Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WFMW-Kitchen Essentials - Baking

I was 20 when I got married and established my own kitchen. At that point in life, I knew how to make 4 items: banana chiffon cake, hamburgers, homemade pizza using a crust mix, and Texas Rice Casserole -- and my hubby hated dishes with rice in them!

I had a lot to learn ...

Over the years, I have learned a lot about cooking and what is needed in a kitchen. I believe that just as a carpenter or mechanic requires good tools to do his job, so should a homemaker have the tools she needs.

Therefore, I have decided to compile a list of what every homemaker needs in her kitchen. (Perhaps someday my daughters will need this list!)

Today, we'll review what I think every kitchen needs for baking:

  1. First and foremost, you need a baking stone - preferably more than one. A lot of the tools I have are Pampered Chef, but I must confess that I own three baking stones, two are Pampered Chef, the other is not. I totally love baking stones and use them several times a week. They're great for pizza, cookies, biscuits and anything you would like to have a crispy, browned crust. Eggrolls turn out great on a baking stone!

  2. Wonder Cup! I think Pampered Chef has renamed it something else now, but it is a measuring cup that you can measure crisco or peanut butter in and then push it out in one clean swoop. If you bake much, you'll love the Wonder Cup.

  3. Next, you need several sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons. For instance, when you make a cake, you use up several measuring cups making the batter. Later, you'll have to wash everything up when it's time to make the frosting if you don't have extra sets. You can purchase extra of these items at the Dollar Tree. I recommend getting stainless steel, though, because I had an unfortuante experience once of having my favorite 1/4 C measuring cup that was made of plastic fall during a dishwashing cycle onto the heating element.
  4. A glass measuring cup with a spout for liquids, preferably microwavable. For years, I just used the same measuring cup for solids as liquids. Then I got a glass measuring cup and it made all the difference!
  5. A good rubber spatula -- again I recommend Pampered Chef. You don't want a spatula that over time begins to crumble. Been there and done that. You need an assortment of sizes and don't forget to get one that is a flat on one side to scrape out jars. You want to get the last of that peanut butter!
  6. A full size apron. This is a must, unless you can look like Kelly Ripa in the kitchen. (Do you believe those commercials that have her whipping through the house looking like a million bucks?) I need an apron that covers my whole torso because I tend to get flour everywhere. I happen to have black aprons so that stains don't show. I have 4 of them so I never have an excuse to have a clean apron.
  7. A second set of beaters for your mixer. I admit I don't have this yet, but I am going to purchase this soon. A fully equipped kitchen is a work of art that continually is evolving to meet your needs. Since I bake a lot of cakes, I feel a second set of beaters is essential. Who wants to stop and wash beaters before you can make icing?
  8. A scoop to make cookies with. I'm talking about a scoop that has a lever that pushes all the goodness out into a ball of cookie dough. I have the medium Pampered Chef scoop, but am going to purchase the large one, too.
Having the right tools to bless my family in the kitchen works for me! Come back next week when I'll share more Kitchen Essentials!
To learn other great household tips and recipes, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.
Note: Although I have talked a lot about Pampered Chef, and provided links to some of their products, I am NOT a dealer. I'm just a fan of some of their products!


JLI (Jenn) said...

Gees, knowing all the fun toys I could have almost makes me wish I liked to bake more! Although I do agree about the Wonder Cup. I have one and LOVE IT! I want an apron, but again, can't reason the purchase since I do very little baking! Now, perhaps a rain slick would be a better option since washing dishes doubles as my shower! ;-)

Kim H. said...

Good tips! I've been wishing that we'd bought a wondercup - I think I first saw it or something like it on Good Eats... and it looks very useful!

Wendy said...

You are so right about having two sets of beaters for your mixer. I only had one set for years, until I got a new mixer a couple of years ago that came with two sets. Now I don't know how I ever lived without that extra set!

I've never used a baking stone, but now I'm intrigued...I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the tips!

momstheword said...

I have the baking stone and also the Wonder Cup and a couple of spatulas, etc. from Pampered Chef.

I love wearing an apron to cook with, since I am such a messy cook, lol!

BTW, hearing you about the toys. Mine are older now so no more toys all over the place...well, electronic ones,!

Tracey said...

Great list of kitchen essentials! So glad you mentioned the extra beaters; just last weekend I found myself washing my single set a couple of times so I could use them for my cookies and the icing!

Just Be Real said...

Great tips for the kitchen Jerri! Thank you for sharing your list! Blessings.

{ L } said...

Ok, time to go to a Pampered Chef party! ;) I love using baking stones too. GREAT idea on getting more than one set of measuring cups/spoons.

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