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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

The moment I decided that this column was going to be dedicated to “my favorite things,” I just couldn’t get that song out of my head!

Yes, that song. You know, crisp apple strudels and even schnitzel with noodles!

Isn’t it a lovely song to have stuck in your head all day?

Originally, I was just going to pick five of my favorite kitchen items. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave any one of these items out, for fear of hurting feelings. Yes, you better believe my rice cooker has feelings. There’s no way I would risk a lifetime of mushy rice as retribution!

These 6 items (I know you think you only see 5, but the beautiful walnut board is the 6th) are things that I am madly, deeply in love with, would never trade anything in the world for and can’t imagine my kitchen without.

1. Starting at the top is my sauté pan with a lid. It’s not just any sauté pan—it’s a nonstick pan. Many of my cheffy/kitchen snobby friends make fun of the fact that I like to use nonstick, but the truth is, I use less oil and I spend zero time scrubbing. My sauté pan does triple duty as a frying pan, oven vessel and even as my wok. Its high sides are perfect for a stir fry (and if you’ve ever done a stir fry in a shallow frying pan, you know what I’m talking about). If I could only have 1 pan, this would be it! The one I have is a Scanpan, and while it’s probably one of the most expensive brands out there, I love it because it’s oven safe, PFOA-free and you can use metal utensils with (yes, you really can!).

2. Next is my trusty rice cooker. I. cook rice quite often, as it’s incredibly simple and I can set the timer to cook perfect fluffy rice at anytime of the day. Brown rice, Jasmine, risotto, wild, sweet … this baby will cook any type of rice you want, and you don’t need to watch the clock or tend to a simmering pot. If you’re in the market for a rice cooker, it’s best to invest in one that has a timer and a warming function. Also important is the ability to cook brown rice. I love appliances that have a “set it and forget it” function.

3. To the left of my rice cooker is my 3rd pair of green tongs. And it’s not because they keep breaking, but rather, anyone who’s laid their grimy little hands on my green tongs wants to take them home. Inevitably, every time I host a cooking party, they go missing. Thank goodness they are inexpensive, otherwise I’d have to strap an alarm on the tongs or chain them to my wrist. There’s no brand mentioned on the green silicone-tipped tongs, but I got them at Sur La Table. In fact, on SLT’s website, they’re just called “Green Locking Tongs” but I think they deserve a sexier name (and, um, also maybe some branding on the tongs themselves so that my friends know where they can buy them instead of swiping mine!).

4. The next product is the newest member of the Steamy Kitchen household. It’s a Wusthof Blackwood Ikon 9″ Chef’s Knife that I purchased two months ago. It just feels so good in my hands. Big, manly, strong, smooth. Oh, excuse me, I’m blushing.

5. If you’re a lover of hand carved wooden spoons and spatulas, you must visit James Wilson’s site called Spoonmaker. If you live near Seattle, you’re lucky, as his booth is in the Pike Place Market. James handcrafts hardwood utensils and has been doing this for the past 45 years. My spatula is one that I reach for every single day, and not because it’s beautifully hand carved, but the shape and size of it make it extremely versatile. Stir, scoop, smash and flip. Right now, I’m coveting the half-cup spoons carved out of King Apple.

6. Last but not least, the wooden board all those things are resting on is custom-made by Eric Childress. I told Eric how big I wanted my board, which wood to use and also edge grain vs. end grain. In my case, I wanted a large 22″x24″ walnut board that was 1″ thick, edge grain. Because I take a lot of photos in my kitchen, and my countertops are kinda ugly, I wanted a board that was big enough for ingredient and process shots. And you’ll be surprised how little it costs: this one was only $60! Eric charges by the square inch. If I would have purchased the same board at retail, I would be paying three times as much. It does take time though; I received mine in about 3 weeks. But it’s gorgeous and fits my counter perfectly. I’m glad I was patient and waited.

Okay, that’s it for my favorite 6! Tell me about yours! What are your favorite kitchen items?


Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes in her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!



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Tiffany on 4.27.2010

My Henckel Knife….

Julie on 4.24.2010

Steamykitchen, I think your tongs are Orka by Mastrad. They also come in black, red and blue.

My favorites – in no particular order:

I Love my Stellar milk pot/sauce pan. It was a gift from a friend, which alone makes it special, but it conducts heat so quickly that I find I use it constantly. I wish their cookware were available in the U.S.

My 12 inch J.A. Henckles fry pan. It holds so much food, I wish I had bought it years ago. I wasted a lot of cooking time waiting for my Revere Ware skillet to cook our dinners!

My 30+ years old teak cutting board. The board is small at 5.5 inches by 11 inches. I have other boards but this is my hands down favorite.

An old wooden spoon that both my mother and grandmother used. I’m convinced that using this spoon makes food taste better!

My KitchenAid mixer. I would have made many more batches of cookies if I had owned this mixer when my girls were growing up.

On my wish list is the Le Creuset Oval French Oven, 6 ¾ qt.

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Linda on 4.24.2010

Favorites I can’t live without

– parchment paper (you don’t need nonstick pans with this product)
– Microplane
– KitchenAid stand mixer
– Waring immersion blender
– All Clad pots
– 15″ cast iron griddle (makes the best fajitas)
– Faema coffee grinder

Amanda on 4.21.2010

I love my locking tongs and Cuisinart rice cooker. I have the tongs in red and blue courtesy of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. I love them for kitchen gadgets. I don’t feel so guilty buying them there because it’s like they’re on sale. I’d have to add my collapsible colanders and stainless cookware to my list of must haves. When it’s too cold to grill I just love the sear I get in the stainless pans. I don’t scrub them very often either. It’s an advantage of a husband who does the dishes.

Gabby Smith on 4.20.2010

I love my Garlic Genius and my Wusthof knives!

Lisa Schnell on 4.20.2010

My bench scraper, my mini whisk (just a plain old whisk, but the perfect size), my butcher block island, my KitchenAid, my Le Creuset dutch oven. Oh, and my Williams-Sonoma striped apron–I love my apron!

Brooke Bleyl on 4.20.2010

I use tongs almost daily. Now I must goto SLT and get those green one’s. Green in the accent color in my kitchen-so I MUST have them :)

DaleLee on 4.19.2010

My Favs…

Thermapen…Is awesome!!! Couldn’t live without it.

Kitchen aid stand licorice

Oxo locking tongs..

My Ginormous pasta board

My atlas & imperia pasta machines & attachments

Cuissinart food processor

My 2 Large glass flour & sugar canisters from the container store

My wustoff knives

My oxo whisk

All my dishers…or maybe better known as cookie scoops

Miss Tish on 4.19.2010

My TFal chicken fryer – it’s so versatile and yes…non-stick!

I’m on my 3rd chicken fryer (over the past 15 years) and I just love the size – great for family cooking! It is fine for frying chicken but I use it to brown meat and make sauces, do quick chili, make pancakes, it’s just my go-to pan.

Chicken Fryer = Happy! :)

mirinblue on 4.19.2010

My thermometer
my 8 cup little cutie with strainer lid
my processor
my stick blender
all my pots, pans, stove, fridge, all of it!! oh-crockpot too

Andrea on 4.19.2010

oohh, have to add a sixth:

– my 1/4 sheet cookie trays, basic shiny metal and used for SO much! have two and want to get at least two more!

Andrea on 4.19.2010

*drooling over steamykitchen’s rice cooker*

My fav kitchen items:
– my bamboo spoons
– my collection of whisks in all sizes
– my chopper (Pampered Chef, not that cheap slap chop thing!)
– my stoneware pieces (9×13 baker and square flat tray especially)
– my tongs – two sizes!

My KitchenAid stand mixer (when I eventually get one that is( will top the list! lol

PamJ on 4.19.2010

Oh and my favorite Kitchen Items

1. My large non-stick fry pan – with a long handle on one side, and a short round handle on the other…cause as I get older it’s harder to pick up a big pan with just one hand!

2. My Pampered Chef silicone spatula – love, love, love it!

3. My Henkels knife set – couldn’t live without them

4. My Daughter-in-law – she does all the dishes and cleans up after me! Love her!!!

PamJ on 4.19.2010

Didn’t read ALL the comments, so this might have been added – the website for that WONDERFUL cutting board.

Wow – he does amazing stuff! Thanks for the heads up!

PaisleyPam on 4.19.2010

Kitchenaid mixer
High-heat silicone rubber scrapers
Wire whisk
My leCreuset pots
Messermeister swivel-head peeler
Wusthof Santoku 7″ knife

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MS Hospitality on 4.19.2010

Love reading the lists of all things important to everyone….
I guess my cast iron skillet is my favorite kitchen tool.

Linda on 4.18.2010

I feel like I can cook anything with my Wustof Santoku knife, All Clad fry pan & Pampered Chef garlic press! It’s not that I’m into brands or anything – I just truly love to use these tools!

kim g on 4.18.2010

My Le Creuset dutch oven, Global chef knife and my small Paula Deen wooden spatula I got at Wal-Mart.

WenDee Riffe on 4.18.2010


love your post!!! i have a question–does eric childress have a web*site?? if so~~would you please post it for me???!!!!



Karen on 4.18.2010

#1 would be my rice cooker. I am amazed at how much I use it.
#2 is my santoku knife.
#3 is my bread machine. with 3 kids under the age of 6 and making all our bread, bagels, pizza crust, etc, and in a galley kitchen in a small city house? I can’t do it otherwise.
#4 is my coffee pot. Any Coffee Pot that works, in fact. Essential.

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SinCitySugar on 4.18.2010

Lets see, my Le Creuset pots. All of them. Right now I have 5 pots and 3 pieces of stoneware. I use them constantly.
Then my rice cooker. I am from Hawaii and a rice pot is about as essential as sunscreen! I have no idea how to make rice without one.
Then all of my Nordicware bundt pans. I have 5 and am always looking at new ones.
Last but not least my plain old 1/4 sheet pans. Shiny metal that serves up cookies, sheet cakes, jelly rolls, cinnamon rolls, biscuits and anything else I can think of.

blendedtoperfection on 4.18.2010

My favorite thing in my kitchen is my husband! I love cooking with him. It’s our time together and usually the kids stay far away. I also love my vintage kitchenAid mixer.

Ariel on 4.18.2010

you can find them in green or red here:

Ariel on 4.18.2010

I have those tongs! Mine are blue and they’re made by Orka. Here is the link to them on amazon:

I wish mine were bright green, but they are definitely awesome – I use them for EVERYTHING – no matter the color.

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2ndCareerNurse on 4.18.2010

1. I love my Bosch mixer. I love that it has a lid so I don’t end up with the dry ingredients all over the counter-top instead of in the bowl. I still have my KitchenAid and use it, but the Bosch is the best! And the blender on the Bosch is the best blender I’ve ever used.
2. I love my pressure cooker. I’m not the most organized cook, and I tend to get lost in a good book or in my knitting, so when it’s 5pm and I haven’t started dinner yet I get out the pressure cooker and it’s done in an hour or less.
3. I love my cast iron. I inherited a 5qt Dutch oven and a small round griddle from my great-grandma, and I’ve been adding to my collection lately. I especially adore my new 8 qt Dutch oven, though it’s hard to move when it’s full.
4. I love my Cuisinart mini-food processor. It has the chute thingy (technical term) so I can slice or grate unlimited quantities. I need to upgrade it though, I’ve used the heck out of it in the last 17 years and the motor just isn’t what it used to be. I’m going for the 11 cup model.
5. My razor-sharp vegetable peeler I got from Sur La Table 15 years ago that they no longer sell anything like :(
6. I love my vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks! For the last 20 years, until very recently, cookbooks seemed to focus less on how good the food tasted and more on how good the numbers, like fat, calories, sodium, etc. looked. Back in the day, Betty knew how to make food taste great!

Yvonne on 4.17.2010

If I had to leave home with 3 things:
AllClad 3 qt saute pan
8″ chef knife
microplane zester

Additional items I love to cook with
LeCruset 5.5 qt dutch oven
tongs (med and short length)
mis en place bowls
serrated peeler

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Morgawse on 4.17.2010

Oooh, hard choice!

I think the favourites would have to be:

1. My non stick frying pan. That thing is my baby and you will have to pry it from my cold dead hands. If friends offer to help with the cooking – great, but they’re not going anywhere near my beloved frying pan. Nothing sticks, it’s thick and heats evenly, and it’s nice and big.

2. My mini george foreman grill. Ideal for cooking sausages or chicken in a hurry, without pans and mess.

3. The two old dutch ovens my mother in law gave me last year. Judging by the design, they date back to the ’70s, and she was going to throw them away. Unlike the usual things she shows up with (usually things that became obsolete before I was even born and should really just be thrown away, which she knows but can’t be bothered to do – don’t get me wrong, she’s lovely, but her house is 4 times the size of mine and I don’t have room for it…) I was genuinely pleased with these; they’re such good quality and if I had to buy them today they would cost me an absolute fortune. She apparently never used them – but then she doesn’t like cooking!

4. My wooden breadboard/chopping board. I bought it from the local supermarket for £4, and it’s nothing special, but it was the first kitchen ‘thing’ I bought for myself, rather than was given when I moved out. I put it in our shared student kitchen because I was sick of never having space to chop anything. It’s served me well for the 5 years I’ve had it now and I like its simple utalitarian look.

molly on 4.17.2010

My Le Creuset dutch oven. Love love love.
Cooking tongs.
Caphalon saute pan (not as nice as yours).
Microwave (it’s true).
Dishwasher (like magic fairies).

Heather on 4.17.2010

So hard to narrow down…

1) Wusthof bread knife (my paring knife won’t stay sharp?)
2) Kitchen aid stand mixer
3) Silpat baking mats (NOTHING sticks to them)
4) Pampered Chef garlic press (that I finally got and it is worth the price)
5) Silicone spatulas

Anything LeCreuset
A gas stove
A double oven and…
Those cool green tongs

Lindie on 4.17.2010

My dutch oven, my kitchen scissors, the microplane and my pampered chef chopper.

Nat on 4.16.2010

My favorite kitchen things: 1. Wusthof knives. Every time my friend comes over she covets them! 2. Kitchen aid mixer. I may have bought it used on craigslist, but it was totally worth it! 3. Stainless steel pots & pans. 4. Bamboo cooking utensils. 5. Locking tongs. These babies work for everything!

Feather14 on 4.16.2010

I love my irish wooden potato masher, wooden spurtle, my wusthof 5″ santoku and granny fork.. I love finding different, unusual items for my kitchen..

Eric Childress on 4.16.2010

Wow, thank you everyone for the comments. And Jaden, it’s been an honor and pleasure creating your dream cutting boards for you. This is my utmost passion.

As for my list, I think you know what is first and foremost… I also love my 10″ Victorinox Chef knife by Forschner. It is inexpensive and keeps an edge like you wouldn’t believe. I also couldn’t do without my Kitchen Aid mixer (yes, I do like to bake) and even though it doesn’t really belong in the kitchen (indoor kitchen that is), I couldn’t do without my Weber charcoal grill…

Lezlie Davis on 4.16.2010

If I had a pair of your green locking tongs, they would be my favorite thing :-). My favorites are my Cuisinart (20+ years and still going strong), my steel gray Kitchen Aid mixer and my every size in the entire world mixing bowls.

Lisa Da Kitten Kavanaugh on 4.16.2010

I’ve seen James in the Pike Place Market, when up in Seattle for business – but I didn’t purchase any of his lovely handmade utensils and now that I live in New Orleans, I don’t get up there anymore . . . if I’d known he didn’t really have a web store, I’d have gotten some.


In any case, some of MY favorite (cooking) things are:

– Handmade pottery salt pig, with kosher salt in it.
– Wusthof knife set (including the 9″ chef’s knife and a great Santoku knife)
– My bamboo and olivewood utensils
– GINORMOUS round teak end-grain cutting board we just got for a wedding gift!

P.S. – Does Eric Childress have a website?? I LOVE black walnut cutting surfaces.

Jutta on 4.16.2010

1st: I love, love, love my All Clad pots and pans. I still have a few Revere Ware pots left, and each time I end up using one of those, it reaffirms my All Clad purchase.

2nd: My Kitchen Aid has come in so very handy. My husband is African and we end up making tings like Fufu, Banku and Kenke a lot. These involve lots of stirring, made so much easier with the maschine.

3rd: To round up my favorites, I would also have to mention my collection of Depression Glass. Whatever I cook, it looks so muich better when it is served on my Fostoria Americana patterned dishes.

4th and last (I think): My Le Creuset Fondue pot. We have cheese fondue most often, but every now and then we also use another sauce, as well as chocolate. Yumm!

Fran on 4.16.2010

Great question!!

~I love my All Clad pans … whether copper core or stainless. If I have to pick out my current fave, it’s the 3 quart copper core stainless. I use it all the time.

~I love my Le Creuset and especially my brand-spanking new “bean pot” in black. It’s a new line for us and it’s fabulous. It can be used on the stovetop, in the oven and now on the grill.

~I used a red silicone and stainless spoon for everything. I had a green one, but I wore the sucker out. Also, it eventually started to take on the color of my marinara sauce.

~I love my Epicurean board for cutting. It’s got a low profile. less than 1/2″ high so for a vertically challenged woman like me, it doesn’t add unwanted height to my cutting surface.

~And finally, I don’t know if I could live without my Global or Shun knives. I’m in love with the Japanese blade. They’re sharper out of the box at a 10º – 16º angle vs. a Western/German blade that’s sharpened to a 22º – 24º angle. Shun holds their edge amazingly well and Global are just the weight I like when I’m doing a lot of cutting.

~And then there’s the total luxury item — my SoadaStream Penguin carbonated water maker. A-Ma-Zing! No wasted plastic bottles of fizzy water and for a fraction of the cost!

Liza (Jersey Cook) on 4.16.2010

1. My All-Clad copper core/stainless steel outside 12″ skillet. I cook everything in this pan. It has amazing heat distribution and brows things quickly and beautifully. I’ve even used it to make curries and sauces because I love it so much.

2. Microplane grater. Awesome for zesting citrus, grating nutmeg, grating cheese on top of pasta and even “crushing” garlic cloves.

3. Silicone spatulas — they get every last drop out of bowls and pans.

4. My cheap and very old wooden spoon. There are probably better tools but this spoon is so nostalgic to me; I just automatically reach for it.

5. Toaster oven! I love toasted english muffins and I also use it to bake small batches of stuff so I don’t have to heat up the whole oven. It’s a huge time saver and so convenient.

Genny on 4.16.2010

My favorite kitchen item is my spider strainer. I once saw Giada using it when draining pasta and I looked all over to find one. It was really difficult to find. I always feel like “Giada” when I use it! I know that’s silly, but hey, I live in Indiana — not much to do here.

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quilts on 4.16.2010

My coffee maker! Kitchen Aid Mixer, my mother-in-law’s nickel strainer, bamboo cooking utensils, my mom’s pizelle maker, amd my pampered chef stoneware!

Lisaco on 4.16.2010

Found the cutting board website for Eric Childress if anyone else was looking!

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Stef at on 4.16.2010

My favorite things … I LOVE that song, too.

1. I LOVE my KitchenAid mixer! I wish I could it every day. (love my attachments, too… just ground chicken and WOW how easy!)
2. Pampered Chef scrappers (spatulas) – the new MegaScrapper is great for making Pioneer Woman’s chocolate cake!
3. Braun immersion blender and attachments
4. Pampered Chef stoneware (yes, “stones” – I own 7 different ones, newest is the covered casserole – LOVE IT)
5. Microfine shredder
6. Cuisinart pots and pans

I use most of the above multiple times a week.

My wish list is:
1. Le Creuset French Oven
2. Food processor – but my immersion blender’s attachments work well
3. Awesome knives
4. Awesome cutting boards

Elaine on 4.16.2010

My 1896 antique nutmeg grater is the best! Nothing better for a white sauce :)

Lisaco on 4.16.2010

I want that beautiful cutting board!! I searched online for Eric Childress cutting boards and counldn’t find anything. :( Site disabled

I love my dutch oven. Le Creuset blue. And my kitchen aid mixer which I think I’ve used so much I’m afraid the motor is going to burn out on me. I’ve had it for at least 10 years now. Good stuff.

Jody J on 4.16.2010

Favourite kitchen items:
*KitchenAid Mixer
*Pampered Chef silicone spatulas
*6″ Henckel chef’s knife
*Immersion Blender (Braun now, Bamix later!)


Erin Oscarson on 4.16.2010

my mixer stands supreme! It has all the attachments for food processing…
Then my knife set! I don’t know how I lived without Japanese knives!
4th is my pizza cutter. I know, What?! I cut everything with it! Sandwiches, pancakes, fruit leather, pasta, EVERYTHING!
5th is my wheat grinder. I LOVE it! I never thought I’d be a wheat bread girl but it is awesome!
6th is my silpat! I have the larger version as well, nothing sticks to it! Not even pie dough!

NormaB on 4.16.2010

Some of my favorites:
– KitchenAid mixer (got the bowl lift 6 quart and love it!)
– KitchenAid slicer/shredder attachment – it works wonderfully!!
– my sharp Henkels knives – wouldn’t be without them, not ever!!! (My son keeps them razor sharp for me so they really are a pleasure to use!)
– 12″ cast iron fry pan that was pre-seasoned – it’s awesome!
– my dishwasher!!!

I have 2 tongs similar to yours – they are black though and I got them for a dollar at a dollar store here in Canada. Love them!

I also have a large custom made oak cutting board – my brother made it for me about 28 years ago – it is priceless!!

Steffi on 4.16.2010

My two bamboo pampered chef wooden spoons.

My b-e-a-u-tiful Cuisinart stainless pans that my sweet Gram sent me for Christmas two years ago.

My Clorox Anywhere spray. this stuff works like better than any other cleaner I’ve tried and I can use it on my son’s highchair…it’s really magical.

My trustee garlic press.

My heavy duty food processor. This is restaurant grade quality and I use it all the time.

And of course, my Kitchen aid. Where would I be without my sturdy stand mixer?

Lynette on 4.16.2010

Now you have the song stuck in MY head too!!

1. Kitchen Aid Mixer – aka Raul
2. Bella Cuccina Rocket Blender – aka Buzz
3. My mandoline – aka Home Slice
4. My stainless steel roasting pan – aka Bernie
(I name my favorite things – they are more like kitchen friends. Plus, I’m a big dork!)