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Old 06-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default Stocking the pantry/fridge

I have always wanted to have a well stocked kitchen but I have never had the luxury. Shopping for the week was about as far ahead as I could think.
Now the combination of having a partner who hates shopping and having the stability to invest a bit more money into stocking, I realize my mother never taught me how.
What do you keep in your pantry/fridge/freezer and what are the spices you like to have on hand?


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Old 06-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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I would recommend starting with what you like, and what you already know how to cook, prepare, bake, etc. Start short-term, menus you would make in the next two weeks, to a month, and let it grow from there.

Buy according to your plan/budget, and buy a little extra.

Watch your shelf dates!

Don't buy all fast food, but don't limit yourself to only food that takes an hour to make.

Buy a slow cooker recipe book like Fix it and Forget it Full of recipe ideas, and what to keep on hand.

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta. And pasta sauce or canned tomato sauce and those handy sauce mixes.

Salt, Pepper, Celery salt, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dehydrated onion, Mrs. Dash, cumin, and chili powder.

Get a good chef's knife, and a new cutting board.

Shake and Bake, tempura, and couscous.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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...baking powder, baking soda, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, brown sugar, maple syrup, dark karo, molasses, powdered sugar, splenda, cornmeal, masa, cinnamon, allspice, whole cloves, basil, oregano, parsley, bay leaves, seasoned salt...
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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spices - salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, celery seed, dry mustard, cloves, ginger, hot pepper flakes, chili, cumin, coriander, allspice, dill, caraway seeds, vanilla extract, almond extract, rosemary, paprika. You could substitute a few spice blend jars, but I like having lots of choice.

I always have tomato paste, sauce and canned tomatoes. some chopped nuts, dried cranberries, canned mushrooms, flour, sugar, tea, coffee beans, jello, polenta, olive oil, vegetable oil, roasted peppers, cornmeal, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, saltine crackers, tuna, cider vinegar, salad dressings, mayo, 2-3 kinds of mustard, red wine, sherry, ketchup, duck sauce. canned pineapple, canned mandarin oranges. peanut butter, jam, relish,

In the fridge - eggs, milk, enough veg to make salad, fruit, pork roll, bacon, juice, pickles,
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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Pantry- Rice, Pasta, Quinoa, assorted canned and dried beans, tomato paste, diced canned tomatoes, oatmeal, bulgur, grits, tortillas, flax seed, coffee, tea, various seeds (sunflower, pumpkin), chicken broth, cereal, carob chips, honey, agave, peanut butter, tuna, sardines, crackers, dried fruit.

Spices- salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, chili powder, dried parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, curry powder/paste, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, vanilla, baking powder

Freezer- flour, sugar, almonds, walnuts, shredded coconut, frozen fruit (berries, and peaches), frozen vegetables (diced onion, broccoli florets, spinach, corn, okra, lima beans etc.) some kind of fish (usually salmon, tilapia, mahi, trout, or cod), chicken breast, ground turkey, bread, frozen veggie burgers.

Condiments- ketchup, dijon mustard, mayo, hoisin, soy sauce, chili sauce, balsamic, white, apple, and red wine vinegars. Olive and canola oil.

Fridge- eggs, almond milk, bread, parmesan cheese, greek yogurt, cranberry juice, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, onions, sweet potato, garlic, lemons, apples.

Then I fill in fruits, vegetables, and specialty items when I shop for the week. Ex: peppers, eggplant, watermelon, blueberries, fresh herbs, cheese, popsicles, mushrooms, avocados etc. based on whats seasonal, or what I want to make.

I think the easiest thing to do is plan your menu for the week, and get all the ingredients. You'll have leftover spices and condiments and slowly that will fill up. After you see what you guys eat most frequently you'll figure out what your staples are and what should only be bought when you have a recipe in mind.

For me the spices, condiments and pantry items stay pretty constant, so side dishes, sauces, and seasonings don't require special planning, same with breakfast foods. The great part of being well stocked is if you aren't a menu planner, once you have your staples you can just cook from what you have without too much advance thinking.

I will say this- unless you are going into the kitchen and consistently finding you don't have enough things to pull a meal together if you had an unexpected guest for dinner, you are probably just fine. A pantry isn't an exact formula!
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
I would recommend starting with what you like, and what you already know how to cook, prepare, bake, etc. Start short-term, menus you would make in the next two weeks, to a month, and let it grow from there.

Buy according to your plan/budget, and buy a little extra.

Watch your shelf dates!

Don't buy all fast food, but don't limit yourself to only food that takes an hour to make.

Buy a slow cooker recipe book like Fix it and Forget it Full of recipe ideas, and what to keep on hand.

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta. And pasta sauce or canned tomato sauce and those handy sauce mixes.

Salt, Pepper, Celery salt, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dehydrated onion, Mrs. Dash, cumin, and chili powder.

Get a good chef's knife, and a new cutting board.

Shake and Bake, tempura, and couscous.
All you guys had great suggestions.. some of which I have knives cutting board some spices... just needed more ideas... we are huge pasta people and that keeps for a year so thats on the list as well as filling the freezer with meat and frozen fruit and veg... I make alot of Maddi's food.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:35 PM   #7
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I would say, don't try to stock your pantry all at once. Notice how different the various lists are: different cooks like to cook different things, and what you'll need will be determined by what sorts of things you cook -- like the pasta you mentioned. Keep track of the other things you seem to be using most during the first week or two. My wife made up a list on the computer of what we use most, printed it off, and stuck it on the fridge with a magnet. Any time we start to get low on something, all we have to do is make a check. It's ALMOST proof against absent-mindedness.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:05 AM   #8
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I'm not that well stocked because I have a tiny kitchen. I also usually make whatever I'm inspired to try or things that will use up leftover ingredients from whatever I've recently done. When I shop I tend to get mostly meat, fresh herbs, fresh fruits, fresh vegetable and I buy them in smaller quantities rather than freeze a lot of things. Here's my short list of what I almost always have on hand. I agree with Dr. Feelgood; it all depends on what you like.

Pantry: Cous cous, quinoa, white, wild and basmati rice, fettuccine, chicken broth or consume, black beans, chickpeas, popcorn, buttermilk pancake mix, a brownie mix and some kind of breakfast bar. Sugar (confectioner's, brown, refined and raw), flour, chocolate chips, high quality cocoa powder, baking soda and powder, corn starch, yeast, Mexican vanilla, almond extract, chai latte mix and shredded coconut.

Spices: Dill, dry mustard, old bay seasoning blend, Penzey's Northwoods blend, Penzey's Rogan Josh blend, Penzey's chicken taco blend, cayenne, smoked and sweet Hungarian paprika, Penzy's tandoori blend, celery seed, cumin, chili powder, chili con carne blend, rosemary, sage, saffron, turmeric, lemon peel powder, chipolte powder, Penzey's mural of flavor, cinnamon, juniper berries, jerk seasoning, ginger, oregano, cloves, nutmeg (Use the nuts. It's so easy to grate it, and it tastes better) fennel seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, white and black peppercorns, Lawry's seasoned salt, and hand harvested finishing salt (I use it for everything and grind it in a mortar if I want it finer than the flakes. My mom thinks I'm nuts. I think it's better, but I may be a bit of a snob on this. Probably not, though.).

Freezer: Trader Joe's Tarte d'Alsace, ice cream, Trader Joe's chocolate lava cakes, shrimp, crab if it's been on sale, corn, peas, Thai Shrimp Goyza, pecans, walnuts and almonds.

Fridge: Garlic (fresh), carrots, onions, spinach, lemon juice, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar and malt vinegar, dry sherry, grey poupon dijon mustard, mayonnaise, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, unsalted butter, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Greek yogurt, cocktail sauce, lobster stock and beef stock, tahini, and a nice Riesling.

Misc: Organic honey, maple syrup, brandy, amaretto, rum, grand marnier, olive oil, sesame oil, raw coconut oil, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and a good quality soy sauce. And bananas.

It does occur to me (having just typed it) that my list is not all that short.
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Last edited by one2one; 06-20-2011 at 12:13 AM.
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