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Stock Your Pantry for Culinary Success

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Black appliances and natural wood cabinets in a kitchen

Whether you've recently moved into your new apartment, or are simply ready to begin sharpening your cooking skills for the upcoming holidays, you'll need a well-stocked pantry in order to begin putting your gourmet kitchen to good use. In fact, with a simple list of pantry essentials in hand, you can have your pantry prepared for culinary success all year long.

After all, you have a dynamic life, and don't have time to visit the grocery store each day to pick up that one last remaining item on your recipe's ingredient list. Plan ahead, and you'll save time and money, while creating delicious dishes and baked goods for your entire family to enjoy.

Here is a list of pantry essentials to help you get up to great work in your beautiful, new kitchen, right away! Bon appetit!

In order to create even basic meals or snacks, you're going to need a few items on hand at all times. Stay stocked with the following, and you'll be able to whip up simple dishes in a pinch:

  • Salt (Kosher and Fine)
  • Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

While you can go a long way with simple salt and pepper, if you're really going to start flexing your culinary muscles, you'll need a stash of commonly used spices to help you along. These should do the trick:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves
  • Ground Ginger
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Curry Powder
  • Thyme
  • Dill 
  • Nutmeg

When you want to break out your baking skills, you'll need to have a few items on hand. Even simple muffins or bread will require more than just flour and eggs. These ingredients should get you going:

  • All Purpose Flour (white, whole wheat, spelt, etc.)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Confectioner's Sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Chocolate Chips 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Rice, Grains, Pasta
Most nights, you'll want to include some kind of grain or pasta into your meal to help you meet dietary requirements, fill you up and take in hearty fiber. If you keep these items on hand, you'll have good choices for every night of the week:

  • Pasta Noodles (spaghetti, rotini, linguini, egg noodles, whole grain, etc.)
  • Standard Grains: Quinoa, Cous Cous, Bulgar
  • White Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • Breadcrumbs

Canned Goods
Quickly prepare your favorite dishes with canned items that help to create tasty broths, hearty sauces and delicious dips or sandwich fillers. Here's what you'll need:

  • Chicken Stock or Vegetable Broth
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Beans (black, navy, cannelinni, chickpeas)
  • Olives
  • Salsa
  • Tuna
  • Anchovies




Filed Under: Apartment Living

About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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