Made to measure bowls are a staple in my kitchen and at the office. Bowls that are pre-measured are great for cooking prep, as condiment vessels or for portion management.
These pretty nesting sake cups designed by Keiichi Ito for Moma are made in Japan. These cups aren’t pre-measured but do come in a variety of sizes and are perfect for condiments. I typically keep my salad dressing, sauce, shoyu or gravy on the side. I’m always on the lookout for cute, small and flat dishes like these.
This porcelain Measure Up bowl by Heather Harvey is brilliant since it is one bowl, which can be used for portions ranging from 1/2 cup to 2 cups depending on which fill line you use. Perfect for home or office. It is microwave and dishwasher safe.
The Bubby’s Matryoshkas measuring cup dolls from Mod Cloth are adorable. The set includes three dolls with six measuring cups as you utilize both the top and bottom pieces (1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and 1 cup). These dolls stack within each other as the traditional Russian dolls do and are perfect for measuring dry ingredients. I’d love a set of these on my kitchen counter for measuring herbs, nuts for my salads or snacks.
These colorful plastic beauties with lids are designed by Jennifer Panepinto of portionware and are available in a set of six in two color combinations (blue/green or orange/yellow). Portionware is dishwasher safe but should not be placed in the microwave. The circles and partial circles on the lid indicate the size at the fill line (one circle = 1 cup).
When I started Weight Watchers eight years ago, I quickly grew tired of using measuring cups to ensure I was recording accurate portion sizes. I bought two sets of these porcelain Mesu bowls, one for home and one for the office and I immediately felt less like I was on a diet (In Weight Watchers, we like to say it’s not a diet, it’s a live it!). These bowls are gorgeous and so me (polka dot fanatic) so I look forward to using them. I’ve managed to hang on to all of them with the exception of one, which met its untimely death by Midnite the German Shepherd (don’t leave a bowl of steak too close to the counter’s edge unless your dog is a good dog). These bowls were the first generation of made to measure bowls by Jennifer Panepinto (see above portionware). I didn’t know the history behind this design until I researched products for this post. This set was her thesis project for her Masters in Design. These bowls were featured at Moma, won design awards and were written about in popular home and design magazines. This just confirms what I’ve always suspected, I’ve got good taste 🙂 Unfortunately, this set is no longer in production! I love her new portable set but hope she reconsiders bringing back this set or something similar because I feel a “real dish” is so much more pleasant while dining at the casa.
The other set I use daily is by Martha Stewart for Macys and it was part of her collection of all white dishes with a rose theme. Although the set is intended for cooking prep, I use the 1/3 cup for con queso sauce with my breakfast burrito nearly every day. The 1/2 cup is good for ice cream and the 1 cup for Pirate’s Booty. This set is no longer available but she comes out with similar concepts all the time so just check your local Macys.
If you are learning about portion sizes and don’t wish to buy a made to measure set, you can use your own dishes. Just fill your dish with water and then pour into a measuring cup to get an approximate size. I know my Japanese rice bowls hold ~ 1/2 cup and my cute fish shaped shoyu dishes hold ~ 2 tablespoons (good for salad dressing and maple sryup too!). There are many people who believe weighing your food is the only way to get an accurate measurement when tracking portion sizes and I do weigh at times. However, consistency trumps 100% accuracy in the long run. Using pre-measured bowls is quick, easy and helps to improve my ability to guesstimate as it is a more visual method.
All images via merchants’ online shop.