Stuff I Love
I received this cupcake courier for Christmas. It's a lifesaver if you haul as many cupcakes as I do to various parties and classrooms. It comes in various colors and holds up to 36 cupcakes--woot! In case it's not obvious, it also makes the perfect storage container for your goodies if you make them a day or two in advance. Or for leftovers (as if).
Do you U-Pick apples? We go every year, but even if we didn't, I think I'd classify this apple peeler a must-have. It peels and slices apples beautifully and my kids love to crank the handle. My husband was amazed it worked as well as it does. He's not a big gadget guy, unlike me, but even he had to admit it's worth the pantry space.
I know I'm a little late jumping on the bread-baking wagon in blog land, but here in my corner of the world, it's actually pretty ambitous. I could not, would not, do it if it weren't for this book. I love it. Especially the oatmeal loaf. You basically mix up a big batch of dough and stick it in your fridge, cutting off what you need to bake daily. You can bake lots of recipes in loaf pans but if you want to do the artisanal free form breads, you'll need a baking stone and a peel (found both deeply discounted at a HomeGoods store).
Coffee. Ahh, my first obsession. And I am not kidding. When I was a little girl, living in New Orleans while my father did graduate work at Tulane, my parents would let me sample their coffee at Cafe du Monde and I was forever hooked (yes, I was maybe only 4, but do not judge--I was persuasive at an early age). And then of course came law school, which nailed the coffin on my coffee-junkie status. These days, I think I'd need the coffee even if I didn't love it so. But since I'm home now, it's sort of a pain to make a whole pot just for me (because, obviously, I'm not letting our kids touch the stuff). And, let's face it, I'd drink the whole pot just so I wouldn't hurt its feelings. I'm like that. So insert the Keurig--the most fabulous gift, ever, from my brother and SIL (thank you John! thank you Amy!). It's kind of pricey, but really, not so much when you compare it to your Starbucks habit.
Swagbucks. Have you heard about this? Basically you use them to search instead of Google (but it's powered by Google and Ask) and you will randomly get points, which then can be used to buy things. I started about six weeks ago (5/09) and by using it to search as I normally would, I've earned 140 points--which I've cashed in for a $10 Starbucks gift card. You can refer other folks and earn a point for every point they earn (up to 100 points). I like anything that results in free frappacinos.
*These are mostly referral links. The price is not affected but if referral links offend you, just google the item name and then go to the merchant independently.