Belle Kitchen Essentials

8f37b72c2acaef4857a9174b2513b3bdThe holiday season brings to mind visions of Buche de Noel at my grandmother’s house, latkes fresh from my mother’s stove, and the sounds of fresh cream being whipped into a frenzy. I come from a long line of dedicated, talented cooks who have filled my memories with delicious meals. As I embark on building a home for my future husband, I plan to stock our kitchen with the essential items for entertaining and recreating the meals that have filled my life with so much joy. Whether you’re starting your wedding registry, crafting your holiday wish list, or taking advantage of the outrageous sales going on, this list will ensure you’re a perfectly prepared host for the holiday season.

Prepware is a must for a well-stocked kitchen, and will make your sous chef’s job that much easier (should you choose to enlist some help in the kitchen). Good knives are worth the splurge. Keep them out of the dishwasher and head to your local butcher for sharpening when they get dull. If you don’t want to invest in a whole set, I recommend starting with a paring knife, chef’s knife, and serrated knife. You’ll definitely need a few cutting boards, too. A vegetable peeler is a must for potatoes and apples, both of which make regular appearances at our holiday table in the form of latkes and homemade apple sauce! Add a salad spinner to your list for salads you can fill with hearty ingredients like dried cranberries, goat cheese, and toasted almonds for a festive introduction to the meal. The newest addition to my kitchen will be an immersion blender, perfect for making applesauce for latkes and whipping cream to top off pies.

Cookware that is high-quality will make all the difference in your meal by ensuring everything cooks evenly. You’ll definitely want a 2-quart saucepan (for sauces or smaller amounts of vegetables), a 4-quart saucepan (for soups, stews, steaming vegetables, and pasta), an 8- to 10-inch skillet, and a 12- to 14-inch skillet. I prefer a nonstick skillet for the 12-inch for eggs and a regular skillet for the 14-inch for searing meats to perfection. I also love my cast iron skillet for slow cooking and steaks. A good steamer makes delightful (and healthy!) vegetables. I have had a Le Creuset dutch oven on my wish list for years, and for good reason! A dutch oven can be used on the stovetop or in the oven for braising meats, roasting chicken, and slow-cooking stews.

Bakeware is a must and much of it comes in handy when cooking, too. A Pyrex measuring cup is an absolute must for wet ingredients, and it’s freezer and microwave safe! You’ll also need dry measuring cups and I absolutely love these timeless copper measuring cups from Anthropologie. You’ll also need measuring spoons! Add in some mixing bowls, a baking sheet, a cake pan, and a baking dish, too.

Tools will be your best friend in the kitchen. I recommend tongs, a spatula, a colander (or two!), a meat thermometer, oven mitts, and a multi-purpose wooden spoon.

Happy entertaining and bon appétit!

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