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Cooking Essentials

Again, I’m more of a baker than a cook, and I’m the first to admit that cooking-wise, I don’t keep a lot of stuff on hand.  I do plan my menus now, usually a couple weeks in advance, but I tend to buy only what I need, and nothing extra.  If I do have anything on hand, it tends to be leftover ingredients from different recipes that I have no idea what to do with.  This page is going to be a mix of things I actually try to keep on hand, as well as some stuff I should keep in the pantry.

So here’s what I have or (try to have):

  • Different kinds of pasta (For me, it’s usually Spaghetti, Penne, Rotini, and Elbow Macaroni)
  • Rice
  • Canned Beans (Usually Kidney, Pinto, Black, and Refried)
  • Canned Tomatoes (Usually Crushed Tomatoes, Sometimes Whole)
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Frozen Vegetables (I prefer Corn, Broccoli and Peas)
  • Shredded Cheese (Usually Cheddar or the Mexican 4 Cheese Mix)
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa and Taco Sauce
  • Potatoes (Russet or Red)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Spices and Dried Herbs (Cumin, Chili Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Italian Seasoning, Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme are the ones I use the most, but I have a few other ones that I don’t use)
  • The pre-packaged, frozen veggie burgers as well as a few of the other meatless alternatives.  They’re easy to use as a substitute for meat, and if I don’t feel like making something (or eating something I’ve made), then I can just use them as a fall-back.

I usually buy fresh produce as needed, and only what I need, unless it’s something like celery.  In that case, I use what I need and freeze the rest…or I leave in the fridge, forgetting about it until a few weeks later and I have to throw it out.  I’m trying not to do that now since it is wasting food.

Here’s my essential cookware:

  • different pots and pans
  • a spatula and a wooden spoon
  • crockpot
  • tupperware
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • grater
  • potato peeler
  • Colander

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