I'm a complete sucker for food. I eat it, I collect and read cookbooks and I pour over great food blogs. Smitten Kitchen, Food52, Spoon Fork Bacon, David Lebovitz, House to Haus, 100 Cookbooks (I could get going). And I chat with my mother about food and recipes...every...single...day. Sometimes we actually chat about recipes and cooking, not once, but twice a day.
I'm that obsessed.
What's great about food is the community that accompanies it. I'm sure you would all agree. It's a generous community and I've found that folks are very willing to talk about what works for them in the kitchen. Through my readings, I've found some great tips, as well as amazing products, that I've incorporated into my own home.
1. Crate & Barrel Flour Sack Towels
I believe Gwyneth Paltrow and her Bon Appetit article piqued my curiosity with respect to using flour sack towels. An early morning trip to Crate and Barrel subsequently resulted in a impulse purchase. And by that afternoon, I was fully hooked. These towels are, without question, the best dish towel for the kitchen that I've ever used. They are absorbent. They are big, but can be folded easily into a smaller towel. The consistency of the fabric makes any fold stick. They are white and can be bleached, if needed. And, most importantly, they are classic enough to line a bread bowl.
Purchase these towels.
2. Tip #1: Purchase more than one set of measuring spoons. Tip #2: Unhook your sets of measuring spoons and put them in a small glass near your baking area.
I can't explain to you why, for 30 or so years of my life, I've only owned one set of measuring spoons. It made my baking life unnecessarily difficult. Having to clean or wipe off a measuring spoon a couple of times during a recipe makes zero sense. Especially when they aren't all that expensive. Blame it on my attempts to save money in, absolutely, all the wrong ways.
So buy a second set of measuring spoons. And then unhook the measuring spoons and put them in a small glass (such as shown above) and sit it near your baking station. Mine is near my mixer. Such a small thing, perhaps. But one of the best time savers I've found so far.
5 bowls for $50. Not entirely cheap. But they are stackable and they fit into the dishwasher. Which, in my opinion, makes them highly efficient on two-fronts and worth the cost.
4. Tip #3: Use superfine cane sugar when baking.
5. Tip #4. Use parchment paper (see that circular round at the bottom of the plan) or Silpat cookie sheet liners. Always. Never again will only part of your bread or cake come out of the pan. Even when you've butter'ed and flour'ed the pan. And the Silpat sheets guarantee perfectly browned bottoms for your cookies.