The Kitchen List * 2012

Over Winter Break, I cleaned out the kitchen & did some major reorganization. While trudging through the countless spatulas, herbs, spices - all things I use daily - I started to think about my "kitchen essentials."

I've organized a handful of lists detailing my must have tools, electrics, condiments, herbs, spices, and a few miscellaneous items that I cannot live without. In a few places I listed the product brand that I use, or other known trusted brands. I hope it's not too overwhelming, and I wonder which items we have in common! Pots & Pans:

  • 7 Quart Dutch Oven (Le Creuset or Lodge)
  • Large Stainless Sauté Pan (All-Clad)
  • Large Stock Pot w/ strainer & steamer inserts
  • Cast Iron Pan (Lodge)
  • Small & Medium Stainless Sauce Pan (All-Clad)
  • 3-4 good baking sheets (Chicago Metallic)
  • Ceramic & Glass baking dishes (Le Creuset/Anchor)


  • Food Processor (Magimix/Cuisinart/Kitchen Aid)
  • Stand Mixer (Kitchen Aid)
  • Stick Blender (Williams Sonoma/Cuisinart)
  • Digital Thermometer
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Slow Cooker


  • Chef's Knife 8-10"
  • Bread Knife
  • Olive Wood Spoons (last longer & don't fray)
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Tongs (stainless & coated)
  • Fish Spatula
  • Hand Strainer
  • Spatulas (all shapes colors & sizes)
  • Whisks (stainless & coated)
  • Pepper Mill
  • Salt Pig (or other vessel to hold kosher salt)
  • Large wood cutting board (so you're never tempted to put it into the dishwasher, because it won't fit!)
  • Multiple dishwasher-safe & knife-safe cutting boards
  • Microplane (long & wide)
  • Mandolin
  • Stainless colander

Condiments, Oils & Vinegars:

  • Mustard: Dijon, Grainy, Yellow, Beer, Hot & Sweet
  • Ketchup (organic & no corn syrup)
  • Sriracha & Chili Garlic Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil (for making mayo w/ that stick blender)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Vinegars: Sherry, Red Wine, Rice Wine, Apple Cider & Balsamic
  • Butter
  • Crème Fraîche
  • Tamari Soy Sauce
  • Cholula Hot Sauce
  • Tabasco Hot Sauce

Dried Spices:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Finishing Salt (like coarse black or pink salt, my fav is black truffle salt!)
  • Peppercorns
  • Chili Flakes
  • Dried Whole Chili
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Saffron (get it on the cheap from TJ's)
  • Star Anise
  • Rosemary
  • Cardamom
  • Mustard Powder
  • Bay Leaves
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Ginger (I actually keep fresh whole ginger in the freezer and just grate it into dishes when I need it)
  • Dehydrated Mushrooms

Fresh Herbs: (that I grow)

  • Chervil
  • Sweet Basi
  • Thai Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Dill
  • Mint (spearmint, pineapple & apple mint)
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Verbena


  • Compost Bin
  • Moka Pot
  • Parchment Paper
  • Potato Ricer
  • Pastry Brushes
  • Jar Opener
  • Large Glass Mixing Bowls

Phew, you made it! Any product names listed do not reflect any paid or otherwise compensated enorsement - these are just things that I use and love. We certainly have an affinity for spatulas, and all of the spices & condiments help me to cook a wide variety of cuisines. It's taken me 8 years to amass this collection, and it proves to be a popular theme for gift-givers - which is great! I love trying new things and expanding my culinary horizons. So - did I forget anything?