Living The Essentials:

My Must-Have Kitchen Essentials

My Must-Have Kitchen Essentials

When it comes to my philosophy on cooking, there are very few things that you truly need.

I subscribe to the belief that your repertoire should include just a small selection of essential tools—a super sharp knife for cutting precision (chef’s and paring are all you need, do not buy a block set), a microplane for zesting, a mandolin for feathery slivers of anything and everything, a cast iron skillet, and a wooden spoon. If I only had these few pieces I know I could execute a killer meal. That said, I’ve selected a few other go-to’s I continually reach for in my kitchen. Of course, you don’t need all of these at once, just buy the pieces as you need them (and as your confidence in the kitchen grows), but above all, have fun with cooking. 

This slices vegetables really fine and thin so it's perfect for salads or to garnish a dish. Just be careful with the blade on this one!

If you're going to invest in knives, buy the ones you're actually going to use. So often, we buy a large set and rarely use all of them. This trio keeps things simple.

Probably one of the most-used items in my kitchen, the microplane is the perfect tool for adding just the right hint of zest to any meal or cake recipe.

If you're looking for non-toxic cookware that looks good while it's working hard, try the Caraway set. It's an investment, but so is your health.

This beautiful hand-carved maple chopping board doubles as a decorative object and will add warmth to your kitchen.

I'm a sucker for texture and these olive wood spoons make me happy every time I use them.

Every kitchen needs a cast-iron pan. Period. The Staub one is a classic and will stand the test of time.

This is the perfect size for whizzing up herbs or a pesto in a pinch and it's easy to clean.

Why not have a peeler that looks good too? This one is ceramic and it's just under $12.

Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet

You can never have too many sheets or trays in the kitchen. I am always going through them but this one seems to last longer than most.

Not only do The Wooden Palate team make my bath tray, but they also create these beautiful wooden salt cellars. It looks good on the counter and on the table.

If you are starting from scratch and need a more robust knife line-up, then I do recommend this essentials kit that is crafted in Japan using a manufacturing method inherited from the Samurai sword.

I love the minimal design of this flatware and have used it in a few of my tablescape designs. It just goes with everything.

I love these fun designs from talented ceramicist, Beau Rush. They add a sense of childhood whimsy to any table.

CB2 Crisp Matte Black Dinnerware

When I need a classic staple, I always reach for simple, clean dinnerware like this CB2 crisp black set. It's timeless.

Crate & Barrel Helena Dark Natural Linen Dinner Napkin in Dark Natural

You all know my love for texture and linen napkins are my favorite to design with. These are also a great price

BEVAGNA Deep Oval Serving Platter

This oval serving platter is great for large dinner parties or group feasts and look just as pretty as part of the tablescape as they do on the counter.

John Boos 18

If you need a heavy duty cutting board, look no further. I love the maple color and texture.

CB2 River Stone Mortar & Pestle

Once you invest in a mortar and pestle you'll never go back. This one has beautiful texture so it looks great on display too.

CB2 Grind Black Salt & Pepper Grinder

Every kitchen needs a salt and pepper grinder. I love the wood grain on these.

Burke Decor Taper Candles in Petal

I'm constantly asked about my favorite tapered candles. I love the color of these—they play well with any décor and tablescape setting.

Burke Decor Ceramic Taper Holders

I have used these ceramic holders on multiple table designs but don't wait to use them for a special occasion. I put these on the table for family dinners to create an intimate affair when it's just the three of us, too. Elevate your every day.

Mountain Dandy Hand Cast Resin Champagne Bucket

I love this creative spin on a champagne bucket using resin instead of stainless steel.

Mauviel Copper Saucepan, 2-Qt.

You can't go wrong with the Mauviel copper saucepan. It's an investment piece but it will forever.

Staub Oval Cocotte 7 Qt

Staub strikes again. This cocotte is a game changer. Once you have it in your arsenal, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.

KitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer with Flex Edge Beater, 3-QT

When I am feeling like something sweet, I bake a cake. This KitchenAid saves my arms and makes everything taste better.

Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Blender, Stainless-Steel

No kitchen is complete without a blender. I love the Vitamix because it blends everything (and quickly, too).

cook beautiful

Of course, I couldn't do a kitchen essentials round-up without including my book, Cook Beautiful. Thank you for your support.

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