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The best thing in my kitchen is...

Posted by frmrsdghtr (My Page) on
Tue, May 13, 14 at 19:26

I'm looking at my young, soon to be sister-in-law's BBB registry and bemoaning the fact that so many of the things on her wish list are junk or even unnecessary. I would love to have a list of things I could get her that you have found invaluable in your kitchen. So... the best thing in my kitchen are these Wenger knives. I got one for my own wedding shower 10 years and it just broke. I looked every where to replace and could only find them on ebay. One seller. Nope, I'm not affiliated. I use it for peeling potatoes, chopping onions, cutting watermelon, carving turkey. It's the perfect size for me and literally the only knife I need. I tossed all the rest. That's my story :). What do you love in your kitchen?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wenger-3-91-205-5-1-Serrated-Utility-White-Handle-Knife-like-SWIBO-3-91-105-/351063885591?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51bd09c717

Here is a link that might be useful: knives


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

.....my 12" Griswold cast iron skillet. Not a day goes by that it is not used.
.....my carbon steel offset bread knife, purchased at a craft fair in Lincoln, NH, cuts razor thin slices of bread and tomatoes
.....my 25 year old set of Pyrex glass measuring cups, 1 C, 2 C, 4 C
.....6" Chef's knife
Moving into electronics- Zojirushi Neorfuzzy Rice Cooker, Immersion Blender, Electric Kettle These are things I didnt have for many years when I bought them I loved them and they are not once in a while purchases they are things that changed the way I cook.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Food scale, rice cooker, panini maker, Kitchen Aid mixer, Kitchen Aid immersion blender.

Don't laugh.... Tupperware. Real brand name Tupperware. Lifetime guarantee and they honor it. Get the stuff that goes from the freezer to the mw. Other plastic containers don't hold up. These last forever it seems.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Wusthoff knives
Silicone spatula with metal handles
Really good pans(I have an eclectic collection)
Spice stack
WS gold cookie sheets and jelly roll pans and muffin tins(Ok I my list for the future)
Vitamix 750
24/10 flatware (I think those are the numbers)
BBB microfiber tablecloths with matching napkins and placemats
WS microfiber sponges
Microfiber towels


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

My KA stand mixer
Package of flexible cutting mats
Oval dutch oven (oval is great for meat)
Two burner griddle
Cast iron skillet
Two sets of measuring cups, spoons, and mixing bowls
Several spatulas of various size and firmness
Parchment paper

Also one of the best things I ever did for my kitchen was to buy six large Rubbermaid containers for my flours and sugars. They hold a five pound bag of flour and have a nice wide lid I can get my measuring cup in to scoop. They have a nice seal and are very light and easy to clean.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

My Joseph Joseph scale!! SO much easier to use than a flat scale, including the fact that pouring out of the bowl is neat and easy. Plus, it's easy to put a small bowl or cup right in the bowl, or a larger one directly on the base. Before it, I avoided weighing what I could measure, but weighing is so much easier than measuring with the Joseph Joseph pillbug, um, "Shell" scale:

scale

Latest Love:

Chicago Metallic BPA-free Tritan plastic perforated cutting wheel. Cuts dough like a whiz without damaging the baking mat, with no pulling or sticking. You can dunk it in flour or sugar and it'll dust the cut edges. Cuts pizza beautifully, without pulling (though you might need a toothpick to clean the holes at the edge).

cutter

Runners up:
Progressive brand straining and measuring reamer
Microplane paddle graters
Beyond Gourmet brand unbleached parchment paper
Fat Daddio baking pans
Silicone baking mats

Of course, good knives, good pots, food processor, mixer, etc., but those are very individual as to what's the best choice.

You implied in your post something that has been frustrating me for many years. Registering a china pattern is one thing, and I get it that when older people who've been living on their own get married, they already have two households and don't need another, but when you're fitting out a new bride and groom who don't have and don't know, and they just traipse around a store saying, "This is cute," and zapping it with a barcode reader end up with a bunch of junk. Even when it's not actually junk, brides can feel let down at a nice shower when they just get box after box from the same store of stuff they chose for themselves. My father's cousins who gave my mother the extremely fine quality, extremely ugly, linen tea towels were remembered long after the wedding. No one remembers after they're opened who gave which item the bride chose for herself.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Henkel knives
Williams Sonoma cookie sheets
Glass nesting mixing bowls


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Epicurean cutting boards with rubber feet in slate
Victorinox serrated knives
Nespresso Pixie!!!
Glass nesting mixing bowls with lids ($10 at Costco)
KitchenAid mixer in Majestic Yellow (cutest thing in kitchen)


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Le Creuset dutch oven. As long as they know how to care for it.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Kitchen Aid Mixer
Blendtec Blender
Keurig Coffee Maker
Glass Pyrex measuring cups
Pampered Chef Baking stones-rectangle & circle


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Riedel stemless wine glasses (can't tell you how many times I knocked over stemware and broke them)
Vinturi wine aerator
A good bottle of wine


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

My cast iron skillet (10 inch), Le Creuset (3 pieces--oval, round, and shallow paella), 2 large, old mixing bowls (one I found at an antique store and the other was my recently deceased neighbor's), and a large 2-sided wood cutting board (one side is smooth and the other has a groove around it to catch juices) that I bought at Home Goods.

I love my KA stand mixer, but I baked/cooked for many years without it. My KA hand mixer I really couldn't do without. My pressure cookers--one electric and one large stovetop--I use all the time.

Little things I use all the time: good knives (Wusthof), silicon scraper/spoon, OXO peeler, microplane, Thermapen, and bench scraper.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

cast iron skillets and griddle, microplane, digital scale, digital probe thermometer, wooden cutting boards of various sizes, Omega masticating juicer. Um, that's probably enough.

Seems like we did one of these not too many months ago. It was a long one with tons of great items listed.

This post was edited by deedles on Wed, May 14, 14 at 0:09


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

When I got married, the best gift was a Wusthoff serrated vegetable knife. I didn't fully appreciate it at the time because I wasn't a family cook yet, but it is the one item I used daily, and still do

Also...

a good set of knives, a counter-top or in-drawer block and a sharpener

an old fashioned stove-top popcorn popper

a dutch oven (a new Le Creuset piece is wonderful, but an old enameled cast iron dutch oven would be an nice gift also as long as it is not chipped on the bottom)

a large single-piece wooden salad bowl (antique or new, but one piece of wood). Good place to put the popcorn or a big salad.

A mixed collection of cookware:

1 or 2 cast iron pieces (large steak/burger sized pan, dutch oven if not choosing enameled),

1 or 2 multi-ply stainless pieces (a 1.5 or 2.5 qt sauce pan, a wide tall-ish rimmed paella/large saute pan)

2 or 3 ScanPan pieces, or other good quality brand like that, (square ribbed grill pan, egg pan, medium sized saute pan)

a large pasta pot (such as ScanPan or whatever material you like)

Maybe one really wonderful but expensive French tin lined copper piece such as a saute pan, egg pan or sauce pan, to replace any of the ones above).

It's better to have a mix of materials and choose them by function rather than buy a whole set of the same material.

A little off-subject, but the sweetest gift we received was a recipe book of all my relatives' family recipes put together in a hand written cookbook.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Things we use All. The. Time.:

-Zojirushi induction pressure rice cooker (their fuzzy logic models are a great place to start, we went all in with this model when ours finally died (sort of))

-cast iron skillet and grill pan (sear your steaks and finish in the oven, can't beat it! Not to mention all things breakfast-y)

-All Clad double steamer - bought it on a whim on sale because we steam a lot. Thought it would be a novelty, but we actually use it 2-3 times a week between steaming and using just the pot

-a nice pepper mill, can't beat fresh ground pepper!

-stainless steel prep bowels, several each of a variety of sizes. I got a bunch at the local kitchen place and they were reasonable. They are thin, light, acid resistant, and stack well.

-good toaster oven. Our DeLonghi was a wedding present, and 10 years later still going strong. Great for reheating stuff, frozen snacks, broiling for 1-2 people and much more.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Williamsem reminded me! My beloved Atlas pepper grinder! It grinds, rather than mashing, the peppercorns, and the results are even and the size is adjustable. The whole thing metal, the grinding mechanism is steel, and the housing comes in brass, copper, chrome, or mixed. 300 year old Greek company. Seriously amazing and wondrous. They also make salt grinders, but it's the pepper that's the must have.

peppermill


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

lots of awesome ideas here! thanks for the shopping help :)


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I have so many...I never had a microplane until about 3 years ago and I wonder how I cooked for 20+ years without one...citrus zest, hard cheeses, chocolate, fresh ginger and nutmeg...so many uses. Good quality kitchen knives will never be money wasted and the cookware I use the most is my cast iron skillets. Mine are generational hand-me-downs and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. Oh, I can't forget Silpats...best invention EVER!!

This post was edited by dcward89 on Wed, May 14, 14 at 7:50


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Lodge cast iron skillet

3.5 qt Le Creuset dutch oven

Fiesta dishes

Gaggia super automatic espresso machine

Long skinny silicone spatulas (I never have enough of this shape - the rest are all too short or too fat)

the super cheapo metal spatula my college roommate didn't want and left behind with me. I've never found another I like as well. It looks like the type you'd buy at the dollar store. I'll be so sad if it ever breaks.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I have been slowly replacing my kitchen gadgets over the last few years, here are a few of my favorites:

Arc Glass Butter Dish(deep dish with skinny lid)
InterDesign Egg Bin with Lid(no egg compartment in new fridge)
Emsa Perfect Beaker Measuring Cup(great for converting measurements)
Snapfit Dual Sided Measuring Spoon Set
Glass Nesting Mixing Bowls
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Quality Stainless Steel Whisks
KitchenAid Hand Mixer
Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Mill
Cuisinart Prep Food Processor
Wusthof Classic Knives
Calphalon Contemporary Regular Cookware


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

You don't know if they actually cook or not, what they already have?

Some of the items above (such as stand mixer) are for serious cooks, and I'm not sure about such things as rice steamers (though I love the Z that my sister bought Mom!) unless you know they'll use them.

But the basics (assuming they don't already have them, I got married at 25 and had a lot of stuff) I think every kitchen should have:

Pyrex (not Anchor Hocking, I don't like the way they pour) liquid measuring cups

good set of dry measuring cups/spoons (I like my Tupperware but I don't think they make them any more)

Pyrex baking pan(s) with cover(s) - good for lasagne, casseroles, and can store leftovers in them

Pyrex or Tupperware bowls with lids (for salads, pasta salads, etc. - great for BBQs)

Silicone basting brush(es) and spatulas, "spoonulas"

1 large mixing bowl (SS, Pyrex, or ceramic)

a couple of good nonstick loaf pans (for bread, quick breads, meatloaf)

big nonstick frying pan (better than a griddle)

good knives - at least 1 paring knife, a Santoko chef knife and perhaps a smaller Santoko veggie knife - I have 3 sizes and use them all, but the smallest and largest the most - plus a serrated bread knife (even if they only use it for bagels)

KA or similar ice cream scoop

OXO veggie peeler - really nice one has different blades you can select by sliding button, for hard or soft fruits/veggies

SS colander

maybe now all the vineyards are going to screwcaps and boxes, but a good "wing" style or "rabbit" style corkscrew

Big cutting board with groove for carving meat, carving fork (you can use the big Santoko for carving, most "carving sets" don't have very good knives)

grooved cutting board (some have crumb tray) for cutting bread/bagels

smaller cutting boards (DW safe) for quick veggie/fruit prep - I have a set of 6 that hang on a little stand on the counter next to the knife block

Salad spinner

Ove Gloves (better than mitts)

Silicone pot holders/trivets

jelly roll pan (so many uses! I like my old Air Bake)

couple of cookie sheets (nonstick or insulated, depends on whether they like crispy or soft cookies or pizza)

2 8-9" round aluminum or SS cake pans - use for cakes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, etc - I have lots of Wilton cake pans in different sizes/shapes but best all-purpose pans are my mom's old SS ones.

1.5 - 2.5qt Corning glass-covered oval casserole(s)

8" square pan (any material)

9x13 deep rectangular aluminum pan (I like the Pyrex for casseroles, cakes but not for roasts or brownies)

good linen or waffle-weave dish towels for lint-free drying

small appliances:

they'll probably pick their own MW/toaster/toaster oven but I recommend a KA or other quality hand mixer, immersion blender (I like Cuisnart's new one that has removable, DW safe head), small (3-4qt) and large (even for 2 people) slow cookers - I use these all the time.

I do have a rice cooker and electric pressure cooker that has replaced the large slow cooker (and may replace the rice cooker once I figure out how to make rice in it), I would recommend the pressure cooker instead of those appliances but don't know of many electric ones (I got mine used Cooks Essentials I don't think they make any more). Maybe a good SS stovetop pressure cooker instead? While I used my slow cooker(s) for many many years and still like the small one for baked beans and such, I find it very convenient to PC frozen chicken thighs, or use the "steam" setting to thaw chops, then drain and switch to Brown. Even more convenient than the slow cooker, esp. for busy people with little time to cook, and don't plan ahead for thawing meat in the fridge.

The only thing I like better about the large slow cooker compared to the PC is that it can be taken to potlucks with the food already in it to keep warm/reheat after cooking it at home.


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Every bride deserves an $18 spatula. No joke. After breaking over and buying one at Sur La Table, I threw out half my kitchen utensils, and bought twelve more for Christmas gifts. Generally never disappointed with Kuhn Rikon gear. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kuhn Rikon SoftEdge Spatula


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

By far my favorite thing in my kitchen is my 7" Akifusa gyoto knife from Epicurean Edge. I also bought a #800/#4000 grit stone to keep the edge on it. With shipping, this set me back about $250 and it's been worth every penny. I'm also fond of my Hario pour over for making coffee and the cheese grater disc that goes in my food processor. We have a couple of Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch ovens that get a lot of use -- they don't hold up quite as well as LeCreuset, but we in this house can destroy anything. I think we've gotten one less year of use out of the Lodge than we did out of the LeCreuset. I also second the stovetop pressure cooker -- not nearly as scary as I anticipated, and good for turning out quick meals on a week night. Chicago Metallic cookie sheets with lips are great multi-taskers, despite being a humble gift. HIC porcelain baking dishes and Luminarc "working glasses," too.

ETA: Kyocera mandoline, Jaccard meat tenderizer. I'll stop now.

This post was edited by byzantine on Wed, May 14, 14 at 13:09


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Honestly I appreciated it immensely when people got me the things on my registry. I knew what I wanted and what I'd use. The most useful things were my cast iron cookware pieces. The unexpected item that was the best was a collection of recipes hand written by family, including hand-downs from people all the way through my great-great grandma. I treasure that book of recipes. Absolutely caught me off guard, and totally made me cry at my shower, haha.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

If they are still learning to cook a subscription to Cooks Illustrated or an America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Country would be nice. I considered myself a pretty good cook, and a couple of years ago I started watching ATK on PBS. I fell in love with that show and buying that first ATK cookbook was one of the smartest things I've ever done. I love it when they explain 'why the recipe works.' I also love their product recommendations and have never been disappointed.

Jacques Pepin is another that explains (sometimes) why you do certain things on his PBS show. Really the explanation is the most helpful because you can use that as a guide to make your own recipes as you get more adventurous.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed about this or not, but I love my Better Homes and Gardens red plaid cookbook. I've had it since my first kitchen and anytime I want to see how to cook a certain meat type that I'm , store a fruit or veggie I don't normally get, etc., it's a reference I trust.

I also love good metal spatulas (especially the ones for icing), plastic spatulas, cookie sheets, and when I had a tiny kitchen in an apartment I loved my Breville convection oven.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I should probably be ashamed to admit this, but I am in love with an ikea cheese grater. I have bought this thing for everyone. Hey, but the price is right! If I was queen for the day, everyone would get this cheese grater. I know. My life is kinda sad.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buy this cheese grater. JUST BUY IT!


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Has no one mentioned a lasagna pan? How can that be? Not only to be used for lasagna of course, but for everything. You can do the various pasta casserole dishes like lasagna and manicotti. Also spread out vegetables in the pan to roast, especially long vegetables like asparagus and string beans. Roast a bunch of chicken pieces, or do a dish like Chicken Marbella. And desserts - sheet cakes and the like. Double the recipe for brownies, and get twice the brownie deliciousness in a lasagna pan. Or, baked apples and baked pears. What about Thanksgiving stuffing outside the bird - yup, the lasagna pan is perfect for that as well.

And I have the perfect lasagna pan. It's Emile Henry. What's great about it: ideal size, straight sides (I don't like the sloping-sides pans--how are you supposed to line up your lasagna noodles), can go from oven to table. It's PRETTY. And, so easy to clean - can go in the DW, or you can soak a crusted, greasy something for 5 minutes in water with a spritz of dish soap, and everything just wipes off (unlike stainless steel pans which need scrubbing). I am partial to the Emile Henry yellow "citron" color, but it comes in other colors.

You can get the Emile Henry pan at a number of places. Sur La Table does an outstanding gift wrap. Emile Henry makes the pan in several sizes, but I find the 13 x 10, 3-1/2 qt. size to be the most versatile. I also have the larger 5.4 qt. size which comes in handy at times, but I don't use it as often as the 3-1/2 qt.

Here is a link that might be useful: Emile Henry Lasagna Dishes in Citron


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

If there's a chance they're into baking yeast doughs/pizza, there's the Danish dough whisk. An invaluable $10 item I learned about here.

dough whisk

Also a good, dense pizza stone, which is good for crusty breads too, and small, thin aluminum, food service style pizza pans which are great for sticky doughs (can go right on the stone) and make fab small cookie sheets. Plus a thin peel.

dough whisk


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While I do not own any Emile Henry or Le Creuset they are very beautiful. They're just too pricey. I also do not own a lasagna pan. I guess I've come across too many recipes (baking wise) that just did not double well.

Magsnj-do not be ashamed of the pretty red plaid book. That was the first cookbook I bought (on my honeymoon even), and it's because it was the first thing my grandpa gave to my grandma after they were married. I know it's sweet but not eh that's just the kind of guy he was. Anyway it has the world's best biscuit recipe. They are amazing and tender on the inside with being the right amount of crumbly on the outside. That reminds me I need butter. I also love the fact that it's the same biscuit recipe my grandma has been making for 67 years.

Hey Glitter, I've never been to an Ikea, but when I do go you bet your pants I will make a b-line to the kitchen gadgets to check out the grater. I love cheese. Have I mentioned I want goats just so I can make myself an endless supply of goat cheese?


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-- Rolling Garlic Chopper given to me by my sister--LOVE it!
-- Spice Drawer with organized containers from www.specialtybottle.com
-- Deep Baking dish from Crate & Barrel Outlet ($17)
-- White serving platters of every type and size

Here is a link that might be useful: Garlic Chopper


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IowaCommute - you will not be disappointed! I actually have 2 now because I moved cross country with a very small amount of stuff while house shopping and the cheese grater did not make the "can't live without" box - poor thing was left in storage with all the other stuff. I went and bought a 2nd one because I could not live without this thing.

I have a KA, fancy cookwear, and all the rest - but this little tool is the best money I have spent.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I second the immersion blender.
Food processor.
Silicone baking mats in various sizes (e.g. Silpat)
A gorgeous rolling pin.
A set of nice cloth napkins (but not too nice so can be used for every day).


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

my hubby was reading this over my shoulder and this was his response:

"my wife"

Darn it, my heart just skipped a beat <3


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Carsonheim, I think he just meant he wants you to get in there and cook.....

I'm just kidding! That's very sweet!


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

mags -- you are probably right. He is very hungry.

This post was edited by carsonheim on Fri, May 16, 14 at 19:37


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Besides good knives, good peeler, good pots, good everyday tableware (BTW never knew how wondrous a good big chef's knife was until a few years ago, my mother never used one) things I would really miss:

Measuring cups and spoons with 1/8c and 1/8 tsp and 2 tbs AND easy to read markings

Those flexible chopping mats

An assortment of small microwave safe baking dishes, like corningware, with lids, great for 1-3 servings (I've gotten mine at estate sales, don't know if still made in those sizes)

My Li'l Oscar food chopper (or something similar)

My non-stick enameled cast iron paella pan (use it for lots of things) and my 10" carbon steel wok

Good light tightly lidded containers for flour, sugar, pasta, rice etc. I learned after my first pantry moth infestation.

My Fannie Farmer cookbook

A good array of silicone scrapers, plus good spatulas and spoons, including small sized spatula and scraper, and a good small whisk

New favorite thing is the over-the-sink colander. I saw one at Tuesday Morning that was adjustable, combination cutting board+colander.

I've been surprised also at how much I have use my pizza stone since receiving as a gift last Christmas. When I opened it, I thought it would be permanently in the cupboard.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Lots of great ideas! I'll join in.....

My favorite item is my Lodge griddle/grill. I cook steaks, chicken, fish, scallops, asparagus on the grill side. Great grill marks. I don't even bother with my gas grill anymore. The griddle side is perfect for pancakes and burgers. It resides on my cooktop and gets used at least 3-4 times a week.

Also, my 17" cast iron (Lodge) pan. Perfect for large batches of chicken parmesan, roasting vegetables, seared/baked bone-in chicken breasts and is excellent for my homemade pizzas. Try baking your next batch of biscuits in a CA pan, they come out great and stay warm. I have a bunch of other CA items and love them all. They clean up so easy, too.

I also love my large 15" X 21" baking sheets, bought at Bed Bath and Beyond for cheap. They are perfect for large batches of cookies which my girls are constantly baking. They are a real hit at Christmas time, too. AND, you can bake an entire package of bacon on just one pan. If you're not baking your bacon, try it, I know I'll never fry bacon again!

Another favorite is my Bodum coffee press. I use it every day without fail and my coffee is HOT and tastes great. No more messy coffee maker...I actually don't even have one on my counter anymore. That's nice considering for the last 20 years I had one brand or another electric coffee maker taking up precious space and not even making great coffee. The press is the way to go...quick and easy!

Another nice item are my custom drawer inserts for silverware. Mine were ordered from Woodhollow (I think that's the name of the seller) on eBay for about $40-50 shipped. You send them the drawer dimensions and you get back a beautiful insert that blows away the cheap, ill-fitting plastic organizers. I bought one for spices, too, but I still need a lot of cabinet space for all of mine and for the odd-shaped containers, too.

Another gem is my trusty Wusthof Chef's knife. Easy to sharpen and reasonably priced.

I also hate to admit it, but I do love a few plastic cutting boards. I make my kids' sandwiches on them everyday. They are light and easy to clean. I have beautiful wooden boards, too, but the plastic ones are pretty handy.

I could go on, I love to cook and am always looking for new gadgets....I have drawers full of them! haha!

Cheers and be well!


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Also the Now Designs Ripple kitchen towels. Rated "best ever" and they really are. Extra large too.

This post was edited by olivertwist on Sat, May 17, 14 at 9:43


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Utensils: 12" Griswold round griddle. 16" wok (brought here from Hong Kong in the 60's by a family friend.) and the pro-style range to use it on!
For every day enjoyment, my 1884 salvaged back door with original stained glass tiles:
 photo DSC02519.jpg


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Love all the votes for cast iron cookware. There is hardly anything you can't cook in it and the more use it gets, the better it becomes.

The one item in our kitchen that I will never part with is our Stainless Rostfrei Inox large hole grater, which unfortunately does not seem to exist anymore but is so well made I think it will outlast my Griswold cast iron. Bought it at Sur la Table about 20-25 years ago and have never seen another one like it since.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Another vote for a 10" cast iron pan, but I really love my Pampered Chef chopper.
http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=240&categoryCode=CE


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

pillog -- I bought the Atlas pepper mill. It's -awesome-! Thanks! :-)


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I love my Silpats for baking. How did I ever bake cookies without them or anything else for that matter. Makes rolling out dough easy too. Love them.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I think the one thing that kids won't easily buy for themselves is good china--if it is a niece or nephew, I'll but as many dinner plates as I can for a gift. They can always buy inexpensive glass salad plates and dessert plates, but if they want to set a nice table, all they really need are dinner plates. If they don't get it at a shower or as a wedding gift, they probably won't ever get it.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

So many things already mentioned but I will add

- my small sturdy wisk for mixing marinades and salad dressings
- an egg beater for mixing larger amounts of liquids or eggs (sorry but larger wisks just don't do it for me)
- small electric beater
- lemon juicer

I can never have enough silicone spatulas or wooden spoons.

My niece, who is 24 and still living at home, is getting married in August and has nothing. This thread has produced a great list for me.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Just want to add that I sent my mom's Le Creuset pan back to them, as it was quite worn.. They sent a new one, same orange color. I have no idea how old this pan was, as I inherited it from my mom.

I too love my wooden spoons and spatulas.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

....definitely my baking utensils! :) I personally love my silicone baking mat which I just purchased online because it really made my baking great & easy. I think its fiberglass weave design helps distribute the heat evenly and maybe that's the reason why everything is cooked the same. I think it will be hard for me to live if I haven't those baking utensils of mine LOL...

Here is a link that might be useful: silicone baking mat


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

DH and I usually give cast iron cookware as wedding gifts. The ones we use practically every day belonged to my grandpa.

We also use our rice cooker a LOT - it's a Tiger, and is 20 years old, still kicking.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

annkh, do you use the rice cooker for both white and brown rices? Is it the kind that's just on-off, or are there other settings? (my very cheap one died, I need a new one)


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

We don't cook brown rice very often (DH doesn't like it).

Ours looks exactly like the one in the link. As I said, we have used it around once a week for the last 20 years. It's just on/off, but it does keep the rice hot for a long time after cooking (which is great for meal prep - timing isn't critical).

Here is a link that might be useful: rice cooker


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

Ohhh it may seem weird but I don't like cooking that much so I'm loving everything that may help me save time,so now I'm using steamer at home but mostly for myself( my hubby doesn't like food to be too healthy))))) and my Redmond M10multicooker for the whole family especially when we travel, it's small and not that expensive but really helpful


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

The best thing in my kitchen are the two simple things. It was put together after both of us were born and no longer has holes in the walls patched by someone with a 1979 football calendar, and that the structure underneath is now sound.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

This thread is totally fascinating to me, because it highlights the fact that what you value most in kitchen items is so heavily dependent on who you are as a cook.

For example, if someone gave me a rice cooker, it would end up on a shelf in a closet somewhere, because I've been making rice the same way for thirty years and it turns out exactly the way I want it to, every time. On the other hand, I'd be lost without my mandolin slicer and my OXO garlic chopper, because those save me a ton of time. I rarely use my pretty santoku knife, but couldn't live without my 5" Wusthof Classic serrated. Some people use their food processors to grate everything, while others prefer the control of an old-fashioned box grater.

I think if you're a newlywed or just setting up your first "grownup" kitchen, it's probably best to stick with the basics until you develop your own cooking personality. A basic set of the best knives you can afford, plastic and glass mixing bowls in graduated sizes for prep and mixing, a good selection of sturdy spatulas/wooden spoons/whisks, a couple of basic half-sheet and quarter-sheet pans with lips on all edges, at least two cutting boards, a good set of pots and pans with well-fitted lids including a few non-stick, measuring cups/spoons, a few glass baking dishes, a sieve that adjusts to fit over your sink, and a decent hand mixer should get anyone started. Oh - and a decent vegetable peeler!

If I had to narrow the things in my kitchen down to the single most critical item, I'd have to say that would be my whetstone. It's not an expensive or glamorous item, but if you don't keep your knives sharp, everything you do in the kitchen is more difficult and frustrating than it needs to be. And those electric sharpeners usually do more damage than good to an expensive knife.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I really love my Staub cast iron oval pot from Williams Sonoma. I use it so much I just leave it out on my cooktop. I know it's a pot but I fry in it, braze, make stew, roasts, soups, pasta dishes, casseroles and just about everything else! Who says you have to fry in a skillet? Mine is exactly like the one pictured in this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Staub Cast Iron Oval Pot


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I'm in love with my new set of glasses bought occasionally during my last trip. Also I'm going to buy Redmond multi-cooker soon. Recently my sister got it and I passionately want the same to continue my cooking experiments.


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RE: The best thing in my kitchen is...

I know this doesn't work as a gift, but my 4 X 4 skylight is the thing I'd miss most if it weren't there.

Good sharp knives, a must have. I love my Messermeister 12' Meridian Elite chef's knife and the much less expensive Mess. serrated cheese knife.

Other things on my "best things" list are 100% linen drying towels, Mystic Maid microfiber cleaning cloths, chopsticks (too many uses to list), wooden or bamboo spoons and spatulas, a wok, meat thermometer, salad spinner, small size food processor, blender, set of flexible cutting mats, splatter guards and.... I think the list is getting too long! Oh, yeah. Good poultry knife. Set of super sharp steak knives. (Mine are 30 y/o Chicago that I sharpen myself.) I have a lot of vintage seasoned cast iron, but I would not give it as a gift unless I knew what her stove is and whether or not she even cooks!


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