Friday Five – in the Kitchen

Friday Five

Welcome to my new weekly series!!  Every Friday I hope to provide a look at 5 of my favorites in different areas of my life.  This week we’re talking kitchen favorites!  It’s one place that I spend a lot of time so I figured it would be a great place to start!  So what are my five favorites in my kitchen?  Here’s the scoop:

1.  Vitamix

Okay, I know this machine is an investment, but it’s seriously one of the best investments I’ve ever made.  This guy gets used at least daily in my house.  I use mine to make nut butters, hummus, soups, smoothies, banana-based ice cream, and so much more!  It’s so easy, too.  My 12 year old has learned how to make his own smoothies, too.  It’s great because he thinks he’s getting a treat, like a milkshake, but it’s so much better for him.

Vitamix

2.  A big cutting board

I chop a ton of veggies each week and for a long time was using small plastic, dishwasher safe type cutting boards.  They slid around the counter, food pushed off the edge, and they just weren’t big enough.  I finally took the plunge and purchased a large wood cutting board with a nice groove around the edge.  This thing doesn’t move when I’m chopping foods, juices get caught in the groove, and it’s big enough to hold piles of chopped vegetables and still have room to work on it.  Maintenance on it is easy, too.  Every 50 or so uses, I wash it up really good, let it dry, then give it a good coating of oil.  It even looks nice enough to leave out on the island counter when it’s not being used.

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3.  Spiralizer

I was a little hesitant to take the plunge and make this purchase.  It takes up a big of storage space and I wasn’t sure how much I would use it.  I was worried it would not hold up to long term use, and end up going in the trash.  Let me say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this one!  So much so, that I even bought one for my mom!  I have mostly used my spiralizer to make noodles out of zucchini, but recently I tried carrots and sweet potatoes.  The carrots were more work than it was worth, since you need really fat carrots to produce “noodles”.  Next time I’ll just stick to shredding my carrots.  The sweet potatoes however were awesome!  There’s all sorts of things you can do with the sweet potato noodles.  Last week I steamed them and topped them with marinara sauce as I was carb loading for my marathon.  You could also make curly fries out of them or different side salads.  My favorites recipes for the zucchini are Skinnytaste’s Kung Pao Chicken for two, and Chicken Zoodle Soup.  I can’t remember where I found the recipe for the soup, but you could easily just use your favorite Chicken Noodle Soup recipe and swap out the noodles for zoodles.

Spiralizer

4.  My recipe collection

I love trying new recipes and I was having a hard time finding a way to organize them all.  I found this idea on Pinterest that uses a binder with pocket folders and protective sleeves.  When I find a recipe I want to try, it goes in the pocket folder until I get a chance to test it out.  If the recipe passes the test, I then pop it into a protective sleeve and add it to the section it belongs.  Next time when I go to make the recipe, I just pull out the recipe in the protective sleeve.  This keeps my papers clean since it can get a little messy when I’m cooking. There are a ton of ideas on Pinterest for this.  Mine is pretty basic but it works for me!

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5. New Orleans – always in my heart trivet
My husband and I found this trivet on one of our past trips to NOLA at the flea market. I love the picture and the simplicity of it. There is truly a piece of my heart in NOLA. My very first trip to the crescent city was at a time in my life where lots of things were changing. That trip in particular showed me I had the strength I needed to make the necessary decisions and actions.

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Do you have any kitchen favorites? What about any kitchen flops? I’m imagining some as seen on tv contraptions.

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