What’s In Your Pantry? A guide for what to always have on hand

What's In Your Pantry Image 1 In my opinion, the two most important words for a home cook to keep in mind are organization and preparation. I say this a lot when advising family, friends or clients on how to find their courage in the kitchen. You wouldn’t dream of going to an exercise class in high heels or head out for a run in flip flops, so why would you begin cooking without having the right equipment or key ingredients already on hand? Starting out with a pantry chock full of all the things you need for cooking and baking; will not only save time, but give you greater flexibility when it comes to choosing recipes to try out. With only a few additional items to purchase, you can pull together wonderful dishes quickly and economically.

When stocking the pantry don’t forget to shop the big box stores. I find Costco to be particularly good for things like: tomato paste, tomato sauce, olive oil, Dijon mustard, chicken stock, pasta and the list goes on. Most of these items store well with no need of refrigeration. Buying in bulk will not only give you great savings, but keep your pantry full of ingredients that home cooks use on a regular basis.

Here is my list of suggested pantry items to always have on hand:

  • Arrowroot
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Bread crumbs (plain, seasoned & panko)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Canned black olives (whole & sliced)
  • Chocolate wafer cookies
  • Chopped Clams
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Clam juice
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coconut milk
  • Corn starch
  • Cracker assortment
  • Flour (plain & self-rising)
  • Graham crackers
  • Gravy Browning
  • Jarred tomato & basil sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Kosher Salt
  • Maple Syrup
  • Marshmallows
  • Mustard (yellow, Dijon & Coleman’s)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Oil (Olive, Vegetable & Canola)
  • Onions
  • Pasta (all varieties)
  • Pataks curry paste
  • Pataks Tandoori Marinade
  • Peanut butter
  • Potatoes (baking, Yukon gold)
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Rice (white, basmati & pilaf)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Spices 
  • Stock (Chicken, vegetable &  beef)
  • Stock cubes (chicken, vegetable & beef)
  • Sugar (regular, superfine & confectioners’)
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tuna
  • Vinegar (red wine, white wine, apple cider & balsamic)
  • Walnuts
  • Wasabi powder
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Worcestershire sauce

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