Friday, March 19, 2021

New Additions to My Kitchen

New Additions to My Kitchen

While we've been in lockdown my focus has gradually started to lean towards things that can be enjoyed at home, whether that be decor, food, wine or entertainment. It makes sense since we've been in lockdown more often than not for over a year now, working here, living here and having all our time off here. Lately I've had the opportunity to upgrade some things in our kitchen or invest in some items I've always wanted, but could never justify. It helps that I just celebrated my 40th birthday, so I asked for lots of foodie gifts, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a bit of a kitchen shopping spree lately. These are some of the things I've added to my kitchen and I'm already finding they add immense value to my time at home. 

I actually bought this as a gift for my husband, but we both love it and we're now using it almost exclusively for our coffees. It's super affordable compared to other coffee-maker options, doesn't need to be plugged in and takes up very little space, yet still provides an incredible cup of coffee whether you like espresso, a latte or an Americano. 

I have a utensil holder that I bought years ago and still love, but it's fairly tall and smaller things like short whisks, serving spoons, etc. tend to get lost in it. It's also always crammed full, so I went on the hunt for something cute and shorter. This Andalucia Utensil Holder is just perfect and it adds a bit of colour to my kitchen, which I love. I have actually invested in a few pieces from this range and I love them all!

I asked for this pasta machine for Christmas and it's so much better than the one I had previously. It's a bit of an investment, but it's sturdy and works really well. It's worth investing what you can in something like this because it really makes a difference in the experience of using it and the finished product. Also, making pasta takes time and effort. I'm a firm believe that if you have good tools that work well, you're much more likely to use them and eventually, you'll get your money's worth.

I have one spoon rest I bought from Anthropologie at least 10 years ago and it's still one of my favourite things in the kitchen, but I often feel as though I need another one. This one is similar to the one I already have and it's beautiful, not to mention sturdy. I love it.

I have wanted a KitchenAid mixer for more than a decade, but I always found ways to talk myself out of it. After having some serious arguments trying to negotiate cake batters with my hand mixer, dropping butter all over the floor and a few other baking disasters, I finally got one and there's no turning back. I've had the mixer for about two weeks and I've used it almost every single day. A KitchenAid Mixer is definitely an investment piece, but if you're serious about cooking or just want to make your life easier, it's a priceless addition to your kitchen. These beauties come in a range of sizes and colours. I simply could not resist the siren call of Empire Red and it brightens up my day every time I walk into the kitchen. It's also worth saying that I did my research, reading multiple articles, measuring my kitchen and seriously considering what I wanted to use it for before I made a purchase. I ultimately decided on this model because I think it would best suit my needs, but there are multiple models and sizes, so it's worth finding the one that will work best for your individual needs.

For my 40th birthday, I asked for this ice cream maker. I hate the ones with the bowls you have to freeze because they take ages and require something I never have, which is a lot of freezer space for a big, clunky bowl. While watching an episode of Master Chef, I found myself wondering how they made ice cream so quickly and soon found my answer on Google. I needed a more professional version. Another investment piece, this is clearly a luxury item, but I adore ice cream and have always wanted to make my own while experimenting with different flavours. I've made two batches so far and both have been a great success! The Cuisinart Professional Ice Cream Maker is super easy to use and sleek in design. It is rather large and heavy, but I find it easy enough to move around the kitchen. Ice cream takes less than an hour and in some cases, only about 35 minutes for soft set which firms up after only an hour or two in the freezer. 

I've had the same cheap pepper mill for about 10 years and it's depressing. Sometimes you just need an upgrade and the Le Creuset Classic Pepper Mill is brilliant. It works so smoothly, holds quite a lot of peppercorns so I don't have to refill it too often and it comes in lots of beautiful colours. I opted for blue and it looks beautiful whether it's in my kitchen or on our dining table. 

I never seem to have enough rubber spatulas when I'm baking. Found the Marian Spatula in the Anthropologie sale for £5 and it seemed meant to be. It's nice & sturdy and also beautiful. I love things that add a bit of decor, but are 100% functional - honestly it's a necessity in my small city flat.

I've been watching a baking show sometimes and one of the girls on it always has the cutest aprons. Since seeing that, of course I wanted one too! I found this beauty on Anthropologie and I can't wait to wear it when I can cook for guests again. Our flat is open plan with the living room opening up right into the kitchen, so when I'm cooking for friends, I'm always on full display... I can't think of a better reason for splurging on a special, fancy apron that will look cute over my hosting outfits when we finally get back to something more resembling normal life.

While discussing some counter space issues for baking with my husband one evening, he suggested that I might be able to find something to cover our glass top hob to take advantage of the space when I'm kneading bread dough or rolling out pastry. It was a brilliant idea that I hadn't ever thought of. He then got me a bakers' board for my birthday and it's brilliant. It has a lip on either edge so it fits sturdily over the counter top, hob or wherever you want to put it and it stays put. It's a great new addition to my kitchen and it gives me a lot more workspace for baking and crafty projects. 

I've recently been influenced by a friend who told me of the virtues of amazing bread with high quality salted butter. While I never really ate much bread before, I've been enjoying it a lot lately, especially the bread I make myself. I need butter to be soft, so it needs to be out of the fridge for a little bit before I spread it on whatever bread... I wanted something cute to keep it in that would also look amazing on the table. I couldn't find anything colourful that I liked until I stumbled on the Le Creuset Stoneware Butter Dish. It's more expensive than I wanted, but honestly it's worth it. It's so sturdy and it goes beautifully with most of my other dishes. It's also nice and big, which I love.

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