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Stock your kitchen for life

Jul 16, 2023

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Spending a bit extra on quality items pays off in the long run

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Early fall often signifies new beginnings for fledglings flying the nest. Whether you’re a student with your first apartment or a recent graduate with a new job, setting up a space to live — often in a new city — is exciting.

This week, I’m focused on the kitchen and all the special equipment required to set up a young homeowner for success. Drawing from my own experience, I’m a strong believer in buying the best you can afford.

Spending a bit extra on quality items pays off in the long run. And now I present the key items that will serve you well in your current kitchen and for the many moves you’ll make throughout your lifetime.

The everyday

Good knives are essential for daily food preparation. Store them in a block or magnetic wall strip so they are readily available and safely out of reach from rummaging hands in a drawer — and doing so means no banging sounds every time you open a drawer.

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A toaster oven or microwave are other must-haves, especially if you’re prone to heating up a snack after work or before bed. Each appliance performs very different duties, so choose wisely.

Using either one saves you from turning on the oven to warm one lone slice of pizza or dirtying a pot to heat soup. And, bonus, both toaster ovens and microwaves come with convection-cooking options. This excellent method cooks faster and results in crispy food.

And let’s not forget about our morning cup-of-coffee ritual. I’m a fan of multipurpose machines, so I can enjoy my latte in the morning — or regular coffee if I’m not feeling so fancy.

In the afternoon, I’m all about an iced coffee and after dinner, an espresso. A quality coffee machine is worth the investment. Once you master your brewing techniques, you’ll have them for life.

Friday-night special

Not all kitchen items have to be in view 24/7 stealing counter space, even though they’re invaluable in the kitchen. For instance, measuring cups and utensils are essential when a recipe involved. Measure, measure, measure! Unbreakable stainless steel is best because it lasts a lifetime.

For cooking, I recommend a good universal pot. You know, those millennial pink or green viral sensations that are oven proof, stovetop friendly and non-stick. The only thing they seemingly can’t do is cook for you.

Another superb kitchen companion is a wand hand-stick blender. It saves space and performs many magic tricks. It’s great for puréeing soups, making smoothies and nearly any job that a blender or food processor can do. When shopping choose a stainless wand, so that it can go directly into a hot pot to purée a soup.

The never-thought-you-needed-it stuff

As an avid home baker and cook, I rely on certain tucked-away items I may only use once or twice a month. Though they make rare appearances, they truly bring me pleasure when baking and cooking.

One of my favourites is a set of stainless steel mixing bowls. I bought them at a discount chain store, and I’m never afraid of breaking them.

They’re easy to clean and emerge from the dishwasher sparkling. They can hold hot or cold ingredients and I can’t imagine using any other style of mixing bowls.

Another saviour in the junk drawer is a one-ounce ice cream scoop. I use this small scoop to get even-sized cookies and to portion muffin batter. Uniform dessert every time!

I also love churning my own ice cream, so the scoop comes in handy when I pull out my ice cream maker. I’ve owned a fancy version for 25 years. I don’t need to keep its parts in the freezer.

Simply place it on the counter, plug it in and the freezing starts. Devising inventive flavours is exciting. Roasted peach and brown sugar ice cream, anyone? Or how about banana gelato?

Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? Follow and contact Karl on Instagram, Karl_Lohnes

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Spending a bit extra on quality items pays off in the long runincludedThe everydayFriday-night specialThe never-thought-you-needed-it stuffDo you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? Follow and contact Karl on Instagram, Karl_Lohnes