Kitchen Essentials Gift Guide

kitchen essentials gift guide /

While my earlier guide may have been my holiday wishlist, this is it’s more practical sister, the reality-list. These are the things I have in my own kitchen that I use pretty darn often. If you’re new to cooking, or know someone whose moving into their first home or apartment, this might be a good place to start: (links below)

1. Le Parfait Jars : my favorite jars for storing grains in the pantry. Air tight.

2. Whisks, set of 3 : because inevitably one is in the dishwasher.

3. Basic Colander : can’t go wrong with simple stainless.

4. Shun Chef’s Knife : you don’t need a knife set, just one good knife will do.

5. Bamboo Steamer : steam veggies, dumplings, etc. Fun & fry-free.

6. Julienne Peeler : gadget of the year? Makes easy veggie noodles.

7. Wooden Spoons : set of 3, because I know I will lose one.

8. Microplane Grater (or this kind) : grate cheese, garlic, lemon zest, etc.

9. Mini Food Processor : my most used appliance because it’s small & convenient

10. Le Creuset Dutch Oven, 3 1/2 quart, or 5 1/2 quart : soup’s on!

11. Boos Cutting Board : if you have a good knife, invest in a good board

12. Measuring Spoons : for those few times I actually measure (kidding).

13. Mini Prep Bowls : the more the merrier.

14. Mini Mandoline : I like this one because it’s easy to store and dishwasher safe.

15. Vitamix Blender : a must-have for the creamiest vegan soups & sauces.

16. Measuring Cups : a kitchen basic

17. Cast Iron Skillet, 8-inch or 12-inch : will last a lifetime

Happy shopping!


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  1. Ashley from

    I really want a mandoline slicer! You have the prettiest gift guides ever. 🙂

  2. Caitlin

    When registering for my wedding I came across a gift list and a bamboo steamer was included and figured, why not? It’s seriously amazing. Cheap, easy, zero clean up. Don’t waste your money on some crazy gadget when a bamboo steamer is the real thing.

  3. Why is it that around Christmas time I always see so many things I want for myself?! I should be shopping for others! Great gift guide!

    • jeanine

      oh I know… more than a few items entered my amazon cart while I was putting together this list 🙂

  4. Love all of these kitchen basics! There are a few I will definitely need when I’m not living with my two roommates and have a place of my own!

    • jeanine

      Jack gave it to me 2 christmases ago… not super romantic but it was the only item on my list that year 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.