Checklist: Equipping Your Kitchen for Life After Baby

It's never too late to equip your kitchen or start preparing home-cooked meals. Here are some suggestions to get you started, from the authors of The One-Armed Cook.

All Those Little Things

One Armed Cook recipe book cover

If you haven't bothered to stock a kitchen with basic equipment, stop by your nearest home center store -- there's likely to be one near the baby store where you've been spending so much time and money lately. This list is rather daunting -- don't be intimidated. Add to your current stock one or a few pieces at a time and, before long, you'll be well equipped. Better still, add a piece of equipment to your baby shower wish list -- a slow cooker will be a lot more useful than a baby wipes warmer!

Utensils and Gadgets

___ Wooden chopping board
___ Plastic or glass chopping board
___ Set of four nesting stainless steel mixing bowls
___ Set of three nesting glass mixing bowls
___ One large plastic mixing bowl with pouring spout
___ Kitchen timer
___ Oven thermometer
___ Can opener
___ Kitchen shears
___ Strainer/colander
___ Tongs
___ Wire whisk
___ Long-handled slotted spoon
___ Long-handled wooden spoon
___ Long-handled stainless steel spoon
___ Rubber spatula (for scraping bowls)
___ Flat spatula (for turning pancakes)
___ Pastry brush (for basting)
___ Ladle
___ Glass measuring cup with handle and pouring spout
___ Plastic dry-measure cups
___ Stainless steel measuring spoons
___ Pizza-cutting wheel
___ Under-counter jar opener
___ Freezer-safe storage containers with lids
___ Freezer-safe resealable plastic bags
___ Heavy-duty plastic wrap
___ Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Knives

___ Paring knife
___ 8-inch chef's knife
___ 10-inch slicing knife
___ Serrated bread knife

Next: Pots & Pans

Pots & Pans

Stovetop

___ Saucepans with lids and ovenproof handles (1-, 2-, and 3-quart)
___ Nonstick heavy skillets with lids and ovenproof handles (8-, 10-, or 12-inch sizes)
___ 8-quart stock pot with strainer insert and lid

Bakeware

Be sure that you purchase microwave-safe products. Your equipment will be so much more versatile.

___ Loaf pan -- 9x5x3 inch
___ Square cake pan -- 8 inch
___ Square glass baking dish -- 8 inch
___ 2 nonstick heavy baking sheets (flat, no sides)
___ 2 jelly roll pans
___ Glass pie plate
___ Glass casserole dish -- 9x13 inch
___ Glass or ceramic casserole dishes with lids (1- and 2-quart sizes, like Corningware)
___ Heavy roasting pan with rack
___ 12-cup Bundt pan
___ Heavy enameled cast-iron casserole (called a Dutch oven) with lid (3- to 5-quart size)
___ Souffle dishes (1- and 2-quart sizes)
____Nonstick broiler pan

Recommended Extras

Make Life Easier

___ Stand mixer, or electric hand mixer
___ Food processor
___ Blender
___ Slow cooker
___ Bread machine
___ Grill
___ Grill basket
___ Long-handled grill tools (spatula, meat fork)

Special Extras

___ Cordless can opener
___ Large mixing bowl with suction bottom, or rubber-coated, nonslip bottom
___ Large pot with single long handle for boiling pasta

Cynthia Stevens Graubart is an author and former television producer living in Atlanta, Georgia. Catherine Fliegel is a registered nurse and certified childbirth educator living in New City, New York.

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