Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's in my pantry

Someone asked me the other day how I buy all of the crazy ingredients that go into my recipes all of the time.  My answer - I don't have to buy much.  Six years ago I moved into my first apartment and I have been accumulating spices and long lasting ingredients since then.  At first, I would find a recipe online or in a magazine I wanted to make and have to go buy everything.  At some point though, I had gotten most spices that I use on a regular basis.  I also figured out based on my tastes what I need to have on hand to make recipes that I enjoy.

I usually go to the grocery store once a week and try to spend $50 or less.  With that money I buy all of the fresh produce, dairy, and (once in a blue moon) meat, along with anything else that I might be running low on.  Some weeks I run out of pantry items like olive oil or ketchup and those weeks I run a little over budget.  There are times when I have some crazy inspiration and want to make something exotic that I need to buy a lot for as well.  For the most part though, $50 will feed Josh and me for a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We only eat out once a week, so I think we're doing pretty good with this.

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post.  My pantry is currently a disaster and I'm slightly embarrassed to take a picture of it (or my fridge).  So here is my list of things I like to have in stock, and then weekly purchases for us.  (In case you are curious)

Spices -
  • Sea salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dill
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • All spice
Canned goods -
  • 2-3 cans chickpeas
  • 2-3 cans black beans
  • 2-3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans diced green chiles
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 jars marinara sauce
Other pantry staples -
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Peanut butter
  • coffee
Grains/nuts -
  • Quinoa
  • Oats (rolled and steel cut)
  • 2-3 boxes whole wheat pasta
  • popcorn kernels (not bagged)
  • Almonds
Baking goods -
  • Unbleached all purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Honey
  • Chocolate chips
  • Craisins
Normally stocked items in my fridge -

  • lemon juice
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • mayonaise
  • park cheese
  • some sort of jam
  • olives
  • pickles
  • butter
  • Earth Balance margarine
Weekly purchases -

  • good cheese (I'm a Wisconsin girl after all...)
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • eggs
  • vegetables (based on what's in season)
    • spinach
    • tomatoes
    • onions
    • carrots
    • broccoli
    • bell peppers
    • mushrooms
    • avocados
    • potatoes
  • fruit
    • bananas
    • apples
    • berries
    • oranges
  • fish and/or chicken if "happy" items are on sale
  • bread
  • pita chips


Now I know that seems like an awful lot of stuff (which is why my kitchen is not exactly organized (read - stufffallsouteverytimeiopenthedoor), but with these things I find that I can do pretty much anything I want in the kitchen.

And if you're still with me at this point, here is a picture of what you can look forward to tomorrow.



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What's Annie Making?: What's in my pantry

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What's in my pantry