The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Part Two: My Pantry Staples

Happy St. Patty’s Day! Are you wearing green? I sure am because I know that even from a distance I could be pinched by someone hired by my family. Wearing green is one of those traditions that we follow. We have shamrock pins. No green, you get pinched. You could always tell people that your underwear is green and hope they aren’t the type of weirdo to ask to see it. If your underwear is green for any other reason beyond the fabric color, gross, wash them.

Maybe when Greg gets home from his St. Louis trip today, we will drink beer (no green beer-that’s a travesty). Greg is partially Irish (part o’ his beard is red but not as red as his sister’s hair-hey, Leslie). His great grandparents were from Ireland and his great grandpa made shoes (that’s what his grandma told me, rest her soul). I do love dancing jigs and shoes catered to my feet would’ve been like dancing on pillows (in my mind).

Personal tidbit of the day: When I was in first grade, I learned to spell leprechaun to a Christmas tune for a bonus word on the spelling test. If you see me, ask me to spell leprechaun and you will hear me sing it.

I won’t even hide that I tried to make soda bread (but that seems to be up for debate whether or not it stems from Ireland or not), from a Bon Appetit recipe, in the current issue. The recipe was supposed to be authentic Irish inn food but the outside was hard and the inside was still dough and it did not smell like bread. I was disappointed and again, I wasted ingredients, a whole lotta ingredients. Thanks, Bon Appetit…I usually trust you.

Moving on to the topic du jour (trumpet sounds)-pantry staples post number two. Continued from yesterday’s post about my cabinet staples. Today includes herbs and fridge must-haves at my place.


Fresh: *rosemary, thyme, *cilantro, basil, parsley – I love fresh herbs in almost anything and I am a cilantro nut; we grow our own herbs.

Butternut squash, pecans, blue cheese and herbs or Dutch oven chicken and dumplings

(I warn you that I have quite a collection) Dried: herbe de Provence, garam masala, cumin, curry, smoked/sweet paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, several types of chili powder, sage, onion/garlic powder, oregano, thyme, coriander, dill, tarragon, bay leaves, turmeric, basil, parsley, saffron, cardamom, allspice, Old Bay and more but these are musts to me

– More helpful recipes from Real Simple using pantry items

Refrigerator Staples:

*Butter (salted and unsalted)

*Milk/heavy cream/yogurt- We usually get 1% but sometimes whole is required and heavy cream comes in handy for whipped cream, in soups and stews, casseroles, with baked eggs and desserts (keep an eye on the expiration date)

Rice pudding or Indian paneer cheese

*Eggs – I didn’t like eggs that much in the past but I find that we go through nearly 2 dozen a week these days after discovering how much I love things like baked eggs and sweets

*Deli meat (probably turkey, roast beef or corned beef at our place) – Greg’s lunch if we don’t have leftovers and great to roll up with cheese, lettuce, spinach or arugula for a protein packed snack

Bacon/pancetta/prosciutto/diced ham/chorizo – I have at least one or two of these per week, great with baked eggs and casseroles like chickpea and chorizo and chorizo and mozzarella pizza casserole

*Parmesan cheese, feta, goat cheese, Parmigianno-Reggiano, blue cheese, brie or camembert, mozzarella, string for snacking, etc. -we’re big on cheese snacking and meals with cheese like strata, cheese pie, baked shrimp and other recipes on my site (look for cheese in the category section on the right)

*Wine (red and white)-I use it to deglaze and de-stress

Chicken in riesling and mulled wine from Food & Wine

*Mayo-I make my own sometimes even though I’m not a huge fan (I wasn’t the kid dipping my fries in it.)

*Soy sauce/ginger paste (or fresh ginger)/sweet chili sauce/curry paste/*Worcestershire sauce/*Dijon mustard/*jelly/*maple syrup – We have a lot of condiments beyond this.

Olives (mixed, kalamata, etc.) – I snack on these often pricey gems and add them to many recipes…I find myself saying, if something seems off with a recipe, “add olives.”

chicken stew with peppers and olives

Hummus/tzatziki/sour cream/yogurt/relish (dill or homemade jalapeno for hot dogs and sandwiches) – my recipe for tzatziki

*Dill pickles -I am partial to Bubbies and Clausen.

*Hot Sauce-2 kinds of Tabasco, Sriracha – we love the heat

Chili peppers- if you dare to chop and add them to soups and casseroles

Soba noodles- I like Melissa’s yakisoba noodles in the produce section of my store; they whip into an easy stir-fry in a few minutes.

Lemons/limes- in water and added to a few recipes (I drink more water with citrus squeezed in.)

*Fresh vegetables-caulifower, green beans, broccoli, peppers, spinach, etc. – depending on freshness for the week/season, find your local farmer’s market or co-op

*Apples/oranges/grapes and berries (depending on the season) – we always have fruit around for snacking (see above link to find your local farmer’s market or co-op) and stop by one of several orchards when we can

*Bread (baguette) – we try to pick up good quality bread from the co-op or local bakery

*Diet pop -I can’t give it up (diet Pepsi, tea, love diet ginger ale and ginger ale with green tea, Fresca)

Craft Beer – Greg wanted me to add this and made sure I clarified craft and not crap, good call

Join me tomorrow for my last pantry post, the freezer.

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