The Perfect 10


From time to time, friends will ask me for recommendations for all sorts of culinary items. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of kitchen products that I either use personally or really, REALLY want and probably won’t ever get (like the 10 piece Mauviel M’Heritage copper pot set). I’ve also included a few reading suggestions (of course, if you know me). I own all of the books on my list (expect for Lost Recipes, but I plan to buy that one).

And just so you know, I’m an affiliate with, so buying items from this list provides me with a small commission. I usually prefer to stay away from affiliate links and programs, but since I use frequently (and have for years) I figured I’d share products that I believe in (or believe I need!) with my readers.

1.  Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Island Spice Red, 6-Quart

I love my Le Creuset dutch oven. It’s versatile, attractive, and can withstand cooking mishaps. For example, when I was pregnant I just *had* to make rice one afternoon. Don’t ask me why I craved rice, but I did. Anyway, I got distracted and forgot all about it on the stove. Burnt rice is a smell you don’t forget. It took some elbow grease to scrub the burnt rice off the bottom of the dutch oven, but it was back to normal soon enough.

2. Le Creuset Silicone 7-Piece Utensil Set, Cherry

I enjoy my Le Creuset spatula (and these days it doubles as a please-entertain-baby-for-a-minute toy while I’m making dinner). I sure wouldn’t mind having the whole set, though.

3.  Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 11-3/4-Inch, Cherry

Honestly, I bought my cast iron skillet because I thought it was something I should know how to use. I like using mine to make skillet souffle for breakfast. The downside–it’s heavy and can burn food quickly if you’re not paying attention. The upside–it’s easy to clean and condition (condition it with vegetable oil in between uses).

4.  Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Zoom Lens & EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens + 10pc Bundle 16GB Deluxe Accessory Kit

Why, hello, beautiful! Who doesn’t want a gorgeous camera like this? I own a Canon EOS 50D and do not regret investing in this particular brand.

5.  Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling

I first learned about Helene Dujardin’s food photography book, Plate to Pixel, through her fabulous blog Tartelette. She’s approachable for novices like me–yet I’m sure she has plenty to offer advanced photographers too.

6.  Lost Recipes: Meals to Share with Friends and Family

When I read the introduction to Marion Cunningham’s Lost Recipes, I was hooked:

Home cooking is a catalyst that brings people together. We are losing the daily ritual of sitting down around the table (without the intrusion of television), of having the opportunity to interact, to share our experiences and concerns, to listen to others.

Her recipes are practical, simple, and look like the kind of daily cooking I practice in my own home. Plus, the design of the entire book is beautiful.

7.  V&A William Morris Recipe Box

I bought a recipe box not too long ago to hold the family recipes my mother gave me. While I like the current box I own well enough, I came across this Victoria and Albert recipe box the other day and wished I would have bought it instead.

8.  Clear Vinyl 4 x 6 Inch Recipe Card Covers, Set of 48

If you’re like me and have recipe cards that are 50 years old or older, you need a way to protect them.

9.  The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition

I adore MFK Fisher. How could you resist reading a woman who writes exquisitely about food and life? Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from The Art of Eating (which is an extensive collection of her works):

The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…
[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of
meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.


Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.


It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.

10.  Mauviel M’Heritage Copper 150s 6100.04 10-Piece Set with Cast Stainless Steel Handle

Ah, Mauviel M’Heritage copper pots and pans, you are the crème de la crème. This is definitely a wish list type of item. 

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"Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust." -- Walker Percy

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