Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Top Ten Kitchen Must-Haves

Let me start this post by saying that I am not in any way trying to tell you to go out and buy all (or any) of these items. I know that setting up a kitchen costs a lot of money. If you do like or need any of these things, I would recommend talking with your spouse and checking out your budget and acquiring them at a pace that won't break the bank or upset your spouse.

My Top Ten Kitchen Must-Haves:

1) A good cutting board - This is a Kitchenaid that I got at Target for under $20. I recommend anything Kitchenaid makes as it is quality and will last you a long time. It's better to invest in quality than to have to replace a cheaper item more frequently. This one is great because it has grips on the bottom so the cutting board doesn't slip when you are chopping on it which is a great safety feature, especially if you are clumsy like me ;)

2) A good supply of measuring devices - I like to have a few different sized wet measuring cups. As you can see I have a plastic 4-cup, a glass 2-cup, and a great Pampered Chef 2-cup that measures dry and wet ingredients. I highly recommend Pampered Chef as they are high quality products. I also like to have a few nesting dry measuring cups. I got the red set for $1.00 at Target and it included 1-cup, 3/4 cup, 2/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, and everything from 1/2 tsp to Tbsp. It's also good to have a few tsp and Tbsp measuring spoons. I love these as you can measure any amount with the same spoon. It's great to have a lot of these so you don't have to waste time cleaning one set every time you need one.

3) A good pair of kitchen shears - These are great. They came in a kitchen knife block set that I got. You can just pick up a set without buying a knife set. They are great for opening packages, clipping the fat off of meat, and anything else that might require scissors in the kitchen. You can get a pair of these for $10.00 at Target.

4) A good Santoku knife - If you have ever watched The Food Network, you see chefs using these fancy looking knives. Let me let you in on a little secret...Kitchenaid has them at Target for under $20.00 for a set of 2. They work awesome. They are great for chopping anything from veggies to fruit to meat.

5) A good peeler - If you have ever made homemade mashed potatoes or needed to peel an apple, you know that a good peeler is essential. You only cut the peeling and it takes a lot less time than a cheap peeler or kitchen knife (unless of course you are like the deceased wife in Sleepless in Seattle). This came in a set of Kitchenaid kitchen tools, but you can get a peeler for under $10.00.

6) A kitchen scale - I bought this at Weight Watchers back when I was on my weight loss journey after Luke was born. I thought it was a great investment when I needed to weigh out my food to lose weight, but I soon found that it was awesome for weighing out meat or pasta so that I didn't use too much for a recipe. You can get a good digital scale for about $25.00 at Target.

7) A colander - You must have a colander in your kitchen if you ever plan to make pasta. You can get one of these at Target for under $15.00.

8) Lots of mixing bowls - I love having a lot of different sizes and types of mixing bowls. It helps when you are making a lot of food and you don't have time to keep washing and drying bowls. You can pick these up for as cheaply or expensively and as simple or fancy as you like. They have nesting bowl sets. They come in plastic, stainless, ceramic, and glass. I like to have a few of each.

9) A good set of cookware - Lee and I have a great set of iCook. It was expensive, but we had just gotten a bonus and Lee wanted me to have a nice set. A good set of cookware will last you a long time. It's good to get a set that is non-stick. It's great to have a small, medium, and large cooking pan and a small, medium, and large cooking pot.

It's also good to have some great bakeware. I recommend non-stick bakeware as well. I like to have a couple cookie sheets, a couple 12-cup muffin pans, a roasting pan, a bread pan, a square pan, and a casserole dish.

10) A microwavable cooking dish - Lee actually had this when we got married. It's from Pampered Chef ($10.50). I love it because I can toss in some veggies and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes while I am finishing up the rest of the meal.

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