In the Pantry

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Sometimes I just want to make something quick, satisfying and healthy without having to run to the grocery store. A well stocked pantry makes this a possibility.

I always stock pastas, sauces, risotto, beans and soup stocks. With the addition of fresh produce you will always have the makings for a quick pasta dish or soup.

I live in a house built in the early 1920s. My kitchen is small but thankfully I have a closet right in the kitchen that I use for my pantry. Here is what I usually keep:

canned San Marzano tomatoes – whole or crushed for a quick marinara sauce

canned diced tomatoes – make a quick winter salsa, add to soups

dried pasta – a thin spaghetti and a thicker pasta like penne or farfalle

canned beans – black for salsa, cannellini for soups and spreads, garbanzo for salads and hummus

arborrio rice for risotto and rice pudding

chicken stock – for quick soups

dijon mustard for dressings and spreads

red wine vinegar for salad dressings

balsamic vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

canola oil

popcorn kernels for a quick snack

I keep a container of homemade taco seasoning (I find the packaged stuff too salty) and a container of a dried cumin and chili barbecue rub that I make and keep to use on grilled meats (I have even sprinkled it on pad Thai because it is sweet and spicy). I’ll put these recipes on my site soon!

dried herbs- cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, herbes de provence, garlic salt, oregano, basil, ground mustard, onion powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, all spice, ground cloves

panko bread crumbs

kosher salt

whole peppercorns

hot sauce (two kinds – a wing sauce and a tangy sauce to dash in just about anything from scrambled eggs to guacamole)

for baking:

baking powder

baking soda

all-purpose flour

granulated sugar

powdered sugar

brown sugar (light and dark)

sugar in the raw

vanilla extract (good quality, not imitation)

honey

molasses

vanilla beans

spices: cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg (whole), all-spice, ground cloves