Good suggestions! I love OXO products, I use their flippers, box grater, dish scrub brush and others regularly. The meat thermometer is also key- ensures that your meat will always be safe to eat but not overdone.I love multi-use items. I use my rice cooker as a slow cooker and a steamer. Like other posters mentioned, don't skimp on your knives or pans. I have a starter set in anodized steel, but am looking to get a few pieces in stainless.
A couple of other favorites, besides the basics:
-a rectangular colander that adjusts to fit across a sink
-OXO anything! My favorites, I love their cutting boards, utensils, POP containers, and flatware organizer.
-mini spatula and spoonula. Williams Sonoma has them and they're great for getting inside cans and jars.
-mixing bowls of varying sizes.
-a honing steel for your knives. Be sure to match the brand to whatever you have the most of for the best results.
-nesting, magnetic measuring cups, and two sets of measuring spoons. Narrow for jars and regular.
-a set of storage containers for leftovers and extras, like Rubbermaid.