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14 Kitchen Essentials for the Amateur Chef

14 Kitchen Essentials for the Amateur Chef

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It doesn't matter if you are an entertaining diva throwing fabulous dinner parties every week or if you seldom set foot in your kitchen -- there are certain items each and every kitchen needs. Below is my essential list of basic must-have kitchen items everyone should own. 



Cookie Scoop // I bake fairly often and cookies are a go-to comfort food for myself or when I am baking items to give away. I only discovered cookie scoopers a few years ago. Until then I was at a loss at how to get perfect uniform cookies (so much prettier and so helpful when trying to establish even baking). Whether you are making cookies from scratch or using dough purchased from the refrigerator section of your supermarket cookie scoopers are like mini miracle workers (can you tell I really love my cookie scoopers). I also use mine when making whoopie pies. 

Silicone Spatula // These are simply amazing at getting all of the batter or sauce out of the bowl or sauce pan. 

Colander // This is a tool I use on almost a daily basis. It is great for washing veggies and fruits and for draining pasta. 

Knife Set // This is definitely one item to splurge on and should be an investment that lasts you for years. A great set of sharp knives will make all of the difference when it comes to easy cooking prep. 

Grater // I love cheese. It is probably my favorite food but for most of my life I was guilty of buying pre-shredded cheese. If you are also guilty stop right now. Freshly grated cheese is sooo much better. 

Measuring Cups and Spoons // Baking unlike most cooking requires specific measurements which makes measuring cups and spoons a must. Also, make sure you pick up a liquid measuring cup. 

Utensil Set // Used for stirring, serving, flipping a good utensil set is a must. 

Wooden Cutting Boards // I am of the opinion that you can never have too many cutting boards. Wooden ones are my favorite for chopping vegetables and fruits. They are also handy for putting hot pans from the oven on or using for cheese boards when entertaining. It is also a good idea to invest in a polysafe cutting board. 

Tongs // I use these for everything from flipping hot items to serving salads. 

Baking Sheet Set // I would be lost without my sheet pans. These are used for roasting vegetables, meats, and baking dozens upon dozens of cookies. Make sure they are entirely dry after washing to avoid rust. 

Lemon Juicer // Fresh lemon juice instantly brightens so many different dishes. Add fresh lemon juice to baked items, pasta, salad dressing, or your water (I start each morning with a huge glass of lemon water). 

Nonstick Frying Pan // Because of it's easy clean up I love nonstick pans. For me this is necessary item for scrambling eggs, making omelettes, or grilled cheese. Be careful to not chip the nonstick coating. 

Mixing Bowl Set // Choose a pretty ceramic or glass set that you can also use to serve food in. 

French Oven // French ovens are different from Dutch ovens because they are enameled. This is another investment piece that with care should last and last. French ovens go easily from the stove top to the oven and can be used to make anything from soups to shepherd's pie to meats. 

Bonus Additional Helpful Items: 

Can Opener // You have no idea how important this is until you need one and don't have it. 

Pot Holders // Because I am not removing anything from the oven without it. 

Get more tips from Jessica at her blog, Sunny Days & Starry Nights!

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