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The title of this post is pretty vague and quite expansive. My kitchen wish list involves things like a giant kitchen with a skylight, a professional-style walk-in refrigerator, and a set of every single Le Creuset product in Dijon. Such things are clearly not in my immediate future (one day! right?).

But anyway, here is my list of kitcheny desires for the near, tangible future.

1. Chinois This is an underrated utensil, and for that reason tops my wish list. A chinois is a conical, fine-mesh sieve. This doesn’t sound that useful or glamorous, but it can be used to strain custards, purees (I’m sure Joel has a chinois for every day of the week), soups, and sauces. We also know that food is as much about texture as it is about flavor, and a chinois is a handy tool for making your smooth things smoother. For the suburban kitchen version pictured above, visit Williams-Sonoma. For a more industrial version, visit Bowery Kitchen.

2. Giant Stock Pot I have some large pots and a 7 quart dutch oven that all work pretty well for my large pot needs, such as they are. But whenever I make a stock, I have problems. I have to make stock in multiple pots, which doesn’t really hurt the stock, but it annoying from an efficiency and clean-up perspective. Therefore, before my stock-making weekend in October, I want to get a GIANT stock pot (or two? I need beef AND chicken stock. And maybe goat stock? Duck stock?). This, again, is a job for Bowery Kitchen.

3. Standardized Herb Jars The spice rack is a delicate subject for anyone who cooks often and has even the faintest of feelings about organization. I have fifteen different brands of spices, Ziploc bags of various chili peppers, and larger jars of fancy salts. I want them all to fit in the same space in some sort of intelligent, organized way, but instead it is chaos. I love the idea I saw on A Cozy Kitchen to get a bunch of little jars and chalkboard paint. A Cozy Kitchen painted the jar tops and neatly labelled all her herbs and spices. Jars available at The Container Store.

4. More Mixing Bowls I currently have two junky plastic mixing bows. They accomplish most activities, but I often find that during the course of cooking a dinner, I need to wash and re-use the bowls a few times. Right now I’m lusting after a nesting set of glass or metal bowls like this 10-piece set from Williams-Sonoma.

My kitchen is a constant work-in-progress, whether it’s keeping it clean, trying to cook new things, or acquiring more cooking toys. What’s on your kitchen wish list right now?

Dearest readers,

I promise that I have not forgotten about you. I have been busy and lazy and the summer just kind of dragged on and I never posted. Anyway, now, for the hundredth time, I am back.

Perhaps because I still think in terms of school years, I have always felt the urge to make resolutions after Labor Day, rather than after New Years. The summer is over, the weather turns, and everyone buckles down to business once again. This year, I am focusing on the things I usually try to avoid: working out, cleaning my apartment, generally becoming more of an adult.

Part of this campaign involves bringing my own lunch to work more often. In terms of both health and finances, I think it’s the better choice, even if it takes a little forethought. For example, I just made a big pan of baked oatmeal (recipe after the jump!) and some hardboiled eggs in anticipation of bringing them for lunches. As I was cooking, I realized that I would get more excited about making lunch if I had a cool grown-up lunchbox to pack everything into. Here are some of the ones I found; what do you think?

Built’s Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote Graphic and practical, these neoprene lunchboxes are insulated and machine-washable. I am partial to the “city grid” print.

Vivo Square Bento Box Conveniently stackable, these tins provide an easy-to-clean lunchbox option. Plus, the colors make me smile every time I look at them.

Graze Organic Reusable Food Bags I love organizing things and finding a special place for everything, so I love the idea of a little reusable, labeled bag for all my different lunch foods.

Artifact Olive Lunch Tote This is the grown up waxed-cotton version of the classic brown paper lunch bag. I like the leather strap detail and the simple concept.

Do you bring your lunch? Do you have a favorite lunchbox? Am I the only person with a lunchbox wish list? Let me know, and recipe for baked oatmeal after the jump.

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I know, it’s a day late. Traditionally, I hate this holiday. However, as I’ve become older and wiser and better at buying wine, I’ve come to realize that Valentine’s Day is a very important holiday for a girl and her most favorite bottle of sparkling Rose. I hope all of you, dearest readers, celebrated in whatever manner you see fit.

A few pieces of information:

1. Last week was Social Media Week, and I love social media. I had the good fortune to go to two of the week’s events, both about food. On Friday morning, I attended the panel discussion “Almost Good Enough to Eat: Food Communities and Social Media, Presented by AOL” featuring:

I’m not sure how interesting this session would have been for those of you not obsessed with food AND social media, but the panelists were all great food personalities. I would encourage everyone to check out their websites and Twitter feeds. In the afternoon I attended another panel discussion “The New Open Kitchen. Panel & Happy Hour hosted by Zagat and Edelman” with the panelists:

Oleg Voss was quiet, but hilarious and I cannot wait until his West Village brick and mortar opens. Amanda and Jake provided great insight from both the restaurant and social media platform perspectives. Soraya might have been my favorite panelist of the day. I have checked out foodspotting.com a lot, but sadly can’t use it because I’m still waiting for the Blackberry app. However, I was highly impressed with her penetrating industry vision in both the food and web worlds. If you haven’t checked out FoodSpotting I strongly recommend it. If you like Food Porn Daily and drooling into your keyboard, you will love it.

2. I have very exciting news for everyone: tomorrow will feature a guest post by the fabulous Mr. Gabriel Kussin. A Brown University alumnus, Gabe and I have been friends for many years and shared a passion for food and all of it’s culinary and cultural features. I recently invited him to write a guest post and he kindly obliged. His post has a lot more substance than mine usually do (so they don’t consist of me says “I ate something and it was delicious yum!”), so be sure to tune in tomorrow and check it out.

3. Not getting enough of The Infinite Kitchen? Just a reminder to check out our Tumblr, join our freshly pressed Facebook Page (image coming soon, I promise), and follow me on Twitter!

1. Here is a great interview with one of my favorite celebrity chefs, Jean-George Vongerichten, from the Wall Street Journal last weekend. My favorite highlights: he never plates his food at his personal dinner parties, he has a weakness (perhaps addiction?) to gummy bears, and after spending eight years studying all manner of French stocks, his socks were still knocked off by a simple 3-minute broth sold on the street in Bangkok. These things confirm what I’ve always believed: that it’s not the pedigree of the chef or restaurant, it’s the people you eat with and the foods that make you smile. {image from Wall Street Journal}

2. The other day Uncrate brought my attention to this fabulous Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit. Brought to you by the fine minds at ThinkGeek, this kit is every child-nerd-cum-ardent-foodie’s dream. The kit includes 50 types of thickeners, emulsifiers, and binders, a few simple cooking tools, and a DVD full of cooking tutorials. So before you go rushing off to El Bulli, try your hand at a little molecular gastronomy yourself.

3. Bocuse D’Or is underway! Best of luck to James Kent and his commis Tom Allan, the USA team. Follow the events with Eater’s great coverage.

Dear Readers,

I do not have the skill or time to compile my own foodie gift guide, but I thought I would collect some links to other food-related gift guides in case you need a little bit of last-minute inspiration.

Michael Ruhlman’s Book Wishlist – Perfect for the combination foodie/bookworm. Hello, this is me. Not to mention the fact that Michael Ruhlman is one of my favorite food writers.

Gift Guide for the Gourmand from I Am A Greedy Girl – Not just for cooks, Caroline’s adorable gift guide also works for anyone who likes eating (or drinking tea).

Gifts for the Aspiring Chef from Crunch Gear – Full of knife recommendations, high-tech kitchen scales, and basic cooking essentials, this gift guide is perfect for someone who wants to become a real home chef.

Gifts for the Spice Enthusiast from Serious Eats – I like spices. I like organizing things into little jars. And I like the specificity of this gift guide.

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And finally, for a laugh, The 10 Worst Foodie Xmas Presents from the Village Voice.

Good luck to anyone doing holiday shopping this weekend! And remember, if you can’t think of anything else, just bake someone something. Cookies are always well received.

One of my favorite forms of procrastination involved browsing Ffffound. Ffffound is a great image bookmarking websites. It’s a bunch of images that users find on the web and submit. There are no captions, no explanations, just images and links to their sources. It sounds silly, but I can spend hours flicking through these images.

Recently I’ve seen many images of food and kitchens. I’m so infatuated with some of them that I had to share. In the spirit of the context in which I ffffound (sorry, had to) them, I offer no captions or explanations of why I like these photos. Just enjoy them.

{from Anyone, Girl}

More after the jump.

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There was so much food news today I can’t help posting about it.

1. Del Posto received four stars in the Times and everyone seems to be pitching it like some hugely controversial issue. However, Frank Bruni, Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, Scott Conant, Nate Appleman, and a number of other high-profile New York food personalities have all publicly offered their congratulations to Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. I haven’t eaten there myself, but I’m inclined to trust Sam Sifton’s review, even if I sometimes dislike his writing style.

{NYTimes Review; image from NYTimes}

2. Of more immediate interest to me personally is Michelin’s announcement of the 2011 New York Bib Gourmand picks. Currently marked by a chalked Bibendum face on the sidewalk outside the selections, a Bib Gourmand rating indicates a critics’ favorite where you can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine for under $40. Veteran picks such as Katz’s, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Motorino are joined by the likes of Fatty ‘Cue, Mercato, and Asia de Cuba. So many places to add to my ever-expanding list of restaurants to hit….

{via Eater}

3. Ruth Reichl, former Editor in Chief of dearly departed Gourmet, will be an author and editor-at-large for Random House.

{via NYTimes}

I’m a little late on these stories, but I wanted to post them anyway.

1. Sotheby’s Art of Farming Auction Once upon a time I was an art world intern, so I was extremely curious when nternational auction house Sotheby’s recently held a vegetable auction. The auction itself ended up raising $100,000 for local farming efforts and was accompanied by a whole day of events about farming and produce.

{Sotheby’s siteNYTimes coverage}


2. Lure Silly Bandz I know. This is totally stupid. But if I’m going to be completely candid with you, dear readers, I have an embarrassing number of Silly Bandz littering my room. So far I have been happy with themes like “Food” and “Dogs,” but I would love a set with a “New York Food World” theme.

{via Eater}

3. Ikea’s Cookbook Ikea is coming out with a cookbook called Homemade Is Best (or Hembakat är Bäst). My friends and I spent many days eating Ikea’s hotdog special when we moved into our first apartment, so part of me was expecting recipes for Swedish meatballs and possibly some particleboard furniture. However, based on the images that have been all over the internet the past few days, we’re going to get something far more interesting. I’m posting more images from the book after the jump because I can’t resist the eye candy.

{via Today and Tomorrow}

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