In 2014, I spent a lot of time in my kitchen. Mostly trying to figure out what I could live without. And more time trying to figure out what I should add. I try to shop at thrift stores when possible when I need kitchen items because if something still works there's no real need to buy it new and generate more waste. Last year, I found myself repeatedly reaching for the same items and wanted to share them with you.
1) Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven in Caribbean - I bought this in 2011 when I was at an employee event at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Edina. I had been eyeing it for a while, but having been in the store for an entire evening at a team building event, I didn't have enough will power to turn down the extra 20% coupon they offered us and splurged on this pot. I'd like to say I got my money's worth because I do use it a lot. I make a lot of soups, curries and even warm salads out of this pot!
2) Pyrex from my mother's kitchen - We inherited a set from my mom who got this as a gift from the Pang's. I still remember them bringing us the large box of Pyrex gift set on one of our trips to California in the 90's. They were the best glassware we had in my our family for years. I started using them a lot more last year after hearing about how much cheap plastic can contaminate your food. This seems like a good alternative because once you put your leftovers in a container, you're most likely going to be reheating it in the container too.
3) Charles Viancin silicon covers - These are the cutest things EVER. If you're the environmental kind (which I try to be) it really does save on plastic wrap. I use them to cover up my vintage Pyrex mixing bowls (not the Cinderella bowls). They make opening up the door to the refrigerator really fun.
4) Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker - I just got this in January (it was a very belated birthday gift) and I use it all the time when I'm making a cup of coffee for myself. With over 3,600 reviews on Amazon, you really can't go wrong. It's also totally easy to clean. You just pop the coffee grounds right out into the trash. I also like how small the filters are - about the size of a $1 U.S. coin - so it also feels to me like I'm really saving trees. I was also impressed that it was featured in The Kinfolk Table as a coffee recipe. I guess people really love it. I do.
5) Chemex 10-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker - One of my favorite holiday gifts that I received last year was this Chemex. I had been coveting this for years. It is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye and just I just love having this on my counter. What I love more is everyone standing around me while I make the coffee to watch how the process works. That way, I get to spend more time with the people I'm making coffee for and turn it into a group activity.
6) Rotary Egg Blender - I found mine at a thrift store near my house (you can see if I came across any that I can sell to you at my Etsy store) and I just love it because it's easy to clean. You can drop the whole thing in the sink...no electrical cords! I most recently used it to beat the eggs when I was trying to make this Old Fashioned Waffles recipe from Mimi Thorrison. It was the first Mimi recipe I've ever tried and it was pretty awesome.