Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Essential Kitchen Tools

Another topic of discussion is my essential kitchen tools list.  Of course I have the standard measuring cups and spoons, whisk, spatula, wooden spoon, ladle, graters etc there are a few things I can't live without and use almost daily.  Here they are in no random order....

 My mixer.  I love this mixer.  TGIM LOVES this mixer.  In fact, he told me last week (after the Rosemary bread) that of all the things he's bought me for the kitchen, this was by far his best investment.  While many of you might not need one this big, it was on sale and worth every extra penny.  It's got a 6 quart mixing bowl for my large batches of dough making.  It's awsome.  So awsome I'm tempted to get another one to have in reserve.
 My cast iron skillet.  This skillet was my beloved poppa's skillet.  This thing is almost as old as my mom and well when I was in kindergarten (200 years ago) she was 106 years old.  You get the picture.  Seriously this thing is something like 50+ years old and I use it all the time. 
 My 4 quart All-Clad Saute pan.  Oh how I love my All-Clad pots and pans.  I love them all but this one hands down is my favorite.  I can put a whole cut up chicken in this thing, brown it on the stove and then stick it in the oven to finish.  Remember the other day when I said everyone needs a pan that can go in the stove?????  Also, I only have a few pots and pans.  You really don't need a lot of them.  I have this All-Clad set and it's pretty much all I need.  I still have a few (3) random pots from before I got my All-Clad.  I know it's pricey but is worth every penny.  This stuff is so sturdy, distributes heat perfectly and most of all is made in the USA.  I want to be buried with my All-Clad but somehow I think one of the boys will pry them out of my cold dead hands.
 My Pampered Chef pizza stone.  I really love the Pampered Chef stoneware.  In fact, I have almost every piece they have but pretty much use this one almost every day.  I bake most of my breads (boules, batards, couronnes) on it since there are no sides and I can just slide the loaf on it.
 The other 3 pieces of stoneware I use all the time is the loaf pan (again I don't buy bread from a store so I bake a lot of bread, almost a loaf a day), rectangle baker and deep dish covered baker.  The deep dish baker can hold a whole chicken and it comes out superb.
 My Wusthof Chef knife.  I have a set of knifes and pretty much only use 3 of them, my chef's knife, a small knife for boning and paring, and a bread knife.  I also love this cutting board.  It's large and has a groove on the edge to catch all the juice from whatever I'm cutting up.  The other side has a well for carving meats.  The well catches all the juice from the meat.
 My blender and food processor.  You "really" don't need both but there are times when it's nice.  My rolling pin, or should I say TGIM's rolling pin.  There's a story behind it that I won't get into now, but I love this rolling pin.  And that pink thing on top is a tortilla press.  I don't use it a lot but it's handy when I make tortillas.
 Stainless Steel mixing bowls.  I have a lot of bowls as you will see below, but a good set of metal ones are a necessity.  They don't have to be as fancy as these Pampered Chef ones.  Yes I have a lot of Pampered Chef stuff, at one point I had 4 friends that were consultants so I spent lots of money being a good friend.  These have an ergonomic thumb grip so you really get a good hold while you're mixing.  They also have a slip resistant bottom.
 Here's what in my small island cabinet.  Mainly my bowls (the plastic ones are for holding all the stuff I'm canning) and stoneware.
Here are all my pots and pans.  My large stockpot is being used right now.  That empty space on the top right shelf is where it goes.

This also is by no means everything I have in my kitchen, just the things I can't live without.  Here's a list of essentials from Cooks Illustrated I found on line. 

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