Sunday, December 1, 2013

All I Want For Christmas

If you are following along with my blog, you may have noticed that I have tried to avoid special equipment or costly kitchen gadgets; in fact, frequently recipes use the same or similar equipment featured in the previous blog.

If you are new to my blog, interested in trying some of the recipes, and are wondering 'just what type of kitchen gear do I need?', I have got just the list for you.  Start simple.  And remember, it's close to Christmas time!

A. Basic Starter Equipment

   1. Non-stick Skillets

            -ideally, you need an 8", 10", and 12"
            -the cheapest way to get these is at Bed, Bath, Beyond type store that sells them together
            -this is one of the items worth investing in

   2. Measuring Cups & Spoons

            -most of baking and cooking is all about proportions, ratios, and measuring
            -Walgreens will get you both for under $5, plastic is just fine

   3. Mixing Bowls 

            -these are also sold in sets. Try to get a large, medium and smaller bowl set.
            -Pyrex has a great mixer set with measurements printed on the outside

   4. Pyrex / Oven-proof Baking Dishes

            -again, these are sold in sets. 
            -Pyrex has a large, medium combo at stores.  Make sure it includes 9" x 13" x 2".

   5. Saucepans

            -3-quart and 5-quart sauce pans with lids
            -for boiling large amounts of water, making soups, pasta, rice

   6. Knives

           -a good set is expensive, but this is well worth the cost
           -choose to have 3 or 4 good knives rather than a wooden block stuffed with cheap, bad ones

   7. Baking Sheets

           -these come in sets 
           -get those with edges, better known as jelly-roll pan

   8.  Necessities

           -set of spatulas
           -cutting boards
           -sieve / collander 

   9. Specialty Equipment I Have Used In Blog / Highly Recommended 

           -Magic-Bullet / Nutri-Bullet--these are so versatile. Well-worth the money. Great gift request!
           -Cupcake / Muffin Tin

   10. Extras If You Can / To Consider

          -Grill Skillet

Cooking equipment can be expensive--and for some things it is worth the money, but remember, measuring cups do not need to be stainless steel or gold-plated, they just need to measure accurately, right?

B. Great places to look for fantastic deals on cookware:

   1. Ask the parents.  
             -Oftentimes, it's a great excuse for them to upgrade to a better tool, skillet, gadget. 
             -Doesn't hurt to ask!

   2. Thriftstores & Yard Sales
             -yep, head to the Salvation Army or Goodwill store or garage sale
             -nowhere else will you find cups, glasses, and silverware for a few bucks or cents

   3. Marshalls / TJMaxx
             -you know that kitchen / home section in the back of the store?  Yep, that one.
             -I have found many a brand new platter, skillet, special equipment for half the cost.
             -sometimes even electronic kitchen gear, ie mixers, coffeemakers

   4. IKEA
             -if you are so fortunate, head over to an IKEA store
             -awesome store for furnishings, home, kitchen, and small spaces
             -you can find virtually the entire list below at IKEA for a decent price

   5. Online Retailers
             -I am sure you are well-versed for finding the deals in this area

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