These are the items I have in my pantry, so I am ready for anything.
- Olive and Canola Oil
- Balsamic and Apple Cider Vinegar
- Boxed chicken and beef broth (although I like to make mine homemade sometimes, it’s not always practical)
- Tube of tomato paste, can of whole tomatoes and a few cans of crushed tomatoes (San Marzano are best)
- Slivered almonds
- Onions, shallots and garlic
- Russet potatoes
TIP: Don’t store your potatoes and onions near each other or the potatoes will rot quickly.
- Real Jellies
- Natural Peanut butter
- Hard and soft taco shells
- Dried pasta (the kids like trio pasta, I love the spaghetti that appears to have gotten a perm (Ronzoni offers this). Also, I usually stock whole wheat or high fiber linguini, spaghetti and angel hair; and, some penne, fusilli and ziti).
- Extra wide egg noodles for goulash and casseroles
- Annie Sez macaroni and cheese for a quick weekday night side dish
- Elbow and fusilli pasta for making homemade mac & cheese
- Rice – arborio for risotto, and my favorite regular rice is the Royal Blend with flaxseed that cooks in 20 minutes
- Wondra flour
- Plain bread crumbs and Panko bread crumbs (it seems really easy to make your own, but I don’t have time)
Dried spices and seeds including:
- Cinnamon stix
- Chile Powder
- Mustard Powder
- Nutmeg or whole nutmeg
- Old Bay Seasoning (for fish)
- Coriander seeds
- Caraway seeds
- Garlic salt
- Thyme (great dried with ground meat dishes)
- Italian Seasoning
- Bay Leaves
- Herbs de Province (lovely on roasted chicken/potatoes/root veggies)
Basics: Lemon pepper, ground pepper and whole peppercorns, Sea or Kosher salt, regular salt for baking (think the lady with the umbrella), baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, packets of plain gelatin, packets of yeast.
Booze for cooking with: Marsala wine, Dry Sherry, White Vermouth, Vodka (for sauce, yes…but also to bribe the dishwasher), dark or amber beer for stews like Guinness or a new IPA like Dogfish Ale (can also help to bribe the dishwasher) and red and white table wines.
For Baking: Unsweetened and Semisweet bars of chocolate, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sweetened coconut flakes, graham crackers, mini-marshmallows, flour, self-rising flour, sugar, brown sugar, confectioners (icing) sugar, honey, real maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, vanilla (Madagascar only), almond extract, raisins, quick oats. Walnuts, almonds and pecans.
Tip: Store nuts in the freezer for a longer shelf life.
Booze for baking with: Kahlua (add to all sorts of chocolate desserts to bring out the bitterness in the chocolate), Cherry Brandy and Frangelico (Hazelnut liqueur).
Stuff to have on hand for impromptu picnics and day-trips:
Granola bars, apple sauces, boxes of raisins, nuts, Nutella with little cookies (fabulous invention), pretzels, all natural juice boxes and organic milks.
For impromptu guests:
Nacho chips and natural salsa, whole grain crackers (I like Breton, great with a smoked gouda or herb brie), cashews, mixed nuts and some type of kid’s snack like Pirate Booty or Skinny Popcorn.
What’s in your pantry?