These are my current favourite items in the kitchen. Some are brand specific, some are not.
No one paid me anything in any form to note these as my favs.
1. Hand mixer
Ohh... with a KA on the counter doesn't mean I don't need this. I've been using this Philips baby since my Braun died on me in Dec 2007. Cheap at RM59, with priceless memory. I made so much good stuff with this thing. Frankly I prefer using this to make cake batter. I use the KA mostly for bread or sponge cakes, but other than that, it's all this good buddy's job. I prefer this model to Kenwood's. I've used my friend's Kenwood and my arms were 'trembling' after using hers. Because her mixer won't stop trembling and caused me to tremble too. LOL. This brand is definitely more stable. My old dead Braun was good too.
This baby has been with me since............. 1998. When I moved into a student house in Uni, staying together with OiLai, I bought this cleaver at the local crockery shop and has been using it since, until today.
If I could only choose one knife in the kitchen and elimimate others, this will be the one I keep
3. Tesco Baking Paper
It's non stick! Actually, Glad works the same, but Glad is pricey. This paper makes cookies slide off, smooth and beautiful. Even for macarons. I love this. The size and dimension is lovely to work with. Use it either way, horizontally or vertically for the baking tray is fine, either you want it to fit in or have overlaps, just turn the roll around and cut, no wastage at all. But compared to Glad, the size of Tesco's paper is bigger and more user friendly. Glad's paper is somehow, narrower. when I'm done using this paper, I just stick the roll back into the drawer. No need to fold anything like how store bought baking paper is, one big big sheet. Take note that there's another similiar looking paper roll in Tesco and that is greaseproof paper and nope, that's not it.
4. Ikea's 365 Pots
I bought the big one first, and how I loved using it. I love the measurement markings by the side. When I boil soups, I know how much the water has reduced and I know how much I should add back should it went too low. I loved the big one so much that I bought a smaller one to boil lesser amounts. It's easy to clean, plus, it's thick and heavy based, means my congee don't burn easily and cooking jam in this is fabulous. It's so much better to use than Zebra brand. LOL. I know it's not the best pot around, but it's cheap, comparatively to other heavy based pots, this is definitely worth every penny.
5. Ikea's Akut Utensil set
Cheap and nice to use. I use this very very often and I love the small size of the turner. Better than wooden spoons. At least no residual smell and no fungus.
6. Stainless Steel Strainer.
I love this baby. I bought this for RM5, quite big, 7 inches in diameter. Even though I bought other strainers at a higher price at crockery stores, but they always seem to rust and I can't trust and buy another one? This one has been following me for 10 years and it's still shiny and pretty. Cheap but good. Bought it at a RM5 shop in Midvalley but it's not Daiso.
The handle is nice to use when I want to blanch food, like noodles or vege. I can dip the whole thing into my Ikea 365 pot and blanch whatever I want
7. Corelle Dinnerware
I heard some say, scared to buy Corelle dinnerware when kids are small, scared they might break it.
LOL, well, it's because my kids are young that I bought these.
1st, they are supposed to be unbreakable, although 2 pcs did break when they came back.
The bumping of taking off and landing could be too much for these plates. So, how can the kids break these? It's safe for them to use
2nd. It's lightweight. I don't worry when my kids take this and use, it's not heavy for them.
3rd: It's safe for them. Do you want your kid's hot porridge to be ladled into a plastic bowl? Why not use a safer material like glass and Corelle is glass.
4th: These save space. I stacked 30 pcs of these into my cabinet and it only took up so little space.
I'm using these babies everyday since I moved to this house and I'm not keeping it for special occasions. It's meant for daily use. Scrub it, boil it, bake it.. just don't burn it.
8. Victorinox peeler
My aunt got me this from Switzerland, but you can get this in US too. Wondering if this is available in this region. I love this because I could peel soft fruits with this peeler that usual peelers can't do.
9. Enameled wok
I won't want to change to another type of wok, unless for very very strong reasons. I love this type of wok. I can chi chi cha cha with it, not needing to worry about it's surface and enjoy the process of stir frying. This wok also gives very good temperature control. The moment I turn down the heat, the heat goes low, the moment I crank it up, it goes up. Unlike stainless steel woks that retains heat and is so slow to heat up. And unlike cast iron woks, it doesn't rust and I wash it with soap daily. It's very light and I can just keep it anywhere. It doesn't have sticky issues provided you used oil, of course. I love this wok, love it, love it.
10. Tupperware Dish Wash
If you hate cleaning pastic ware because you can't wash it clean, squeaky clean, even after 5 soapings. Try this. After using this dish wash, I never fear washing plastic items anymore. One swipe is enough to get it clean. Hello, of course! It's made by a plastic ware company for you to clean its products, definitely it cleans plastic well. So, it' even better with non plastic ware like glass and ceramic or even stainless steel, squeaky clean!
But if you love sudsy dish wash, then skip this. This is low in suds and even when you see no suds, it's cleaning power is still good. If you are using this and it's very sudsy, then you are really wasting it by using too much.
******************************************************************************Your Questions Answered
Not many asked. And no one asked questions about me Wendy, except about the kitchen and house. So, don't send me emails asking about 'me' again. *Jokingla* I know you all are shy :)
Here's the few who asked questions that should be shared with all.
1. Jes's Deli Kitchen
Q:I'm wondering how often you clean your kitchen
A: No time frame. Whenever it's dirty. But I do clean up the work area properly each time after use.
Q1: Just wondering, what did u put in the cabinet on top of the hood? So high to reach...
A1: Nothing, yet. My carpenter told me to make a cabinet there to hide the hood's piping.
Q2: And the utensils, do u wash them before every use? Cuz hard to stop lizards crawling by leh.
A2: What you don't see, don't smell don't exist. LOL. So far no signs of lizards there, lizards will always leave souvenirs. I use them daily, wash them at night, drip dry oredi throughout the night, then use again in the morning
Q3: How do u clean your marble table after each use? U know sometimes its so oily after shaping bread dough.. and how do u clean it before using?
A3: With a clean wet towel? Marble tops are easy to clean. Rinse the cloth a few times. Use hot towel if it's too oily. Not ideal to use soap often (still can use but not often) on them as marble is porous. If they can absorb the soap, so can they release it out on your dough
. I grew up with a marble table at home, and that was how we cleaned it all the time
Q: Still wonder how you manage a clean house with 3 kids without a maid!!...
A: Don't come to my house w/o warning. LOL. You'll scare me. My house is like a warzone. I get fed up cleaning the hall cos each time the girls wake up, it's all in a mess again. I only sweep when neccessary, mop when neccessary. Not daily. Can die if daily. Luckily my hubby didn't complain, cos if he did, pergi buat sendiri la! LOL
And before I close this week, There are some stuff I would like to add. It seems that some of you are interested to know the reasons why I did my kitchen my way.
1. 3sinks, if you noticed ;)
2 sinks for oily stuff and is placed at the work area. One is for non oily stuff like cups and milk bottles and is placed at the drinks section so that the person cooking is not disturbed and of course, the single sink is always cleaner for milk prep. And always place them infront of the window for maximum sunlight. Sinks placed in dark areas tend to grow mould easily, very very easily. I hated my old ktichen sink. Scrubbed it almost daily to remove mould, so does the tiles around it.
2. Bookshelf in Kitchen
I need cookbooks near me when I need them, not thatI want to run far to get them, or walk far to return them to their original spot. But take note to place them far from the stove area.
3. Big and deep sink
I hate it when it splashes when I wash the wok. So, get a deep huge sink for all you wokkers.
4. Drying rack for pots and basins
A dish drainer isn't enough. So, I added a pot rack on top of the dish drainer to dry my pots, basins and Tupperware.
5. No cabinets above rice cooker/slow cooker area.
Take note that the steam emitted during the cooking process might spoil the cabinet , so, I didn't put any cabinets above the work area as I planned to have my rice cooker and slow cooker there.
6. Dish Cabinet
I placed this as close as possible to where I drain my dishes. Don't want to walk far to keep them
7. Drawers and Cabinets for snacks and drinks.
All placed near the single tap. Convenient and reduces walking :)
Most of all, shouldn't disrupt the person who is cooking
8. Counter height and drawer height
Make sure the counter is at a height that you feel comfortable with. My old house's counter was too low and made my back ache whenever I do a lot of dishes. I prefer to have my pelvic bone rested against the counter so that I feel comfortable leaning to the front.
I also measured my containers so that I know how tall my tall my drawers should be. It's not good to have drawers only to find out later, your containers can't fit in.
I also measured the height of my tallest book and gave the carpenter a minimum height to work with.
9. Storage spaces suitably filled according to function.
I place sauces and oil in a slim cabinet at my food prep area. Dry ingredients and spices also should be at the same area. Usually in modern kitchens, the bottles are places in a draw out wire rack, but it was toooooooooo expensive to be installed. So, I had my 5kg oil measured out and told the carpenter to do like the cheapest way, that is to make shelves, LOL
10. The fridge.
I'm particular about the door. I don't like storage on doors to waste space. So, I selected my fridge based on space utilization. My previous fridge, Kelvinator, I hated it, I didn't buy it, ok. The racks were poorly designed and wasted a lot of space. The racks on the doors can hardly put a bottle of peanut butter, only jams and slim bottles. And so so wasteful. I hated it.
So far this fridge served me well, and my hubby loves the ice making feature. It creates ice in just 2-3 hours cos there's an air outlet at the ice cubes area.And all the ice cubes comes off easily with a twist. Doesn't get stuck to the container.
11. Location of Oven (added at 3.25pm)
Sometimes, I burn things in the oven. Yeah, I do.
Especially if you make roast pork
, the moment you open the oven door, the kitchen becomes heaven. Foggy! Takes a long time for the smoke to dissipate. The house smells like 'urggh!'. With that foggy experience of making roast pork
, I told myself, the oven must be near the window or the door, so that the smoke and smell can go away easily. Or at least near the kitchen hood. If you watch Fresh with Anna Olsen or French Cooking at Home with Laura Calder, take notice of their ovens, it's near the door or window.
Another item to consider: Recycling spot
Actually the space under the stove is used to keep recyclable items. Since the gas tank is there, it's not nice to keep other things, so keep old milk tins, glass botttles, PET bottles and plastic bags. You won't want to peep into the garbage cabinet, LOL. But we do have to start recycling, if not, our children will suffer.
Now, can you imagine the look on my carpenter's face when he was doing my kitchen? Tension!!! Even drawers have a designated height! LOL. He told me, this is the most complicated kitchen that he has ever done in small town KK, simply because the rest just give him free hand whereas I had my own design in mind.