Weekend Gourmet's 10 Favorite Kitchen Things

Post Christmas … I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and I hope Santa brought everyone lots of nice things for your kitchen!!

I was fortunate enough to recieve some great items from my dear husband and son. A cookbook, the quintessential Julia Child volume: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Wonder how he got the idea for that one? Some super-cute ceramic measuring cups from Pier One, and last but not least, a tiny little mortar and pestle. Can wait to use them all!

But these gifts got me thinking about putting together a wish list of my own (I do foresee a copper bowl on the list), and of my most Favorite Things in My Kitchen. So I’ve compiled a list of my current favorite things. These are things I really would not want to live without and that I use fairly regularly. Would love comments and to hear more about your OWN favorites.
~ Aloha

(1) Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Cast Iron French Oven

My all-time favorite piece. I actually have this in green, not yellow, but any color is grand. Le Creuset is a classic cookware manufacturer. This is a heavy cast iron pot with easy to clean enamel interior. I use this pot or one in another size for so many things. Stews, soups, 1 dish meals, searing, braising, roasting. Though heavy, they are still great for transporting items you have to keep hot. These are expensive, heirloom pieces, but well worth the price. (Buy Your Own.)

(2) Polder 11 Pound Food Scale
Love this scale! We use it all the time. Looks great in the kitchen too!
(Buy Your Own.)

(3) Microplane Zester

Another super-handy item. Grate ginger, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, or chocolate. Mmm, so easy and quick!  (Buy Your Own.)

(4) Silicon Baking Sheet Liners
Designed for baking, but I use them for roasting veggies also. Makes cleanup on your baking sheets quick and easy. Used these last for Oven Roasted Tomatoes. Just be careful with them. No knives!! They will last quite a while. Perfect for removing items from baking sheets, to cool, also. Great to have several on hand. (Buy Your Own.)

(5) Le Creuset Silicon Spoons/Spatulas

Must-have for use in all your enameled cast-iron cookware, and in your non-stick pots and pans, as well. I could not live without these. My non-stick pans now seem to last forever, since I started using these! (Buy Your Own.)

(6) Skimmmer/ Strainer Basket with Handle

These are of an Asian design, used for things like potstickers. Great for pasta, gnocci, or dumplings, but also for hardboiled eggs and veggies. Pull anything out of boiling water or broth that won’t fit through the cracks. Love this tool!  (Buy Your Own.)

(7) Bamboo Tongs
I know it is not smart, but I can’t tell you how many times I have burned my fingers moving and removing cooking food prior to owning these. Tongs are a necessity and these bamboo ones are beautiful and “green,” as well! (Buy Your Own.)


(8) Lots of Little Bowls

Oodles and Oodles of Bowls! Little bowls are so versatile. I love little bowls and ramekins. A pinch of this and a pinch of that. Organize all those ingredients for cooking. Give each of your guests dipping sauces on the side. Serve yourself just enough — but not too much — in a little bowl. Kids love things in little bowls too! Little bowls are just gosh darn cute!! These are from Crate & Barrel.
(9) Mandoline
This tool is a new addition to my kitchen which I absolutely adore. After all, who doesn’t want to have perfectly sliced scalloped potatoes. Easy and quick and, most importantly, sure to cook evenly. I picked up the De Buyer Kobra slicer for about $40, on sale, at Williams-Sonoma because I was there, but you can spend 5 times that for a good mandoline or even less, if you look around. I find this price point and model is fine for my needs.  (Buy Your Own.)

(10) Magnetic Knife Rack

I don’t have a knife block, but prefer a magnetic knife holder. Keeps the knives near the sink and cutting board, high and away from small hands, and does not take up counter space. This is a great looking bamboo version. Makes me think about upgrading the one I already have.  (Buy Your Own.)

(Bonus Favorite!)
I just couldn’t limit myself to 10. But these are not really a cooking tool, anyway. I could not leave out the one and only Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bags. You’ve seen these on TV and now you are seeing them here! These things actually work! They are the best little bags for storing veggies in the fridge and especially, bananas and tomatoes on the counter. My bananas stay fresh for days, even with our warm humid Hawaii weather. These are a great product. I got them for my husband for Christmas because he likes them so much (but they were kind of really for me, too). (Buy Your Own.)

Love to hear your thoughts and what tools, equipment, and gadgets YOU love in your own kitchen!


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