Food Friday: A Well Stocked Pantry

Happy Friday to you all! I hope you had a wonderful week and are ready for the weekend! We have a 4 day weekend over here, Jake has no school today and Monday. I was supposed to head down to San Diego for a wedding of some dear friends, Abraham and Vanessa, but true to my kid’s M.O. lately, Evy came down with a 103 temp yesterday so Brandon had to go without me. Not really sure why that has happened to me over and over the last several events I have planned to go to…but God knows. Although I get extremely frustrated about it, I just have to trust that He knows what’s best for me. :(

Vanessa and Abraham, WE LOVE YOU. We are so proud of you and I know God will bless your marriage and life together. Thank you for including Brandon in the ceremony. He is so proud of you Abe. We love you both.

So this wedding talk is a perfect intro to today’s Food Friday, as this is essentially a young couple post, hopefully you all don’t mind!

Several years ago a very good friend of ours got married. We had the couple over for dinner a few weeks before the wedding and she was telling me that she didn’t know how to cook, had no good recipes to try and was a little worried about it. She asked me to help her learn. After they left, I had an idea for her wedding gift…. a recipe binder filled with all my favorite cookbook recipes.

I wish I had pictures of it, but it turned out darling! I copied all my favorite recipes from the cook books I loved {which I’m pretty sure is illegal now that I think of it?? ha oops} and then hand wrote on little cards my favorite personal recipes. I also included several pages of what I considered a “well stocked pantry”. Tucked inside the binder was a gift card to my favorite grocery store for them to get started on some of these recipes.

I think it was the most effort I have EVER put into a wedding gift. I was so worried they wouldn’t like it, but the day after the wedding, I recieved a phone call from the bride. I remember feeling super awkward that she called me the day after their wedding! ha. Anyway, they didn’t leave for their honeymoon until two days later, so they spent the day after the wedding opening gifts. She said our gift was their favorite one and they just had to call to thank us….they loved it that much. She kept telling me, “We haven’t called anyone, but we just HAD to tell you how much we loved it.”

Oh boy that made me happy! ha. :)

I thought that today I would share with you what I consider to be a well stocked pantry. My list has changed over the years, especially since I have had kids. I think that this is probably a very personal list and will vary from household to household. Regardless, I believe it’s very important for YOU to know what your well stocked pantry looks like so when you go to the grocery store you don’t have to constantly write list after list, you know exactly what you need and get it. As a creature of habit, this is super helpful for me. Even more importantly, you will find that most of the recipes you are drawn to will use ingredients that you most likely already buy, which helps make cooking easier.

So here we go….

Refrigerator

yes, I’m so kind, I included snap shots of mine, I know you’ll love it. ha. And by the way, I need to go shopping, so not everything I include on the list is here. :)

And here’s what I have in my fridge:

Brown organic large/jumbo eggs, Organic 2% milk, *String Cheese-Individual packages, *Cheddar Cheese- slices, *Cheese –shredded Mexican blend, Parmesan Cheese – both grated and block (You can purchase cheap @ Trader Joes), Goat Cheese, Organic Half & Half, Organic Heavy Whipping Cream, Sour Cream, Organic unsalted Butter, yogurt, spreadable butter, buttermilk, Mayo-Kraft Brand, Regular yellow mustard, Dijon Mustard – any brand, Whole Grain Mustard- any brand, ketchup, Organic Peanut butter, Organic low sugar jam, A1 sauce, Salsa, Maple Syrup- Grade A , Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil (especially during the summer), Shallots, Garlic, Red Onion, Yellow Onion, Celery, Carrots, Potatoes- variety of red, russet and yellow, Lemons, Limes, Yellow and green squash, sliced turkey, apples, oranges, grapes

*I Purchase @ Costco

Freezer

Kinda stressing as in the picture the frost on the freezer looks like dirt?!? yikes, sorry its just frost. ha

{Most items can be left in your freezer for 6 months}

Cut Spinach, *Whole Chicken Breasts {cut in half for cutlets}, *Beef- Ground, *Beef- Tri Tip cut, *Beef- Filet Migon, Croutons, Bread – Sourdough sliced and Whole Wheat, Bags of fruit – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, Peas – petite and regular, Pearl Onions, Artichoke hearts, frozen pizza, breaded chicken strips

*I purchase @ Costco in bulk and then split into dated Ziploc bags by small servings.

Pantry

All Purpose Flour, Sugar – white, brown and powdered, Sugar in the Raw, Crisco, Softsilk Cake Flour, Polenta, Honey Maid Graham Crackers, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Chocolate Chips – Semi sweet & white, Hershey’s syrup in can, Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Champagne Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, *Red Wine – Usually Merlot, *White Wine – usually Chardonnay, **Nuts – variety (almonds, walnuts, pine, etc), Chicken Broth- low sodium, Pasta- {bow tie, penne, egg noodles, lasagna, spaghetti, fettuccine, elbow}, Canned Marinara sauce , Canned Tuna & Chicken, Canned beans – {refried, Cannelloni, garbanzo, kidney}, Pimentos, Crushed Tomatoes in juice, Tomato paste, Pureed Tomatoes, Artichoke hearts, Canned Salsa, Jello – variety (for last min desserts J), Brownie Mix, Instant Espresso- I get Medaglia D’Oro brand, Chips & Crackers-Corn, pita, whole wheat, Oatmeal – both instant and regular, Boxed cereal, Lipton chicken soup mix, Cooking spray, Mac and cheese, variety of teas, variety of cereal bars

*I buy the cheapest brand @ Trader Joes

**If you are not a big nut person, buy these as you need and then freeze the leftovers.

Spices:

Thyme, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cream of Tarter, Oregano, Basil, Vanilla extract*, Coconut extract, lemon extract, whole peppercorns, Kosher Salt*, Blue Star All Purpose Seasoning*, Lipton Onion Soup Mix*, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian Seasoning, Crushed Peppers, Dill Weed*, Bay leaves*, Anise seed, Paprika, Chicken and beef broth powder, ground black pepper*, table salt*

*MUST HAVES – World Market carries hard to find spices

* * * *

Well, that’s what I have in my pantry! See, once I have a well stocked pantry, I can make almost anything my family eats. Every week I just restock what’s out. I wish I could say I have been good at menu planning over the years, but I just can’t get in the groove. I don’t like to be tied down to anything, but with a well stocked pantry I don’t have to be. At a moment’s notice I could make any of my family’s favorite meals like this one, this one, this one or this one. No need to run to the store, it’s already there! :)

So tell me…what’s your go to items for your pantry?? xoxo

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3 thoughts on “Food Friday: A Well Stocked Pantry

  1. 1
    Michelle says:

    What a fun post, I basically stock the same stuff, but I have some rotel or green chile on hand at all times (we like spicy). I think it’s interesting to see how different people store stuff, I keep my peanut butter and my maple syrup in the pantry.

  2. 2
    Emily says:

    Oh my goodness Amy…your fridge and pantry are so neat and organized! I am so embarrassed about mine…they are both disaster areas! Eeeek!

    Cool post!

  3. 3

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