Wednesday, September 5, 2012

kitchen essentials

un-barefoot contessa from inslee by design (and no, i don't cook in heels!)

cooking is a frequent topic on crossed & dotted. the boyfriend and i cook dinner at home almost every night, and we have streamlined our kitchen arsenal to make any recipe easy to attempt.
i talked about some of my favorite kitchen tools in this post, but i wanted to do a follow-up that covers other essential items, like mixing bowls and pots and pans.

pots and pans: 
i love all clad because the quality is great, it lasts forever, and it's easy to clean. 
the downside? SUPER expensive (that 8 piece set retails for $999. OUCH.)
our solution? the kirkland tri-clad set from costco! for $199 you get 13 pieces and after over 5 years of heavy use, they are still in great shape!
cleaning best practice: use bar keepers friend for tough, stuck-on residue!

non-stick frying pan with cover:
essential for things like eggs, stir fry, and grilled cheese, i love my non-stick frying pan and i really do use the cover a lot.

necessary for draining pasta; also doubles as a unique serving vessel for bread!

mixing bowls:
we have used both glass and plastic mixing bowls, and i always come back to glass because it can go in the oven, the microwave, the refrigerator, and the freezer and they are so durable.
the ones that nest one inside the other are best for maximizing storage space. you can find sets like this one at bed bath & beyond or target, but flash sale sites also have great deals on basics: i just got this 9 piece duralex set from one king's lane for $25!

measuring cups and spoons:
pyrex is my go-to brand for liquid measuring cups, since they are glass, durable, and come in multiple sizes (1 cup, 2 cup, and even 2 quart!)
for dry measuring cups, i love this set from rubbermaid because the cups are tapered instead of round, making it easier to dip into canisters.
measuring spoons in every size make baking so much easier.

baking sheet and muffin tin:
i use baking sheets for many things, like toasting crostini under the broiler, roasting potatoes in the oven, and baking cookies. a muffin tin is also great to have, since it works for both savory and sweet baked goods!

shopping tips: check out stores like homegoods, tj maxx, and marshalls (and tuesday morning, which exists in florida and probably other places, too) before you head to bed bath & beyond. i have found over half of our kitchen essentials at those places. also, flash sale sites like joss & main and one king's lane frequently have kitchen items, and costco is a wonderful resource for appliances and pots and pans.

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