Hello lovelies! After a well-deserved mini vacay in Arizona, I’m back and full of great ideas, recipes and other yummy things for future posts. Hang in there with me while I adjust myself back from Spring and warm Arizona to the continuing Winter and cold East Coast (where is my Spring ?!?!).
Last week I began our annually Spring cleaning in the kitchen, and after tossing, donating and taking to storage some of my gadgets and small appliances. I got to thinking about all the wonderful things in my kitchen. So, I thought about writing this post sharing my favorites and even dare to say essential kitchen tools. And what’s your favorite kitchen tool?
- Laguiole Steak Knives – An essential for any meat lover or really any food and sharp knife lover.
- Mini-prep Food Processor – Great for chopping onions, herbs,garlic and also makes a delicious salsa in 2 minutes.
- Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Boards – different colors for each type of food and of course I love the design.
- Le Creuset Grill Pan – makes the BEST grill chicken.
- Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids – great for mixing and the air-tight lids keeps the food or dough leftover fresh.
- Garlic Peeler – peels garlic like MAGIC! My husband got this and I was totally incredible, but now I CAN’T live without it.
- Silpat Baking Mat – if you bake cookies, french macarons, puff pastry or anything really, you’ll need this! It’s a bit pricey but worth every penny.
- Dual Lemon Squeezer – hand-squeezer doubles up to accommodate lemons, limes and small oranges in one handy gadget.
I just got back from Arizona where I loved seeing all the beautiful cacti and succulents everywhere and especially the gorgeous and creative succulent terrariums my sister-in-law made in various containers. I was in a mission to drive to one of our favorite places, ReStore (a Habitat for Humanity home supply recycling store and donation site) to grab a light pendant to transform in a beautiful terrarium (I’ll write another post and tutorial about that next week). In the lighting area, I found a pile of these light fixture covers and I couldn’t resist grabbing a few to transform them in beautiful domes for my cake stand collection. Don’t these give the most wonderful vintage flair to cake stands?
- Light fixture covers – only $2 a piece at my local ReStore
- Knobs from Anthropologie, World Market or Hardware store - cost between $3 to $6 each.
- Fender Washer 1/4″ x 1-1/4″ – costs $0.12 at my local home improvement store.
Total cost : +/- $6 each dome
Valentine’s day is almost around the corner and this recipe is a favorite in my home when I need some delicious and impressive dessert for last minute guests. So, I ‘m sharing this yummy (and gluten-free) dessert with you to impress your special love.
This recipe is inspired by a delicious soufflé I had years ago in Sao Paulo restaurant Carlota, owned by Chef Carla Pernambuco. If you don’t like guava, be creative and use any kind of fruit jam or even chocolate (semisweet chips melted).
Makes about 6 small or 4 medium sized ramekins.
- 1 cup guava paste (melted with 3-4 tablespoons of water on a saucepan)
- 4 egg whites
- 1 pinch of salt or cream of tartar (both salt and cream of tartar act as stabilizers and will help the egg whites hold their shape when whipped.)
- Butter and sugar for greasing ramekins (optional)
- Grease the ramekins with the butter and sugar (this is totally optional)
- Whip the egg whites in a mixer or with a whisk until a bit foamy, add the salt and beat until soft peaks form
- Gradually fold in the melted guava paste and mix well
- Fill the ramekins with the mixture and bake in preheated oven at 350º F ( 180º C) for approximately 10 minutes or until the soufflé is puffed and golden brown
- Remove the soufflé from the oven and serve immediately
*This dish is usually served with a delightful Catupiry cheese sauce, if you live in a big city here in the US, you can find this cheese at any Brazilian/Latin American food store or online. For the Catupiry cheese sauce : mix 3 tbsp of Catupiry with 2 tsp heavy cream or milk in a microwave for 30 seconds. Drizzle on top of the soufflé and voila!
Here are some last minute gift ideas for the gals in your life. From $9.99 to about $50, these are all great, affordable gifts that bring a little luxury to someone special’s life.
- Marc Jacobs Beauty lipstick – $30 at Sephora
- Orla Kiely small cosmetic bag – $9.99 at Target
- Tea Infuser Travel Mug – $20 at Moma Store
- Le Creuset Baker set of 2 – $39.95 at Sur la Table
- Monogram wine stopper – $34 at C. Wonder
- Winter moccasins – $49.50 at J.Crew
- Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow – $36 at Neiman Marcus
- Crystal Statement necklace – $35 at C’est Anglais