Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Stocked Kitchen

A well-stocked, organized kitchen is very important to me. It makes the cooking process easier and I know what I have in my kitchen at all times so I don't accidentally buy 3 more packs of flour when I already had 2 stocked away. We live on a budget and a mistake like this could be hurtful at the end of the month when/if we need milk or some sort of other staple item.
I like to make most everything from scratch. It's healthier, its fun and it has a better taste than store bought. The lists below are what you'll find in my kitchen most of the time. If I'm low on one of these items it's not for long. I like to have plenty in stock when I get the urge to make something. And getting the urge happens quite a bit so I have to be prepared.

Here is my "must-haves" list for the kitchen:
*wooden spoons (I have 4)
*plastic spatulas (I have 4)
*multiple size mixing bowls (I have 3 glass and 5 stainless steel)
*whisk (2)
*measuring cups/spoons (I have 3 sets)
*cheese grater
*strainer (I have 4, different sizes)
*rolling pin
*pots and pans (obviously)
*cookie sheets (I have 5+)
*loaf pans (I have 4)
*cutting boards (I have 4)
*stand mixer
*hand mixer
*food processor

Ingredients you'll more than likely find in my kitchen at all times

*flours (all-purpose, whole wheat, bread)
*sugars (white, light brown, powdered)
*powdered milk
*olive oil
*vegetable oil
*butter (the real thing, unsalted to control our salt intake)
*baking powder
*baking soda
*vanilla extract
*almond extract
*corn starch
*salt and pepper
*vegetable shortening
*chocolate chips
*cake mixes

Cooking Supplies:
*tomato paste and sauce
*stewed and diced tomatoes
*green chilis
*rotel mix (knock-off brand)
*pasta (whole wheat, all kinds)
*chicken broth
*chicken and beef bullion cubes
*dry beans
*rice (white and brown)

Freezer items:
*fruits (mixed, blueberries, strawberries, peaches)
*boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*ground beef/turkey (divided into 1 lb. portions)
*boneless pork chops
*veggies (buy fresh, chop and freeze)
*nuts (pecans and walnuts pieces)
*ice cream (homemade of course)
*leftover convenience meals (for Hubby to take to work for lunch if no leftovers from dinner the night before)

Fridge items:
*milk (we like skim)
*eggs (at least 2 dozen)
*cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan)
*pepperoni's (I make pizza quite a bit)
*heavy cream
*cream cheese (2-3, 8 oz pks)
*butter (4+ sticks)
*fresh fruit or frozen fruit thawed (for cereals and bread recipes)

My kitchen tools listed are the basics, but I use almost everything from that list on a daily basis. I have many more kitchen gadgets that I don't use frequently but enough that I don't mind all the space they take up. :)
And my list of foods can be at all times (for the most part). If you're serious about making things from scratch and cooking great meals everyday, this is a great starter list. Some things I have on my lists I recently added to my kitchen since we're trying to eat healthier (whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-wheat flour).
Most of my kitchen tools we were blessed with from wedding gifts. I thought ahead of what I would want for now and would probably use in the near future. Glad I thought ahead because I definitely use them a lot.
I hope you found this list helpful and I hope you find wonderful joys in your kitchen as I have found in mine.


erin said...

Ginny, I love this! What a helpful list. I don't know how you have room for all of this. LOL

I currently plan meals for two weeks, but I'm thinking about going to a monthly one.

Ginny said...

Surprisingly we have quite a large kitchen (for an apartment). I have them posted on "My workspace." I have a ton of counter space and cabinet space, thankfully. And they are filled to the max with all my kitchen gadgets! I honestly couldn't fit anything else.
Planning your meals 2 weeks in advance is awesome! If you plan at all, you're on the right track. I think it makes life a tad easier to have something that easy planned. There's no thinking, "what's for dinner?" You already know!
As for the monthly plan, have the next month printed off and when you find a recipe you like and may want to try, write it on there. I've already started on my September menu. LOL. I've come across so many blogs lately with tons of great recipes that I have so many I want to write down and try. I keep the on-going, next month's menu in my recipe binder and pull it out when I want to add to it. So helpful and handy!
I also have "recipes to print" bookmarked on the computer to print at a later time and add to my recipe binder. Maybe my next blog should be how to put together your own recipe book. :)

Rachel Anne said...

I'm just now stopping by for coffee from Home Sanctuary! What a great pantry list...and super ideas. You go, girl!

It's lovely to meet you and I hope to see you around!!