Top 10 (or 11) Most Handy Kitchen Items

A bit of background if I may: last night I got drinks with my good friend Colleen, who works in the fashion industry and who just moved into her own 1-bedroom apartment (congrats love!).  She is another friend of mine whose cooking abilities are very limited but who hopes to learn at least the basics.  I really appreciated her honesty last night; Colleen told me that the idea of cooking is daunting, primarily because she doesn’t know where to start.  Most of the food websites she looks at have explanations and instructions that are already over her head, so it’s tough for her to get some type of beginner’s guide.

When she asked me for a list of tools/equipment she should have in the kitchen, I quickly became animated and started listing everything that in my mind was an essential: cheese grater, pasta pot, large and small skillet, you get the point.  This got us talking and we both agreed that this would be a great addition to the blog!  So that is how I landed here, hoping to give you a short list of goodies which will help make your cooking experience(s) less intimidating.

Basic equipment:

1. Small skillet – great for omelettes or a steak fillet or chicken breast

2.  Large skillet – great for pasta sauces, sautéing vegetables, or cooking a few fillets at a time

3.  Small saucepan with lid – good for boiling small things like eggs or baby potatoes

4.  Large pot with lid – great for pasta and soups

5. Strainer – to drain your amazing pasta!

6. Spatula – to flip eggs, cuts of meat

7.  A few wooden spoons – I use these more than anything else

8.  Cheese grater – I say it all the time, but cheese is just so great.  Even greater when it’s grated.

9.  Knives – you can either buy a set of knives, or just buy several serrated knives and one big chef’s knife.  I know chef’s knives are expensive (and I think well worth it!) but I found on the Macy’s website a Martha Stewart Santoku knife at the astoundingly low sale price of $9.99.  I unfortunately have never tried it (I can’t be torn from my Wusthof knife) but the reviews are good so I’m including a link here.

10. A salad spinner – eat your vegetables kids.

11.  A cutting board

Extra tools that you may want to invest in:

-A ladle, aluminum foil, a few tupperware containers, a vegetable peeler, a blender/food processor or immersion blender.

In terms of food items, it’s your job to get creative and decide what your favorite food items are that you always want to have on hand.  For me this changes, right now it’s parmesan cheese, whole milk, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Regardless, I think every person should have salt, pepper, sugar, and olive oil.  From there the kitchen is your oyster.

Does this help you?  Would you include anything else on this list?  Let me know, leave a comment!