Over the years, cooking has become quite a passion for me and I’ve become a bit of an accidental expert on cookware in the process. Nothing feels better than working on creating a meal for your family and then having them melt after taking their first bite. I have so many memories of my Mom in the kitchen working on creating all kinds of tasty combinations for the family. She is a fearless cook and I’ve inherited her spunky way of cooking. No recipe is too daunting & no ingredient is too hard to find (thanks to the internet.) Frankly, most of the time we fly without wires and make up the recipe as we go. We love to experiment and play around with tasty ingredients and come up with something new and exciting.
The thing is, a cook is only as good as their cookware! Over the years, I have found some great tips for finding great cookware. Nothing is going to turn out right when using pots and pans that aren’t truly meant to stand up to the rigors of the kitchen. I remember my first set of cookware and how light it was. I could barely stir anything without holding on for dear life, in fear that the pot was going to go flying off the stove. I would constantly burn dishes because my cookware was about at sturdy as a foil pan. It didn’t conduct heat well and all around it was horrible. After doing some research and going through all kinds of trial and error, I have found the key to finding a good pot, pan, skillet or bakeware. When it comes to cookware here are a few things I try to keep in mind.
- Don’t be stingy! You don’t need to buy the most expensive pot or pan but, you do get what you pay for. Cookware is an investment. You want these items to last for years and not have to replace them time after time.
- A good piece of cookware is going to have a nice heavy feel in your hand. You want something that has a nice solid base that is made out of a metal that conducts heat well. Copper is one of the best.
- Don’t fall for fads. There is a reason that the classics are so good.
- What is the clean-up like? Are you going to have to spend all kinds of time hand washing your cookware or, can you stick it in the dishwasher? Not all cookware is created equal in this category.
- If your budget is small, go for a couple of the basics that can get you by as you add to your collection. Here are a few that I would suggest.
- Once you have those few items, then I would invest in,
- Good bakeware in the kitchen is essential as well. Again, make sure they have a nice heavy feel to them. You don’t want something flimsy standing in the way of great baking. You can start small here as well. Here are a couple of my suggestions. Once you have those you can build up your collection.
I have used many of the cookware & bakeware items that I’ve listed and I LOVE them!! Like truly, madly, deeply love them. They come from a fabulous company called Anolon. Anolon makes some of the best cookware for the home and social chef. Whether you’re an experienced home cook or just getting started, these pots and pans are a true gem in your kitchen. They have that nice heavy feel to them, you can tell that with their solid base they are going to cook evenly. I especially love their Anolon Nouvelle Copper line. All of the pots and pans have copper layered in the base of the pans which promotes fabulous cooking. Remember, copper is one of the best metals to cook with.
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One of my favorite pots is their Anolon Nouvelle Copper 3.5-QUART COVERED STRAINING SAUCEPAN…
It’s perfect for all kinds of sauces, small batch soups and it’s lovely to use when needing to drain your pot. Look at that fabulous lid and the handy pour spout. This is truly one of my go-to pots!
Another favorite is my Anolon Advanced Bakeware 12-CUP COVERED MUFFIN PAN…
It’s nice and heavy to promote even baking and it has silicone handles that provide great grip when removing your item from the oven or carrying your muffins or cupcakes to an event. It even has a nice cover for when you are traveling and it tucks nicely under your pan for storage at your event. No more lost lids!
Another all-time favorite that I’ve used in my kitchen a bunch is the Anolon Nouvelle Copper 3-QUART COVERED SAUTE PAN WITH HELPER HANDLE. I make all kinds of stuff in this favorite go-to. I know that I can be fearless with any of these pots and pans because they are going to give me the best results. Here is my Sauce Pan in action as I make Shakshuka, a lovely Israeli egg dish perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This Anolon Nouvelle Copper Nonstick 3-Quart Covered Saute is great for the stove top or in the oven, so it’s perfect for a dish like Shakshuka. It’s truly non-stick but can give a good sear thanks to their premium nonstick technology. You can even use metal utensils on the non-stick surface and not destroy the pan. It’s also oven safe up to 500˚.
So, take my advice. Invest in a good set of both cookware and bakeware and your time in the kitchen will be so much more enjoyable. No more frustration because you don’t have the right tools for the job. You might even discover a passion for the kitchen that you never thought you would have!
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ of a large white or yellow onion
- 1 cup of diced sweet peppers
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large can of plum tomatoes whole, diced or crushed
- 5 eggs
- feta cheese
- In a medium to large oven safe sauté pan over medium-high heat, add your olive oil and let it heat until it starts to shimmer.
- Add your diced onion & peppers and let cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Turn down the heat to medium. Add the cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper & tomato paste. Cook for another 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes. If they are whole tomatoes crush them with the back of your spoon or with a potato masher. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Again, stirring occasionally.
- Remove pan from the heat and add 5-6 eggs. Place in a 375˚ oven for 7-10 minutes or until the eggs are set to your desired taste. Traditionally they are pretty soft, but it's up to you.
- Top with feta and serve with a nice loaf of bread or pita.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Anolon. The opinions and text are all mine.