Kitchen Cabinet Essentials: Whip Up a Fabulous Meal on a Moment’s Notice

Into everyone’s life the occasional and unexpected house guest will fall, trust me. Just as surely as you’ve a threshold, an old college friend will be in town for a meeting or your business partner will want to stop by around dinner time to brainstorm a few ideas. While take-out and dining out are ALWAYS options, stocking your pantry with culinary essentials draws you one-step closer to simple, home-cooked meals at Chez You. 

Keep these items on hand and a great meal always rests in your kitchen!

  • Spices and seasonings: salt (iodized table & sea or kosher), pepper (black & red flakes), garlic cloves
  • Oils: extra-virgin olive oil (the best you can afford), truffle oil, real butter (unsalted)
  • Dry goods: flour, sugar, angel hair pasta, brown rice, bread crumbs
  • Canned goods: diced tomatoes, white beans, black beans, a good marinara sauce
  • Poultry-related items: chicken stock, eggs, boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • Seafood: salmon, shrimp
  • Dairy: parmigiano-reggiano cheese, gruyere cheese, heavy cream
  • Vegetables (and frozen ones are just fine): asparagus, spinach, broccoli
  • Fruit: Berries (those that are not used each week can be thrown into smoothies for yourself) and lemons
  • Bread: French and a good sandwich bread such as a loaf of sourdough
  • Dessert: angel food cups (keep in your freezer) that can be quickly thawed then filled with berries and whipped cream

Can you see the permutations of meal possibilities? *grabs Romper Room-esque mirror* I see shrimp scampi, chicken parmesan and fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh, and there’s poached eggs over asparagus, omelets and creamy tomato soup!  Is that French toast and a fruit salad in your future? Absolutely!

Half of the battle with keeping a kitchen pantry s, well, keeping these items on-hand. You should always feel free to add additional items, especially spices and seasonings or more vegetables to accommodate your preferences. Ultimately, there are no rules!

See Also

Now throw a little flour on your forehead, enjoy your company and be prepared for rave reviews!

Shameeka Ayers is an Atlanta-based lifestyle blogger and author who dispenses entertaining, shelter and food and wine anecdotes and advice via her alter ego, The Broke Socialite. She also produces a national tour of curated dessert-tasting experiences, Sugar Coma Events™.  Her first novella, Instantly: How Quickly I Realized I Hate My Job will be published in 2012.


Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter


Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!