When thinking about the intro posts I wanted to have up to kick off this site, cookware came to mind immediately. It’s something so many of us use daily, but also something so personal which makes it the perfect topic of conversation. Nick and I didn’t Register when we got married this past year. We’ve been living together for 4 years and having both had our own places prior, we honestly had more than we could ask for to move into this apartment’s smaller-storage kitchen (more on storage skills and tricks in an eventual post, because this place has a huge lack thereof). At the time of our wedding, it has to be said, that spending any significant amount of time in the kitchen, wasn’t in our top interests so forgoing a Registry seemed like the obvious choice. Am I half kicking myself now? Kind of. Thankfully, my mom being not only an excellent home cook but always prepared as a mother, had doubles of everything to hand us down. Our cookware might not be the newest and most up to date, but when it comes to learning the ropes in the kitchen, it admittedly feels kind of fitting to be using the same pots and pans my mom (and mother in law!) once did. There are some things money just can’t buy, and building a home kitchen using the same tools and tricks our wiser-than-us parents did, is right up there in my book.
1. Cast-Iron Skillet
This gem right here might be as old as I am. I’m not sure what the official story is on it, but it might have come across the ocean with us when we moved from France to Canada in the late 80’s. It’s got all the panache of a well-loved skillet, the bright orange hue of all my mom’s signature enamel cast-iron cookware when I was growing up and, it’s as reliable as they come. The handle unscrews for safe use in the oven, making it a duo-functioning essential I’ve made many dishes in, including a skillet Shepherd’s Pie Nick can’t get enough of! A heavy cast iron skillet is my personal fave for sautéing minced meat dishes. Revered as the ultimate workhorse kitchen aid, they also come in handy for pan-frying searing, baking, braising, broiling, roasting.
2. Royal Doulton 4 qt Sauté Pan with Lid
This stainless steel pan is one of my most-used. My mom actually bought it for me when I moved into my first ever apartment (circa 2006). She had high hopes back then that I would take up cooking and knew no well-stocked kitchen could go without one of these. I remember her telling me how well made this pot was, as I smiled and nodded, more out of politeness than agreement. I knew she wasn’t wrong, but I also knew I wasn’t ready to put it to nearly as good use as she had hopes for. Today, I am so grateful for this hero in my kitchen. It makes a mean lemon risotto and can go from stovetop to oven, withstanding temperatures up to 500 degrees. You can’t deny that mom knows best!
3. Kitchen’s Choice 24cm Frying Pan
One of my parents’ traditions during the holidays is to gift kitchen utensils and appliances to my brothers and I. Sounds practical I know but some of the best gadgets I own have come out of that tradition. Not the least of which is this super performing non stick pan. It’s my go-to for any breakfast or brunch dish- particularly any involving our weekend staple, (buckwheat) pancakes, or frying up eggs! It not only ensures successful non stick kitchen results but is hassle-free when it comes to cleaning.
4. Small Stainless Pot
A relatively obvious choice for this roster, I know. But this stainless steel 1 qt pot is a classic standby for everything from reductions to sauces, and quickly reheating single portions of soup. In a pinch, I even use it to boil water for tea!
5. The Dutch Oven
You guys. This pot. If you follow me on Instagram stories, you might have caught the day I got it! My mom recently handed down this Le Creuset 4 qt Cocotte Dutch Oven to me because she knew I was lusting after this Staub version. This one being in Leslie Chic’s signature enamel hues and well used, it took no time before the Staub option was forgotten about (well you know, sort of). I wasted not a single day before initiating this cocotte into my kitchen with a Minimalist Baker GF, Vegan Chili recipe that was a first hit of what’s sure to be many. This cornerstone pot of all of my favourite home cooks, including my dear and very talented foodie friend Rachel, this Dutch Oven makes me feel like my repertoire is officially on par with that of all the other cooks I respect. #toolsforsuccess
6. Heavy bottomed Baking Dish
This is a standby dish I picked up, in red no less #Immymothersdaughter, when I moved to Toronto. I found it at Canadian Tire and when the time came to move back to Montreal, something about it had me feeling incapable of leaving it behind. It bears no brand name and it’s among the most top performing dishes in my kitchen. I’ve made many cauliflower Mac n Cheese recipes using it, and in my clean eating ambitions, it serves a recurring purpose of roasting veggies– squash, sweet potatoes, garlic, beets and more. It’s also my go-to cookware for making Jen’s Healthiest Bread Ever. I have a few Pyrex baking dishes, but none of them compare to the heat this one can handle or the even baking of anything I make in it.
7. Utensils- Wooden Spoon, Rubber Spatula, Medium Size whisk, Microplane brand Medium size (cheese) grater, Rubberized Tongs.
When it comes to everyday cooking and baking these are the utensils that I reach for far more than any others. These are by no exaggeration the tools that are as indispensable as any of the cookware listed herein. I use them all so often that I end up switching them up regularly and either rotating them for the equivalent stored away in a kitchen drawer, or buying a new one every year or so. This is especially true for the wooden spoons, as I find they bear the most use of any utensil, and while there’s something to be said for age old wood, there’s nothing appealing about wood shards in any dish I’m making. So my rule of thumb is invest in great wooden utensils or make sure to switch yours up when they start to look too worn down.
What are some of your kitchen standbys when it comes to cookware and utensils? I would love to know! Share with my in the comments below or on Instagram!