Tuesday, 12 November 2013

my pantry essentials

As you already know, I love food and I love planning our dinners. I find that a well stocked pantry is essential for easy dinner planning and preparation. Here are my pantry essentials:

Breakfast stuff: Nespresso coffee, müsli/granola (I often mix 4 korn and Crüsli Solfrokost - making my own granola is on my to do-list - do you have a good recipe to share?), mixed nuts and seeds (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), rolled oats, ground flax seeds, maple syrup, acacia honey, regular honey (in a different cupboard) and strawberry jam (in the fridge)

(Mostly) baking stuff: powdered sugar, fine grained sugar, regular sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, dark chocolate (which need to be restocked frequently...), vanilla sugar, baking powder, baking soda (natron), pine nuts, walnuts, unsalted cashew nuts, sliced almonds, roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

I'm actually not a big tea drinker, but I still have a selection stocked - in case my guests want tea. I do however love mint tea and chamomile tea. Instant soups for a quick and warm lunch, coffee for drip and press, chocolate - who doesn't keep a little chocolate somewhere in their kitchen?!

More breakfast and snack stuff: bread, a few types of crisp bread, a few types of crackers for cheese.

(Mostly) dinner stuff: pasta (lasagna plates, spaghetti and fusilli/penne), rice (jasmine, brown and wild rice, risotto), egg noodles, tortillas, flatbrød (flatbread), bread crumbs, corn starch, flour (hvetemel), whole wheat flour, wheat bran (hvetekli), dry yeast

A selection of stock cubes and fond cups. I plan on buying all the different kinds available in our local grocery store, taste and find my favorite. Do you have a favorite (that is available in Norway)?

Olive oil, soyabean oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper, fresh ground sea salt, Maldon salt

White wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, truffle oil 

Canned tomatos, tomato paste

Good quality canned tuna

Dried spices: regular salt, ground black pepper, oregano, chili flakes, ground cumin, nutmeg, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, herb salt, bay leaves, chili explosion from Santa Maria, fish and seafood from Santa Maria, Piffi or similar all-round spice mixes. Fresh herbs (not always in my pantry though, but we use it often, so I try to keep fresh pots of these): rosemary, thyme, parsley, coriander

Cannellini beans, chickpeas, red lentils, popcorn, quiona, couscous

We keep small red chilis in the freezer.

Freezer: ice cubes, berries and bananas (that have turned brown) for smoothies, green peas, dinner leftovers

Different kinds of mustard, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, soya sauce, rowan berry jam. Onion, garlic, lemon. Eggs. Butter. Milk, fruit yoghurt and plain yoghurt. Cheese, most often Norvegia or Jarlsberg and parmesan. Often, not always: cream, sour cream and creme fraiche. 

The balsamic cream I use for my apple avocado salad.

Red and white wine, bubbly - we are always ready for impromptu celebrations! 

There is often a open bottle of wine on our kitchen counter. As well as that white jug that I keep with water; I prefer room temperature water, not ice cold. 

I loved reading Stephanie's "The quick cook pantry" in 3191 Quarterly no. 12. She writes: "A thoughtfully stocked kitchen, paired with a weekly trip to the market for in-season fruit and vegetables as well as meat and fresh dairy can feed you well, and likely save you time (and certainly money) in the long run." I so agree with her! I will share my thoughts on grocery shopping and dinner planning in a different post, hopefully soon. 

I would love to hear about your pantry essentials! Anything you always keep in stock that is not on my list?


  1. Loved this! I've been planning to stock up more on canned foods. I plan to bring back some food items from Belgium when we visit later this week. Grocery stores are so much better there than here in Holland. I also always pick up nordic things whenever I can: santa maria spices; fish spice mix (!), cinnamon, cardamon or cardamon by Mauste Sallinen. I buy Finn crisp bread whenever I can. They used to sell it here as well, but no longer do. And I'm addicted ;-) Then there's norwegian honey, belgium honey, portugese canned fish (mackerel, tuna, sardines). But I digress, something I keep in stock that's not on your list... curly fries in the freezer, piri piri spices (we have about four different kinds....) dades, lemon curd, mustard, peanut butter and hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles for on bread) and we always have bananas and limes. That's about it I think :)

    1. Oh yes, I love Finn Crisp as well. Which Norwegian honey do you buy? From this brand? http://www.honning.no

  2. Great list! I keep most of the same types of things stocked in my kitchen (though, being in Canada some of the items are different brands...no Santa Maria spices here).

    There are a couple of items that I find I cannot be without in my kitchen: kefir (it is SO expensive here, I am going to try making it myself), eggs (we get these from my husband's boss, she keeps chickens) and potatoes. Sometimes there is nothing better than a big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes; on a long, cold day they taste so good!

    1. I love potatoes too. We usually have potatoes and carrots too in our fridge.

  3. Hi Astrid, one of our staples is Rose Harissa (by Belazu, can you get it?) if not would you like me to post you a little jar??!! It is delish! Sarah (England)

    1. I have never had harissa before; how do you use it? Since I have never had it before, I don't know if I can get that specific type. I'll have a look the next time I'm out grocery shopping. Would be really nice to try it.

    2. HI Astrid, It is brilliant, you spread it over salmon and grill it, or it is really good with lamb, or chicken too. You put a covering of harissa (basically a paste with lots of chillies and other spices) and turn it into something relaly special. The rose harissa is especially nice because it has the addition of rose petals. I would love to post you a jar, if you can email me your address? sarah.nielsen@tiscali.co.uk

  4. Du kan få kjøpt Marigold Bouillon-pulver i noen butikker, det er virkelig den beste grønnsaksbuljongen jeg vet om! Jeg kjøper alltid en ekstra boks når jeg er i England - hett tips ;) Flott innlegg!

  5. Replies
    1. It is stock/fond in a cup instead of a cube. Example: http://www.knorr.co.uk/product/category/392194/stock-pots

  6. Inspirasjon!!!! Jeg rydder akkurat inn i kjøkkenskuffene våre, og jeg fikk ideer til organisering ;)

  7. Oi så inspirerende post! Jeg liker også å organisere (o-v-e-r-a-l-t), og synes det er så moro å se hvordan andre organiserer!
    Jeg fikk også noen nye ideer av dette!
    Tusen takk! :D

  8. I love your posts about cooking and food! And I love your kitchen. I wish I had as much space as you do. My kitchen is very small and especially our fridge is way too small for a family of 4. However I keep pretty much the same items in stock. I love the oriental cuisine and I have always zatar, baharat, sumach, harissa, tahin, date syrup and rose water in my cupboard. In summer we keep fresh herbs at our balcony. In winter we have them on the windowsill.

    We only buy organic foods. Once a week we are supplied by local farmers. They supply vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, poultry and cheese. Every week we get a box with vegetables, apples and eggs. We pay a fixed amount for the box and the content of the box depends on the season and the last harvest. In winter we get a lot of kale and cabbage. It's always a surprise what will be in the box the next week.

  9. What a fun entry! Your kitchen looks so organized.
    These days I always have some homemade jam and homemade chicken stock in the freezer, and I use cinnamon sticks all the time to flavor tea and apple cider from the Farmer's Market. I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking using crystallized ginger, too. Spice-wise, I just bought some dried mint and some caraway seeds. The mint goes on pasta, and the caraway seeds are for soda bread.

  10. Jeg ble så inspirert av dette! I dag har Ståle og jeg organisert våre skap, skrevet liste med ting vi alltid bruker og handla inn etter den lista. Det føles SÅ bra å tenke på at handleturene framover bare blir for å kjøpe ferskvarer. Takk for dytten! :)

  11. Really enjoyed this post. I try to stay organized too, and you remind me that I'm a bit overdue to clean out my kitchen storage spaces. I always find something that has moved to the back of the shelf which inspires me to cook an old favorite or try something new. I sometimes grow small red chilies in my garden but never thought of freezing them. I usually string them together and hand them on a peg to dry. I will try freezing some as well. Here in southern Pennsylvania we have a bounty of pumpkin this time of year. I have a friend who lives on a nearby farm and has given me a pile of pumpkins. I have made pumpkin bread with nuts and raisins, pureed pumpkin seasoned with nutmeg or curry spices as a side dish, pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie. Autumn is my favorite season and pumpkin goes perfect with our golden days. The variety of pumpkin is called crookneck. It looks like the head and neck of a goose.

  12. I loved this little tour around your kitchen!



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