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.

By Cynthia Stevens Graubart and Catherine Fliegel, RN, CCE
February 15, 2006
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One Armed Cook recipe book cover

All Those Little Things

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

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.

American Baby

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