It takes a lot of STUFF to make the College Kitchen run. There are pots and pans, various tools and products galore. Before I really started cooking, I thought brand loyalty was a crock. Now, when I cut veggies with a knife that isn't WÜSTHOF I feel like I've sold my first born to Rumpelstiltskin. Here is a list of some of my fave things from the kitch:
For one-dish meals: Le Creuset's dutch ovens. They're heavy as heck to lug around, but look great on the table, can cook a huge amount of food at a time and last a lifetime.
For soups, emulsions, omelets and more: Cuisinart's immersion blender. This thing can blend, whip and chop with different attachments, and it takes up so little space that it's great for a tiny kitchen like mine.
For saute and everyday: Ok, this isn't really a brand, but I use super old, hand-me-down cast-iron skillet for everything. It is unbreakable and even adds flavor and iron to your food! Like a well-seasoned wok, a cast-iron skillet can last forever. Learn how to take care of yours here.
For clean-up: During a recent trip to Trader Joe's, I came across their house brand sponges, and threw the pack in the cart. They are so cool! They're like those t-shirts that you buy packaged in a square and then dip in water and they grow. They're also made of plant material so they break down when you throw them out. They're the type that are very squishy and hold soap well — my favorite.