“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things…”
I’m not giving thousands of dollars’ worth of goodies to my blog readers, a la Oprah. No, I just thought the New Year was a good time to reflect on some of my favorite things. In this installment, I’m covering gadgets, food, etc. I’ll get to tv, music, and movie related categories in a later post. Let’s proceed, in no particular order:
In the Kitchen
- Grind and Brew Coffeemaker – I have loved coffee for several years, but have always made do with the basic coffee maker models, and for the past few years, a super messy coffee grinder. That all changed last week, when my parents gave me the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffeemaker for Christmas. This amazing machine grinds any amount of beans you desire, up to enough for 12 cups of coffee, and you can even program it to grind and brew at a set time. Best of all, it makes an excellent cup of coffee. You can adjust the strength of the brew to light, medium, or strong – so far, I prefer medium. I thought it appropriate to begin with this item because I am enjoying a cup of its delicious coffee right now.
- Apple Corer – I’ve never been too good with a kitchen knife. It takes me way too long to peel an apple, chop an onion, or dice a tomato. So I am all for contraptions that do the job for me. An added bonus is if it requires minimal cleanup and takes up little space. So while I appreciate my food processor and blender, I really love my apple corer. It’s nothing special. Just a $5 Chef’s Mate product. But when I want a healthy snack, all I have to do is whip out my apple corer, and in seconds I have a perfectly sliced apple to dip in peanut butter. Yum!
- Garlic Press – This is another small, inexpensive kitchen gadget that I love. Fresh garlic tastes so much better than the minced garlic in a jar, or especially the garlic powder from the grocery store spice aisle. My garlic press makes it easy to add fresh garlic to anything.
Food and Beverage
- Fat Straws’ Avocado Smoothie – Most people I know make an ugly face when I tell them about this creation from my favorite bubble tea place in Dallas, Fat Straws. But I love it! The ingredients are simple: fresh avocado, milk, brown sugar, and ice. I also have them add bubbles (the tapioca balls, also known as boba). I love this smoothie because it tastes great, I know exactly what’s in it (I’ve watched them make it every time), and other than the brown sugar, it’s pretty healthy. It’s almost filling enough to be a meal replacement, so if you want to try it, don’t order it right after a big dinner out!
- Oregon Chai – Next to coffee, chai tea lattes are my favorite hot beverage. Some afternoons, I love to sit down with a cup of Oregon Chai Tea Latte. It’s a quick and easy “specialty” drink without the hassle of leaving home.
- Corner Bakery’s Chicken Pomodoro Panini – I really never order anything else at Corner Bakery, because I am never disappointed by this sandwich. The chicken is always very flavorful and tender, the bread is crisp, etc.
- Paciugo’s Gelato – One of the perks of living in Dallas is that cold desserts can be enjoyed year round. (Yesterday, in the heart of wintertime, the high was nearly 80 degrees.) My favorite destination for a frozen treat is Paciugo, which makes the best gelato this side of Italy. I usually order a cup with three different flavors. My favorite choices include pistachio, coffee, chocolate mint, and hazelnut, but I’ve tried such unusual flavors as black pepper olive oil and vanilla lavender.
- MacBook Pro – I probably use this item more than anything else in my house. It is the first Mac that I’ve ever owned. My previous laptop was a Dell, and while it was fine and relatively dependable, it wasn’t fun and impressive like my Mac, which never ceases to amaze me. Consider me converted.
- iLap laptop stand – This laptop stand makes it very easy and comfortable to work on my MacBook while lounging on the sofa. It is well-designed, light weight, heat reducing, etc.
- Tivo – I have spoken fondly of my Tivo many times before here at Eclaire Fare. Click here to read some of my posts that sing its praises. Last spring, we moved our Tivo to the kitchen to make way for a Verizon Fios HD DVR to go with our new HD television. This was a painful decision, but seemed more financially responsible than shelling out a few hundred dollars for an HD Tivo. I wasn’t able to totally let go of the Tivo, and I still prefer it over the Verizon DVR. It seems like Tivo will always be the best DVR, just as Netflix is still the reigning champion of online rentals. We have a rather old Tivo model (older than the one pictured above). I hope to one day own the newest genius creation from Tivo: the Tivo HD XL DVR. But right now the $599 price tag is way too steep.
- Woolrich down alternative blanket – I love this blanket (and so does my cat, as evidenced by the picture above). I bought it at Target a few years ago, and it is just as soft and warm as a real down blanket would be. I use it all the time, while watching tv, reading, blogging, napping. My husband has recently developed a fondness for this blanket, so I may purchase another one.
What are some of your favorite food and beverages, household items, electronics, etc? Stay tuned for my favorites in the world of tv, movies, and music.