Such a Good Cook

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Pantry staples

If you are just setting up your first apartment, bought a house, or a vacation cottage, you'll need to keep some basic, standard food staples on hand to be prepared for any recipe or guest. Most of the items on this list are shelf-stable. It's a good idea to mark all items with the purchase date. This is to make sure you use the oldest items first and get rid of any that hide or get lost in the back of your cupboard too long. Some items will require refrigeration after opening or have expiration dates (such as eggs). Check ALL labels. Vegetables like potatoes and onions should be kept in a cool, dark place. Citrus fruits can last for weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. THIS IS ONLY A GENERAL GUIDE. Take your own tastes into consideration and space requirements when selecting your own kitchen pantry basics.

Basic Pantry Items

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Beans, canned: black, red kidney, white
  • Beans, canned: Pork and Beans
  • Beans, dried: red kidney, black, navy
  • Bread crumbs: seasoned, plain
  • Broth, canned: beef, chicken
  • Carrots, Fresh
  • Cereal: regular and instant
  • Chocolate: semi-sweet chips, syrup
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coffee: ground, instant, beans
  • Cooking spray
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Crackers: soup, cheese
  • Dried fruits: raisins, apricots
  • Extracts: vanilla, lemon, almond, orange
  • Flour: All purpose, cake, bread
  • Fruit: jam, jelly, preserves
  • Fruit: canned apple sauce, fruit salad
  • Garlic, fresh
  • Gelatin: powdered, unflavored
  • Lemons: fresh
  • Lemon Juice: bottled
  • Limes, fresh
  • Lime Juice: bottled
  • Milk: powdered, evaporated
  • Nuts: almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pine
  • Onions: fresh, red and yellow
  • Pasta, dried: spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine, egg noodles
  • Peanut butter: Plain, Chunky
  • Popcorn: Store in Jar
  • Potatoes, fresh
  • Rice: long-grain, wild, basmati, arborio
  • Sauce: Spaghetti (For the suprise guests)
  • Soup: canned and dry bouillon cubes
  • Sugar: granulated, confectioner's, light and dark brown
  • Tea: bags or instant, Several flavors
  • Tomatoes: canned whole, crushed, chopped, puree, sauce
  • Tuna, canned (water or oil)
  • Yeast, dry active (Check date)

Equivalents - use these guidelines

FoodSize or amountYield and/or cut amount
Apple1 medium1 cup sliced or 2/3 cup chopped
Apricots8 - 12 whole 2 1/2 cups sliced
Aspargus8 - 24 spears2 - 21/2 cups 1 inch pieces
Banana1 medium1/3 cup mashed or 3/4 cup sliced
Green Beans1 pound3  - 31/2 cups 1 inch pieces
Blueberries1 pound3 cups
Broccoli1 pound4 cups florets
Cabbage1 medium head7 - 10 cups shredded or 6 cups chopped
Cantaloupe1 medium 6 cups cubed
Carrot1 medium 1/2 cup sliced
Cauliflower1 medium head6 cups florets
Celery1 stalk1/2 cup sliced or chopped
Cherries1 pound3 cups whole
Chocolate chips6 ounces1 cup sliced or 2/3 cup chopped
Cranberries1 pound4 cups
Whipping Cream1 cups unwhipped2 cups whipped
Garlic1 clove1/2 teaspoon minsed
Grapes1 pound2 1/2 cups
Honeydew1 medium 6 cups cubed
Leek1 medium 1/3 cup sliced
Lemon1 medium 2 teaspoons grated peel 3 tablespoons juice
Lime1 medium 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peel 2 tablespoons juice
Mango1 medium 1 cup sliced
Mushrooms8 ounces3 cups sliced or chopped
Nectarine1 medium 1 cup sliced or 3/4 cup chopped
Onion1 medium 1/2 cup chopped
Orange1 medium 1 tablespoon grated peel 1/3 cup juice, 1/3 cup sections
Peach1 medium 1 cup sliced or 3/4 cup chopped
Pear1 medium 1 cup sliced or chopped
Pepers sweet1 medium 1 cup strips or 3/4 cup chopped
Pineapple1 medium 4 1/2 cups cubed
Potatoes1 pound3 cups cubed
Raspberries1 pound4 cups
Rhubarb1 pound4 cups
Rice1 cup uncooked3 cups cooked
Shallot1 medium 2 tablespoons chopped
Strawberries1 pint3 cups whole or 2 1/2 cups sliced
Tomato1 medium 1/2 cup chopped
Zucchini1 medium 1 1/4 cups sliced