Sonia’s Favorite Things

The relationship that a cook has with their kitchen is similar to how an artist feels about their studio.

— Life is a Recipe

The relationship that a cook has with their kitchen is similar to how an artist feels about their studio. Like when an artist prepares to make something, when I enter my kitchen, I get excited about the possibilities, and about bringing joy to those who get to experience the final product. Whether I’m experimenting with a new recipe for myself or hoping to encourage my girls with a delicious meal, I look forward to the wonders of creation.

Also like the artist’s studio, when you have the right equipment and know how to use it, you can focus on the most important thing: the food. A well-equipped kitchen is a cook’s best friend. So here are some of my absolute favorite products that help me thrive in the kitchen.

Romertopf Glazed Natural Clay Cooker
I love cooking in my Romertopf. It’s a clay cooker that is amazing for cooking chicken, roasts, and bread. It can be a little intimidating at first, but once you start using it you’ll be completely obsessed. Like cast iron products, you don’t use soap to clean it. After 4-6 uses it will begin to retain it’s seasoning – giving everything a richer favor. In the Romertopf I love making a whole chicken, curry-style chicken, or even a turkey. The results are the most tender meats, and the flavors stay in.

Cuisinart Smart Stick
When it comes to mixing, the Cuisinart Smart Stick is my favorite tool. It has two speeds and can be operated with one hand. I use this for preparing batters for baking, but the length of the Cuisinart Smart Stick also makes it perfect for mixing drinks in a pitcher. What I love is how it’s not a huge and cumbersome apparatus; it has only one button making operation super simple. And the parts are easily detachable which makes cleaning a breeze.

Staub Cookware
For pots and pans, Staub cookware combines quality and beauty. They tend to be heavier than your average pan, but I love how they heat evenly and are easy to clean. It is hard to combine beauty, quality, and durability. But this cookware brand does all three.

Wooden Spatula Set
Wooden spatulas are a must for every kitchen. They give you one less thing to worry about because they won’t scratch porcelain, ceramic, glass or enamel. They are also odor and stain resistant. Get them in different sizes for every kind of food. They are super useful.

All-Clad Measuring Cups
All-Clad products are on the pricier side for measuring cups but they are worth every penny. The cups last forever and are incredibly precise – which is essential for baking. I like how they aren’t flimsy. They don’t break like some of the plastic alternatives that can’t handle the heat.



Zoodle Maker
There are several different brands that sell spiralizers, but these are so helpful when you want to make healthier “pasta” dishes. You can use zucchinis, carrots, squash, or any other vegetable you’d like to use to make tasty plant-based low-carb dishes. They are easy to use and often come with different settings so you can have fun creating different size “noodles.”

Magic Bullet Dessert Bullet Blender
The Magic Bullet Dessert Bullet Blender can be hard to find, but if you can get your hands on one it’s super-versatile and can be used for many blending needs. I love using it to make a variety of delicious healthy desserts right in my own kitchen. My go-to is a berry and banana frozen yogurt. The kids love it too. The Magic Bullet Dessert Bullet Blender is so convenient that I brought it to my youngest daughter’s school to make yogurt ice cream for her whole class. They absolutely loved it!

Breville Panini Press
Panini’s are a great quick lunch that I pack with fresh veggies. This press will cook your sandwiches evenly, giving them a light brown crisp. The metal plates are non-stick so cleaning it is super fast and simple. This press allows me to get creative with the paninis. I make the kids breakfast paninis or sandwiches as a delicious after school snack.

Zulay Citrus Press
As part of my morning routine, everyday I have a cup of warm water with lemon. The Zulay Citrus Press is perfect for squeezing fresh lemon – saving me time and hassle.

Le Creuset Signature Roaster
This cast iron rectangle roast pan is perfect for roasting chicken, making casseroles, or baking lasagnas. Le Creuset cookware is very durable and easy to clean. The quality is amazing and well worth the price. But what I love the most are the beautiful colors. Their palette of fun vibrant colors inspire me while I cook.


Life Recipe:
My Favorite Things

  1. As you continue to equip your perfect kitchen, think about the tools that might need an upgrade.
  2. Investing in your kitchen is a way to invest in yourself. Take the time to pick up some new items that will make cooking easier and more efficient. This will allow you to have more fun in the kitchen, and will allow you to focus more on the things and people that matter.

Dinner Recipe:
Tandoori Chicken in a Brick

  • 4 Chicken Leg Quarters (with skin)
  • 2 Cups of Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Tsp Red Chili Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Lemon juice Salt (To Taste)
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala
  • 2 Tsp Fenugreek Leaves (Dry)
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • ¼ Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Cucumber
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut slashes in the flesh of the chicken to allow the marinade to penetrate.

  2. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, fenugreek, ghee, turmeric, red chili. Stir the mixture.

  3. Pour the mixture over the chicken.

  4. Rub the marinade into the chicken and then cover. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, for best results I marinate overnight.

  5. Soak clay oven in water (follow the directions of your clay pot).

  6. Remove the chicken 30 minutes before finished cooking.

  7. Remove all excess marinade from the chicken.

  8. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

  9. Place the chicken in the brick.

  10. Cook for 90 minutes.

  11. The juices of the chicken should run clear when pierced with a knife near the bone.

  12. Serve with cilantro, sliced cucumber, onions, chilies and lemon wedges.

  13. Serve on a bed of basmati rice.