If you missed yesterday, click here to read part one of this series!
Today’s list will go through items that are slightly less essential than yesterday (except for cutting boards, which I just forgot about. You need cutting boards.) Most people will wind up getting these items eventually, but why not register for them? If you have room in your kitchen, they are great to have. Let’s get started.
Food Prep Tools:
This is really a cross-section of different prep tools. Obviously, you can throw in a garlic press, a mandoline, food mill, what have you, but these are more basic just to give you an idea.
Glass or stainless prep bowls are one of those things I don’t budge on. You need them in your life if you are going to cook efficiently. Lots of stores sell them in neat little sets, and they are great add-on. A lot of people like to build their own little gifts; they’ll get one medium item and then throw in something like the bowls and then perhaps buy a tool to tie on the outside of the box. This is why it’s good to give options in terms of size and price.
The serrated slicer (seen here: Kobra Slicer by De Buyer) is just one of those things I like. You could substitute a mandoline here if you are a bit more advanced, but for the sharp-edge shy, this is a little less scary. As far as cutting boards go, you can get the large wood blocks but know that they are a lot of work. You have to massage and coddle them, though they are lovely and you can get them engraved sometimes with your initials. I prefer bamboo boards as they are dishwasher safe, light weight, and great on knives. They’re also not as heavy, so if you’re doing a big move after the wedding or just short on space, these are much easier to handle. Finally a word on lemon juicers: do not register for one that is enamel coated or painted. The lemon or lime juice is acidic, and eats away at the paint! I love the polypropylene ones by Chef’n.
Brands I Love: Chef’n, De Buyer (mandoline), OXO (tools & mandoline), Epicurean (cutting boards), Boos (block cutting boards)
I went over must-have electrics yesterday. These are ones that I find fun and great to have if you can support the space. They also are meant to sort of bring you and your new spouse together in the kitchen.
So the waffle maker and espresso maker are great for weekend breakfasts – and if you have to impress your in-laws when they come visit. I like a good Belgian waffle maker but the round ones are perfectly suitable. As far as espresso machines go, Nespresso makes wonderful options in all sizes and prices. You have to order their pods, but they are super fresh and come in a variety of strengths. Not everyone is a barista or has time to tinker with an espresso machine every morning, so this is a perfect solution. Starbucks also has a new option in this field, but I prefer Nespresso.
The panini press can double as a grill on cold nights, and can replace that janky George Foreman grill you got freshman year. You know what I’m talking about. Finally, we all know I love pressure cookers. Go for electric as they are much easier to use, and can significantly cut down the amount of time you spend making dinner.
Brands I Love: All Clad (waffle makers & pressure cooker), Nespresso, Breville (panini), Cuisinart (panini and pressure cooker).
Essential Bakeware: So we aren’t all bakers. If you hate baking, just skip these, except for the baking set. You just never know.
For those of you that love to bake, here’s some stuff you will need. Get a great cooling rack. Get some expensive bakeware – high quality pans are less likely to warp in the heat of the oven and will last a very long time. If you like to bake cookies or other small items, a silpat is a must. It helps to keep things from getting to brown on the bottom or sticking.
I prefer tapered or French rolling pins. They are easier to grip and if you need to roll something out round, this is the way to do it. They can run pretty inexpensive, so again, a great add-on. A cake tester is another wonderful addition to a larger gift.
You probably already have some measuring spoons or cups, but go ahead and register for a nice set – stainless steel will last a long time. For the advanced baker, a digital scale is also not out of the question.
Brands I Love: Silpat, All Clad, Williams Sonoma & Sur La Table House Brands, Target Brands, OXO, Calphalon (bakeware)
Now, the tempting thing to do with linens is to go crazy with patterns and super cutesy ones. You won’t use them, unless decoratively. Pick a neutral pattern and register for several sets of cotton kitchen towels. It’s always nice to have several, and by sticking with a neutral, you can add pops of color elsewhere without clashing. If you both cook, register for a couple of aprons. Going with a more frilly one for the bride makes it a great shower gift. The one above is from Anthropologie (I have that one) and they have an amazing selection. Lastly, you can match your mitts to your linens if you like. Just make sure you register for at least one pot holder and one mitt.
I have to say, linens are the item that if you don’t register for them, some family friend that you don’t really know is going to get them for you anyway and they will probably be in a color or pattern you hate. I really recommend just registering for at least a few of the above to avoid that.
Brands I Love: Anthropologie, Target (their new Threshold line has fantastic stuff for a steal!), Williams Sonoma Linens, Crate & Barrel, West Elm.
Holiday Essentials: If you are registering in the spring or summer, chances are you aren’t going to be thinking about the possibility that your family may want to have Thanksgiving or Christmas at your house at some point. By registering for some basic large meal prep tools, you will be all set just in case.
Stoneware, or ceramic baking dishes, are perfect for all types of casseroles, macaroni and cheese, or even things like bread pudding. Go ahead and get at least two – one with a lid and one long one. The stoneware makes for a better serving dish than a pyrex baking dish and will last a lot longer. Most brands offer a variety of colors, so you can pick one and stick with it or go color crazy (like me!) You can also get a matching pie dish, with ruffled edges for extra pizzazz! A roasting pan with an included rack is what you will need for doing turkey, ham, chicken, etc. A nice stainless one is perfect because you can use it on the stovetop to make gravy with the pan drippings, and it will last forever.
A potato ricer just makes life easier, and you can impress everyone with mega fluffy potatoes. I think I’ve talking about 15 times on this blog about meat thermometers, but you really need one. If you want to register for one of the fancy roasting thermometers, go for it. I just warn against these new “remote” thermometers. They work for about 3 minutes before you will want to throw it against the wall. Just not perfected technology, especially for how much they cost.
Brands I Love: Emile Henry Stoneware, Le Creuset Stoneware, All Clad (roaster), OXO (ricer, thermometer), Tayl0r (thermometer).
So that’s today’s list! Come back tomorrow when I will detail the last list, stuff you probably don’t need but want nonetheless 🙂