Top 14

Life has been getting busier lately, but I had to get this one out for you all ❤️ 

Too Good To Go🍞📲

Have you heard of Too Good To Go? While visiting friends in London, we had what I thought were “fresh” baked goods for breakfast🥐. Turns out they actually came straight from the freezer and into the oven just minutes earlier, but they were still so delicious. They told us about Too Good To Go, an app that connects you with local restaurants and stores that have extra surplus food🌎💚. It is also available in the U.S., and I gave it a try in San Diego this past week. I picked up 15 bagels for $5 from a bagel shop, froze them, and they have been my breakfast choice since🥯❄️. I am excited to try new places with this app. Check it out and download their app!

Breakfast in London

My Top 14 ✨

Last week, I put out a small request, and G asked about my go-to cooking tools and appliances🔪. I’ve listed my favorite items and brands below, along with the reasons why. Click on the image or text to see my kitchen essentials🔗. Before buying any cooking tool or appliance, I always check Consumer Reports or America’s Test Kitchen for product reviews.

If I were limited to just four items in my kitchen, these four items would definitely make the list!

I purchased these because they are the top pick for dry measuring cups according to America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). I own two sets and use them daily. They are stackable, easy to level off, and durable.

Whenever recipes list ingredients in grams or ounces, I always measure by weight for greater accuracy. And, to minimize food waste, I often measure out individual portions for H and myself. Having tried other people’s scales, I still believe this one tops them all. Its pull-out display feature is very handy for when a large bowl covers the screen. It's also a winner according to ATK!

I've tried various brands of baking trays, but these are by far the best—and to no surprise, they are also an ATK winner. 

If I could only have one knife in my kitchen, this would be the one! It was a gift from my mom, and I use it every single day.


Pretty straightforward, these containers are great and practical for both storage and freezing food.

I use these pans for warming up leftover pasta in the oven and for turning loaf pan recipes into cakes. They're versatile and the perfect size for an average cake.

This is another ATK winner! It bakes my “breads” perfectly — you don't have to worry about a raw middle and burnt edges.

I've gifted these to several friends and loved ones; they come in versions for oranges, limes, and lemons. They're a bit bulky but do the job well. Also an ATK winner.

Having this has given me the confidence to make caramel, breads, and various meats. When you can measure the exact temperature, you don't get nervous about burning or overcooking something.

I've had this since college. After winning the March Madness bracket, I used the money to upgrade my whisk to this ATK-approved one 🙂. It's so durable!

You can never trust your oven’s temperature...that's why I keep this one inside my oven at all times.

I also bought these in college, and these glass bowls have survived all the apartment moves from Milwaukee to Los Angeles to San Diego 📦🚚.. They are great for mise en place, mixing bowls, and bain-marie.

This set is where I store all the bulk items I buy at Costco for these recipes — flour, sugars, pasta, basmati rice, jasmine rice, oats, etc. You can find them at HomeGoods for a cheaper price 💸.

This is where I store my Costco EVOO. I use it every day and refill it as needed. 🌿

Recipes Made So Far This Year:

Goal: To try 7 different recipes each week 🗓️, aiming for a total of 365 this year!

Number of Recipes Made this Week: 13

 Number of New Recipes Tested as of 3/31: 122

Weeks Achieving 7 or More New Recipes: 13 out of 13

This Week’s Recipe Test Summary

Impress Someone🌟

Nothing this week

Would Make Again 👍

Sugar & Spice Smear from “I Could Nosh” by Jake Cohen🍯

Paired this with bagels from Too Good To Go, and it was very good, just a tad too sweet.

Planning to remake this with a bit more gelatin. It tasted very similar to a family recipe but swapped the flavored gelatin for homemade strawberry syrup.

So simple to make! Enjoyed it as leftovers, and it was very good.

Still riding my salad wave and I’m adding this to the lunch rotation.

Made this for friends who were hosting us, and they loved it. It's more like a blueberry pound cake. The cooking method is quite different, leaving me unsure if it would turn out well, but it did!

Would Not Make Again 👎
These recipes didn’t live up to expectations or just weren’t to my taste.

Missing baked oatmeal and the lemon poppy seed muffins picture

My first time making burgers fully from scratch, and it was a lot of fun.

I had high hopes this would mimic Milwaukee’s coffee shop oatmeal, but sadly, it was nothing like it.

These were very good, but the white chocolate tends to overpower the freeze-dried strawberries and pistachios.

Coconut Crusted Fish Fingers from Epicurious 🐟🥥

In case you missed it, I’ve put together some quick video tutorials showcasing my go-to recipe app - Paprika Recipe Manager.

Or share this link with a friend:

I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or any recipe request you might have. Just respond directly to this email.

See you next week. Keep cooking! 👋 

Vale from ValeCooks