We partnered with Kristen from Dine and Dish to give us the scoop on her top must-haves for any kitchen.
A well-stocked kitchen is a beautiful thing. From kitchen utensils to tableware and ingredients, having a kitchen full of certain essential items at the ready makes it much easier to cook and entertain. As a food blogger and busy home cook for a family of six, there are a few things in my kitchen I simply couldn’t live without. Today, I’m giving you a look at some of my favorite kitchen essentials, from tools to tableware. You are sure to discover something to add to your kitchen!
Essentials for Entertaining
When it comes to essentials for entertaining, the one thing I think you must have is a set of white dishes. Assuming we are all somewhat limited on cabinet space, it’s oftentimes unreasonable to have dishes for every holiday and season. With crisp, white, beautiful tableware, you can build your tablescape around the white dishes, adding decoration and detail to your table through other elements.
White dishes offer so much versatility, and you can make them fit in with everyday meals or special occasions. I love the details on this set of white dishes. It just goes to show that white doesn’t necessarily mean plain and boring!
Isn’t this table runner gorgeous? I love a beautiful table runner for really pulling my table together when I’m entertaining. A table runner like this one from Tuesday Morning is fairly understated but adds a pop of style to your table. I think a stylish table runner is a must-have accessory!
Along the same line as white dishes, I think neutral napkins are the way to go for creating a beautiful table for entertaining. Again, focus on the details: Use napkin rings to add a pop of color instead of having a variety of different napkins taking up precious storage space. These burlap napkins are an excellent neutral option.
Essentials for Cooking and Baking
I can’t imagine cooking in my kitchen without a set of nesting bowls. I use bowls of different sizes every single day when I cook and bake. I use nesting bowls to mix up muffin and pancake batter, to hold dough while chilling in the fridge, to serve fruit salad, popcorn, etc., and more!
I love how the Cake Boss nesting bowls have a non-skid bottom and a spout for pouring. With or without those handy features, a set of nesting bowls is a must for a well-stocked kitchen.
If you are going to spend a little more money on something, I would suggest spending a few extra dollars on a large, quality nonstick skillet. Not only do nonstick skillets cook food really well, but they are also a breeze to clean up. This one from Cuisinart is high on quality with a very budget-friendly price!
I think having quality bakeware is definitely part of a well-stocked kitchen. You don’t need to go crazy with several pieces. Just buy a few high-quality pieces, like this Crock-Pot 8-inch square dish. I love how this bakeware comes in various bright colors, like cobalt blue. Get a few different sizes of these fun and useful bakeware pieces and you’ll be set!
I don’t have multiples of many things, but I do have a weakness for cutting boards! Cutting boards help to protect your countertops from scratches and can be used as trivets or decorating pieces as well. I love this block cutting board from Tuesday Morning. When I’m not using it as a cutting board, I have it in the middle of our table as an accent piece, holding our salt and pepper shakers and a vase of flowers.
It’s easy to get out of hand when it comes to whisks … for some reason, it’s one of those utensils that I seem to have the most of. However, if you spend the money on a really good wire whisk, you just need one. Get a whisk with strong wires and plenty of space in between the wires for getting the best amount of air into whatever you are whisking. This KitchenAid wire whisk is great – it’s the only one you’ll need!
A set of good spatulas is essential to a well-stocked kitchen. I like to have two sets of spatulas … one silicone set for actually cooking with and one set that looks nicer for serving food at the table. These KitchenAid flat and slotted spatulas are made of cherrywood and are both functional and beautiful!
If you do any baking at all, especially if you bake bread or pies, a food scraper is a must have accessory. Although you can use tools like this for chopping, I use mine mostly for scraping hard-to-remove dough off of breadboards. I also love that the Cuisinart food scraper includes measurements right on it. I keep one of these close by anytime I make cinnamon rolls or pie crusts. If the recipe instructions call for dough to be rolled out in a certain measurement, I can easily and accurately do so with this tool.
I’m only sharing one food item today, and that is Herbes de Provence, which is a versatile spice blend made up of rosemary, basil, fennel and other herbs found in southern France. This is one of the most useful spice blends out there as it can be added to fish, chicken, vegetables and more, and it will dress up any meal with a lovely aromatic flavor. If I had to use only one spice blend, this is the one I’d choose.
A well-stocked kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have drawers and cabinets full of one-time-use gadgets and accessories. All you need are a few key quality tools to have a kitchen that is ready for cooking and entertaining anytime. Happy cooking!