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Level 6 Maestro
13,200 karma

Kim Rachmeler

Capitol Hill • Seattle, WA
Long time Capitol Hill resident with a snorty French bulldog.
Joined about 2 years ago

Kim Recommends

Products

Ateco Cast Iron Turntable for Cake Decorating
Cake Stand
This cake decorating turntable is my favorite because the cast iron base keeps it rock steady no matter how heavy my cake is or how much I press when scraping off icing. It's easy to clean and holds up to abuse, just what you want in a workhorse tool.
Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts
Cookbook
I followed Stella Parks' blog Bravetart for years before she came out with her baking book and I'm happy to say it's a winner. Parks takes all your best known desserts and comes out with variations that let them really shine. From Brown Butter Carrot Cake to Blueberry Crisp, there's something here for everyone. And she includes the history of the item too, which is just a delight to read. I return to this book again and again because her instructions are clear and the results are reliably great.
Chicago Metallic Bakeware Half-Size 18 Gauge Aluminum Sheet Pan
Baking Sheet
A half sheet pan is the workhorse in a baker's kitchen. You use it for cookies and pastries and to catch drips from pies and cheesecakes. It needs to be thick enough to carry a lot of weight and not warp in a hot oven. I have five of these so that I don't have to wait for one to cool down before I can scoop out the next set of cookie dough to go in the oven.
Cloud Paper 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper
Toilet Paper
When we were in the middle of the first Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, I discovered Cloud Paper, a company that ships you toilet paper made from bamboo. Seemed like a good idea to have TP on hand so I ordered a box. It's great: bamboo is much more sustainable than making TP from trees and now with my subscription, I don't have to worry that the next time I go the grocery store for a roll, the hoards will have already cleaned them out.
Coway Ap-1512hh White Hepa Air Purifier
Air Purifier
I just purchased this air filter on the advice of Wirecutter because my allergies were driving me crazy and it also seemed likely that we would have another smoke season this summer. So far I couldn't be more pleased. It's easy to set up, very quiet when running, and has an ECO setting that senses the level of particulates and only runs when necessary. The carbon filter lasts 6 mos and the HEPA filter last a year with ordinary usage.
Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor
Food Processor
This small food processor is so convenient for making quick work of simple tasks like pulverizing graham crackers for a pie crust or chopping up chocolate for ganache. Really easy to clean too. I like it so much I bought an extra bowl and blade so that I can chop different ingredients separately if necessary for the same recipe.
Fat Daddio Cake Pans
Baking Pans
Aluminum cake pans are the way to go for even browning and easy release. Fat Daddio pans are sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to clean. I have them in five different sizes I like them so much. Get the ones with 3" sides to make sure even your biggest cake recipes don't spill over.
Five Two Ultimate Apron
Apron
I got one of these for Christmas and I'm really impressed. It's comfortable, adjustable, well-made -- it even has built-in pot holders! I'm not even someone who wears an apron on the regular but I put up a special hook in my kitchen to make this one easy to access.
Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls
Dryer Balls
I switched from dryer sheets to the wool dryer balls too, specifically Friendsheep Cozy Grey Eco Dryer Balls. They make a soft thumping noise as the dryer runs and my socks stick to my microfiber cleaning cloths but other than that, I don't see any difference from dryer sheets so I'm putting them in the win column.
Gir Silicone Spatula
Spatulas
I have a lot of spatulas for different uses but this one gets pulled out much more than the others. GIR stands for "get it right" and they certainly did: it's strong but flexible, easy to clean, and works on everything from meringues to cake batter to bread dough.
Glisten Dishwasher Magic
Cleaning Supplies
I had a problem with my dishwasher smelling even after cleaning the filter on my Miele. Cleared it right up by using Glisten Dishwaster Magic Liquid on the sanitize cycle. Now I use that once every six months or so as a preventative measure.
Good Tidings Emerald Innovations Xts1 Swivel Straight Tree Stand
Christmas Tree Stand
It's that time of year when the effort to get a cut Christmas tree to stand upright, straight, and secure threatens to crush the joy of the season. This Swivel Straight stand makes setting up a tree fast and easy. I can put up a tree three feet taller than I am in less than five minutes all by myself. The stand holds a lot of water too making it less work to keep the tree fresh.
Hurtta Dog Drizzle Coat
Dog Clothes
My French Bulldog Bertie doesn't like wearing coats. Even if it's miserably cold or wet outside, he would prefer to go without. With a normal raincoat that fastens with velcro, he will skootch along rubbing himself up against furniture (or trees or the ground) until he scrapes it off. But not the Hurtta coat: it fastens with a snap buckle around the waist so it's staying on regardless. You've been foiled my boy! Who's got the big brain now?!
Instacart
App
I use Instacart because I like their navigation and because they deliver from Costco for those bulk resupply runs. I like their UI better than some of their competitors.
Jk Adams Lovely Baking Rolling Pins
Rolling Pin
I have a lot of rolling pins but the two I have from JK Adams get the most use. These pins are cut to roll out dough at exactly the right height: 1/4" for cookies and 1/8" for pies. They're very sturdy and wide enough for large recipes. I also have rings that you can put on a regular roller to get the same effect but the convenience of just pulling out the right roller and using it immediately wins every time.
King Arthur Flour Baking Parchment Paper -- 100 Half Sheets
Parchment Paper
Do you cringe when the recipe says "line the pan with parchment paper" because you don't want to wrestle with a roll that will never stay flat? The solution is pre-cut half sheets. Pull them out, lay them down, get on with business. And after they're gone, the big resealable bag they come in is useful for keeping fondant or cake lace from drying out while you're working with it.
KitchenAid Mixer
Mixer
It's a classic because it works on everything from dough to meringue. I prefer the tilt-head model because I find it easier to change the beaters but you won't be disappointed by the larger bowl-lift model either. The hardest decision will be picking the color!
Mycryo Cocoa Butter Powder
Food
Chocolate tempering is easy and reliable with Mycryo freeze dried cocoa butter powder. You melt the chocolate, add 1% Mycryo by weight at the appropriate temperature, then mix and let the chocolate cool to the appropriate use temperature and voila!, you've got tempered chocolate to use for bonbons and candies. I've tried lots of other methods and tools to temper chocolate and this is by far the easiest. And since you only use a couple of grams at a time, a single container lasts a long, long time.
Nom Nom Fresh Food
Dog Food
My French bulldog Bertie is an indifferent eater, the only dog I've ever owned who was like this. Makes me crazy when he skips a meal because he's pretty skinny to begin with. The only food that's consistently made the grade for him is NomNom, a "fresh frozen" offering with four different recipes to choose from. Single serving packages get shipped once a month in boxes with easily recyclable insulation.
Nordic Ware Half Sheet Lid, 13x18
Baking Sheet
These covers for a half sheet pan are really handy. You can pop one on when you need to chill cookies before baking or when you want to keep cupcakes from drying out before you frost them. Makes it easy to stack baked goods to make room on the counter when you've got a lot of things going at once.
Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan
Bundt Pan
Still the most elegant bundt pan out there and if you apply cake release, not a problem to get the cake out of the pan in one piece.
Original Beater Blade for Kitchen Aid Tilt-Head Mixer
Mixer Accessories
After buying this beater I've never used the one that came with the mixer again. Having flexible silicone edges to scrape the sides of the bowl makes all the difference, especially for cake batters. You get much better distribution and mixing of the wet and dry elements with much less need for stopping the mixer to use a spatula to scrape down the edges.
Oxo Good Grips 2-Cup Angled Measuring Cup
Measuring Cups
The ability to see the level in the cup from above is a game changer. No more bending down to squint at the numbers on the side == happier knees and back. One downside: it's harder to scrape out things like corn syrup or honey but other than that, this measuring cup is a 100% winner. If you only get one, the 2 cup measure is a good choice but you'll likely also get a 1 cup size and a 4 cup size because you won't want to be without.
Oxo Good Grips 5-Lb Food Scale
Food Scale
If you want to improve your baking game, you need to start using a digital scale. Accurately measuring the amounts you add to your recipes will vastly increase your ability to achieve repeatable good results. This particular scale has a nice feature where you can pull the display away from the base, making it easy to read when you're weighing things in a large bowl.
Oxo Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop
Food Scoop
When you're making cookies, there's nothing like a graduated scoop to make parceling out the dough easy. Oxo's version is sturdy and comfortable; you should get all three sizes because you'll end up wanting them.
Oxo Good Grips Pop Container
Food Containers
These containers are my pantry favorites. Their airtight seal means everything stays fresh and that even brown sugar doesn't get hard. The pop top is easy to open without any special hand strength. I have them in many different sizes; the 4.4 quart size is perfect for a 5lb bag of flour.
Pet Studio Pine Frame Dog Rampsteps
Pet Ramp
After my French bulldog had back surgery, I didn't want him jumping up onto his chair anymore so I bought these foldable steps. They're sturdy and look good enough to keep in the family room. And the carpeted treads mean that his paws don't slip going up or down.
Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Alarm Clock
The Philips SmartSleep is a lifesaver. It gently wakes you up by slowly getting lighter in the morning right before you need to get going. You can control the level of display brightness too so that it's not annoying to be next to you on the nightstand. I swear by these for waking up in our dark winters.
Rose Levy Berenbaum's Heavenly Cake Strip
Cake Strip
Are you tired of having to cut off 20% of your cake to level it off because it domed so much? These silicone cake pan bands will help with that. By making the edges cook more slowly, they diminish the cake dome, leaving more cake for you and yours to enjoy. They fit a 9" pan so I use a big paper clamp to pinch them down for smaller pans.
Silpat Silicone Baking Mat, Half-Sheet Size
Baking Sheet
If I have a half-sheet pan I have to have a silpat for it. They make baking and cleanup so much easier. And when I use a half-sheet pan underneath a smaller one to catch any potential spills or overflow, the silpat keeps the small pan from slipping as I move them in and out of the oven.
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Marie's Magical Dinner Dust for Dogs
Dog Treats
Unlike any other dog I've ever had, Bertie occasionally gets tired of his food. I rotate the flavors but it doesn't always work and I worry when he doesn't eat. But now I've discovered a food topper that gives his meals that extra oomph: Magical Dinner Dust. I sprinkle some over his regular food and boom!, instant enthusiasm. I've bought a couple different flavors just in case he gets tired of this too.
Sterilite Storage Bins With Lids
Storage
I love Sterilite storage bins because the handles are attached to the bin, not to the lid. That means when you lift the bin, the handles hold the lid even tighter. When the handle is attached to the lid, lifting the container can pop the lid off leading to unfortunate events. Ask me how I know ;-). These bins come a wide variety of sizes; I use them mostly to store cookie cutters and chocolate molds.
Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 Instant Read Thermometer
Food Thermometer
Being able to know immediately whether my cheesecake is done or my sugar has reached the soft ball stage or my chocolate is cool enough to use makes a big difference in the success of my baking projects. And the Thermapen is tough, reliable, quick, and accurate. I'm told it's great for checking whether meat is done too but since I don't cook I'll have to take that on faith.
Tranquileyes Mini Sleep Mask for Nighttime Dry Eye Relief
Sleep Mask
I use these goggles when trying to sleep on planes. They completely block out light which is nice but even better, they have little sponges inside the eye cups. You wet the sponges before putting them on and your eyes are protected from the desert-dry air on the plane. I won't do a long haul flight without them.
Truelove Dog Harness
Pet Harness
This harness by TrueLove works well for my Frenchie. It's adjustable, has clips front and back, and it doesn't have a strap across the shoulders which makes it more comfortable for him.

Home

Britescape
Lighting
I've used Britescape for both landscape lighting and holiday lighting and they've been great to work with: fast and professional. Next year in addition to putting holiday lights on my house I'm going to have them wrap the maple out front!
Coast to Coast Painting
Painter
Lewis managed to slip a small accent wall job into his schedule for me -- they were fast, clean, and did beautiful work with crisp edges.
D.A. Burns & Sons
Carpet Cleaner
They do it all from cheap IKEA rugs to expensive antiques to wall-to-wall carpeting and it always comes out great.
Dyna Contracting
General Contractor
Did my extensive house remodel -- incredibly detailed bid, high quality work, lovely people.
Fresh Breeze Window Cleaning
Window Washing
Mita is so careful and detail oriented. After she's done, my windows are so clean it's like the glass has been erased!
Herzog Glass
Glass
I broke the very large single mirror over the double sinks in my bathroom. Herzog gave me an estimate from a photo, came out to take measurements, fabricated a new mirror, removed the old broken one, and installed the new one, within very tight tolerances too. Showed up on time every time and cleaned up after themselves, done and dusted!
O'Neill Plumbing
Plumber
Came on time, took care of a variety of jobs quickly and cleanly.
Peter Lavagnino Garden Design and Management
Landscape Design
Peter Lavagnino is a sole proprietor master gardener/landscaper. He selected and planted all of my new landscaping. If you've ever been to the Lambda Legal Garden Party, Peter did the plants on those grounds as well.
Renaissance Tree Care
Tree Service
I recently had all my trees pruned by Renaissance Tree Care and they did a fine job. They also bolted and cabled a large maple that was in danger of splitting; I sleep better now that that's done.
S2s Drywall
Drywall
My ancient lath&plaster living room ceiling collapsed from an undetected leak in an upstairs toilet. Mike from S2S Drywall stabilized the plaster, taped and mudded the repair, and gave me a smooth surface you would never know had had any problems. Cleaned up every day after the work too. My dog Bertie loved him and he has very high standards ;-).

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