Now that I’m a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM) I spend a lot of my time menu planning, shopping, cooking and of course cleaning up! Zach and I were married over four years ago so the time to dress up and smile pretty at showers and our wedding and be spoiled with registry gifts is long behind us. Now I have to dream… okay lust…. over certain kitchen items. Here is my current list of items that somehow I don’t have in my arsenal that would make my daily cooking and baking 1,000 time easier and let’s face it more fun!
We are a family that likes to stir fry. We will toss a ton of variation of meat and veggies and sometimes fruit into our Asian inspired stir fry dishes. We have a wok that has treated us well for 10+ years but it is getting old, weathered and does not have a lid. I know this would be the one addition to the kitchen that Zach would love.
I recently started reading Dinner: A Love Story. It is an amazing blog about cooking for a family and the importance of eating meals together. Although Fox and Leo are still babies I do try to sit in front of them and share there meals every day (Leo really loves to get food nice and goopy and then try to feed it to me). In DALS there is an entire section of one pan meals. I would love to start cooking these but I really, really, really need a large saute pan, perhaps two. This would give our poor fry pans a break and let them get back to the important jobs like cooking eggs.
The food processor and stand up mixer are givens for any SAHM I think. I have been baking breads, think banana, pumpkin and zucchini as well as cookies a lot and sometimes the hand mixing it just too much.
How is it that I don’t have a whisk? I think it’s because somehow I have either ruined or lost all of mine. I did try a silicone whisk and was not a fan.
Lastly those amazing plastic nesting bowls. These bad boys are on my list since I sadly broke two out of my three bowls I got for our wedding. I could easily use all four of these in one day for all the cooking I do.
My new morning treat is a homemade iced cafe au lait. Love, love, love this new drink. I most definitely stole the idea from Chloe Redmond Warner, of Redmod Aldrich Designs. She served this drink at the amazing shower she hosted for a mutual friend. She served the Jittery John’s style brewed iced coffee with whole milk and maple syrup… and some rum, yum yum. I am steering clear of the rum in my morning glass. I’ve been using Chameleon Cold-Brew, 1% milk and a touch of sweetener. It is so decadent, I can enjoy without heading out into the wild world with my twins and it is so much less expensive than my local coffee shop.
PS. You can’t go wrong by enjoying this drink in a Bodum glass. Can’t believe we are planning on heading to the world of Bodum, Copenhagen, this fall. So excited!
Who wants to be eating this delectable treat right now besides me!?! Let’s grab a hold of the end of summer peach season and dive into this gorgeous dish created by the team over at Williams Sonoma (click on link for recipe). Yum Yum.
For those folks in your life that love pretty things and loooove chocolate… and I’m sure that the people in my life closest to me will know that I’m talking about myself…I consider it a good day when it ends with a piece of rich dark chocolate. I don’t need anything in the chocolate, except maybe sea salt, but I also wouldn’t turn away chocolate that has either mint or caramel… I’m not crazy!
How cute are these?!? And they have a blog about candy, score!
Oh my deliciousness! I just whipped up a quick breakfast shake with some new ingredients and I am full on loving everything about it. I had stopped by Trader Joe’s prior to hosting my book club this week and I saw that they had packaged freshly cut mango. Score! I love mango but I hate cutting it up. I know that sounds lazy but I never know when it is the right ripeness and then I always end up massacring it while cutting it up. Anyway, I was excited about the mango, so I picked up my staple fruit (bananas) and headed home with no foreshadowing of the awesome smoothie that was in my near future. Long story short I got up this morning and tossed into my trusty blender the following:
Three Slices of Mango
One Medium Banana
I scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/4-1/2 Cup of Coconut Water
2 Ice Cups
The result is pure heaven! I believe I’m going to add a slice of whole wheat bread with a slathering of natural peanut butter and I’m good to go.
I had my first coffee, or should I say work of art, this afternoon at Bard Coffee on Middle Street in Portland. I fell in love. The staff was so friendly and helpful. I’ve been ordering grande lattes and extra hot skinny whatevers for years but I didn’t always know exactly what I was ordering. I spent some quality time with one of the baristas and they talked me through the milk to espresso ratios of each of their drinks and showed me the cup type and size for each drink. I was fascinated that their was art and food science behind what they were doing back behind the bar. Don’t get me wrong I never thought that just any joe schmo could whip up a really good cup of coffee, but I had been living in a bit of a dreamland on what was happening to create all those drinks I’ve had in my life. Once I finally decided on what I was going to have they created the drink you see below (this is not some fancy photo I found on the Internet, just a little snapshot from my phone). What you see below is a cappuccino with a blend of skim and whole milk. Yum Yum!
I was inspired by the adorable heart they created out of the foam of my cappuccino and by the coffee. So I spent a bit of time perusing Etsy to see what the artists out there created by blending these two things and here are some gems I found. Perhaps you have someone in your life that loves coffee that you could spoil with an out of the blue gift… or I heard through the rumor mill that a heart inspired holiday is coming up soon.
Fancy Prints: Chocolate Men Coffee
Hair Brained Schemes: With Enough Coffee
Nan Lawson: A Couple Of Mugs In Love
April Bern Photo: Coffee Cup of Love
In my New Year’s Resolution post I talked about wanted to learn to successfully master four dessert recipes and expand the vegetarian meals that I cook by at least four. I did a ton of baking just before the holidays, and for the holidays, and at least 9 out of 10 of my attempts were complete failures. Thank goodness I had a household of my husbands buddies staying with us. They were good sports and helped finish off the majority of these failures. I would really like to be able to whip up a batch of Blondies and Hello Dollies that are truly drool-worthy for the next time they are in town.
After mulling it over for a week to figure out what I did wrong I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be more patient (baking is an art), learn the ins and outs of my “new to me” electric stove and be much more precise when measuring out ingredients. Having said all of that I do feel that I was missing a few key electric kitchen utensils that I know would have helped.
Now I’ve already had a wedding shower and wedding a few years ago and although all three of the items listed below were on my registry they were a bit too pricey for my guests (which I completely understand!). So now it is up to me to slowly start saving to add these gems to my kitchen. I currently have a red and silver theme going for my kitchen appliances so I think all these lovies will fit in nicely.
Classic for breads and cookies. All the ladies in my family have one of these and they absolutely swear by them. My Mom’s is at least 20 years old and still going strong.
This item would be much more helpful for cooking than baking, but I can still see myself chopping nuts or dicing veggies for breads in this guy.
The all mighty immersion blender. I spend a ton of time telling everyone I know that they MUST own one of these and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t even own one! Yes, this one is purely for smoothies and soups…. but come on… how can you not want one of these!!!