Kitchen & Pantry

Have you ever wondered what defines a well stocked kitchen and pantry Well, for people like myself who love to cook, great ingredients, recipes, utensils and equipment are a must…but how do we decide what we really need to always have on hand? This section is dedicated to the “must haves” for a functional kitchen.


Extra Virgin olive oil

Canola Oil

Vinegar (white wine, red wine, cider) 

Wine (white and red)

Rice (long, short, brown or wild whatever you find you cook with the most)

Pasta (thin spaghetti, penne, elbows)**whole wheat or regular semolina

Bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs

Tomatoes (crushed, diced, paste)

Broth (vegetable, chicken or beef…buy organic aseptic boxes on the shelf or make your own) 

Beans (cannelini, garbanzo, kidney)

Worcestershire sauce

Mustard (dry, Colemans is best)

Dijon Mustard (honey or grainy)


Mayo (good quality or make your own)

Olives (black kalamata)

Tuna (imported packed in olive oil)

Anchovies (imported packed in olive oil)

Soy Sauce

Honey or other invert sugar like corn syrup (light or dark) or molasses

Dry Spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, cumin, chilli powder, Spanish paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, whole black peppercorns, ground black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves, parsley, cayenne pepper, sea salt) **Store away from heat or direct light

All purpose unbleached flour

Corn starch

Baking powder

Baking Soda 

Sugar (granulated, brown, powdered)

Vanilla Extract (buy or make your own)

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Semi sweet chocolate chips

Parmesan, pecorino or romano cheese (or blends)

Fresh garlic cloves

Fresh yellow onions (medium size)


Mushrooms (white button or brown cremini)

Frozen vegetables (corn, peas, green beans)

Frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, bananas when too brown to eat)

Fresh eggs

Milk (fresh, evaporated or dry)

Dry Buttermilk

Dry yeast packets

Dried Fruit (apricots, cherries, raisins)

Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts) **keep in freezer

Nutella (or make your own)

Peanut butter (or make your own)


8″,  10″ and 12″ non stick frying pan  

10″ or 12″ stainless steel fry pan

3 quart stainless steel saute pan with lid

3 quart stainless steel covered casserole pot

Stainless steel roasting pan/lasagna pan

Stainless steel colander (great for steaming too)

Nonstick sauce pan with lid 

Stoneware or Corning Ware baking dishes (great to bake and serve in)

Large baking stone ( great for homemade pizzas and breads)

A good quality knife block set (with chef knife, utility knife, paring knife, sharpening tool, serrated knife for bread, kitchen shears)

Garlic press

Potato ricer or potato masher

Locking tongs

Offset serving spatulas with rectangular base to flip food


Large wooden spoons

A good and sharp vegetable peeler

1, 2 and 3 oz cookie scoop (also called dishers)

Small and large size mesh strainers

Lemon juicer

Assorted sizes of stainless steel mixing bowls

Assorted sizes of plastic containers with lids for storage **NOT ROUND

Large wooden cutting board (fruits and vegetables)**NOT ROUND

Large plastic cutting board (for meat and chicken)**NOT ROUND

Immersion blender

Tabletop Kitchenaid mixer

Food Processor (min 8 cup capacity)

Digital food scale (min 6 pound capacity, in lbs, oz and Kg and grams)

Large measuring cups (2 and 4 cup capacity in heavy plastic or shatterproof glass) 

Individual measuring cups and spoons

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jane Bonacci - The Heritage Cook January 26, 2011 at 5:44 p

What a wonderful, comprehensive list! This would be the perfect thing to send to newlyweds, people moving into their first homes, or anyone “reinventing” themselves after a break-up or divorce. Fantastic!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 28, 2011 at 2:39 p

Thanks Jane! Yes, I used a few of the blogs that I follow for inspiration and compiled a list from several of them that had some great ideas….

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