Top 10 Tuesday: Measuring Up

Top 10 TUESDAY measuring stuffIt’s #Top10Tuesday, and I’d like to share the top 10 pieces of kitchen equipment that get me through life with a diabetic child.

May I present my measuring devices:

measuring devices (1)cWhy yes, I *do* have 3 sets of measuring cups, plus one slider measuring cup, and a whole big bunch of Pyrex.

No, I’m not a professional baker. But I do like to cook and bake, and I’m always looking for the equipment that works best for me.

In the kitchen, I measure. A lot. That’s how I find out how many carbs are in the things I feed my family. Not because I think carbs are evil, but because my son needs to count them up with each meal, then take enough insulin to compensate.

So my little measuring-device problem has turned into an asset around here. Here are the ones I like the best!

For dry ingredients:

I have two sets of regular dry measuring cups. One set is mine to use for baking. The other one, with cups in different colors, stays out on the table and is used daily to measure portions at meals.

collapsible measuring cupsA set of collapsible measuring cups is great when you’re serving something like ice cream; you just turn the cup over and push the bottom to dump the ice cream into the dish. Sometimes, though, my son will just eat straight out of the measuring cup instead of grabbing another dish. He’s been known to have a couple of measuring cups sitting on his dinner plate, one filled with broccoli, another with rice. Whatever works…

Measuring spoons are another item you can’t have enough of. We have 3 sets. I love the look and feel of my metal measuring spoons, but I usually grab the plastic ones that aren’t all attached; this way I only have to wash the ones I use.

For liquids:

Emsa perfect beakerThe Emsa Perfect Beaker is fun to use. It makes you feel like a scientist in the kitchen. It’s great when you are mixing several liquids with several different types of measures (say, 1/4 cup of this and 1/3 cup of that) because you can just use this one cup, adding each one in–it’s easy to see how much of everything you have. Turn the cup around to see the different types of measures. UNfortunately, it’s plastic, so don’t use it for hot stuff.

Pyrex cupsPyrex measuring cups. I have 3 of them, in 1, 2, and 4-cup sizes. These are my workhorses, and they’re dishwasher-friendly. Barely a day goes by that I don’t use at least one of these. Since they’re glass, you can measure hot liquids in Pyrex cups, as well as melting butter in the microwave.

oxo mini beakersFor even more scientific-measuring fun, I like these Oxo Mini Beakers. It’s much easier to measure a teaspoon of liquid, such as vanilla extract, into a beaker rather than a measuring spoon.  And when kids are helping to cook or bake, these are just a lot of fun to use. I also get mileage of these when I’m setting up a mise-en-place.

pampered chef batter bowlNow let’s go to the other extreme: my 8-cup Big Batter Bowl. I got this from Pampered Chef. It’s a great bowl, comes with a lid, and is nice and heavy. It’s great for measuring or just for mixing. I’ve been known to pour an entire pot of soup, stew or sauce into this bowl to see exactly how much I get–then subtract the amount from a single serving and figure out how many servings will be in the whole batch.

Weights and Measures:

eatsmart digital scaleI use this Eat Smart Precision Pro food scale multiple times a day. It’s small enough (about the size of a paperback book) that we can even pack it in a small padded envelope and take it with us if we’re going somewhere. It is very simple to place a dish on this scale, automatically subtract the weight of the dish, then weigh the food. From the chips that go in the Kid’s lunchbox to the bowl of cantaloupe he’s having for snack, we can measure anything with this.

taylor digital scaleA little trickier to use, but still handy, is the Taylor Digital Measuring Cup and Scale. You can’t get the whole thing wet or it will kill the digital scale, so it’s hard to wash. Don’t delegate that job to the kids!

For the Sticky Stuff:

wonder cup metricI have 3 sizes of Wonder Cup measuring cups. When I need to measure solid or sticky ingredients like peanut butter, vegetable shortening, honey or molasses, these are my go-to cups! If you’re only going to get one, I recommend the 2-cup size.

Note: Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something through one of my links, it doesn’t cost YOU any extra, and it gives ME a little something I can put toward my next purchase of measuring devices.

Small Success Thursday: Take Two

Small-Success-Thursday-400pxThursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

This is “take two” because WordPress ate my first version of this post. I’m still not sure how that happened. Be assured that Take One was much more clever than this edition.

-1-

BEFORE
BEFORE

I’ve been kind of letting my kitchen table get away from me. It’s a work space, not an eating space, but there wasn’t even space to work on it anymore. And the more stuff that got piled on it, the more I put off the job of cleaning it.

But today I’m making the Big Batch of Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs, and I need that work surface. In less than ten minutes, I’d removed all the extra stuff and placed it where it really belonged.

Why is it so hard to get that job done? Less than ten minutes, and the satisfaction is huge. I want to dress the table up with my favorite vintage tablecloth, but that’ll have to wait until I’m done rolling meatballs.

AFTER
AFTER

-2-

Author Cynthia T. Toney shared one of my recipes at her book blog! Check it out here:  Teens, Create Some Kitchen Magic! I modified Big Brother’s recipe so Little Brother, who has significantly less kitchen experience, could cook it on his own. Try this one at home!

-3-

Little Brother was in a show last week (he played the King in Once Upon a Mattress, which I guess makes me the Queen Mother) and I had to help with the sale of concessions. I found myself in one of those “nobody wants to be in charge” situations and wound up working the concession stand for all 4 performances. I saw more than my share of mompetition among Stage Mothers (especially Stage Mothers With Daughters, which made me glad that Middle Sister was the Stage Manager Extraoirdinaire for her theater pursuits.)

I did manage to get through 4 performances and 2 cast parties without too much social anxiety, but by the time Set Strike rolled around, I was done. After two hours of vacuuming the theater with a 50-pound commercial vacuum that lacked power steering, I pulled an Irish exit. That might not have been my classiest move ever, but at that point I’d had more than enough of sweetly-dueling Stage Mothers. I’m going to chalk it up in the Mental-Health Victory column.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!