I am a creature of habit. When I look for new recipes to make, I typically find myself making note of recipes that are very similar to dishes I have made in the past. I can’t tell you how many different oil based pasta dishes I have dog-eared in my food magazines. I mean, how many different ways can you make a sauce with olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic?
This got me thinking…what are my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer staples? What do I keep on hand so, at a moments notice, I can whip up something quick and easy for dinner without having to go to the store. One of my favorite pantry staple recipes is my Dad’s Spaghetti. Below, you’ll find my list of must haves:
Canned diced tomatoes
Garlic or garlic paste (Trader Joe’s has a great garlic paste!)
Chili garlic paste
Loaves of bread
Canned tomato soup (my favorite is Progresso High Fiber Tomato)
Assorted mustards (yellow, Dijon, spicy brown, Chinese hot, honey)
Apple cider vinegar
Instant potatoes (Idahoan Loaded Baked Potatoes are our favorite)
Baking products including flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, cornstarch, salt, brown & powdered sugars, and chocolate chips
Lawry’s 30 minute marinades (Kroger’s version of this is pretty good too)
Canned Corn (Thanks, Gretchen!)
Canned Black Beans (Thanks, Gretchen!)
Assorted shredded cheese (cheddar/mozzarella)
American cheese slices
Beer & Wine (I like to buy individual bottles of red and white wine for cooking)
Proscuitto and/or bacon
Flavored light cream cheese (Philadelphia Light Chive & Onion cream cheese is phenomenal on top of a baked potato)
Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
Veggies (corn is a favorite side dish of ours)
IQF* Rolls and Breads
Lean Cuisines…for those nights where I just can’t bear to chop a single thing!
Ice Cream…who needs a reason for this?
Filled pastas (ex: Buitoni Chicken & Proscuitto Tortellini)
Dorothy Lane Market Steak Seasoning**
*IQF=Individual Quick Frozen
**For those of you who are unfamiliar, Dorothy Lane Market is a gourmet grocery store in Dayton. They have a steak rub that is to die for! I put it on everything from steaks to chicken to roasted veggies to scrambled eggs. It is just a yummy mix of spices that adds a little pop of flavor to any dish. It is heavily salted, however, so if you use it, use it sparingly.
As I said above, I like having a plethora of items at home in case I don’t want to stop at the store after work. I also try to keep frozen homemade casseroles and soups in my freezer at all times so I can thaw something quickly.
Question: What go to items do you keep in your house that I didn’t mention above?
New items I forgot will be included above in red!