Must-Have Tools for Home Cooks

Chicken Picatta is my signature dish. I got the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis and it’s my go-to dinner. I can whip it up in no time and it’s always delish. Good thing Jay likes it because he’ll be eating it for the rest of his life. haha! I’ve been trying to expand my menu and try new things in the kitchen though — but the tools you have are just as important as the foods you cook.

I reached out to Chef Lisa Schroeder from Mother’s Bistro in Portland, Oregon to get the 411 on what tools home cooks need to have to be successful. Here’s her list:

Home Cooks Essential Kitchenware

by Lisa Schroeder

With the right equipment cooking is easier and faster. Cook like a pro with these basic but essential items every home cook should have. Whether you are buying for yourself, or for a bride, you simply can’t go wrong with these classic items. If you see something you see you need for your kitchen then make sure you go to Village Bakery to find the best reviewed product that you need! You don’t want to buy a new stand mixer and find it breaks within 6 months.

1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, preferably the “Professional” (they have all kinds of grades with varying levels of horsepower… this model is the heaviest duty)

2. Set of good knives like Global, Wusthof, Shun (Most important knives: an 8-10 inch chef’s knife, paring knife, and a bread knife. If you still haven’t made up your mind on what knives to go for, it may help you to check out some cutco knives reviews, in the hopes of making the right choice. Also good to have would be something to hang them on (magnetic strip) or woodblock, a steel (to hone the knife) and a stone (to sharpen). Read more

12 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Living in New York City is expensive but Jay and I have noticed that we spend most of our money on food! Once you realize how much discounts can help you save money (even if it is just a couple of dollars), your shopping habits could change for the better. When it comes to eating healthy, it isn’t always easy. Buying junk food is cheaper, which is why many people decide to go for this option. With that being said, it isn’t the best for us. Not having money though for this can make it difficult. There are ways though that you get money now if you need fast. So this could make becoming healthier a little bit easier.

Additionally, if you’re yet to apply discounts to your grocery shopping, it may be time to check out something like this Getupside Review to see how you can get started. The more money you save, the easier you’ll start to find shopping. Plus, you’ll be on the lookout for any discounts out there! Who wouldn’t want to save money?

We love to eat out but it’s pricey so we do try to use the skills we’ve learned on Food Network or from Guy Fieri to whip up our own masterpieces. Sometimes it works out — sometimes we order pizza to make up for it. Saving money, especially when you have children, can be difficult, luckily there are so many different ways for you to start saving, for example, you can get help from a budget app to help you start saving.

I’m not really a coupon girl but I do know that they will save you loads of cash if you can invest time in finding them. But I’m lucky to have this checklist from Teri Gault of to help. Teri started this business because she had a knack for clipping coupons and saving money. So she used her skills to create a business where members can reduce shopping time and save money by using coupons at the right times.

How to Save Money on Groceries

by Teri Gault

As CEO of, I LIVE by a list for everything in my life. If my day is getting stressful, it’s usually because I haven’t made a list of all the odds and ends for my day. I’m constantly planning something for which I need a list. And then I tend to make lists of lists! Since I primarily exist to help people save on one of the most expensive line items in their budget, groceries, it only seems fitting that I provide a checklist on how to save on every trip to the market without using a pair of scissors. Read more

Fulfilling Dreams With a List

A dream may be to visit a winery in Italy for example, or to write a book. Even if this seems difficult at first, there are always options like checking out a plot generator, for example, to start the writing process off. We all have to start somewhere. Another dream could be to own a fabulous apartment, hold a koala…these are all things on my “life list.” You know, the things you want to do before you die — some people call it a bucket list.

I think having goals is essential to living a happy life…that way you always have something to look forward to and work towards. My love of lists of all kinds lead me to, where you can record all of your life dreams and wishes. It’s a social media site for goal-oriented people. Soon there will be a magazine called “Achiever” to go along with it.

I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know the CEO Bill Starr and COO Shelagh Braley — they are seriously fabulous people and so motivated to make people’s lives more enriched. Shelagh is this month’s featured list producer: smart, successful and a list nerd!

Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?

A: My company, My Life List, is totally based on lists for success in creating your major life experiences. How do you achieve any goals without making a list and a definitive plan? My Life List is based on the concept that if you write down your dreams and engage others to support you, they become achievable goals. Read more

To-Do List After Hurricane Irene

We did it! We got through Hurricane Irene! I hope my checklists for preparation came in handy. Jay didn’t have to work after all (most sporting events were canceled because of Irene) so we got to wait out the storm together! Some trees were down in our Lower East Side neighborhood but nothing major. Our car survived in our garage even though it was in a flood zone. The subway system will be coming back to life slowly Monday morning so getting to work will be a task but hopefully not impossible.

Like most of Manhattan, we had power throughout the storm but we haven’t had hot water right since Saturday. It’s a little frustrating that it’s not just a matter of calling a plumber, like the ones at, to get it fixed, but Con Edison says we should have it back sometime Monday or Tuesday. Eeek! So, it’s cold showers for us—but if this is the worst of it then I have to say that I’m grateful. Read more

Checklists to Prepare for Hurricane Irene

I’ve been making checklists since I heard that Hurricane Irene was going to hit New York City. Supplies lists, grocery shopping lists, emergency contact lists (because who can remember anyone’s phone number these days!), etc.

I usually don’t panic for storms and blizzards because working in the news business has conditioned me to handle tough situations.

It’s much different being in an apartment than in a house during a hurricane. This is my first experience in an apartment. Jay is working Saturday night — because the news business doesn’t stop in emergency situations. You can listen to his sports updates on 1010WINS if you happen to be listening to the radio. But once he’s home on Sunday we’ll have plenty of snacks, water, non-perishable foods, candles, batteries and wine — all thanks to my planning and list making. Read more