A few of my favorite things . . .

Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mitten;
Brown paper packages tied up with string;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Okay, I do love The Sound of Music, but that's not what this page is about. These are some of my favorite kitchen things. If you need a good hostess gift or a gift for a friend who loves to cook, consider getting one of these. And please, if you have a favorite item for your kitchen that you don't see listed here, tell me about it!

8 - Stylus Pens by Teviwin. Okay, so not a kitchen item, but these are great. Not only are they good styluses (stylii???), but the pen writes well too. The come in many awesome colors. I bought a box for myself then another box to give away to family and friends.

7 - Mario Batali's 5 piece measuring prep bowl set. These little things have a halfway line on the inside, so you can measure 1/8th of a cup as well as 1/4th of a cup in the smallest one; then 1 cup or 2 cups in the largest one. I use these for both measuring and prep. I leave one in my canister of oatmeal so I can quickly measure that. I use them for measuring chocolate chips in cookie dough, rice, or any dry ingredient like that. I also use them for prep work. If my recipe uses a bunch of spices to be added later, I go ahead and measure them (with measuring spoons) all into one prep bowl. Then it's easy to add when the time is right.

6 - Oxo angled measuring cups: 2 cups and 1/4 cup. This thing makes measuring liquids a piece of cake. You don't have to squat down to read from the side. There is a cool way you can see from the top. And even better than the 2 cups one is the 1/4 cup one. Who finds it easy to measure 2 tablespoons of olive oil using measuring spoons. You either feel like you haven't filled it to the top or you spill it as you're measuring. This has markings for 1, 2, 3, or 4 tablespoons. (Did you know there are 4 tablespoons in a quarter cup? And as long as we're at it, do you know how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon? Three!)

5 - Mixing bowls from IKEA - The best thing about them is that they're lightweight. Pound cake batter is really heavy, but it's a piece of cake (har har) to pour it in your pan with this bowl.

4 - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a Microplane! - I love this fine rasp grater mostly for zesting limes (for my curried tofu) and for grating parmesan. There's nothing like freshly grated parmesan. No green cans here!
3 - Le Creuset Salt Crock - Did you ever want to be like the chefs on tv who just take a pinch of salt to add to their food? Now you can! But the better reason to get a salt crock is when baking. It's so much easier to get a teaspoon of salt when you can scoop and sweep off the excess instead of trying to pour from the morton can

2 - Oxo cookie scoops - It's the kind of thing I thought you'd only really see on cookie shows, but you will be shocked at how useful these things are. I use the small ones for good ol' regular sized cookies and my mini-biscuits. I use the large one for regular biscuits and GIANT cookies. You're supposed to grease it for biscuits, but it releases so well that I've noticed that sometimes I forget to grease it but it doesn't matter. It's great for kids making cookies because it defines the size and you don't end up with tiny cookies and giant ones on the same baking sheet (making it impossible to get the cooking time right). I just read a recipe for chicken and dumplings. The large scoop would be perfect for those dumplings!

1 - Oxo small wisk (or is it whisk?) - I know everyone has a wisk, but everyone needs a small one. Have you ever tried to wisk the stuff all the way at the edges of the pan? It's impossible to get there . . . unless you have a small wisk. Then you really can get to every hiding place in your pan. This is crucial to be able to make a roux. So, this oxo small 9-inch wisk is my favorite.