The Useful Kitchen Guide

Two of the biggest events that can happen in your life are extremely materialistic in our culture.

When these happen in your life, it's so much fun to go to your favorite stores TargetCrateandBarrelTargetCrateandBarrel and make an awesome wish list for all your friends to buy for you.  After the wedding is over, we suddenly find their kitchens stocked with a heap of tools and gadgets they never use.  Hello cluttered cupboards.

I've been married an impressive two years and five months, but I've already discovered which items in my kitchen are on constant rotation and which ones aren't.

So whether you are a spring-bride-to-be or a more-than-me-veteran-housewife in need of some upgrades, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites.

*Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather highlights of the kitchen items I have found most useful for my own cooking and baking needs

Large stone bar pan // This stoneware is often washed midday just to be used right away in our house.  I have broiled veggies, baked turkey burgers and even slow roasted my favorite Oven Roasted Tomatoes.  I cannot imagine my kitchen without this pan!

Basic Dishes // I found a set of these durable dishes on clearance at Wal-Mart years before I got married.  I love having simple dinnerware to use for everyday when I don't want to pull out the good stuff.  It also will always match with any kitchen anywhere and due to it's simplicity, it's super easy to replace broken pieces over the years.  

Mixing bowls // Anything glass in my kitchen is my favorite.  Especially these glass mixing bowls with lids.  I love that they aren't porous and are super easy to clean.  I mix anything from chocolate chip cookies to almond pancakes, homemade verde sauce to my all time favorite chicken meatballs.  I can't wash these fast enough to use everyday.

Nesting Bowls // I love kitchen items that can double as useful and pretty.  My nesting bowls from Crate & Barrel (similar here) are not only used for mixing, but they are also frequently used for as serving bowls for parties and dinners.

Bosch Kitchen Mixer // This mixer is by far the most expensive item in my kitchen but it was worth every penny.  (Actually every penny my friends gave me at a group gift shower.  Love yoooou, girls!!)  At first glance, it seems like an outrageous price, but it seriously will replace so many items in your kitchen.  It is a powerful mixer that I use for making big batches of breads and rolls.  It's also perfect for making shakes, almond butter, almond flour, pesto, etc.  This blender is another item we can't keep washed enough.

Baskets // Somebody help me, I have a basket addiction.  Where is my local chapter of Basket Hoarders Anonymous?!   They manage to weasel into every room of our house.  I love having baskets in my open cupboards for storing flour sack towels, mugs and cups.  Here are some of my favorites.

The extras // As I mentioned, this is a massively incomprehensive kitchen list, as my goal was just to highlight our most loved kitchen items.   To make up for it, here are a few of my other favorite things:

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Now all you kitchen experts, share your favorite kitchen gadgets with me if you don't mind!!  I always love to find new favorite things!!  
You also can check out my Minimalist Baby Guide here.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


  1. Knives! Don't forget your good, big, sharp chef's knife; a serrated knife for bread; and a trusty paring knife. That's all you really need. And a decent-sized cutting board. Can't stand cutting on a saucer. The end. :)

  2. I sort of feel like I'm the oddball when it comes to kitchen gadget conversations. I am the ultimate minimalist, even though I love to cook/bake and make almost everything from scratch. I've decided I'm not super strange after all, just ready for the mission field (which we'll be going to next year). However, here's my must-have list:
    *Cast Iron Skillet. Big enough to make a family-sized meal, small enough to not weigh 8,000 pounds (Mine was a hand-me-down from my MIL)
    *Stainless Steel Stock Pot. Again - not huge, but big enough to make tomato or apple sauce in. Mostly used for boiling things - pasta, eggs, potatoes, etc... Must have lid, which then negates the need for a strainer. (Also a hand-me-down from my MIL.)
    *Stainless Steel Ladle and Slotted Big Spoon. (These were wedding gifts. The insulated plastic handle on the latter has broken, but I'm ok with that.)
    *Measuring Cups - 1 glass one (2 cup) and 3 or 4 plastic ones (1 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup) Why would you need more than that, after all? (Wedding gift, I think)
    *Rubber Spatula / Scrapers - I have two (Christmas Gifts)
    *Potato Masher - I like the oblong kind, not the round ones. (Auction purchase)
    *Measuring Spoon - I currently only have a 1 Tb. I'm pretty good at eyeballing everything else. (Wedding gift, I think.)
    *Stainless Steel Bowls - I've got 3. Super big. Really big. Regular big. Great for huge batches of potato salad, or mixing up a cake. (Auction purchases)
    *Corelle Dishes - plain white. We have 10 plates and 5 bowls for our family of 5. (Auction purchases)
    *Silverware - Ok, who am I kidding - stainless steel flatware. We have a bunch of these, and they all match, except for the ones I've accidentally stolen from potlucks. (Auction purchase)
    *Baking Dishes and Sheets - 1 9x13, 1 casserole (Wedding gifts), 2 baking sheets, 2 round pizza sheets (all hand-me-downs from my mom)
    *Mixer - mine is a cheap, Walmart one that I actually purchased NEW for myself.
    *CrockPot - The big one. The knob on the lid is broken off, but I'm ok with that. (Gift from my MIL one year for Christmas)
    *Three or Four Knives - I'm always getting teased for how dull and low-quality my knives are. My friends took pity on me and bought me really nice ones last year. I like them, but could get by with the dull ones alright as well. (Pity Gifts)
    *Cutting Board - anything will do. Again, my friends decided mine was inadequate, and bought me a pampered chef one. It's nice, but I've already stained / burned it. Guess I'm hard on things... (Pity Gift)
    *100% Cotton Dishrags and Towels - I've got between 7 and 10 of each of these. They do double duty as oven mitts/hot pads. (Mostly wedding gifts. Some were homemade by a friend.)
    *Nylon Pot-And-Pan Scraper - Seriously - this might be my favorite kitchen item of all, since things get baked on and caked on. (Christmas gift)

    I know there are other things in my kitchen right now that I use occasionally, but when we head out in the Jeep to drive to Guatemala next year, the things listed above are probably the only kitchen things I'll take, and they should be sufficient.

    I'm with you, Nicole - no need to overflow your cupboards with stuff you will only rarely use, when the tried-and-true stuff works just as well!

    I do have

  3. i agree with this list 100%! I've had to pair down majorly being a navy spouse and having to move alot. If i don't use it- it goes! The only thing different on my list is that i'd add at least one really good quality super sharp knife- like a santoku knife. sooo worth it. great thoughts. love your blog!

  4. dishwasher-safe Garlic Press = LOVE. Good knives are worth their weight in gold. Slow cooker x 100. Everything else, yes, yes, and yes!

  5. I can completely relate to having stuffed shelves with gadgets you will never use. Over the years I've come to truly appreciate my dutch oven, I use it way more than I thought I would, and a great set of cutting boards!

  6. I agree with you on a Kitchen Mixer. I registered for that for our wedding on a whim, not actually thinking someone would shell out $250. AND SOMEONE DID! Shock of my life. I use it all the time!