Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Starting from Scratch...and needing some advice.

I have this strange fascination with what people buy at the grocery store. While I'm waiting in the checkout line, I like to figure out what meals the person in front of me has planed. Single men are always a little random, big packs of beer, twinkies, beef jerky and microwave dinners. Once I saw an old lady purchasing over a 100 cans of pinto beans...and one box of plastic gloves. I don't even want to know. It was soon after that I started shopping exclusively at Earthfare. 

Our movers are arriving this week in Boise, so we will be able to move in soon. That means I will be restocking my pantry and fridge. I'm really excited to do this for some reason. An opportunity to try new things perhaps. (Also, my pantry is adorable with a glass door that actually says "pantry".)

So I was wondering, what are some of the things you always have on hand? I'm talking specific products here. What kinds of salad dressings, cereals, yogurts, soups, snack foods and freezer goods do you find yourself buying over and over again? Seriously, I really want to know. Also, what are your go-to meals that you find yourself making often? I am at such a loss lately. If I didn't have a family to cook for, I would have air-popped popcorn or Mexican take-out every dinner.

As for this photo, I just found it when I was looking through some pics of my visit to Spokane this May. This is the "milk fridge" at my parents home when the entire family was home. Not visible: gallon of whole milk and several bottles of breast milk. Also a 44 oz cup of Diet Coke, which I also like to call "Mother's Milk". That is one thing I ALWAYS have on hand.


Krulls in Haiti said...

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Maranantha organic no-stir creamy peanut butter. I could eat it all day. They have really good almond butter too.

My kids can't get enough of Auntie Annie's organic white cheddar mac-n-cheese. Add a dash of cayenne pepper to mamma's bowl, and I'm a happy girl too :)

Jessica said...

Pizza dough. We have homemade pizza once a week. I have a 'baking' day once a month usually. I stock up on the things we need, like pizza dough, or muffins or bread. It wouldn't be right to open the freezer and not see a bag or two of pizza dough.

Brooke said...

My kids new favorite "healthy" snack are Somersault's.....mine too! They are wonderful! I buy mine at WholeFoods and I just bought a bunch on their site...they had an awesome sale!

Here is their link: http://www.somersaultsnackco.com/

Trust me they are yummy!

S Club Mama said...

We always have crackers & mac & cheese on hand. LOL Tyson chicken tenders in the freezer. We like to have applesauce and yogurt on hand, too. Bananas, too.
Sorry no brands - we just go with what's cheapest.

And milk 1% and whole right now.

Jessica Kok said...

hunts or muir glen fire roasted tomatoes (depending on what coupon I have!)

costco ready to cook tortillas

fage greek yogurt

freezer jam

pizza dough

ronzoni or barilla pasta (depending again on the coupon and how close to free i can get it!)

GretaLouise and JackBoyer said...

I love Annie's Natural Shitake Mushroom salad dressing! I also always buy Stoffer's Macaroni and Cheese (Pretty good compared to homemade).
I also always have Cascadian Farm's frozen organic veggies (peas, broccoli) for the kids when I am in need of greens but have no fresh.
We buy local milk (Kansas City) that comes in absolutely adorable glass bottles - Shatto Milk, and butter.
I also always buy organic gala apples and organic strawberries because of all those pesticides. And my guilty pleasure is Famous Amos Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies!

My easy "go to" recipe is simply a salad of romaine lettuce loaded with sliced almonds, dried cranberries, cut up apples, feta cheese, avocado and grilled or sauteed chicken breast sliced (with annies dressing).
Oh, and I also love to look at what everyone else buys!

GretaLouise and JackBoyer said...

MY kids LOVE this for lunch: alphabet pasta (Like for vegetable soup, it is tiny letters that cook in boiling water). I add frozen veggies like peas to the boiling water at the end and then drain. I add a little butter and grate fresh parmesan. It is pretty good! I call it abc's peas and cheese! (please!)

Caitlin said...

though a bit more local and I do belive you have to have a membership, there is the Boise Co-op that is an organic grocery store. Also there is a Winco in Boise and they have some great prices and some great organic food as well. But I do love the Annies product line and I love the Annies Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, very kid friendly

Jessica Kok said...

boise also has bountiful baskets. i wish they'd bring this to md!


TGS said...

We always have walmart brand strawberry applesauce for the little nuggets. My kids love Natures own wheat bread so I buy 2 of them a week and probably kirkland milk too. Bountiful baskets is pretty awesome, don't have it here either in az, but Boise does have a slammin' one.

Brady and Berta said...

I am random; the things that I always have are Frank's hot sauce, Kirkland boneless and skinless chicken breasts, Kirkland wings, tomato sauce, tortillas, vegetables of every shade and variety, fruit, Straus Farm organic plain yogurt, and the same Goat milk that is in your picture. I use the yogurt for everything. If you drain the water from a portion, you can substitute it for sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, and other dairy products that are that consistancy. I make my own pasta sauce, alfredo, and barbeque sauce, so I always have those ingredients on hand. I make bread, rolls and pizza dough, so those ingredients are kicking around usually. Rice and beans of course, and also every type of vinegar or oil you could possibly amagine for sauces and dressings. Hope that helps.

Dionna said...

I love to see how what people buy in the grocery store matches up with their whole look. It's really fascinating.

I keep chicken and hamburger meat in the freezer. Always have tortilla chips and salsa, along with cheese and tortillas. Mac n cheese, ramen, and flavored rice sides (along with plain rice) are staples. Lettuce. Turkey, mustard - sdwch fixins.

Quick easy meals are what I love. Some faves over here are tacos, huge sub sandwiches (on those long bread rolls), kitchen sink tacos (rice, chili, and grated cheese rolled up in a tortilla), fettucini alfredo, egg mcmuffins, chili nachos...just to name a few.

Carrie said...

I have this weird thing where I pretend Oprah and Bob Greene are going to sneak up and analyze my cart on national t.v. as part of a show on healthy living, and I try to keep it all as healthy as possible! Here are my staples, which when you add a protein can make almost any meal:

PANTRY: Canned tomatoes (crushed, whole, diced-- it doesn't matter, I use them all!), chick peas, walnuts, brown rice, cous cous

FRIDGE: tons of yogurt (yoplait lite for me, YoBaby for Abby), light sour cream, tortillas, goat cheese, red peppers, onions, scallions, canned minced garlic and ginger...

FREEZER: Skinny Cow ice cream cones (YUM!), bagged veggies, Eggos (low fat nutrigrain, so good) and bags of potstickers from Trader Joes!

Thinking of how fun it must be to start fresh... can't wait to see photos of the new place!

Rose and Ivy said...

Hi Natalie, glad to hear that you are all ok and settling in. I always have-

Staples: milk, soy milk, cheese, yogurt, baking supplies (flours, etc) tin tomatoes, filo pastry, baking apples, sweet biscuits, crackers, bread, rolled oats, cereals, herbs/spices, pasta, kidney beans.

Veg: apples, bananas, carrots, brocolli, cauliflower, sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, spinach leaves, celery, onion, peas, tomato, mushroom, zucchini, lemons, frozen berries

I can make anything if I have all this stuff. I always have chicken breast and lean mince, sometimes steak as my husband loves it.

My favourite quick dinner is a recipe I got from NieNie's cooking blog- the sauteed mushroom, spinach, tomato, onion, balsamic vinegar on toasted bread with cheese. Yummo. (had it last night)

Cari said...

black beans, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, feta cheese and frozen peas (I put the peas in almost every meal to cool the dish down for my kids- they're like little healthy ice cubes)

Oh...and Blue Bunny Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (hard to find but so worth it)

Gilbert Family said...

what a fun post to read (along with all the comments)!

I always have tortilla chips and salsa, romaine lettuce for salads, Roma tomatoes, canned tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes (the ones NOT packed in oil)...I have a deep love of all tomatoes if you couldn't tell. I also LOVE Sara Lee Delightful bread. It's only 45 calories a slice and it's PERFECT toasted! I have a billion salad dressings because I put it on everything (pizza dipped in Light Catalina is a fav at our house) and I love home-made "Cafe Rio" style Ranch (with tomatillos, cilantro and jalapenos)! Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets from Costco are a must as well. My kids LOVE 'em! I also keep atleast one cake mix and a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry for unexpected guests. Lots of recipes I use call for those two things!

BumbleBee Bagz said...

Janes Crazy Salt!! Simply the best seasoning ever! Also Sesame Oil..I love the combo on chicken and meat

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