Cooking and Baking Must-Haves from The Little Kitchen *
This is a guest post by Julie Deily of The Little Kitchen.
When Crissy asked me to write a guest post for her blog, I was honored. I love her blog and am a huge fan. I’m excited to be a part of her month-long cooking and kitchen series. I immediately thought of my must haves for my own kitchen. Here’s a list of must have gadgets/tools/appliances, tools that I use all the time and I feel are essential if you cook and bake a lot.
1. Cast Iron Skillet
I have always wanted one and my sister got me one for Christmas last year. I love it! I use it to make everything from Chicken Fajitas, to chicken for my Fettuccine Alfredo. It’s very easy to season and maintain. I just followed the instructions on the packaging, I remember I had to slather it in vegetable shortening and bake it in the oven. To clean, I use a plastic scrubby and hot water (sometimes a teeny dab of dish washing soap). Never put it in the dishwasher. After cleaning, wipe completely dry with a paper towel and apply vegetable oil to re-season. I store it covered in plastic wrap so the oil doesn’t collect dust.
2. Non-stick cookware
For stir-fries to omelets, non-stick pans and pots are essential. Most are not dishwasher safe but my husband likes to throw them in there. I have bought sets and by the piece at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s before. We need to replace a couple of pieces, would love to know what your favorite brands are.
3. Measuring Cups and Spoons
We have had this Pyrex for 7 years now, it was a wedding present from my husband’s co-workers. They work in the microwave and wash great in the dishwasher. I use the large one to beat eggs for omelets. Measuring spoons are essential for bakers as well. I have Kitchen Aid plastic measuring spoons, I bake and cook so much I have 5 different sets and they are all different colors. I find they go good in the dishwasher but should go on the top rack.
4. Rubber Spatulas
These are great for mixing batters and fillings as well as scraping the bowl down. I have two different Kitchen Aid sizes and I own four different ones. I have purchased all of them at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.
5. Cake Pans
I like Magic Line and Wilton brands. I’m a hobby cake decorator and one of the keys to getting a cake with straight sides is to use straight-sided cake pans. The rule to remember if the cake pans stack inside themselves, they are not straight, they have a slight slant to them to allow stacking inside each other. These pans will not achieve the straightness you’re looking for. I never use those pans anymore. I would recommend starting out with 8 or 9-inch pans (two each of whatever size you choose) as most cake mixes and recipes make enough batter for 2 9-inch pans.
6. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
When I started cake decorating classes a couple of years ago, all I had was a hand mixer…it was sooo hard to make buttercream without a stand mixer. Your hands shake and you have to hold the mixer for 5-7 minutes straight. When my hand mixer burned out in the middle of making buttercream (I had that thing for years), my husband encouraged me to splurge and buy the stand mixer. I haven’t regretted it one bit. I opted for a pink one because Kitchen Aid donates money to Susan G. Komen for the Cure when one of their pink line products is purchased. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor so I was happy that by getting an appliance that would help me would also lend to a donation to a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.
I wanted to share the first non-practice cake I made a few years ago. It was for my nephews’ birthday, at the time they loved Diego. I think it wasn’t too shabby for just a couple of weeks of Wilton Course I, don’t you? :)
So that’s my list, do you agree with my list? What other items would you add to this list?
Disclosure from Julie: I have a project with Wilton Industries, Inc. for my blog in the works. The mention of Wilton Industries, Inc. in this post was not a paid placement or sponsored post. This post was written by me and are my own opinions.