10 Must Have Ingredients
Every cook keeps at least ten must have items that they use on a regular basis. While there may be one or two items that cross over from list to list I have a feeling that every cook's list is at least a little is different.
This is my list of must haves that I always keep in stock in my kitchen (I do not have an actual pantry but if I did these would be tops). When you are done reading about mine, tell us all about yours!
Romantic Food Movies - Five of My Favorites!
My Kitchen Requires the Following
1. Dried Onions - I buy these in bulk from the bulk food store at the mall. They are great to add to any dish that uses onions when you don't have the time to chop or you find yourself all out of fresh ones. It works in soup, casseroles, sauces, crock pots and more.
2. Cornstarch - Where would I be without cornstarch? It is my fall back thickener for sauces, gravies, soups and of course the main ingredient for one of my husband's favourite cookies, short breads.
3. Sugar Substitute - I won't tell you what kind because I'll get a flood of messages telling me how bad that brand is. But I highly recommend having a sugar substitute of some kind and replacing 1/3 of the sugar from any of your baking recipes; especially cakes and muffins.
4. Cooking Spray - This is the only thing I use for cake and loaf pans these days. It's quicker and cleaner than past alternatives. This product has improved a lot over the years and is now CFC free. That being said, I still think it's important to be careful to not inhale the fumes when spraying.
5. Campbell's Chicken Broth - I use this as the base for many a soup or sauce. It's convenient. It's affordable (I stock up when they go on sale) and the labels can be collected to help kids raise funds for school. I also keep a large stock of tomato soup and mushroom soup.
6. Pasta - Noodles of all kinds fill my cupboards but I'm especially fond of fusilli, elbow and shell. They are a great standby that can be served with a quick sauce or as an additive to casseroles and soups. It's healthy, affordable, easy to prepare and quick.
7. Rice - I couldn't live without it. And I wouldn't want to. This is one of my favourite side dishes for fish and chicken; especially if the chicken is prepared in a sauce. It is more expensive than pasta but breaks the monotony. It can be boiled, baked, sautÃ©ed and microwaved.
8. Oatmeal - It has been a common breakfast staple for generations. In our household it's a common snack food and sometimes a meal. And it can be dressed up with fruit and nuts. It is a great additive in cakes and muffins. One of the best sources of fibre that people actually enjoy.
9. Black Beans - I always have a few cans of black beans in the pantry. Black beans are a great substitute for pretty much any dish that uses ground beef; like, chilli, lasagna, meatloaf, burgers. I'm still thinking up new possibilities for this nutritious and totally filling must have ingredient.
10. Toppit Garlic Cubes - This is a frozen product (generally found with the frozen vegetables) I tested one day a few years ago when I was accosted by a taste tester at the grocery store. It's fabulous. Toppits are individually frozen cubes of minced cloves of garlic (or basil or ginger). I use them when I only need a clove or two. They are so handy, thaw almost instantaneously with no hassle and no garlic mincer to try and clean.
And there are my ten must have items that I couldn't and wouldn't want to live without. What items can't you live without in your kitchen?
Have You Tried Dried Onions?
One of the most surprising ingredients that I use regularly is dried onions. I've used them in soups, meat concoctions, and in sauces. Most recently I discovered dried leeks!