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"This evening is the dress rehearsal of a disaster. It is like the last night of an epoch." --Christopher Isherwood, The Berlin Stories. This was written in 1930s Germany, pre-Hitler. 
there's my new cat in the background for levity these two things shall be together very soon with lots of herbs and chiles #sheilsmeals My heart is full to be alive at the same time as this incredible human, to witness true compassion, humility, and grit in the face of unprecedented resistance. So many of us are united under your example, under the kindness, true love, and friendship between you, Michelle, and Biden. #theaudacityofhope #yeswecan ❤️❤️❤️ lucky enough to have taken this at a rally in NH 2012.

Favorite Things: Shopping & Inspiration

I’m using this page as a place to list some of my favorite products for the home and work. Anything I list here will be something I use on the regular and love! If interested, click on the product image to purchase.

Lotta from Stockholm high heel clogs

I’m a little obsessed with these clogs! I work on my feet (waitressing, bartending, food styling, personal chef business) and have been searching for the past few years for a pair of clogs that are comfortable, stylish, and affordable. A friend of mine started selling these at her shop in Gloucester, MA (The Plant Shack) and I quickly became hooked. They’re so much cheaper than other handmade wooden clogs, and are surprisingly more comfortable than Danskos. Even the heel height is nice, since the footbed is anatomically correct. I wore these for the first time to work on New Year’s Eve, which is a super busy night at the restaurant, and never even had to break them in. Comfortable from the get-go. AND they’re stylish, so I could transition into NYE party mode afterwards, without a change of shoes! They’re my go-to now, and actually make my feet feel much better than my Danskos ever did. I can’t stop talking about them to anyone who will listen. It’s love.

Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is the best all-purpose olive oil. It’s made by the Asaro family in Sicily, who have been producing it since 1916. The restaurant I work at uses it, as do I for my personal chef business. It’s suitable both for cooking and makes delicious vinaigrettes as well. If you do a fair amount of cooking, it really is worth it to buy two tins of this oil (cheaper per ounce to do that.) Plus, the container prevents oxidation so it’ll last longer, unlike glass olive oil containers.

 

Wine Key

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me at work at the market restaurant — photo credit ren fuller (renfuller.com)

 

Love this wine key. It works extremely well, is attractive, and cheap — which is great, because I lose probably 3 wine keys a year. Ugh.

 

Cuisinart French Tri-Ply Stainless Sautee Pan

This is my workhorse pan that I use for everything from sauces, to braises, and quick sautees. It offers even heat distribution all throughout, including the sides, so you don’t have to worry about hot spots. One day, I’d love to get some All Clad, but the price tag is too high for me. This series by Cuisinart is an excellent compromise.

 

Kuhn Rikon Peelers

Peelers are such an obvious little item, that you could theoretically pick up anywhere, but these are the only worthwhile peelers in my opinion. They’re sharp and easy to use, and work SO much better than the swivel peelers. Get the three pack. Like wine keys, peelers have a habit of disappearing.

 

Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine

I bought this cutie ice cream machine 5 years ago, and am still using and loving it. There are plenty of ice cream machines on the market with lots of bells and whistles, but this one is tried and true. It’s affordable enough to be an impulse buy and oh-so-satisfying to make your own ice cream! That moment when it becomes frozen enough to start tasting…it’s soft serve heaven. Good luck on actually getting a significant amount frozen. I’ve been known to attack while it’s still churning.

 

The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Anything you need to know to start making your ice cream can be found in the book, by pastry chef extraordinaire and Chez Panisse alum David Lebovitz. My copy is dog-eared and well loved.

 

NESCO Gardenmaster Dehydrator

This dehydrator looks like a little spaceship and has all the features that are most important in one of these machines: its temperature range is 90-160 degrees Fahrenheit, and has a timer that will shut it off automatically, so you don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to shut it off. The perfect set-and-forget. I’ve made beef jerky, blueberry zaatar fruit rolls up, black garlic, dried citrus peel, dried herbs, etc. It’s a super handy thing to have around, especially with the abundance of summer produce.

 

KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional 600-Series Stand Mixer

We all covet the KitchenAid, no? I never wanted to invest in one of these because of the price tag, but then I lived in a couple apartments with roommates who had their own. I had a ton of experience using the standard, tilt-head home model with the regular bowl capacity, but it wasn’t until I used a friend’s professional model that I truly fell in love with it. The bowl-lift design is perfect; it ends up being much more stable than the tilt-head model. I’ve been using mine at least once a week for the past 8 months, and am only finding more reasons to use it. Pasta dough, bread dough, cookies and cakes, marshmallow and meringue, and so many other uses. Now I have the meat grinder attachment — see below.

 

KitchenAid Meat Grinder

This is such an incredible tool to have. It’s so easy, and there’s hardly any clean up involved. It doesn’t dirty the mixer’s bowl, so all you need to wash is the few parts in the attachment. In addition to meat for burgers, sausage, etc, you can also make superior falafel and other vegetarian items using the grinder! I’ve tried countertop hand-crank grinders, but the KitchenAid attachment is totally worth it. No awkward finagling or need to try to keep the grinder balanced on the counter while you struggle to hand crank it against the resistance of what you are grinding; it does all the work for you.

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