I liked Jen's post about her kitchen necessities, so I thought I'd add mine:
1. Sharp knife--I have a few really sharp santoku knives that I absolutely love (I think they are Cuisinart or KitchenAid brand). Growing up my mom had the worst knives ever! I think having quality tools makes the work of cooking so much more enjoyable.
2. Cuisinart Food Processor--I have found about a million uses for my Cuisinart. I make salad dressings, doughs, cheesecake, salsa, pesto in it, plus it has blades to shred cheese and vegetables so easily. It does everything a blender can, but in a bigger container and you never have to poke at it with a wooden spoon like you do with a blender sometimes. Worth every penny!
3. Pre-trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts--since it's just my husband and me living at our house, I buy a whole package of chicken (usually around 4 breasts), and then put each breast in its own Ziploc before freezing. Dinner is so easy when you can just pull out the number of chicken breasts you need!
4. Microplane--I use my Microplane for everything from zesting citrus to grating garlic to grating parmesan cheese. Plus it's super easy to clean--just give it a rinse and throw it in the dishwasher.
5. Nonstick skillet--another item my mom didn't have when I was growing up. Our big skillet is perfect for any sort of cooking and of course makes clean-up a snap!