As soon as the temperatures dip our bodies and minds yearn for food that is both warm and soul-nurturing. We reach for and crave hearty meals like soups, stews and roasts. When the weather cools we tend to want to ditch the salads and cool fresh fruit, seeking solace instead in foods richer in calories, textures and flavors. Ovens turn on and stove-tops simmer... our homes begin to take on the wonderful aromas of freshly baked pies and cookies, roasting hens and hams, aromatic savory spices and sweet flavors of cinnamon, maple and vanilla. These are the wonderful smells of fall and the fast approaching holiday season. These aromas welcome us home and embrace us with their warmth, making us never want to leave the nest. The next time the rains beat down, heavy, angry, cold or the winds hurl themselves at your window panes and you'd prefer not to go anywhere you'll have everything you'll need to enjoy the warmth within your home and ever leave!
A Well stocked Pantry
Basic soup stocks: Beef, vegetable, chicken
Oatmeal for hot cereal, apple crisp and other warm treat
Canned tomatoes, whole and chopped, and tomato Sauce for homemade pasta sauces and soup bases.
Really good quality pasta sauces, like Rao's, for those days you don't want to cook.
Flour, Sugar, Baking powder and baking soda, for baking
Chocolate chips and vanilla extract for Chocolate chip cookie cravings
Beans, assorted, for soups, chilis and those Mexican cravings
Pasta, assorted varieties
Rice, brown is healthier!
Couscous and quinoa
Re-stock up on your olive oils, baking oils (Canola and or corn) and vinegars
Jiffy or other non-microwaveable popcorn for movie nights!
Assorted nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts
Crackers, plain and flavored for impromptu get togethers with friends
Dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, cranberries, dates for snacking on and baking
Peanut and assorted nut butters
Soy, Worcestershire, Sriracha and assorted sauces and liquid seasonings
Potatoes, garlic and onions - though some keep these in the fridge
Assorted mustards, Dijon, whole grain, honey
Jarred sun-dried tomatoes
Red wine, white wine, sparkling wine... for cooking, of course!
A well stocked spice cabinet:
Assorted salts, sea, himalayan and flavored
Pepper, fine and coarse
Red pepper flakes
Herbes de Provence
Curry powder, red and yellow
A Well stocked fridge:
Cream, for cooking
Assorted cheeses, for cooking and for last minute guests
Parmesan cheese, grated
Greek yogurt (for sauces, dips and in lieu of sour cream)
Flour tortilla shells
Soup vegetables such as:
A well stocked freezer:
Ice cream (Do you really need to question this?)
Good bread (such as French or Italian)
Homemade soup stocks
Chicken, ham, pork, etc bones for making homemade stocks