For today’s wedding series post, I’d like to share with you my favorite kitchen items from my wedding registry. In the past few years, several of my bride-to-be friends have asked for recommendations of kitchen items and brands that I like, and the ones I have selected to share with you below are my very favorites! Some of them I actually had before I was married, and would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants reliable kitchen workhorses that look great and will stand the test of time.
Full disclosure: links to the products featured in this post are to my Dietitian in the Kitchen Amazon store. This is an affiliate program that I am a part of, and means I get a small percentage of any purchases made through my store. In the side bar, you will see a section titled “Whitney Recommends” which links to my current favorite kitchen items, cookbooks, blogging resources, and more! It’s all part of my efforts to do what I love as a culinary dietitian, which includes paying for all of the food that I feature on this blog! Thank you for your support, and if you enjoy what you see on this blog, don’t forget to follow me via e-mail or Bloglovin (see the sidebar) so you don’t miss a post!
1. Chef and Pairing Knives – Forget the fancy knife block sets. A chefs knife and pairing knife are all you need for basic cutting and chopping tasks, so treat them as an investment and care for them well. You can also save counter space by eliminating a knife block and using a magnetic knife strip on the wall! The Wustohof knives were recommended to me by the chefs who taught my first knife skills class and are German-made. Never wash your cutting knives in the dishwasher!
2. Cuisinart FP-12 Elite Collection 12-Cup Food Processor – This is by far the most multi-purpose kitchen item that I owe and has been worth every penny. I use it to make pesto, sauces, salad dressings, nut butters, purees, pie crusts, doughs, for chopping, grating, and oh so much more. The 7-cup is likely sufficient for households of 1-2, but I have found the 12-cup best meets my higher-volume cooking needs.
3. Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillets – If you don’t foresee yourself inheriting one of these trusty, sturdy, multi-purpose pans from a grandmother or mother, PLEASE go ahead and get one, use the heck out of it, and save it for your own collection of family heirlooms. This is my all-time favorite pan for cooking fish, stove top burgers, making cornbread, baking fruit crisps, rustic cinnamon rolls, and Dutch babies. The possibilities are endless with this piece! Make sure to carefully read the usage/care for instructions – cast iron does not require a lot of maintenance but there are specific rules for cleaning it that you don’t want to overlook!
4. Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-Quart Oval French Oven, Red – this pot was my first Valentine’s gift from Ryan, and boy did he set the bar high with this one. I’ve had mine for 3 years now and have probably used it at least 300 times. Enameled cast iron is miraculously easy to clean, and is so beautiful that it can easily be used as a serving vessel. It also heats very quickly and evenly through the bottom and sides, and can be used on the stove top or in the oven. My favorite uses for it include oatmeal, soups, stews, braises (think pot roast, short ribs, and pork shoulder), and even baking bread.
5. Immersion Blender – Have you ever been instructed by a recipe to puree a hot soup or vegetable in a blender or food processor to get a silky smooth texture, only to have the hot liquid spew out of the blender and on to your skin, clothes, and counter tops? I have. And then I bought an immersion blender. Problem solved. These handy-dandy tools allows you to smoothify soups and make your purees right in the cooking pot, and they are super easy to clean. They can also be used for frothy milkshakes, smoothies, and creamy salad dressings!
6. Microplane – I use this tool every day and sometimes multiple times a day. Everyone needs one. It’s the ultimate tool for making fine, fluffy grated citrus zest, minced garlic, grated vegetables, fresh grated nutmeg and spices, and garnishing any savory dish with a quick sprinkling of Parmesan.
7. Diswasher-Safe Cutting Board – Everyone wants a beautiful wooden or bamboo cutting board for a rustic addition to their kitchen. By all means, please get one and use it! I have one and love mine, but often times find myself needing a board I can run through the dishwasher after cutting meat or chopping a strong-smelling onion. That’s where my dishwasher safe plastic/acrylic cutting board comes in handy – I like to use these for cutting any raw meats and also for onions so that germs and smells do not get absorbed into my wooden cutting boards. I reserve the wooden boards for produce, grains and nuts.
8. Stand Mixer – If you ever want to try your hand at made-from-scratch breads, cakes, muffins, scones, meringues, macaroons, or pretty much any homemade baked good, you are going to want one of these. After you have meticulously measured all of your ingredients, this gem will pretty much do the rest of the work for you so you can get a head start on the dirty dishes while it mixes. It’s also extremely multi-purpose and lends itself to a wide variety of culinary creations with all of the available mixer attachments. Think ice cream, handmade pasta, fresh sausages and ground meats!
9. USA Bakeware – I’ve cooked with and bought several brands of bake ware in the past, and by far USA has been my favorite. I first used the hardware provided by one of my clients, and immediately fell in love with their even heating and easy cleaning. Sticky, oily cooking residues essentially slide right off the surface, and I’ve never had problems with cakes, muffins, or other batters sticking or burning in these pans. To top it all off, they are made right here in the USA and will last years and years if you care for them properly!
I truly hope you enjoy this list and find it helpful in stocking your kitchen and making it functional. Let me know if you have any comments or thoughts on the products I’ve listed!
Whitney – The Dietitian in the Kitchen0