Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Stalking Your Pantry

 Obsessively knowing what your kitchen is up to......

A well stocked pantry is the beginning of being a good cook

      One of the secrets to being a good cook is having a well stocked pantry.  If you have everything you need when you need it, you will be more likely to cook from scratch and less likely to eat pre-packaged food.  Having these ingredients on hand will also improve your cooking skills by allowing you to experiment.  AND, as an added bonus, you can save money by stocking up when you find these basic items on sale.

If you have the following items, you can cook practically anything.

In the pantry:
  • Baking needs:  baking powder, baking soda, yeast, cornstarch, cream of tartar, unsweetened powdered cocoa, unsweetened baking chocolate, bitter sweet chocolate, chocolate chips, Bisquick
  • Beans (Dried/canned): Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, pinto beans
  • Beverages:  whole coffee beans, instant coffee, tea bags
  • Canned meats:  chicken, tuna, sardines, clams, anchovies
  • Condiments:  mayonnaise, salsa, mustard (yellow, brown, Dijon, stone ground), ketchup, basil pesto, sofrito
  • Dried fruit & nuts:  Raisins, Craisins, dried mushrooms, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, sesame seeds
  • Extracts:  Vanilla, lemon, almond
  • Flour:  All purpose flour, cake flour, corn meal
  • Grains:   Long grain rice, brown rice, wild rice, Arborio rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Jams & spreads:  Smooth and chunky peanut butter, Nutella, a variety of preserves (orange, peach, apricot), a variety of jams (seedless raspberry, blackberry, strawberry), a variety of jellies (grape, pepper), apple butter, apple sauce
  • Pasta:  Spaghetti, egg noodles, couscous, dried cheese tortellini, macaroni, lasagna, orzo, Ramen, rice noodles
  • Pie fillings:  Apple, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin
  • Sauces:  Hot sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Hoisin sauce, chili sauce, BBQ sauce, taco sauce, A-1 steak sauce, anchovy paste in a tube, chocolate sauce
  • Soups:  Cream of mushroom, tomato, French onion, cheese
  • Stocks:  Beef, chicken, vegetable, fish
  • Stuff in jars:  artichoke hearts, a variety of olives, cocktail onions, capers, a variety of pickles, mushrooms, ginger
  • Sweeteners:  White sugar, brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, maple syrup, honey, molasses, corn syrup
  • Tomatoes:  canned (whole, stewed, diced, crushed), paste in a tube, sauce, sun dried in oil
  • Vegetables & fruits:  Creamed corn, green beans, chilies, pineapple
  • Vinegars & oils:  Extra-Virgin olive oil , canola oil, cooking spray, chili oil, sesame oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar , white distilled vinegar , apple cider vinegar
  • Other stuff:  bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, crackers, instant mashed potatoes, instant pudding mixes (chocolate, vanilla), dried unsweetened coconut, miniature marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, graham crackers, pre-made salad dressings (Ranch, Italian, blue cheese), granola, tortilla chips
In the freezer:
  • Meat:  Ground beef, a whole chicken, boneless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, pork chops, sausage (bulk, links, Italian), bacon, steak, roasts, shrimp
  • Pastries:  Puff pastry, phyllo dough, pie crusts
  • Vegetables:  Broccoli, peas, corn, sofrito (diced onions & red and green peppers) 
  • Other stuff: non-dairy whipped topping, vanilla ice cream

In the fridge:
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Juices:  Orange, apple, tomato
  • Dairy:  Milk, sour cream, butter milk, heavy whipping cream, yogurt
  • Cheese:  cream cheese, sharp & mild cheddars, feta, mozzarella, parmesan, blue
  • Other stuff:  wonton wrappers, flour tortillas, instant biscuits, chopped garlic, cold cuts

Alcohol:  Vodka, gin, dry white wine, sweet white wine, dry red wine, pre-made sangria, dark beer, liquors (raspberry, orange)

Produce:  carrots, potatoes, lemons, bananas, oranges, limes, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, green onions, fresh herbs

Herbs & Spices
  • Allspice
  • Bay leaves
  • Caraway seeds
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Celery seed
  • Cinnamon (sticks, ground)
  • Cloves (whole, ground)
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Cilantro
  • Dried Marjoram
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Dried Tarragon
  • Dried Thyme
  • Fennel seeds
  • Garlic (dried and powdered)
  • Ground allspice
  • Ground chili peppers
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground mustard
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Lemon Zest
  • Liquid smoke
  • Mace
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Onions (dried and powdered)
  • Orange zest
  • Peppercorns
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Rubbed sage
  • Salt (table, kosher, sea)
  • Savory
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sweet paprika
  • Turmeric