Thursday, May 7, 2015

Must Have Items in my Pantry

Grocery shopping. What once was a relaxing, what-new-items-are-out, let me stroll over here to get some butter, experience has now turned into mayhem. Making sure Delilah doesn't fall out of the cart, wrestling her in the cart, justifying not walking all the way over to the juice aisle, we can go one more day without out that juice, because as we were walking through the 88 people trying to get the same juice, Delilah decided it would be a good idea to throw her cheese and shoe out of the cart, so I didn't get the damn juice.


Go ahead and label this on the "Things I said I would never do List": Using one of those huge, car carts.

Simpler times, when just being out was enough ;)

I have made grocery shopping a strategic, let's get this shit done, operation. I will make a list, that is usually organized by the store's layout. I stop by the baby aisle first and get a squeezy, which is then followed by Delilah shaking her head, so we u-turn and go by the dairy aisle and I pick up a string cheese, to which I hand to Delilah and she shakes her head proceeding to reach for the squeezy I threw in the cart five minutes ago. I also bring a long (I did not mean to say a long toy, I meant bring along a toy. Sometimes autocorrect just doesn't understand.) a toy, right now the baby doll for a win.

Since we are in the dairy aisle at this point, I start there, always ending with produce.

I make my shopping list according to what we are out of, essential items, and the menu I have made for the week. It makes it easier when I know exactly what I am cooking, so I write my menu on my calendar and then the ingredients on my list. This will change on a weekly basis, but there are items that I always have on hand, either in the pantry or fridge, that make cooking easier. I like to mix up my meals, there are of course the usuals that make an appearance once a week or so, but for the most part, I keep a pretty diverse menu. 

Must Have, Always, No Exceptions Items:

milk, juice, cheese (string, babybel, sandwich, sprinkle, garlic and herb spread), pea crisps, fruit chews, bananas, apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, mac&cheese, cottage cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, eggs, bacon (I have a coffee mug full of bacon grease, super helpful for when you don't feel like cooking bacon.), half&half

bow tie pasta, spaghetti, spiral pasta, rice, quinoa, bulgar wheat, potatoes, bread, tortillas

chicken stock, beef stock, crushed tomatoes, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, refried beans, black beans, soy sauce, honey

I also keep a pretty stocked spice cabinet. Different cuisines will typically use the same basic ingredients and spices for each dish. I am not a chef by any means, but here is what I use when I cook:


garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, cumin, chili powder, oregano
{{cilantro, peppers, crema, pico de gallo}}


garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger, 5 spice, honey, sesame oil
{{green onion, garlic, ginger, orange juice}}


garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, olive oil
{{feta cheese, mint, parsley, cucumber, lemon, plain yogurt}}


garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, cayenne
{{green bell pepper, celery, onion}}


garlic powder, onion powder, Lawrys, onion soup mix, bacon ;)

If you keep these items on hand, you will be amazed at how much you can make. I will make Greek Chicken peta wraps, with cucumber yogurt one night, fried chicken or pot roast another night, then finish the week with Lo Mein! 

I hope this has helped you!

Please comment with your favorite dinner recipes. I always love new ideas ;)


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