"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Healthy Eating: Kitchen Basics: What you need in the kitchen...no uni-taskers!

fire extinguisher

Alton Brown, the host of the science food show, "Good Eats" famously said, "The only uni-tasker you should have in your kitchen is a fire extinguisher." I try to honor his creed for two simple reasons. One is I hate to waste money on a gadget I hardly ever use and secondly, I don't like to clutter up my kitchen with too many gadgets and utensils. When you have too many items it takes longer to find what you need. Wasting time and money is not simple living.

The list that follows are the kitchen basics I think most people can use in order to be able to bake, roast, sauté, broil, and stew. Every home will most likely need a few more items that are customized to the type of food you prefer to cook. In our house we make a lot of whole grains so we use a rice cooker several times a week. My husband also bakes his own bread, so he has various baskets and bowls that he uses for shaping and proofing bread. 

My meal plan for the week is at the end of this post.

For baking:
nesting bowls
Nesting bowls

What I like about ceramic nesting bowls is that you can put them in the oven and in the microwave. They are also pretty enough to use as serving bowls.


baking pans
Baking pans
measuring cups
Measuring cups



For Savory Cooking:

cooking utensils
Cooking Utensils
 For spoons you definitely want long ones so you won't burn yourself. A slotted one is important for draining meat and veggies that are cooked in water. A ladle is necessary for soups and stews. A rubber coated whisk is good to have for mixing a sauce on the stove in a non-stick pan. The wooden spoon is important for not scratching a non-stick pan and the spatulas I own are heat resistant so you can scrap a hot pan.
cooking knives and scissor
Cooking knifes and scissor.
 For knives a chef's knife is your most important multi-purpose tool. You can cut almost anything with it as long as you keep it sharp. It is important to have a serrated knife for bread and fruits and veggies like tomatoes. A paring knife is helpful for cutting meat and so is a kitchen scissor.
salt and pepper for cooking
Salt and Pepper for Cooking.
I like having a pinch salt holder to keep by the stove and a pepper grinder that allows you to control the coarseness of the pepper. Salt and pepper are in every savory dish so it is nice to have them out and available in an easy to use container.
grating and basting
Opening, grating, and basting. 

sauce pots
Sauce Pots
 The larger sauce pot I have here has a built in colander. It is great to have a pan structured this way because you can lift the pasta right out of the pan, strain it as you lift it, and deposit it directly into sauce without having to leave the stove.
frying pans
Frying Pans


There are 3 frying pans here one large non-stick for fish and a small non-stick for eggs. Below is a large sauté pan that does have a lid. This is great for brazing meat and making sauces.

Appliances:

Kitchen Appliances


A Cuisinart makes chopping and mixing large batches of things much easier. The electric mixer makes baking much easier and a blender is good for pureeing and making smoothies.

Dutch oven and crockpot.
A Dutch oven really makes the best stews and chili because the liquid gets heated from all directions which makes for a richer sauce. But if you can't be home for hours to attend to a dutch oven, a crockpot can make many things that a dutch oven can, not as well, because the heat is only coming from the bottom, but the convince of it is worth the investment in one.

Meal Plan for the Week:





Friday: Arctic Char with Roasted Potatoes and White Asparagus

copyright 2012

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3 comments:

  1. Just bounced over from Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways and I like your list of cooking items. Very workable and will surely ease the clutter in our homes! I have to say that I love my stick blender. It was a God send in the fall when I was making homemade pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about including an immersion blender. I do have one myself for making creamed soup, but it isn't essential. You can put the soup in a blender. I have to agree it is really nice and good to own if you make creamed soups.

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  2. A non stick pan will do the job.

    ReplyDelete

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