The Foodie In Me – Pantry Essentials

21 Mar

I love food.

I love to eat.

I love to cook.

I love trying new foods.

Due to these true facts about me, I would like to add food as a category for my blog. I have grown up watching my mom, grandma’s and great-grandma’s spend most their life in the kitchen. I contribute this passion for food to their amazing cooking. I remember growing up, quickly finishing lunch and asking, “What’s for dinner?” I have never gone hunger in my life, but curiosity drives me to ask. Thinking about an upcoming meal keeps me going throughout any day.

My husband has been very patient with me. There have never been meals that were completely inedible, but sometimes I like to try new recipes that might not be his favorite and consist of a few random ingredients. I am also queen of substitutions in the recipes I use. (I put garlic salt in everything) To me a recipe is a just guide. Sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients and other times I think I can make it better. (Sometimes I should have stuck to the recipe.)

Each day I get an email newsletter from All Recipe sharing recipe ideas. But today’s was different and I would like to share it with you. How to Stock a Pantry. These pantry essentials allow you to always have a dinner backup plan. I was excited to learn that I had all of these items expect lentils and split peas. The article divides these essentials into a few categories to help keep you organized.

The Bare Minimum

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar

Canned GoodsHow to stock a pantry - Beans

  • Chicken stock or broth
  • Beef stock or broth
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Can/jar of marinara sauce
  • Canned beans: white, black, kindey
  • Tuna

Starches and Dry Goods

  • Pasta (various shapes, strands and tubes)
  • Long-grain white rice
  • Jasmine or basmati rice
  • Lentils
  • Split peas
  • Dried bread crumbs

The Root CellarHow to stock a pantry - pasta

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic


  • Vinegars (balsamic, cider, white, sherry and wine)
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce

The Spice Rack

  • Dried basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Cayenne or Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powderHow to stock a pantry - Spices
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Dried parsley

The Almost-Bare Fridge

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter or margarine
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard (yellow, Dijon, whole grain)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Other cheese

The Freezer

  • Frozen corn
  • Frozen spinach
  • Frozen peas
  • Ground beef
  • Chicken breasts

I am not the type of person who has the time or desire to plan a week of meals in advance. I like to cook what sounds good to me at that moment. I like to cook what makes me happy. Having a stocked kitchen allows to me do so.

How many of these essentials do you have in your pantry? If your answer is, “Very few.” Then I would suggest you start getting stocked up. Don’t go out and buy all these items at once, because that could get a little pricey. I would recommend getting what you need to make your favorite dishes. Most of these items are not completely used up in one dish. Soon you will accumulate them all allowing your menu selection to grow.

What’s on the menu for your house tonight?


3 Responses to “The Foodie In Me – Pantry Essentials”

  1. Vinny Grette March 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM #

    We’re having trout barbecued on a plank tonight. My pantry is similar to yours with this change: No white starches. Brown and wild rice, whole grain bread crumbs and pasta, and sweet potatoes, not white. I need to follow a low-glycemic diet to maintain my less than svelte weight 🙂

    • My Life in 'The Hills' March 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM #

      Trout sounds amazing! I don’t know if I could go without white starches…I love me some mashed potatoes and gravy.

  2. theintrovertedagvocate March 27, 2012 at 11:16 PM #

    This reminds me so much of my mom and grandma….especially my grandma. She is an amazing cook! Her homemade rolls are special requested for events like graduation parties (yes I am referring to myself here). After reading through all the essentials I was surprised at how many things I actually have in my pantry. Cooking at college isn’t something I’m very good at, but it looks like I’ve learned more from my mom and grandma than I thought!

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