Thursday, August 9, 2012

Registry tips

Last night, while we were out with some good friends who are newly-engaged, we were all discussing registry items. Where to register, what to register for, etc. Since I used to work at a retail cookware store and am a cooking gadget lover/guru/snob, I thought I'd share some tips to create a good registry, with lots of options for your guests!

This is actually from an e-mail that I sent my sister, but I have added more details for y'all!

I first started with a suggestion for looking at one of my favorite cooking blogs, The Kitchn. Here is an article that will help you get started, along with suggestions from many different people!

Dinner plates, bowls, salad/bread plates for everyday: Do classic white as it doesn't clash with food and it will always be in style.

{We chose the Aspen collection from Crate & Barrel for it's simplicity, durability, and price. We decided to have 16 place settings since we like to cook & entertain, but 8 is always a good number to start with}
Glasses: Schott Zweisel is what I suggest as they're virtually indestructible because they have titanium in the glass.

{We chose the Schott Zwiesel Pure Glasses for it's clean look and varied sizes. Sur La Table actually carries this line, but that wasn't enough for us to have a separate registry there, so we are registered at Amazon. We chose the Burgundy, Sauvignon Blanc, Martini, & Champagne glasses, and the decanter. We have lots of options.}

Also, nice cocktail glasses always come in handy. Crate & Barrel has a fab selection of really reasonably priced glassware.

{We selected a few different glasses. We picked the Otis glasses from C&B, and we are also kind of obsessed with Bodum so we picked both. You can never have too many glasses, as they are so multi-functional [think little vases!]. We picked the Bodum Pavina line for 12-ounce glasses. We have a few pieces from Bodum at home and love it!}
Flatware: When you're at the store, don't be afraid to pick up the items and see how they feel in your hand. Simple lines will be best as it will be your everyday. Family silver will be more decorative.

{We will be lucky enough to receive a set of silver from one of my favorite aunts for our wedding[THANK YOU!!!], so we didn't register for silver. Thus, I do not have any idea where one would register for it brand new. Silver is so personal! For our everyday flatware, we really liked the weight and look of the Halsted line from C&B. They sell the flatware sets with a few options, and to be price-conscious we opted to just ask for twelve 5-piece sets instead of a 25-piece set which is obviously 3 times as expensive!}

Appliances: Teapot, Coffeemaker & grinder, toaster oven, Crockpot, 12-cup minimum Food Processor, a Stick Blender, a regular Blender, a rice cooker (because I can never get rice cooked right), Cuisinart Griddler with interchangable plates for making waffles, paninis, etc.

{We have the Breville Smart Oven and it is life-changing. We literally use it! Breville, an Australian company, creates long-lasting, sleek, & high-powered appliances that we just LOVE to use. We found that Amazon has a good selection of Breville products.  For crockpots, I highly recommend the one we have had for 3+ years: Hamilton Beach stay 'n go. We also selected a few Cuisinart products, specifically my obsession: the 14-cup Elite Die-Cast. It is a power house that will slice, puree & shred your food in seconds! We also have the Stainless Steel Immersion Blender that is phenomenal to use when making soups and sauces!

As far as coffee goes, we have become the worst snobs in the world. We have a nice Cuisinart Burr grinder that is quick and yields fairly consistent grinds, a hot water kettle to save energy, and a Hario Buono kettle for the pour-over. We also registered for the Technivorm Moccamaster because we are CRAZY into coffee and this will allow us to brew 10 cups at a time, at the perfect water temperature thanks to copper coils, AND it has a stainless steel carafe which keeps the coffee hot for hours. Like I said, we are elitists when it comes to coffee. Bad habit to pick up at age 25.}

Serving pieces: I have a mix of white platters and some crystal and silver, but for your bigger pieces go more colorful. Serving utensils & platters are a great way to make things more fun. You should register for a few platters, big serving bowls, and smaller things like dip bowls/olive trays. You also need at least 2 good cutting boards, one smaller and one bigger. Epicurean or PaperStone are the best for your knives as they don't dull them like plastic, are dishwasher safe unlike bamboo/regular wood, and heat safe up to 350 degrees!

{I use my Epicurean every day and love it!}

Knives: You need to really feel them in your hands. Brands I recommend: Messermeister "Meridian Elite" (highly highly recommend), Henckels "Professional S", and Wusthof "Classic". What you need to have: 8" Chef, 8" serrated Bread, 6" Utility, and 3.5"/4" Paring. These NEED to be forged, and the brands mentioned above have lots of different lines that are stamped (NO GOOD).

{We selected the Messermeister Meridian Elite Knives , as it is my absolute favorite. It is a small German company, and you can only really find it online at Amazon}

Cooking Pieces: Thermometer, Microplane, GOOD kitchen shears, Salt & Pepper Mill (Ceramic interior, preferably William Bounds), Mixing bowls, 2 half-sheet pans for roasting or making brownies, wooden utensils for cooking, a nice heat-resistant spatula.

Cookware: I love my All-Clad but it's really expensive. I recommend a really good 10" Cast-Iron Skillet (Lodge Logic is the best brand). Non-cast iron: You really need a 12" skillet which has straight sides, a 10" fry pan which has angles sides perfect for sauteeing, a 3-quart sauce pan for reheating and making small batches of pasta/rice, a dutch oven (5 qt. Le Creuset or Staub) and a large stock pot for pastas and soups. Look for aluminum core with stainless steel covering it. Aluminum in the core promotes even heat distribution and great retention, and stainless steel is easier to clean and looks good. Those pieces are essentials in the kitchen, and you can add pieces over time to your collection if cooking really becomes a passion.

{We have collected All-Clad Copper Core over the past few years so we are only missing 2 pieces. It will last FOREVER and is easy to clean with Barkeeper's Best Friend! We also have a few heirloom Cast-Iron Skillets that one of my other favorite aunt's took from my grandmother's kitchen to re-season it for me (it was a rusty mess!) and we use it all the time. I have the 10" as well as a 6" and even have brought them camping a few times!}

Linens: Bed Bath & Beyond has a FAB selection of high threadcount sheets. I know you already have your bed stuff, but it is always nice to have extra sheets for the seasons. Mom likes flannel in the winter, but I always love soft cotton year-round. You could even pick out a new quilt or duvet cover to mix things up!

{We ended up registering at Pottery Barn for our duvet. We even added a monogram to it. So cute!}

Towels: Go for it! You should stick to classic colors for your nice towels, whites or blues are always best in bathrooms. You want to get Bath Sheets, which are the biggest, for your everyday use. Then have a set of regular size and definitely hand and face towels. You want to give your guests plenty of options when it comes to them purchasing for you!

{Again, we went through Macy's for linens. We wanted really nice towels since those are a daily-use item, so we opted for Hotel Luxury towels in White. We felt them in the store and couldn't bring ourselves to pick anything else. They are SO SO soft and high-quality!}

OK that's enough for now. This is an overwhelming process but you can prepare yourself by having a list of things you know you need before you go in. Working in a cookware store really made me a snob about kitchen items but I really believe these items can last a lifetime and then some if you take care of them (i.e. NO KNIVES or COOKWARE IN THE DISHWASHER!).

Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope it helps!


1 comment:

Annie said...

Loved reading an expert chef's opinion!

Maybe I need to rethink some of our things, ha!