The Essential Ingredients…

A pantry and fridge that is stocked with the essential ingredients listed below will allow you to cook any recipe included in my blogs and the recipe section and probably many of the recipes you may find from other authors! To help you get going, here are a couple of tips.

Build your pantry and stock your fridge…

If you are just starting your cooking adventure or plan to cook more than once a week, then start with building your pantry and stocking your fridge. If you are a home cook, but are daunted by the number of ingredients in a recipe, then check your pantry and supplement with the items that I have listed but are missing from yours. Once you have these basics in place, your weekly grocery shopping list should include replenishing your pantry and fridge. Make a list and add to it when you use the last can of tomato sauce, the last onion or potato or bottle of ketchup, etc. Plan your meals before shopping and just add the main ingredients for the recipes you plan to make to your list.

Gather all ingredients before starting…

As you will see, each and every recipe starts with ‘Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe’. I’ve done this for a reason, mostly to alleviate the frustration of being halfway through a recipe only to find that you are missing a key ingredient. I’ve done it, we all have. It is now second nature to gather all the recipe ingredients before I start. This not only confirms that I have all the items on hand, but also places all the ingredients at hand so that when I am ready to start cooking I am not wasting time and footsteps just to get the meal on the table. As with anything else in life, organization and planning ahead makes the job easier and much more enjoyable.

The Pantry List


Dry mustard
Garam masala
Garlic powder
Ground allspice
Ground black pepper
Ground chili pepper
Ground cloves
Ground cumin
Ground white pepper
Hungarian sweet paprika
Kosher salt
Onion powder
Whole black pepper corns
Whole cardamom
Whole cloves


Bay Leaf
Caraway seeds
Celery seed salt
Juniper Berries
Mustard seed
Poppy Seed
Sage leaf
Coriander seed
Crushed chilies
Fennel seeds

Pantry Basics

All Purpose Flour
Bread Crumbs or Panko
White Sugar
Brown Sugar
Powdered/Icing Sugar
Maple Syrup


Dried Bow Ties
Dried Penne
Dried Spaghetti

Pantry Staples

Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Canned corn (1 Can)
Canned kidney beans (1 can)
Canned or bottled Marinara Sauce
Canned peas (1 can)
Canned quartered or diced tomatoes (2 cans)
Canned tomato paste (unflavored 2 cans)
Canned tomato sauce unflavored (2 cans)
Canned tomato soup (1 can)
Canned white beans (1 Can)
Cocoa powder, unsweetened
Corn or Potato Starch
Custard powder (Bird’s)

Stocks and Homemade Sauces

Beef Stock (2 Cartons)
Canned Beef Consommé (Campbell’s 2 Cans)
Chicken Stock (2 Cartons)
Sauce Espagnol (See Recipe, 4 X ½ Cup Containers)


Olive Oil
Corn Oil
Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil
Safflower Oil
Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
White Wine Vinegar
Sherry Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Light Soy Sauce
Hot Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce

Dried Fruits/Nuts

White raisins (1 bag)
Pecans or walnuts (1 box)

Fresh Veg and Fruit

Apples Golden Delicious or Granny Smith (2)
Banana Pepper (2)
Carrots (1 Bag)
Celery Stalks (1 Bag)
Cherry Tomatoes (1 Box)
Green Bell Pepper (1)
Green Beans (1 Bag)
Italian Parsley (1 Bunch)
Lemons (2)
Limes (2)
Oranges (2)
Peeled Garlic Cloves (1 Jar/Packet)
Peeled Shallots (1 Box) or 3 Whole Unpeeled
Plum Tomatoes (3)
Red Bell Pepper (1)
Spanish Onion (3)

Fridge Staples

Asian Chili Sauce
Butter (Unsalted)
Cheddar Cheese
Cream Cheese
Dijon Mustard
Dill Pickles
Heavy (Whipping Cream)
Hellman’s Mayonnaise
Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Pickled Beets
Sour Cream
Yellow Mustard

Freezer Staples

Vanilla Ice Cream
French Baguette, Frozen From Fresh

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