Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Steal: DaVinci Extra Virgin Olive Oil-Nice, well-rounded flavor
Splurge: Olio Santo Extra Virgin Olive Oil-Smooth and mild, can be used for salad dressing and cooking without the dominance that sometimes is apparent in olive oils. My favorite!
Fleur de Sel
Steal: Fleur de Sel French Sea Salt-This is not your Morton's salt...a wet, fresh sea salt that imparts such wonderful flavor.
Splurge: Truffle Salt-I love, love, love truffle oil so when this came out I was very excited. (Think Trostel's Dish Pomme Frites...Delicious!) The smell alone of this salt is intoxicating. It is quite a splurge at $28, but well worth it...or just tell me you want to try it and I will have you over for dinner.
All Clad: Hands down the best product line on the market for everyday cooking. There is no steal in this category. Invest in one good pan at least. I recommend a 3 or 4 quart saute pan.
Le Creuset: This is my go to for long cooking soups and believe it or not, deep frying. This is a heavy pot, so just one will do the trick. You should have a 5 quart at the least.
Wusthof: The Grand Dame of knifes. Still made in Germany and as of yet, has not been outsourced to other countries for competitive price points. The new Ikon like is sleek and beautiful. But don't take my word...a knife is a very personal purchase. Feel them, hold them, try them at the store and see which one fits your hand best. If you want just one good knife, you can't live without a 7 inch santoku.
That's a start for now...I'll post more later. If you have any requests, let me know! Happy Cooking!