Friday, September 25, 2009

From Fashion To Food

Oh my, yesterday I did a lot of posting about fashion and beauty.  The post about hair cuts will be up soon, well, as soon as InStyle's page decides to work.  Today however has me thinking about kitchen equipment.

I do tend to own a lot of kitchen stuff, and occasionally an item no one else seems to have. But there are a few things I have been waiting to get until we moved back.  So I have been perusing online to see if I could find some things I just had to have.  

Now, I should note that I am a big fan of not having too much crap you never use in a kitchen.  Hence the reason that I still do not have a KitchenAid mixer or a large food processor.  The former because I really don't know what the hell I would do with it, and the latter because I wasn't sure I needed one.  I mix my own things by hand (I don't even like using the electric hand mixer) and up until recently I would have said that my blender and my little food chopper worked just fine in the place of a food processor.  

Then my blender literally blew apart a few months before leaving England while I was blending a soup.  And I began making more and more things such as pesto and sauces on my own.  And after trying my hand at making G some homemade mayonnaise and realizing that yes, you can do it by hand, but since I hate mayonnaise if it isn't quick and easy I don't want to do it.  

Basically I need a food processor.  I like to make things from scratch, and I simply cannot rely on doing it little by little with my mini food chopper.  So I've been looking at Cuisinart Food Processors, but my head is reeling.  So readers who have food processors, what size is normal?  They seem to have everything from 7 cups to 16!  I don't know that I need a 16 cup food processor, but maybe something in between?

Now, I have a deep dark secret that I should share.  I rarely use cutting boards.  I know, shameful, I have probably damaged my knives.  But we lived in a crappy place with crappy counters that were already marred, so I went ahead and just chopped and sliced on the counters.  Now, we will have granite counters that I am excited about, however, I have no idea what to do with them, other than knowing not to chop on them.  So I am looking into cutting boards.  I will need a non-wood one for meats (funny story, someone bought it off my registry for our wedding, but I never received it, so I didn't buy one thinking maybe it was getting mailed and once in England our base store never had them!).  I'm liking the anti-bacterial one from Williams-Sonoma:

For 20 bucks, it's decent sized (12x16) so it will work when I am cutting up a chicken or rack of lamb.  And it makes sure I have a designated meat board.  Before I was using a tiny plastic piece or getting very creative.  

I have a wood cutting board that is decent (just one from target, I think perhaps I need to oil it?), and I use it when making salsa simply because it was easy to keep things organized.  But I am wanting something a little heftier.  An end grain block maybe?  I like the thickness of these for one simple reason:  they make it easier on my back.  I'm tall (5'8" 1/2 exact) and leaning over a counter really kills my lower back.  I got lucky with our counters in England, because they were higher (go figure, the Brits aren't exactly known for their height), but here in the US that can be unusual, and I haven't really paid attention any of the times we've been at the house.  

So, back to the discussion, I don't know the difference between end grain, edge grain, acacia or bamboo.  But I do think they're pretty!  And expensive.  Damn expensive.  Not that I mind, I have heard that they're worth it and will last if you take care of them.  But I do want to make a good choice at that price (anything from $60-$200).  Here are the ones I am liking:

Cannot decide between the square and rectangle (and of course my smart butt husband says it's because I need them both.....he is the reason we have too many things, and he doesn't cook!). 

Can anyone explain the difference between a cutting board and a chopping board?

Now, I promised G he could have this next beauty because he loves cheese so much and wants to throw a cheese and wine party.

I figure that paired with a small variety of cheeses and a bottle of red wine will be a nice love gift to give him this fall.

We are planning a trip to a Container Store soon for various household items.  To store the cutting boards neatly, and make them easily accessible under out cabinets we are picking up a couple of these tray dividers (that will also help with cookie sheets, muffin pans and pizza stones):

That really is only the tip of the ice berg of things we are planning to buy for the kitchen.  However, in the interest of not giving you too much to read at once I'll break it up.  And I think the rest will be posted later today over at my home blog Une Maison Chic.  So come over and visit!

Any kitchen items you cannot live without?  Let me know!  I cook, but am a novice when it comes to handy dandy kitchen items!


  1. the largest food processor available. I've had my Cuisinart for more than 20 years...before they made larger ones and the dumb thing just will not break so I don't have an excuse to buy the larger one. I also have a one cup one for smaller items plus some chopper I can't remember it's name. I could not imagine baking Christmas cookies without my KitchenAid mixer. I tend to do large batches. My first gift from your uncle was a Burberry raincoat followed by the above two items. None of the items have worn out.

    He has since been re-trained!

  2. Aunt Karol, good to know about the food processor. I bake large batches of cookies, I just mix everything by hand. My biggest mixing bowl is the same size as the KitchenAid mixer's bowl.

    Oh, and I knew I liked my uncle for a reason! A Burberry trench coat is on the list of things G and I need. Not want, mind you, need. Good to know they will last forever!

  3. Kalee,

    The only problem with the Burberry is that I became bored with it and I rarely wore it. It takes alot for me to put on a coat.

    On the other hand the Cuisinart and KitchenAid are priceless. I also have a small one of each for little stuff. The consistancy of processing is better than I could every produce. Plus my time it worth more than endless chopping or mixing. Time is a precious commodity to me.

  4. Aunt on earth does one become bored with Burberry? Seriously?

    Well, when one looks so fabulous and likes warm locals, perhaps I can understand. When are you guys retiring to the tropics? :)