Kitchen Essentials


Here are some of my favorite kitchen gadgets and ingredients. Some items are on the pricy side, but I acquired them over many years. Keep in mind that you don’t need to run out and buy everything at once!  I try to check these links periodically but if you notice something not working, leave a comment so I can fix it.

For an extended list of products and cookbooks I use at home, visit my Amazon Store!





  • Plugra European-Style Butter
    It has more fat and makes every thing taste better. Many grocery stores carry it, you just have to look closely.
  • Shallots
    Try swapping out onions with shallots in a recipe. They elevate the flavors and are standard in restaurant cuisine.
  • Vendage Wines
    I always keep 2 bottles of wine in the refrigerator: Vendage Chardonnay and Vendage Cabernet. These are the wines we used at culinary school and I think they do a great job at a reasonable price. I use a wine vacuum seal to keep them fresh until needed. They’re perfect for sauces.
  • Homemade Stock
    It’s not difficult and it will last forever in the freezer. Store-bought stock is really broth, and it’s full of sodium.
  • Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark
    24% cocoa fat!


  • The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity
    I reach for this this book more than any other cookbook, though it doesn’t actually contain recipes. It includes thousands of ingredients, alphabetized and cross-referenced with with other compatible ingredients. It’s the perfect reference tool for kitchen creativity.
  • The Best New Recipe
    I use this cookbook for reference on a weekly basis.
  • The Perfect Scoop
    I’m a bit of an ice cream addict. This book has some of the most delicious, unique recipes I’ve ever tried. The milk chocolate stout ice cream is worth the price alone.
  • Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating
    This is the book that started me on my food journey. It has fantastic recipes, but it’s mostly an encyclopedia of top quality ingredients. Learn about balsamic vinegars, olive oil, bread, cheese, rice. Read about their regions, how they’re made, which brands to buy. My description cannot properly do this book justice. Just get it. Also, the Zingerman‘s website sells top notch ingredients. I trust their selection of oils and vinegars over anyone else.
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