March 2nd, 2016

My Kitchen Essentials

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You might think, being a food blogger, I have a fancy kitchen filled with all kinds of fancy cookware and appliances. But I’ve got a pretty regular kitchen filled with some basic cookware and appliances. 

I’m not the type to buy the most expensive pots and pans out there, but I am willing to pay a little more for good quality. I like to stock my kitchen with long-lasting, reliable tools that are also affordable. These are some of my favorites.  


81UknzEqmhL._SL1500_KitchenAid Stand Mixer
This is one of the few appliances (besides the toaster) that stays on my counter at all times. I use my KitchenAid almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It’s probably the most expensive item in my kitchen, but it’s been worth every penny. My original KitchenAid stand mixer is almost 15 years old and it’s still going strong!


KitchenAid Glass Bowl61fQxb4uidL._SL1000_
Since I use my KitchenAid so often, I find it really practical to have a second bowl, and this glass one is my favorite. It’s actually the one I keep on my mixer because I love the look of it as well as the functionality. It also come with a lid!



Stand Mixer Beater Bladebeater blade
If you’ve ever been frustrated because your KitchenAid doesn’t quite mix what’s on the bottom of the bowl, then you need this beater blade. It’s not made by KitchenAid, so it’s not quite the same quality, but I love mine and always use it for mixing cookies and cakes.



Slow Cooker
I’d be lost without my slow cooker. I actually have three of them. Trust me, they come in handy for entertaining. Especially on game day! Hamilton Beach is my brand of choice. I use mine several times a week and I haven’t had to replace one yet.



Good knives are probably the most important tool you can have in your kitchen, and a good chef’s knife is a must! I love my set of Wusthof knives. Just remember to sharpen them regularly and they’ll serve you well for many, many years.



pyrex cupPyrex Measuring Cups
I love my Pyrex measuring cups! They’re another kitchen essential I use almost every day. And the larger Pyrex 8-cup measuring cup is great for things like pancake and brownie batter.



Cast-Iron Skillets81fXAHPfULL._SL1500_
If you’ve followed Let’s Dish for long, you’ve probably seen my cast-iron skillets more than once. I have several sizes and use them all regularly. There just isn’t a better pan for searing and browning. Sure, they take a bit of extra care, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never be without a cast-iron skillet in your kitchen again.


Aroma Rice Cooker81S6SuC1NHL._SL1500_
We eat rice at least once a week, and I just don’t want to mess with making it on the stove top. So my rice cooker gets a pretty regular work out. It comes in a smaller size, if you don’t have as many hungry mouths to feed as idea. And FYI: if you lose the measuring scoop that comes with it, it’s equivalent to 3/4 cup.



USA Pans91+N9Hk7qBL._SL1500_
I’ve slowly been replacing all of my metal bakeware with USA pans. They cost a bit more than aluminum cookware I’ve purchased in the past, but the quality is top notch. These are the kind of pans I expect to buy once and never replace. 



Cuisinart 12-Piece Cookware Set81iBxutZrwL._SL1500_
These pans are a great value for the price and have served me as well as some of the more expensive brands. I’ve had my set for years and use it every single day. These pots and pans distribute heat evenly and are easy to clean. If I ever have a sticking problem, I soak the pan with a bit of dishwasher detergent and any cooked on food comes right off!


Plastic Mixing Bowls
I have metal bowls. I have glass bowls. But my plastic mixing bowls are the ones I reach for again and again. Maybe it’s the pretty colors. I also love that they’re lightweight and easy to clean. Mostly, they just make me happy.



Large Dutch Oven
My large Dutch oven is the workhorse of my kitchen. I use it for big batches of soup, stew and chili, and it’s great for cooking pot roast too. It’s one of those kitchen essentials that will last for years. And yes, mine matches my stand mixer!



Wooden or Bamboo Spoons
I have a very large wooden spoon collection. I find it’s helpful to have an assortment of shapes and sizes handy at all times. My favorite is the flat, spatula-style spoon. It’s great for deglazing and getting into the corners of my saute pan.


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