1. cast iron skillet
My grandparents were really the first people I heard an advocate for cast iron skillets. My grandparents grew up in the south so cast iron skillets were used religiously. I first used one a few years ago when they gave one to my mom. Life-changing. It adds serious crisp and flavor to your dish. The bonus is, the more you use it the better your dishes get.
I love using it for browning anything. For example, hamburgers or chicken breast. It will make your food so golden brown and crispy.
There is a very specific way you care for your cast iron skillet. You shouldn’t use a whole lot of soap-or really any. Rely heavily on water and rags or paper towels. If you let a cast-iron skillet sit wet overnight it will rust! SO the dishwasher is not a happy place.
Also, another great thing for your skillet is little rubber sleeves for the handles. Just make sure after you wash it, no water is stuck in that sleeve.
2. baking sheets- at least one
Baking sheets are like obvious..? When I feel like making something with minimal clean up I usually throw it on a baking sheet with some foil (see below) and call it a day.
You can use them for making vegetables, cookies, fajitas like the options are limitless. Search baking sheet recipe on Pinterest and thank me later.
4. granulated sugar
So flour and granulated sugar sort of go hand in hand. In a pinch, you can use these two to make some pretty yummy desserts.
Of course, you probably need eggs and butter but there are sooooo many substitutes that you are bound to have at any given time.
Foil is just one of those things you can use for so much. Wrap around a pie crust, cover a baking sheet, keep food warm, or make some balls for your cat to play with. You really never know. Just have it.
6. a box mix dessert or refrigerated cookie dough- you never know
Sometimes your gals just wanna swing by for a glass of wine and drama. Always have some fresh cookies to throw in, making it that much better of a time.
You forgot it was your boyfriend’s moms cousins birthday and you are going to their party tomorrow. Bake some fudgy brownies and you won’t be empty-handed anymore.
7. olive oil
I seriously use olive oil on everything- not literally but like for a lot of stuff.
I love it because you can use it for high heat situations without worrying.
I will use it to fry an egg in the morning, coat chicken in it so it doesn’t stick to the grill, and coat vegetables in it before popping in the oven. So many uses.
Everyone has their go-to oil so as long as you have one that is versatile you are good to go!
8. measuring cups or a scale
Let’s face it, most of us are not using scales in the U.S but sometimes you get that one recipe in weight… agh! If you only have cups you can totally convert using Google so don’t panic if you only have one or the other.
I love using measuring cups to generally assume I am using the right amount. Unless it is a super-specific recipe of course. Cooking is all about playing with flavors though. So as long as you are comfortable with the flavors, you can go a little off-script.
So this one is essential but if you are a pro chef you can probably eyeball it.
Okay, I know this one is kind of cheating cause it’s more than one but you definitely need more than one spice.
The obvious salt and pepper, hello. What are you making in your kitchen if you don’t have these?
Some other good spices to have:
-ancho chili pepper
-red pepper flakes
So I really love lemons. I would add it to so many meals. Think about it, lemons are super versatile citrus.
You could make lemonade for starters. That granulated sugar, lemon juice, and a little water. Yum.
You can use it with any protein to make the meal have bright flavors.
You could add it to your sides, whether it be vegetables or rice.
My favorite is adding it to soups or tacos.
11. a bonus: because cutting boards
I mean come on. We can’t just be cutting on our countertops.
12. another bonus: Hot sauce
I also just thought about hot sauce… having a good sauce will make any meal better.
Ramen soup for dinner 🙁
add hot sauce 🙂