These are a few of our favorite things – Holiday 2013
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When I started this site nearly five years ago, I never fathomed what it has become today. I never dreamed I wouldn’t be writing alone, but with a wonderful group of people that have a passion for freezer cooking. It is simply amazing.
And when I hired my first contributor three years ago, it changed this site and I forever. I hired, and continue to hire, members of the OAMM community. The number one criteria is to be familiar with how we do things around here, to be a champion for it online and at home. I have been astounded over the years with the people God has blessed me with.
Six months ago, we decided that it was high time that the OAMM writers came together in one space to meet each other for the first time. Did you know we are spread out all over the country and some of us had never met face-to-face? Yes, you heard that right, I hired people I had never met in person. And most of them are closer to me than my “in real life” friends. We talk often and about so much beyond the ramblings of OAMM.
And if I was going to get this team together under one roof, there is only one thing I really wanted to accomplish – PAMPERING! These women (sorry, we haven’t had men yet, I am sure that is going to change soon) have played a vital role in what OAMM is today and I wanted them to know how much they are valued. I did what Oprah would do and I called up all of my FAVORITE vendors and asked them if they would help me to celebrate this great team. I did not charge them money nor did I let a company say to me they wanted to be included. The items at this event were by invitation only and were my personal most coveted products I have used in freezer cooking.
Why am I telling you? I thought you might like to know what the queen of freezer cooking thinks are the BEST things since the freezer was invented! Here they are. . .
This cookware is absolutely incredible. I have never seen non-stick pans like these. Free of teflon they are still non-stick which makes them that much more incredible. They are high-quality pans made in Switzerland which not only are non-stick but don’t need oil. Can you say lower fat and calories? The pans are also safe for the oven up to 500 degrees so you can cook something on the stove and transfer it to the oven for the finishing touches. Swiss Diamond also offers a lifetime warranty on their pans, whereas they are more expensive, take comfort that if something goes wrong (it shouldn’t) your money is well spent.
The staff has LOVED them for cooking eggs. Ever cooked your eggs only to have half of them stuck to the bottom of the pan? Not with the Swiss Diamond pans! They each received an 8-inch fry pan to take home with them for their regular use. We also got to use the 3 piece fry and saute pan as part of our Chopped competition on Saturday night.
I’ve had a long love affair with KitchenAid. They are amazing. Yes, even though I have moved, I still have my amazing KitchenAid appliances – I demanded they come with me! Aside from appliances, almost all of my small appliances are from KitchenAid as well. And I don’t know if you could call the food processor they sent “small”. It is the biggest, baddest kitchen machine I have ever seen in my life! It will chop up to – wait for it – 16 CUPS of food! YES! Do you know how many onions that is in one swoop? (Thirteen! Yes, you know I can calculate vegetable conversions in seconds, right?) AMAZING. I contemplated hiding this beauty but sent it with our uber-talented photographer and recipe developer, Lisa to bring some ease to her cooking days. And can you believe she didn’t own a food processor? Two years with OAMM officially and she didn’t own a food processor. For shame!
They also sent us two amazing Diamond Vortex 5-Speed Blenders so we could make breakfast smoothies and some (blush) adult beverages in the evenings. Two of our ladies went home with these beauties.
And the mother of all everyday appliances, the Professional Line 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender. There aren’t words to describe this appliance. It is any cook’s best friend. If you have had a hand blender and not liked it, I can guarantee you it wasn’t a KitchenAid Hand Blender with attachments (or on steroids as I refer to it). This piece of equipment changed my life a few short years ago. I now keep mine handy for chopping, blending, frothing and more! Yes, one of our ladies went home with this as well.
I was first introduced to these by my good friend Stephanie of Mama and Baby Love. They are amazing and God’s gift to the earth-minded freezer cook. Well made, in the USA, gallon (and other size) freezer bags that you can reuse again and again. They aren’t for everyone as they are more expensive than store-bought gallon freezer bags (although over time, they may not be, we will investigate this soon), but if you really want to cut down on your carbon footprint, these are perfect. They don’t do well for soups but casseroles, muffins, single items, etc, they are perfect! They have a campaign on Indiegogo you should check out too. There is a special package of all gallon bags for us freezer cooks!
I will be honest, this is a new favorite thing for me. Our up and coming photographer, Lisa, was coveting one of these earlier this summer and our staffers brought it to our attention. When I saw what they were, how they were constructed and how chic they were, I fell in love myself. I mean look at them, they are beautiful! We got the Brooklyn Rose backpack/laptop bag and the thing was massive. It was practically as big as I am and able to hold both camera equipment and a laptop. You could stow small children in it (although not advised). All that to say, it is an AMAZING accessory, beautiful, yet practical.
(Pictured above) I was first introduced to Flirty Aprons YEARS ago when I was doing OAMM Tweetups. They are absolutely adorable and they even have matching kids aprons too. For our Saturday night Chopped competition (more on that coming soon) we definitely needed team aprons. I picked out my favorites to accompany the OAMM logo, Flirty Aprons sent them to me and I had them embroidered with the OAMM logo. If you are interested in them, they have a deal running through the month of November (2013) that will get you 20% off your entire order when you use the code TURKEY20! Not too shabby!