Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Blatherings & Weekend Cooking All In One

Thank goodness for weekends.  Honestly, it's nice to slow WAY down and just rejuvenate a bit.  Each of my classes is reading a novel right now, so the lesson planning really varies.  Teaching a novel is my favorite thing to do though, so I'm loving it!  In the midst of that, we're trying to gear up for state testing immediately following Spring Break, which is in a week.  Can't wait for that little break. I'm not really going anywhere this year, but I have a lot that I'll be doing around the house to catch up again. 

Speaking of the home front, this week I wanted to share something exciting for my Weekend Cooking post.  After a torturous fall/winter session in my online job, I finally got paid for it all, AND I got my bonus!  (Happy dance!)  I finally was able to take some of that bonus to buy my first Le Crueset pan.  People have talked about how great they are, and I really did think they exaggerated a bit.  Nope.  They really are all-round great pans. 

Along those lines, I thought that this week I'd share my favorite kitchen "acquisitions" and tools.  It has taken me some time to pick up the pans, spices, and utensils that I've wanted, but I love how they have helped shape what I cook.  Years ago, I purchased a set of All-Clad pans, which was the best thing I ever did.  From there, I've slowly filled my kitchen with great cooking tools.  Here are my favorites:

Here are three of my favorite tools.  When I was in graduate school, my mom gave me that lovely Wusthof knife for Christmas.  To be completely honest, that knife has been a game changer.  I don't think I can say enough about how great a good knife really is for cooking.  Next is a good cast iron skillet.  Before I moved into my new house, I bought my own skillet, thinking I'd give it a try.  Now that it's well seasoned and has been used quite a bit, I don't know what I'd do without it!  Finally, is the newest member of my kitchen family, my new Le Crueset, enameled cast iron pot.  It's just settling in with the rest of my kitchen favorites, but from what I've already prepared in it, I can see that it's going to be indispensable.

Finally, I had to share my spice rack.  Growing up, my mom kept her McCormick tins of spices in a drawer, which smelled like heaven when you slid it open.   The bad part though was that you had to rifle through them to find what you wanted.  Later, when I had roommates and was in college, I kept a plastic tub full of spices.  Talk about a pain!  Thanks to these nice containers, I can keep all my spices in one place where I can see them.  Eventually I'd like to hang a sheet of metal on the inside of my pantry door so I can put them in a darker location, but for now they are all down one side of my fridge where I cook.  They look nice, and they are super convenient.  (By the way, I purchased the spice tins from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. One box of these was a gift, but the remaining ones I picked up were expensive when purchased individually.  If you ask them how much for the box, sometimes they will reduce the overall cost.)

Well, I'm off to make my mom's fabulous spice bars and to settle in to do a bit of blog hopping--finally--and a bit of reading.  Thank goodness for weekends!

*For more weekend cooking, go to Beth Fish Reads.  You'll find all sorts of great food-related posts and recipes!   

Please share!  What are your favorite kitchen tools and gadgets?


  1. I wish we had good knives! I was house-sitting last week and the woman I sit for has AMAZING kitchen accessories. Like real chef's knives and those copper pots and pans from France. ::sigh of longing:: If I ever manage to make enough money to elevated me above the poverty line, I'm definitely investing in a few of those. They make cooking so much easier!

    I think my favorite tool in my (now in-storage) kitchen is my iron skillet. They're definitely worth it!

  2. Love that idea for storing spices!