Kitchen Essentials | And Hacks For Those You Don’t Have

As we organized our kitchen supplies before we left for Rwanda, I put a lot of thought into what kitchen utensils were the most essential to put in our shipment of household goods getting to us sooner than all the rest. We’ve really not had to put too much thought into this in the past mostly because for my bridal shower, my sister focused the theme as “Wine and Dine Me” to help us have a fully stocked kitchen. So we now have more utensils and appliances than we probably need but I have to say I use pretty much every single one of them. Those items that we don’t, like our George Foreman grill that was really handy in college but not any more, found new homes.

But if you are looking to start furnishing your kitchen for the first time with the essential utensils or you are moving like we did and need to plan out what you need, here is my list to help you out.Kitchen Essentials

Hacks for Those You Don’t Have:

Unless you have every appliance and utensil known to chefs, you will likely find that you are missing one or two. This happened to us when we first got married and moved in to our apartment. I found myself without a rolling pin when trying to bake a dessert. My remedy for this missing utensil was to take a wine bottle and pat flour on it to prevent the bottle from sticking to the dough. I actually used this hack for at least a year and a half before I got a rolling pin as a christmas present! Very handy hack and even better is the wine you can drink afterward with your dessert!

On another occasion, I tried to replicate the way my mom makes London Broil in the oven when I realized that I didn’t have a shallow, metal roasting pan with a rack like what she used. Determined to make it work without having to buy a roasting pan and rack, I took strips of aluminum foil and rolled them up and then weaved them through one another until I had a rectangle of woven aluminum foil. I then centered it on a rectangular baking pan and placed the piece of steak on top of it. The rack (or this aluminum foil alternative) elevates the meat off the pan and out of its juices, allowing the heat to surround the meat for even browning and crisping.

A few years ago, my husband and I did a cooking class at Cookology in Dulles, VA for my birthday. It was a perfect {French Date Night} for the two of us. We made Lemon Creme de Pots, French Onion Soup, and Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Not only did we make these great French delights and have a great time learning and laughing with others there, we also learned a few simple and intricate techniques for cooking. One technique I continued to use until I had a meat pounder is a great hack to have in your toolkit. If you have chicken you need pounded down and evened out to make a stuffed chicken dish: lay out a large piece of plasticwrap; put your chicken on the lower half of the plasticwrap; fold the top half of the wrap over the chicken; with your fingertips gathered together, use both hands to tenderize the meat with your fingers.

Stocking your Kitchen

As you bake and cook recipes, you can take inventory of what items would have been handy and slowly build up your kitchen over time or you can go on a shopping spree! You may also consider registering for those items or telling your family and friends as ideas for your next birthday or Christmas.

If you are moving overseas, you may reach out to others there and see what items are hard to find or what may be more essential to your future home than it was back in the States. For instance, we talked to people in Rwanda who recommended that we get a yogurt maker since good yogurt and a variety of choices for yogurt were harder to find. I had NO CLUE that there was even such a thing as a yogurt maker! But I found one on sale and figured it was a good addition to our collection of kitchen appliances. What’s one more right?! It just arrived last week and I’m excited to experiment with making my own yogurt concoctions. And maybe some homemade granola to go with it. 

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