Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Moments - The Spice of life!

Some time ago, my sweet cousin Rachel asked me for some help. She was leaving for college and wanted to know what spices and herbs I recommend she keep stocked in her small kitchen shared with roommates. Then last week my other cousin, Julie, also asked me for a recommended list of herbs and spices to always have on hand. So, I figured it was time put a list together. After all, I have such wonderful cousins and family members who have been incredibly supportive of me and my blog, I can't let them down.

I'm going to admit though, I've really been struggling with this...because I pretty much keep every herb and spice on hand. As much as I cook, I go through a lot of herbs and spices. But I've put together a few lists, depending on your circumstances and cooking level. Now keep in mind, these are the herbs and spices I would use based on my cooking style and recipes. So if you follow my blog and use a lot of my recipes, these will be the most used herbs and spices.

On a side note, the new Winco just opened less than a mile from my house. There are some things I love and some things I don't love about Winco...but the best thing is their bulk section. You can buy herbs and spices by the pound. This is great for those times you may be trying a new recipe that calls for a unfamiliar herb/spice. You can purchase just the amount you need before committing to an entire jar.

(Photo credit: Google Images)

The beginner or limited space Cook:

Kosher Salt/Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Dill
Oregano
Basil
Rosemary
Thyme
Chili Powder
Cumin
Cinnamon
Nutmeg

The average everyday "cook for my family" king of Cook:

Kosher Salt/Pepper
Lemon Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Celery Salt
Dill
Oregano
Basil
Rosemary
Thyme
Sage
Bay Leaves
Marjoram
Ground Mustard
Ground Ginger
Curry Powder
Turmeric
Chili Powder
Paprika
Cumin
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Cloves
Allspice

The advanced "absolutely love to cook" kind of cook:

Kosher Salt/Pepper
Whole Pepper Corns
Lemon Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Celery Salt
Dill
Oregano
Basil
Rosemary
Thyme
Sage
Chives
Bay Leaves
Marjoram
Lavender
Fennel Seed
Ground Mustard
Ground Ginger
Curry Powder
Turmeric
Coriander Seed
Chili Powder
Paprika
Cumin
Dried Cilantro
Chinese Five-Spice
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Cloves
Allspice
Bon Appetit Seasoning salt
Fajita Seasoning
Mexican Seasoning
Italian Seasoning
Poultry Seasoning
Spike
Sesame Seeds
Poppy Seeds

As for the baking items I always have on hand:

Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Coco Powder
Brown Sugar
Powdered Sugar
Flour/Sugar
Molasses
Honey
Karo Syrup
Chocolate Chips
A variety of cake mixes
Powdered Buttermilk
Powdered Milk
Butter
Vanilla
Almond Extract
Lemon Extract
Orange Extract
Food Coloring
Cupcake Liners

And for my "must have" pantry/refrigerator items:

Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic Glaze
Apple Cider Vinegar
White Vinegar
Rice Vinegar
Panko Bread Crumbs
Variety of Rice
Variety of Pasta
Mustard
Ketchup
Mayo
Worcestershire Sauce
Hot Sauce
Olive Oil
Canola Oil

I think I've covered the basics. I know it seems like a lot, especially if you're a beginner cook or just starting your kitchen collection. If you really love to cook, I recommend you just buy items as you need them and over time your collection will grow. This is where meal planning and groceries lists really come in handy. As you plan your meals for the week, you'll know the items you'll need and will be able to purchase them ahead of time. Good luck and please don't hesitate to ask any questions. Also, if any of you pro-cooks out there notice something I've left off the list or an item you really feel is a "must have" in the kitchen. I'd love to hear about it!

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1 comment:

Chellese said...

Do you have a favorite brand Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil?

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