Whether you're preparing a large family meal or whipping up a quick lunch, the right appliances can streamline your kitchen and make everything from cooking to storing your food easier.
The range of appliances available for your kitchen is huge. From toasters and coffee makers to fridges and stoves, it's hard to know where to start. It's a good idea to purchase your large appliances first. You typically use a refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher the most, followed by a microwave. Make sure to measure your space before you buy, and look for items that fit not only your available space, but also your lifestyle and needs.
Once you have the large items in place, you can start supplementing with the smaller appliances you'll need. Mixers, blenders, and food processors are great if you do a lot of cooking at home, while a toaster and coffee maker can help you get your morning started right. Just make sure you'll use all the appliances you're purchasing. A kitchen over-cluttered with unused items is less efficient.
A great meal is more than just food. From the company you keep to the presentation, mealtime is made to be enjoyed. Make the most out of your gatherings with the right dinnerware, from everyday dining to special events.
Casual dinnerware, also known as your everyday dishes, is what you'll typically use for most of your meals. It's less expensive than china and can stand up to the wear and tear of daily use. Casual dishes are usually sold in service for four and will include dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls, and sometimes mugs. You'll want service for between eight and 12 people to give you enough for your day-to-day use as well as some extras for entertaining guests.
You may want to purchase some formal dinnerware as well. Though you won't use it every day, fine china sets an elegant table for holidays and special occasions. You can buy fine china in 16- to 20-piece sets, or you can buy place settings individually as you go. Like your casual pieces, it's ideal to have service for at least eight, but since many people use their fine china for large gatherings, it's not uncommon to have service for up to 16.
Who doesn't love a home-cooked meal? Whether you're a novice in the kitchen or an experienced chef, a good set of cookware can help you in your culinary endeavors.
A good place to start is with a basic cookware set. Though you can find more extensive sets, the typical starter set includes small and medium saucepans, a stock pot, saute pan, and a frying pan. You'll be able to do most of your cooking with these pieces, but if you do a lot of cooking, you may need to supplement your set by purchasing individual pots and pans.
There are a few pieces of cookware not included in a standard set that you may need from time to time. A roasting pan, for example, will come in handy on Thanksgiving Day, when you're roasting a whole turkey, or at Christmas time, when you're cooking a ham. A wok makes stir-frying easier, and a steamer is perfect for vegetables and seafood. For anything from grilling to steaming, frying to boiling, there's a piece of cookware to help you do it right.
The kitchen is the center of your home. Make your kitchen a place where the family can gather, meals are memorable, and cooking becomes an art.
Start with the large appliances. Find a refrigerator, range, and dishwasher that meet the needs of you and your family, whether it's a side-by-side or top-and-bottom fridge, a gas range, or a smooth-top electric stove. Once you have all the big pieces in place, you can start shopping for the smaller appliances you need, like a toaster, blender, and mixer. Buy the appliances you'll use most first; then see how much space you have before buying additional items.
Of course, you'll need to stock your cupboards. Pick up everything you need for cooking and dining, like cookware and bakeware to prepare your meal, and dinnerware, glasses, and flatware to eat it from. Make sure your kitchen and dining room are fully stocked and ready for everything from family dinners to entertaining guests for the holidays.