Marin Mama’s Favorite Things

Marin Mama's favorite things

It’s Black Friday everyone and rather than post a recipe I decided to be like Oprah and post some of my favorite things!  I wish I could really be like Oprah and give them all away to you all, but unfortunately I don’t have Oprah’s budget, bummer!  Every item listed here is something I use pretty much everyday in my kitchen, and they are all things that I truly love.  So come on and check out some of my favorite things, and who knows some of them might be or become some of your favorite things as well!

Lifefactory water bottles.  I LOVE, LOVE these glass water bottles and will not use anything else.  The bottle and caps can be washed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. I feel safe drinking my water and beverages from these bottles, as they are made of glass, there is no leaching or metallic taste, and your beverage actually tastes like it’s supposed to. We have all 3 sizes in the house. I love and use the 22oz bottle the most. I have a bottle in my car at all times for keeping hydrated on-the-go.  My kids take the 16oz bottles to school, and Eli use’s the 9oz bottle in his lunchbox.  These bottles make a perfect gift for a loved one, teacher or co-worker! If you’re local to the area, you can pick up these bottles in all sizes at your local Paradise Foods.

Lifefactory water bottles

I love my Vitamix blender!  This blender rocks and I honestly use it at least 2 times a day! It’s truly one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  I use it to puree soups, make homemade peanut and almond butter, salad dressings, as well as make smoothies and juices. There are so many other things that this blender can do.  It puree’s your kale and spinach so fine that you never taste bits of kale or spinach in your smoothies.  Men, if you’re looking to get your wife or girlfriend a special gift, then get her this blender, I guarantee she will love it!  I will say that it’s a bit pricey, but it has totally paid for itself over the years as it’s one of my most used gadgets.  I mean I’m saving money on purchasing juices, smoothies and salad dressings, because I make them all a home now thanks to this blender.

Vitamix blender

When a job it too small for my blender, I use my mini prep.  Honestly my mini prep and blender are a beautiful team. I have a larger cuisinart, but I rarely use it as my mini prep and vitamix can handle most any job!

Cuisinart mini prep

I love my cast iron skillets from Lodge.  I have a 10-inch and 12-inch pan and I use them both all of the time.  I gave up non-stick pans about 10 years back and these pans make up for any non-stick pan.  They cook everything evenly, and I love that I can sauté something in them on the stove and then put it all in the oven to finish off.  I make so many different things in these pans from chicken parmesan, parmesan pork chops, sausage and deep dish pizza to cookies.  They’re a workhorse of a pan, and the best part is that you can get a 12-inch pan for $22.  This is a pan that everyone needs in their kitchen.

Cast iron skillets

You all know how much I love making popovers.  I make popovers at least 2x a week in my house and this Nordic ware Grand popover Pan is the best.  It may cost more than the normal popover pan, but it makes the perfect popover and you popovers won’t stick to the pan. The pan is made of cast  iron, so it cooks up the popovers evenly.  I’ve had mine for 3 years now and I use it at least once a week, if not more, and it’s still looks brand new.   If you find yourself making popovers quite often, then I would invest in a good quality popover pan.  For  those of you that are local, Sur La Table carries this brand.

Popover pan

We make popcorn on a daily basis in my house as my kids LOVE popcorn.  I make a batch at the beginning of each week for Zoe to take with school with her each day for snack.  We always make a batch of popcorn for family movie night.  Zoe’s friends have told me that I make the BEST popcorn.  I really don’t think it’s me, but this popcorn popper from Whirley-Pop.  Popping your own popcorn is so much healthier than the bagged microwave stuff, and it tastes better too.  If you have kids, they will love turning the handle and making up a batch of popcorn.  I’ve had my popcorn popper for 5 years, so it really holds up well.

Popcorn maker

Ok, I have to admit that I have 6 sets of measuring spoons and 4 sets of measuring cups, and I use them all the time.  I mean we all have 12 forks, spoons and knives, so why not have a few sets of measuring cups and spoons. I bake and cook a lot, so it’s so nice to be able to just put each spoon or cup in the dishwasher after each use, rather than having to clean and dry each one every time you need a clean one.  This is just a little something that makes my life a bit easier.

Measuring spoons and cup

Here are few stocking stuffers (well, maybe not the knife) that anyone who loves to cook will be happy to get.  I love my lemon juicer and I use it at least twice a day, as I’m always squeezing up a lemon for either a kale salad, salad dressing or my morning lemon water.  I also use it to squeeze up limes, so you don’t really need 2 separate juicers, as you can use this one for both.  I love this microplane zester and I use it all the time to zest lemons, limes and ginger.  Ok, this garlic press is one of my other most used gadgets.  When a recipe calls for minced garlic on my blog, this is the device I use.  I use it at least once a day, as I put garlic in just about everything.  I’m in love with my chef knife from Global, and I’m actually asking Santa for the pairing knife as well as the cheese knife for Christmas.  This knife is the bomb and I use it for EVERYTHING from chopping carrots and onions, to slicing kale to cutting up squash.  It’s really the only knife I use.

Favorite lemon squeezer, zester, garlic press and knife

These glass jars from Ball are the best because they can be used for both drinking and storage.  I have 12 of the smaller 12oz wide mouth jars, as well as the 24oz wide mouth jars. These are basically our everyday drinking glasses. My kids and their friends love using these glasses for some reason.  I think they feel like they are eating at a restaurant or something. I love them because their sturdy and cheap, and they look pretty cool as well.  I also love that I can just put a plastic lid on them and store my salad dressings, soups and dry goods in them. The plastic lids are key because the metal lids that come with the jars rust over time.  I use the large mason jars to store pantry items like popcorn, steel-cut oats, quinoa, you name it.

See those rubber bands on the glasses?  I put them on our glasses daily so we know whose glass is whose.  It’s great for when the kids have friends over or when we have guests, as no one has to guess which glass is theirs. For those of you that are local, I picked up all of my jars at the local Jim Corbet’s store in Larkspur.

Ball glass jars

These pyrex measuring cups are the best for measuring liquid ingredients. I have two of the 1-cup measuring cups and one of the 4 and 2 cup.  I use these all the time, really as much as my dry measuring cups. Glass is the way to go as it can be put in the dishwasher, microwave and it can hold hot liquids.

Pyrex measuring cups

Santa brought me my green dutch oven 2 years ago, and it’s been one of my favorite pans ever since.  I use this dutch oven for everything from making soups and sauces to steel-cut oats.  It has superior heat distribution and can go from stove top to the oven, plus the vibrant colors make it fun to cook in.

Dutch overs

Ok, I know this truly a lame photo, but I wanted to show you all my favorite sponges for cleaning dishes as well as counters.  I’m a bit anal when it comes to keeping the sponges that I use for dishes separate from the sponges I use to wipe the counters.  I have one sponge for washing dishes and one for wiping down the counters.  I use these Doobie sponges to wash all of my dishes.  You can pick them up at any grocery store or Target. I love these pop-up sponges from Trader Joes to wipe down my counters.  They work so well and I love that they’re not coated with any of that anti-bacterial stuff.  I toss both sponges in the dishwasher each night when I run my dishes, so that they get sanitized.  For drying dishes, I love and use flour sack towels.  I use them to dry dishes, dry hands, dry herbs and lettuce.  They can be bleached and they are a workhorse of a towel as they are super absorbent and dry quickly.  These also make the perfect stocking stuffer and Santa knows to re-stock me every year.  Good old Santa 🙂

Flour sack towels and sponges

I love these oven mitts from cuisinart.  They make grabbing a hot pan or tray out of the oven easy as they just feel right on your hand.  They slide over you hand and high up your arm so you never have to worry about burning your hand or arm.  I just can’t say enough about them, they rock!

Oven mitts from cuisinart

Here are four of my favorite cookbooks.

It’s All Good. I love this cookbook from Gwyneth.  It’s chock full of amazing and healthy recipes!

It's all good cookbook

Any cookbook from Barefoot Contessa.  You really can’t go wrong with Barefoot, as all of her cookbooks are classics and I have every one of them.

Barefoot Contessa cookbook

The Supper Club Cookbook. This cookbook is chock-full of great family friendly recipes.

The supper club cookbook

Meat Free Monday.  This cookbook has meatless recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for every Monday of the year. Lot’s of variety here.

Meat free Monday cookbook

I hope this post was fun and that you found some items on here that you may want to purchase for your kitchen or for a loved one!  I do realize that I said the word LOVE about 100 times in this post, but I’m posting my favorite things and when I love something, I just have to shout it out!

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget or item?  Please share!

With love Jackie

Nourish your inbox!

More to explore

30 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Favorite Things”

  1. Hi Jackie!

    Thanks for sharing your list of favorite things! What a great idea and I can’t wait to start adding the items I don’t have to my repertoire of kitchen supplies. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I added the Rosemary and Sea Salt Popovers and Kale with Brussels Sprouts salad to last night’s thanksgiving dinner and they were a hit with the family. I am definitely grateful for Marin Mama Cooks:)! Cheers, Julie

    1. Hi Julie! So glad you liked the list! I’m also happy to hear that you made the sea salt popovers as well as the kale salad and that they were a hit! Hearing news like that always makes me smile 🙂 I’m grateful for readers like you! Have a wonderful weekend girl! xoxo, Jackie

  2. I know posts like this take forever to put together – thanks for sharing! The mini prep. I have wanted one for years and know i need one and in conjunction with my vita, i would be in business like you 🙂 The dutch oven, have it. The whirly popcorn maker – they offered me one and I turned it down (duh!) but I thought it would be too bulky and not ‘worth it’ but sounds like it’s totally worth it! I make popcorn almost daily too!

    1. Thanks Averie, it took a bit of time to pull together, but it was fun! I can’t believe you turned down a Whirly pop! It’s such a great tool! I would have loved it if they offered me one! It’s not too bulky, in fact I have a drawer where I keep it, as well as my jar of popcorn and my coconut oil. It’s the popcorn drawer! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  3. Thank you for this post! Now I’ve got a few things to add to my Christmas list. 🙂 I’ve always stayed away from cast iron pans because they seemed tricky to clean and maintain. How do you keep your pans clean?

  4. HI Jackie!
    I love your favorite things, and I love your books choices – all good things to have in our kitchens – you would be a fun friend to have as my neighbor. Only you are in my heart even though you’re thousands of miles away! Have a great weekend! xxoo

    1. You girls are the sweetest! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and yes it would be fun to be neighbors, we could be recipe testers for each other! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  5. Hi there. I’m new to your blog and I am really enjoying it. I have a lot of the items you’ve listed but one I don’t see listed up there is one of my faves–an aero latte. Only $15 and you can have great lattes every morning in the comfort of your own home 🙂

    1. Hi Rose. I’m so happy to heat that you’re enjoying the blog 🙂 I will have to check out an aero latte. I’ve never heard of it before, but if you love it, I should check it out. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  6. Loved this post! So interesting to check out other people’s must-haves & favorites! 🙂 I just love Le Creuset and have my eye on one of those beautiful dutch ovens! And now I want a Whirly Pop too! 🙂

    1. Hi Millie! I know, I love seeing what other people have in their kitchen and what they love, so I thought I would throw a quick post together of my faves. I had my eyes on a Dutch oven for 5 years before I got one, so when I did, it was a very happy moment. Go get yourself a Whirly Pop, you will love it! xoxo, Jackie

  7. Gloria Monacelli

    Thanks so much for all your great recipes and ideas! I loved your list..and not surprising..I have many of the same things in my kitchen!!
    Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Gloria! You’re so welcome girl! I love that you love the recipes, so thanks for being a reader 🙂 So cool to hear that you have a lot of the same things! I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving as well 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! xoxo, Jackie

  8. Ooh, I LOVE Mama’s Favorite Things! There are so many fabulous things on this list!!! I too have a few different sets of measuring cups and spoons and a couple of the liquid measuring cups too. I’m seriously eyeing that popcorn popper! And the popover pan. I still have yet to make a popover! This was a fun post to read through. 🙂 xoxo, Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon! I’m so happy that you loved this post. I had fun writing it, as it’s a fun to write a different post rather than my weekly menu and recipe posts all of the time. I bet Jake would love a popover! I wish you were closer so I could lend you one of my 3 popover pans, so you could give them a try! I hope you had a rocking Thanksgiving girl! xoxo, Jackie

  9. I loved reading through all your favorites and I want everything! 🙂 Especially the Vitamix. I have a Ninja but it doesn’t do the best job at getting things puréed.

    I’m also funny about using the same cloth to wash my dishes and counter. I usually just use paper towels on the counter but I should really invest in something more economical.

    I’ll definitely be adding these to my must-buy list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Sarah! Maybe Santa will bring you a vitamix this year? You never know!
      I’m a bit anal about the whole seperate sponge thing, but it really helps to keep things a bit more sanitized and keep the germs at bay! xoxo, Jackie

  10. Jackie, Late getting to your blog this week. Loved this list! So want a lot of these items. Funny we also use ball jars as drinking glasses and my kids love them too. I do like having them for food storage as well. Great idea about having extra measuring cups and spoons! I hate washing them multiple times on a busy cooking day. The water bottles are also on my list for my kid’s stockings. I think I am going to have to invest in a popover pan as well… Hope your Thanksgiving was nice!

    1. Hey Kim! Ball jars rock, and I’m so glad they came back in style because they serve more than one purpose! Yes, invest in extra measuring cups and spoons, it makes life so much easier. Santa has always supplied me with a new set each Christmas. I don’t think that I will need a new set this year seeing that I have so many already! Your kids will LOVE those bottles and they will love the way thier drinks taste! Yes, get a popover pan! I gurantee you will use it all of the time 🙂 Have a great week girl! xoxo, Jackie

  11. What recipes have you’ve enjoyed so far in It’s All Good? I’ve only tried the fish tacos and they were delicious!!!

  12. Hi Jackie!

    I heard about your blog from a mom friend at NC. It is such a delight to read!! I love your favorites lists and I’m definitely going to try out your popover recipe. They look awesome! Just wanted to let your know your blog is super cool and I’m so excited to try out some of your recipes. An excellent way to get out of my cooking rut!

    Jeannie Lin

  13. Hello Marin Momma! I am fairly new to your website and enjoy reading the recipes! I read today your “favourite things” and laughed because you have so many measuring cups. I have only two sets but keep thinking I need more. Same reason as you! But I am in Italy where they don’t even have measuring cups so I have to buy them when back in North America. The other problem however is space to keep everything!! Blessings to you and congrats to your daughter who looks beautiful in your pictures. Eli is cute too!

    1. Hi Raney! Yes, I am sort of freak when it comes to measuring cups and spoons, can’t have enough in my eyes. I will sometimes use them all in one day if I’m baking and cooking a lot, and to me it’s easier than washing them in-between each use. Wow, so weird to hear that they don’t have measuring cups in Italy. The things you learn right? Thanks for the sweet comments regarding Zoe and Eli. 🙂 Alos, I have to say that I’m a bit envious where you live. I hope to visit Italy some day! Have a blissful week Raney!

      xoxo, Jacquelyn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top