So everyone who cooks at home has a few things they always have on hand and use on a regular basis. When you’re a beginner, you start with a few basic spices and accessories and then add as you go along. So now that I would say I am an intermediate home cook, I have definitely figured out what my staples are.
Garlic (fresh and powder)- The rule in our house is that you can never have too much garlic. Plus, if we’re both eating it then it we don’t even notice when we kiss. Garlic taste good in pretty much everything and has so many great health benefits! Adding more flavor to my food and not using any fattening or high calorie sauces is great. We use mostly fresh garlic and I throw it in my ninja and 5 seconds later, fresh chopped garlic. When it’s for eggs I tend to use the garlic salt. Garlic taste great in burgers, cauliflower mashed potatoes, steak, eggs, etc.
Avocado- Considered a major superfood, avocado has so many health benefits and is delicious. You can add it to breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert! We always have a few on hand and it always makes a great addition in health and taste. No, I am not thrilled with avocado shortages (thanks Mexican drug cartels!) but it is worth the high price sometimes to have such a great food on hand. It’s even great in smoothies, so weird but true! Plus just slice it, add some lime juice or garlic salt and it makes a great snack
Kitchen Aid Mixer-Really any mixer will do but there is just something about owning a Kitchen Aid mixer. I got mine about a year and a half ago as a birthday gift and I am obsessed! Joey got mine from Williams-Sonoma in Raspberry Ice. I use it for cookies, pie dough, banna bread, whipped cream, dips, etc. It makes life a million times easier and has so many awesome attachments. I want the meat grinder next but that will wait until we do a meat CSA and get a freezer.
Food Processor- I have the Ninja Pulse and am obsessed! It’s funny because I didn’t use it that much when I first got it and now we use it daily. I use it for chopping garlic to making pesto to making smoothies and even almond butter. With the different attachments it comes with and then the little cup for single serve smoothies/juices, it is a life saver. It is easy to clean, store, and makes prep work a dream. We used to spend forever chopping garlic and doing everything by hand and now it’s all done in a matter of minutes. Averaging about $80, it is a great investment!
Spices-I know I already mentioned garlic but there a few more spices that are great to have in your arsenal. Besides, it usually takes a while to go through this and they last a long time so it’s not much to invest in great flavor. So try to always have: (himalayan) salt, pepper, paprika, oregeno, chilli powder, and onion powder. Depending on what you like, don’t forget basil or rosemary.
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning- This is my new favorite staple hands down!I know a lot of people are really into FlavorGod seasonings and I will probably check them out but I don’t think they can beat Tony’s amazing spice blend. No MSG, just a delicious mix of spices to adda kick to any meal. I love it on chicken or in my eggs and I have been adding it to my burgers to make a fabulous dish. We started using Tony Chachere’s for the deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving and now I am hooked.
Oils (including Essential Oils)-Keep Olive oil and coconut oil on hand, and even some vegetable oil. I don’t like spray in my pans, why have the extra chemicals when you can use olive oil? As for essential oils, they are great for cooking as well. I love using peppermint for baking or adding a little lemon or rosemary to a dish. Pure and simple and a little goes a long way.
The great thing about cooking at home is that you can experiment and try new things and not worry about being judged. Unless you’re a home cook on Master Chef, then good luck! I like being able to find healthier alternatives to some of my favorites meals so cooking at home really helps with that!
I know my friends Samantha and Michelle love their immersion blenders and make great soups so that’s on my want list. I also want a new spice rack to hold all the fun spices were acquiring.
So what are your kitchen staples? What are your ‘must have’s’ to cook with?