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Kitchen must haves


 

Inventory check!

It's time to spring clean and see what your kitchen is missing and what needs to go!

There are many things every kitchen needs, and also so many that just take up space. If your cutting boards are years old, faded and chipping, THROW THEM OUT. Does your rubber spatula look like a mouse nibbled the end of it? Time for a new set, and preferably in a variation of sizes. Only have one knife that you use for everything? I’m sorry, but that doesn't quite cut it (literally). Did you know more accidents happen from a dull knife than a sharp? INVEST IN A GOOD KNIFE SET!


Believe it or not, there is a use for so many kitchen tools, and you won't know until you find yourself midnew recipe like, "oh shit, I did need that mini whisk I saw at Sur La Table today." Don't let that be you. Be prepared and purchase things one at a time if needed. I understand we are all on our own personal budgets but when we are prepared, things come out so much better and safer!

Here are my personal recommendations for your kitchen.



 


A good knife set

Yes I said set! A knife set! You need at LEAST 3 knives. Don't sell yourself short by using a single knife for everything.. Knives are made for specific uses. The basics that you need: a chef's knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. Use a chef’s knife for chopping meat, chopping or dicing vegetables, nuts, slicing herbs as well as disjointing. Next would be the serrated blade. A serrated knife, which is the blade that has "teeth" similar to a saw, is used to cut through foods that have a thick outside and soft inside, such as bread and tomatoes. Last but certainly not least... the paring knife. Paring knives are typically on the smaller side and are used to cut through softer fruits and veggies. This is your precision knife. By investing in these 3 knives, your kitchen just went from an 8 to a 10!


Two Whisks

Two whisks is always better than one. This is something that goes unrecognized until you find yourself in the scenario I mentioned earlier. 99% of baking recipes call for two separate mixing bowls, one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry. You definitely don't want to have to share a whisk, that's no fun and just sounds messy. So if you only have one, I suggest you get them a friend and they'll live happily ever after. The End.


A nonstick pan

Everyone needs at least one non-stick pot or pan. I personally have 3 sets of pots and pans. I know that sounds insane and most households only have one, BUT I do use them, all believe it or not and so will you once you know what you have and why! I have one solid set of non-stick made by ScanPan (highly recommended). I found it super important because I LOVE cooking in my copper set but it's extremely difficult to make many dishes in them if you don't have 8 hours to clean them afterward (exaggerating a bit). Eggs are a great example. If you cook an egg in a regular stainless pan, it's almost like your egg just became the pan (LOL). You need non-stick for that and let's not forget (for those who know). You definitely will need a non-stick for my famous perfect tahdig rice dish, which will be debuted in "My Pretty Little Cookbook." Hurry and go get that non-stick, you will need it!



Stainless steel pots & pans set

Although you need a single non-stick, the rest of your pots and pans should be either stainless steel or copper. Those two metals are better heat conductors which means the food is cooked more evenly. Stainless steel and copper pots are a b*tch to clean, but if you treat them right they will last you a lifetime.


Cutting board

As beautiful as stone boards are, they really aren't doing you a favor on that knife investment you just made. Wood gives the knife a slight "give" without dulling them. Be sure to oil your board as they are a natural material and do need love too. I personally love the "BOOS BLOCK." They make killer charcuterie boards as well.


Wooden spoons

Everyone needs about five wooden spoons! Wood is the safest to use when cooking on the stove since plastic melts and metal can burn you as well as destroy your pans. Stick with the wood for the majority of your cooking.


Cheese Grater

If you do not eat cheese, you are probably thinking you can do without: wrong. Cheese graters are good for much more than just cheese. Scalloped potatoes, apple pie, carrots, cabbage, chocolate and so much more can be grated.


Thermometer

Having a thermometer nearby is never a bad idea. If anything, it will just offer you peace of mind that your oven is at the temperature it says it is at. Some ovens are known to fool you. We have all heard people say, "my oven cooks hot" or "my oven cooks cool." That is exactly what I am referring to. Here's how you know your oven isn't lying to you.




Vegetable peeler

I own 3. That's how much I use mine. One is always in the dishwasher and the other two are clean. Since I cook Persian meals often, I find myself always making Salad Shirazi; there’s lots of cucumber peeling in this house. Having a vegetable peeler is just a safer way to go. I remember seeing my grandma always peeling potatoes with a knife. Now that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I'll stick with the veggie peelers.



Potato masher

Secret trick my Aunt taught me: when making ground beef (or any ground meat really), use a potato masher to mash the meat while it cooks.. This keeps it finer and cooks in half the time. Oh, and of course it works for mashing potatoes too ;)


Mixing bowl set

Because you will always need more than one.


Hand held lemon juicer

If you are anything like me, I drink lemon water every day. Having a hand-held lemon juicer makes it super easy to just squeeze a single lemon at any given time without the huge juicer appliance mess.


Measuring set

Measuring cups for dry ingredients, spouted measuring cups for liquids, and measuring spoons. YOU NEED THEM ALL SISTER.


Rubber spatulas

I swear I find myself collecting these things. I love them so much. When you are always baking and cooking, you can't seem to ever have enough. I have them in so many colors and designs. I always love buying the newest "no kid hungry" spatulas, it just feels good and is a win-win.



Two cookie sheets

Get yourself a second cookie sheet. Cookie rule: never put cookie dough onto a hot cookie sheet. Alternate them.

See my "Why Are My Cookies Flat" post for more on this!







I hope this article has taught you a little more about why you need the things you do.
Now time to go shopping- yay!!


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