Recently, my (now) fiancé and I (that sounds so fancy and I’m still not used to calling him that, LOL!) finished renovating my childhood home we bought together back in December.
One of our favorite parts of the new house, and where we spend 90% of our time, is the kitchen. It’s literally our dream kitchen and I thank Tim everyday for bringing my vision to life. We still have some shelving to finish up but for the most part it's a fully functioning piece of art, (well, atleast I think so).
When we first moved into the house, we had nothing. We literally went out and bought 4 plates, a couple glasses and on set of utensils. Slowly but surely we’ve been able to add to the collection of kitchen items we needed.
Halfway through the summer, Tim finally got around to proposing (finallllllly!) and soon family + friends were generously sending us wonderful (+ helpful!) gifts to fill our cabinets!
Tim argued with me that we didn’t need most of it but after a few months he’s realized just how much proper equipment makes cooking a BREEZE!
Isn’t it the worst when you find a recipe you want to make, the pictures have your mouth drooling but then you read down through the instructions and it says “with a hand mixer blend ingredients…”, “sear each side in your cast iron pan…” or “fill your slow cooker and set to low for 8 hours…”
Nothing is more defeating than not having the right tools. You feel like a rookie and remind yourself, “this is why I don’t cook!”
So I thought I’d put together a list of things I feel are absolute necessities in any kitchen that will never go out of style or use. These are small investments but you’ll most likely never have to buy it again.
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Because you never think you’ll use one and then you get one and realize cooking, baking + making could’ve been a hell of alot easier with one of these guys. I’ve made batches of homemade pizza dough in this, Christmas cookies galore, whipped cream + pasta. You may be thinking “I’ll never make any of that” but you will. If you have the right tools.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven. There are dutch ovens a plenty at every HomeGoods (and if you get lucky there may even be a Le Creuset hidden on a shelf) but this dutch oven is the perfect tool to make any kind of soup, meat sauce, chilli or even roast chicken! Plus it’s so pretty that I just leave mine out on the counter and stare at it adoringly. (I got a little gold knob for it too so she’s all dressed up.)
Nespresso Machine. Now, this might not be a necessity depending on how seriously you take your coffee but I’m a BIG fan of my Nespresso machine my mom gifted us. I can make cappuccinos and lattes like the best starbucks barista around. Plus, since Tim doesn’t drink much coffee getting a regular ol’ coffee pot didn’t make much sense. (The half-caffinated pods are my favorite because the regular ones make me feel like Jessie Spano in Saved By The Bell. They have around 60 mg of caffeine vs >100mg.)
Food Processor. This is another one of those things you think you’ll never use but then you go to make a fancy pesto and really wish you could but you can’t because you don’t have one. We got ours on Sunday and have already used it three times this week: to make homemade breadcrumbs (because we had none on hand) and to make that fancy pesto. They’re relatively inexpensive and something you’ll never have to replace most likely. Great for chopping up herbs, all kinds of pesto, sauces and rubs, to make breadcrumbs and slice and dice just about anything else.
Nutri Bullet. The only thing better than a Nutri Bullet, in my opinion, is a Vitamix. But since a VItamix is not in our current budget our bullet does just as good of a job making my morning smoothies. If you are someone who loves a good, well blended protein shake, you must get yourself one of these. Get a high powered one however. It might cost you a few dollars more but it’s so worth it. Say goodbye to the days of clumpy smoothies and ill blended ingredients. Plus, if your not totally convinced on the food processor, you can make pesto and breadcrumbs in here!
Electric Wine Opener. Yes, opening a bottle of wine with a corkscrew is just as well but makes it such a breeze it’s hard to go back. This is the best housewarming gift, or gift for any occasion for that matter. Plus for people that get intimidated with opening a bottle, this puts their mind at ease knowing it’s just one button!
Cast Iron Pan. This is the money pan. We cook most of our meals in one of these guys (also, if you’ve never cooked your bacon in one of these you must! It gets so crispy, it’s delicious!) You’ll only ever need to buy one so make sure it’s a big one. These things get better with age (they season themselves the more you cook on them) and your food will becoming uniquely your own with a well-used cast iron pan.
Slow Cooker. Now, I cannot lie, I’m a slow cooker novice. But the amount of recipes I’ve found for a slow cooker, the rave reviews I hear on the daily or set-it-and-forget-it type of cooking it allows, I don’t know wtf I’ve been doing all this time. We just got our delivered this week (after I found the one I wanted on MASSIVE sale) and I can’t wait to get my hands on it to whip up some chili this weekend.
I think half the battle of learning to love the kitchen is in not having the right tools on hand. Imagine trying to build a house with a screwdriver and a hammer...it’s impossible! The same can be said for cooking in the kitchen.
Start small, scour HomeGoods for discounted finds, save up those Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons and get to it! The first meal you cook that goes off without a hitch because you have everything you need will crack open the inner Emeril Lagasse in you. I can see it now.
What are some of your favorite items in your kitchen?! We’re still building our collection in this new house of ours and would love to know what you can live without!