Continuing with the entries about some of my favorite things, I have a small list of the things I could not live without in the kitchen and on my dining room table.
Mini Loaf Pan - When Nick and I first moved in together, our kitchen consisted of 4 mismatched plates, a set of cups, silverware, 2 cookie sheets, 2 pots and 1 pan. Needless to say our registry list was very very long. One thing I didn't put on there, but bought myself at the Christmas Tree Store were some mini loaf pans and now I can't live without them (although the fact that we didn't get an actual loaf pan until about 6 months ago has something to do with that). If you have 3, that about equals one full sized pan, and you can make everything in them that you can make in a large loaf pan but cuter. Personalized size meat loaf, mini breads, little pound cakes, and my personal favorite, baked brie.
Metal Cookie Spatula - Funny how our first kitchen had just about nothing in it, yet we had 3 spatulas. When we were moving in together, I started a box of things to give to charity so we could get rid of all the things we had extra of and so of course 2 of those spatulas had to go. But then I realized certain things are a lot easier to cook/handle if you have a thin metal versus a thick plastic spatula. (Just a side note, I think that last sentence totally makes me sound insane.) It's easier to flip pancakes or burgers, and cookies don't break apart as easily. I definitely couldn't live without it.
Kitchen Aid Handmixer - Last year for Christmas, Nick got me this. My old mixer was horrible and died pretty quickly, but this one is fantastic. Much easier to use, sturdy attachments, and I like how I can get all the nooks and crannies of the bowl (which you can't always do with a standalone mixer). I use it all the time now, and not just to make whipped cream.
White oval serving dish - One of my best friends gave this to me as an engagement gift and it's probably my favorite serving dish we own. Why? It's just pretty.
Metal Bowls from Crate and Barrel - This is a top three gift we received for the wedding. And unfortunately it doesn't seem like Crate and Barrel sells them anymore. What made these so special was the fact that they had a handle and a pouring spout. For someone with little hands, this makes my life so much easier when I'm making anything that I have to pour. I don't have to get Nick to help me and I make less of a mess (I make great food, but my kitchen always looks like a bomb hit it when I'm done).
Spatula thingy - For the life of me I cannot find a picture of this online. But I can't leave it out because it's probably my most useful kitchen utensil. I don't use this to mix, it's too soft. But I use it to scrape the bowl when I'm done. It's so thin on the edges it gets every last bit of that batter out of the bowl. And it's really useful when making crepes.
Irish Coffee Mugs - I subscribe to the school of thought that food takes better when it looks great, and I think the same thing applies for drinks too. I don't often break these mugs out, but when you're making something like hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, it looks so much nicer in a mug like this.
A possible future favorite thing? I'm going to go buy myself a dutch oven today. Marshall's has had them in their kitchen section (Le Creuset brand) recently for under $60. I have a feeling that will probably weasel its way onto this list as well. I don't have a large pot to fry in, make soup in, make lots of pasta in, etc. And I can put it in the oven too? I'm just frothing at the mouth thinking of all the recipes I can now try out.