What Are 5 Things in Your Kitchen You’d Never Be Caught Without?

5 Things in Your Kitchen You'd Never Be Caught Without

Our friend Stefan is such a stellar home cook that he’s earned the nickname “Chef Stef.” While hanging out recently, as Stef mixed martinis and marinated steaks, we started chatting about the five things in his kitchen he’d never be caught without. As if he’d been preparing for this question his whole life, he instantly rattled them off: a hunk of Parmesan, shallots, a bottle of lemon juice, a little jar of minced garlic and Near East Herbed Chicken Couscous.

Everyone has a mini list, right? It’s such a personal thing, and I’d love to hear yours.

Mine would be a rotisserie chicken, fresh spinach (to make a big salad or wilt with garlic), Dijon mustard (the secret to great grilled cheese), Carr’s water crackers and sharp cheddar cheese. Also, a very crisp, acidic white wine.

My friend Gemma, knower of all things, told me that her can’t-live-withouts were: “Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Hot Sauce (it’s amazing). Nutella. Irish porridge oats. Vegemite (even though I eat it once a year). Lindt sea salt dark chocolate.”

And legendary food writer Ruth Reichl told us her list is “butter, lemons, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, a couple kinds of vinegar. Eggs! Oh, my God, I would never be without eggs. And milk.”

What about you? I’m curious to hear…

P.S. Another personality test: How would you describe yourself in five words?

(Photo of Jon Hamm for C Magazine.)

  1. B says...

    Waaahhhh! I’m pregnant right now and I MISS loving food! Right now my five ingredient list would be:

    HAH! Love everyone’s lists tho!

    • Joanna Goddard says...


    • Anna Cohen says...

      Hahahaaaa I feel your pain!!! I had 19 weeks of gagging over raw meat!!! Thankfully after 20 wks, I started feeling normal, it’s soooo good to be able to eat and cook again!!!

  2. I cook a lot so choosing 5 is hard, however these have been pretty consistent in my life for years and years, since uni:

    Tinned tomatoes
    Kalamata olives
    Good parmesan

  3. Graes says...

    Lemons, garlic, kosher salt, onions,eggs

    And because of kids: add pasta,sharp cheddar,tortillas,milk & salmon

  4. eggs
    bread of some kind
    milk of some kind
    + avocado
    + coffee
    + any fruit
    + olive oil (how could I not have oil to cook with?)

    Why would you include the secret to grilled cheese if your list didn’t even include bread?! In that case, my only musts are an egg sandwich breakfast with chicken salad for later, which then makes use of all ingredients above. :)

  5. Jessica says...

    love these! so fun to see everyone’s staples :)

    almond butter
    frozen broccoli
    nutritional yeast
    (and good Dijon mustard)

  6. Maria Fernanda says...

    milk, eggs, olive oil, pasta,and bananas

  7. Mary says...

    My list:

    Light Bread (Low Cal)
    Vanilla yogurt
    Mixed salad
    Light dressing

    I could live on these foreva!

  8. Madie says...

    Nobody else says bacon? Maybe we eat too much bacon.
    Eggs, Bacon, Plain Greek Yogurt, Strawberries, Pasta

    • Ronny says...

      yes! bacon!!

  9. Rachael says...

    5 things I always have and will run to the grocery store for:
    Eggs (for quick meals)
    Onions (for everything!)
    Lemons (from my parents’ tree; for everything! but especially squeezed into homemade soup and for salad dressing.)
    Carrots (for soups and snacking)
    Cheese (to eat with crackers (triscuits are my choice))

  10. Simone says...


  11. Miranda says...

    Mine are:
    Tortilla chips
    Baby spinach
    Balsamic vinegar

  12. Katie says...

    butter, Spanish onions, bacon, potatoes, manchengo

  13. Rosie says...

    Ground turkey
    Maple syrup
    Sweet potatoes
    Peanut butter

    This list would’ve been totally different a year ago ;)

  14. Aya says...

    fresh herbs (especially parsley, basil, cilantro and mint)
    maple syrup

  15. Sara B says...

    Bananas (because toddler)
    Chicken Stock

  16. Jess says...

    Lemons, olive oil, avocado, corn tortillas and wine.

  17. Garlic
    Some sort of hot sauce

  18. Emma says...

    Red peppers

    I think?? This is so tricky! And of course, Yorkshire Gold tea.

  19. Anna says...

    Pasta: spaghetti, fusilli, risoni
    Rice: Jasmine & arborio
    Dried porcini mushrooms
    Garlic & onions
    Sirena tuna
    Frozen veg: peas, edamame, corn
    Sausages: lap chong & longganisa
    Diced canned tomatoes

    So a bit more than 5, but these are our pantry staples and the basis of most meals in our house!

  20. Caz says...

    Only 5 things?! Gah, it’s hard to narrow down.
    I always seem to have garlic, pasta, tomatoes (fresh or tinned), eggs, and cheese (ideally a nice sharp cheddar but living in Spain now it’s a semi-cured sheep & cow’s milk cheese). And wine, of course ;)

    By the way, I love the vegemite mention from Gemma! A staple in any Aussie home. As an expat now I must ration my precious tubes of salty, yeasty heaven.

  21. Laura says...

    I have a 2 year old, so…
    red wine
    white wine
    rose wine
    Carr’s crackers (for absorbsion)
    oh, and the underrated herb Italian parsley

    • Sara B says...

      Amen sister!

    • Ivy says...

      This is amazing.

    • B says...

      HAHA! I’ll add coffee to that list too ;)

    • Laura says...

      Good call B, # 6 caffeinated beverage of choice.

  22. Lisa says...

    Um, I only need three: my phone, take out menus, and cash. I wish I were kidding. To bump it up to five, add bread and Nutella.

  23. margaux says...

    ruth knows where it’s at! anchovies are a game-changing pastry staple. you can stir them into almost any savory dish to gin up the flavor, and you do not get a fishy taste at all. i cook with them all the time, and my toddlers haven’t the faintest idea they’re eating the slimy little critters. ( :


    heavy cream

    fyi – you should try julia moskin’s grilled cheese recipe at nycooking. mayo (and butter on the inside!) is the secret there.

  24. Avocados

  25. Marianne says...

    Only five! Okay if I had to narrow it down it would be…
    coconut oil

  26. earl grey tea
    Casancrem (which is an argentine cross between cheese and sour cream)
    Bread (bran)
    And cheese! It HAS to be included.

    This was fun!!


  27. Sour cream, eggs, crushed red pepper, Maldon sea salt, some sort of greens to cook (spinach, kale, collards, etc). In fact, a combination of that (plus or minus some other things, like green garlic, herbs, olive oil/butter, maybe some parmesan) is often dinner, prepared in multiple ways (scrambled, omelette, soft boiled, etc)!

  28. Bananas
    Frozen peas
    Peanut butter

  29. Madeline says...

    Coffee, Half n Half, Tortillas, Eggs, and a Sharp White Cheddar! =)

  30. Elisabeth says...

    It’s hard to narrow things down! I always have (in no particular order): eggs, lemon, milk, coffee, Parmesan, dried pasta…

  31. Angela says...

    Cheddar cheese
    Olive oil

    Though when I saw the title of the post, I was thinking utensils… In which case:
    Sharp knives
    Cast iron stuff (skillet and Dutch oven, primarily)
    Hot pads
    Wooden utensils (stirring spoons and spatulas)
    Cutting boards

    This is fun! And it’s great seeing everyone else’s lists as well!

  32. Jennifer says...

    Tamari sauce
    Olive Oil
    Dark Chocolate
    Coconut Milk

  33. clare says...

    Lemons + Bananas + Frozen Fruit (for smoothies) + Plant-based Protein Powder + Apples

  34. Avocado
    Nut butters (especially almond butter & tahini)

    Oh so many things I love, but these are probably my staples =)

  35. Mandy says...

    red pepper flakes
    pork lion (so, easy to make a “fancy” meal in 26 minutes!)

  36. Sara says...

    Greek yogurt


  37. Samantha says...

    EGGS, chicken breasts, garlic (in any form) and black pepper. I can’t really think of a fifth thing that’s as elementary as these, maybe salt lol. I do love quinoa and whole wheat israeli couscous (originally called ptitim). Any type of sparkling wine is also very welcome:)

  38. Kim says...

    Frozen waffles
    Vegan protein bars
    String cheese
    Tortilla chips

    (I’m sort of kidding, but not really)

    • Amy says...

      This is the most real response here and I fucking love it!

  39. Pasta
    My garlic/oil/pesto in a jar.

  40. Love this! Realllly hard to narrow it down to five things…
    hunk of parmesan
    olive oil
    But also always try to have organic Better than Bullion chicken broth, butter, eggs, and heavy cream on hand.

  41. Cg says...

    A sharp knife
    Parmesan cheese

    • cg says...

      Sorry, just realized after re-reading it much later, that it’s food. So please replace a sharp knife with COFFEE!

      But really, a sharp knife is essential in the kitchen.

  42. It’s so hard to limit it to five things! But the items I make sure to never run out of – no matter what – are probably these:

  43. Olive oil, peanut butter, coffee, some sort of bread, and pasta

  44. Lisa says...

    I have A LOT of staples when it comes to stuff that doesnt really go bad, like mustard and canned stuff. When it comes to “fresh” food, always to be found in my tiny apartment (live alone, work a lot) – yoghurt, frozen berries, avocado, eggs, bananas, crisp bread (Scandinavian crisp bread), butter, and fresh garlic. Means I can whip up omelettes, have breakfast, make smoothies, pancakes (banana+egg-style), have a snack.. All meals in those few ingredients! Have in mind I eat loads of veggies and proper food through work so I do get some vitamins too, haha!

  45. ah, such a fun post! tough to narrow it down to 5 but mine would be:
    -San Marzano tomatoes (I use it for everything: pasta sauce, soup, stews…)
    -Lemons (for my morning water, lemon, probiotic drink)
    -Nespresso coffee capsules (after the drink listed above!)
    – Parmigiano reggiano
    -Barilla Spaghetti

    • Ronda says...

      The same!

  46. canned sardines (or anchovies), some kind of pasta or rice, sriracha, eggs and olive oil.

  47. Maria says...

    Mine would be: jumbo porridge oats, greek yoghurt, rice, extra virgin olive oil, lemons.

  48. Katie Larissa says...

    Butter, olive oil, kosher salt, cheese, eggs, greens of some sort – and because I’m pregnant and suffering with terrible morning sickness – pretzels and sparkling lemonade.

    Oh, and old fashioned steel cut oats. Gotta have my morning oatmeal to get me going.

  49. I’d go with eggs, rotisserie chicken, broccoli, brown rice, and cholula.

  50. Claire says...

    plain Greek yogurt
    and sixth, but not least…LIMES (for gin and tonics!)

  51. Lauren E. says...

    Milk, eggs, parmesan, a white onion (for, and Frank’s red hot. Bonus: pasta. If I have those ingredients in the house, I can make a pretty good dish for every meal.

  52. Calliope says...

    Homemade tomato sauce
    Chicken in any form
    Feta cheese (or any cheese really)

  53. Whitney says...

    Local eggs, Kerrygold salted butter, lemons, good coffee beans, & avocados. Plus the basics for my homemade sourdough bread and ghiradelli chocolate chips should I have the urge to whip up a batch of cookies.

  54. hmmm…
    sourdough bread, cheddar cheese, butter, eggs, spinach.

  55. Samantha P says...

    Oh Donald! What a hunk!

    I’d have to say – Butter – Fresh Herbs ALWAYS – block of Parm – Fresh Lemons, Eggs, San Marzano Tomatoes

  56. Fresh garlic (never the pre-minced kind!), lemons, eggs, Parmesan, French salted butter. Mmmm the butter. Good quality olive oil and sourdough. Oh! And (maybe randomly) cilantro! I use it aalll the time.

  57. Lemon, garlic, milk, a strong aged cheese, pasta! All those things are like a full meal. And with kids I guess you gotta choose the milk… but a good IPA is a strong 6th item. ;) How fun to think about.

  58. Rae says...

    Good quality tinned whole tomatoes
    Fresh garlic
    Some sort of spicy sausage – salami, chorizo, pepperoni
    Aged cheese

    (Cheekily not counting olive oil. I’m lumping it in with salt & pepper)

  59. Excellent question. I never thought of that before. My five things would be fresh fruit, eggs, avocado, rye bread (the Scandinavian kind) and my favorite tea. I guess that I could eat breakfast all day every day! :)
    xx A /

  60. Jessica says...

    Olive oil, garlic, sweet potatoes, extra sharp cheddar cheese, chickpeas, lemon or lime

  61. Claire says...

    Crusty bread, avocado, mixed greens, good coffee, butter. So pretty much breakfast. :) Oh! Bonus: any type of fresh fruit!

  62. Meredith says...

    Eggs, Butter, Champagne, a great baguette, herbs

  63. eggs, butter, cream, a good italian cheese, and white wine.

  64. Jenna says...

    Fish Sauce

  65. Jo says...

    I use basically daily: a great bread, za’atar spice, avocados, lentils, and eggs. If I could add more than 5: a delicious and versatile balsamic vinegar (I LOVE the one from local We Olive in California), quinoa, and sweet potatoes.

  66. monica says...

    Jon Hamm!

    almond butter

  67. Lauren Lyons says...

    Fresh ginger, black beans, EVOO, a great sea salt, lemons, honey, + white balsamic. Oh, + if I could help it, I’d never be without Jon Hamm in my kitchen. ;)

  68. Alexandra F says...

    My fiancé is called Stefan and is fantastic in the kitchen… we call him Chef Stefano! Weird!
    My 5 items would be… yogurts, crumpets, chicken, pesto and jaffa cakes!

  69. It’s interesting how similar these lists really are. There might be fifteen different things listed total between all the comments.

    Sixteen (Jon Hamm). :)

  70. bisbee says...

    Very hard to narrow it down, as others have said. Olive oil, onions, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemons, eggs, peppercorns. Seven. For Chef Stef: please, please replace that bottle of lemon juice with fresh lemons. You will thank me.

    • bisbee says...

      Oh…coffee. That makes 8.

  71. This is so cool!!!
    olive oil
    cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, gouda, mennonite or panela (fresh)
    Bonus: spinach or tomatoes

  72. Lindsey says...

    I can narrow it down to two: eggs and bread (preferably chewy, seedy bread, but even Wonderbread would do in a pinch.)

    This is because anything, everything, and then some can be cured with a drippy-egg sandwich.

  73. Frozen berries, spinach, yogurt, eggs, and cheese. Omelettes and smoothies forever!

  74. oh man, my husband makes fun of me for stocking up on these so i’m not without: black beans, sharp cheddar, olive oil, spinach (my favorite salad is just spinach, olive oil, s & p) and cumin – i now buy it in bulk

  75. kiki says...

    milk / coffee / wine / bananas / cheese / chocolate / eggs

    oh wait. that’s 7. i guess if HAD to eliminate anything it would be milk and eggs. #priorities

  76. Benay says...

    How the hell does Jon Hamm look so amazing smoking and cooking eggs? I mean COME ON. No offense but I didn’t even read your post because I was so distracted by his godliness, cigarette aside.

    • Gracie says...

      Same! So sad Mad Men ended.

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      I was wondering if anyone would mention the cigarette! Smoking over cooking food – yuck!

  77. Rachel says...

    garlic, bananas, loaf of bread in the freezer, kosher salt, olive oil

  78. Barbara says...

    dark chocolate chips, a good balsamic vinegar, sea salt, lemon juice, eggs

    Love this thread.

  79. Megan says...

    This is such a fun post! Mine are olive oil, garlic, lemon, some kind of greens (most likely spinach or arugula) and a block of parm cheese.

  80. Anna says...

    Mac & cheese, frozen peas, peanut butter, oatmeal, & bengal spice tea (it’s a spicy decaf chai-like tea).

    I’ve got the stomach of a toddler, it seems!

  81. Nina says...

    And, what is UP with that picture? So who makes the DRY toast before the eggs because then its all cold and rubbery? And who uses a fork to make what are those sunny side up eggs or will they be flipped? is there even butter in that pan? why is the cigarette out and his hand on the stove is dangerously close to the heat, isn’t it? ouch! I mean really…that picture leads to so many questions…

    • Jenna says...

      Haha! I had to scroll up to see, and you are right. What a weird picture!

    • Courtney says...

      Took the words out of my mouth! And it makes it harder for me to imagine that it’s me that he’s cooking breakfast for with so much confusing imagery.

    • Dying laughing! So true! I was so distracted by his charm that I didn’t see past it.

  82. Sadie says...

    As a college student I’m hoping this list changes once I graduate. I can’t be without eggs, spinach, cholula, butter, and brown rice. This is not only a list but also a recipe for what I consume 4 nights are week.

  83. Eggs, spinach, garlic, cheese, Marie Sharp’s Habanero Hot sauce (the only hot sauce).

  84. Nina says...

    Foods, are you we just talking foods? Because tools would include a kitchen scissor – use this for EVERYTHING but especially cutting meat! so much easier than most knives.

    Foods – olive oil, garlic (I think minced garlic is so gross, what kind does he use that’s good?), parmesan cheese, eggs, and cheddar cheese.

    • Courtney says...

      I totally agree about the minced garlic! I have never found one that tasted right. What does Chef Step use??

      I go with Gourmet Garden Garlic Stir-In Paste when I’m too lazy to chop.

    • Nina says...

      ah I will have to look for the paste. I should clarify the jarred minced garlic…it always seems so hard. I use minced garlic (that I mince, poorly) several times a week.

  85. K says...

    Ginger! Ginger is my salt! I put it on everything! And in the freezer it keeps for ages and can be grated into a beautiful little mound of snow. Also on my list: that Orange Chamagne Vinegar from Trader Joes, green onions, cilantro, and garlic! So much garlic!

  86. Reg says...

    whole wheat pita bread
    coconut oil

  87. Lindsay B. says...

    I’m a sucker for lists like this!
    Lemons, Coconut oil, sweet potatoes, fresh garlic, butter, and EGGS!
    (also, kombucha, raw honey, fresh basil, and a good herbal chai tea. I could go on and on!)

  88. eggs/peanuts/soba noodles/greens (usually kale)/siracha

  89. Emily M. says...

    Frank’s Red Hot Sauce Original. Fresh parmesan cheese. Mayonnaise. Garlic. Dark roast coffee beans.

    And thank you for the mixed martinis/marinated steaks visual. Was going to eat a salad for dinner but now….

  90. HJM says...

    Avocado, lemons, parmesan, eggs and something chocolate. I always want something chocolate.

  91. Eggs, mayonnaise, peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce, Kraft mac and cheese (what can I say it’s a comfort food and a quick fix).

  92. Char says...

    Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), whole black peppercorns, butter, onions, and eggs.
    (That said, I also always have gochugaru, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, white rice, and sesame oil.)

  93. Emily says...

    red pepper flakes . garlic . jalapenos . sea salt . olive oil

  94. Olive oil, peanutbutter, sharp cheddar, sea salt, almond milk.

  95. Lizzie says...

    Garlic salt, bread, peanut butter, oatmeal, bananas. I WISH I was as fancy as to always have Parmesan and Nutella!

  96. Joanna says...

    Butter, bacon, cheese, pasta and eggs. Those are always my staples.

  97. Iliada Olive oil, Celtic salt, great quality hard cheese, a baguette, arugula…lemons, some nice ripe pears, pâté, red wine, Green & Black’s Milk chocolate bar…oh you said 5 things. My tummy is growling.

    • Coffee, Kate’s unsalted butter, a terrific salami, avocados, Marcona almonds, toasted pepitas. I can’t stop. And staples like fresh herbs, grass-fed cream (you can taste the difference) and eggs. If our fridge is bare I’m grouchy.

  98. Jessica says...

    Mine would be green peppers, onion, fresh garlic, cayenne, and cumin.

  99. Camille says...

    Maple syrup (Canadian here)
    Bananas (they’re part of every single breakfast I eat)
    Natural peanut butter
    Parmiggiano reggiano

  100. boring list:
    organic eggs
    almond milk
    a sliced easy organic cheese to melt on anything
    organic bread and gf for our daughter
    soy free margarine

    more interesting:
    grass fed beef
    trader joe’s goat cheese round for $3
    garlic powder

  101. Grace says...

    yogurt, walnuts, arugula, tomatoes, and red wine

    mmm i want all 5 right now

  102. Kate says...

    Sweet potatoes.
    Peanut butter.
    Dark chocolate.

    I think this is actually a complete diet!

  103. Melissa says...

    Onions, butter, smoked cheddar, rye bread and eggs.

  104. Jenny says...

    I’ve discovered that my voyeuristic inclinations are totally mundane. Celebrity dating gossip doesn’t do it for me, but show me what facial moisturizer someone uses or how they organize their pantry? Sold. My kitchen essentials are: oatmeal (I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s frozen steelcut oatmeal – it comes in individually packaged pucks that you just pop in the microwave), butter, fresh garlic, granny smith apples, and sharp cheddar cheese. A crisp, slightly tart granny smith and a few slices of sharp cheddar? Best afternoon (or midnight) snack around.

    • Jenny says...

      Oh, and russet potatoes, coffee (duh), rice (the base of 95% of my meals), and avocados!

  105. Molly says...

    Olive oil
    Parm cheese


  106. Eggs, soy sauce, garlic, rice, and baby spinach. I use some combination of all of those things daily :) Sometimes even in one meal as a fried rice! Also, just wanted to note that eggs+soy sauce is totally a thing! Maybe just an Asian thing… but so good!

    • Nina says...

      swap quinoa for rice, and that’s basically my list!

  107. Emily R says...

    limes (for coctails) good tequila (ditto), Frank’s hot sauce, popcorn and butter.

  108. erica says...

    frozen mixed vegetables, marinara, spinach, cucumbers aaaaaand tea bags!

  109. pm says...


    The end.

    • yeah, I would trade the staples for him too

    • Lol

    • Sarah says...


  110. Lemons, Garlic, Good Olive Oil, Homemade Chicken Stock, and Parmesan Cheese…. you can elevate the simplest meals with these things

  111. kash says...

    Ooh, I love this! For me: eggs, cheese, garlic, canned tomatoes, and jarred capers. If I can add a sixth, butter! I can make a bunch of last-minut, no-effort meals with those six things.

  112. Leah PS says...


  113. Libba E says...

    Love this game: lemon, olive oil (a really green, strong one), anchovies, tomatoes and cous cous. Nom nom nom. X

  114. Maire says...

    Eggs, olive oil, zhoug, tomatoes and feta cheese. Need to have all the basics for shakshouka on hand because it can be eaten for any and all meal times.

  115. Hmmm…butter, EVOO and sesame oil, shallots and garlic, eggs, milk, and soy sauce…plus some emergency frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s.

  116. I make a panicked run to the grocery store if I ever run out of: old fashioned oats, peanut butter, greens, apples, almonds.

  117. hannah says...

    eggs, avocados, romaine lettuce, a frozen loaf of ezekial bread, and…ginger ale (with its partner, bourbon).

  118. Eggs. Olive oil. Parmesan cheese. Sriracha. Vegan mayo.
    (the last two to mix together and put on anything to make it tasty)

    • oh yes! parm is a MUST

  119. Mollie says...

    Five ingredients is not enough!! It’s hard to narrow it down.
    Olive Oil

    • Tyler says...

      i couldn’t agree more!!

  120. Maggie says...

    Sea salt, crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a bottle of Pinot Noir and chocolate-covered espresso beans for snacking! Polled the team at the office and hearing a lot of quinoa, citrus and eggs :)

  121. Eggs, because they are a deliciously versatile source of protein. I always start my week by boiling a dozen for a quick snack or breakfast on the go.
    Avocados, because they take almost any dish from good to stellar.
    Lemons, for that extra little zing.
    Sweet potatoes, because I eat them at least three or four times a week in as many ways as I can.
    Salt, because you need flavor in your life.

  122. Eggs, bread (for toast), parmesan cheese, peanut butter, and International Delight coffee creamer (I call it melted plastic – it’s so bad for you! – but I can’t live without it).

  123. I’m with Ruth, though I might switch red wine for vinegar. And, after this post, I think I might have to add some smoked Hamm to my list…

  124. Julie says...

    Jon Hamm! Jon Hamm is the one kitchen item I would really like to have and not be able to live without. Hubba hubba. In reality: eggs, milk, wine, a bread of some kind, fresh greens, and olive oil.

  125. Minced garlic!! =)

  126. Potatoes and apples. And some cookies.

  127. Erin W says...

    Vegetarian here! Mine would be frozen fruit, (particularly mangos) for smoothies, unsalted butter (for everything!), rice, plain Greek yogurt, and either black beans or chickpeas.

  128. Emma says...

    Eggs! Dried pasta, blue cheese, arragula, salted butter.

  129. Heather D says...

    Sharp cheddar, at LEAST 25 lbs of white rice at all times (Filipino husband!), Kikkoman brand soy sauce, olive oil, eggs. Mmmmmm.

  130. Gina says...

    Salt, butter, rice, limes, and fish sauce. No Vietnamese kitchen can sustain itself without fish sauce.

  131. allie says...

    I love this game – and it’s twin – what is NEVER in your grocery basket.

    My list: lemons, milk, eggs, parsley, good sourdough bread.

    Never in my basket: red peppers, margarine, packet cake mix, low-fat dairy products, cookies (but only because I’m 7 months pregnant, and would eat them all in one sitting)

  132. Caitlyn says...

    Oooh, good question!

    I agree with Chef Stef on lemon juice and minced garlic – I’m a recent convert to the latter, but I AM NEVER GOING BACK – but I’ll also go with canned tomatoes, good quality olive oil, and onions.

  133. Kate says...

    Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, cream, and Jon Hamm ;)

  134. Kate says...

    Olive oil, butter, cheese, pasta, crackers. Hmm…so dairy and carbs pretty much.

  135. Awads says...

    bottle of lemon juice? jar of minced garlic? oh, my, i might faint! :-)

    my list: greek yogurt, trader joe’s lowfat granola, canned light tuna (kirkland brand is the best!), romaine lettuce hearts, roasted unsalted almonds, and possibly a loaf of crusty bread. and bourbon.

    • Emily R says...

      I KNOW! How about a lemon and some garlic. Squeezing and chopping never killed anyone!

  136. danielle says...

    eggs, spinach, salted butter, bananas, and peanut butter

  137. Sara Chini says...

    Eggs, cilantro, parsley, manchego, blueberries and–I’ll cheat and add one more–cream!

    Eggs give you instant meal
    Blueberries + manchego give you instant snack
    Every dish we make has to have cilantro and parsley in it
    Cream because we love our coffee

    • Leau says...

      Sara, have you tried Manchego with a bit of honey and some coffee beans ground finely? divine! courtesy of Jaime Oliver!

  138. JackieDee says...

    Hello, salt! Or is that a foregone conclusion?

    Salt, lemon, eggs, some kind of dairy, bread.

  139. Whether or not this is my “fantasy” kitchen list, we always actually have – olive oil, fresh garlic, sharp cheese, eggs, and almond butter (to go on sprouted wheat toast!).

  140. Emilie says...

    Such an important question!! Mine would be: lemons, garlic, olive oil, bananas, milk!

  141. Casey says...

    Ruth and I have the same list! :) Although I would consider a good flour, or perhaps spinach instead of the vinegar. When I read the title of the article I thought it would be kitchen tools; so before I read the post I started considering my options. I only got as far as to add a a pastry blender to my list. :) Also, that is one of the sexiest picture of Jon Hamm. Yum!

  142. Mallory says...

    Cheese. Wine. Apples. Dark Chocolate. Avocados.

  143. Natalie says...

    hubba, hubba Don Draper! haha.
    But really, those are some great kitchen lists.

  144. Such fun lists! Mine would definitely be eggs, butter, olive oil, lemons, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. I love cooking with lots of spices, but those 7 things can pack a punch all by themselves.

  145. nohatnogloves says...

    Eggs. Cheese. Olive oil. Pepper. Lemons.
    So: omelettes, mayo, scrambled eggs, cheese crisps all possible.