Set Up Your Italian Kitchen! Herbs, Utensils, and More...

Listen Bella, we can't BE THE MOMMY without a plan!
Here is an easy one...

BASIC ingredients must be at the ready
for you to whip up a meal or bake a cake without frustration
 (Mom's have enough of that!)  

 Stocking your pantry with the basic essentials once, and then replenishing as needed, will ensure an easy process through any recipe. 

The Essentials for your Cucina

Raw Ingredients:
All Purpose (unbleached Flour
Baking Soda (prefer without aluminim)
Baking Powder
Sugar-Baking Sugar (for topping desserts)
Condensed Milk-8 cans
Vegetable oil (not Canola* health hazards)
Shortening-only for use in greasing in pans
Olive oil (large size-use for basic every day cooking)
Vanilla (pure extract)
Almond extract
Dried Breadcrumbs
Corn Meal
Corn Starch
Yeast (boxes or bags)

Chile Powder
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper

Fresh list:
Heavy Cream (or half/half)
Butter  salted and unsalted
Cream cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Eggs (organic are best)
Garlic bulbs
Hot Sauce
Horseradish (in jar)
Fruits of choice-organic
Veggies of choice-organic
Wine-white and red (for cooking or drinking while you cook :)  My favorites are: Pinot Grisio (white) and Cabernet or Chianti (red)

(No, catsup/ketchup is not on this list. If you need it to eat your food, you are on the wrong blog! Lol! But, if your kids like it..make sure you grab the "No High Fructose Corn Syrup" type :)

Note:  I always choose ORGANIC/NATURAL when there are options! You may spend a few cents more, but better for you to spare your family the pesticides, hormones, and GMO's, and instead ensure you are giving them nutrient dense foods!


Canisters-BIG ones, enough to hold a bag of flour or sugar.  Keep your flour/sugar/brown sugar and other basics in an easy to access location. Mine are in giant glass canisters on my counter, with the rest of the raw ingredients in a reachable  cupboard.  This helps me WANT to cook and bake, as I don't have to face frustration uncurling messy ingredient bags! Ugh!

Measuring cups: at least 2, large or plastic.

Measuring spoons:  I love heavy metal spoons...they make me feel more glamorous when using them...better than cheap
plastic. :)

Wooden spoons:  Keep at least 1/2 dozen in a crock, next to the stove...easy access and you will be glad to just grab when needed.  (Wooden spoons must be hand-washed, not dishwasher)

Assorted METAL spatulas, slotted spoons, potato mashers, peelers.  Plastic will  melt slowly into your hot food, I do not use plastic in hot food.  Please consider metal :)

Mixing Bowls:  At least 3, either plastic or glass. I prefer glass.

Shallow Baking Pans:  9x13, 8x8 or 9x9  Glass (no metal)  I love the kind that come with the lid for easy food saving.

Cookie Sheets:  at least 2, I perfer STONE pans for the best quality baking. But, metal will also do fine. Please line with wax or parchment paper to eliminate chemical spread into your food from the non-stick element; and also to promote even heating.

Assorted Pie and Cake pans:  Collect to your hearts desire and keep in an organized cupboard with easy access. Nobody likes digging pans out of a messy cupboard!

Stand Mixer:  If possible, you will LOVE baking if you have one of these! I have a 4.5 qt KitchenAid and it works beautifully.  Alternatively,  there are other brands available at less cost.

Hand Mixer:  If you do not have a stand mixer, this will do just fine.  Also, it is good to have one on hand in any event, for smaller mixes.

Stock Pot:  Needed for soups/stews/stocks.  An absolute must!  

Roaster:  Large roaster needed for turkeys and other large meats.  Especially, needed for entertaining at the holidays.

Stainless Steel Pans:  GET RID OF YOUR NON-STICK PANS...they are filled with chemicals that are hazardous to human health and known carcinogens. They are believed to cause Alzheimer's and numerous other diseases.  Stainless is hazard free, evenly distributes heat, and if using oil and/or butter, the food will NOT stick!  Also, it is easy to clean with a little water soaking beforehand.  I love my stainless set by Emeril.  There are many good quality sets available at  your local markets.

Cast Iron Skillet:  Cast Iron is very good to cook with and ADDS IRON to the foods we eat!  This is helpful as many of us our low on Iron (especially women) to begin with!  I love to cook with it, and to clean you only need to wipe out! No Soap on this one!   (Some pans need seasoning before first easy directions on pan label.  Typically, only wiping on some cooking oil and baking in oven for short time.)  A good Cast Iron Skillet can be used daily and should last for years.

Happy Shopping Bella!

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