So maybe it took a few months, but here is the entry I promised on my favorite things in the kitchen! These are pieces I use on a regular basis (i.e. at least once a week, if not every time I cook!) and when using them, I always think - I should tell people about how great these things are! So here we go...
Le Creuset cookware: Whether its my dutch oven, my heart shaped pot, or my bakeware (perfect for enchiladas!), I swear by Le Creuset. I love it for the even cooking it provides, but adore it even more for its easy clean up - its ridiculous how easy food comes off these pieces! Bonus: it looks great on the stove! Amazon often has deals on Le Creuset, but you can also check out outlets. At the GA Premium outlets, there is a Le Creuset outlet as well as a Williams-Sonoma outlet that also carries very inexpensive Le Creuset. Its worth every single penny and will last forever!
All-Clad copper core: This set was an incredible wedding gift from my parents. We use these pieces on a regular basis, but are specifically in love with the covered saute pan (which I use to make PW's chicken parm and my family's fantastic beef/kudu/impala stroganoff).
Lodge cast iron skillet: If you don't own one of these (we have 4 - no jokes), buy one. It may be the best $19 you've ever spent. I love my cast iron skillet - for making caramelized onions (and blue cheese onion sauce), frying up bacon and cooking eggs in the grease, and more. Here's a tip: I love fried eggs, but I've always had trouble flipping them and keeping them in tact. I cheat my breaking them in the pan and then covering them with this lid - the lid will cook them from the top with no need to flip the egg. Easy!
Microplane 4 sided box grater: I use this guy ALL the time. Its a bit difficult to find grated cheese here in SA so its fabulous to be able to grate my own cheese. This grater makes it super easy. I also love my hand held zester for parmesan.
Oxo Salad Spinner: Another item used practically on a daily basis. I am one of those people that even though it says the salad in the bag is washed, I still give it another rinse before using. In addition, its useful for spinning off excess salad dressing if you've overdressed a salad. I also adore this Crate and Barrel salad bowl - super easy to clean and nice, high sides for tossing. We also use this pepper mill to season our salads - we love how it creates a great fine dusting of crushed peppercorns. We also love this olive oil spritzer.
Rice Cooker: I'm not a big rice eater, but I do love spanish rice, cheesy rice, and wild rice from time to time. I have a tough time making rice on the stove. This microwave rice cooker makes cooking rice a snap! Rice is ready in 12 minutes or less rather than the 24 minutes it takes on the stove top. Its also great for boiling potatoes and green beans as well as steaming broccoli in the microwave.
Martha Stewart citrus press: Looks like this guy is unavailable, but I love mine. The blue color is fantastic and its so handy to have one of these for squeezing lemons and limes.
Chalk board cheese plate: Love it. Love it so much, I bought a 2nd one.
Electric cordless kettle: I can't live without this. I never used one before moving to SA, but these are in every home here. Its great for making tea and coffee as well as pre-boiling water for dishes. It just makes everything that much faster!
Food processor: One day I'll have a nicer one. One day. But for now, this one is really great. From shredding cheese to making PW's restaurant style salsa and caesar dressing to just having something to cut up veggies, it works great and the price is right.
Pizza pan: Will and I disagree on this one (he hates the holes), but I love this pizza pan. Its perfect for tortilla pizzas - in fact, I think its fairly necessary.
Covered brownie pan: Love it! I use it for more than brownies, whether that's right or wrong - I just love the size! Its also great for corn souffle.
Wine decanter: A must for any wine lover. In SA, wines can be a bit corky - the decanter helps the wine breath and also help catch cork bits that would otherwise wind up in your glass.