Kitchen Essentials

All-Clad Pots & Pans

I’m a fan of their original five-ply stainless steel cookware because it cooks food fast and evenly and is easy to care for.  Also, each piece can go from stovetop to oven without issue.  They’re a bit pricey, but worth it.

Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet and Dutch Oven

We have had Lodge cast-iron products in our family kitchens for generations.  Once seasoned, their non-stick surfaces and precise heat distribution are incomparable.  Nowadays, you can conveniently purchase pre-seasoned products from Lodge.

Baking Sheets

Half-sheet baking pans are a must in my kitchen.  I use them for everything from baking cookies to roasting vegetables.  I prefer heavy-gauge aluminized steel to those nonstick versions.  They’re great heat conductors and won’t warp during cooking.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

This is my kitchen workhorse.  I’ve had my KitchenAid mixer for close to 20 years and it stills works like a charm.

Immersion Blender

With the immersion blender, you can puree soups and emulsify sauces without having to transfer hot liquids to a blender or food processor.  And there’s less cleanup!


All of my chopping, slicing, mincing and butchering is done with my 8-inch chef’s knife, a cleaver and a bunch of well-crafted serrated steak knives.  I do have a bunch of other knives in my kitchen, but I don’t use them very often.

Pyrex Mixing Bowls and Measuring Cups

I’m still using the set of Pyrex mixing bowls and measuring cups I received as a wedding present 17 years ago.  At least one piece gets used everyday.

Pint Glasses

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a big, craft-beer-loving foodie.  Each of my freezers has designated areas for 16-ounce pint glasses.  I found ours at a restaurant supply store, but you can get yours online!

Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer

Frying turkeys is safe and easy when you have the right equipment.  Bayou Classic sells kits with everything you’ll need except the turkey and the oil.

Char-Broil “The Big Easy” Infrared Turkey Fryer

Don’t let the name fool you.  This baby can cook up a Thanksgiving centerpiece, a leg of lamb and everything in between.  This “fryer” is oil-less and uses infrared cooking that produces tender, juicy and delicious results.

Recipe Journals

Whenever I’m cooking, reading, watching TV or traveling, I always have a pen and paper nearby to jot down any great recipe idea or cooking tip that comes my way.  Journals and case-bound notebooks are great for this purpose as well as for documenting family recipes and capturing all of my culinary creations.