In a perfect world, we would use everything 100% fresh. But, we can’t. If you have these things on hand, you will always be able to whip up a delicious meals that will be better for you and your family without resorting to packaged garbage, or the drive-thru.
This list is just things to always have on hand. You will also buy various other foods, but when you have these basics in he house, you can put together all sorts of things in a pinch.
Black peppercorns for grinding, or bottle that has the grinder right on it.
Crushed Red Pepper
I also keep a selection of Mrs. Dash seasonings, and Lemon Pepper seasoning.
Your favorite vinegars –
Balsamic Vinegar or
Wine Vinegar or
Rice Vinegar (smoother taste)
Soy Sauce (low sodium recommended)
Selection of olives, pickles…
Spaghetti or Mostaccioli
Real Maple Syrup
Pre-cooked Bacon (very handy!)
Chicken bullion cubes
Beef bullion cubes
Brown Sugar (make sure its pure cane sugar)
Sugar (again, pure cane sugar)
Pure Vanilla Extract
Canned Petite Diced Tomatoes
Canned or jarred green chili peppers
Canned or jarred jalapeno peppers (I prefer jarred)
Always have chicken breasts in the freezer. You can always make a quick dinner. Single wrapped chicken breasts will thaw quickly in cold water.
Red and/or Green Bell Peppers
And/or your favorite fruits and vegetables
Shredded Cheese (I keep mozzarella and Mexican or sharp cheddar on hand)
Frozen berries –
I buy fresh French bread and as soon as I get home – cut it into 6 inch pieces and put into freezer bags. Very handy.
If you really want to be prepared for anything- here are the most common liquors used in cooking-
Refer to the fast cooking tips in this section for more help –