Saturday, March 19, 2011

These are a few of my FAVORITE things!!! it's more like 10 of my favorite things.  It's a little long, BUT stick around I think you are going to enjoy it.  You might even find that perfect gift for the perfect someone in your life. :)

Anyone who knows me knows that the wall-o-gadgets at Bed Bath and Beyond is one of my favorite places on earth.  Well, there and the bargain cookbook section of Borders.  I absolutely love them both!  Even if I already had everything on the wall along with all the cookbooks in the wouldn't matter...I would still love to look. *Sigh*

Now, anyone familiar with The Sound of Music knows that a few of Julie Andrew's favorite things include crisp apple strudels and schnitzel with noodles.  Well, whatcha too!!!  Yes, I do love Julie Andrews, apple strudels and noodles very much, but I also have a few other favorite things and I wanted to share them with you.  However, I don't think I'll be writing the lyrics to a song about them anytime soon.  Enjoy!

Here we no particular order!

Mr. Misto & Digital Food Scale
 #1 - Mister Misto Olive Oil Sprayer

I love this product for so many reasons.  First, did you know that aerosol cooking spray has a chemical in it that will ruin your non-stick cookware?  Well, it does.  Second, I said chemical.  Do you like spraying chemicals into your food?  No?  Than get one of these.  For around $10 you can refill with your own oil and keep on using.  These types of products have been known to get clogged and stop working.  I've had mine for well over a  year now and it keeps on keepin' on.  The trick is after you use it just twist the nozzle to release the unused pressure before storing away.  I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.  The list price was $9.99, but they always have 20% off coupons floating around.  Otherwise, click on the name above to order it from Amazon.

#2 - Digital Food Scale

My food scale is the Weight Watchers Food Scale that I paid WAY to much for - especially when less than a year later they changed the points program and now the whole reason I purchased this particular one is completely useless.  I digress.  I still use this scale (because it's currently the only one I've got) for the weight measurements of food.  My suggestion - just find a decent digital scale.  Something that has a tare button (resets to zero after placing a bowl or something on it) and weighs in grams and ounces is plenty good.  No need to go all fancy.  With smartphones than now scan UPC codes to tell you how many calories are in a serving...who really needs a scale to do that for us, right?  Heck, I won't be surprised when you can lay your IPhone down at some point and it becomes a scale.  Hmm...maybe I should talk to Apple about that?!?!?!

#3 - Progressive Pro - Oil Dispenser with Measuring Tube

I first saw Alton Brown talk about this on his Food Network show, Good Eats.  He always has cool little gadgets and this was something I simply had to have.  Well, I googled and searched everywhere only to find out Progressive Pro had discontinued this item.  I even went as far to email their corporate headquarters to find out 1) if it was true 2) if so, would they ever bring it back and 3) if so, did they have just one extra hanging around the office somewhere????  Well, no luck.  BUT forward to my 2010 Amazon Christmas Shopping Extravaganza and BAM...right in front of my face was this beautiful little device.  A couple clicks and it was mine!!! There are so many fun things you can do with it.  I'm boring...I keep canola oil in mine, but you can make flavored oils by adding fresh rosemary sprigs or whole garlic cloves inside.  You can put homemade dressing inside and easily know how much you are putting onto your salads.  I suppose, it doesn't even have to be used with oil.  Anything liquid should easily dispense from this fun little gadget. :)

A weight watchers dream!

Easy to Read

Perfect Gift for the gadget lover in your life!!!

#4 - Post It Flags

These things are great for marking the pages of recipes in cookbooks that you want to try.  If you are a cookbook lover like me, it can become overwhelming at the amount of new recipes you are wanting to try.  With these tabs it makes it easy to go back to a cookbook later and see the recipes that jumped out at you in the first place.  Also, with the different colors available you could categorize them such as Chicken, Beef, Healthy, Splurges....however you want. Fun, fun, fun!!!

#5 - Cooking Light  - Website, Magazines & Cookbooks

This particular cookbook has became one of my favorites as you can tell by all the Post It Flags.  No matter what you are craving you can find a healthy version with Cooking Light.  Whether you subscribe to their magazine, browse around on their website or have their cookbooks.  Fast, easy, healthy meals are easily found.  A busy, working mom's dream come true.  Thank you Cooking Light!!!

#6 - Tattered Cookbooks

I recently came across a new blog called Tattered Cookbook.  It is a sister blog to another favorite blog of mine Ceramic Canvas.  Anyway, it got me thinking of my two favorite tattered cookbooks of all time.  A few years ago my grandma, Norma, suffered a major stoke and had to go live in a nursing home.  While looking through her belongs before her jerk of a companion auctioned off her house and everything in it, I found a large plastic tote filled with cookbooks and hand written recipes.  (Yes, I'm still a little bitter if you can't tell).  Anyway, other family members would have to fight me for these!  Take the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer ( I already have one anyway), take all her cookware, silverware, glassware, whatever....THESE cook books were mine!!!!  After getting home that evening, I sat on the living room floor with that tote like a kid at Christmas, and two cook books jumped out at me.  The first, Better Homes and Gardens FIRST EDITION, ninth printing - circa 1953 and the second, Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book FIRST EDITION, sixth printing - circa 1961

Surprisingly they are still in fairly good condition, a few splatters here and there, a few rips, BUT the pages are brittle, yellowed, and smelly from having to live in almost 50 years of cigarette smoke.  They are probably in such good condition only  because she had meticulously put those little white hole protectors on almost every single page of both cookbooks.  Who does that?  My grandma.  That's who.  She does have some pages marked with old metal paper clips.  They are all so gross and smelly, but that is the beauty of these tattered old cookbooks.  I love them so much!!!

Before her stroke, my grandma, was a feisty red head with a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.  She read cook books like novels, just like me.  I can close my eyes and picture her, sitting at her kitchen table flipping through the pages of these cookbooks, so deep in thought that the ash of her cigarette grows longer and longer as it sits in the nearby ashtray.  Someday that will be me.  Minus the smokes. :)

Not that it mattered, but they were vintage cook books and I was curious to see what, if any, value they had.  The BHG was selling for a little over $100.  The Betty Crocker was somewhere around $325.  This of course would probably be for a non-tattered, non-smokey book, but to me....these books are priceless. 

My two all time favorite cookbooks!
This is a page on Appetizers.  I'm not too sure about the weird liver sausage pineapple thingy, but how cool are the Pretzel Pops!!!  Cubed cheese or sausage topped with a halved olive and speared with a pretzel stick.  Don't be surprised if you see this at my next get together. :)
On this page it seems as though the fruit kabob and beloved Cheese Ball were new adventures in appetizers.  The illustrations are also funny in both books.
♥ Tattered, brittle, yellowed and smelly...I wouldn't want them any other way ♥

#7 - Microplane®

Microplane® is the maker of what I think are the world's best graters.  My two favorites are the mini grater and the medium ribbon grater.  The mini is perfect for hard cheeses, fresh ginger, nutmeg, and garlic.  As well as fine chocolate shavings and citrus zest.  The medium ribbon grater is also perfect for hard cheeses and makes beautiful chocolate shavings for desserts.  If you don't have one of these.  You should.  Cool little tip:  No pickle relish?  Shave your pickles!!!  Who ever thought I would get to say "shave your pickles" out loud?  Blogging rocks!!!

These also make great gifts!!!
#8 - Pampered Chef

I probably don't have to talk much about these because who doesn't already know about and love Pampered Chef.  I've probably got just about every gadget they make.  Along with the Deep Covered Baker, the new and improved can't cut your fingers off Mandolin, muffin tins, spatulas, scrapers, stone baking sheets, metal baking sheets, measuring cups, cookbooks and everything in between.  Here are a few of my most used and favorite in betweens.

My kids love their PBJ made with the little sandwich press-n-seal.  I use the scoops all the time for the perfect sized cookies, muffins, peanut butter, you name it!!!  The pineapple slicer/corer and the apple slicer/corer is so fast and easy.  Tip:  Use the pineapple slicer first on your pineapple and then use the apple slicer on the makes perfect little pineapple strips.  Kids love it!!!
#9 - Food Blogs

These blogs put anything I post to shame.  Their pictures are absolutely amazing (hence the reason I often refer to them as my food porn), and they make it easy for the home cook to feel comfortable in their kitchens by often times giving step by step instructions which include pictures.  If you want to see how a real food blogger rolls...check out these pros, but come back here too!  Amateur food bloggers need love too!!!

Kevin & Amanda
Two Peas and Their Pod
Do You Know The Muffin Pan?
Ceramic Canvas

#10 - Memories

Memories.  Kitchen memories.  Food memories.  Family sitting around the table memories.  My favorite memories revolve around food, family and friends.  I know some of what I do is rubbing off on my kids because the other day I caught my seven year old sitting at the table taking this picture of his half ate bruschetta burger.  Such a proud moment! LOL :)

Now, stop reading my lame blog and go make your own favorite food memories.  Enjoy!


  1. Love love love this! Such a fabulous idea! And I agree with all your favorite things.

  2. I thought I was the only person on the planet with a Mister Misto. People look at me like I have 3 heads when I talk about it. Didn't know about the chemical destroying your non-stickery. Hmm.

    LOVE the cookbooks and the "companion" should've beem relieved of his gonads.

  3. love your fav things too.. also Kevin&Amanda didn't start out as awesome as they are... give yourself time to grow. I think you two are doing great!

  4. Awww shucks! Thanks so much for the bloggy love!