After staying in two different homes over the holidays (and doing a little cooking in each), I came home to our kitchen with a new appreciation for some of our everyday tools (and a few items to add to our wish list that I loved using as a visitor!). Since we cook at home at least six dinners a week, I thought it might be fun to share some of our most-loved and most-used kitchen work horses. Whether you’re adding items to your wedding registry, building up your own mealtime arsenal, or looking for an idea for the next time your mother-in-law asks you for a gift idea, I hope this is helpful!
I’ve already waxed poetic about our Le Creuset dutch ovens (and the funny story of how we bought our first one), but they easily deserve the first spot on this list. We have a round 5 1/2 quart (my favorite) and a shallow round 3 1/2 quart. We use the biggie for making soups, stews, pastas, braised meats, risotto, orzo, and much more. I probably cook with it 5/7 nights a week. It goes from stovetop to oven to table beautifully, and is so easy to clean. Pick a color you love, because you’ll have it forever :)
Speaking of easy-to-clean: one of my favorite Shark Tank discoveries is the Scrub Daddy. His smile accurately expresses how easy he makes dishwashing!
We registered for a Calphalon cookware set and use many of the pieces daily (particularly the small and medium sauce pans and the stock pot). These are also easy to clean, which I love, but my favorite feature might be the glass tops, which makes it easy to see what’s bubbling at a glance! Our set is very similar to this one except ours are silver, not black.
More registry big dogs: our KitchenAid mixer (ours is black) and our food processor. The food processor got daily use in our seasons of making purees, but even now it earns its spot for making salsa, tikka paste, and just generally chopping stuff.
We don’t have a huge collection of one-off tools, but there are two that I’d recommend: an immersion blender and a griddler. We use the immersion blender for soups often (plus the mini chopper it comes with is really useful, too!). The griddler is great for grilled cheese, pancakes, and quesadillas in a pinch. The plates go in the dishwasher, which, if you can’t already tell, is an important attribute in our home.
I don’t have a ton to say about knives except that you should have them and keep them sharp :) I would recommend specializing with a great bread knife, and we love these little paring knives, too. This is the best peeler.
Now for a few things that I have no brand loyalty to, but would recommend saving a spot for in your kitchen: a blender, crockpot, simple wooden spoons, a citrus reamer, a big (for pasta) and little (for berries) strainer, a set of nesting mixing bowls (ours are very similar to this), mini silicone spatulas, several plastic cutting boards, and a slim plastic slotted spoon (I don’t love the bulky ones).
TL;DR: I really, really love our Le Creuset.
I’d love to hear: what’s your number one kitchen item? Everyone’s cooking patterns and favorite recipes are so different, and I’m curious to hear!
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