One of the best things about my food blog addiction, aside from the recipes and inspiration, is that it feeds my other addiction: namely, acquiring stuff. Discovering a new gadget or book or resource that someone else uses and loves? Yes, please. So in the interests of paying it back AND forward, herewith is a listing of my favorite things. Because now that I've already spent MY money on this stuff, I'm more than happy to help you spend yours.
Disclosure: Actually there is none. My blog is currently monetized by me (thanks to my freelance clients), so I get nothing in return if you click on and/or buy from any of these links. Other than the warm, fuzzy feeling one gets from being a caring-and-sharing goody-two-shoes, that is. Should that ever change (the kickbacks, not the warm-fuzzies), I'll let you know!
gadgets & gizmos
I love a good gadget. I know there are people out there who are very minimalist in their approach to cooking and baking stuff–the Alton Brown-ish outlook (no single-purpose doohickeys)–and I do kind of admire them for it. I am not one of those people. Not a chance. Nope. For me, thingies and whatsits are a major part of the fun of cooking–or anything else for that matter–especially if it makes a task easier. (Clean-up however? Not so much. Because why use 1 tool when 12 will do…?) So my collection of stuff grows and grows and I'm okay with that.
- Assistent Mixer: This mixer has been around in Europe for ages and was originally made by Electrolux, then by Verona and now by Ankarsrum. But regardless of the name on the bowl, this mixer is the bomb. I have a 35-year-old, Hobart-era Kitchen Aid that I adore but I was really pushing it past its limits and didn't want to risk having it break down. So I decided to go for something that could handle heavy-duty doughs (resisting the siren's call for an industrial model–not an easy thing, I can tell you), did some research and chose the Assistent. I couldn't be happier. It's a workhorse, handles anything from super-wet to super-dry doughs with ease, and best of all, because the bowl is completely open, adding ingredients is a breeze, something you definitely can't say about the Kitchen Aid. A bit pricey but worth every single penny, especially if you take advantage of Amazon's Store Card and interest-free payments.
- Ateco 18" Professional Rolling Pin (aka Big Boy): A great kitchen tool that could easily double as a weapon (Professor Plum in the kitchen with a rolling pin…) I was introduced to BIg Boy when I took the artisan bread course at the French Culinary Institute and bought one immediately from Amazon in the middle of class. This thing has some serious heft that makes it easy to roll out even the stiffest of doughs. I have about a dozen rolling pins but this is my go-to.
- Oxo Stainless Steel Food Scale: This is one of those can't-live-without-it things. Not only do I use it for baking, but since I'm a Weight Watchers Lifetimer, I rely on it every day for every meal as well. It weighs up to 11 pounds, has a pull-out display, cleans easily and weighs accurately. It's the standard at every culinary school class I've ever attended and a standard in my kitchen as well. In fact, when I recently dropped mine (accidentally flung it across the room into a wall, actually) and broke it, I ran out immediately and bought a new one. Really, can't live without it.