I remember when I first moved out of my mom’s house and into my very own apartment.
It was exciting, it was scary, it was… awesome. What wasn’t awesome, though, was the fact that I had to cook all of my own meals. For someone who couldn’t do much more than stick something in a microwave, this was a huge challenge for me.
I remember one time I tried to cook (on the stove) a frozen chicken breast. That one didn’t end well.
Another time, I tried to boil potatoes without cutting them up first (they boiled for about 1 hour and were still rock hard – that’s when I found out, thanks to my then-boyfriend’s mother, that I needed to cut the potatoes into chunks first).
Thankfully, I have learned a lot since then. But I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without these 10 kitchen must-haves:
1. Paderno Pots & Pans
My very first set of pots and pans was from Walmart and was of the no-name variety (well, it was a brand, but it was one I’d never heard of). They sucked. The were non-stick and would peel and over (or under) cook my food all the time.
I have since moved on to a much, much better set of pots and pans. My mother-in-law bought my husband and I this Paderno pots & pan set for Christmas one year, and I haven’t looked back since. They are even-cooking and strong, durable pieces of cookware. I love them.
2. Paderno Grill Pan
Along with our set of pots and pans, we also have this Paderno grill pan that gets constant use in our home (especially in the winter, when we don’t use our barbecue).
Before that, I used this grilling pan from Ikea, which was nowhere near as good as my Paderno, but was a pretty good “starter” grill pan for me.
3. Stand Mixer
I just started using a stand mixer this year when I found a KitchenAid mixer on sale for 50% off. I honestly don’t know how I’ve lived so long without it.
It’s perfect for mixing up bread dough, cookie dough, pancake mix, and I even use it to shred chicken (it works wonderfully)! Although I could certainly do without this kitchen item, I wouldn’t be happy about it. It’s made my time in the kitchen much easier.
4. Mixing Bowls
I have been using this set of Paderno mixing bowls ever since I moved into my first apartment. My mom bought them for me for Christmas one year. I believe they were from Costco.
I use them on a weekly basis and they are still in amazing condition. Have I mentioned how much I love Paderno products?
5. Potato Ricer
I was taught a valuable lesson when watching Anna Olsen on TV one day: use a potato ricer when making mashed potatoes!
Ever since I got my potato ricer in the mail, I have been using it every time we make mashed potatoes. As a result, our potatoes are lump free and fluffy – every time!
6. Tea Kettle
I don’t know about you, but I crave coffee in the morning. I must have it, or I am a very unpleasant person to be around. I haven’t entered the world of making coffee from the beans themselves, and right now just use instant coffee with boiled water (I know, shame on me!) – which means my kettle is an important item in our kitchen.
My husband likes tea, and so do most of our family members when they come to visit, so the tea kettle (or coffee kettle?), is a definite must-have for me. We use this one and highly recommend it.
7. Kitchen Tool Set
No kitchen is complete without a few kitchen tools. A spatula, some large spoons and a soup ladle and you are good to go for most cooking activities.
Add a pair of tongs and you’re set!
8. Good Knife Set
We are in love with our Cutco kitchen knives. Used on a daily basis, these knives hold up so well.
We currently use the large and medium sized chef’s knives and love them both. Cutco even has a lifetime guarantee on their products and will sharpen your knives for free, too!
Great products and great customer service? Works for me!
This is another one of those items that I have had ever since my first apartment (which was over 5 years ago), and it is still in good condition.
I purchased a Protor Silex toaster for around $15 and it really has been an excellent addition to our kitchen. Though it is not used every day, it is still used many times during the week and the fact that it is still in good working order is amazing.
I’m not going to lie. Whenever I used to see people wearing aprons, I thought they looked ridiculous and never really understood the point of them. But this is when I threw frozen chicken directly onto a frying pan, so who was I to judge?
Eventually I started noticing little grease marks on my clothing after cooking. At first, I thought it was just a coincidence, but then I started noticing them almost every single time I’d finish cooking.
So, I realized that I needed an apron (I found one on Etsy), and now my clothes and I are happy (and stain-free).
Without the above items in my kitchen, I would be lost. In order to create meals quickly and easily, I need to have easy access to these kitchen must-haves, so I make sure they are always available.
Now if only I could keep these items organized, I’d be even less stressed out in the kitchen! I guess I should get to working on that…
What are your kitchen must haves?
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