I’ve had people ask me what my favorite recipe is, and that’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite—I could pick one, but then feelings would get hurt. 😉 What I can claim favoritism with are a few things that I simply MUST keep in my kitchen:
KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer – Now this is one of those ‘splurge’ items. I received my ‘grown-up’ mixer as a Christmas gift my first year out of college. (I think my mom was hurling me out of the nest and into the real world…) A few—OK, fine…MANY—years later, I still use that for just about every recipe that requires mixing, dicing, beating, folding…you name it, this mixer can do it. Trust me—it’s totally worth the investment.
Candy wafers – This should be no surprise. You’ve seen firsthand how I’ve used it to fancy up popcorn, spruce up pretzel sticks for parties…and there are so many other uses! I’ve even taken some, melted it in a bowl and placed a graham cracker face down in it—let it cool and you’ve got the perfect s’more-ready graham cracker!
Cream cheese – This one sounds a bit strange. But so many times, just ‘whipping something up’ comes to fruition when you have the key ingredients on hand. I have so many recipes that call for cream cheese, that it just helps to keep some stocked in the fridge. Same goes for butter. And eggs. And sugar. 😉 My point is this: once you build up your recipe box with go-to recipes, you should try and keep key ingredients close by!
Betty Crocker Supreme Cookie Brownie mix – Now I’m totally letting you see behind the curtain with this one. I can’t tell you how many times we have thrown together a last-minute dinner gathering, and I show up with freshly baked, STILL WARM cookie brownies. They’re delicious. Everyone loves them. And guess what. It took me about 45 minute to make them. Because I had a box of this in the pantry and eggs and butter in the fridge. See above. 😉
Silicone spoonula – I’m not joking. Out of all of the gizmos and gadgets out there, THIS hybrid spatula-spoon is what made me squeal on Christmas morning when I opened a new aqua-colored one from my sister. (True story.) Never underestimate the power of a good tool—this bad boy comes in handy with stirring, mixing, spreading…all of the above. It’s definitely good to have.
Growing up, I thought my mom was nuts for keeping so many different little things in the pantry and on the spice rack. Now…I can see it was her ingenious was of always being prepared for whatever culinary challenge thrust itself into her kitchen. (Ooo! Speaking of nuts…I always keep a bag of chopped pecans in the freezer, too!)
What are your must-haves? Let us know!