"We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say, I love." We must put that love into a living action, and how do we do that? By giving until it hurts." Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Cooking Essentials

Cooking Entry

I think there are essentials for anyone’s kitchen-well anyone who likes to cook. If you would rather eat out or have it delivered you will probably find this blog boring. By essentials I mean the tools. I don’t really have any brand recommendations, but I do believe that this is one room where I purchase the best because well I don’t want to replace it any time soon. I have found that this usually translates to buying name brand items and doing research. These are things that I currently own or one day hope to own.

So let’s begin…

  • An awesome knife set. I think if I were to ask my dad what essential kitchen items one needed this would be in his top two. My parents have had the same knife set for 30 years.
  • A cast iron skillet. I recently got one for Christmas from my cousin Ryan. And well I’m in love. Seriously what can’t this pan do? This is a relatively inexpensive purchase, and if cared for properly it will last FOREVER! If you have never owned one you need to research how to care for it.
  • Various measuring utensils. I have two sets of measuring cups, and a four cup liquid measuring cup please measuring spoons. These are all pretty much the same, but I like have variety.
  • Nonstick pots and pans. These just make life a lot easier. But they are a high care item. Don’t ever use metal inside of them-I did this with my dad’s pan a long time ago, and well let’s just say I still remember him yelling at me… also don’t use brillo any sort of abrasive scrubber on them. I started having kitchen rules meetings with my roommates in college and I felt myself using the same phrases my dad used that evening he caught me using a metal spoon on his pan.
  • Various size cutting boards. I have a small, medium, and large. All of them are plastic. I haven’t decided if wood is better or not. I am currently happy with my plastic ones.
  • Cookie sheets/muffin tins/cake pans/etc. I use these all of the time. Not always for sweets.
  • Parchment paper/silicone mats. I recently purchased the silicone mats and I will not use parchment paper unless I am making bacon in the oven. They are a little pricey, but well worth it. They can be used at higher temperature baking and they are reusable.
  • Cooking Utensils. I have so many spoons, spatulas, tongs in metal, plastic, rubber and wood. I learned what to use and when just by trial and error. My parents have been using the same wooden spoon for eons. Seriously eons.
  • Food Processor. I have a little one-it is green. I prefer the smaller one because it is easier to store, and I don’t ever need to chop up that much stuff at one time.
  • Standing Mixer. I got one from my mom three years ago for Christmas. She is green, and I named her Georgia. This year I also purchased the ice cream attachment. And yes, it is a KitchenAid, and as far as I am concerned there is no other standing mixer worth buying.

I think this sums up what I use most often in my kitchen, and things that I want most for my kitchen. I could probably write pages on just the tools for kitchen use, but I am a total kitchen geek.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I have started running. (cue gasps)

Like many people in my life I have started the couch to 5k. My first official 5k run will be Race for a Cure. I have participated in one way or another (some years I had to do sleep for a cure because of school stuff) in this for the past 13 years. This will be year 14.

My countdown to the race is 13 weeks and 3 days. Which is great because we (my sister and I) are currently training inside.

We go to the gym three times a week to run. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday or Saturday. I am also picking up a water aerobics class that meets Saturday mornings.

Today I started week 3 day 1. It kicked my ass.
5 minute warm-up
Two repetitions of the following: jog for 1.5 minutes walk for 1.5 minutes then jog for 3 minutes and walk for 3 minutes.

Weeks 1 and 2 were pretty easy minimal sweating but kept my heart rate up. Today was sweaty, and brutal.

I bought an app to help keep track and it will sync to my playlist. It is the active.com couch to 5k app. There are different "trainers" my sister consistently uses Sergeant Block, and I have been using him for the most part. Really I got it because I can use my own music. But there are plenty of podcasts to help keep you moving.

My goal to continue to hold myself accountable is to post after each run (within 24 hours), which is just for posterity. I also have a habit of photographing my distance on the treadmill. So here is my summary.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I have a nook now, and well I love it-for the most part. I do miss folding down corners of pages when I am leaving the book, and breaking the spine. I really abuse my books. I obviously can't do that with my nook. However some pros..

1. I can get books from the library on to my nook-granted it did take me two days to figure it out.
2. I can carry a lot more books on the nook than if they were real books
3. I can download free samples of books I am interested in.
4. I can organize them into shelves (I know this is possible with regular books, but with the nook the categories are endless!)

So here are the books I have read on my nook, that I would def recommend for others-It is only three books, but I am reading many right now.

1. "Cross Bones" Kathy Reichs.
The TV series "Bones" is based on these novels. I can tell you that the novels and the show are complete opposites. As far as I can tell the similarities consist of the main character's name, and her job-everything else is different.

2. "It Sucked and then I Cried. How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita" by Heather B. Armstrong
I am finally starting to venture into nonfiction. For the most part sticking to humor related items. This one is about a woman who had a baby and ended up checking into the mental ward (is there a better term? if so sorry for my lack of knowledge of what it would be) for postpartum depression. It was hilarious! I have no babies, so of course I know nothing of postpartum depression, but I could not stop reading it.

3. "Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Answer" by Jancee Dunn
This is another hilarious nonfiction selection. It is all about her family, and how involved they are in each others' lives.