Quick Recipes and Easy

What Should Be In Your Cupboard?

When I go on vacation and spend time in a weird kitchen, I often wonder, how I am going to be able to cook anything tasty without my basic spices and the staples I am accustomed to having on hand in my own kitchen.

Too many cooks…

So just what are the basics? Well, I suppose you will get a different answer from any cook willing to give you their opinion on the subject, which is all of them. Since I can’t speak for the others, here is my opinion.


Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, Paprika. Now with these few spices you can add some kick to even the blandest of dishes. To round out the spice rack, I would include rosemary, chili powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. I use most of these on a daily basis.

The Cupboard

Now let’s go to the cupboard. In there I keep my dry goods, such as flour, sugar and pasta. Canned goods and potatoes, onions, and garlic live here as well. I would recommend keeping a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, soups and canned vegetables of various kinds. Some sort of oil is an absolute requirement. My favorite is extra virgin olive oil, but any variety of oil will do. With these basic items any meal is just a few ingredients away. Lets take a basic tomato sauce for example, take a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, a couple of cloves of garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, basil, an onion, some olive oil and there you go, all that’s left is the pasta and that’s in the cupboard too.

Use what’s available

So that brings us back to the dilemma of being stuck without your spice rack and cupboard on the road. What to do, what to do? Here is my suggestion, go to the local supermarket or, even better, the local dollar store. In the supermarket you can find that wheel of spices that is relatively inexpensive or just get the ones you need. Store brands are usually pretty close to the name brands on spices. In a pinch, with limited options( like no supermarket close by) you can get away with Italian seasonings, which is a combination of oregano, basil and other spices. Although nothing beats fresh spices picked from your garden, the dried variety will get the job done and save you from some bland alternative or wasting your money in some restaurant or quick food joint. The dollar store usually has some spices that are near or past their expiration dates. This is hardly a problem when dealing with spices. As long as they are sealed well, they don’t lose there potency very quickly.

The joy of cooking

Maybe some of you would rather just go out and eat at the local restaurant and delight in having somebody wait on you and not have to worry about preparing a meal or cleaning up. Don’t get me incorrect, I delight in eating out from time to time as well, but there is nothing like the feeling you get from preparing a meal and having others experience and delight in a quality home cooked meal. It is well worth the effort.

About the author: Pablo Maiorino is the creator and cook for an internet based home cooking show.
You can view or download his videos free at freecookingvideos.com freecookingvideos.com
While you’re there, check out the offer for a free recipe card maker.

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