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Falcon Tips - Top 12 Staple Ingredients In Your Kitchen

When it comes to your pantry or fridge there is always a few must have staple items. These are your go to items when you need to rescue a dish or just a great resource if you randomly decide to bake a cake or cookies!

Now I’m definitely not a professional cook, nor would I even call myself an amateur chef. But below is a list of my top twelve must have staple items that I’ve discovered I somehow always need – and have learnt to keep on hand at all times.

1. Flour – plain, self-raising and corn. It’s important to have all three (well at least plain and self raising at a minimum!) as they all have different purposes. Flour is not only great for baking, it’s great for dusting down the bench if rolling out pastry or adding to mixtures that are two moist (such as hamburger mince) or sauces that just aren’t thickening like they should.

2. Bi-Carb soda – This is such a versatile ingredient to have on hand. Run out of self raising flour but have plain? No problems! Use the plain flour with bi-carb soda. Run out of dishwashing powder or tablets? Simply add ½ cup of Bi-Carb soda to the bottom of your dishwasher – it also gives it a great clean. Run out of toothpaste? Add a little to water and create a paste, it’s perfect for teeth whitening (be sure to rinse and spit!). Mixing it with vinegar can also unblock drains.

3. Vinegar – Not only is it great to create last minute salad dressings or sauces, you can also use it to freshen up the fridge, run it through an empty washing machine cycle to clean the bowl and of course combined with Bi-Carb soda it can unblock drains.

4. Bread crumbs – or at least left over crusts in the freezer to DIY bread crumbs! This is another alternative to use when trying to take a little moisture out of a mince mixture. It also makes a great topping for pasta dishes to add a little texture.

5. Sugar – white caster and brown. Let’s face it everything tastes that little bit ‘sweeter’ with sugar (obviously) and even a lot of savoury dishes call for a dash of sugar.

6. Vanilla essence – Always great to keep in the pantry for random baking days when you are suddenly inspired to bake from scratch. You can make plain butter cakes with a dash of vanilla essence for flavour.

7. Butter – There are so many ways you can use butter (in conjunction with other ingredients too). It can be used to create a white sauce (with your flour), to cook your vegetables in or to bake biscuits and cakes (to name but a few!).

8. Eggs – Not only are eggs required for a lot of recipes, it is also great to keep some in the fridge for a Sunday morning scrambled eggs on toast – a favourite in our household.

9. Herbs – These are another great way to add a little pizazz to your cooking. Having a basic stock of dried herbs in your pantry or Gourmet herb tubes in your fridge such as Mixed Herbs, Chilli and Thyme always comes in handy when your dish needs a little spice.

     

10. Garlic – Adding garlic can help enhance the flavour of a dish if you find it is lacking in something. It can be used with any meat or even simply sautéed with onions, carrots and capsicum to add some extra zing to your side vegetables.

11. Cinnamon or Nutmeg – These are not just limited to sweet dishes. Cinnamon or nutmeg are a great addition to white sauce (just a dash), curries or to sprinkle over your French toast.

12. Long life milk – Let’s face it, we all run out of fresh milk in the fridge at some point, so having a spare in the pantry is always great to make sure you don’t have to make a late night or early morning dash to the supermarket.

What are your staple items? Follow us on Facebook and post what you believe is an important ‘must have’ in your household pantry or fridge. We’d love to hear from you!

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