How To: Stock A Perfect Pantry

In just a blink of an eye, I (K) am moving, and all the packing and de-cluttering* has got me pretty excited for a fresh start.  I have been complaining not-so-infrequently about the woes of moving (and I’m certainly in good company), but really it is a perfect chance to work with a blank slate; to make those little changes that brighten up and completely transform a room; to have an excuse to invest in another piece of forever-furniture; and, something I’m particularly looking forward to: to reorganize my kitchen and build a well-curated and well-stocked pantry from the ground up.

So, today I thought I’d share with you some essentials (& some extras) for building a perfect pantry.

Baking Essentials

1. All purpose flour

2. Whole wheat flour

3. Raw white sugar

4. Brown sugar

5. Baking soda

6. Baking powder

7. Vanilla extract

8. Honey

9. Butter (although we often substitute greek yogurt)

10. Bittersweet chocolate (this is a place to spend a little extra)

11. Vegetable oil

12. Apple cider vinegar

& The Extras

13. Yeast (active dry & instant) – a particularly underrated pantry staple, with a little flour and yeast, you can whip up homemade pizza to throw on the grill for unexpected guests

14. Almond extract

15. Corn meal

16. Rolled oats (for topping cobblers and crumbles)

17. Rye flour

18. Cocoa powder

19. Molasses (for making delish homemade bread)

20. Vanilla beans

21. Ground flax seed

22. Confectioner’s sugar (for icings, duh)

Cooking Essentials

1. Extra virgin olive oil (I have a habit of keeping a standard bottle around for cooking and a bottle of the really good stuff for tossing in dressings where you really want some flavor)

2. Balsamic vinegar

3. Low sodium soy sauce

4. White vinegar (for pickling, poaching eggs, and cleaning burnt pans)

5. Garlic (a must to always have on hand)

6. Fresh lemons (or bottled lemon juice)

7. Vegetable stock (spend a little extra here, or make your own, — flavor really matters)

8. Sriracha (an obsession)

& The Extras

8. Fish sauce

9. Tomato paste

10. Rice vinegar

11. Red wine vinegar

12. Panko

Other Essentials

1. Whole plum tomatoes

2. Diced/crushed tomatoes

3. Marinated artichokes (for throwing together a last-minute antipasto plate, topping flatbreads, etc.)

4. Tomato sauce (for when you don’t have the time to make your own!)

5. Whole grain mustard

6. Hellman’s (to be used sparingly, but just a touch here and there on occasion goes a long way)

7. Legumes!  I always keep cannellini beans, black beans, and chick peas on hand

8. Dry pasta – lasagna, angel hair, and rigatoni are favorites

& The Extras

1. Spanish olives (a perfect cocktail bite when scattered about your home in pretty bowls)

2. Capers

3. Infused olive oil (add a baguette and open a bottle of wine . . .)

Spice Rack Essentials

1. Black peppercorns

2. Sea salt

3. Cayenne pepper

4. Chili powder

5. Cinnamon

6. Cumin

7. Nutmeg

8. Oregano

9. Paprika

10. Rosemary

11. Crushed red pepper

12. Thyme

13. Herbs de Provence

14. Curry powder

15. Crushed red pepper

& The Extras

16. Whole mustard seeds

17. Smoked paprika

18. Poppy seeds

19. Sesame seeds

20. Tarragon

21. Ground ginger

22. Cream of tartar

23. Garam masala

24. Saffron (a paella essential)

25. Truffle salt

Anything we’ve missed?  What are your pantry staples?

*Do you like how often we make up words here?

Images: 1 // 2 //  // 4

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2 responses to “How To: Stock A Perfect Pantry

  1. Love the spice rack shown. My pantry looks weird compared to this list… it’s filled with non-wheat “flours”, smoothie powders, various seeds and seaweed wraps. Because sometimes you just need a little nori in your life, right?

    And Unclutter is an entire site, so de-clutterer is perfectly acceptable!

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