The Food Groupie Club

Hi my name is Sarah and I'm addicted to food. I have been a chef professionally for about 12 years now and am currently teaching cooking classes at a culinary school. I seriously love to cook and eat good food. The problem with cooking and eating like the professionals though is that it can be kind of intimidating for a home food enthusiast. My goal is to bring good food into every-day homes. Anyone can make healthy, good quality, good tasting, and good looking food with the right know-how. So here you made easy by a professional!

I will be featuring some of my favorite chef's recipes in my posts and will note in the post what book was used. Their books that I use will be listed in my must have cookbooks tab.

Pantry Necessities

Cooking well at home {well does not equal ANYTHING that is still around from the 1950's that is bound with Campbell's soup} is not hard. If you have some simple staples in your house at all times its easy to whip up something good without having to make a trip to the store. Everyone's lists are different here. You have to choose things you will actually eat. These are my pantry necessities:

  1. Balsamic Vinegar {actually you should also have an assortment of other vinegars too so you can make your own salad dressings}
  2. Parmesan Cheese
  3. Butter
  4. Heavy Cream
  5. Various Rices {long grain brown, arborio, wild or black}
  6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. Kosher Salt
  8. Pepper Corns
  9. Polenta and Cornmeal
  10. Canned tomatoes (probably one of the few things that comes from a can that is ok to use. Great to have on hand for a quick pasta sauce or tomato soup.)
  11. Dried Beans & Lentils
  12. Spices {my faves: Curry powder, cumin powder, herbs de province, chili powder, sesame seeds, ground coriander, smoked paprika, cinnamon, lemon pepper+ too many more to list. Do not just go buy a spice rack! Buy spices you will actually use individually and do not buy in bulk [if you have a spice rack currently, think about it.... how many are still unopened on the rack?] Their flavor is optimal only the first few months. Bulk jars= too long in your cupboard.}
  13. Wine {white, red, and sherry}
  14. Flours {whole wheat, All purpose, Bread, Cake}
  15. Vanilla Bean Paste
  16. Lemons
  17. Onions
  18. Celery
  19. Carrots
  20. Garlic
  21. Ginger
  22. Fresh Herbs {grow your own! so easy and way less expensive}
  23. Dijon Mustard
  24. Potatoes
  25. Olives {not canned black ones}
  26. Chicken Stock {if you're not up to making this and just want chicken flavor in things you can use a good quality base. Make sure salt is NOT listed as the first ingredient}
  27. Eggs
  28. Nuts