Wednesday, August 15, 2012

7 Cute and Almost Essential Items for the Kitchen

If you like to cook and wear Lolita, please wear an apron. Just don't lick the bowl with your fingers when you do.
Living in the city is hard and hectic.  Sometimes you just need a cute apartment to make it better.  Sometimes that cute apartment is out of your price range.  Sometimes you also live with a significant other, making it difficult to fight that urge to cover every inch in Hello Kitty items or look like you've just stepped into Candyland.

The kitchen doesn't have to be one of them. The kitchen can be you "happy place" from all that. That is if you are the cooking-type or want to learn.

To compromise, make sure what you're using to furnish your apartment is also cute but functional. It's hard to complain when you can't find a spatula to flip that pancake and you get handed one shaped like Snow White (or Darth Vader).

Below are a few items that I find are not only kitschy, but most important of all functional for a very cute kitchen.

Cute: It's Hello Kitty.
Functional: Everyone needs a toaster. It's easy than turning on the oven and wasting heat on just one bagel every morning. However don't expect to get a kitty face on your toast, unless you prefer the burnt kind.
Where: Local department stores or Amazon.

Cutting boards
Cute: It's Hello Kitty.
Functional: Cutting boards are usually in that they are a flat surface you are allowed to chop, dice, and slice into it. I recommend a board about a 1/4" thick and roughly paper-size. You can have at least two - one for veggies and meat and one small one for cheese or bread. Or three if you live with a vegetarian, but aren't one yourself. (Note: I don't recommend the flat baking sheet ones - they tend to curl and too thin if you don't know how to handle knives too well.)
Where: The one you see here is a spare and just for show. I bought this at Jusco when I was in Hong Kong two summers ago. You can find cute ones practically anywhere.

Timers and graters
Cute: It's an ice cream cone that's a timer.
Functional: Timers can be used for anything from gauging time until you wash dyed hair to baking cookies -- even telling you when it's time to switch from washer to dryer on laundry day.
Where: This one was found in one of the Holiday Shops stands in Union Square, but you can find timers in any kitchen department.  Cute ones can also be found on ModCloth.

Pots and pans.
Cute: Not exactly, but you can buy pink ones to support cancer foundations. Or go for copper bottom ones for a more vintage feel.
Functional: Pots and pans are essentially to cooking. When starting apartment life, you should have at least one of each and of varying sizes.  Small pots and pans are great for ramen cooking and other one-pot meals.
Where: In the kitchen department at your local department stores.

Farberware Resin Knife
Knife set
Cute: Who knew knives could be color coded? If you are just moving into a new apartment, I suggest a set like this.
Functional: This set comes with 5 knives, ranging from large to small. I don't own this type of set, but I can tell you if you can't afford it, purchase the large Santoku and the small paring knife. These will probably be the only ones you use the most. (Note: According to Amazon, they are not as sharp as they seem but I suggest investing in a knife sharpening as well)
Where: This particular set can be found on Amazon, but for New Yorkers I have seen them in Century 21 in the Housewares department.

left to right: Red Riding Hood, Alice, Monokuro Boo
Cute: Who says you need to drink out of boring and plain cups? The ones on the far right were are first "cute" set, and reminded of when Nana bought strawberry cups for her and her new roommate.
Functional: You need glasses to drink out. Unless you are "that guy" who drinks out of a carton.
Where: The first six were purchased at Fish's Eddy, a place I strongly recommend for dinnerware. They have deadstock vintage sets from old diners, retro-looking serving dishes, and plain bowls for those who like them that way.

Sandwich maker
Cute: Makes Hello Kitty imprints on your sandwiches
Functional: It's more frivolous than functional. You don't really need a sandwich maker, unless you are a person who eats grilled cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and needs to mix things up. My suggestion is if you had to choose between this and a waffle maker - go for the waffle maker. You use them both equally as little.
Where: This was a Christmas gift, but I've seen them in Target. Also when in doubt, Amazon.

I hope this was useful for those who wear Lolita and want to incorporate their love into other parts of their lives. And even if you're not I hope this was still helpful when it comes to having your own apartment.

Is there anything else you would recommend to a Lolita buying a first apartment? Any kitchen furnishing tips, or general kitchen tips to add?

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