10 Foods To Always Have In Your Kitchen

10 Foods To Always Have In Your Kitchen

The following is a list of 10 foods to always have in your kitchen.  These items are staples in my kitchen and should be in yours!  The list is in no particular order.


I regularly use buttermilk to cook and bake with.  It makes a great base for my ranch dressing and offers a tang to my buttermilk biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Salted butter

I always use salted butter.  Even when I bake.  Honestly, I think it results in tastier food.  My homemade Oreos?  Yup, they have salted butter.  Salted brown butter crispies? Oh yeah!


Hot sauce or cayenne

My secret ingredient when cooking is usually hot sauce or cayenne.  I use it in my spaghetti and meatballs, carnitas, and buttermilk fried chicken.  It can highlight certain flavors and provide a nice background heat.  The key is to not use too much!

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Spaghetti and Meatballs

High quality olive oil

There’s something so special about olive oil that has a robust flavor.  It’s great in salad dressings, like my Italian dressing, as a topping for a pasta dish, or simply used as a dip for bread.

Italian Salad Dressing Recipe is a great recipe with a heavier main entree like pasta or potatoes.
Italian Salad Dressing

 Garlic powder

Another secret ingredient of mine is garlic powder.  It’s the main seasoning in my buttermilk fried chicken, the rub on my carnitas, or the seasoning that tops my seasoned fries.  It doesn’t result in the bite raw garlic has and doesn’t leave your hands smelling for days!

Seasoned French Fries are the perfect side dish to any dinner.
Seasoned French Fries

American cheese

Yes, American cheese is a must in my refrigerator.  It’s melting capabilities makes for the cheesiest grilled cheeses, gooiest quesadillas, or succulent cheese sauces for pasta and vegetables.  There is no other cheese like it.  I promise.

Bread in the freezer

About every 2 to 3 weeks, Ian and I buy a few loaves of sourdough bread from Harmon’s.  We immediately freeze them.  Freezing the bread keeps it surprisingly fresh and flavorful.  It can go straight in the toaster or can be used frozen as the base of a sandwich to be eaten in a few hours.  The bread will thaw and taste great.  Now, we rarely waste bread.

Milk (whole, half and half or cream)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to make a dessert and it calls for milk or cream and it’s not in my refrigerator. I’ve learned from my many runs to the store to always have milk on hand.  It’s used in the frosting for my buttermilk chocolate cake and the topping to my salted caramel budino.

Salted Caramel Budino Recipe Salt Lake City Utah
Salted Caramel Budino

High quality eggs

The key to this ingredient is the high quality.  Yes, they a bit more expensive, but they are that much tastier and will result in food that tastes better.  You can fry them up as a topping on your buttermilk pancakes, used as part of a caesar dressing, or hard boil them for an easy and healthy snack.

Caesar Salad Recipe is citrusy, full of garlic, and tangy. It's the perfect side dish or entree meal.
Caesar Salad

Vinegar or Lemons

Salads are a go-to dinner for me.  While any vinegars will do, I would suggest having white wine vinegar because it’s the most versatile.  If you don’t have vinegar on hand, a lemon is a great alternative.  Lemons are also used to highlight certain flavors, such as the shrimp in my shrimp scampi recipe.

Recipe for baked shrimp scampi includes shrimp that have been covered in butter, lemon juice, and herbs and baked.
Baked Shrimp Scampi


Question: Do any of you have MUST have items in your kitchen?  Let me know!

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