Tools: Kitchen basics
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The following list is what I would consider the basic necessities that should be in every kitchen.  I recommend purchasing quality tools because they do last longer.  Purchasing inexpensive tools and continuously replacing them costs more in the long run. Cheap then becomes expensive.

  • Cookbooks- My recommendation is to check out cookbooks from the library to start with and find one or two cookbooks that fit into your cooking style before purchasing. Remember you can interlibrary loan a cookbook if the library doesnít carry it.

  • Knives- I canít say enough about investing in a quality set of knives and these are not found at our local grocery or 5 and dime.  You donít have to buy a complete set all at once, but build a set.  At the very least you will need a paring knife, chef knife and a serrated bread knife.

  • Bottle and can openers- the key to these tools is to keep them clean.

  • Veggie peeler- have several on hand so that your kids can help with the cooking.

  • Cutting board- wood or plastic, do not cut and chop on glass or counter top.  Place no-skid material or a damp cloth underneath cutting board to avoid slipping around while you are cutting.

  • Grater- a box grater saves on purchasing multiple gadgets and the kids can use it with ease.

  • Mixing bowls- nested stainless steel.  Unbreakable and whisking and mixing will scratch glass.

  • Wooden spoons- in a variety of sizes.  Keep in a crock on the counter for easy access while cooking.  Wonít get hot like metal spoons do.  Keep the metal spoons for serving.

  • Rubber and metal spatulas- at least one heat resistant rubber or silicone spatula and a quality stainless steel metal spatula (wonít rust). Keep in counter top crock.

  • Whisk- have at least one size on hand in your crock with the wooden spoons. When you have one available at all times, you will find that you canít live without it.

  • Slotted spoon/serving spoon- stick with stainless steel.  Lots of nice styles on the market.

  • Hot pads- THROW AWAY all hot pads that are in disrepair or burned right now! DO NOT use towels as hot pads.  Be aware of gimmicky hot mitts.  Most donít allow you to flex your hand safely around the hot pan or pot.

  • Cooking pots w/lids- again, cheap isnít the way to go.  Here, I recommend a good quality stainless steel set because one always uses different sizes when cooking.

  • Skillet- may come in your pan set, but I use a cast iron as well as a non-stick.

  • Roasting pan/rack- recommended to help reduce fat off roasting meats and chicken

  • Sieve/strainer- fine and coarse- can use fine for sifting dry ingredients like flour, coarse for straining pasta and draining cooked, ground meats

  • Measuring cups- wet and dry. Yes, there is a difference between the two.  I recommend plastic liquid measuring cups (the glass once chip on the edge) and stainless steel dry measuring cups.

  • Measuring spoons- stainless steel.  The cute ďpinch, dash and smidgeĒ set isnít necessary.

  • Baking/cookie sheets- simple, no gimmick stainless steel. Cookie sheets that are only 3 sided so the cookies can slide off easily have to other use, where as a four sided sheet pan can be used for other baking and roasting tasks.

  • Muffin pan- I include this in the list because muffins and cupcakes are very simple items to make and homemade tastes much better!

  • Electric mixer- hand held at the very least.  Makes homemade muffins and cupcakes a breeze!

  • Food processor- makes light work of chopping, pureeing and cutting butter into biscuit and pie dough

  • Blender, cake pans, pie plates, rolling pin, potato masher, pastry cutter, egg slicer, bench scraper, silplat mats, etc. can be added as your repertoire of dishes expands. 



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