Wedding registry - what kitchen essentials do you use now that you wish you'd added to yours? Or, which ones did you register for and later found that they're invaluable?
- Glam Foodie Jun 29, 2010 03:06 PM
I'm not getting married until next June (I can hardly wait!) but my fiance and I want to start registering this month, because one of my showers is going to be at the end of August.
We'll be upgrading to stainless steel All-Clad pots and utensils, a Le Creuset (any suggestions on size??? A 5.5 or a 7.25 or what?), and a few nicer electrics, including the requisite KitchenAid Mixer (I can't pick a color yet, love them all), and an espresso machine (!!!)
However, what kitchen gadgets or items or whatever are your FAVORITE, the items you wish you'd registered for, or the items you actually requested and thanked your lucky stars you received? My mom keeps saying an egg poaching pan, which is duly noted. What else?
Congrats on your engagement and upcoming nuptials! As a new bride who's only been settled and cooking for a few weeks now, I can already tell you that I love my:
- Le Creuset 7.25 round oven. We originally went with a 6.75 wide, but I am SO glad we went bigger. I used it for the first time Sunday, and it cleaned up brilliantly.
- Nonstick 8'' frying pan. Mine is Emerilware, and it's made by All Clad. We do enjoy all our All-Clad stainless items, but the nonstick is still the best for frying eggs and making pancakes!
- My salad spinner. My fiance laughed at me last November when I added it to our Macy's registry, but it is a Godsend! I make a lot of homemade dressing, and it's so important to have the lettuce nice and dry so the oil or whatnot can properly adhere to all those leaves.
- Wooden spoons. Register for the best quality ones you can find, in two different lengths (long and longer) and you'll be so happy you did
What I wish we had:
- The Williams Sonoma All-Clad stainless bowls. They're SCARY expensive, so registered for some Martha Stewart ones instead, and it was a huge mistake. They can't even go in the dishwasher! My best friend has the AC ones I wanted, and they're so dreamy. Ugh, next pay check, I'm breaking down and getting them.
- A Cuisinart mini prep. I sound like a spoiled brat; we got an 11 cup full Cuisinart food processor, and I've used it once, and it was great. However, I feel silly pulling it out when it's just me and my hubby. The mini prep would definitely suffice when preparing meals for 1 - 4 people, and much easier to clean
What I still love from my old apartment and his:
- My Kitchen Aid hand mixer. A stand mixer is nice, but it's kind of a pain to lug in and out of the pantry, and my husband doesn't want it on the counter all the time (he's soooo OCD!). The hand mixer is nice for easy clean-up, and for things like icings, it's great.
- His 11 inch square grill pan. Fantastic for salmon, small steaks, chicken, vegetables, etc.
Congrats again on being a newlywed - how exciting!
Thanks for all of this, wow. I actually was looking at the WS AC bowls; I might register for them and see if anyone else is crazy enough to get them for us, lol. Sorry to hear about the Martha bowls! How crazy; why can't they go in the dishwasher? That sounds annoyingly impractical, grr.
You know what, I have a Kitchen Aid hand mixer, and you're right, it's the best for easy clean-up and all that. And I like your point about the Mini Prep! That is definitely something to think about.
My FI is OBSESSED with his De'Longhi indoor grill, by the way! That is such a guy thing, lol.
While I am not married, I did have the fun task of outfitting my own kitchen when I was living with my boyfriend last year. Now we're in different cities while I'm in grad school, so a lot of my stuff is packed up in my parents' garage! But I digress.
If you don't already have a favorite set of great knives, go to wherever you're registering and try holding a few different brands. Find some that are comfy for you, and request those! That and a really nice butcher block. Those are the things I use most in my kitchen.
Thanks for the tip about the knives! My fiance's been drooling over the Wusthof forever; I guess we need to register for them separately and see if we get them. And sorry for making my post so wedding-minded. I just bought a bunch of bridal magazines on my lunch break, so I sort of have weddings on the brain! I'll change the title now to say wish lists as well. :)
re: Glam Foodie
If he is into Wusthof, I would suggest him to take a look of Wusthof Classic Ikon and Wusthof Blackwood Ikon.
He may not like them, but you two should at least take a look at Ikon.
Shun knives are pretty good too if you two don't mind the hybrid Japanese style knives (not full Japanese).
re: Glam Foodie
Try your knives - there are very different feels to a Wusthof versus a Global, and that applies to other brands as well. Personal like of the feel of the knife is critical. Go to the store with a few onions and make them let you demo them.. And don't get a set - most chef's only use a favorite knife or two or three. Get a good chef's knife or santoku, a paring knife, perhaps a bread knife.. the bread knife doesn't have to be expensive. If you find yourself boning a lot later, you can always pick one up.
Yeah. I am glad that you enjoy your Shun Santoku. I heard many good things about that it. So what did the Shun Santoku replace? In other words, you love your Shun Santoku because it performs better than what knife?
P.S.: Don't forget that there is free Shun knife sharpening service if you want to take advantage of it. A lot of people do not know this.
I would suggest that you maintain His and Hers Knives, or at least you each have your own "workhorse" knife, while having the rest shared.
It is of the major opinion that even if you have $500 knives in the block, if they don't feel right in your hand, you are going to end up using almost aways that $5 one that does. This is why it is always suggested that you go to a place and try several brands out.
That being said, what knife works best for him will probably not feel right for you. Since you expect your favorite good knife to last as long as your marriage - a lifetime; it is reasonable to take as much care in picking your knife as you did him. Again congrats!.
"it is reasonable to take as much care in picking your knife as you did him. "
Ha ha ha
I will take one paraphrase from "Marley and Me":
A knife has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A knife judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A knife doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.
well i've never been married but i still have a wish list and some favorite workhorses. but it also depends on what you like to cook, and how much space you have to keep all this stuff!
- immersion blender
- food processor (i'm currently coveting the new die-cast Cuisinart Elite)
- electric kettle
- toaster oven
- bar blender
- rice cooker
- good butcher block or cutting board
- spice grinder
- infrared thermometer
- good mandoline
- food mill
- pressure cooker
- ice cream maker
- panini press or waffle iron
- don't forget good knives!
- grill (indoor or outdoor depending on your housing/property situation)
re: the KitchenAid stand mixer, you might want to read through some of the threads on the board...some of us prefer the Cuisinart.
oh, and congrats on the upcoming nuptials!
OMG an immersion blender! THANK YOU, I always forget about those, though everyone raves about them. And haha, my fiance's already eying a Cuisinart waffle maker; he is so excited for it.
Thanks for the info about the Cuisinart vs KA mixer debate! I'll be sure to check out the threads in a bit. And sorry for making my post so wedding-minded. I just bought a bunch of bridal magazines on my lunch break, so I sort of have weddings on the brain! I'll change the title now to say wish lists as well. :)
re: Glam Foodie
don't be silly! every bride-to-be i've ever known has wedding on the brain. no need to apologize for a perfectly understandable affliction ;)
these should get you started on the stand mixer debate:
Off the top of my head, here's some other kitchen essentials that you may or may not already own:
- Pyrex glass baking dishes
- Ceramic casseroles (I like Emile Henry)
- Stainless jelly roll pans (so versatile!)
- The highest quality knives possible. The essentials are a 6 inch chef's knife, 8 inch bread, and 3 or 4 inch parer. We have Shun, and they're fantastic.
- A wooden cutting board and another plastic one for poultry, fish, etc
- A Microplane! That's another item from my old place that I would hate to part with.
I do indeed have two Pyrex pans, a microplane, and a jelly roll pan! These are some of my favorite items. I splurged on a WS jelly roll when I graduated college, and I think I'll ask for another, since I love it so much. My mom likes Emile Henry casseroles too, but there's a few Lenox ones that come with my preferred everyday pattern that I really adore. (Lenox Opal Innocence Carved - lets see if my fiance will agree to them!)
Thank you again for all your awesome suggestions; we definitely need proper cutting boards, that's for sure.
Congrats on your Engagement,
Agree with your Mom...we love our Egg Poaching pan from Williams Sonoma. Wouldn't trade it!
For everyday reliable cookware/sauce pans /soup pots, ..etc The copper bottom Revere ware set never fails me. Have had it for years and it looks like new. Dishwasher daily...great heat conduction and clean up.
re: easily amused
A pan of water is all one needs to poach eggs. I don't like single-use things. Re cookware, I would only get things that are induction cooktop-compatible. That's a/the wave of the future and you'd hate to get really expensive cookware that you couldn't use forever (literally).
re: c oliver
The egg poaching pan at WS is clearly not a one trick pony...it can be used as a regular saute pan without the poaching insert. For use on the stovetop or Oven....
The Revere ware set has stood the test of time on all current cooktop surfaces that have been rolled out ... You can't beat copper clad for heat conduction.
Reasonably priced as well. Do check it out.
There's a lot of talk about the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but like a prior poster, I love my Kitchen Aid hand mixer. Every time I use it, I comment to my husband how glad I am that we have it.
A few other things that we really appreciate having received
Immersion blender (Braun)
The one thing I wish we had registered for was more baking pans. We received some nice cookie sheets, but I didn't register for the other types I might want. I've since gotten some of them, but my collection still falls short, and I always discover too late that I don't have the right pan.
Love my KA hand mixer too - it's so coming with me after I get married!
Thanks for mentioning the baking pans. I was actually thinking of starting a thread asking which ones I NEED, so I'll ask you: Is a springform necessary? How many muffin pans do you have? Everyone keeps saying 2, but I'm not sure if 2 is too many. And do you have 8 or 9 inch rounds?
re: Glam Foodie
I think a separate thread on baking pans and related baking items is a great idea - there are some phenomenal bakers (me most definitely NOT being one of them) on Chowhound who could give you some great advice, but who likely won't see this sub-thread.
For me, the springform is necessary b/c I do a few cheesecakes/year ( I have three springforms for different sizes). I also have two muffin pans and a number of cookie sheets, as well as some other square and rectangular pans. When I bake, it tends to be in quantity. I also finally just bought a bread pan, but I haven't yet gotten the rounds.
I'd love to now get a cake pan that comes with the plastic snap top included, so that I can travel easily with it.
How fun to be planning a new kitchen!
First, congratulation. I am not married, but I have some suggestions. Some kitchen tools more important than others. For cookware, I think carbon steel and cast iron are great materials. Don't get me wrong, stainless steel are great, but sometime a cheap cast iron skillet can do wonder on steaks and blacken fish fillet. They are essentially nonstick and can be heated to very high temperature. A cast iron Dutch Oven is pretty cool too. These are really inexpensive tools. I think their downsides are that they have very slow heat response and they are very heavy.
As someone mentioned, microplanes are great. There are some gadgets which don't do much and there are some gadgets which work really well. Microplanes are definitely the latter.
In term of more expensive tools, I think a good kitchen knife can really make prep-work much more enjoyable and a good cutting board is a must.
P.S.: A lot of people dislike All-Clad handles. Make sure you are ok with them.
Thank you! And as I told everyone else, I'm so sorry for making this thread revolve around wedding registries only; any and all opinions are so welcome!
I fully and completely appreciate your words on cookware. I'm really glad you and a few others are explaining why they dislike AC or prefer other items to stainless steel. This entire thread has given me so much to think about.
re: Glam Foodie
Sorry about these bits and pieces information. Just one more thing. Let's say you really like All Clad, except the handles. Then you can consider the All-Clad d5 instead of the standard triply All Clad. They have rounder handle, flared rim, 5 ply (as opposed to 3-ply).
I am not saying that you should buy All Clad (heck, I don't even own one), but if you have your heart set on it, then you can consider different version of All Clad.
Aww, crud, it won't let me edit my title! Sorry guys, if you have/had a kitchen wishlist, and not necessarily a wedding registry, I'd love to hear your input too! My fiance and I have our registry on our brains like crazy right now, but I didn't mean to exclude those who aren't married.
I would add to the list a great set of paring knives...my grandmother bought me Wusthof paring knives when I got engaged in 1996 and I still use them every day! My other general advice is register for things that you want but wouldn't necessarily spend the money on to treat yourself...whatever that might be. Wish I had registered for a good waffle maker and really high quality bakeware.
My AC has hot spots and food burns on this one little section. Even on a very low heat setting. Also, the pots I have do not have a flared rim and liquid does not pour smoothly out. They are not bad pans, but for what they cost, I think they are horrible.
For your first go-round with the registry, I would register for a cooking class. Then you can learn the basics and handle a lot of equipment and learn what features you really prize.
I am in the camp that does not think that I need to be married to have a nicely stocked kitchen, or to know how to cook.
re: tanuki soup
Great idea soup. I have a question. Obviously, the stainless steel handles make the cookware very attractive and more importantly stainless steel don't conduct heat very well, so the handle stays cool on the stovetop.
My question is: I assume you have seasoned your Lodge Signature in the oven. Do the stainless steel handles go discolor? If so, do you use Bar Keeper's Friend to shine them?
Actually, the Lodge Signature skillets come preseasoned, so I used that as the base for additional seasoning on an induction cooktop. Unfortunately, my gas oven is too small to put a skillet in for seasoning :(
According to Lodge, the Signature series skillets are oven-safe. As for the special care instructions for the stainless steel handles, the following is copied from their website:
Cleaning your Stainless Steel Handles
To clean stainless steel handles, use a cloth with hot, soapy water. Rinse and dry immediately to avoid water spots. Nylon scrubbers are safe to use. DO NOT use steel wool.
Food films not removed from stainless steel will cause discoloration. To remove discoloration from handles, use one part vinegar to one part water. Let stainless steel handles sit in the solution for 5 minutes and rinse handles with clean water.
Overheating of stainless steel handles can cause the surface to have a slightly gold color. To remove the gold color, wash with a stainless steel cleaner which can be found at your local supermarket.
Hello and Congratulations:
My overriding recommendations to you two are:
--keep it simple and traditional, like carbon-steel knives and copper cookware -- sensible folks end up buying them eventually anyway, and you might as well have your well-wishers invest in them now for you, so you can enjoy them for a lifetime.
--eschew specialty electric countertop gizmos if at all possible. You won't use them much, they cause clutter, and go obsolete. E.g., a cool mortar and pestle is never gonna let you down, and it's glam.
--don't register for crystal, china and silver you're never going to use. Better to get firstclass wine glasses you'll impress with when you USE them.
--ask for cookbooks, subscriptions to your favorite cooking magazines, and if you're really brave, cooking lessons.
--Stainless bar blender, for sure.
--A good set of nesting stainless strainers of many sieve sizes.
--A good, multiple-step kitchen timer.
--A set of olivewood spoons, spatulas and ladle.
--A good set of steak knives and kitchen shears.
--A heavy-duty vacuum sealer.
--A set of wineglass and decanter cleaning wands.
--An oven mitt your husband can fit his hand into.
--A good set of oil and vinegar cruets.
--A restaurant grade Rubirossa (pepper mill)
--A few good sandwich spreader knives, so one is always out of the DW.
Check out this article from CHOW a week ago. The registry part is very good.
There are websites that you can make a registry from a variety of other websites. Basically you link something you saw to the registry. It is a great idea for things you want that WS, BB&B or wherever you are registering do not have, or in the case of WS, are very marked up. You can include WS and any site as much or as little as you want. Might save your guests some $ and get you more.
Also, I have a mixed set of cookware...good amount of All-Clad & Mauviel M'Cook stainless, some cast iron and carbon steel frying pans. I love my All-Clad, and while it is expensive, it performs great and you are not paying for it, which is usually the downside off All-Clad (I know I spoke of saving guests $ and getting you more, but you will have this forever, its nice to get exactly what you want, of thats what you want). Mauviel M'Cook line is basically the same as the All-Clad D5 but has more comfy handles IMO...another reason using a web registry might help, as WS, BB&B and most places do not carry the Mauviel M'Cook line.
Personally, I avoid copper as I find the All-Clad and Mauviel M'Cook to preform as well as I ever need, and I am pretty serious in the kitchen. It also is not induction capable, something you will want to to keep in mind when buying something you will prob have for life. Its also a pain to clean.
As for knives, I have the Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu 10'' chef, slicing and paring knives and love them. They are much cheaper than a lot of their other knives, are fully forged, no bolster, very thin yet strong and sharp like any Wusthof.
Finally, congrats on your wedding! I hope planning/registry is enjoyable and everything after is great!
Concur here - a good pepper grinder. I prefer the Unicorn Magnum..
And if you like to work in the kitchen, a salt pig is a small item you can throw on the registry.
Good scale - one that can measure in baking increments (grams) and heavier things - like 10 lbs of potatoes.. if you want to splurge, ask for a Thermapen - its the best thermocouple-based thermometer out there.. fast and accurate. An infrared thermometer isn't going to tell you if the inside of a roast is medium rare or well-done.
Roasting pan, slicer (Forschner granton-edge slicer is good). If you bake, matching 8 or 9" non-nesting cake pans (Chicago Metallics are good). You want to have a flight of fancy, ask for a large-ish paella pan.
Think about outdoor eating and servingware.. plastic wine glasses and a picnic backpack are fun items.
Hey--congrats! We just got married and finished the whole registry process, so I can share both lessons learned and favorite items (from pre- and post-wedding!) Sorry this is so long...still very much on the brain!
The main lesson we learned was that people will often buy far more expensive items than you expect them to. We tried to keep a range on our registry, but a number of people bought whatever the most expensive item left was or combined several smaller items. People also don't like to buy place settings, apparently, which has been tough for us since originally we only had a dish registry. We added a Williams-Sonoma one after some complaints about not enough things to choose from, and in the end that one was pretty much bought out, and we will end up buying $400 worth of plates and bowls on our own....while I love-love-love the locally handmade dishes we picked out as our everyday-and-only dishes, we probably would have been better off just picking something from Crate and Barrel that came as a package. Ah, well.
As far as kitchen gadgets and such...
- We have two All-Clad skillets (8" and 12", I think) and love them, so added their soup pot to the registry too, but picked the D5 because of the handles, as someone noted. Our other pots/pans are Farberware Millennium stainless copper clad set that I got for not very much for my first apartment 10+ years ago, but they have been awesome and are still going strong. We also have several Lodge skillets (traditional style---need to get covers for the handles, but otherwise they are great). We don't use non-stick and find the Lodge works quite well in place of that once it's seasoned. A plus to having pots/pans from the same set is that the lids are often interchangeable, though, so one thing to think about. (It has also never occurred to me to have an egg poaching pan; we poach eggs in hot water in a normal skillet. But it might be useful if it works well and you poach eggs regularly---we only do it once or twice a month.) The one pot I wish I had is a double boiler, but we didn't register for one since the W-S options were all really expensive, and at the end of the day we've made it through ten years using a bowl on top of a pot of water, so it seemed silly.
- Went with a 3.5 and 5.5 qt. Le Creuset after some long deliberations (and discussions here!) Still concerned that the 3.5 overlaps too much with the 3 and 4 qt. stainless pots we have, but undecided on what to do about that. Haven't used them yet but pretty to look at! ;) They are hugely heavy, though, so good to know when planning where to store them.
- I LOVE my 8-year-old Cuisinart immersion blender---I'm sure other brands are comparable, but it's the single most-used kitchen tool in our entire kitchen. We don't have a hand mixer and rarely miss it between the Smart Stick and the stand mixer.
- We did a lot of research on stand mixers and stuck with KitchenAid in the end---already had an older 300-watt one but upgraded to the 575-watt Pro version since I often have problems with power and a too-small bowl on the little one, and hate the tilt-back head. The new one is pretty but the attachment for the blades does feel a little flimsier than on the old one (W-S lady claims this is a feature that makes the blade work better; who knows). We already have the ice cream maker attachment (works with all sizes + we love it!) so didn't want to deal with replacing that; also, the larger mixers have smaller bowls that can be swapped in for smaller tasks, which was a big plus. If you don't get a model that comes with it, the splash shield is a great attachment to get. I really liked the looks of the Breville stand mixer, though, which is more powerful + cheaper---currently exclusive to W-S and not much of a track record since it just came out this spring, but we have been very happy with our other Breville products. My mom has the Cuisinart and loves it, but my husband is anti-anything digital for appliances, and he likes that the KA does not have a digital screen/computer yet.
- Got a Breville electric kettle and LOVE it. (We make drip coffee every morning and have a vintage stove that tends to heat the whole house, so the boy really wanted a kettle--struggled to find one with no plastic in contact with the water...this fit the bill and has been terrific.)
- We have but rarely use a KitchenAid food processor, too. (I hope I will use this a lot more once we get a dishwasher later this summer---currently a pain to wash.) Picked it over the Cuisinart because it has both a small and a large bowl, though, so can be used for different-sized tasks.
- Got the Duralex Picardie glasses from W-S (Amazon sells them too, in more sizes)---love them!
- Have a schmancy Zojirushi "fuzzy logic" rice cooker---big mistake, has been back for repairs twice in a year and even when it's working, takes far longer than the old-school Zojirushis where you just pushed a button...regret this pick, and will likely replace it at some point with a "new" old one!
- And finally, back on the registry front, we put on several things that were mostly for fun---nice to have but far from essential, and not things we would ever buy ourselves (e.g., pastry board, pizza stone, etc.) Those have probably been the most fun to get, since many of the other things we would have eventually bought anyway, so I'm glad we did that.
I also looked at a bunch of options before we decided to register at Williams-Sonoma. I had an idea beforehand that they would be the priciest option, but in the end I was actually quite impressed with their prices on things we were interested in---generally identical to or less than BBB and Macy's, and often on sale for much less in store. So that was a pleasant surprise. The main frustration was a silly one---many people opted for gift wrap, but because things come in a box with a label, you already know what it is and who it's from, so the gift wrap was a little silly and somewhat wasteful. In retrospect I should have put a note on the registry requesting no gift wrap for people shipping things as an eco-friendly step.
Hope some of that is somewhat useful---good luck, and have fun!
Artemis, what a great list! Re: the Breville electric kettle, which model do you have that doesn't come into contact with plastic? I was tempted to get one but the models I looked at (including those at Williams Sonoma) appeared to have a plastic water indicator/viewing window that had direct contact with the hot water as it was heated.
@iyc_nyc, we have the cheaper kettle that just boils to a single temperature (not sure on model)---it does have a plastic water indicator on it, but that's actually outside the kettle---if you look on the inside you'll see a metal plate that covers it so the water isn't in direct contact with it. There are two little screws attaching the water gauge that appear to be rubber or something, though---but not big enough that we worried about them.
Also, all of these other suggestions are great, and I should add that we do have (and use daily) both salt and pepper grinders, plus a full range of baking pans (mostly Chicago Metallic, plus a set of Pyrex)---we use the loaf and 9" cake pans the most, and also often use the springform, but that really depends on what you bake, I think. We also have a set of clay cazuelas (bought from a local Spanish cookware store) that are awesome for all sorts of baked things, too. And crazy cheap, so something that's easy to just pick up yourself at some point.
One of my favorite all-time kitchen purchases was a Penguin soda maker machine, from Williams Sonoma. This is obviously only useful if you like carbonated water and/or want to offer it to guests. It has a small footprint (although is too tall to fit under my NYC rental kitchen cabinets) and is a true miracle. Saves a lot of labor in constantly having to get bottles from the store and saves plastic/recycling too. The bubbly water comes out great! I drink it plain or mix it with fruit juice rather than use their sugary mixers.
I also just got several Le Creuset enameled pottery stoneware baking dishes which I love - very affordable, yet beautiful and functional. They go perfectly from oven to table and are super easy to clean.
Congratulations! One of the things I most looked forward to about my wedding was the registry...err,...ok, and marrying the love of my life. We got married last fall, so here are the faves and items that I'm still eyeing with the extra gift cards...
My favorites of what we have:
- the few AC cookware items we have (we didn't put down a set), particularly the 4 qt saute pan that comes with a lid and splatter screen at WS.
- nice knives (we have Global)...love them. Incredibly light and comfortable in my small hands. Received the 5-knive set with the block...seemed to have the basics.
-breville ikon indoor panini grill...we use this for more than paninis. I'm definitely of the mind to not buy niche gadgets and this one is good for many things
- bamix hand mixer...love, love, love.
- Le Crueset 5.5 dutch oven
- WS goldtouch bread pan...have used it several times with great results
- OXO tongs, both the 9 and 12 in...very handy
- calphalon roasting pan...it was very special to have this for our first thanksgiving turkey together
- reidel crystal wine glasses...use them all the time
- simple human sensor soap dispenser...might seem silly, but it's great when you're cooking and handling raw chicken/meat...no need to touch anything and spread germs
- salt and pepper mills
- cotton napkins--dinner size and cocktail
- glass pitchers
- microplane zester
- small whisk for mixing things in a small bowl
- breville toaster
- oxo tea kettle, stovetop
What we had already that we use a lot:
- nonstick pan for eggs
- coffee grinder
- capresso coffeemaker with thermal carafe
- PORCELAIN white square dishes (ours are from PB)...beautiful enough for company and chip-resistant for everyday use (I'm actually quite surprised how hard we have banged these around with no breakage)
- mesh strainer/sieve
- garlic press
- cast iron comal (to heat up tortillas, make quesadillas, reheat pizza)...but I'm Latina and this is a staple in Latino homes :)
- small weber electric grill (for our apartment balcony)
- handheld lime/lemon juicer (I think there's a name for it, but it's escaping me right now)
- rimmed baking sheet...if fact, I think I need another
What we didn't receive but wished we had (and will buy eventually):
- cast iron skillet
- the rest of our AC cookware (soup pot is next on my list, I think)
What I didn't register for and don't care to have, at least right now:
- standing mixer
- one-trick gadgets that take up too much room, like waffle irons, breadmachines, counter can opener
And register for giftcards wherever you register. It's odd but these were especially fun because it gave us so much flexibility.
Congrats again and happy wedding planning!
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I just got married last August- in fact, coming up on my first anniversary this weekend. As a well-known food and cooking addict amongst my friends, we got a TON of gifts from Williams Sonoma and a lot of food-related items from C&B. (By the way, C&B is a great place to register at because of their very liberal return policies... you can take your gift certificates and returns back for cash)
In any case, I went a little nuts at W-S, but ultimately the things I most loved and have used an ungodly amount of times since we registered are:
* Breville Countertop Convection Oven: this takes space on your countertop, but I love using it because it doesn't heat up my kitchen and is PERFECT for making meals for two- as well as a "second" oven for parties, including when I did Thanksgiving last year. I literally use it daily
* All Clad Aluminum Insert Deluxe Slow Cooker: This has been a great lifesaver for us since we're both in demanding jobs and during the week it's really difficult to cook. I've used this an uncountable number of times and it's great because you can brown your meats in the insert and then pop it into the Slow Cooker... you can even pull it out and finish whatever you're doing in the oven, which is fantastic. The best part is that it does have a warming mode so even if you don't get home at the end of your cooking cycle, it's nice and toasty. My husband LOVES this because he gets short ribs, stews, and chili in the middle of the week. Also great for making chicken stock after dinner (throw the carcass into the crockpot overnight with your water and veggies and it's done by morning)
* All Clad Measuring Spoons & Cups: Totally unnecessary, but I had so many cheap plastic measuring cups that didn't match that it was really nice to have sets that looked good and will last for a long, long time. As long as my husband remembers to put them back in the right place. (May need to add GPS to these items)
* Cole & Mason Pepper & Salt Electric Mills: Ok, also an extravagant fun foodie type of thing, but I love these and they're fun. I use them all the time to grind sea salt and fresh ground pepper on everything. It's really just a fun gadget, not necessary.
* OXO Non-stick 12" tongs: I use these tongs for EVERYTHING. They're ridiculously useful for pulling out pans, flipping meat, picking up foods that just don't like spatulas, sauteeing and roasting vegetables... essentially these are perfect for uncoordinated people like me. I have three of these and ALSO use these daily.
* Oil Mister: In an attempt to cut down on fat and those seemingly unavoidable pounds from the first year- this has been great so I can control what Olive Oils I want to use as my pan spray. Also a daily item.
* All-Clad Stainless Steel Roaster & Rack: I don't use this all the time, but it's great because it's very sturdy and perfect for when you are entertaining (Thanksgiving, dinner parties, etc) or wanting to roast a large amount of veggies.
* Servingware: Funny enough, my husband and I got married a little later in life so we had a lot of our own dishes- but not a lot of serveware for entertaining. I would definitely think about including some in your registry, such as long rectangular dishes, deep serve bowls, etc. I stuck with plain white because I didn't want to settle on one specific design, and it's worked out wonderfully for me to mix and match and really let the food be the centerpiece.
* Great, great knives: I went with a Global set because my hands are smaller and I love their weight, the way they cut, and that they are one solid piece of metal (vs my Wusthof which has a separate piece from the blade). I absolutely positively love, love, love them... if you do get these, make sure you also get a sharpener specifically made for them (not expensive, you can get these easily) so you can continue to get a really nice cut. My sister ended up getting these for me and I truly believe it's the best gift she's given me... like, ever. I love these knives so much I have threatened my non-cooking husband that if I catch him doing anything with these other than actual cutting, we may need to activate the divorce lawyer...
...as a side note, my Duke Blue (in reference to my school) KitchenAid mixer was the first Christmas gift my husband (then boyfriend) gave me, (Must have been why I married him), and he did follow up with a beautiful matching Le Creuset (we have the 3.5, but if possible, I'd go a bit larger... our size is perfect for the two of us, but for a crowd I would love to get a bigger one), as well as a KA Immersion Blender (very handy for soups and etc... but honestly, I don't use it that often). I also have a Cuisinart Food Processor, which while I love, I don't actually use on a daily basis.
You probably also want to think about a good cast iron pan, cast iron griddle (if you happen to like to grill and don't always want to go outside to do it- there is a lodge version that has a flat griddle on the other side that's great for pancakes, etc... or if it's too large you can always go with a Le Creuset grill pan... we also have one and it's a little easier to clean in our sink than the Lodge because of the size), really good solid jelly roll/baking pans that don't curl with age, non-reactive mixing bowls, and a mortar and pestle if you're big into spices (although some friends prefer a coffee grinder specifically for spices- I guess I like the cavewoman approach of smashing things)
Sorry my list is probably a bit longer than you were looking for, but enjoy registering- but especially the fun and fabulous things you'll be able to cook AFTER they arrive!