Basic Pantry

The pantry below is "my basic pantry" and only a guideline. Remember, you will give "your pantry" your personal touch based on what you like to cook and your taste pallet. This basic pantry will be adjusted frequently, new product discoveries for example, but it includes the core of what I use on a regular basis at this time. Check it out from time to time and see what's new!

The Produce and Dairy/Egg items are the basic ones I like to have in my refrigerator to give me flexibility. This pantry does not include any other perishables or produce, or items like crackers, pasta, rice, beans etc. ; just a brief mention. It mostly includes items which I use over and over again. Having your core of preferred ingredients will allow you to flavor your foods, creating lively and interesting new combinations, and winning you sincere compliments on your creative ways with food.

It will be "your" pantry and will reflect who you are, what you like and your dietary requirements. There are no rules, just suggestions. I am convinced that there are no two pantries alike, and I love this potential to be varied and creative. That's what life is about – grow and expand, discover and adapt, and most of all, have fun and enjoy what you do!


Spices and Condiments

  • Onion flakes
  • Minced garlic
  • Paprika – regular and smoked
  • Bay leaves
  • Cloves
  • Mrs. Dash® Original
  • Salt
  • Pepper (black, Cayenne etc.) – freshly ground in a pepper mill for black pepper is very desirable)
  • Lemon peel (dried)
  • Nutmeg (best to grind it yourself – remains fresher but requires a small grinder)
  • Variety spices like Trader Joe's Every Day Seasoning®

Dried Herbs

  • Tarragon
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Bouquet garni
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Chili powder
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Bay Leaves

Sauces, Extracts and Juices

  • Harissa® hot sauce(in a tube is preferable since only small portions are used) (optional – any other hot sauce will do)
  • Tabasco®
  • Jalapeno pepper sauce
  • Maggi ®(nice to have but optional – remember, I grew up in Germany!)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Soy Sauce – low sodium
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Glaze of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Mustard and Mayonnaise

  • Dijon Mustard
  • Real Mayonnaise (I prefer Trader Joe's)

Flour, Sauce Thickener

  • All-purpose regular flour
  • Arrow Root (find in the spice section where it is sold)


  • Walnuts
  • Sliced almonds


  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Sugar

Vinegars and Oils – I like to have the following variety giving me flexibility and different flavors

  • Extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil (organic if possible)
  • Grape seed oil (for higher temperatures and if you do not want the taste of olive oil)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Meyer's lemon flavor oil (nice to have – optional)
  • Blood Orange Oil (nice to have – optional
  • Pam® regular
  • Pam® for barbecue
  • Red wine vinegar
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Glaze of balsamic vinegar of Modena® (nice to have)

Peppers, Olives, Pickles etc.

  • Hot Jalapeno Slices
  • Olives – different varieties, including Kalamate
  • Capers
  • Dill pickles
  • Roasted red peppers


  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice

Canned, Pre-packed and Dried

  • Pre-cut tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Pasta , Rice, etc.
  • Crackers
  • Dried beans
  • Canned wild Alaskan salmon
  • Sun dried Tomatoes (I like the dry ones in a package)


  • Chicken, Beef, Fish and Vegetables (in containers, concentrate/glazes or cubes)

Spirits, Wines and Beer (I like to have these handy so I can adjust to my taste buds, when needed. Remember, a good quality of spirits will give better results)

  • White wine (dry)
  • Red wine
  • Blond beer
  • Brandy
  • Whiskey
  • Vodka
  • Port wine
  • Vermouth (dry)
  • Sherry (dry)
  • Madeira
  • Masala

Produce (basic items I use often)

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Shallots
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Parsley
  • Fresh Herbs (nice if you can grow them yourself)
  • Tomatoes
  • Salad
  • Vegetables

Dairy and Eggs (a few basic items)

  • Sour Cream
  • Butter (not used often but sometimes needed)
  • Free range – organic eggs (my preference)
  • Parmesan cheese (shred yourself, if possible)
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Heavy cream (if your diet allows it)
  • Cheeses and Milk, as you wish


This is my version of a basic pantry. It contains staples which I like to have handy. Of course, every recipe will require some fresh ingredients, and from time to time other spices.

Have fun and remember – this is a "living" list, changing and adapting as everything in life. I do hope that this will allow you to create culinary delights bursting with flavors and which will delight you, your family and friends.



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