Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kitchen MUST Haves

I know anyone that cooks or bakes has those staple items that we can't live without.  I have so many!  I wanted to share a few of my faves with you.  The ones that I keep on hand 100% of the time and probably have backups in case it's Sunday night and I'm cooking and realize I haven't restocked that particular item...I know I will have it in storage.  So here is my list for Baking and for Cooking.

Baking Must Have List

1. Americolor Food Coloring
         -Not only is this stuff the greatest food coloring you will ever try, it makes your colors POP like you would not believe.  It's more gel then liquid, and it's color is so vibrant.  It's a must have in my kitchen.

2. C&H Powdered and Brown Sugar.
         -I would not be able to live without loads of my favorite powdered and favorite light brown sugar.  I use these 2 sugars more than any other, and because of that I have had to find the brand that I think tastes the best.  I don't know how C&H does it, but they are amazing.  Their powdered sugar is so light and fluffy and perfect.  I have made my own from organic sugar, and I still go back to C&H because I just think that the frosting and dusting it makes is far superior to any other sugar out there.

3. Butter
         -We all know how much I love butter, but I kid you not, I could not bake anything without it.  My husband gets mad at me because it takes up the entire top shelf in my freezer, but I use it so much that I have to have it.  I promise that if you will use butter over margarine or shortening, your baking masterpiece will taste a thousand times better.  Nothing compares to the pure indulgent flavor of rich, creamy, and melty butter.

Cooking Top 3

1. High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
         -I am an EVOO addict.  I eat it constantly, and therefore I have sought out my favorite kinds. I guess I'm an EVOO snob because I don't buy it at the grocery store.  My 2 favorites are from Olio Olive Oil, and Mountain Olive Oil Co. in Park City Utah.  You can purchase these both online, and if you do I promise you will not be disappointed.  Since a large part of my cooking is made in Olive Oil, I have to have a good quality.  I also use it for breads, to line my pans so things don't stick, and so on.  If you will spend between $10-20 on your Olive Oil, it will make a difference and your food will taste amazing!

2. Cornstarch
         -Since I am constantly making gravy with leftover juices from my roasts, cornstarch is a must.  I use Clabber Girl.  I think she makes great products for a great prices.  I go through this stuff so quick, that I always keep some on hand and little in the storage so I always have it.

3. Herb Butter and minced Garlic
        -Since I do cook so much, I always need something to cook up my meat in or to rub over vegetables or anything else.  I have gotten in the habit to wash and reuse my glass cans that anything comes in.  My bouillon cubes that come in glass is one container I use.  They make it perfect for my herb butter.  Herb butter is just a bunch of fresh herbs chopped up and mixed with room temp. butter.  I then wrap the whole thing in saran wrap and freeze it.  I will take it out to put over veggies, to brown chicken in, to put under the skin of my turkey.  Anything.  Now, with the minced garlic, I prefer fresh.  I use garlic almost everyday so what I do is take one of the glass containers I have saved and washed.  Fill the bottom of the container with a little olive oil and mince up a whole head of garlic.  Then I put it in the olive oil and I use it over the next week.  I just keep the container in the fridge.  It saves so much time, and is delicious!
4. (I lied. I'm doing 4) and the last is Beef and Chicken bouillon cubes
          -This can be used to flavor ANYTHING.  I use it from soups, to rice pilaf, to roasts, to any dish that needs a kick of flavor.  I ALWAYS have these cubes in my freezer!!  

Okay, anyway I will try to start making a post like this every once in awhile about my cooking tips and tricks.  I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!!  And as always, Happy Cooking!


  1. just reading your list of staples makes me yearn for sweets! i feel the same way about butter. that stuff inspires poetry, i tell you what.

  2. I'm so sad that they don't have any proper brown sugar here in Germany. I recently learned that you can make your own by mixing molasses with plain sugar - but it's not the same :(

    Next time I go the the States, I'll have to stock up on brown sugar ;)

    AMEN to the EVOO! I love it too - we always get the best quality EVOO from Italy ;)

    Also AMEN to the butter - it tastes so much better and is so much healthier. I NEVER use margarine - yuck! :)

    Great post! I'm going to make my first attempt to try out one of our recipes tomorrow morning for breakfast. (German pancakes in Germany :) The funny thing is that my German husband has no clue what German pancakes are. haha!)