these are some of my favorite things...
Having a well-stocked kitchen is the secret to cooking success. Some of my favorite off-the-cuff meals have been made with simple pantry items. Having good quality, basic tools, appliances and ingredients on hand at all times means that you can have more fun in the kitchen, and it also allows you to be creative and substitute ingredients or cooking techniques if needed. In my pantry, I like having a selection of international specialties like Asian sauces, Italian chili paste, pasta and capers, several different types of flours and sweeteners, a huge selection of vinegars, plus a well-stocked fridge and freezer. Here is a list of what I try to have in my pantry at all times:
These are some of my baking essentials from my tried and true KitchenAid mixer to a baking scale, which is incredibly important for consistent baked goods. I love having glass canisters to store my flours and sugars in. They look pretty in my pantry and help keep things organized. I used my label maker to make labels so that I know what everything is. When baking with dry goods, make sure to use dry measuring cups for the most accurate measurement, and only pack the ingredients down if the recipe recommends it. And having an assortment of ice cream scoopers in several sizes helps when baking cookies. I like to use the scoop to portion out my cookie batter so that the cookies are roughly the same size.
tools, Baking sheets & cutting boards
I keep all of my oven friendly items above and below the oven for easy access. Having good, rimmed baking sheets is incredibly important for everything from cookies and cakes to easy weeknight sheet pan dinners. I use wire racks when cooling baked goods or to drain anything that I fry (I set one above a baking sheet to catch the drippings). They’re also great for roasting meats or veggies when I want a crispy exterior all the way around. The wire rack will allow for airflow under the rack and it helps make a 350°F crust.
In my tool drawers, I use drawer organizers from The Container Store to keep things feeling uncluttered, even though I have a lot of tools in every drawer. A fish spatula, a microplane and a good slotted spoon are some of my favorite tools. I’ve included some of my favorite tools in the shop below.
Nothing gives me more joy than cookbooks. I have a large collection and I use them for everything from menu inspiration for my catered events to weekly family dinner planning. Below are some of my favorites, but I have many more. If you ever need a cookbook recommendation please reach out!
plates & bowls
This is my cabinet of everyday plates and bowls. I have a little bit of a bowl addiction, especially noodle bowls. I love their wide, shallow shape and pretty colors. They’ve become easier to find in the last few years and I’ve included a few of my favorites in my shop below. For plates, we use the white rectangular shape the most. They’re what I use to plate my boys breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
We do a lot of entertaining, especially in the summer when we can sit outside. There are several things that I grab every time I’m putting a cheese board together. I have an assortment of cheese knives, forks and spoons that make the tray look a little bit extra. And some pretty, simple small plates and bowls that I use for olives, nuts, special cheeses, mustards, jams and pickles. Once the board is assembled I like to garnish a few of the cheeses with special spice blends, honey, herbs, or a sprinkling of chopped nuts to give them a little pop of color and flavor. A few of my favorite cheese board items are in the shop below.
If you’ve seen my post about building our bar, you know that we love a good cocktail or two. We’ve slowly curated a collection of a crystal cocktail glasses, plus wine, champagne, and unique beer glasses, and we use them all the time. There are a few things that help to make a great cocktail. A good shaker, a nice glass, high quality ingredients and garnishes, and fresh citrus or herbs, or both. I’ve included some of my bar staples in the shop below.
easy entertaining inspo
Lastly, I’ve included a little tablescape inspiration. Simple, brightly colored placemats, classic napkins and fun napkin rings instantly make a table look pretty. I also love using mint julep cups for flower arrangements, as well as cocktails. I have them in several sizes and they make the loveliest little vases. You can shop some of my favorites below.