So if you read yesterday's post, you know that I had another bad experience with cake making. I tried to make this simple cake and it stuck to the pan. The post warns of sticking, so I feel like I sprayed 1/4 of the can of cooking spray in the pan - a high quality pan at that. Next time, I will spray 1/2 the can - anything to make it not stick because the remnants were SO good!
Since I don't have the cake for you today, I thought I would share my summer kitchen staples with you today. I've never been much of a gadget girl when it comes to kitchen stuff (although I love perusing kitchen supply stores to look at them). However, I find that in the summer there are some things I use in the kitchen more so than any other season during the year...
ONE: WORKING GLASSES: If you've been following me for the last few months, you might have noticed that I am on a smoothie and juice kick right now. That's why I love these glasses! The lids make them perfect for storing leftover smoothies and juices. They are also great for storing smoothies that you make ahead of time for the next morning or day.
TWO: MARKET BAG: Attending farmers markets in the summers is one of my favorite things to do. Having a dedicated bag not only keeps things organized, but is also better for the environment than the plastic bags they often distribute at markets. Charleston just happens to have a FABULOUS farmers market, so I especially love this bag!
THREE: HERB SCISSORS: Chopping fresh herbs can sometimes bruise them and deflate the freshness, so cutting them with scissors is always best.
FOUR: MIXING BOWLS: Mixing bowls are essential year-round, but I use them more often in the summer to mix salads, fruits, dressings and dips.
FIVE: MANDOLIN: Speaking of salads, if I'm looking to make it look its finest, I use the mandolin to safely make uniform slices of carrots, radishes, onions, cucumbers, etc. It's also perfect for making homemade crudités for summer parties.
SIX: MINI COLANDER: My mini colander has a permanent home beside my sink in the summers. I use it to rinse smaller servings of fruits, greens, vegetables and herbs.
SEVEN: POPSICLE MOLDS: Have you made your own popsicles before?? If not, you should. The process is so much more fun than picking out pre-made popsicles from your grocers freezer. The kiddos love the process as well.
EIGHT: CHEF'S KNIFE: A really good knife is incredibly essential, especially in the summer. A good knife makes chopping fresh fruits and vegetables so much easier - and safer I might add. If you had to choose between buying a boxed knife set or just one knife, I would honestly start with one chef's knife. I have a boxed set and use the chefs knife about 90% of the time.
NINE: VITAMIX: My apologies if you are sick of me talking about my Vitamix! But I absolutely LOVE it. In the summers, it's the perfect tool for blending fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables into smooth concoctions. I never have any pieces of spinach stuck in between my teeth or swallow any chunks of unblended fruit. I wish it were cheaper, but at the end of the day I can honestly say that it's worth every penny.
TEN: STOVETOP GRILL: Am I the only person who doesn't own an outdoor grill?? Probably so. But I don't feel like I'm missing out. I use this cast iron stovetop grill to grill meats and vegetables year-round, but more so in the summer. I still get the grill marks and the smoky flavor that a normal grill produces. Quick clean up, too!
ELEVEN: MORTAR & PESTLE: This takes handmade to the next level! Put a handful of fresh spinach or basil and a little garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts in this thing and take out the day's frustrations as you grind them all together. You'll end up with a fabulous fresh pesto. A mortar and pestle is also great for making fresh guacamole and spice rubs for meats that are headed for the grill.
TWELVE: VEGETABLE PEELER: A true, simple essential. I peel everything from tomatoes to potatoes to carrots to peaches. Can't live without this thing!
What are your summer kitchen staples?? I'd love to hear!