My Wednesday Wishlist is a collection of things I’m lusting after at the moment ie: books I’d like to read, restaurants I’d like to try, recipes to add to my repertoire and a whole bunch of pretty things I want to buy, (but probably shouldn’t.)
Butternut Squash Muffins
Basque Country: A Culinary Journey
- I spotted these pretty little knives on Instagram. They’re made by a company called Tied. Tied makes affordable, light-hearted designs for around the home. I love everything on their website! Check them out!
- Bon Appetit posted this butternut squash, coconut muffin recipe and I immediately added it to my “to do” list this week. I’ll let you know how they turn out.
- I’m toying around with purchasing a donabe pot. They’re so beautiful but I also don’t have a ton of extra storage in my kitchen. Let me know in the comments if you think it’s worth it.
- Pizzana, omg this place is so good. I’ve been once but I’m dying to go back!
- Potential cookbook club contender?
If it’s your first time moving into your own space the thought of getting everything you need for your kitchen can be pretty daunting. It’s really easy to go down the aisles of Target and fill you cart with tons of junk you aren’t really going to use. For most of us, the space in our kitchen cabinets comes at a premium, so don’t clutter it with useless gadgets and space taking appliances. Even if you have an established kitchen, it’s a good idea to take stock of what you have, what you use regularly, and more importantly what you don’t.
Working in professional kitchens will teach you very quickly to only keep the bare essentials. The last thing you want to be doing during a busy service is fumbling through your tools looking for the right spoon or spatula. In fact most professionals can go into dinner service with just a few spoons. Less is most definitely more!
Below I’m listing my favorite kitchen must haves and a few things to clear out the clutter!
- Knife sharpener: Whatever kind you like. A sharpening stone is the best option but to be honest, I ‘aint got time for that, and I was never really that great at it. I run my knife through a cheap table top sharpener and it works wonders. It was also less that $15!
- One Good quality, sharp AF, chefs knife: Skip the large knife sets or block o’ knives on the kitchen counter.
- One cheap pairing knife: Don’t spend more than $10. Replace it as needed.
- Microplane: I use it for everything, zesting citrus, grating garlic or cheese.
- A cast iron pan: Mine lives on top of my stove. I use it daily!
- Parchment paper sheets + industrial plastic wrap: After using parchment and plastic wrap in a professional kitchens I cannot deal with the grocery store equivalent. Do yourself a favor and pick up plastic and parchment at your local restaurant supply store. Bonus: it will probably last you a few years!
- Mandolin: I use mine all. the. damn. time!
- 2 Cutting boards: Yes, you really need two. No, you don’t need a whole stack of beat up old cutting boards. One should be for raw meat, and fish. Choose plastic for this or any other non-porous material that won’t trap bacteria. The second is for everything else. I have a pretty wooden one that lives on my counter top, choose any kind you like.
- Kitchen Towels: I keep a few pretty ones out for display and the rest are plain white square towels. You can get them at any kitchen supply store, and they’re super cheap! Use them for grabbing hot trays out of the oven or cleaning up spills. They really come in really handy and you don’t have to be too concerned about dirtying them, just bleach the hell out of them, or toss ’em when they get too gross.
- A well stocked pantry: More to come on this later.
Non-Essentials – Things to purge!
- Gimmicky Gadgets! I took a stroll through William Sonoma not too long ago and was LOL’ing over all the useless gadgets they sell! Kale strippers, garlic peelers, banana slicers, these things are the reason your kitchen drawer gets stuck when you try to open/close it. Skip ‘em! I’m happy to provide a tutorial on de-stemming kale for anyone that needs it.
- Old, scratched, damaged, non stick pans. This is something I see often in clients homes. Not only does a non stick pan completely lose its functionality when it becomes scratched, it can actually leach toxins into your food. Hell no. Get rid of it ASAP.
- A Knife Block. Don’t spring for the over-priced set with fifteen knives you’re never going to use. Stick to a chef’s knife, a pairing knife and a bread knife. Thats really all you need.
- Unused appliances: Not using that bread maker anymore? Donate it. Still have a George Foreman Grill? Donate it. Remember when at-home panini presses were a thing? Thats what your cast iron pan is for! Donate, donate, donate!
Let me know in the comments below what your kitchen essentials are!
This quick appetizer is so easy to throw together. It’s great all on its own, or as an extra special addition to your next cheese plate or crudités board. I serve it with homemade crostini; slice baguette on an angle, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, and toast for 10mins at 350, or until golden brown. I suggest making a double batch and tossing some with fresh pasta and roasted broccolini for a super simple mid-week dinner. The possibilities are endless!
6oz of high quality feta cheese, drained from brine.
1/4 olive oil
1 fresno chili, sliced or 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbs chopped herbs (any that you like)
zest of one lemon
pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Marinate all ingredients together in a bowl for at least one hour and up to 1 week. Serve with crostini.