Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WFMW-Kitchen Essentials-Cookware

Today is part two of my Kitchen Essentials posts, where I share what I think are needed items in every kitchen. Part two's focus is cookware.

1. I recommed stainless steel pots and pans. When I was first married, I had a set of aluminum pans that were yellow on the outside. (My kitchen was orange and yellow - psychedelic!) Anyway, they were beat up and looking bad within a year. Next, I got a pretty teflon set that was white with little flowers on the outside. Again, they didn't last very long. Then I became an Amway dealer for about 4 years. In order to up my PV (points value), I scraped together enough money to buy a set of their waterless stainless steel cookware. It was one of the best things I ever did. I bought them over 25 years ago, and they still look great. They were heavy enough that they didn't get warped, even if I got busy and boiled one dry! And no matter how they got stained, a little elbow grease and a brillo pad helped them look like new again.

2. Cast iron skillets! Cast iron is not popular like it used to be, but I feel every kitchen needs at least one cast iron skillet. Once you get them seasoned and broke it, they are perfect for grilled cheese or to bake cornbread. I have two sizes, an 8" and a 9". The 9" skillet belonged to Jim's grandmother. I've had it for 33 years, no telling how long she had it before me. Some of the things I cook in my cast iron skillet:
  • hamburgers
  • sloppy joes
  • tacos
  • fried potatoes
  • scrambled eggs
  • eggs fried over easy with just a spray of a cooking oil like Pam
  • ground chuck browned and ready for other recipes
  • grilled cheese
  • baked cornbread in the oven

3. The third useful item of cookware is my handy-dandy MicroMaster Microwave Pressure Cooker. You can see a description of it here. The main thing I use this item for is to cook potatoes for mashed potatoes. Peel your potatoes, slicing them into 4 wedges each, and put them in the cooker with enough water to cover. I then nuke them for 20 minutes. Perfect every time for mashing, I never have a pan boiled dry on the stove, and I don't have to check and see if they're done. I then drain the water off and mash them right in the cooker (it's plastic and it won't hurt the cooker). The beauty of doing this is that I can put the lid back on, close the vents, and the mashed potatoes stay nice and warm. I also use this to make potato soup. I've also barbecued chicken breasts in the cooker. For under $10, it's a steal!

4. Next, I feel everyone needs the small micro cooker from Pampered Chef, or something similar. You can see it here. It's awesome! You can melt butter in it, make a white sauce, one can of tomato soup fits perfectly in it, or you can cook a can of peas in it. Microwaving these items means you never burn it on the stove!

5. Last, but not least, I recommend a stainless steel roasting pan, again for the cleaning qualities; and if you buy a heavy one, it will last a long time.

These cookware items are what works for me!

If you would like to learn other great and amazing household tips, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.


Anonymous said...

Oh the Amway pots and pans. Those are incredible. I had a set and, sadly, they are no longer in my possession. They took a licking and kept on ticking!

However, I do use stainless steel now and will never go back. Once you cook with stainless steel and learn the few little changes you need to make (like using lower temps which will mean lower electric bills - win-win on that one), there's no going back to the cheaper varieties.

Bev said...

I love cast iron, they are the most awesome ! The cook so evenly and they are just great! I have about 5 pans and use mine all the time!

tammy said...

I now have Stainless Steel cookware, too. Love it! I also have some cast iron cookware on my birthday and Christmas list for this year. Is it wrong to be working on my Christmas list?? LOL