Years of Food Network addiction have finally paid off. It's a fact: as long as your shelves are stocked with these, you'll find there's no recipe you can't tackle. Before you go about your Labor Day festivities, make sure you got this stuff. I hate leaving the party to go pick up something you need that you should have already had in the house!


Potatoes, Onion & Garlic: Some say to keep these separate from each other, but I don't know, we go through 'em pretty quickly. I've found that as long as they're kept in an airy-open basket (occasionally rotated), you're fine, and they go with everything.

Pasta: We always have around three different kinds; various shapes and sizes; depends on whether it's a main dish, side dish, in salads or whatever you like, really. Ridiculously handy for weeknights.

Breadcrumbs: Or panko. Or both. We usually go unseasoned (that way you can mix in your own herbs if you like), and they work work great as toppings for frying or as a binder for burgers and meatballs.

Stocks and Broths: Absolutely indispensable, they come up all the time to use with beef or veggies or seafood or etc., etc. We go w/the Low Sodium because you're always adding salt later on anyway.

Rice: Whatever grain you prefer, but we're not fans of the micro-wave stuff.

Oils and Vinegars: Duh! Olive oil and balsamic vinegar show up the most, but you might wanna have apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, too. Subtle differences, just don't run out.

Condiments: Never, EVER, run out of ketchup, mustard and mayo, and always have a bottle of BBQ sauce and a jar of marinara sauce. Trust me.

Now you can make absolutely anything. Keeping these items around all the time will make your market stops much more fun: that "Hey look! We've already got all the ingredients!" gives you a nice feeling of bliss, like when you know you ace'd a test. Here comes the weekend...

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