My First Place: Ask A Food Expert


After the Style Department gave me such helpful tips, I turned to the Food Department for some guidance on stocking my first kitchen. With so many kitchen gadgets and tools on the market, it’s hard to know what you need and what you can do without. I met with Jennifer Aaronson, Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining, to come up with a list of absolutely essential tools to fill my first kitchen. Here are Jen’s suggestions:

  • Cast Iron Skillet—Jen described this as a “workhorse pan” because of its durability and versatility, which makes it the ideal tool for a college kitchen. Its capabilities stretch from frying bacon on the stovetop to roasting a whole chicken or baking a dessert in the oven. Lodge makes cast iron skillets in a range of sizes.
  • A Salad Spinner—Not only will this help you wash your lettuce, but it will also encourage healthy eating!
  • Basic Knives—Picking knives can be overwhelming with so many different choices available, so Jen narrowed it down to the basics: an 8-10” chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. If you’re not looking to get a huge bread knife, Jen suggests a tomato knife as an excellent serrated alternative.
  • Pasta Pot—Every kitchen needs a pasta pot to make simple meals such as pasta dishes or heat up soup. This one is a great deal, but any basic pasta pot can do the job.
  • Nesting Bowls—A set of nesting bowls is a kitchen staple. Jen recommends glass or stainless steel.
  • A Rimmed Baking Sheet—You can use it for many recipes such as cookies, roasted vegetables or crostini, and it also doubles as a serving tray!
  • Stove Top Espresso Maker or French Press—Jen pointed out that you can save money by buying stovetop espresso maker or a French press. If you make coffee at home you won’t have to buy a cup every morning.

Comments (2)

  • At my Halloween party I really wanted to make red velvet cupcakes with the piece of ” broken glass” on top……last year I boiled thr sugar recipe even longer than suggested but it still did not set up so it would brea

  • Break like glass pieces….what did I do wrong? Any suggestions before I try it again this year ?

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