My Pantry

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I hate grocery shopping. I get irritated with the food costs, irritated by other people, irritated with my kids, irritated when I can’t find something, and especially irritated when there isn’t anything to taste test. So I try to limit my trips to the grocery store to once a week, then I go to my local produce stand or fishmonger as needed. The system I have is, like many people, I plan the following week’s meals around what is going to be on sale. That helps with the cost. I put the items on the list in the order they are in the store – anal, yes, but that saves time at the store. And then there are certain foods and ingredients that I keep stocked at all times. These are things that when I run low, I’ll get more even if I have no immediate plan to use the ingredient again. The result, and why I think this is a handy philosophy, is that when I plan to make any recipe, I already have half the ingredients listed, often more. Ultimately, keeping a thoughtfully stocked pantry means my family is more likely to get home-cooked dinners on a regular basis.

This is a bare-bones list. I cook New England, southwestern, and southern foods – nothing exotic. I do have some Asian ingredients in my kitchen (hoisin, Asian mustard, chili sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and Chinese 5 spice), but I don’t cook Asian often so I didn’t include them in my Pantry list. And you won’t find trendy things like soba noodles, tofu, or canned coconut milk on my list. And no curry. Definitely, no curry.

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In the Pantry
all-purpose flour
whole wheat flour
bread flour
cornmeal
whole wheat couscous
sugar
rolled oats
flax seeds
light brown sugar
Pepperidge Farm crushed herb stuffing
condensed cream soups (Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken)
brown rice
spaghetti/pasta
dried beans (especially pinto and black beans)
extra virgin olive oil (cheap stuff for general cooking, good stuff like Frantoia for bread dips, salad dressings, etc)
canola oil
evaporated milk
kosher salt
balsamic vinegar
white vinegar (I clean my house with this too, so I get it by the gallon)
cider vinegar
Worcestershire sauce
low sodium soy sauce
honey
real maple syrup
yeast
pure vanilla extract
baking powder
baking soda
tomato sauce
tomato paste
diced tomatoes
Rotel Original diced tomatoes and green chilies
chopped green chilies
corn tortillas
Craisins
crackers – for example Ritz or Keebler Club crackers for topping casseroles, in seafood stuffings, coating chicken or pork chops, etc.
Pepperidge Farm Parmesan Goldfish crackers (just because)

Dried Spices
Old Bay (the King of all seasonings)
chili powder
chipotle chili powder
smoked paprika
Italian seasoning
dill
whole cloves
ground ginger
nutmeg
cinnamon
cumin
bay leaf
rubbed sage
paprika
garlic powder
onion powder
cayenne pepper
crushed red pepper
McCormick Garlic and Herb seasoning (for steaks)
Chef Prudhomme’s Veggie Magic seasoning (for roasting veggies)
black peppercorns (for the pepper grinder – gotta have fresh cracked pepper!)

In the Fridge
Grey Poupon Country Dijon (my second favorite ingredient after Old Bay)
unsalted butter
anchovy paste
walnuts
mayonnaise
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (in a wedge, not pre-grated)
Pecorino Romano cheese (also, a wedge)
large eggs
prepared horseradish
Grilling Rub for Chicken
Grilling Rub for Pork
Taco Seasoning
Roasted Tomato Salsa
carrots
celery

In the Freezer
shredded cheeses (especially mozzarella and sharp cheddar)
Chicken Stock
Pesto
Marinara or Fresh Marinara (these can also be canned)
peas

In the Produce Basket
white or yellow onions
garlic
limes and lemons

In the Garden
-Of course not everyone has direct access to a garden, but I wanted to include these items that I try to grow (stress try because I’m very new to gardening), because these are all things I cook with a lot.

Herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano
green onions
jalapenos
tomatoes
poblano peppers, bell peppers
Swiss chard
limes and lemons

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