Friday, July 10, 2009

How to start a well stocked pantry


I've heard many times from friends and family members that they always make the same things because they don't have the right items in their pantry. If you know what to buy it's easy to keep a well stocked pantry. The first trip to the supermarket may be a little expensive but once you're stocked you will only need to fill in as you use the items. As I use things I add them to a list that I keep on my refrigerator. When I go to the store I'm usually just puying produce and meat and a few pantry items.

Once you have purchased all your items you will need to organize your pantry. We all have to work with the space we have so do what works best for you. I like to keep all my canned items together, baking items on another shelf, and pastas on another shelf. In my ideal world we would all have huge walk in pantries but that's not always possible and I certainly do not have one. Here are some pictures showing how I've organized my small pantry. The bottom shelf is a mess because it's my baking/miscellaneous shelf.


In the pantry:

Canned Tomatoes - Crushed, Diced, Whole Peeled, Paste, 8 oz cans Sauce

Peas - Leseur baby peas

Stock - Chicken, Beef, Veggie and/or

Boillion Cubes or Granules - Chicken, Beef, Veggie

Canned Beans - Chick Peas, Pinto, Kidney, Black, Roman

Dried Legumes - Lentils, Split Peas, barley

Roasted Peppers, Chiles in adobo sauce

Artichoke hearts - in water and marinated

Breadcrumbs - Plain, Seasoned, Panko,

Starches - long grain rice, basmati rice, arborio rice, couscous, polenta,

Pasta - Penne, Rigatoni, Rotini, ziti, farfalle, Cavatappi/Celentani, gemelli, mini penne, elbows, shells -medium and small, ditalini, pastina, farfalline, orzo, orrechiette, tubettini, ancini di pepe, linguine, spaghetti, fettucine, angel hair, bucatini

Flour - all purpose flour, wondra flour, cornstarch, bisquick

Sugar - White, brown (dark and light), powdered sugar

Misc. - Raisins, Sprinkles, etc.

Oils/Vinegars - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola, Sesame Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, White Balsamic, Red Wine Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar & Marsala Wine (not cooking wine)

Bread - Whole Wheat sliced

Red Onions, White Onions, Garlic, Potatoes


Large Eggs

Carrots, Celery, lettuce/salad mix, lemons (Other produce varies)

fresh parsley, fresh basil

Kalamata Olives (from salad bar)

Ketchup, Yellow Mustard, Dijon Mustard, Light Mayo, Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Tamari Sauce, Horseradish, worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, minced garlic, jelly

American Cheese, Unsalted butter Sticks, tub butter

Chardonnay, beer, water, tonic water, club soda

In the Freezer:

Individually Frozen Chicken Breasts, Chicken Cutlets

Ground Turkey, Ground Chicken, Ground Beef (other meats vary)

Tortellini - meat and cheese

Peas, chopped spinach, chopped broccoli

Cheeses - Shredded mozzarella, Shredded Cheddar, Shredded Mexican Blend/Taco Blend

Walnuts, Pecans, pine nuts, Chocolate Chips

Frozen basil - dorot cubes, fresh basil that I freeze in ziplock bags

Spice Cabinet:

garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, dried basil, herbs de provence, kosher salt, peppercorns for the pepper mill, Mrs. Dash Table Blend, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Sweet Paprika, poultry seasoning, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, crushed red pepper, sesame seeds, adobo, chili powder, cajun seasoning, bbq spice

If you cook Indian Food a lot you'll want to add curry and cardommom.

If you love Chinese food you may want to have chinese 5 spice powder on hand.

That about wraps it up. I'm sure there are things I forgot and there are of course items I buy for certain recipes and don't always keep them on hand. Hope this helps give you a start to your own pantry. Of course you don't have to have every item on this list but having all these items makes me very happy!




Sara said...

I have found that keeping essential canned and dry goods as well as stocking up on chicken breasts is so helpful when I'm feeling uninspired. Greast post.

Lucy said...

Would ya look at that pantry, beautifully organized and ready to go a moments notice... Just perfect!

Danielle said...

beautiful pantry! I'd love to have a floor to ceiling cabinet for my stuff!! hmm...just realized i have a stupid utility cabinet that a broom doesn't even fit into. maybe I should modify that! Thanks for the inspiration!! btw..I'm happy to find out that I keep pretty much the same stuff you do :)(and I keep a list on my fridge too!)

Bob said...

Your pantry is much more organized than mine! Heh. But a well stocked pantry is key to impulse cooking.

Michele said...

Thanks guys!

Dani- FYI - My dad redid that closet for us! It's really easy to do! It wasn't a pantry before.

Aggie said...

I live in my pantry sometimes! It's great to have everything you need like that! Great post!

The Blonde Duck said...

That's great advice!

Zoe said...

we have a similar pantry! But much more organized! Great post

teresa said...

This is very motivating! I need to do more of this! Great post.

Mary at My New 30 said...

I agree! A well stocked pantry of essentials is well, essential! LOL. Seriously though, I pretty much cook on the fly, so I try to keep those basics on hand all the time. Your pantry looks fantastic and so neat and organized!

Are you still having the problem with people viewing your blog? Lots of folks have been switching over to Firefox because of the IE issues. I sure wish they would figure out why Blogger is having conflicts with IE!!