In life, there are some things you just can’t live without – like those ripped sweatpants that are just too darn comfortable to get rid of, or that artesian water you have flown in by hot air balloon from Bjork’s personal waterfall in Reykjavik. Okay, I totally made the water thing up.
So here it is, a list of some things in my kitchen that I just cannot live without. Click on the images above for a GIANT view.
No. 1 Blue Bottle Coffee If you’re from the San Francisco area you know what Blue Bottle Coffee is because you’ve probably waited in those loooong lines to grab a cup of some the best coffee ever. Blue Bottle roasts their coffee in vintage gear in Oakland California, packing it in compostable bags, shipping it to customers within 48 hours. Have Blue Bottle shipped to your door here.
No. 2 Organic Coconut Oil: Have you heard? Coconut oil is all the rage. And for good reason: helps lower cholesterol, increases immunity, aids in digestion, and better yet, slather it on your hair for beautifully shiny locks. Virgin oil is great because it imparts a nice coconut flavor even after cooking. This oil retails for about $5.99 at Trader Joe’s, but you can find it at most specialty stores or Whole Foods. Just make sure you buy the virgin organic unrefined kind.
No. 3 Smoked Sea Salt: This stuff is good – coarse sea salt that’s been smoked over a wood fire. Use it on fish, meats, soups, and lends a nice smoky aroma to vegetables of all kinds. Find it at specialty stores or Whole Foods for about $6.00
No. 4 Staub Cookware: I treated myself this past Christmas and bought this beautiful and oh so practical oval enamel cast iron pot from France that will most likely outlive me. I’m in love. Find this Staub 5 3/4 quart Coq Au Vin pot online at Amazon or Williams-Sonoma for around $200. A must have for those serious cooks.
No. 5 Brown Sugar Spice Cookies: I’ve had this crumpled, stained recipe lying around for years - think it I found on the back of a butter package or something. It’s so easy and yields a delicious chewy cookie that my kids ask me to make at least once a week. Yes, we eat lots of cookies around here. Don’t judge. Scroll down for recipe.
No. 6 Oxo Ricer: If you’re like me and loathe lumpy starchy mashed potatoes, this ricer is for you. After trying and returning or throwing away several lousy ricers, I stumbled upon this beauty. It can be yours for about twenty bucks at Sur La Table, Bloomingdale’s, Williams Sonoma or Target. It’s super sturdy and can be thrown right into the dishwasher after your mashed potato madness party.
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth and creamy. You can also do this by hand to make your muscles bigger.
- Add egg and beat well.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a separate bowl and mix well. Add this to the butter mixture and beat until everything is mixed well.
- With either a small ice cream scoop (one that measures 2 tsp) or a large tablespoon, drop onto parchment paper or a Silpat lined cookie sheet. Make sure cookies are 2 inches apart.
- Bake until the edges are brown - roughly 8 to 10 minutes.
- Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.