9.) Condiments. I tend to use these as a base for marinades, salad dressings, and sauces, and always have several on hand, including ketchup, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, vegetable oil, soy sauce, Worchester sauce, honey, cider vinegar, white vinegar, and white wine vinegar.
10.) Miscellaneous. These essentials didn't really fit into any other category, but they're essential all the same. White sugar and brown sugar, nuts (we like pistachios and walnuts), raisins, baking soda, baking powder, coffee, tea, coffee (did I say coffee? Mmmm, coffee), chocolate chips (heat it with a little cream for a nearly instant hot fudge sauce), apricot jam (great for cooking), and strawberry jam (great for sandwiches).
Here are five things you can make with them!
1.) Pasta sauce: Onion + canned diced tomato + tomato paste + garlic + fresh veggies + ground beef or Italian sausage. Serve over pasta, spread on pizza dough and top with cheese, or simmer chicken drumsticks in it for an easy Cacciatore.
2.) Roast chicken dinner: Whole roasting chicken + spices + onion + potato + carrots. Got leftovers? Of course you do. Here are a few ways to use them up.
3.) Chili: Onion + garlic + beans + spices (cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, paprika) + ground beef (optional). Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt or a sprinkling of cheese.
4.) Overnight oatmeal: Rolled oats + milk + fruit + brown sugar + cinnamon + your slow cooker = ready-when-you-wake-up-the-next-morning goodness. We love this recipe that Swistle turned us on to: Baked Oatmeal.
5.) Quick macaroni and cheese: Pasta + American cheese + milk + salt + pepper = that's it, you're done.
Intimated? Don't be! Build your pantry a little bit at a time, and stock it with things your family really uses. Don't forget: There's a condensed, easy-to-print-out checklist of these pantry items in the "Save Time" section right here at Work It, Mom!
What are some of the essentials in your pantry? Please share your ideas in the comments!