Get your gear together…

I suppose, before we get started on recipes, we should talk about what you might need to cook them with. I’m going to try to really get down to the bare bones necessities here. This is a list of the equipment I use just about every day.

Knives: Large chef’s knife (all purpose), serrated knife (bread, citrus, tomatoes), small paring knife (strawberries and smaller items). I beg of you to keep them sharp. They are infinitely easier to use and, believe it or not, they’re safer. You’re less likely to cut yourself and, if you do, it’s a cleaner cut. Do yourself a favor and learn some knife skills – you will find instructional videos on youtube. OMG – I just looked some up to give you a link and here’s the darling Jamie Oliver with the same three knives I just mentioned – love him!

Cutting board – You’ll probably just need one

Mixing bowls – Get an inexpensive set (large, medium, small), you’ll use them all

Saute pans – Get a 10in non-stick and you should be good. Use it for eggs,
sauteing veggies and browning meat.

Saucepan – I would, at least, get a large one (4-6qt) because you’ll need it to cook pasta. If you can get a smaller one (2qt), it would be nice for sauces and heating up soup. Remember, the heavier the bottom, the better the saucepan will conduct heat.

Pyrex pan – Get the square 8×8 one for casseroles, baking chicken/fish, brownies, cakes etc.

Cookie Sheet – You’ll find it has many uses, the best, of course, being baking chocolate chip cookies

Strainer/Colander – You’ll need this to wash fruit & veggies, drain pasta, etc.  I like the stainless steel mesh strainers.

Measuring cups and spoons – Get cheap sets

Wire whisk – The medium sized ones, 8-9in, work best for most jobs. I have about 3 different sizes and that’s the only one I use.

Spatulas – You’ll need one for flipping, I like the OXO Silicone Flexible Turner  as well as  rubber spatula for scraping.

Electric Mixer – I tried to make chocolate chip cookies without one yesterday for research purposes (major sacrifice – we had to eat them too) and it was too much work. It’s probably doable if absolutely necessary, but, you’ll definitely need one if you ever want to bake a cake.

Vegetable peeler    Cheese grater    Can opener   Potholders/Oven mitts 

Coffee Maker – If you drink coffee, you need one. You can’t afford to go to Starbucks every day. No, really, you can’t. I know you think you can. You can’t.

Please, comment if I’m missing something glaringly obvious – remember, we’re talking absolutely essential here.

My family and I are off to attend my niece’s graduation tomorrow. I will try to keep the sobbing at bay but I can’t promise anything. If they play some emotional song like “Defying Gravity” or “I Hope You Dance” or even “Firework”, I can’t be responsible for my reaction.

I love you niecey!!

“Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.”
– Julia Child

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