5/19/13

Day 18: Top 10 'Must Have' Cooking Items


These are my go to items, items I use everyday!






Have you ever stood in the Kitchen store wondering what in the heck to buy? With the enormous amount of kitchen gadgets out there, consumers become easily overwhelmed! Resulting in the dreaded chaotic 'gadget drawer' - where items are seldom used.

No more! Seriously. Those gadgets may do awesome things, but are they versatile? Does that ONE item you just purchased for $15 work on multiple items? Or does it just hull strawberries?

I have 10 items I use regularly. With the exception of some items that are just handy and make life easier. Citrus squeezer anyone??

 The items below are my absolute favorites; these are the 'I-Could-Never-Live-Without-You' things that I will take on vacation, just in case!





One of my ALL-TIME favorite gadgets?

The rasper.

Just saying 'rasper' is fun. But using one is even more fun! I use it to zest any citrus where it calls for juice - but I also use it for "mincing" garlic! Just run your clove of garlic over the rasper, and you have finely grated garlic that doesn't get stuck in your teeth... No one likes that. I use it to grate ginger into my dishes. Or finely grate parmesan cheese. Or, if I've over baked the cookies, just run this rasper on the crispy edges, and you've saved your cookie! That is 5 uses so far for ONE item.

Moving on....

Half-Sheet Pans. Jelly Roll pans. Whatever you want to call them - they are the perfect vessel for baking cookies, baking a 'half-sheet cake' {oh, now you get it!}, roasting vegetables, chicken, fish, beef, pork, anything. I make meatloaf on here, individual meatloves. {So nice to have your own!} And, the size is what I love the most! You can put your veggies on one side and your protein on the other and bake T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R. What a time saver! That is 9 uses for ONE item!

Woo hoo!

Cast-Iron-Skillet. You HAVE to have one. Your grandmother probably used it, and her grandmother probably gave it to her! If I had to tell you to buy one thing from this list {as much as I hate to say it...} this would be it! It is truly and all purpose 'cooker.' You can bake it in, you can fry in it, you can saute, and if you flip it over, you can make pancakes if you were in a pinch! Wowzer!

Whisk, Wooden Spoon & Tongs. The ONLY utensils you need in your jar. A spatula is nice and convenient - but these are you basic 'stirring' items you need.

Cutting board. Duh.

Nesting Bowls. I bought these several years ago after Christmas from Williams-Sonoma. They are $30 for 8 of them, and hands-down-my-favorite-bowls-ever. {I'm using this phrase a lot today, get used to it.} The different sizes are great to mix a cake, marinade, toss a salad, etc in. They are dishwasher safe, and for $30, I wish I had bought an extra set. LOVE THEM.

Stock Pot. Do you make stock? It's really easy! Your biggest "hurdle" is getting the big pot out. The bigger the pot the more the stock. Which means the better your homemade corn chowder just got! Buy a big stock pot and make the stock. You can thank me later.

And, finally. My pride and joy. THE Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven. It is heavy enough to lift weights with - but, I have never met another pot I liked better. It goes from the stove top to the oven to the table. With all the colors you can create a set that is like the color wheel - perfectly suited in every way! The heat is regulated within this great cooking vessel because it is Cast-Iron, coated in ceramic. Meaning, the great heat conduction cast iron gives is made even better by the ceramic-ness added! And, it's prettier.  Way prettier.

{Can I add an 11th thing?}

I didn't include a knife! You will definitely need a knife. I like BIG knives and cannot lie. Like this one:






These are from Cutco, one of my favorite kitchen companies. They have wonderful customer service, and their knives are guaranteed for life. Even after my parents pass their big set down to me, the lifetime guarantee is still there! Yay!

Are there any kitchen gadgets you would add?


Happy Simple Cooking!

***I have one item to add: THIS knife I L-O-V-E. This and her pairing knife are the only knives I have used in the past few months... Besides a serrated Cutco knife!***


***DISCLAIMER: No, I have not been compensated by any of these companies. I am merely shouting to the world my love for good culinary gadgets!***



If you are just arriving on this series, here are the past posts you missed! Enjoy!

Day One: 31 Days to Successful Entertaining
Day Two: 12 Items Every Hostess Needs
Day Three: How to Organize Your Stuff Efficiently
Day Four: 20 No Cook Appetizers, FREE PRINTABLE
Day Five: How to Set a Buffet Table
Day Six: Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Day Seven: 8 Floral Arranging Tips
Day Eight: Lunch Party Menu Ideas
Day Nine: Thai Chicken Salad Recipe
Day Ten: 10 Economical Decorating Ideas
Day Eleven: Juice of a Few Flowers Cocktail Recipe
Day Twelve: Top 5 Party Menus
Day Thirteen: Rosemary Cashews
Day Fourteen: Using Silhouette Vinyl with Your Cameo
Day Fifteen: Pimento Cheese, a Southern Staple
Day Sixteen: Table Top Decorating Ideas
Day Seventeen: Peacock Party & Using Party Printables




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