Kitchen ingredients I can’t live without

The past few weeks have been completely consumed with planning to move, moving, and now unpacking. If I never see another box again it will be too soon. I’ve been so hectic that cooking has been replaced by eating out and takeout orders. Anyhow, while I was unpacking the kitchen I started to think about the types of things I always have around and use frequently.

Here is my list of multipurpose kitchen essentials:

Rice –Rice can be a side dish, tossed in stir fry’s or flavored with so many seasonings. I also cook it slowly with pasta sauce and diced portabello mushrooms to make a quick risotto topped with parmesan cheese.

Pasta – Everyone has this on hand. You can add olive oil and readymade spice mixes (Greek, Italian etc.) or olive oil, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, black olives and capers. That’s my absolute favorite summer pasta.

Mini pie shells – I love these! You can make mini cheesecakes and top them with fruit, fill them with custard or use premade pie filling for quick desserts. They are also amazing to make mini quiches – just beat eggs with spice and veggies (sundried tomatoes etc.) cheese and bits of ham or chicken. Fill the tarts and bake, you’ll have quick and delicious mini quiches for breakfast.

Soup stock (any kind) – These are great to make your own soups or stews in a slow cooker, but if you cook rice or potatoes in soup stock it adds great flavor.

Pesto – I use pesto as a marinade, salad dressing, tossed with pasta (and sometimes rice) as well as spread on sandwiches.

Mushroom soup – Great to slow bake chicken or to make a creamy pasta sauce (like my slow cooker chicken recipe).

Dark chocolate – I melt this in the microwave and make chocolate dipped fruit, or sometimes shave bits of it on top of iced cream. Even on its own, who doesn’t like chocolate?

Those are a few of the things I came across in my unpacking and can think of now. If you have any items you can’t live without in your kitchen let me know about them!

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