In addition to my favorite recipes of 2007, I thought I would also post some of my favorite kitchen gadgets of the year. I’m pretty certain that all these lovely things did not enter my life until 2007, but I am so glad they did.
- Wusthof mincer. I have a great Wusthof chef’s knife and I use it pretty much every day. But sometimes things are more easily chopped with this lovely mincer. I especially love it for fresh herbs. It’s so simple and you can chop them very finely in no time, with a simple rocking motion.
- A cookie scoop. I never thought I would need one, but man are they wonderful. I have an Oxo one, but I have heard good things about the Pampered Chef ones.
- Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer.
Meet Lady Mix-a-Lot.
Lady and I do not go back very far, but we’re sure to be good friends. I used her a whole lot during all my holiday baking and fell in love. I told Tom that I thought my Kitchen Aid mixer needed a name. Rather than looking at me like a crazy person (as you might currently be doing, reading as I refer to my mixer not only as a female but a “good friend,” too), he suggested Sir Mix-a-Lot. Hmm, not bad, I thought, but I always assumed the KA was female. So, Tom dubbed her Lady Mix-a-Lot. And sort of like Sir Mix-a-Lot, she also likes big butts. Or, at least she has a very large part in producing the goods that cause big butts.
- Bar Keepers Friend. Though it definitely takes some elbow grease to get things off (or maybe that’s because I am lazy and don’t do this often enough to my pots and pans, letting things build up…), this stuff is great for making your stainless steel pots and pans look (almost) new again. Just look at how my skillet looked before…
- Microplane grater/zester. How did I ever live without one of these things? I’m not sure, but I don’t ever want to go back to that time in my culinary life. Zesting citrus, grating nutmeg and ginger, and making really fluffy grated cheese, this does it all.
- Cast iron skillet. These are definitely the biggest bargains of the cooking world. They are so cheap and will last you a lifetime (and probably 3 or 4 lifetimes after your own). Great for tortillas, cornbread, even brownies.
- A baking stone. Homemade pizza without one of these is great, but with one? Amazing. So crisp and delicious. Also great for breads, and if you get certain types, cookies. I have my eye on the Pampered Chef bar pan, which I may be adding to my collection soon…
- Mesh strainers in different sizes. So great for straining sauces, chicken stock, jams, etc. I’m actually pretty sure I had these before 2007, but I never used them as much as I have in the past year. 2007 was definitely The Year of the Mesh Strainer.
So, there you have it. A few things that make cooking a little more fun (and a whole lot easier) for me.