The Pots You Actually Need In Your Kitchen

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Stocking your kitchen for the first time is, to put it bluntly, overwhelming. You’re standing in your first apartment out of college and how the heck are you supposed to know what you actually need? When you go to Target, they usually have pot ‘sets’ that you buy that include three sauté pans, two pots, a weird mid-sized pan and another pan that you will literally never touch. So, what do you probably do? You buy it.

But in my opinion, it’s much smarter to invest in a couple nice pots/pans instead of buying the cheap sets from the convenience store. So here’s my personal recommendations for your necessary pot/pan investments:

A non-stick sauté pan. This is your go-to pan for scrambled eggs, sautéed veggies, heating up pasta sauce, etc. It’s your all-in-one dream maker. Feel free to get two sizes for different items, but for sure invest in a larger size one because it can handle anything and everything. Budget Friendly Sauté Pan // Higher Quality Sauté Pan

A large stock pot. This is your pasta pot. Everyone eats pasta. It’s just a fact of life. If you’re gluten-free, you probably eat gluten-free pasta. You need a pot that will hold up for a big family meal or just a weeknight pasta dinner at home. Truth be told, I got mine from the hallway of my old apartment complex next to a ‘FREE’ sign that someone had put outside their door. In general, I’d gravitate towards a stainless steel pot because it will distribute heat and last longer than a non-stick stock pot. Budget Friendly Stock Pot // Higher Quality Stock Pot

Cast Iron Skillet. Technically, you don’t need this and can get by with a sauté pan, but cast iron skillets are the best quality pans for meat and fish, and are super mulit-purpose. Think cornbread, carne asada nachos, and a roast chicken. Need I say more? And running at an affordable price point (I use a Lodge one from Target), it’s a great addition to your starter collection. Budget Friendly Cast Iron Skillet // Higher Quality Cast Iron Skillet

If you’re looking to expand your kitchen pots beyond that, I’d recommend a Dutch Oven, an All Clad Essential Pan, and a mid-sized stock pot.

My Favorite Nespresso Capsules



There’s nothing quite as satisfying as pressing a button and having a cup of espresso appear before you. There’s nothing quite as rich and creamy as a Nespresso shot of espresso. And there’s nothing that reminds me more of Australia than Nespresso.

I studied abroad in Sydney during my senior year of college, and when my homestay mom got a Nespresso machine for her birthday and it was all lattes until you drop from there on out.

Nespresso reminds me of walking to the beach from my house with my friend Matty, doing the crossword puzzle with my homestay family every Saturday morning at their favorite local coffee shop, walking three miles to school every day, and of all of the beautifully kind Australians who I’m still friends with to this day. Australia has a special place in my heart (for the rest of my life) and Nespresso brings me closer to it.




The best thing about Nespresso is that you can make both a shot of coffee as well as a full cup of creamy coffee to take in your to-go cup as you run out the door. Press a button, stuff your belongings into your bag and your coffee is ready to go, saving your sanity on a daily basis.


Today I’m sharing my favorite capsules, because there’s so many and it can be overwhelming at first to pick which ones to use.  (Descriptions pulled directly from the Nespresso website)

Roma has a subtle balance between strength, finesse and fullness,  Roma  sets itself apart by its woody and roasted notes. Central and South American Arabicas combined with Robusta have been lightly roasted to preserve the delicate aroma of the blend.  Roma  is the ideal coffee for those looking for an Espresso that is both short and mild.

Arpeggio takes its distinctive character and full body from a blend of Central and South American Arabicas. The long roasting allows each aspect to develop into an intense bouquet, combining cocoa and roasted notes.

Capriccio is an Espresso with a balanced bouquet, a light acidity and a very characteristic cereal note. It is composed of Arabicas from South America including Brazil, in ideal proportions, and a touch of lightly roasted Robusta.

Livanto is a blend of Central and South American Arabicas is medium roast to bring out a round and very balanced bouquet. It evokes the scent of freshly toasted coffee escaping from the roaster: roasted and caramelised notes.

Ristretto combines the best South American Arabicas, from countries such as Colombia and Brazil, with great East African Arabicas, famous for their citrus aromas with a touch of Robusta for added zing. The slow split roasting of the beans creates a contrasting bouquet, bringing together subtle fruity and acid notes, with intensely roasted and chocolate ones.



Have you ever tried Nespresso coffee?

Tequila Sunrise


It is only April and it is basically already Summer here in Southern California. According to the person in front of me in line for eggs at the Farmer’s Market this morning, this weather means we are in for a brutal summer in Southern California. People are fervently dusting off their shorts and sandals to head to the beach and regretting that six pack of beer they drank last night.

Hot weather means cold beverages are pretty much a body part on Saturdays (at least in my house), and Tequila Sunrises are at the very front of the pack because they’re made with fresh orange juice and they are SO easy to make it’s slightly worrisome. I’m hosting a brunch for my friends soon and this is definitely on the menu.

In today’s post, I’m sharing a Tequila Sunrise recipe & reviewing my Williams Sonoma Dual Citrus Juicer!



Tequila is such an underrated alcohol. It is associated with getting hammered at a college sports bar and nothing makes me more upset. I am literally the last person you will ever find doing a tequila shot (seriously, once I slammed my finger in a door at a Mexican restaurant and they tried to give me a shot and I told them to put it in a margarita) and I love tequila. Tequila is my favorite alcohol because when you pair it with citrus, it transforms from the ugly duckling into beautiful swan. CAN WE ALL AGREE ON THIS?!? OKAY GREAT.



1.5 Oz Tequila


4 Oz Orange Juice

A couple splashes grenadine syrup


– Add ice to glass

– Add tequila & orange juice to glass

– Stir with spoon

– Drizzle grenadine syrup on top

Product Review: Williams Sonoma Dual Citrus Juicer


I used the Williams Sonoma Dual Citrus Juicer for this drink, and it only took me five minutes to get 2 cups of juice.

Overall: I love it. I would highly suggest for a budget friendly juicer that gets the job done! The measurements on the side are also super handy if you’re following a recipe that requires a specific amount.

Cleaning: Easy to clean, dishwasher safe, the whole shebang!

Thing To Note: It doesn’t filter out the pulp! If you don’t love pulp, then I would not recommend this product.

How It Would Be Better: I wish it had a lid once you finish juicing so I can just pop the lid on and put it in the fridge! Not a major pain because I just transfer it to another container to store.

Healthy (kinda) Cookbooks


If you know me at all, you know that I’m not really a healthy eater. I don’t diet, I bake cookies at least once a week, have a glass of wine with dinner more times than not, and love a good stack of blueberry pancakes. I’m not a big eater though overall, and I do cardio exercise so it’s never been a problem with my weight or otherwise.

But earlier this week, my body basically told me (excuse my language) that I need to get my sh*t together. Cue: Driving down the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, in the middle of rush-hour traffic, puking while driving from food poisoning (I will not delve into the exact details of this, for the sake of the breakfast you’re probably eating right now). That day, I had coffee for breakfast, German sausages for lunch, and a brownie. Pretty sure it was food poisoning from the sausage, but it was also that my body had basically no nutrients in it and was sending a cry for help. Since then, I’ve put myself on a vegetable-driven diet with no alcohol, sugar, or caffeine and my body feels great.

If you’re looking to incorporate more nutrient-dense meals into your rotation this year, these are my recommendations:

Healthyish: Truth be told, I follow Lindsay on Instagram and just really love her feed. So, thanks to my pal Amazon Prime, it’s now sitting on my coffee table. I’m really excited to dive into it because it has a lot of grain bowl recipes and approachable dinner meals.

The Forest Feast: I actually found this cookbook in an olive oil shop. Don’t ask me why I was in an olive oil shop… (Side note: If you’re ever in downtown Los Gatos, We Olive is a must visit.) The book itself is beautiful, and the recipes are so simple that you’ll basically want to make everything and then move to a cottage in the woods like Erin.

Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Going vegetarian isn’t an overnight endeavor, especially if you’re going to do it right and not just eat brocolli for dinner for the rest of your life. This book combines both vegetarian meals and non-vegetarian meals; it’s a mix of both.

Clean Slate: I’ve been following a no-sugar, no-alcohol, no-caffeine diet for the past week and my body feels so good. What we eat can really transform our body, and that’s precisely what this book is out to accomplish. There’s so many good, nutritional recipes included. I personally can’t wait to try the farro and roasted sweet potato salad. Y-U-M.

Love Real Food: My mom is a vegetarian and I got her this cookbook for Christmas this year! She and my brother have been trying recipes from it over the past few weeks and I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews! What I love is that it makes cooking vegetarian SO easy – the recipes are approachable and don’t require a lot of weird ingredients.

The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: This is basically the bible for vegetarian recipes. It’s massive and it has EVERYTHING. You can count on America’s Test Kitchen to produce quality recipes that anyone can do. Highly recommend this if vegetarian dishes are a staple in your life.

The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook: We’re not perfect. Sometimes we need to sit on the couch, binge-watch The Crown on Netflix with a full plate of chocolate chip cookies at hand. I get it. You’re only human. Laura’s cookbook has so many great recipes, but they’re not all carrots and squash.

What healthy cookbooks take up real estate in your kitchen?