Happy last night of July guys and girls!
Another summer is halfway behind us, and a new month, new moon, and fresh start is in our midst. There is nothing like a new beginning – every 30 days we are given a fresh start to maybe create a new goal, promise a new mindset, or even set a new deadline. For the month of August my goal is to work a little harder, take even better care of myself, and also – FINISH MY APARTMENT.
With the help of Ikea of course.
Courtney and I were in desperate need of finishing our pantry closet and what is an apartment with two struggling recent college grads without Ikea? … Impossible is what.
Found in the kid’s section, and the perfect measurements for our only pantryish closet in our apartment – we packed it up and brought it home.
… I could tell a story about unplanned tears in the mattress aisle – but I’m afraid I may blow up my own spot. Just know, no Ikea trip is complete without me almost peeing myself in laughter in the warehouse. Hilarious.
After a almost painless (for ikea) construction process, we finally had one thing checked off the apartment to-do list. Pantry shelves… and by association some serious organization.
As we were trying to figure out just what was going to go where, I started wondering how exactly I determined my pantry essentials. Each person is different –
Ladies, if you babysit, you know just how different every kitchen is. No matter how many kid’s lunches and dinners and snacks I have made, every pantry is stocked differently. However, wouldn’t it be interesting to develop a list of must-have pantry goodies?
Here is my list of necessities for the “Poor Girl’s Pantry”.
A jar of Rao’s Marinara Sauce…. Closest thing to homemade, AHMAZING, and a can’t live without for those nights of unexpected guests, or pasta cravings. A jar of red sauce is so versatile.
Just one package of expensive pasta. (Thanks Mama!). Like I said, unexpected guests can become stress free if you can make a delicious bowl of pasta and a greens salad.
Quinoa and Brown Rice. The essential grains. Whether you go stir fry, steamed, cold salad, simple side…whatever it may be, a week doesn’t go by where I don’t use one or the other somehow someway.
A can of high quality roma tomatoes. A million uses. A must-have for any Italian girl’s kitchen….. or anyone’s kitchen!
Sweeten away without the guilt of over-processes shit sweeteners entering your body. A much simpler taste than honey, and one of my favorite oatmeal toppers, Agave is now trendy and truly amazing. Baking with it is a ton of fun too!
I guess I really just want to share my favorite peanut butter in the whole wide world with this one …. Kirkland’s Organic PB. It is actually more delicious than any $15 variety I am ashamed to say I have sunk my money into, and it is found at any Costco. Not sweet, but so amazing.. one teaspoon once a day has become my routine.
Don’t move into any kitchen without these pantry necessities. EVOO, Balsamic, Sea Salt … and I threw in Brown Rice vinegar care of Court. She picked it up at Whole Foods and I have fallen in love with it. No additives, salt, or sweeteners, it’s delish! … notice, no pepper. Cracked pepper is fine, but I don’t use it very often. Anne Burrell on the FN did a whole segment on how useless she thinks pepper is – ditto.
Finally, every pantry should have a snack basket. A recent suggestion on a stumble upon the Roommate sent me, but it is actually one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve seen in a while. Stock pile your snacks in one place so you don’t have to search! Cliff bars, oatmeal packs, TLC bars, packages of nuts, dried fruit, Go-Lean bars, licorice etc… Just literally grab and go.
So actually, maybe I am not proving myself to be so poor, but with most of these items being so simple and universal, it is always possible to find generic versions, or do as my mother taught me, clip coupons.
You should be proud of your pantry …. just as we are.