The Quality Cooking Staples You Need to Use

It’s no surprise Johnny and I love to cook! I grew up in a home where my Mom made dinner almost every night and I learned quite bit being by her side in the kitchen. When I moved out on my own I made a point to start getting quality cooking staples. Sometimes they can be expensive, but it’s worth it to invest our money, especially since this is what we’re putting into our body. Getting quality cooking staples can be a gamechanger.

If you don’t particularly enjoy cooking, I ask you to think about why. Not having the right tools and staples in your kitchen is probably why. I’ve been there. Having a knife that doesn’t properly cut, a skillet that doesn’t sear properly… these are all things making even professional chefs frustrated, let alone us home cooks! By investing in our tools, we can enjoy our time in the kitchen and maybe even cooking, so it’s not such a chore.

Most of these items are tried and true products we’ve used for years. Some are recent additions but have held up to us cooking each night, being in the dishwasher and more.

CAST IRON SKILLET

If you treat your cast iron skillet well, it’ll last you a lifetime. I like this one in particular because you can clean it like you would a normal pan or use Barkeeper’s Friend. If you use the later, make sure you properly rinse it out and use regular dish soap afterward. We use this for steaks, eggs, stir-fry – literally almost everything. Make sure you’re not cooking with this on high heat as it doesn’t need to be on high to get really hot. We start it out at medium, then raise to medium-high if needed. You’ll get amazing sear and flavor with this.

Spice drawer organization with modern labels in a white kitchen with shaker cabinets, white Le Creuset dutch oven with gold knob and MacKenzie-Childs kettle and utensil holder

CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN

My very first investment in quality cooking staples was a Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven. I got the 3.5 quarts and it’s so dear to my heart. Before I added anything else to my kitchen, I would use this for everything. Cooking soups and curries, stir-frying vegetables to my favorite pasta dishes. I would even bake bread in this! The Le Creuset name is meant to last generations and if you take care of your cookware, it’ll be with you forever.

SPLATTER SCREEN

We got this a few months ago for our new house and I cannot believe we lived without it. This really doesn’t need explaining. It keeps the splatter form whatever you’re cooking in. I like this one because the handle folds so it’s compact. Plus, it’s stainless steel, which makes it one of my favorite cooking staples. If you fry even just eggs, you need this to eliminate clean up!

KNIFE TRIO

In an effort to minimize and be thoughtful about what we bring into our home, we opted to get this knife trio. It has rave reviews and I appreciate how these three knives can do anything. Honestly. They are incredibly sharp, perfectly balanced and make cooking a dream. The only hiccup we get into is when we both happen to need the Chef’s knife. You can buy these knives individually, so we’re planning on getting an additional Chef’s knife in the future. They also come in four beautiful colors.

Blogger Hoang-Kim uses her Caraway nontoxic cookware in her kitchen

Non-Toxic Cookware

We’ve only been using Caraway Non-Toxic Cookware for a little more than a month. So far, we absolutely love it. It’s a good alternative to cast-iron if you want cookware that’s non-toxic but not as heavy. What’s awesome is now you can buy Caraway’s cookware individually, whereas before you have to buy the set. However, when you buy the set you get the magnetic holders and lid organizer to keep everything in place and neat in your cabinets. My full review on Caraway is on this blog post.

Silicone Utensils

If you have cookware that isn’t stainless steel, you need these silicone utensils! They won’t scratch your cookware, are lightweight and so easy to use. Plus, I love how you can put these in the dishwasher. We got black because we cook with turmeric and a variety of other Asian sauces that stain. Trust me, we learned the hard way with white utensils.

Kitchenaid Mixer

A new addition to our home that’s already paying off. We use it to make so many things but most recently, I made mashed potatoes in it. Let me tell you, it was divine. Absolutely divine! I wanted the Artisan, which is at a slightly higher price point, because it has a higher power motor. I know I’m going to be baking a bit so I wanted to make sure it could hold its own. The bigger bowl also played a part. If you’re looking to get a good deal, I talk about how shopping on eBay here can actually lead to amazing deals!

Cutting Board

Having a good cutting board is a must – especially if you’re upping your knife game! I love this one because it’s lightweight, pretty and holds up against our knives! Plus, it’s low maintenance, too.

 

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