Well Stocked Pantry

Well Stocked Pantry - Basics

Making your Pantry Work for You

Well-Stocked Pantry – Stocking the Basics
Well-stocked pantry is a home cook’s best asset.  Not only a well-stocked pantry, but it is important also to have the useful kitchen tools and gadgets to assist in preparing meals. 
MONEY, TASTE AND TIME: Is it really worth preparing healthy balance meals at home?
Money – When money is tight – shopping on a budget.  If I can make the meals at home less expensively, then it is absolutely worth it.  When it comes to preparing food that your family eats every day, there are basic pantry staples that you need regardless how tight the grocery budget.

Taste – Just giving the meals you make at home that special touch and whether they are semi-homemade or made from scratch, I can’t help but compare its taste to the store-bought ready-made meals.  I just think that my home cooked meals taste better. 

Time – I find when planning meals according to what I have stocked in my pantry, then just shopping on the weekends for items I need for a special recipe will cut down on time in the kitchen preparing meals during a busy work week. It is just my daughter and I in my house hold so I am cooking for two.  Planning breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week, making just enough for a dinner meal that also can make for a great lunch the next day.

Basic Pantry Staples
Baking items
All-purpose flour
Whole wheat flour
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Cake flour
Granulated sugar
Confectioner's sugar
Brown sugar
Baking soda
Baking powder
**Freeze for longer shelf life**
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Semi-Sweet chocolate
Biscuit mix
Pasta Items
White and/or whole grain
    Penne or ziti
    Angel hair
    Egg Noodles
Dry Beans, Rice & Whole Grains
Long grain rice
Brown rice
Wild rice
Arborio rice
Kidney beans
White beans (Navy & Great Northern)
Black beans
Chick peas
Pinto Beans

Himalayan Pink Salt  (Coarse  & Fine)
Black peppercorns
Coarse salt
Table salt
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
Ground cloves
Ground turmeric
Ground allspice
Ground mustard
Cayenne pepper
Celery seed
Ground ginger
Ground cumin
Ground Chile peppers
Red Chile flakes
Ground paprika

Dried Herbs
Bay leaves
Onion powder
Chopped onions
Garlic powder
Minced garlic

Note on spices and dried herbs - Dried herbs and spices lose flavor after six months. So if they lose their fragrance or taste, then it is time to replace them.

Other Pantry Staples
Dried breadcrumbs
 Diced tomatoes
Tomato paste
Tomato sauce
Stewed tomatoes
Chicken broth
Beef broth
Vegetable broth
Worcestershire sauce
 Dry sherry
Fine Marsala Wine
Port Wine
Soy sauce
Hoisin sauce
Sesame oil
Barbecue Sauce
Evaporated milk
Sweetened condensed milk
Peanut butter
Jams or jellies
Barbecue Sauce
White distilled vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Light or dark corn syrup
Pure maple syrup
Pure vanilla
Almond flavoring
Hot sauce
Olive oil
Extra-Virgin olive oil
Canola oil
Peanut oil
Red wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
White wine vinegar

 In my kitchen setup – I am a gadget person and I have no shame when it comes down to the many kitchen gadgets I own.  Some work and some don’t, but I am always looking for those gadget and kitchen tools that will make my meal preparing easy as possible. I know that counter space is precious, but there is a machine or two that you use often, keep it on your counter for ease of use.  Then find space for those items that you use often in your pantry if you have a large one or a special cabinet. 


*     Spatula and spoons
*     Wired Whisks
*     Various types of Graters
*     Scraper
*     Tongs
*     Bar Tools to tuck in your apron pocket or belt.  Use for easy clean up
*     Oven mitts, dish towels and sponges
*     Good set of cookware
*     Mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons

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