Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

Where Bloggers Live: My Favorite Kitchen Utensil

As the blogger and photographer behind Living Outside the Stacks, I independently select and write about stuff I love and things I think you’ll enjoy too. Living Outside the Stacks has affiliate and advertising partnerships so I get revenue from sharing this content and from your purchase. Thank you for your support.

Where Bloggers Live My Favorite Kitchen Utensil {living outside the stacks} Follow @livingoutsidethestacks on Pinterest

When The Hubs and I first got married, I couldn’t cook at all. In fact, I’d lived in my apartment for about 6 months and hadn’t even turned on the stove. It was just my infant daughter and me, so I didn’t feel the need to cook. I used to buy crawfish, potatoes, and boiled corn from the back of a white pickup truck. It was the best crawfish boil in Central Louisiana.

Skip ahead many years later and I now have a favorite frying pan {actually two} and a favorite burner {front right}.


Welcome to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live. It’s kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…Bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and see inside people’s homes? Over the next few months, we’ll share about our work spaces, home towns, and more!

I should note – because this is super important – the creative brain behind this project is Bettye at Fashion Schlub! Love her!

The Celebrity Bloggers

Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Iris at Iris’s Original Ramblings
Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After
Sally at Within a World of My Own

Make sure you visit everyone to see where the magic happens!

THE THEME: My Favorite Kitchen Utensil

Where Bloggers Live My Favorite Kitchen Utensil {living outside the stacks} Follow @daenelt on Instagram

I wouldn’t exactly call this a utensil, but my favorite kitchen item is HANDS DOWN my cast iron Dutch Oven by Lodge. Whenever we go to antique shops, one of the first things I look for are the Lodge cast iron pans. Although they’re usually all rusty and grimy, you can get them back into cooking shape with a steel wool pad and a little elbow grease. I always imagine cowboys gathered around a cast iron pot full of stew hanging over a fire.

To properly clean a cast iron pan

  1. Make sure it’s still warm.
  2. Wipe out any food with a paper towel or cloth. Scrub any stuck-on bits with coarse salt {I use sea salt} or a steel wool pad.
  3. Rinse the pan with hot water.
  4. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel or dish cloth. Alternatively, you can place the pan on the stove top over medium-low heat until it’s dry {about 3 to 5 minutes}.

Where Bloggers Live {living outside the stacks} Follow @DaenelT on Instagram

When I was a little kid, my mom had a cast iron pan and the handle broke off — I think she dropped it or something. Anyway, my stepfather put it back on with a soldering iron and a broken gold necklace. Mom was {and still is} very attached to her cast iron pan. She did, however, promise to let me have it when her cooking days are behind her.

Where Bloggers Live {living outside the stacks} Follow @DaenelT on Instagram

I bought my first cast iron pan over twenty years ago. And, yes, I still have it, it’s in my cabinet and gets used fairly often. One of my favorite pieces – a cast iron baking pan in the shape of mini corn on the cobs – went missing during one of our many moves. I used to use it to bake my cornbread because they looked so cute when they were finished.

Where Bloggers Live {living outside the stacks} Follow @DaenelT on Instagram

I use my Dutch Oven for frying foods, making soups and stews, and baking things like cornbread and biscuits. I like that it cooks things evenly on the top of the stove and gives a nice crust to foods that are baked in the oven.

Where Bloggers Live {living outside the stacks} Follow @DaenelT on Instagram

The one thing I had to stress to my family is to never ever use metal in my cast iron pans. Do you remember the scene in MOMMY DEAREST when Joan yells “No wire hangers everrrrrrrr,” well, that’s me except I’m yelling “No metal utensils everrrrrrrr!!!”

Where Bloggers Live {living outside the stacks} Follow @DaenelT on Instagram

On a related note, those oven mitts have about had it. Yellow plaid is not my color. Or print. I’m not even sure why I picked those but I’ve had them for almost five years and I’m really tired of looking at them. I guess that means it’s time to go shopping.


Where Bloggers Live My Favorite Kitchen Utensil {living outside the stacks} Follow @daenelt on Twitter

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Come back soon,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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