My Five Favorite Kitchen Goodies

Most of you know that I recently graduated and I am now living at home in Colorado Springs. As I was laying in bed yesterday, it was still hard to believe that I won’t ever have to relocate or live alone again!

One of my favorite things about being home is getting back to cooking. I’m not a gourmet chef by any means. I don’t eat a lot of meat, I’m still learning what spices do what, and I didn’t grow up with heirloom recipes, like cookies or casseroles. I recently tried to bake yeast bread, but instead I discovered three ways to bake bricks. But I still love it. My kitchen is my favorite place in the house, and part of the charm are my favorite appliances lining my counter space.

1. Kitchenaid Mixer

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

I was NOT expecting to have this until after the wedding, but on Christmas day Ben put a heavy box on my lap and this was in it. In red. I am still learning how to use it to its full potential, but just as an example of how it’s already changing my life, I made waffles the other morning and even put in the effort to whip the egg whites.

2. Bialleti Moka ExpressMoka Pot

I make coffee with this every morning for a rich, dark brew that I mix with equal parts almond milk. With fresh grounds, it even produces a small amount of crema. To keep my pot newer longer, I boil my water in my kettle first, then put it in the bottom chamber. That way, the actual Moka pot spends a lot less time on direct heat, and I don’t have to wait as long for the coffee.

3. CrockpotCrockpot

The “-riginal” slow cooker! We really love our crockpot to death for making whole chickens and roasts. My basic recipe is four quartered potatoes, half an onion, diced, four cloves of garlic, minced, and half a cup of liquid (either water or a splash of whatever wine is open). Last year, I made coq au vin in the Crockpot and it turned out fantastic.

4. Immersion BlenderImmersion Blender

I make a smoothie many times a week. For single servings, this immersion blender is perfect because I don’t have to rinse out a big blender pitcher (don’t you hate how those little berry seeds stick to the sides?). This has also been valuable for blending parakeet food (more on how we care for our birds later).

5. Olive Oil MisterOil Mister

We received this vaporizer as a gift from our real estate agent. Just a few pumps and it produces a nice, even spray of our own olive oil, great for browning onions, lining a baking pan, or separating pasta

I hope you enjoyed this list and that it inspired you to take a grateful survey of your favorite things around your house. What are you must-have kitchen items?

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My Most Visited Blogs

Sometime in the morning, I like to check in with my favorite blogs to see if there is any new content. Here is a tidy list of the ones I visit most. As a bonus, I search for them using the Swagbucks search bar, so that I can get points towards free gift cards. I hope that my own blog will grow into a mix of everything I love about these. What are your favorite blogs?

Faith:

Norbly

Ungrind

Zenhabits

Lifestyle:

Light by Coco

Simply Clarke

Wool and Wanderlust

Fashion:

Un-Fancy

Merrick’s Art

The Beauty Department

Creativity

The Yarn Harlot

Alisa Burke

Lena Danya

My 2015 Vision Board

I was inspired by this post from Light by Coco to make a vision board. Here is how I am visualizing 2015!

2015visionboard

Images sourced from Pinterest searches

From right to left, top to bottom:

  1. Do a handstand. Build strength. Continue my yoga practice. Stay strong.
  2. Run more. Make a habit of it. Increase distance. Find new trails.
  3. Keep a prayer journal. Be consistent. Be faithful. Become a prayer warrior.
  4. Keep an art journal. Be consistent. Improve on texture. Improve on light.
  5. Keep knitting. Use yarn from the stash. Make my first sweater.
  6. Give better gifts. Remember birthdays. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  7. Maintain my blog. Post regularly. Keep up social interactions. Take more pictures for it.
  8. Do more “big girl” paperwork. Help with taxes, mortgage. Create and maintain a budget.
  9. Curate my wardrobe. Nicer shoes. Sleeker shirts. Increase professionalism.
  10. Pray more.
  11. Communicate. Makes more calls. Skype more. Remember birthdays. Friends, family, acquaintances.
  12. Eat what I love. Indulge in complicated dishes. Fill the pantry with my favorites.
  13. Bake a perfect loaf of bread.
  14. Handle my anxiety. Journal. Talk. Breathe. Fight back. Stay positive. Remember to smile.
  15. Work toward my dream. Get my sub license. Assistant teach. Stay sharp. Find a mentor.