Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins from my blog, A Sweet Spoonful
There's something about this time of year. I find myself baking much more frequently, leaving the Kitchen Aid out on the counter instead of storing it in its proper winter-time home, and bookmarking dessert recipes right and left. Then I start thinking about opening a bakery...but that's a whole different post. On my own blog recently, I've made very special muffins (above) and Jim Lahey's whole wheat bread. And I have big plans for some cupcakes for a party I'm attending this week. So I'm certainly not lacking in the inspiration department. But you've got to be prepared with everything you need, the recipes that inspire, and a few extras just for fun. So here are some of my favorite things to help kick start your time in the kitchen this spring:
Some love them, some hate them: you either find them useful in an 'Oh, my mom used those for our pancakes' kind of way or you're not quite sure what to do with them. But batter bowls are actually fabulous: you can mix batters right inside the bowl and neatly pour into your cupcake tins, waffle-maker, or cheesecake pan. I also use them to help pour eggs for omelettes and I might occasionally mix and pour cocktails in my batter bowl. Yes, you heard that right. You can get them many places, but I find Stonewall Kitchen's batter bowls to be very sweet--nice spring colors and a generous handle.
Prettiest Apron You'll Ever See
I can't get enough of Ice Milk Aprons. I actually don't own one yet, but I gawk frequently online. They're a small family company that does heirloom aprons that are super simple and inspired by the founder's grandmother who always wore an apron when she fixed a dinner of waffles, fresh fruit, and ice milk at home. They do full traditional aprons, but they also do a gorgeous "Rolling Pin Waist" style that is more life a half apron with a sash up top. In many ways, they're almost too pretty to really muck up in the kitchen--but that hasn't stopped me from hinting to friends and family.
While I obviously support going to your local cookware shop, I have found the folks at Layer Cake Shop stock some interesting baking accoutrement that you may not be able to find as easily all in one spot. I love their simple paper tags that come in a variety of colors--great for labeling desserts. And they have all different colors of bakers twine and an incredible variety of little muffin and cupcake cups. Useful and inspiring.