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Emily Henderson

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by Sara Tramp
Emily Henderson Baking Essentials2

There’s always room in my stomach for dessert. Food goes into your stomach, but dessert? Dessert goes into your heart.

The EHD team doesn’t, in my opinion, have a healthy history of ordering dessert when we go out as a group. These morally upstanding people, who I’m incredibly lucky to call my teammates, have willpowers of steel. But every now and then I decide enough is enough and demand that the waiter bring over the dessert menu before anyone else can say “I think we’re good, thanks!” WE ARE MOST CERTAINLY NOT GOOD. There might be bread pudding with salted caramel sauce to try. Or rose water and fruit pavlovas with tangy raspberry puree. And what about the house-made gelatos featuring fresh summer fruit?!

But there is something I love even more than eating warm ginger cakes soaked in coffee and molasses syrup. Baking them. Baking is complete therapy for me. There are few things better than putting on one of my favorite quiet Spotify playlists (This Is Chad Lawson, Lute Music For Alchemists, or Coffee Table Jazz being my usual go-tos), opening up a cookbook, and emerging from my hot kitchen a little while later, red-cheeked and flour-covered, holding a plate of something new to force-feed my friends and coworkers. During the winter, I LOVE to wake up early and bake before work with a hot cup of tea while it’s still dark. And in the summer, I’ll spend weekend mornings deciding what fruit-inspired dessert I’m going to try, head to the farmers market, and then spending the rest of the afternoon making lunch and baking. I’m sure it all feeds into my Great British Baking Show tent fantasies paired with a heavy dose or Jane Austen-inspired romanticism.

I hungrily devour my Bon Appétit magazine every month, visit Food52’s site almost daily, and try my hardest to avoid Pinterest and instead resort to my small but loved collection of cookbooks (until I’ve tried every recipe at least). You don’t need to be a pastry chef to bake well, you just need a desire to try, some simple ingredients, and a few essential tools.

About two weeks ago, Arlyn published a post on her everyday kitchen cooking tools and there was a request from readers to go further on the subject but with a focus on baking-specific products, so here I am today, the “resident” baker on staff, walking you through what I personally love and couldn’t turn on my oven without.

Emily Henderson Baking Essentials Sara Roundup Updated

1. Parchment Paper: Every good baker needs a roll of parchment paper in their drawer. Bake cookies on it so they don’t stick to your tray, use it to sandwich and roll out some pie dough, wrap up loaves of bread in it with some pretty twine to give at gifts. It’s an essential.

2. Pyrex 8 cup Measuring Cup with Lid: All you really need is one, big, glass measuring cup (Arlyn said this in her post, too). Not only does it measure liquids (duh), but it’s the perfect size for melting drizzly sauces or butter in, whipping cream in, or even making small batches of batter in (with an easy to pour spout). I received an extra-large measuring cup once as a gift YEARS ago, and it’s still one of my favorite kitchen tools. It also serves as a great plant waterer. 

3. Microplane: Citrus rinds, nutmeg, cinnamon, cheese, fingers—what can’t this little tool grate? You don’t need a four-sided grater, lemon zester, AND a nutmeg shaver. Just one microplane to rule them all.

4. Stainless Steel Pastry Scraper, Dough Blender & Biscuit Cutter Set: All three of these tools are essentials in a bakers drawer. A pastry scraper not only helps you scrape sticky doughs off counters, but it also helps you cut thick doughs into sections, and move unwilling cookies onto trays. Dough blenders keep your extra short doughs (extra buttery, think shortbreads) cold and crumbly when your fingers would otherwise turn them into melty mush. And a solid set of varied size circular cookie cutters will get you far in the cookie, pie decorating, and pasta making world.

5. Fine Mesh Sieve: Who needs a flour sifter or a sugar duster when you probably already have a sieve sitting in your cabinet? I use this to get lumps out of my sugar and flours, to juice citrus without having to pick out seeds (no need for a juicer), to dust cakes and cookies with powdered sugar, and to wash berries for fruit desserts (plus draining canned goods and pasta).

6. Set of 3 Glass Covered Mixing Bowls: You really only need three mixing bowls in your life. Often times when it comes to baking, you’ll need one for the dry ingredients, one for the wet, and one for making your frosting or dressing. And with lids, you can use these bowls to store leftovers or make frostings/glazes/drizzles in advance. Glass bowls can also be microwaved, or used as a double boiler (unlike plastic bowls).

7. Whisk: Some of you might be adverse to a hand mixer, and I get that. And sometimes what you gotta mix just isn’t worth the effort of pulling it out and plugging it in. I feel that in my bones. What you are going to need is an easy to clean, unmangled, never gonna break down whisk. And some beefy forearms to wield it with (just like our grandmothers before us).

8. 3pc Non-Stick Aluminized Steel Cookie Sheet Set: You gotta get your cookies in the oven somehow. Or maybe you’re making some granola bars. In that case, you’re going to want cookie trays with a little bit of depth and a lip (like these). Making pavlova? You’re a risk-taker, and I like it. No matter what, this set of baking trays is going to get you where you need to go (and won’t warp on you).

9. Measuring Spoon and Cup Set: This is America, where we measure things with varying degrees of accuracy and “just kinda wing it” whenever possible. That’s essentially how I feel about using measuring spoons and cups: it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to get you pretty close. This set compacts nicely together and they all have the measurements etched into them, that way 12 years from now you’re not struggling to differentiate your 1/2 teaspoon from your 1/3 tablespoon because the paint has worn off the handles.

10. Set of 3 Non-Stick Round Cake Pans: If you’re going to be making cakes, you’re going to need cake tins. Get a good, simple set and they’ll last you a lifetime. There’s really no reason to get a donut pan, a mini bundt pan, or a Christmas tree mini cake pan unless you’re practicing to enter the GBBS. 

11. Silicone Baking Mat: I love me some parchment paper, but a silicone baking mat is the modern baker’s choice of tray liner. Nothing sticks to silicone baking mat. NOTHING. (I know that at least one of you is going to tell me in the comments that, actually, yes you’ve managed to get something stuck on one of these bad boys. I’ll need all the messy details.)

12. Adjustable Rolling Pin with Removable Rings: The handles of a traditional rolling pin always got in my way. Once I went handle-less, I never went back. And this rolling pin has removable rings that can help you gauge the thickness of your doughs. No more measuring what 1/4 of an inch looks like (or guessing, if you’re me). I’ve also used a bottle of wine as a rolling pin and it worked fine, so decide how much you’ll actually be rolling out dough and how much you’d rather invest in wine.

13. Silicone Spatula: Do I even need to explain why you need this? You obviously need something with a good flexible edge to scoop out every drop of extra chocolate cake batter from your bowl and promptly transport it into your mouth hole. That is this tool’s one and only purpose.

14. 2-Piece Measuring Conversion Magnet Set: Realizing that I need to figure out how many teaspoons are in a cup, and trying to look it up on my phone with dough covered fingers is one of my all-time favorite activities, but in case you don’t feel the same, these magnets are for you. Especially helpful if you’re trying to either double or half a recipe.

11. 9″ x 13″ Nonstick Baking Pan with Cover: This is what you’re gonna make sheet cakes, crumbles, brownies, and cobblers in. And the lid makes for extra easy transport to wherever it’s headed (if it can make it out of the kitchen without being devoured).

Emily Henderson Baking Essentials Sara Roundup Updated 2

1. Bundt Pan: Okay, you like to bake. You’ve moved beyond round and rectangle cakes. Maybe the holidays are coming up. You, my friend, are ready to upgrade to a bundt pan. A lot of the same cakes, but in a new special shape that’s sure to impress with lots of nooks and crannies for glazes to settle into.

2. Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9 Speed Hand Mixer: Listen, those 10 digits of yours will get you pretty far when it comes to baking. But at a certain point, hand whipping cream for 30 minutes just isn’t worth it. A hand mixer, that’s all self-contained, can get you perfectly mixed cake batters, easily creamed sugar and butter, and nice stiff peaks in 1/4 of the time a hand whisk would take. 

3. Non-Stick Cooling Rack: It’s totally fine most of the time to let your baked goods cool right on the tray. MOST OF THE TIME. If you want to better control the finish of your baked goods (those cookies keep cooking on that hot tray until the tray itself cools down), then get a cooling rack to carefully transfer your finished goods to after they come out of the oven. Also, doubles as a good glazing rack and makes great oven bacon.

4. KitchenAid Professional 5qt Mixer: Now if you’re really feeling moved by the baking spirit there’s nothing more exciting than a KitchenAid stand mixer. I cried when I opened mine on Christmas day five years ago. REAL. TEARS. It’s fast, it can make double batches without breaking a sweat, it can knead bread for days, and it leaves your hands free to slowly add your dry ingredients, or get a head start on spilling the vanilla all over the counter. Big thanks to my cousin, who was working at Williams Sonoma at the time, and got my parents that sweet discount.

5. Kitchen and Food Scale: Okay, here’s the solution to my measuring cup/spoon issue from above. While we Americans are still struggling to properly measure out exactly two cups of flour, our more civilized world neighbors are just weighing their ingredients. And now so am I. You get your kitchen scale, you pop your bowl on there, and hit “tare” (which means the scale subtracts the weight of the bowl leaving you with a 0 weight). Then you can add as many ingredients as you need, hitting tare after each one. 150 grams flours, *tare*, 90 grams sugar, *tare*, 200ml milk. You can measure it all without dirtying a single measuring cup or spoon. And it’s going to be wildly more accurate, which generally matters when it comes to baking.

6. Ceramic Oval Baking Dish: Yes, you can make cobblers, crisps, crumbles, and slumps in a cake tray. But they really want to be made in a baking dish for more even baking and better heat retention. Plus, presentation-wise, these are ready to go oven to table without any sort of fuss.

7. Icing Knife Set: Can you use an everyday knife to ice your cupcakes? Sure, no ones going to stop you. But that slightly serrated knife gets a little trickier when you’re trying to frost a cake. It’s too narrow, and the tapered, serrated edges can leave an uneven and unwanted pattern. Icing knives give you more surface area to work with, thin, flexible control, and even flat sides to use for smoothing. Plus they work great for peeling cookies off counters and trays, too.

8.  Food52 Baking Cookbook: I have a lot of well-loved cookbooks, but if you’re interested in getting into some baking-specific activities then this is a great book to start with. Food52 recipes have never failed me, they are very clear on the instructions, include both cup and weight measurements, and there’s a beautiful photo for EVERY recipe. I really appreciate this last detail, because sometimes you just need to know if you’re cookie is supposed to look that flat, or if you’ve done something horribly wrong.

9. Silicone Pastry Basting Brush: Slowly basting your clementine almond cake with the citrus syrup you made is going to be much harder with your fingers than it would be with a basting brush. Syrups, sauces and drizzles get a helping hand for the myriad of little fingers this brush provides you with. Also great for basting meats and veggies. I prefer a silicone brush to a bristled brush because it’s far easier to clean (and you won’t ever find yourself pulling bristles out of your month mid-bite).

10. 5″ x 9″ Non-Stick Loaf Pan: Small batch batters like banana bread or pound cakes fair far better in loaf pans (and often the recipe only leaves you with enough batter to fill one of these narrow pans).

11. Cherry and Olive Pitter: Have you every tried to pit an entire bags of cherries by knife and hand? It’s tedious and leaves your counter and hands looking like a murder scene. If you’re working with cherries enough during cherry season (like me—cherry pie, cherry crumble, cherry tarts), then it’s worth investing in this handy little tool. For your sanity.

12. Non-Stick Muffin Tin: MAYBE YOU NEED A MUFFIN TIN. Who knows. Some people love making muffins and cupcakes, some people don’t. This only really depends on how much you like making muffins and cupcakes. Personally, I just don’t make that many, and my muffin tin sits unloved. But maybe twice a year I pull this out to throw together some breakfast muffins or divide up my favorite cake batter and make mini versions (cakes the size of cups, perhaps). If you’re gonna make muffins or cupcakes, you’re gonna need one of these. But I personally stick to my loaves, rounds and tins.

And here are a few honorable mentions (things that are NOT necessary, or even nice to have, but just really fun):

  • Ninja Professional Blender – I bought this on sale at Target two years ago, and I use it every single day. It has small cup attachments to make smoothies, a blender, and a food processor attachment. One system for three different uses. And it’s holding up great.
  • Removable Bottom Tart Pan – One reader commented below that they love theirs, which reminded me that I also love mine!
  • Ceramic Pie Dish – One beautiful pie dish is going to get you far, if you’re interested in pie making. I have an heirloom piece handed down from my great grandmother that I use, and it hasn’t failed me yet.
  • 9″ Spring Form Cake Pan – Using a spring form cake pan can take a little practice (you gotta make sure it’s lined properly, and that you’ve sealed the bottom in correctly), but once you know how to use it it’s hands down my favorite way to bake heartier cakes (softer, mushier cakes tend to do better in traditional cake pans).
  • Crimped Biscuit Cutter – I listed a set of circular cookie cutters above because they’re more versatile, but I usually use a set of crimped edged cutters myself. It’s an easy way to give your cookies and biscuits an immediate fancy finish.
Emily Henderson Baking Essentials Shortbread Cookie Recipe 5

Now some of you may have come over from Instastories, curious about those cookies I was making (and the ones photographed here). This is a wildly easy Italian Cornmeal Cookie recipe by Emiko Davies, from the Food52 Baking book I have on the list up there. I made these on a Tuesday afternoon in Velinda’s kitchen while we were shooting her house (stay tuned for that). My attention was divided and they still turned out great. Here’s how you’re gonna make them:

What You Need

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) fine cornmeal (if you can’t find “fine” go with regular and just blitz it in a blender or processor)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 2/3 cups (150g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • zest of 1 lemon

What You Do

  1. In your largest bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal and sugar. Then add the butter pieces. Use your quick fingers or a pastry cutter to work the ingredients together until the mixture is the consistency of almost dry sand (grainy, but holds together).
  2. Add the egg yolks and zest, and keep mixing with your fingers until blended. Then bring the dough together into a smooth ball.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (this allows the butter to harden up a bit, so it doesn’t get too sticky when you roll it out).
  4. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Use your circular cookie cutter to cut out cookies. You can place them fairly close together on your tray because these cookies don’t spread very much when baking. If you find your cookies are getting too warm and sticking, feel free to pop it back in the fridge or freezer for a few more minutes. Note: I actually like to flour a sheet of parchment paper, put down my dough, throw a little flower on top, and sandwich it between another sheet of parchment paper. I then roll out the dough between the two sheets. After I have a flat parchment paper and dough sandwich, I pop that baby in the fridge and let it firm up before cutting out my cookies. This makes for some super easy cookie to tray movement.
  5. Once your cookies are all laid out on a baking tray (either on some parchment or a silicone baking mat), put the whole tray into your freezer for 30 minutes. Again, this allows the butter to really firm up before it bakes. Otherwise, your cookies are just going to melt in the oven, spread, and turn into crips rather than cookies. During this time, you can preheat your oven to 350F (175C).
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are just looking golden and the cookies have puffed up a bit. Let cool right on the tray!

Happy baking. xx

Emily Henderson Baking Essentials Shortbread Cookie Recipe

***photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp for EHD

  1. I LOVE MY PYREX BATTER BOWL! So much so that I bought a smaller version too. Seriously they are probably the most useful things in my baking arsenal.

    One quibble: I consider my cooling racks to be essential — and the best way to get cakes, breads, cookies out of the pan and cooling off. If you can’t afford cooling racks, you may already have one or two. I use the flat racks that came with my 2 roasting pans (1 small pan and 1 large because you need both!) as cooling racks. A cooling rack is something you can buy cheap.

    However, I believe in investing in the best quality equipment because it lasts. Some things at Target are great. But, for example, about 15 or 20 years ago I invested in 3 Vollrath baking sheets. Not only do they work well but after years of use there is zero sign of warping. They look almost new! I will have these Vollrath baking sheets for the rest of my life, as compared with cheap baking pans that warp after a year.

    I also like my sifter. 🙂

    1. What kind of sifter do you have???

      1. It’s a vintage metal one with a little handle you turn. Still works!

  2. Think you mean “Definitive” in the title. Just saying while it’s still early morning. 🙂

    1. Haha, thanks for catching!

  3. Oooo fun! I’ve somehow managed to fit all these items into my little kitchen! Hah!

    Lately I’ve been into tart pans with removable bottoms. Definitely not a necessity, but MAN it makes stuff look fancy and beautiful with minimal effort!

    1. Just added as an honorable mention!

  4. I have been known to also use my cooling rack as a drying rack…especially for wine glasses! I lay a kitchen towel down, drop my cooling rack on top, and wash away. I don’t want to say that I use it more for that purpose than for actual baking purposes…but my ratio of wine to baking just might lean more heavily to the former than the latter.

    1. Just one more way baking and wine overlap…

      1. lolz

    2. Yes, yes. Cooling racks for dish draining are the best. Not bulky, multi-purpose.
      I also use mine to elevate my phone or laptop for cooling and to prevent liquid damage.

  5. Hi Emily,

    I love your blog, but something changed in your website formatting in the last few weeks, and now I am unable to view the pictures in your posts from my desktop computer. I can read the text, but not see the pics. They show up fine on my mobile devices, so I’m not sure what that means. I just thought you would want to know.

    1. I have been able to see images fine all week. This is most likely something that changed with your browser (possibly an extension or images being blocked) and not Emily’s site.

  6. I love using my Amazon Echo (or pick your smart speaker of choice — Google Home and HomePod can do the same thing) for timers and conversions because my hands are always full and/or dirty. I just ask, “Alexa, what’s 220 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit?”, or “Alexa, set a timer for 18 minutes.”

    1. AH such a good idea!

    2. I was going to add the same comment! Even if you’re not into the whole smart speaker life, just plugging an Echo Dot (you can often get them on sale for as little as $30 around the holidays or on prime day/week) while you’re cooking is such a huge help with timers and conversions. You can also use it as a hands free bluetooth speaker (“Alexa pause” when you turn on the mixer) and use it to quickly add things to a grocery list. I think cooking has been the best use of my Echo.

  7. Baking/cooking amateur here (though eating expert). What’s the difference between metal baking pans and glass baking pans? Also (not baking but kind of related), what’s the difference between a blender and food processor? Do you need both?

    1. The difference between glass and metal pans really comes down to differences in baking times needed for each. Metal tends to bake faster than glass; glass tends to bake more evenly. I have both and I find I use metal for some recipes and glass for others. But you could definitely get just one, and adjust your cooking times to compensate.

      A blender has the tall pitcher sitting on top of the motor and is best for liquid ingredients (although I’ve used mine for plenty of things that “only” a food processor would take care of). A food processor has the wider, more squat bowl, and a selection of different blades so that you can cut/chop/slice different shapes and sizes. We got rid of our food processor years ago because it was such a pain to clean. We just use our kitchen knives as our food processors — they work great and are easy to clean.

      Also, I’d like to echo someone else’s comment that my cooling racks are must have’s for baking!

      1. Thanks so much Catherine!

    2. Metal and glass conduct heat differently, so they affect the way things are baked differently. Metal is good for most cookies/cakes/muffins that take quicker to bake, and glass is better for pies, cobblers, casseroles etc that bake more slowly.
      (This link explains it well https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/53759/does-it-matter-whether-you-use-a-glass-or-metal-baking-dish/)
      And besides for the shape and size difference, a blender generally blends things finer, like into a smoothie or a paste. This also might just be in my head but I feel like with a blender you put other ingredients besides fruits & veggies, and it blends them all together. With a food processor, it’s mostly for getting the fruit or veggie to the state that you need it for your recipe. It can also shred things which a blender can’t. Although there definitely is some overlap on what they can do!

  8. I love to bake and I agree with most of this list, but I miss this website being consistently about design.

  9. I’ll take a stab at this. Metal baking pans are (sometimes) deeper–I use one to make pumpkin bread; the bread rises up as it bakes and I can easily turn the pan over to pop the loaf out when it’s done. Glass baking pans tend to be more shallow and wide. I use them to cook stuff that’s more “oven to table” like a casserole. I also use glass pans in the refrigerator, for cold desserts and whatnot. You wouldn’t make a jello salad in a metal pan–eww. The difference between a blender and food processor…there’s a difference in shape for sure. I think of a blender as being used to blend things you’ll pour out…like smoothies, whereas the food processor is for chopping or otherwise “processing” ingredients. For example, you’d never chop onions in a blender. You could definitely argue that neither device is really necessary. My blender died and I haven’t replaced it. Maybe my husband did chop onions in it once too often!!

    1. Thanks Susie!

  10. This is such a great list, and it’s awesome to see where the gaps are in my own kitchen!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  11. Plug for what I consider to be the best baking book of all time: Stella Parks’ Bravetart.

    Literally everything in this book is magic. You remember that ridiculous NYT chocolate chip cookie recipe with a resting period etc?

    Hers is better.

    1. You know, I never really LOVED that NYT recipe. I think it was by Jacques Torres (???) who yes, is a chocolate master, but it just didn’t feel worth the effort. I’m absolutely going to check out Stella Park’s book and try the cookie recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    2. 100% with you. Stella Parks is a total genius!

    3. Ditto! Seriouseats.com is a favorite site for recipes and Stella Parks is a staff writer there. I enjoy the detailed instructions and explanations of the ‘why’ behind ingredients or techniques.

  12. just a small shout-out/affirmation: i am 31 years old and have heard my friends talk for YEARS about dream of the day they could own a kitchenaid mixer. i actually used to think they cost like thousands of dollars, based on how unattainable it always seemed. that being said, if you haven’t baked a lot it might feel like there is a equipment barrier to getting started.

    i really enjoy baking and have lived in many different countries with varying sizes of kitchens, and, with very few exceptions, i’ve found that i have never needed a stand mixer or even a hand mixer! just a whisk! (i did try to make whipped cream without even a whisk and that’s nearly impossible–ended up using a protein shake blender bottle with the whisk ball inside and shaking for like 45 minutes…do not recommend.)

    anyway, if you want to start baking, don’t get intimidated if recipes say to use a mixer. a bowl and a whisk is fine! and you got this!

    1. For those who want to know how to whisk cream easily – https://www.americastestkitchen.com/videos/3919-science-the-best-way-to-use-a-whisk

      If you don’t have a whisk, try a little granulated sugar, a chilled mason jar, and enough cream to fill about 1/3 of the jar. Shake like you’d shake a drink, should be ready to go in just a few minutes. I usually prep it and pass it off to my friends while I dish whatever dessert is going to be served with the cream. Easy peasy. Just check once it starts getting stiff or you can end up with sweet butter (great with cornbread).

      I love my kitchenaid for kneading dough and making those frostings that take more than 10 min of whipping. Hate it for muffins – just use a wooden spoon!

  13. I’ve been reading this blog pretty consistently for over 5 years and love Emily and the team! Unfortunately, I don’t actively visit as much as I once did, and when I do, I usually just skim through the latest posts.

    I looked back in the archives and the last post with actual hands-on EHD design was June 17 with the Mountain House Powder Room – almost 2 months ago – and even that was a rare little gem. The rest of the posts have been round-ups, fashion, linkups, home tours (which I didn’t mind), etc. All content that is interesting but somewhat generic and certainly not what I have always enjoyed reading on the blog.

    This is probably just a ME thing – I simply need to accept that EHD has evolved into something different and I have to come to terms with bi-monthly, as opposed to daily, visits to the site. I guess the demise of D*S has made me especially sensitive – have we really come to the end of an era? Is the OG style of design blogging a thing of the past? I listened to Grace Bonney’s podcast where she explained that to continue with D*S she would have had to dilute their very essence to corporatise and align with sponsor expectations 🙁

    I don’t want to lose my EHD fix – but I’m simply not interested in the current content, I’m interested in putting spaces together, decisions and actually designing. But as I say, perhaps it’s my own problem and I need to find my fix somewhere else – accept it and move on … Sorry about the vent!

    1. Not to speak for the EHD team, but I think that change is a necessary and beneficial aspect of running any business. Good design isn’t cheep or easy, so there are only so many options available to make this company turn a profit while still being free to the public. When EHD decorated the Portland house, people complained that it took too long to see the results. When EHD partners with Target, people complain that they’re selling out. When EHD promotes expensive boutique brands, people complain that the products are out of reach. When Emily changes up the rug or couch in her living room, people complain that she’s being wasteful. When EHD talks about the process of making content for her free blog, people complain that it’s not as “authentic” as it used to be. Yes, this blog isn’t day after day of tasteful room reveals all written by Emily, but that’s an impossible workload to maintain over the years on a daily schedule. I agree with you that the content has changed, I just think that “never change” is an unfair expectation to put on a free product, or the people who create it. That’s just my two cents.

  14. I agree with your entire list! BUT I think (and Brave Tart baker/CIA-trained Stella Parks also says) that a glass Pyrex pie dish is better than ceramic. No soggy bottoms – it bakes far better than the thicker ceramic imho! And you can find them at thrift stores fairly easily.

    1. Interesting. I have a VERY basic Pyrex pie dish that I never use in favor of a far “prettier” ceramic pie dish with ruffled edges and my bottoms are always soggy. I guess it’s back to basics for me.

  15. Nice recommendations. I would add that you don’t need to use plastic wrap to hold your dough. As you note in your cookie recipe, parchment paper works just fine and is recyclable. Or you can leave your dough in a small bowl and cover the bowl with a damp tea towel – no recycling needed.

    This may be just me, but I don’t use non-stick pans or utensils. I buy organic foods and I would rather deal with a little stickiness than have our food in contact with the toxins in non-stick pans and utensils.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with this! After watching the documentary ‘The Devil We Know: The Chemistry of a Cover-Up’ about Teflon and its effects on their workers, I threw out all my non-stick bakeware. I’d rather deal with a little stickiness, too, than ingest toxins from non-stick pans.

      1. Thanks, Renee!

  16. I cook & bake, and agree Glass measuring cups are essential, but I use my 1 & 2 cup ones more than 4 cup. I have a family of four, and I put everything possible in the dishwasher, so no room to waste when I’m just measuring 1/2 cup of oil for a recipe, or making a 1-cup batch of marinade. And I don’t want to wash my measuring cup while I’m making dinner.
    I also use Pyrex 9×13, 8×8 and loaf dishes for cooking and baking. No scratches, no rust and clean and DRY after a run thru the dishwasher.

  17. So glad I landed on this blog. I’m in the process of getting married soon and I don’t know what I’ll need for our dream home kitchen but this pretty much answers every question I could have ever had. Thanks.

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