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A cup is not a cup is not a cup.

When I first started buying Kitchenware,  a vendor was presenting their products to me (namely measuring cups).  Dry measuring cups. Liquid measuring cups.  I thought to myself, a cup is a cup is a cup, right?  Well, sort of.  As I was using my liquid measuring cup this morning to heat water for my oatmeal,  I felt inspired to blog.

  • Liquid measuring cups-The main plus to having a liquid measuring cup is the extra room at the top that prevents overflow/spilling. An example of a liquid measuring cup is shown above.  Pyrex is, by far, the most well-known.  It can be found at most retailers and online.  They should retail for between $5-$8.  If you see it for any more than that, you are paying too much and you should shop around.  Liquid measuring cups are also available in plastic if you prefer.  I do discourage plastic because the plastic material limits what you can do with it  (i.e. you can use glass in the microwave and dishwasher).  I do love the measuring capabilities of the OXO angled cup.  You can see the measurements from the top.  Very cool.  However, I wish that it was available in glass.  (It is available in plastic and metal, with plastic being the most popular).
  • Dry measuring cups-Dry measuring cups allow for precise measuring of dry ingredients.  You are able to level off the top with a straight edge.  Dry measuring cups come in a variety of sizes for this very reason.  While you can still technically use a liquid measuring cup for dry ingredients, it is difficult to get an exact measurement.  You can tap the side but this can cause some dry ingredients to compact, which can result in an inaccurate amount going into your recipe.  This is where my blog will become more opinionated vs. fact based (forewarning).  There is an overwhelming amount of dry ingredient cups out there.  They can range from $8-$50.    I do realize that material preferences plays a part in this.  Some people prefer plastic, while others prefer metal but the bottom line is this:  A dry measuring cup IS a dry measuring cup.  It seems crazy to me to spend more than $20 on measuring cups so I am not going to focus on anything higher than that.  Now that I have that off my chest, let’s get to the details. Here are a few options.  Kenmore (at Kmart) makes excellent metal measuring cups.  I have had mine for @3 yrs and I love them.  They nest inside each other and have magnets in the handle to keep them that way in my drawer (pictured below).  They retail for $14.99. I also own a set of plastic Kitchenaid cups that have held up well.  I have had them for @8 yrs.  The only issue I have is that they don’t stay as well nested as the Kenmore cups.  They are available at multiple retailers such as Target, Amazon and Macy’s (to name a few).  They typically sell for $6-$10.   My honorable mention is for OXO.   They are heavy duty and I love the neoprene handles.  They also nest well but retail a little high.  $20 at retailers like Williams Sonoma, Macy’s and Amazon.
As you can see, measuring cups aren’t quite as simple as they appear.  Hoped this helped clarify the need for two types in your kitchen.  Please add a comment if you have found measuring cups that you love or don’t love that I didn’t mention here.  Please be sure to include why you did or did not like them.  Thanks and happy measuring everyone!

Sliced and Diced.

Complicated. Confusing.  Overwhelming.  Expensive.  Any guesses on the topic of the day?? Parenting?  Nope.  Leaving home for the first time?  Nope.  Making a major purchase (house/car)?   Nope.  Weirdly enough, I am talking Cutlery (thanks Ellyce for my topic today!)  Trust me when I tell you that there is more to Cutlery than meets the eye. What brand? What type of handle? What type of knife do I need? Should I buy a block set? or just a few knives? I could go on and on. It is never ending and in my experience, people tend to skip the questioning and buy the block set that has the best sale price. Not to overgeneralize but really, does anyone truly understand cutlery these days. It cuts my veggies, my meat… I’m good. I hope that after you read my little blog, you will file just a few of my tips in your ‘someday this info may be helpful’ file in your brain.  If you remember these three things when buying cutlery it will be a great starting point:

  1. Every Kitchen needs an 8″ chef knife (use for large cuts of meat, chopping small and large veggies) and a paring knife (use for peeling, mincing and dicing).  The rest is nice to have but you can survive without them.  I say this because if you focus on these two knives, you may be able to spend a little more for a great quality brand such as Wusthof or J.A.Henckels.  You can find Wusthof at Macy’s/Crate and Barrel/Williams Sonoma (to name a few) and Henckels is available at retailers like Macy’s and at Target.
  2. Buy forged if you can – What in the world is forged?  Forged is when the knife is made from one solid piece of steel, making it incredibly strong.  Forged doesn’t always have to be expensive.  You can get a great Hampton Forge forged set for @$50.  You can buy Hampton Forge at Target and Kmart.
  3. Buy Stainless Steel blades –  Most knife blades are made of carbon steel or stainless steel.  Carbon steel is cheaper but is susceptible to corrosion so I say steer clear!

Once the site is up and running, I will do a complete cutlery guide so that when  you are ready to buy, you can just hop on the site, print and take with you.  In the interim, I hope this helps.  Happy Slicing and Dicing everyone!

Fun fact:  ‘sliced and diced’ was going to be my website and blog name but my amazing brother in law came up with ‘minced reviews’ when I realized I couldn’t use my original idea and I love it! Thanks Paul!