Fresh from the Oven: Must Have Baking Tools

Hello All!!!

With all of my recent food posts, I thought I would share some of my favorite tools in the kitchen.  First up, the baking tools.  I went through my cabinets and found a few items that I cannot function without.  I'm sure there are more things that should be listed, but these are the first ones that came to mind.  (I am providing links the Amazon pages that I could find for these items...though many of them can be bought at any kitchen supply store)

First up, my Silicone Zone mat.  I have never liked silicone baking pans, but this mat is a must!  My Sister-in-law bought it for me years ago, and I use it on a weekly basis.  I use mine mostly for rolling out dough, and not for actual baking in the oven.  I also use my Memere's old Tupperware mat (you know, the one with the pie crust sizes on it), but the downside to that mat is that it rolls for storage and tends to curl when I am using it.  This silicone mat grips my counter top perfectly and is just the right size for the projects I do.

If there is one item sold on television commercials that is worth trying, it is the Ove Glove!!  Our Aunt bought these for us a few years ago for Christmas, and as you can see from the photo, they are well worn!!  I find regular potholders to be clumsy and difficult to work with.  These gloves are awesome!  Occasionally we feel heat come through the gloves, but it is usually when we are dealing with hot meat pans, and there's no doubt in my mind that a pot holder would have failed much sooner.  As someone who has put these through the ringer, I suggest you get yourself a pair...they typically come one to a package, but are well worth buying two!

Oh Parchment Paper...how do I love thee?!  I'll be honest, I never used to use parchment paper.  To me, it was one more expense on the grocery bill that I didn't see a need for.  Instead, I wasted a lot of money on burnt cookies, and dish soap used to scrub baked on food off of my baking sheets.  Finally, after a batch of hockey pucks burnt Whoopie Pies, I gave in and bought myself a roll.  Now, it is truly my best friend in the kitchen.  I always line my baking pans with it, whether I am baking cookies, heating up chicken nuggets, or making some dish that involves oozing cheese.  I also find myself grabbing it when I do small craft projects with Hannah.  All in all, this is a winner in my book!!

If you watch Good Eats with Alton Brown, you've likely seen a Metric Wonder Cup (or something just like it) before.  I say that because that's where we first became introduced to this kitchen life-saver!  When my husband bought one at a local kitchen supply store, I thought it was a waste of money...WRONG!!!  This little guy has saved me so many times in the kitchen.  What is so amazing about it?  Have you ever tried to get molasses out of a measuring cup, or honey, or syrup?  Not fun, right?  How about when you measure mayo or shortening, only to find that there was an air bubble in the cup and you don't know how much you really measured out?  This little gadget solves all of those problems.  You pull the two pieces apart until they line up at the amount you need.  Then you add your ingredients to the top, and push the yellow part like a plunger to add your ingredients to your mixing bowl.  The top of the yellow portion is flat, so you can scrape it off with a spatula and you haven't missed any of the ingredient you're working with.  It is genius!!  The pieces then come apart, so you can wash them easily.  So handy!!

If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer, then you can stop reading here.  You don't need to hear me go on and on about how wonderful this item is...you already know it!!  For those who have never felt the power of a Kitchen-Aid...oh man, are you missing out!!  As a child, my Mom had a Sunbeam mixer that she used daily.  It had a bowl that spun, and the smell...how do I describe it?  Burnt motor perhaps?  My Mom used her mixer so much that I think it could rival Jillian Michaels in a workout!  Then she discovered Kitchen-Aid, and has turned all of us into converts along the way. 

My Mom bought me my mixer as a wedding present, and I am so thankful!!  These bad boys aren't cheap, but once you use one, you'll know that they are worth every penny!!  Mine is a Professional model, though they come in all sorts of price points, sizes, colors, and styles.  Personally, I like the drop bowl, rather than the tilting head, so that narrows down the model options.  With all of the available attachments, there isn't much this mixer can't do.  Stay tuned to the blog this summer, when we put ours to the test and make sausage...then we're going to smoke it in hubby's smoker...mmmm...I'm salivating at the thought!!!

Finally, the gadget that I cannot bake without is my telephone.  Oh, and the speed-dial preset that calls my Mom.  She is the reason why I bake, and she has bailed me out of so many culinary blunders over the years!  I love going home for the holidays and baking with her.  I always learn so much and we have so much fun!!  Many of my best recipes come from her, and I am so grateful!!!

So, there you have it, my Must-Have list of baking tools.  Feel free to comment with any of your favorites, as I am always looking for new gadgets to try out!!

Cheers and Happy Baking!


Jenny Hill said...

Hi Sharon,
I found your blog through Kids in Cowtown.

Looks great - I look forward to reading some of your past posts).

The main reason I came over to your blog though was in regards to the book post you did on Kids in Cowtown, however not because of the book itself, but because of the BEAUTIFUL blanket the book was photographed on.

Are you selling that blanket? I ask because we are currently dealing with my 4 year old daughter's blankie is falling apart and I know she would LOVE that one.

You can email me at: jenny.hill@shaw.ca


Teresa said...

Hey Sharon...
I saw those gloves and said I know where those came from;-) You certainly are busy with your blogs! I am finding them very entertaining. (I just joined Ravlry!)