I’m not a perfect cook, but I’m definitely a good cook. Not trying to toot my own horn, but there are very few complaints in our house about food. My friends and family ask a lot for recipes and tips, but it’s not always easy to do. Here are some of the hurdles I’ve been facing.
I’m really not that adventurous of a cook. I don’t know a lot of foods or recipes or ways to cook. I’m just learning to be adventurous in eating and trying to translate that to our kitchen. And most of our food is quite fattening 🙂
I’m also not a measuring cook. I’ve learned this is why I’m a terrible baker, haha. I throw things in and they work. It’s not magic, by any means; it’s experience. Things go wrong. Sometimes the food is just bland. Sometimes it’s a disaster and we order pizza instead. But that’s how we learn, right?
And so, this has lead me to writing this post to answer the question I’m often asked: what do you keep handy in your kitchen so you have what you need to “throw things together”?
Spice “Rack”: olive oil, canola oil, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, basil, parsley, dill weed, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, fajita seasoning
Pantry: Cans of veggies and beans, diced tomatoes, white rice, instant mashed potatoes (for thickening only!), lots of varieties of noodles, cream of mushroom soup, tomato soup, chicken stock, beef stock, onions, potatoes, flour, sugar
Fridge: sour cream, butter, some kind of white wine, a beer, milk, large jar of minced garlic, lemon juice, shredded Parmesan cheese, assortment of shredded cheeses, Velveeta
What essentials do you try to keep on hand?
2 thoughts on “In Our House: Cooking Essentials”
Some of our favorites:
grass fed butter
cheap red wine (for cooking <— I am in LOVE with wine sauce
fresh bell/sweet peppers
fresh tomatoes (IF they have flavor)
fresh ground black pepper
bacon (uncured, nitrate/nitrite free)
frozen fish fillets (not breaded)
cheese (all varieties!)
quinoa, brown rice, and pilaf
creole/cajun seasoning (I put it on everything)
(organic) better than bouillon bases (chicken and veggie)
fresh greens (kale, collard, etc)
(organic) unfiltered juice
The only things we never keep in the house are canned vegetables and fruits (we only buy fresh or frozen), milk, potatoes, and white rice. We very rarely keep pasta in the house and when we do, it's whole grain. We have ridiculously large amount/variety of spices than spans an entire shelf in the cabinet and pantry and 2 spice carousels, lol. However, if I'm making tacos or fajitas I'll just whip up my own spice blends instead of using premixed packets.
Matt is the inventive, adventurous cook in the house….I prefer to follow a recipe and then modify it to my own tastes.
Canned diced tomatoes
Dry beans prepared in crock pot, frozen
Onion and garlic powder
Dried sage, chipotle, paprika
Oils, salt and pepper
Better than bouillon soup bases
Pasta, rice, and polenta
Whole wheat flour
2 lb block of cheese (cheapest way to buy)