Thursday, February 27

Kitchen Essentials For The Bride & Groom

Our youngest baby, Jared - who happens to be 25 - is getting married in May. It is a very exciting time for our family, not only is our son taking a wife, we are gaining a new daughter, and we couldn't be more pleased. Amy, Jared's fiance, is an amazing young woman and they make a great pair. I have been thinking a lot about what to buy them for a wedding present and of course I can't decide. How can you narrow down a list that's a mile long - I would love to buy Jared and Amy EVERYTHING, but can't. Consequently, for the last six months or so, I've been buying goodies for their kitchen and stashing them away. Here are my top 20 picks, including the links, for high-performing, long-lasting kitchen tools that any Bride and Groom will adore.

1. OXO Brushed Stainless Steel Tea Kettle
Wake up to this durable, dynamically styled whistling teakettle in sleek brushed stainless. $49.95; Crate & Barrel.
2. KitchenAid Mixer
KitchenAid® Ultra Power™ SeriesTilt-Head Stand Mixer with 4.5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl and 10 speeds easily mixes, kneads and whips your favorite ingredients. $299.99; KitchenAid.
3. Oster 14-speed Blender
Heavy-duty blending power and the quality that comes with the name Oster are why this blender is a popular choice for the home chef who values function and durability. $39.95; Oster.
4. All-Clad Stainless Steel Non-Stick 9-Inch Covered French Skillet
A great starter skillet for two. To cook from omelets to stir-fry, it's just the right size. $154.99; Bed, Bath & Beyond.
5. Le Creuset 5.5 Qt. Signature Round Dutch Oven
This hard working dutch oven is great for stews, soups and other long-cooking dishes. It goes from stovetop to oven to table with ease. $280.00; Zappos.
6. John Boos Boos-Block Reversible Maple Cutting Board
Thick, heavy and sturdy - this cutting board will last forever! $75.95; Wayfair.
7. Martha Stewart Collection Mixing Bowls
These ceramic mixing bowls versatile - durable enough to withstand the toughest cookie dough and stylish enough for snacks! $31.99; Macy's.
8. Frieling 17oz French Press
This stainless steel version of a French press keeps coffee hot longer than it's glass counterpart. It's also the perfect size for two! $59.99; Casa.
9. Breville Smart Oven
So much more than a toaster oven, it's a convection oven and it does the thinking for you. It adjusts the temperature ensuring an exact cooking process. $249.99; Breville USA.
10. Sur La Table 16-quart Stainless Steel Stock Pot
Perfect for soups, stews and more, the extra large capacity of this stockpot allows ingredients to cook without crowding. On Sale! $59.99; Sur La Table.
11. Calphalon 3-in-1 Immersion Blender
Instead of transferring hot liquids to a blender and risking burns, you can puree soups right in the pot! $59.99; Bed, Bath & Beyond.
12. Nespresso 'CitiZ' Espresso Maker
Brew the perfect cup of espresso each and every time! $249.95; Williams-Sonoma.
13. OXO 15-Piece Kitchen Tool Set
This kitchen tool set was sent from the gods! Whatever you need to do in the kitchen is right here within reach! I want one! $99.99; Bed, Bath & Beyond.
14. All-Clad Stainless Steel 3 Qt. Sauce Pan With Lid
With high, straight sides and a smaller surface area, this well designed sauce pan holds heat well and limits evaporation. $185.00; Zappos.
15. Brita Stainless Steel Water Filter Pitcher
Enjoy great-tasting water from the elegantly simply designed Brita water filter pitcher. It removes copper, mercury and cadmium that can be found in tap water. $47.75; SOAP.
16. Emile Henry Roaster
Made from high-fired French clay. The natural clay resists temperature change, making going from the freezer to oven a seamless act. $85.00; Emile Henry.
17. Le Creuset 5-Quart Braiser
This is it - the one pot meal dream! This updated kitchen classic enhances the cooking process by evenly distributing heat and locking in the optimal amount of moisture - and it's family size too! $295.00; 
18. Cuisinart Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor
It slices, dices and shreds like no other. Pulses, blends and purees like a dream. No other food processor even comes close, it's a keeper! $299.99, Cuisinart.
19. Nordic Ware Naturals Bakeware
Bakers agree that aluminum bakes best. This bakeware is made of even heating rust proof aluminum and features a galvanized steel wire around the rims for added strength. The product line also features a lifetime warranty. $Assorted prices; Nordic Ware.
20. Lodge's Cast Iron Skillet
Here in the South we consider cast iron skillets to be THE essential cooking tool. From frying chicken to making the best cornbread this little ole skillet will get the job done - and then some! $29.95; 
Crate & Barrel.

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