Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ten in 10: Stocking the Kitchen Pantry

Ten in 10 Logo

It's been a week since I announced my goals for the Ten in 10 Challenge, and I'm making baby steps toward achieving my main goal of gaining weight. After paying a stack of bills this weekend, I took a look at my budget and decided that I could afford to stock my pantry before the arrival of my first paycheck on January 15th. I would have liked to have kept the money in the bank longer, but my body just can't take one more bare-bones meal of rice and butter. (I'm exaggerating... slightly...)

In typical Michelle-fashion, I combed through my collection of cookbooks to get a sense of what I should have in my kitchen and made a list of the items I wanted to have on hand based on my cooking style and tastes. (For example, I left capers off my list because I'd only buy them if I needed them for a specific recipe.) Items that I had to add to my Fresh Direct order are indicated in red, while items already in my kitchen are indicated in black.
  • Apples
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Beans (canned) - I ordered black beans, cannellini beans, and red beans. Best to have a variety!
  • Beans (dried) - I have half a bag of dried pinto beans leftover from the last time I made my Slow-Cooked Smoky Chicken and Pinto Beans.
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Butter (salted)
  • Butter (unsalted)
  • Carrots
  • Celery -
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa - I have plenty of chocolate and cocoa still on hand from the Scharffen Berger event I attended last October.
  • Coconut milk
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Dried herbs - I buy these as I need them, but I think it's probably a good idea for me to check how old my dried herbs are...
  • Eggs
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flours - I have half a bag of all-purpose flour, so I ordered more. Plus, I ordered a bag of whole wheat flour. Time to start experimenting with that!
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ketchup
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Maple syrup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard - I hate mustard but realize its importance in certain dishes. Since the two bottles I have are flavored, I ordered a bottle of yellow mustard, which is something my mother always had in her kitchen. I would have sprung for Dijon, but, like I said, I hate mustard, and I find it highly amusing that I'll possess three bottles of the stuff by this time tomorrow.
  • Nuts - I went with walnuts this time because I plan on using them in a recipe soon.
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Parsley
  • Pasta - I have two boxes in the cabinet, but I ordered two boxes of whole wheat pasta so I can start adding more whole grains to my diet.
  • Potatoes
  • Rice - I ordered a bag of white rice and a bag of brown rice, both long-grain.
  • Salsa
  • Scallions
  • Sesame oil
  • Shallots
  • Soy sauce
  • Spices - My dried spices situation is much like my dried herbs situation. Some of them can probably be replaced, but I'll save that task for another day.
  • Stock (canned) - I have chicken stock but ordered vegetable stock and beef stock. Eventually, yes, I will make my own stock and keep in the freezer.
  • Tomatoes (canned)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vinegar
While it's almost embarrassing to admit that I had to order most of the items on this list, I'm relieved to know that I can start cooking real meals again.

So far, so good.

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