Thursday, August 24, 2006

Kitchen Envy

I hope that I am not stepping on Jamie the Gastronome's toes here by talking about things having to do with food, but I have been thinking about this particular topic for a while. I have kitchen envy. I love watching Food TV and looking at all of the state of the art, beautiful, fully-stocked kitchens. I am always jealous of how Rachael Ray, Alton Brown, or Ina Garten are able to go to their pantry or refrigerator and pull out all of the needed ingredients. I know, I know, it's television and they stock everything they need ahead of time, but I want that kind of kitchen. The one where you can decide what to cook on a whim and be able to make it without having to make a special trip to the grocery store. In an attempt to achieve this type of kitchen, I am going to poll the audience and find out what your top "must haves at all times" in the kitchen are. Mine are olive oil, onions, and garlic. Unfortunately, these ingredients make a great start, but I need more stuff. So, what should I always have on hand?


Belle of Madison said...

This isn't an answer to the poll, but it's interesting that you mention this because an organization that I'm joining does a Kitchen Tour as their major fundraiser. You buy tickets and get to tour big fancy kitchens that are either brand new or recently remodeled and state-of-the art. Would you like to buy a ticket? ;)

katie g. said...

Oh yes. I love kitchens. They are, by far, my most favorite part of a house (if done right).

K8E said...

I wish my pantry was fully stocked. Sadly, it isn't. And I almost always have to make special trips to the grocery store if I'm going to cook. Since you've already listed 3 of the main things I keep on hand I guess the only thing I can suggest is a coarse salt (I like kosher) and a full peppermill.

Avery's mom said...

my kitchen must haves:
clean sink with the dishes put away

as far as meal prep in this house... milk, eggs, and graham crackers
baby doesnt take much garlic or onions these days

and I really have to think of the bathroom as my favorite room in the house. I would much prefer to spend time in a luxury bathroom then a kitchen (gourmet or not)

BabyMakes3 said...

though i love to eat, and don't mind cooking, our tastes veer so far to the simple side that if we have things like hamburger meat, peanut butter, and brownie mix, we have everything we need.

Peyton said...

Here is what I would add to the growing list of things to keep on hand...

frozen chicken (one breast per baggie)
pasta sauce
an assortment of cheeses
frozen broccoli

I could probably write a book on what everyone should have in their kitchen. We both love to cook, so a well-stocked kitchen is a must.

Lora Leigh said...

I currently have quite a few soups in the cabinet and a few fresh veggies (mushrooms, asparagus, and tomoatoes) in the fridge to add to them for a better taste and a solid effort to try to eat healthier.

Jamie said...

#1: A well stocked freezer

The easiest way to keep food on hand is by freezing it. You always have it available when you need it and it doesn't really go bad (at least for several months).

My favorites are:

Frozen vegetables--they're great to toss into a wok or large skillet (with or without meat) for a quick stir fry.

I like to keep frozen chopped onion (which you can add to anything), frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas corn combo) which you can add to any soup. Frozen broccoli, snow peas or green beans. Another advantage of frozen items is that they retain lots of water and therefore microwave especially well.

Generally, I also freeze a lot of meat and keep some chicken, steak, pork chops, ground turkey, and shrimp on hand.

Other non-frozen kitchen must-haves:
1 lemon
1 lime
1 onion
kosher salt
chicken or vegetable stock (bullion is easy)
sour cream
black beans
1 can/jar basic tomato sauce
soy sauce

katie g. said...

Now, that's I'm talking about Jamie! Great list. I am really going to take it seriously. Once I start the new job, I am going to make concerted effort to maintain a strict food budget.

Peyton said...

I also like to have tortillas at all times. Oh, and remeber that you can freeze breads, too (loafs, buns, bagels and rolls)...

if you cook too much rice, you can also stick that in the freezer too. To reheat, you just leave the lid on a microwave... taste like you just made it.