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Every kitchen needs its tools to help create beautiful and delicious dishes. Here is a list of My Everyday Kitchen Essentials.
As each season comes and goes I often get a bittersweet feeling. I love everything about fall and summer is my least favorite season but I am going to miss fresh summer tomatoes, corn, and peaches. There are always things to look forward to and others that I’m going to miss but one thing that doesn’t change is my never-ending joy of cooking and how I’m always making use of each season’s bounty.
I often find myself taking stock of my kitchen equipment this time of year. I like to make sure I have what I need and that everything is in good working order for my holiday cooking. It also helps me know if I need to ask for anything for Christmas or my upcoming birthday.
Over the years I’ve come to learn what I like and I don’t like and since I do spend a good portion of my time putting this equipment to work I thought I would share with you some of My Everyday Kitchen Essentials.
Whether you get a full set with a block or buy a select few that you prefer to use, every cook needs a good set of knives. Although I do have a knife with block set, I actually use a separate set of knives that I purchased from Costco over a decade ago the most. They are Santoku knives and I absolutely love them. They are the best for chopping, dicing, and slicing. It’s also a good idea to have a knife sharpener to keep your knives nice and sharp.
Most cooks will tell you that wooden cutting boards are the best for knives. Well, the only problem with that is that it’s one more thing for me to hand wash. With as much cooking as I do and limited counter space that I have at the moment, I prefer to make use of my dishwasher as much as possible.
I was so excited when I came across these Epicurean cutting boards. They are knife-friendly, heat resistant, and dishwasher safe. I received one for Christmas a couple of years ago and I absolutely love it!
Whisks, Wooden Spoons, and Spatulas
Every few years I’ll ask my mom to get me new wooden spoons and spatulas for Christmas. Along with whisks, I use them every day that I’m in the kitchen. Since I get my cooking skills from my mom I know that she will always get me great quality spoons and spatulas. She usually will get them from my favorite stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table.
Well, I hadn’t switched out my whisks as often and they were looking a little worn so recently I decided it was time for an upgrade. I bought this OXO Good Grips Whisk and I love it! I’m actually thinking about getting another one or two. I love that it has a thick handle. It’s really nice when I’m whisking up a thick batter. This is an amazing, budget-friendly buy and if you’re in the market for new whisks, I highly recommend this one!
Derek and I moved into our first apartment at the beginning of December almost seventeen years ago. Where has the time gone?! Well, the week before we were in St Augustine for Thanksgiving at my grandparent’s beach house. Anyone who’s familiar with the area knows that there are two outlet malls across from each other with I-95 running in between them.
We decided to take advantage of being in the area and bought some things for our new home. I wasn’t a pro in the kitchen yet and didn’t understand the importance of quality kitchen equipment. So one of the things I bought was a cheap metal mixing bowl set. I soon learned that wasn’t the best choice. The bowls got scratched and dinged up very easily.
When it came time for me and Derek to create our wedding registry I made sure to register for a quality set. I went with Pyrex and you know what? Over fifteen years later I still have them. They definitely are showing some wear but considering how much they’ve been used it’s hardly surprising. So you could say that I definitely recommend these mixing bowls!
Stainless Steel and Nonstick Pans
It’s an unusual day in the kitchen if I don’t pull out my frying pans at least once. I actually use both stainless steel and nonstick. It really depends on what I’m cooking. Stainless steel are great for veggies and sauces. I use my nonstick pretty much for everything else. I love my All-Clad Nonstick pans, I have been through my share of nonstick pans over the years and these are by far the best!
Stainless Steel Pots
For pots, I use only stainless steel. I’ve had my Kitchen Aid set for almost ten years and they are still in great condition. I have no plans to trade up anytime soon!
Hand or Stand Mixer
In full disclosure, I don’t own a stand mixer. It’s not that I don’t want one it’s just that I don’t have the counter space for one at the moment. I use my hand mixer for everything that calls for a mixer and honestly, it works out quite well. It takes up very little space and I use it quite often. I do recommend getting a decent quality hand mixer. I currently have a Kitchen Aid. I’ve had it for about five or six years now and I definitely recommend it!
Microplane Zesters and Graters
I love my Microplane zesters and graters. I use them all the time for zesting citrus, grating parmesan, and grating garlic cloves over mincing. I also will use them to grate onion whenever I’m making meatballs. They are just fantastic and a must for any kitchen!
I’m really big on grating your own cheese. It tastes better when it’s freshly grated and more economical. As long as you have a good-quality box grater it will take no time at all!
Good-quality baking sheets are essential for any kitchen. I remember the cheap ones that I used to buy and I would get so frustrated at how often I needed to replace them. I recommend Nordic Ware and if you keep your eyes peeled around the holidays you may find a nice set at Costco.
Bundt and/or Cake Pans
I probably use my bundt pan more than my other cake pans. They fit perfectly on my cake plate and I usually don’t have to refrigerate them. However, it is a good idea to have a variety of cake pans if you love to bake.
My bundt pan is Nordic Ware and I love it. My sister got me a springform pan from Williams-Sonoma’s Goldtouch Nonstick line a few years ago. It’s wonderful and I’ll probably be switching out my eight-inch cake pans for a couple from that line sooner than later.
It’s back to the good old Pyrex for this category. I’ve had these dishes for as long as I’ve had my mixing bowls and they have served me well. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the prettier dishes you can find at my favorite stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Le Creuset when the budget allows.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
I’ve had a few sets of measuring cups and spoons over the years. I definitely recommend stainless steel. I received my current set as a gift and honestly, I don’t remember the brand name but they have been wonderful.
In the past I used plastic and I actually bought Kitchen Aid for my last plastic set because I’ve had such good luck with their other products but these were terrible. The lettering faded away and one of the cup
I use Pyrex for liquid measuring cups and like everything else I own that’s Pyrex, they’re still doing the job well.
I know this seems like a weird item to consider an “essential” but I actually find it quite useful. I use it for more than just icing cakes. It’s perfect for when I’m adding the mashed potatoes to the top of my shepherd’s pie and I love using it to spread the guacamole and sour cream on top of my seven-layer dip!
Food Processor and/or High Speed Blender
I use both of these quite often. They are great for mixing up sauces, soups, salad dressings, and more! I’ve had my Cuisinart food processor for many years and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. My Ninja Blender is perfect for not only smoothies but I like to use it when I need to make a small-batch sauce or salad dressing.
I actually have two slow cookers. I leave my newer one out for daily use and I store the other one in my guest room closet. I like to pull out for the holidays. I use both of them to keep veggies warm on Thanksgiving.
I use my slow cooker at least once a week sometimes more. It is so useful for those busy days when I know I’m not going to have much time to cook dinner. I also like to use it to cook chicken breasts instead of poaching them. It makes it a lot easier for me when it comes time to make tacos, chicken salad, or anything else that requires shredded chicken. I use Crockpot brand and I don’t think I’ll ever change!
My Le Creuset dutch oven is one of my favorite items in my kitchen. I use it to make stews, roasts, casseroles, and soups. We’ll even use it to fry up my hubby’s buffalo wings. It has countless uses and definitely an essential item!
I hope you find this list of My Everyday Kitchen Essentials helpful whether you’re looking to replace some of your old equipment or needing some ideas for gifts. These are definitely my tried and true. If you have some thoughts or favorite kitchen products, please share them in the comments section!
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