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Kitchen Basics

We’re moving into a new apartment here in Kokshetau this Monday, and it’s got me thinking – what do I absolutely need to cook while I’m here. There are so many great cookware and kitchen equipment out there, but there are always some items that are necessities for anyone wanting to cook at home.

After a few years of improvising in the kitchen and making due with a lot less that I would if I was living in one place, I’ve realized what’s important and what’s just a luxury.

Here’s a list of my absolute must-haves kitchen items:

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  1. Stockpot or Dutch oven – This is so necessary for cooking pasta or soups. You can’t boil pasta properly if there isn’t enough room in the pot.
  2. Large saucepan – You can do so much with a saucepan besides just making sauce. Try popping some popcorn in it. Or, use it for making rice or individual servings of pasta.
  3. 12″ skillet – Use it as a frying pan or for making one-dish meals like my
  4. Cutting board – I recommend getting one plastic and one wooden one. Wooden cutting boards are much easier on your knives, but plastic can be sanitized in the dishwasher.
  5. Chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated blade knife – these will be your best friends and you don’t need any other knives.
  6. Wooden spoon – No explanation needed (except that they are much nicer on your non-stick pans).
  7. Wire whisk – Not only can a whisk keep clumps out of your gravy and sauces, it can also be used to “sift” flour when you’re baking.
  8. Rubber spatula – Try scraping the sides of a bowl without one – you can’t.
  9. Measuring cups and measuring spoons – If you want to follow any recipe, you’re probably going to need some.
  10. Mixing bowls – Use them for storing chopped and prepped food, for mixing stuff up when baking or for serving if you’re in a pinch.
  11. Baking sheet – Perfect for baking cookies, but can also be used to make a meatloaf. I always cover mine with parchment paper before baking to make clean up easier.
  12. Baking dishes – 9×13 and 8×8 are all you need. Most cake recipes cake be adapted to one of the two, and if you feel like splurging, grab a muffin/cupcake pan.
  13. Colander – one of these is necessary for straining things and useful for washing produce.
  14. Immersion blender – Although it’s not a necessity, an immersion blender can do double duty. It can puree soups, make smoothies or stand in for a food processor when making pestos or ranch dressing. Plus, it’s much more budget friendly than a food processor.
  15. Hand mixer – Not willing to commit to a stand mixer? A hand mixer will work just fine for any baking you may want to do. It’s all I’ve had access to for the many years, and it’s served me just fine.
  16. Mason jars (or other refrigerator containers) – All the time you’ve spent in the kitchen would be wasted if you don’t have a way to store your leftovers.

Of course, these are just the basics. There are many, many more kitchen gadgets and cookware on my list, but this is a great place to start.

What kitchen tools can you absolutely not live without? Share your favorites in the comments section!

 

Must have items for living dairy free:

Since we’ve been dairy free, I find myself using some items more than I used to. In addition to the list above, here are the things I couldn’t live dairy free without.

That’s it! I don’t think you need to have anything special to live a dairy free life. There’s no need to make dairy free life any more complicated than it already is.

Unless you want to make your own nut milks or vegan cheese, for which I would recommend a good nut milk bag or cheesecloth. 

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