Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some of my favorite kitchen tools...

A few of my favorite tools that I would have a difficult time doing without:
  • KitchenAid Mixer: I love my KitchenAids. I actually have 3--two of the K45 (tilt-head) models and one of the larger K5S (bowl lift) models. At one time I had four, but one died from over-use. I still have the bowl that I use when I need an extra one. Some of my friends swear by their Bosch mixers, but for what I do, for all of my mixing and cooking/baking needs, I wouldn't use anything except a KitchenAid. I prefer my tilt-head models because I think they are easier to use, but I use my bowl lift model when I need a little more power and a larger bowl.
  • Pampered Chef silicone scrapers: I have several--classic scrapers, skinny scrapers, and mix 'n scraper. They are heavy-duty. The heads won't crack, stain, or melt, and handles will not separate from the heads (which makes them easier to clean and more sanitary). They are much more flexible than the old traditional rubber scrapers, and you can use them for mixing or stirring things on the stove.
  • Pampered Chef Handy Scraper: I use this to divide my bread doughs, as well as clean off my counter tops.
  • Pampered Chef Bamboo Spoons: They come in a set of three different sizes. These are very sturdy and you can use them to mix or cook on stove top. They are easy to clean-just pop in the dishwasher.
  • Heavy aluminum bun pans and pan liners: I have six of the half size. You can usually purchase them at Sam's or Costco in the 2-pack. I use these for making my rolls, cinnamon rolls, cookies, desserts, candies, appetizers, etc., etc. I always use silicone treated parchment pan liners when using my pans. Using the pan liners makes the clean up allot easier and helps your products to bake more evenly. My pans are as shiny today as when I purchased them about 20 years ago...because I use the pan liners. You can also re-use the liners if whatever you baked is not too messy...just wipe them off.
  • Stainless steel cookie scoops: I have 2 sizes--one small and one a bit larger. These are a must for quick cookie baking and uniform size.
  • Cake saw: I use this for slicing off the rounded tops from my cakes to make them level, and for splitting the layers when I add fillings. It is serrated and much longer than a regular knife, making it easy to use on larger cake layers.
  • Silicone pasty brush: I have 3 of these. They are much better than the old bristle brushes, because they are more flexible and much easier to clean, making them more sanitary. You can just toss them in the dishwasher.
  • Heavy-duty aluminum cake pans: I have many of various shapes, sizes, and quantities. I only use the heavy-duty pans. Your cakes will bake more evenly, and turn out moister. You can make your own pan coating by combining equal amounts of oil and flour. Stir until smooth and stir before each use. Store in cupboard and spread on cake pans with a foam craft brush.

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