Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The secret to cooking success is...

a well-stocked pantry. If you ask me, there's nothing worse than being in the middle of making a fabulous meal and realizing you're out of something. Sure, substitutions are nice, but I like to be prepared. I married a boy scout, ya know! Remember...a well-stocked pantry is useless if you don't rotate your stock. No, you can't keep Crisco for four years...at least, I wouldn't. Make sure you use what you have and replace it. Always use the older stuff first. This is what my pantry ALWAYS has in it, and what I think everyone should have on hand. This is an all-inclusive list, but buy only what you use.

Baking items:
granulated sugar
light brown sugar
confectioner's sugar/powdered sugar
all-purpose flour
baking soda
baking powder
pancake mix/Bisquick
salt
chocolate chips, semisweet and white
cocoa
vanilla
brownie mix
cake mix

Breads and cereal:
White bread, toasted, chopped and frozen as breadcrumbs
tortillas
hard taco shells
chex cereal
cheerios
quick oats

Canned items:
diced tomatoes
crushed tomatoes
tomato sauce
tomato juice
stewed tomatoes
tomato paste
black beans
tuna
cheddar cheese soup
sweetened condensed milk
evaporated milk

Condiments:
Soy sauce
A-1
ketchup
yellow mustard
spicy brown mustard
mayo
pickles
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco
salsa
teriyaki sauce
BBQ sauce
Spaghetti sauce
lemon juice
lime juice

Pastas and rice:
spaghetti
angel hair
elbow
rotini
fettucini
fusilli
brown rice
white rice
instant rice

Spices:
basil
thyme
marjoram
rosemary
dill
garlic powder
onion powder
cumin
chili powder
paprika
oregano
ginger
dried mustard
cinnamon
peppercorns for the pepper mill
nutmeg
curry powder
salt
pepper

Misc:
red potatoes
yellow onion
red onion
head of garlic
fresh herbs
peanut butter
jelly/jam/preserves
olive oil
vegetable oil
red wine vinegar
balsamic vinegar
white wine vinegar
rice wine vinegar
black beans
pinto beans
navy beans
chicken and beef bouillon

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