Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kitchen Basics

Along with what I think are the positive aspects of living in NYC- a seemingly endless variety of amazing restaurants, there are a few negatives- finding the space to live comfortably in a small apartment. I have lived in NYC since I left Buffalo for college well over a decade ago. Through the years I have learned to scale back my belongings (albeit hesitantly) and have grown accustomed to my tiny kitchen. While I would love to make room for every kitchen appliance sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, I don't think it would be very practical (I suppose it makes more sense to store coats in the closet rather than an oversized margarita maker). No matter how small my kitchen is, I always make room in the cupboards or on the counter for a few cherished essentials. This list of kitchen basics are the tools I could never do without:

1. Wusthof's Santoku knife. This sharp knife is my favorite for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
2. Le Creuset's panini press and skillet grill. When I use this versatile tool I love to pretend I'm grilling outdoors (the smoke detector always brings me back from my fantasy). I use it to grill meats for a quick dinner and to make crunchy paninis for lunch.
3. Breville's handheld cordless blender. This immersion blender makes it easy to whip up healthy smoothies, and puree homemade soups and sauces.
4. Emile Henry's salt pig filled with coarse sea salt. I love the taste of salt and this tool keeps it easily accessible at all times.
5. A Microplane with a comfortable handle. Grating/zesting taste enhancers like ginger, lemon, cheese, or nutmeg and the accompanying clean-up becomes effortless when using a Microplane.
6. Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. If it were socially acceptable I would happily subsist on a diet of cookies. With 175 cookie recipes and gorgeous mouth-watering pictures, this cookbook is a must-have for anyone who loves to bake.

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