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Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Food Expert's Registry Must-Have's

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Sara Remington


Registering for your wedding can be a daunting, albeit necessary, chore. To help you narrow down what to ask for in terms of kitchen essentials – we’ve gone straight to a Food Network/Cooking Channel expert: Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials. She recently released a new book, Kitchen Confidence, and has shared with Destination I Do her top ten items which are must-have's for couples starting their culinary lives together! Want to put your own culinary skills to the test? Visit our website to get one of Kelsey’s signature recipes: Lemon-Scented Chicken Thighs! Happy Shopping – and more importantly – Happy Cooking!

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1. Cast Iron Skillet

I'm convinced that there's no better way to kick off a marriage than with an honorary cast iron skillet that will be kept in the family for a lifetime together of cooking. It's a solid kitchen tool that evenly distributes heat, is naturally non-stick and just gets better with time.

2. Le Creuset French Oven (around 7 quarts)

For all of the braising you'll be doing during that first cozy winter together. I love my French/Dutch oven so much that I always keep it out on my stovetop.

3. Serious Blender

Not only will this be perfectly convenient for a morning smoothie, a good blender will be super useful for pureeing soups and sauces. I actually prefer my blender 9-times-out-of-10 over my food processor. It's easier to clean and manage in my opinion!

4. Good Knives 

In my opinion, you only need three: a chef's knife, a serrated knife and a paring knife. Really splurge on choosing a great chef's knife – it’s the one you'll reach for most often. 

5.  Good Quality Pots and Pans (2 and 4 quart saucepan, 10-12 inch skillet, 10-12 inch non-stick sauté pan)

I recommend bypassing the set and hand picking your own set, full of pans you'll use regularly. This also makes it easier for multiple people to pitch in on helping you assemble your pots and pans. I recommend All-Clad!

6. Commercial Quality Baking Sheets

They won't warp in a hot oven and you'll use them time and time again. 

7. Tongs

Tongs are an extension of your hand in the kitchen and can be used for just about anything. Every newlywed couple needs a couple of sets of tongs lying around to toss a salad or flip a piece of meat. These are a great lower cost gift to have on your registry. 

8. Big Cutting Board

A nice thick wooden cutting board will be endlessly useful in your first kitchen together. Register for one that's as big as your kitchen space can handle as the extra space will be convenient for chopping veggies. It also doubles as a cheese board or a serving platter!

9. Hand Mixer 

This may be an old-fashioned recommendation, but I love the ease of a hand mixer and reach for mine to assemble cookies, cakes and brownies. I realized the only time I use a stand mixer is for making breads. 

10. Clear Food Storage Bins (like these)

These are perfect for organizing essential ingredients in your pantry. I like that they're clear so you see the contents inside. I'm convinced that if you see it, you're more likely to use it. Not only do I use these for flour and sugar, but I also fill them with grains like quinoa and farro in addition to pasta and bulk spices. 

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