Favorite Kitchen Tools and Cookware + A Week of Meals

by Ally- Life as I know it, 5:00 AM
TGIF!! It's been so hard coming up with blog posts this week, hence the lack of posts. Total writer's block. We did order our new bedroom set so that's coming in next week and our new mattress is as well. I'm so excited to get our bedroom fixed up. I picked out these lamps at TJ Maxx this week. They're very neutral so I figured even if they don't look good in our bedroom they'll work somewhere else in our house. 

Since we've been cooking a lot more at home I thought I'd share my favorite cookware and tools we use in the kitchen. I'd love to hear what your favorite tools are as well!

We got this set for Christmas and I really think it's been a great motivator for us to cook healthy meals. Going from Teflon cookware to stainless steel has been a big learning curve. The food sticks a lot more, especially eggs, but I do find food cooks evenly and you don't have to have the burner on as high. We never registered for a cookware set when we got married because Theo's mom gave us all of her old stuff. I think having a good quality set is a must, whether it be non stick or stainless. There's just something about a pretty cookware set that makes you want to cook all the time.

If you're going to have stainless steel cookware Bar Keepers Friend is a necessity. This stuff works magic I swear. When we first got our cookware we didn't realize you don't have to have the burner on as high as when you cook with non stick and burned the bottom of one of our saute pans with olive oil. I found tons of reviews of Bar Keepers Friend online so we tried it and after lots of elbow grease and lots of BKF, the burnt olive oil came off. Now we use it periodically on our pans to get rid of water spots and rainbowing. You can use this on anything stainless even your sink and it's super cheap.

I took a cooking class last year at Southern Season and I remember someone asking the chef what her favorite kitchen tool was. She said a scraper so after class everyone went into the store to buy one. Go figure they were all out but I never forgot that and have been looking for a scraper ever since. I finally found one at TJ Maxx and I use it all the time. It's perfect when moving chopped food into a pan, you can use it to chop as well, and it's also great if you bake. 

I don't have this exact blender, I've had mine for so long I'm not even sure they make it anymore, but my point is I've used mine for years and still use it at least one a week. I use it to make mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, soup, and to puree foods. If someone asked me my #1 kitchen tool it would easily be an immersion blender. As soon as mine breaks I'll be running to the store to get a new one. 

Ever since reading about how bagged shredded cheese has wood pulp in it I started shredding my own cheese. Cheese tastes so fresh and has much more flavor when you shred it yourself. Using a 4 sides grater makes it so easy too. 
We received a mandoline as a wedding gift and didn't start using it for a couple of years. I really didn't know what to do with it. Now we use it to make sweet potato chips or to slice cucumber or zucchini. I will warn you, the blade is super sharp so make sure to always use handle.

Now onto what we had for dinner this week:
A take on breakfast for dinner. This was really, really good and we even had a good bit left over I was able to take for lunch the next day. 

This is basically a crustless, cheeseless quiche. I have to admit as soon as I took my first bite I was sad I didn't taste any cheese. But I got over it because it was delicious without cheese. You can use any meat and vegetabe you like, we used ground turkey and broccoli. This was really easy to throw together and have a healthy dinner ready in 20 minutes.

These tasted a lot like pizza but weren't as filling that's for sure. I liked that you can add whatever toppings you like. We went with chicken sausage, jalapenos, and mushrooms. 


I thought this was delicious, Theo thought it was just ok. I'm really beginning to love mashed cauliflower, maybe more than potatoes. The recipe calls for cheese but I omitted it and used almond milk instead of cow's milk in the cauliflower. I also baked the chicken rather than grilling it.

I will say eating Paleo meals every night does leave me hungry. Some nights more than others. Like the night we made the zucchini boats Theo and I were both starving an hour later. I don't know if we need to make more food to eat or just get used to eating less for dinner than we used to.

Have a great weekend!
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  1. Those lamps are so pretty! I could use one for my office! And I have almost all of those kitchen gadgets except the chopper/scraper one. They are all necessities! haha! Happy Friday girl!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. I had that same lamp from Marshalls and I managed to knock it over and it broke! :(. It was so pretty. My mom works at Marshalls though so I'm sure I could find another and use her discount! ;) I like the crustless quiche idea and need to cut back on the cheese... I think I will try those zucchini boats this week! My husband is finally on board about eating healthy so now is my chance! xo

  3. i cant wait to see your bedroom when it's all done!! we have stainless steel pans and i love them --- except when im cooking eggs! that's the worst. we've actually been talking about buying one small non-stick pan just for eggs. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  4. You make the yummiest meals. Love those lamps and can't wait to see your before and after photos of the bedroom!

  5. love all these tools! it's hard not buying them all right now. have to leave something to the registry!

  6. I've found a few sets of lamps at TJMaxx or Homegoods - they always have the best selection (and prices)!

    All of your meals look delicious - I want to try those zucchini boats.

  7. Nice job on your dinners this week! Zuchinni ravioli is on my menu for next week!

  8. Your meals this week looked incredible!! I want that 4 sided grater - there are words I never thought I'd write lol! Happy Friday! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  9. You know I love me some zucchini recipes! YUM! I have the same lamps in my bedroom and love them!

  10. I've been dying for a mandoline....i think thats how you know you've become a grown up....you lust after kitchen gadgets!

  11. I've wanted a scraper and box grater for far too long! Time to peruse Amazon ;)

  12. All your dinners look delish! My sister sliced off part of her finger the other night using her mandolins and had to spend a few hours in the ER...so be careful! I'm terrified to use mine so although we got it 7.5 years ago as a wedding present, it's still in the box unused! I also agree about shredding your cheese - especially good for making homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella!

  13. I made cauliflower mash for the first time last week and I wasn't the biggest fan because the recipe I used was WAY too garlicky, but I definitely want to try again and tweak the recipe a little bit. Do you have any tips for making it? I've always wondered about zucchini boats-- yours look like they turned out so good!

  14. Love the lamps! Can't wait to see your bedroom furniture. Bar keepers friend is the best stuff ever. I discovered it a few years ago and have been using it religiously ever since. I need to make the switch to stainless


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