Over the weekend, Jon and I returned a Pottery Barn lamp I'd bought online with the last of our wedding-related credits (the blue lamp base was not the same in person as it was in the catalog, which is silly since it was a non-store product!). We decided to use the credit at Williams-Sonoma to buy some fun stuff instead.
Note: My idea of fun stuff is different from what it used to be (a $50 meal out in NYC vs. $50 worth of kitchen gear, which will last much longer than one evening out!).
-For salad dressing, I usually use olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and sometimes lemon juice, so I've started experimenting with different varities of olive oil. Now there are separate oils for cooking and for dressings in the kitchen cabinet. I asked for a recommendation and ended up buying a small bottle of extra virgin Lungarotti, which comes from Umbria, and is "characterized by a noteworthy balance between fruitiness, bitterness and spiciness." Haven't tried it yet. Will let you know.
-"The peach-colored salt flakes from Australia have a rich yet delicate flavor," says the package of Finishing Salt. It's mild in flavor, heavy in saltiness, thick in texture, and doesn't have that girl holding an umbrella on it! I'll use it for fish, vegetables, and even steak. I really like to splurge on special ingredients as I'm more inclined to think of unique ways to use them when they're nicely packaged...or expensive.
-New, matching oven mitts. The ones we had weren't thick enough to fully block out the oven's heat and, well, didn't match. In a bad not matching way, not a cute, funky one!
-A high-fallutin' baking pan. I have two really old ones that are so stained, and this one is "commercial quality." It glistens, that's all I care about! How cool: "The extremely durable metal heats quickly and evenly to ensure uniform baking. With use, the pan darkens slightly, increasing its ability to absorb heat."
-Tongs made of stainless steel with heat-resistant nylon tips that are okay to use in our non-stick Calphalon. We've had to buy a couple of new utensils like that since you can't use metal with our new pots and pans. For my next kitchen splurge, I want a nylon-tipped whisk. I also need a larger liquid measuring cup and new 12-piece cupcake tins. I'm sure I'll come up with some other items as well in the meantime!