All You Need, Besides Love, in the Kitchen

Food and Nutrition

Kitchen necessities:

  • Chef’s knife:  splurge on this one and you won’t need any other knife!
  • Microplane:  for zesting, finely mincing garlic or ginger, and finely grating cheeses like parmigiano reggiano.
  • Large wooden spoon:  you will use it for everything, and they don’t melt.
  • Vegetable peeler:  obviously to peel veggies…but also to shave chocolate and hard cheeses.
  • Potato smasher:  for potatoes and also to break up ground meats as they cook.
  • Meat thermometer:  there isn’t anything worse than an overcooked steak, well, maybe an undercooked chicken.
  • Peppermill:  there just isn’t any comparison to freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Pyrex glass measuring cup:  I recommend a 4 cup.
  • Measuring spoons:  a true necessity.
  • Large wooden cutting board:  the bigger, the better! Can double as a serving platter too and a surface to roll out dough.
  • Plastic cutting board:   for meats and fruits
  • Mixing bowls:   a set of three is nice to have but one large would do.
  • Food processor and/or blender:   you can live without one of these, but not both. Don’t skimp on the food processor, you really do pay for what you get!
  • Mixer:   whether it is handheld or stand… they both will do the trick!
  • Corningware:   well, because we are in the South and every woman just needs corningware!
  • Pyrex with lid:   a 13×9 and 9×9 will do.
  • Large sifter:   If you get one large enough it will perfectly double as a colander.
  • 12” or larger cast iron:   it’s a Southern staple for anything from cornbread to seared meats.
  • 12” or larger non-stick skillet:   splurge on this one. You’ll use it for scrambled eggs or pancakes every Saturday morning.
  • Large aluminum baking sheets:   honestly, a restaurant supply store such as Sam’s sells the best ones, and they are the least expensive.
  • Crock pot:   great for dinners for busy newlyweds! And what man doesn’t love something that came out of a slow cooker?
  • Heavy bottomed stainless steel pot/pan set:   they will last forever!
  • MUSIC:  last but certainly not least! Cook with each other while listening to your favorite music, there almost isn’t anything better to do with your love!

Kitchen shortcuts:

  • No rolling pin for your pie? No meat mallet for your chicken? Just use a wine bottle.
  • Mason jars work fabulously for homemade vinaigrettes and leftovers.
  • Instead of a Panini press, just use your cast iron and place a plate with a 28 ounce can on top. You will have to flip but other than that the outcome is just the same.
  • Use a microplane or just smash the living daylights out of your garlic with your knife. No need for a garlic press, and I can assure you it takes less time and clean up.

Simple recipe:

Mashed potatoes

Place about 3 pounds washed and peeled, if desired,  Yukon gold potatoes cut into 2 “ pieces into a heavy bottomed pan of cold water.

Place on med-high heat and add about 1 T kosher salt when boiling.

After they are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes cooking time after boiling….drain and return pan to stove.

At med-low / low heat add 3T of butter and 1/3 c sour cream. Smash your potatoes.

Add milk as needed ¼ cup-1/2 cup. Add freshly cracked black pepper.

Taste for seasoning.


Your potatoes will thicken as they stay in the pan so reserve some butter and milk to add before serving if needed.

You can add cheese and crispy bacon pieces on top and put in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melts.

You can use russet potatoes as well.

***Serve this along with a delicious store-bought rotisserie chicken and a simple salad. Your family will definitely be pleased!