, Sur La Table carries this brand.
We make popcorn on a daily basis in my house as my kids LOVE popcorn. I make a batch at the beginning of each week for Zoe to take with school with her each day for snack. We always make a batch of popcorn for family movie night. Zoe’s friends have told me that I make the BEST popcorn. I really don’t think it’s me, but this popcorn popper from Whirley-Pop. Popping your own popcorn is so much healthier than the bagged microwave stuff, and it tastes better too. If you have kids, they will love turning the handle and making up a batch of popcorn. I’ve had my popcorn popper for 5 years, so it really holds up well.
Ok, I have to admit that I have 6 sets of measuring spoons and 4 sets of measuring cups, and I use them all the time. I mean we all have 12 forks, spoons and knives, so why not have a few sets of measuring cups and spoons. I bake and cook a lot, so it’s so nice to be able to just put each spoon or cup in the dishwasher after each use, rather than having to clean and dry each one every time you need a clean one. This is just a little something that makes my life a bit easier.
Here are few stocking stuffers (well, maybe not the knife) that anyone who loves to cook will be happy to get. I love my lemon juicer and I use it at least twice a day, as I’m always squeezing up a lemon for either a kale salad, salad dressing or my morning lemon water. I also use it to squeeze up limes, so you don’t really need 2 separate juicers, as you can use this one for both. I love this microplane zester and I use it all the time to zest lemons, limes and ginger. Ok, this garlic press is one of my other most used gadgets. When a recipe calls for minced garlic on my blog, this is the device I use. I use it at least once a day, as I put garlic in just about everything. I’m in love with my chef knife from Global, and I’m actually asking Santa for the pairing knife as well as the cheese knife for Christmas. This knife is the bomb and I use it for EVERYTHING from chopping carrots and onions, to slicing kale to cutting up squash. It’s really the only knife I use.
These glass jars from Ball are the best because they can be used for both drinking and storage. I have 12 of the smaller 12oz wide mouth jars, as well as the 24oz wide mouth jars. These are basically our everyday drinking glasses. My kids and their friends love using these glasses for some reason. I think they feel like they are eating at a restaurant or something. I love them because their sturdy and cheap, and they look pretty cool as well. I also love that I can just put a plastic lid on them and store my salad dressings, soups and dry goods in them. The plastic lids are key because the metal lids that come with the jars rust over time. I use the large mason jars to store pantry items like popcorn, steel-cut oats, quinoa, you name it.
See those rubber bands on the glasses? I put them on our glasses daily so we know whose glass is whose. It’s great for when the kids have friends over or when we have guests, as no one has to guess which glass is theirs. For those of you that are local, I picked up all of my jars at the local Jim Corbet’s store in Larkspur.
These pyrex measuring cups are the best for measuring liquid ingredients. I have two of the 1-cup measuring cups and one of the 4 and 2 cup. I use these all the time, really as much as my dry measuring cups. Glass is the way to go as it can be put in the dishwasher, microwave and it can hold hot liquids.
Santa brought me my green dutch oven 2 years ago, and it’s been one of my favorite pans ever since. I use this dutch oven for everything from making soups and sauces to steel-cut oats. It has superior heat distribution and can go from stove top to the oven, plus the vibrant colors make it fun to cook in.
Ok, I know this truly a lame photo, but I wanted to show you all my favorite sponges for cleaning dishes as well as counters. I’m a bit anal when it comes to keeping the sponges that I use for dishes separate from the sponges I use to wipe the counters. I have one sponge for washing dishes and one for wiping down the counters. I use these Doobie sponges to wash all of my dishes. You can pick them up at any grocery store or Target. I love these pop-up sponges from Trader Joes to wipe down my counters. They work so well and I love that they’re not coated with any of that anti-bacterial stuff. I toss both sponges in the dishwasher each night when I run my dishes, so that they get sanitized. For drying dishes, I love and use flour sack towels. I use them to dry dishes, dry hands, dry herbs and lettuce. They can be bleached and they are a workhorse of a towel as they are super absorbent and dry quickly. These also make the perfect stocking stuffer and Santa knows to re-stock me every year. Good old Santa
I love these oven mitts from cuisinart. They make grabbing a hot pan or tray out of the oven easy as they just feel right on your hand. They slide over you hand and high up your arm so you never have to worry about burning your hand or arm. I just can’t say enough about them, they rock!
Here are four of my favorite cookbooks.
It’s All Good. I love this cookbook from Gwyneth. It’s chock full of amazing and healthy recipes!
Any cookbook from Barefoot Contessa. You really can’t go wrong with Barefoot, as all of her cookbooks are classics and I have every one of them.
The Supper Club Cookbook. This cookbook is chock-full of great family friendly recipes.
Meat Free Monday. This cookbook has meatless recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for every Monday of the year. Lot’s of variety here.
I hope this post was fun and that you found some items on here that you may want to purchase for your kitchen or for a loved one! I do realize that I said the word LOVE about 100 times in this post, but I’m posting my favorite things and when I love something, I just have to shout it out!
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget or item? Please share!