Whether you have a full-time job or are a stay-at-home mama, one dilemma faces you every single day: what's for dinner? Make the answer easy by stocking your pantry with 12 staples, all sure to make mealtime a breeze. From fruits that stay fresh all year round to filling items like beans and pasta, these items are a must have for any time-strapped mom.
If you find yourself dumping stale wine, spices, and other expired pantry items, the time has come to discover a different way to shop. These six items are often used in recipes, but — just like the fact that hot dog buns come in a pack of 12, but hot dogs come in a pack of eight — there is that never-ending battle of buying a sufficient amount without having to toss the rest out. Take a look at sizes of items you should skip when shopping and what alternatives you should buy instead.
|750ml wine bottles||Six-pack mini bottles of wine: rather than opening a large bottle for cooking, use a mini bottle. Each contains about one glass of wine, making them ideal to quickly use up in a day or two.|
|1-liter bottle of club soda||325ml bottles of club soda: because club soda has the tendency to go flat, buying the mini bottles ensures that each time you twist the cap, the soda is sparkling.|
|Canned tomato paste||Tubes of tomato paste: hardly any recipe calls for an entire can of tomato paste. A tube, which looks like it holds toothpaste, lets you release as much concentrated tomato paste as you need, and the cap lets you save the rest for later.|
|Quart of broth||Bouillon cubes or paste: the salty, concentrated bouillon basically has no expiration date, letting you enjoy as much broth as you want, when you want. Forget about tossing out half-empty Tetra Paks of broth.|
|Full-size spice bottles||Spices in the bulk bin: keep your spices as fresh as possible by buying them in small amounts in the bulk section of your grocery store or co-op. Otherwise, look for smaller spice packets, which are oftentimes cheaper than the large glass bottles of spices.|
|750ml vermouth bottle||375ml mini bottle: since vermouth is still a wine, don't keep it around forever and don't store it at room temperature. Always buy the smaller version, refrigerate it, and dump it one month after opening.|
With the right condiments, you can whip up gourmet, restaurant-quality dressings, marinades, and sauces in a snap. These 10 condiments are tried and true, but if you want to branch out, we've also pinpointed some of the most worthy brands you might not be familiar with. Apple cider vinegar, tahini, and Japanese mayonnaise are just a few items you should own if you don't already. To find out why, keep reading.
When it comes to weeknight dinners, there's nothing worse than a recipe that requires and lot of prep, let alone an outing. If heading to the store isn't an option, head to your pantry. Rather than resorting to costly takeout or a box of cereal, you can whip up a no-fuss meal with pantry staples. Click through to find out how easy it can be and what's for dinner tonight!
Bare fridge? No problem! Rather than resort to delivery, dish up these simple meals that pack a flavor punch while relying predominantly on common pantry and fridge staples like pasta, canned tomatoes, and eggs.
You may vow to skip takeout in favor of cooking every weeknight dinner, but let's face it: regardless of how much you like to cook, if you've got a busy schedule, you probably don't want to spend hours in the kitchen every night. The secret? According to Allie Lewis Clapp, food director of Real Simple magazine and editor of the new book Real Simple: Easy, Delicious Home Cooking, the secret sauce lies in having an arsenal of go-to ingredients. "There are a lot of items we go to again and again for Real Simple," she says. "We stock our kitchens with things to make our lives easier." See what Allie's top 10 list includes, when you keep reading.
Photos: Lauren Hendrickson, Real Simple, and Katie Sweeney
If you want to create your own "rainbow cuisine" from the comfort of your kitchen, start by incorporating a few of these South African staples into your pantry. The vast majority of these items are affordable and easy to come by online. Whereas meat and fresh vegetables make up the majority of dishes, these seven items will build the foundation of your South African pantry.
Save yourself time and a trip to the grocery store by stocking up on these simple yet necessary pantry staples. That way, the next time you need a quick breakfast, snack, or dinner you have all the items at hand to make a nutritious meal. Click through to see our seven essentials and how you can use them in your own home.
Unlike some chefs who don't cook at home, Top Chef head honcho, Tom Colicchio, often prepares quick and delicious dinners for his wife and two young boys. The key to throwing together a fast meal? Keeping your kitchen stocked with certain ingredients! At a recent event hosted by Electrolux, Colicchio and sous chef Kelly Ripa, fixed a tasty meal in minutes. Tom also shared his essential ingredients; to find out what he always has in his home kitchen, keep reading.