Monday, April 30, 2012

so you're about to be a grown-up: kitchen equipment shopping list

Well, this looks worse than I thought.  The sketchy wi-fi at the Durham Marriott got me into all kinds of trouble checking on my blog.  In the process of literally changing just one word in this post, I erased the entire thing and then proceeded to do the same with my ham and bean soup post.  Good lord, what a mess.  And then in recreating this post I come home to find it all in one ginormous paragraph.  Yikes!  So we begin again.  I know my original introductory paragraph was slightly more clever, but after 10 hours in the van hauling Sara and all her possessions home I'm a little short on clever.  

I got married at the age of 21 (and that sounds totally crazy now that my girls are on both sides of that number)so I went from sorority house to a few months at my parent's house to our first apartment. My first kitchen was outfitted with wedding shower and wedding gifts. Kelly graduates from Purdue next week and will be starting her shiny new life as a grown-up with absolutely nothing for her kitchen yet in her possession. So this post is for anyone starting out on their own. A shopping list for kitchen equipment beyond table service and linens (what we called plates, bowls, cups, forks, knives, spoons and dish towels, napkins and aprons way back when we registered for our weddings).

And if all this heading out into the big world on your own stuff has you a bit stressed, find your local lululemon and go to a complimentary (read:  free) yoga class!


Kitchen equipment for brand-new grown-ups

2-quart cast iron/ porcelain enamel pot (like My yellow Le Creuset pot, but a store brand one will do just fine) and Bon Ami powder to clean it with
2-quart nonstick pan with lid (I like Greenpan from Target or Crate and Barrel): cooks everything from soups to pasta
12-inch nonstick skillet with lid: grilled sandwiches, quesadillas, sauté chicken, vegetables and etc
8-inch nonstick skillet: smaller jobs and omelets
Wooden spoon (s): stir anything and won't scratch your new pans
Silicone spoonula (my current favorite is a Mario Batali from Sur La Table): scrapes bowls and pans, stirs, won't scratch anything and heat-proof
Whisk: silicone coated is nice, but not essential
Spatula/turner: silicone is good for this too
Tongs: I like the ones with silicone tips good for turning chicken or just about anything, but not super necessary
2-cup heat-proof liquid measure with lid
4-cup batter bowl with lid (mine is Pampered Chef): measure liquids and add dry ingredients right in the same bowl for pancakes, brownies and etc, melt butter, mix guacamole and just about anything
8-cup batter bowl: luxury version if you have enough room
Measuring cup set (I like straight sided stainless steel ones the best)
Measuring spoon set (the kind all on one ring)
2 baking sheets: for cookies, pizza, focaccia and etc and for roasting vegetables
baking pan with shallow sides:  really good for roasting vegetables  (mine is Pampered Chef stoneware and you see it all over this blog roasting and baking things and it cleans up just with water, deluxe item but a good thing to put on a wish list)
8-inch square baking pan: hello, for brownies and cornbread
Two 9-inch round cake pans: bake someone a cake!
9 x 13 x 2 baking pan with lid:  go easy and bake and frost it a cake in the pan, or make lasagna or a big casserole of macaroni and cheese for a party (or a really stressful day)
Loaf pan: if you like banana bread you need one of these
8 or 10-inch Santoku chef's knife for pretty much everything
10-inch serrated bread knife: you have to have teeth to slice bread
Travel serrated knife with cover (Sur la Table has them at the cash register usually): great for road trips and picnics and at home for slicing bread and tomatoes
Travel chef's knife with cover (about $10 at the Sur la Table register) always take a good knife with you if you are going to cook on the road
Instant-read thermometer (another $10 Sure la Table grab): food safety essential if you are an omnivore Salad hands (cute plastic ones from Sur la Table and other kitchen stores): toss salad or pasta and serve Microplane grater: one with a medium grate for cheese or chocolate
Lemon juicer: you can juice lemons, limes and even small oranges with the yellow-colored hand press version
Zester: big fan of the zyliss yellow one because it looks like a lemon and is so easy to use
Epicurean cutting board (brand sold at Crate and Barrel and Sur la Table): indestructible, looks nice and dishwasher safe
Salad spinner (mine is zyliss):  maybe not the best thing for a small apartment
Colander:  get one that is the cute colored enamel so you can wash produce and drain hot pasta


my new Purdue grad circa 1994


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