May I Inspect Your Gadgets? Confused Bride Needs Help With Wedding Registry

Mating for life doesn’t scare me.  Choosing plates, glasses and pans that we might be using for the rest of our lives has me FLUMMOXED.

Yep, I’m starting to think about registering for wedding gifts, and I need your help. Married (and divorced) people: what are the things you’re so glad you registered for?  What proved pointless, sitting in storage all these years?  

Before you answer, know that I love to cook and I especially love discovering a new tool or gadget that makes cooking easier, tastier or more fun. Of course, I can’t expect you to do ALL the work, here, so I’ll show you my mine if you show me yours! 

My 5 Favorite Cooking Tools:

1)      1. Onion Goggles – Before my dad gifted these goggles to me, I used to have to chop onions with a piece of bread hanging from my mouth to absorb the fumes before they got to my eyes.  I’m a huge onion crier!  These goggles totally solve the problem and obviously look really cool too. 

onion goggles crop

2)     2. Lemon Reamer – Besides the awesomely filthy name (nice job, Williams Sonoma!), this tool is so helpful for juicing limes, lemons or oranges for a sauce.  I know Giada always does it with her bare hands, catching the seeds in her palm like a human sieve, but I think she has stronger biceps than I do, probably from blowing drying her perfect hair while mincing garlic.  I need the extra help.  Plus, if your hands are covered in tiny toddler-related injuries like mine, best not to apply lemon juice directly to the wounds. 

lemon reamer

3)      3. Double-Burner Griddle – I’ve struggled with making pancakes, and what I finally learned (from a professional chef friend) is that tools can make all the difference.  A double-burner griddle evenly conducts the heat from two burners, so you can make lots of hotcakes at the same time and they cook perfectly.  I bought the fancy All Clad version and love it.

griddle

4)      4. Dutch Oven – Until recently, I thought a dutch oven was that thing that happens when you try to conceal a fart under the covers.  Then, I was gifted a 5.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven, and fell in love with this master multi-tasker that goes from the stove top into the oven.  I use it for soups, chili, risotto, stews and more.  (Recently I got a slow cooker that I also love, except I tend to forget to plan ahead enough to use it.)

dutch oven

5)      5. Cuisinart – This is my kitchen MVP.  I use it constantly to chop, puree and blend everything from pesto to gazpacho.  I’ve even switched out the blade to make hash browns and slaw.  I wish I had Ina Garten’s giant kitchen so I could have two like she does, because one is always in the dishwasher.  But you can’t register for counter space.  

cuisinart

So those are my kitchen all-stars.  What are your must-haves?  And what are your don’t-bothers?

Feel free to step outside the kitchen to talk about thread count, towel quantity, picture frames, entertaining ware or whatever else you can school me on. 

Thanks in advance from an overwhelmed mommy/bride.

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10 Comments

  1. Mailisha
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I am going to suggest something really scandalous: don’t register for gifts at all. I know, I know. It’s a crazy suggestion. I realize that registering for wedding gifts has become as American as apple pie. However, when my wife and I got married 7 years ago we opted to Not Register, and to request no gifts when asked. This was her idea initially and I was sooo NOT for it at first. In fact, I was really excited to register at REI and get a bunch of outdoor gear! (Kitchen & house-stuff is so traditional, and I am so NOT a traditional person, in most ways.) Besides, we married in our early 30s and it seems to me that the “household stuff” as a gift idea comes from the dated notion that people are going to wed while they are still young enough to be living with their parents. Most of us don’t do that anymore (thank God!) so we don’t really need other people to buy us our “We’re now living on our own in our new house -yay!” stuff anymore either. It’s a dated concept, for sure.

    Anyway, Larissa talked me out of registering at REI and talked me into requesting no gifts. And I’m glad she did (now). We have yet to attend a wedding where other people have made this same choice though, so… Clearly we’re still in the super-MINORITY on this issue! But it’s gotta start somewhere, right? I’ve now come to agree with her, but I understand anyone’s reluctance to forge this path. It’s quite tempting to go with tradition on this one, yes?

    (BTW, Larissa was born and raised in Holland and she thinks this is yet another crass American tradition. She may be right, but it’s become more common in The Netherlands now too -as have many “Americanized” things. This does not please her one little bit. But notice that she does prefer to stay living here…)

    I know I’m not going to change anyone’s mind here, and I would still LOVE some new kitchen stuff (AND some stuff from REI!). I mean, I can be just as materialistic as anyone else- after all, I am a born & bred American! 8^)

    Anyway, I thought I’d just throw out this idea for folks to ponder… Thoughts, anyone?

    • Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      We didn’t register either, and I’m not sure I would do it again. (A) I was with you- having lived together for years we already had everything we needed (a hodge podge of hand me downs), but now, 5 years later, I am really wishing we had a nice set of dishes and serving ware for when people come over, and (B) most people were just baffled and many bought us random crap instead so at least if we’d registered we would have gotten the crap we asked for? ;)

      • Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Good to know. My fiance is very anti fine china but I think a decent set of everyday plates would make me feel more like hosting dinners etc.

  2. CarrieB
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A Cuisinart miniprep. It’s small, easy to tuck into a cabinet–I have a similar onion issue and I use the miniprep to chop onions almost every time. Works great on grinding nuts for coatings. There are a lot of things for which I don’t want to deal with cleaning my full-size processor. In fact, I’ve been known to use the miniprep on two or three batches of the same thing just to avoid lugging out the full-size one. http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-DLC-1SS-Mini-Prep-Processor-Stainless/dp/B00007IT2M.

  3. CarrieB
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Oh also–if you bake at all (and they are equally great for sweet and savory baking), this would be a great time to stock up on half-sheet pans and Silpat liners. LOVE them.

    • Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much for the great tips! Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I almost choked when I read the Dutch oven one! Too funny! Thanks for hook up to the Hump Day Hook Up

    • Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for letting me join up. I’m psyched to check out some of the other blogs as soon as I get this child to bed…

  5. Jeni
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Corelle dishes are the second set we’ve owned. The first are a brand that shall remain nameless but broke easily and weren’t a good fit for the microwave. Corelle dishes are chip-proof, dishwasher safe, light weight, and microwave safe. Online shopping had the most pattern choices. I have been sharing this brand ever since they arrived a few months back. Please consider even if they’re not super fancy. Love them!!!

    • Posted January 6, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      I will check out the Corelles, and thanks for the advice.

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