Here are my five things:
1.) Spring Form Pans - I have a few of them. I love making cakes! I have a hard time trying to flip cakes out of a traditional pan without them falling apart. Sooo frustrating!! But with a spring form pan, all I have to do is open the sides! Can't believe how easy it is!
2.) Betty Crocker Cookbook - Both my mom and my grandma have this cook book, and I was blessed to receive one at my bridal shower. It has a lot of really great tips on baking pies with picture demonstrations. (For us visual people) There are some amazing baking recipes that I have used many times.
3.) Alternative Ingredients - There have been a few times that I have gone to grab an egg and didn't have one or realized that I didn't have any cooking oil. I have found healthier ways to make the recipe without altering the taste too much. A great substitute for eggs is canned pumpkin. It makes the cake a bit heavier, but really tasty! For oil, I have used apple sauce! Try it sometime!!
4.) Corian Counter Top Island - When I moved into my house I never realized how much I would use it. It's perfect for rolling out pie dough and cookies and keeps them at the perfect cool temperature. It's also great for putting cookie racks on to cool cookies and to have a large enough space to ice a cake. I don't know what I would do without it!
5.) Music - I know it's not necessarily a baking tool or helpful tip, but for me, it's a necessity! It helps if I sing along as well. I love just being in my kitchen, decorating cookies, icing a cake or mixing bread while singing my heart out to Coldplay, or Sting, or whomever it is I am in the mood to listen to. (It changes daily) I have found that my Mother in law is the same way (with her Christmas baking). Her grandma, and her mom used to make the same Christmas goodies every year. She can't make her Czech Pastries without listening to her records from the old country. I love how tradition, combined with music, and the smells of family recipes make it Christmas for her and all of her children. I hope that someday my children will enjoying the memories of me baking them special things in my kitchen.
Don't forget to check out the other girls in the Blog Along: