My Kitchen Favorites

My Kitchen Favorites

I often share with you things that make life in my kitchen a bit easier. Whether it be a gadget, an appliance or a tip I’ve picked up here or there. There are certain things that I “can’t live without” (I’m sure I could, but definitely wouldn’t want to!) that I’ve grown to love and depend on. Some of those things are new to my kitchen, others are time tested and I’ve used for years and years. I thought it would be fun to share some of those favorites with you, and would love to hear what you can’t live without either!

I created a section on this site that highlights the many different things I use everyday. I do have several favorites though, things that fall into that “I don’t want to live without this” category. Those things include:

My Kitchen FavoritesThe Quick Preheat feature on my Frigidaire Gallery® Range with Symmetry™ Double Ovens. I use Quick Preheat ALL THE TIME. It’s so much faster than waiting for the standard preheat time. This range uses convection heat for the quick preheat feature which allows the heat to flow much quicker and get to the desired temperature faster.

As far as pans go, I have two favorites. My cast iron Dutch Oven and my ManPans skillet. I love cast iron because of how well it retains heat and cooks evenly. It’s absolutely perfect for stews and braises. I love my cast iron skillet too! For stir fries and pasta dishes, I wouldn’t want to be without my ManPans! It’s deep, cooks evenly and is super lightweight. I did a post on this pan too, you can read all the details here.

My Kitchen FavoritesThe workhorse – my KitchenAid Mixer. I certainly couldn’t do without my KitchenAid mixer. I’m a little disappointed in the pin at the back, it worked its way halfway out within the first six months and no amount of coaxing will get in back in. It’s still going strong though and is definitely the work horse of this kitchen!

My Kitchen FavoritesI know it might seem silly to regard a rubber spatula as one of my kitchen faves, but it is! I bought this Wilton silicone stand mixer spatula at Michael’s about 3 or 4 years ago. It’s sturdy and dependable and has outlived several of the cheaper discount store rubber spatulas. I use it for everything!

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If you’re interested in making these kitchen utensil holders go here and you can see the spice rack revamp here.

My Kitchen FavoritesMy newest fave are these Ove’ Gloves! I finally ordered them just a couple weeks ago. I was so tired of trying to use hot pads to remove things from the oven, and even worse, from the microwave. These gloves are heat resistant and they allow you to actually use your hands, unlike bulky and cumbersome hot pads or oven mitts. Brilliant! However, I will warn you, and the box warns you too, don’t use them if they get wet. It can cause burns, so make sure they are dry before using them again.

My Kitchen FavoritesAnother thing I use constantly is my postage scale. I know that’s a little weird. I originally bought it quite a few years ago because I was shipping a lot of packages for my old job. Postage scales are pretty precise, so they are actually great for the kitchen. I use it all the time for weighing ingredients. It’s ideal for a recipe that calls for separating something (like dough or batter). They are very inexpensive too, mine years ago was around $22, but you can find similar ones for $15-20 now.

My Kitchen FavoritesI don’t know that I can say that I have one favorite cookbook over all others. However, the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook is near and dear to my heart. I baked my first real recipe from this book when I was 16 (chocolate eclairs, and they were a flop because I didn’t know what I was doing). When I got married and had my first child, I accidentally ruined my copy on the stovetop. The cookbook had actually been my dad’s and when I moved out he had inscribed the front and given it to me as a birthday gift. I was heart broken that I ruined it. I did end up finding a replacement for it several years later when I finally got on the internet. And even now, that copy is tattered and torn but truly loved. I’ve made many, many recipes from this book.

My Kitchen FavoritesOne of my favorite features is that there’s a color photo for every single recipe, and all the photos are in the front. Kind of like Pinterest, ha! That way you can thumb through pictures, and if you see something you like it tells you what page the recipe is on. Also, if you look up something by recipe, there’s a page number on the actual recipe that tells you where to find the color photo in the front. Cross referenced. I love it. :)

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My Kitchen FavoritesThe Quick Boil feature on my Frigidaire Range. The quick boil feature boils water much faster the regular burners. It’s built in to the burner at the front left. Just turn the knob to “high” and water will boil in about 6 minutes. This is such a nice feature, especially since I make pasta quite a bit and the water usually takes FOREVER to come to a boil! You can read more about my Frigidaire Gallery® Range with Symmetry™ Double Ovens here and here too.

My Kitchen Favorites

Picture from my Cherry Cake with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting (click pic for recipe)

I also have this fabulous 13×9 stoneware baker. I thought I bought it at King Arthur Flour, but if I did they don’t carry it anymore. I googled it and found it here. It’s made by “chantal” and the product line is called “pure”. I’ve never had a pan that cleans up so easily and cooks and bakes so evenly! It is my absolute go-to baking pan. LOVE. After googling I found that they have an entire line of “pure” items, so I guarantee I’ll be doing some browsing. I’ve made many recipes in this pan from cakes to casseroles and at the risk of sounding cliche, clean up is always snap.

While I don’t make meatloaf every week, I wouldn’t dare make one without this brilliant meatloaf pan. It’s the best. It has a drip pan that allows the fat from the meat to drop down safely into the pan below. Less than $14.00 and I’ve had mine for more years than I can remember. In fact, I don’t remember when I got it, it’s been that long!

Oh, I’m sure there’s more, but these are the things I can think of off the top of my head. Do you have a favorite item in your kitchen, something you wouldn’t want to live without??


  1. says

    I have that Illustrated cookbook! I absolutely loved it the first 10 years or so we were married, I still pull it out to look at though I don’t cook from it as much anymore. Thank you for the memory. That stove is fabulous!

  2. Colleen says

    The pin has worked out a little of my kitchen aid also. I can put mine back in when the mixer is on but when it isn’t on I can’t budge that pin. Have you tried to push the pin while the mixer is on? Just a thought….

  3. Jay says

    Oh, I have the original Good Housekeeping Illustrated cookbook! It along with my very trusty & worn, Betty Crockers Cookbook, taught this old girl how to cook & bake for her at the time, brand new husband!

    I actually purchased the latest, or updated, version of GHIC, last year for my oldest granddaughter, & have to say, it pales in comparison to the original. Bit disapointing really, as the original book was and still is, a godsend for an inexperienced cook.

    I love your kitchen utensil holders, & your refinished spice rack is just the toppers! I use two old small white crocks to hold my utensils. I do like them but they are very plain. I’d easily trade them in for a set like yours!

    I have colour coded spatulas in my utensil holders, though. I also have designated whisks & spoons in each one. One color is strictly for baking, the other color is strictly for cooking. I’ve never been able to bring myself to use the same spatula or utensil for both cooking & baking. Absolute nonesense I know, but my strange little quirk, was ingrained in my head early on, as my Mother did the same.

    I have two cast iron dutch ovens, but mine are enamel coated. One is oval, one is round & I love them! Ditto for cast iron skillets, they’re the best. I have no man pans, or green pans, or non stick pans of any sort, as I’ve always been leary about using non stick anything, for my cooking & baking.

    Meatloaf I hand shape, then roast/cook on my slotted broiler pan, or on a cookie cooling rack placed atop a foil lined sheet pan, so the excess fat will drip through. I’ve never tried a meat loaf pan, don’t really know why, but have to say, your pan with the drainage holes, looks interesting.

    I too have a double wall oven, with my top oven having the option of convect or regular bake, & my bottom oven being regular bake only. I hope to replace them in the next year or so as mine are nearing the end of their usefullness. It would be nice to have a set as slick as yours. I love that you have the option of quick pre-heat. What a bonus that must be when time is at a premium.

    You have a fabulous kitchen Amanda, and my goodness, it is so well organized! A trait, I’m afraid, I’m seriously lacking & doubt at my age, will ever come about!!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      Oh those enamel coated dutch ovens are on my wish list! They are so expensive, so I can’t just yet, but definitely want at least one! :) Thanks for your awesome comment!

  4. says

    Great post – great ideas – i am with you on most of them except the range – i have to have a gas range – i really hate electrical ranges – that is just me. I have to try the stoneware baking pan!

  5. says

    Great post! I have an electric stove as well and I had read that you aren’t supposed to use cast iron on it because you can shatter the glass. I have a brand new cast iron dutch oven I never used because I am afraid I will scratch or shatter the glass top of the stove. Have you had any issues at all with it? If not, maybe it is time I take my dutch iron out of hiding.

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