Photo by Ross Oscar Knight Photography
By Wedding Blog Contributor Dawn Viola
Despite opposition from etiquette traditionalists, bridal gift registry has become a here-to-stay modern milestone of the nuptial planning process. While walking around your favorite kitchen store with a registry price gun can make for a fun afternoon, arriving without a gift plan can make selecting cookware and appliances seem overwhelming when building a collection from scratch. With your favorite kitchen store in target range and registry gun in hand, the following list will help you build the perfect newlywed kitchen:
A good stainless steel set that can go from stove to oven is a must-have, preferably with lids for everything, even the skillets. One of each will suffice, but if you love to cook, you’ll want to double up on the skillets.
â€¢ 3-quart covered sauce pan
â€¢ 10-quart covered sauce pan
â€¢ 6-quart covered stockpot
â€¢ 8″ or 10″ skillet
â€¢ 1 large heavy-bottom roasting pan
Nonstick is a great choice, but watch for grooves and places where food can get stuck â€“ they can be challenging to clean. Select items that are seamless whenever possible.
â€¢ 2 sheet pans (cookie sheets with edges)
â€¢ 1 muffin tin
â€¢ 1 square 9×9-inch glass baking dish
â€¢ 1 rectangular 9×12-inch baking dish
â€¢ Casserole dishes that can also double as serving dishes
â€¢ 1 set of mixing bowls
An up-front investment in quality appliances will last for many years. None of these are essential, but will make food prep faster and easier. Some possible appliances to consider include:
â€¢ hand held mixer
â€¢ standing mixer
â€¢ food processor
â€¢ immersion blender
â€¢ slow cooker
â€¢ Dutch oven
The little things:
A collection of measuring cups, measuring spoons, a quality chef knife and paring knife, as well as whisks, spoons and spatulas are essential tools every newlywed kitchen should have.
Keeping things spicy in the kitchen:
After the wedding, make a list of adventure ingredients and kitchen gadgets youâ€™ve always wanted to try. Adventure ingredients can be a spice, or food youâ€™ve never cooked with before. Kitchen gadgets can be anything from the top-of-the-line food processor to an inexpensive plantain masher. Purchase one item from your adventure ingredient or kitchen gadget list once a week, once a month or as often as your budget allows.
Investing in a collection of teaching cookbooks will help you learn and gain experience in cooking methods rather than just one-off recipes. Teaching books have come a long way, offering step-by-step photographs and easy-to-follow instructions for mastering roasting, braising, poaching and sautÃ©ing like a pro, at your own pace:
â€¢ Martha Stewartâ€™s Cooking School, Martha Stewart
â€¢ How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman
â€¢ The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
To get your library started, Americaâ€™s Test Kitchen is giving one Wedding Blog reader a copy of their best-selling book, The Americaâ€™s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. Inside youâ€™ll find 800 kitchen-tested recipes for more healthful eating every day of the week, plus hundreds of step-by-step photographs, and opinionated ingredient and equipment ratings.
Between now and midnight, Thursday, April 21, 2011 (EST) post a comment below telling us what you love to cook for dinner. One winner will be selected at random, and notified by email. Replies posted after midnight, Thursday, April 21, 2011 will not be counted. Anonymous comments will be discarded – you need to be logged in with your DISQUS profile, or have posted your email address in the comment box so that we may notify you if you win. U.S. residents only; items will be shipped from the publisher directly to the winner. No monetary exchanges or substitutions allowed. Void where prohibited. Total value $35.00 US.
–Dawn Viola is a professional chef, cooking instructor and the voice behind the award winning food blog, Wicked Good Dinner.