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. joanna says...

    1. lemons
    2. coconut milk
    3. bananas
    4. coriander
    5. rice

  2. kale, tomato, avocado, garlic, and olive oil

  3. Christina says...

    I’m never without:
    1. Yams/ sweet potatoes
    2. Oats
    3. Frozen Berries
    4. Organic peanut butter
    5. Avocados

    Even when i have “no food in the house,” i usually have these things and can scrounge up a meal

  4. JennP says...

    1. Butter
    2. Eggs
    3. Oil
    4. Milk
    5. Onions
    6. Garlic
    7. Tomatoes

  5. This is a tough one!
    Chicken – either rotisserie or thigh fillets
    Salad veg
    Other items that I like to have on hand are: sparkling mineral water, diet lemonade, salsa, sour cream, corn chips, avocado (when in season!), ice cream, some sort of dip, tortillas, potatoes, frozen corn.
    I find I can whip up so many different meals with the above so quesadillas, Mexican chicken salad, potato fritters, nachos, quiche.

  6. Amanda says...

    Goya Adobo seasoning
    Can chicken

  7. Laura says...

    I’d be going with: apples, oats, bananas (!!), Greek yogurt, and either a red or yellow onion. These are the things that my kitchen ALWAYS has!

  8. Sulli says...

    Love this… and so interesting to see what people find to be ‘necessity’ for their pantry.

    I definitely would say cheese (a parmesan, feta or goat), nuts (almonds or walnuts usually), wine (it’s a low point in life when there is none in the house), garlic, rice (always rice!).

    I feel like most of these are ‘on call’ to jazz up any ingredient that lingers in the fridge too long. And in the rarest and saddest scenario, at least you can throw together a cheesy, winey, garlic risotto topped with nuts!

  9. Melkorka says...

    Milk, Butter, Cheese, Eggs, Bread, Coffee. (I can’t believe how much of that is dairy!) that is enough to keep me fed untill I make it to the grocery store later in the day!

  10. This was really hard to narrow down!

    Olive Oil
    Corn Tortillas (Maseca)
    **Champagne (Gran Cuvée Reserva)

    Xo Lendy

  11. Must haves are:
    Butter + Olive oil

    However, I secretly make sure I always have sugar, flour, chocolate, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder on hand. I want to know that if I want to bake cookies or a cake at any time of the day I have the necessary ingredients. I also like to maintain a constant supply of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer :)

  12. Colleen says...

    Coconut milk
    Olive oil/ coconut oil
    Country Hearth Dakota Style 12 Grain bread (I used to live on this but since I discovered my gluten allergy its just for the hubby & kid to devour)

    So fun to see the commonalities between everyone’s lists & how the differences give you an idea of a person’s cooking/ eating style.

  13. jessica says...

    reading this post with a seemingly bare refrigerator and was inspired to make a simple pasta! garlic, vegan sausage, earth balance, daiya, linguine. thanks!

  14. COOFFEEEEEEE BEANS (insert knife emoji here!!!)

  15. SJ says...

    Love this! And so interesting to read everyone’s responses. Mine would also have a hunk of parmesan cheese, along with eggs, baby kale, fresh garlic, and Maldon salt.

  16. Daniela says...

    Olive oil, butter, Parmesan, garlic, pasta!

  17. Jill says...

    olive oil
    fresh greens or spinach
    scottish oats

  18. Alyssa Leister says...

    I thought, before reading, that this was going to be about kitchen tools! In which case my list would be: non-stick pan, flat spoonula, Le Creuset dutch oven (versatile and so beautiful!), KitchenAid mixer (again, beautiful!), and knives/cutting board.

    But if we are talking foods, then my list is: eggs, sliced cheese from my local market, coffee creamer, onions, frozen mixed veggies (preferably the 4lb bag from BJ’s that seems to last forever and makes adding veggies SO easy!)

  19. Tricia says...

    Goat Cheese
    Fresh Spinach

  20. I’m with your friend Gema!!! Lindt sea salt chocolate for the win!!!
    Oh, and extra virgin olive oil. I’m Spanish. I can’t live without it!

  21. Nancy D says...

    honey crisp apples

  22. Fun post! These are what I call my desert island foods:
    1. Peanut Butter
    2. Salsa
    3. Dark Chocolate
    4. Cashews
    5. Grapefruit

  23. Kara says...

    1) eggs
    2) medjool dates
    3) walnuts
    4) coffee
    5) tortillas

    My 4 year old son asks for an appetizer of dates and cashews (oops, not on the list!) practically every night before dinner.

    Love, love, love Cup of Jo…

  24. Laurel says...

    1. Oats
    2. Peanut butter
    3. Apples
    4. Greens or frozen veg
    5. Bananas
    6. Tofu/veggie burgers
    That’s six, but those are constantly on my grocery list! Then I can have my oatmeal with peanut butter and banana for breakfast, and my oatmeal with broccoli and a veggie burger for dinner. (Sounds strange, but so easy, filling and comfort-food like!)

  25. 1. Espresso
    2. Gin
    3. Korean chili paste
    4. Japanese instant noodles
    5. Pitashio ice cream

    I have more than one of each so i don’t run out.

  26. Libbynan says...

    1. Whole grain bread
    2. Natural peanut butter
    3. Eggs
    4. Half and half
    5. Coffee
    These are my full blown panic if I’m out items. Mild anxiety items are micro-greens, citrus fruit, and olive oil.

  27. Seedsandstones says...

    You used this picture of Jon Hamm in another post years ago and I later spent a day scouring your site trying to find it just to enjoy his sexiness and the feeling that maybe he was making me breakfast after we’d been up all night together, haha. What a silly little pleasure to see it recycled for this post.

    Eggs, garlic, cheddar so sharp it has a crumbly grit to it, a crusty loaf of bread, greens, and tomatoes. And tea. Ahhh, tea.

    • Jess says...

      Oh I had to force myself to read the article after that photo! Then I came back a few hours later just to look at it again. Jon Hamm you are my hall pass.

  28. Yush says...

    Harder to whittle down than I thought! I had to think of what makes me feel that specific sense of urgency when supplies run low…

    1. milk
    2. tea
    3. trader joe’s organic free range chicken broth
    4. apricot jam
    5. rice vinegar

  29. 1 Eggs
    2 Bread
    3 Microgreens (Home Greens)
    4 Milk
    5 Popcorn

    Love reading your blog!! :)

  30. Milk.
    Olive Oil.
    Coffee beans.

  31. Isabelle says...

    This is so much fun. I think mine would read something like: eggs, milk (almond or cow), some kind of fruit, potatoes, corn tortillas. Add ons: Green and Black’s dark chocolate, lemon juice, fresh ginger, garlic, olive oil …

  32. Cinda says...

    Love this blog. I so enjoy your content, the integrity is always present. I am not a fan of this ” kitchen-essential”…… I would say for sure the picture just denotes a ” must-have” …….. Ash tray. I as well would look for ” ashes” in the pan/food vs. salt and pepper. I really am not being a snarky commentator- I am a healthy striving lifestyle individual and when I viewed this pic., I had to turn away. This afternoon when reading thru again I just had to be real and comment. Thank-you for reading my comments and letting me be real….. Not in the least am I trying to present mean. Just saying…..

  33. Dan says...

    Greens (sprouts, kale)
    Sunflower seed butter
    Pre-marinated tofu for sandwiches / salads (best find in the produce section!)

  34. eg says...

    eggs, coffee, canned tomatoes, jon hamm, olive oil

  35. 1. Bananas
    2. Some type of greens (kale, spinach, or lettuce)
    3. Seasonal fruit
    4. Potatoes
    5. Beans

    I wish I could cheat and make it ten :)

    xo Azu

  36. Andrea says...

    I was going to say “WOW does your friend Stefan ever look like Don Draper! Not many people can pull off looking so cool whilst smoking and frying eggs!”. Then I realized – that is Don Draper….

    My list:
    Good cheese
    Kale (for chips or in soups or stews)
    Flour tortillas

  37. Jenelle says...

    Half and half
    Whole milk Greek yogurt
    Fresh garlic

  38. Noelle says...

    What a fun game!

    1. Eggs
    2. Olive oil
    3. Salt & Pepper (to be freshly ground) (does this count as one??)
    4. Minced garlic in a jar
    5. Coffee

  39. Kelly Libby says...

    oats (never instant. ew)
    salmon (fresh fish)
    olive oil

    ooops. that’s 6!!

  40. 1. Eggs
    2. Some more eggs.
    3. How about eggs?
    4. Did I mention some eggs?
    5. Maybe some eggs.

  41. Mara says...

    1. Cinnamon
    2. Olive oil
    3. Herbal tea
    4. Pink Lady apples
    5. Eggs

  42. Mara says...

    So many lemons!! Can I ask what everyone does with them? I’m intrigued!

    • Kelly Libby says...

      I have been using citrus a lot more lately. I cut up lemon for my tea and to mix with warm water in the mornings, marinades, and atop of fish to bake in the oven.

    • Diana says...

      1. Lemons! I have a lot of naked lemons because I use the zest in so many things–oatmeal, baked goods, pesto, vinaigrette and then of course there’s the juice.

      The pesto I make with lemon zest, peppery pistachio nuts, parsley, and walnut or pistachio oil is amazing on pasta or veggies. You can add Parmesan cheese too but it’s great without it. :)

  43. Sally says...

    Ten would be so much easier..

    Eggs (when you have eggs and one more ingredient, you have a meal)
    Olive oil/butter

  44. Theresa says...

    olive oil
    Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese
    flour tortillas

    I could live on this! Ha!

  45. Natasha Trifunovic says...

    onion, garlic, justin’s hazelnut butter in chocolate, radishes and flavored sparking water.

  46. Blythe says...

    This is beyond difficult…
    olive oil
    any vegetable
    Badia all seasoning
    almond milk (or my kids would lose their minds)

  47. emanuella says...

    Yay, I love this!

    1. unsweetened cranberry juice (after one too many uti’s, this is in the fridge for life)
    2. olive oil
    3. dijon
    4. carrots
    5. peppermint tea

  48. Briana says...

    Carr’s water crackers
    Fresh Herbs
    Good cheese (any- soft, hard, smelly… I love them all!)
    Israeli Couscous

  49. Emily says...

    1. cinnamon
    2. carrots
    3. honey
    4. garlic
    5. ginger
    6. COFFEE!

  50. Colleen says...

    baby spinach
    Annie’s mac and cheese
    peanut butter (essential for my husband and daughter’s survival)
    #6 would be whatever fruit is in season

  51. Marissa says...

    – A bag of dark leafy greens
    – Crisp apples
    – Lemons
    – Onions
    – A can of good tomatoes

  52. Kelly says...

    olive oil, eggs, salsa, cheese, sweet potato

  53. Diana says...

    1. Lemons! I have a lot of naked lemons because I use the zest in so many things–oatmeal, baked goods, pesto, vinaigrette and then of course there’s the juice.

    2. Olive oil

    3. Eggs

    4. Flour

    5. Maple Syrup

    and sorry but I’d need to add salt to this list. With these ingredients and my garden I could probably cook a five course meal. :)

  54. Alexandra Paty says...

    My list:
    1. Eggs !
    2. Butter + Olive Oil !
    3. Chives !
    4. Tomatoes !
    5. Dark Chocolate…!

  55. Liz says...

    That pic of Jon Hamm though. Oh my.

    • Denise says...

      My thought exactly!

    • Noelle says...

      Dear god yes.

  56. lately?? it’s been:

    1. fermented black bean chili sauce (for trying to be vegan and still making satisfying foods)
    2. lemons (for hot lemon water and literally every dish we make)
    3. fresh garlic
    4. fresh ginger
    5. giant tortillas (because my husband nearly has a panic attack when there aren’t tortillas in the house, aka vessel for putting nearly anything in your mouth)

  57. alexandra says...

    I’d have so say: fresh garlic, olive oil, eggs, french bread, and butter. Oo, and some great parmigiano-reggiano. Oooo! And wooden spoons. Okay, okay, and Jon Hamm.

    • Holly says...

      Trader’s Joe’s organic popcorn, obsessed!

  58. jon hamm is my new kitchen essential

    • Michelle says...


  59. Bananas says...

    I wish Jon Hamm was in my kitchen.

  60. Maryli says...

    Lemons, olive oil, garlic, mustard, a can of san marzano tomatoes.

  61. Maegan says...

    I seriously can think of nothing food or kitchen related with that photo of Jon Hamm …. my god is he sexy….. thank you for that! much appreciated.

  62. Julia says...

    Butter, lemon, eggs, garlic, some kind of greens – spinach, kale or arugula.

  63. Meredith says...

    Preserved Lemons
    Jon Hamm
    Dutch Stroopwafels
    Sea Salt

    • Maryli says...


  64. olive oil, butter, eggs, honey and coffee/tea
    husband says:
    peanut butter, tuna fish, bagels, beer and rice

  65. Megan says...

    Sour cream, eggs, coffee, cheese, milk

  66. Such a good question! It’s hard to narrow down but I would have to say:

    english breakfast tea
    olive oil

    I can’t narrow to five!

  67. Laura Reynolds says...

    1. Olive Oil
    2. Vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, red wine, all of it!!)
    3. Garlic
    4. CHEESE
    5. Wine, obviously

  68. Liz says...

    This is so fun! I would say homemade peanut butter (made in our Vitamix), lemons, yogurt with KIND granola, olive oil, eggs, fruits/veggies.

  69. Ashley says...

    Such a hard question!
    Very good, syrupy balsamic
    Dark chocolate

  70. Crosby says...

    So happy to see miso on a few people’s lists!

    1. Miso
    2. Sweet potatoes
    3. Frozen veg (esp. Broccoli)
    4. Ginger
    5. Citrus (either lemon or grapefruit)

  71. Tortillas
    Tomato Puree
    Teddy Peanut Butter

    The top photo makes me laugh. :)

  72. I love this! I cannot run out of:
    Parmesan & Asiago cheeses
    olive oil
    balsamic vinegar
    shallots & garlic
    creamy peanut butter
    a few bars of white chocolate :)

  73. Aga says...

    just 5 is hard! but i think the 5 that i always have in my fridge or on my list:
    lemons or limes
    coconut milk chia
    and some sort of lettuce or greens

    • Aga says...

      oops, coconut milk and chia seeds are separate items

  74. suzanne morris says...

    Jon Hamm

    • Susan says...


  75. Only 5? I like a challenge, but this one’s tough!

    Let’s see…
    Olive oil

    Looks like I can make breakfast at all times, so it’ll all be fine with just 5 after all! ;)

    Sandra | Cake + Whisky

  76. milk, garlic, ice cream, olive oil, avocados! easy easy.

  77. Kimberley says...

    No way! I was having this discussion with myself only the other day when I used lime, coriander and chilli flakes for the 3rd day in a row. I would add to that list oil (can I have a few?) and onions!

  78. Louise says...

    Baking potatoes
    Pearle De Lait Coconut Yogurt
    Salmon Steaks
    Microwave Rice

  79. katie says...

    olive oil
    oh and garlic and white wine!!

  80. kim says...

    How fun!

    Coconut OIl
    Mixed Nuts
    Fresh Fruit

    (this sounds like i’m much more of a breakfast person than I actually am…ha)

  81. chiara says...

    Olive oil
    vegetables and fruits with no exception

  82. Julia says...

    Pasta + tomatosauce for emergency cooking, olive oil, salt, milk, fruits

  83. Bread, butter, pasta, cheese (cheddar, gruyere, appenzeller, parmigiano-reggiano, etc.), coffee. Lots of other honorable mentions (tea, red wine, garlic, cashews, dark chocolate, IPAs), but these are my top five for sure, and it looks like they are many others’ as well!

  84. “As if he’d been preparing for this question his whole life,” LOVED THIS.

  85. Butter, eggs, tomatoes, olive oil & feta cheese!! Lots of feta cheese!!! :)

  86. Butter, eggs, tomatoes, olive oil & feta cheese!! Lots of feat cheese!!! :)

  87. Eggs
    Red wine
    And Marmite – yes I’m a true British girl living in the depths of France and I still have to have my marmite, but it’s not just me, so do the children and my husband, once you’ve grown up with it, it’s just a part of life!!!

  88. Parmesan – olive oil – lemons – oats – milk.

    Not limited to the kitchen: wine :-)

  89. siri says...

    This really got me thinking! For me, it’s dairy (butter, milk, Parmesan, Greek yoghurt), tomatoes (fresh, tinned chopped Italian and tomato paste), frozen veg (peas, broccoli and cauliflower) and coffee. I get panicky when I run out of those things. And yes, I realise I totally cheated, but I have a lot of things that make me nervous to run out of!

  90. Carissa says...

    Coconut Oil
    White wine

  91. Sophie says...

    brown sugar
    chocolate chips
    Because who can live without chocolate chip cookies?

  92. Maggie says...

    Hamm and eggs, like in the photo…

  93. Frederieke says...

    Sugar, milk, flower, eggs, parmigiano,bacon and salt… so I can make Pasta Carbonara and caramel cake!

  94. Alex says...

    1. Baguette
    2. Avocado
    3. Kale
    4. Beecher’s Flagship cheese (smoked or not)
    5. Dark chocolate
    5.1 Red wine

  95. Oats, coffee, lemon, oil, onions!

  96. Jill says...

    Nice picture of Hamm and eggs

  97. Liz says...

    Coffee, half and half, white wine, red wine. My needs are simple ;)

  98. Thanks for such a quirky, thought-provoking blog post. I think mine would be; butter, brown rice, my KitchenAid, a cast iron pot and cinnamon.


  99. Jenny says...

    Oats – rolled or Irish
    Wasa crisp bread

  100. Cee says...

    Kimchi (the source of all things wonderful and meal-worthy), rice, scallions, sesame oil, milk, fresh fruit and granola/cereal! Although my husband is against cereal right now (too much sugar), so it’s more like muesli/oatmeal nowadays!

  101. Emily Tan says...

    You. Spoke. To. Ruth. Reichl???

    I die

  102. Emily says...

    Olive oil
    Good cheese

  103. Oil, salt, garlic, onion, eggs

  104. Anushka says...

    Parmagianno Reggiano
    Olive Oil

  105. Chantel says...

    What is everyone doing with lemons?? Lots of lemons on the list! My personal top five:

    Cheese (the stingier the better!…Lindburger is an all time favourite)
    Peanut butter (the natural stuff that just has peanuts…the unhealthy kind is crazy sweet I find)
    Bread (multigrain preferably or my husbands homemade Julia child white bread-great recipe!)
    Chocolate chips (let’s be goes in everything: muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, or straight out of the bag)

    • Julia says...

      Why lemons? I need lemon zest or juice to spice diverse meals (see Jamie Oliver’s receipees, theres hardly one doing without lemon!), and I add lemon when preparing fresh juice (oranges, banana, lemon, mango etc.).

    • Chantel says...

      Thank you for the explanation. Sounds like something I should explore!

  106. Garlic, onions, olive oil, peanut butter, cereal

  107. Sarah says...

    Rolled oats
    Plain Greek yogurt
    Maple syrup
    Olive oil

  108. Holly says...

    Half & Half, peanut butter, fresh fruit, onion and eggs.

  109. Celia says...

    Plan yogurt
    Ahh and more thing. … Almond butter!

  110. Ellen says...

    Can’t let these things run out:

    Homemade almond butter and almond milk
    Greens of some sort

  111. ekbnyc says...

    Good bread for toasting
    Half and half

  112. Eliza says...

    Love this! My top 5 would be:

    half and half (to put in everything from coffee to quiches to scrambled eggs-just a tad makes everything better!)
    fresh spinach (we make tons of smoothies and throw in handfuls)

    Honorable mentions: yogurt, minced garlic, coconut oil, honey, frozen berries

  113. Katie says...

    Jon Hamm, Chris Pratt, Matt Bomer, Chris Pine, Chris Evans….oh, wait, you mean food, not hunky men I want in my kitchen? My mistake! ;)

    My REAL list would be butter, eggs, loaf of bread, bacon, cheddar cheese

    Honorable mentions: milk, lemons, potatoes, flour, sugar, chocolate, spinach. More cheese.

  114. Charlotte K says...

    Potatoes, garlic, eggs, milk, olive oil

    I know there should be more of a green veg in there–if I can have one more item, let’s say broccoli. Then I could live off garlic mashed potatoes with broccoli in them. YUM

  115. Butter!

  116. Sara says...

    shredded cheddar

  117. Right now I’m in a serious NON cooking phase/trying to save $$ so I have…

    1. pasta
    2. a pretty ok store bought tomato sauce
    3. eggs
    4. a tub of miso paste
    5. spinach

    –pasta goes with the store bought tomato sauce, and with pretty ok brands like Trader Joes or Lydia’s it’s actually pretty satisfying, lots of black pepper seals the deal. I heard that tomatoes have lots of umami so that it makes stuff taste more satisfying and filling. A fried egg or two on top if I want extra protein.
    –eggs for obvious reasons, oh the ways that you can cook them!
    —miso paste is magic. Add a tsp to a bowl of water and voila you have soup! Great for breakfast, lunch, a light dinner. Super rich in umami and probiotics and has a bit of protein. Mix in whisked egg for egg drop soup/extra protein.
    –spinach: add to all of the above

  118. Becca says...

    Parmesan, vinegar (definitely Balsamic), lemons, sriracha, raw cashews, and garlic. Canned foods: black beans, tomato/pizza sauce, chick peas, black olives. Frozen foods: edamame, pine nuts (they stay fresh longer in the freezer!), dark chocolate, mixed berries, spinach for smoothies (again, it keeps well in the freezer!)

  119. Huh? What? Sorry, got distracted by Mr. Hamm over there. Oh gosh, he looks so badass cooking eggs. ;-)

    Er… Oh yes. Pasta, frozen pureed squash, mushrooms, arugula and strawberries/pears (depending on the season.)

  120. Jodie says...

    Unsalted butter
    Maldon Sea Salt
    Olive Oil

  121. Ronny says...

    I love this question and seeing everyone’s answer. Mine would be:


    can you tell that I love my breakfast?

  122. Anna Cohen says...

    Eggs, Milk, Lemons, Pasta – and vegemite (cause we’re australian!)

  123. Charli says...

    I’m not going to answer the question. I’m just going to say thank you for that photo of Jon Hamm.

    • Kat says...

      uhm same. i too will have my fried eggs with a side of hamm

    • Joanna Goddard says...


  124. Lauren B says...

    Beecher’s flagship cheese
    Olive oil
    And because I can’t stop there: a jar of minced garlic

  125. Mmm, Hamm + eggs.

  126. olive oil. So much olive oil.
    Brianna’s Homestyle viniagrette
    chai tea of some kind
    almond milk
    trader joe’s shrimp gyoza

    Wow. That’s a random mix.

    Did I mention olive oil?

  127. also onions, garlic and a good crunchy salt!

  128. *duke’s mayonnaise (works for all kinds of things and is fluffy like a cloud- not grody like the mayo we all grew up with…use it instead of butter for grilley cheeses, whisked into salad dressings etc. yum!) a dollop’ll do ya!
    *spinach…for breakfast, for salads, for sammies you name it!
    *oats. i use them for savory oatmeal breakfast bowls (with the spinach and walnuts), energy bites with cocoa and almond butter, or with a dollop of sorghum molasses or homemade preserves for plain ole sweet breakfast oats.
    *old bay. if the mayonnaise didn’t give it away, i’m Southern as heck. gotta have the old bay for crab boils, grits, chicken soup, lima beans, mashed potatoes you name it!
    *bacon grease. don’t judge! just like my grandma did, i reuse after cooking a slab of bacon every week. one small spoonful for every recipe (even some sweet ones!). i cook very healthy and clean believe it or not, but the smidge of decadent fat makes a huge difference in everything you make and triggers that happy brain thing that makes you think you had something more fun than wilted spinach!


  129. Teresa says...

    Bacon, thick spaghetti, ricotta/parm, eggs, tortillas.

  130. Parmigiano
    Olive Oil

  131. Jill Palumbo says...

    Five is so hard! Eggs, milk, bread, greens, lemons, olive oil, wine, chicken stock, chocolate and baking supplies. I guess I can’t count after all………….

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      I can’t believe I forgot butter!

  132. Samantha says...

    Good question! At first I thought you meant cooking tools, so I thought of that list which was:
    1. frying pan
    2. wooden spoon
    3. immersion blender
    4. crockpot
    5. stockpot
    But then I read past the first two sentences, ha! So the list of the five foods I wouldn’t be caught without are

    1. eggs
    2. brown rice
    3. rolled oats
    4. cinnamon
    5. onions
    honorable mention: red wine, mushrooms, olives, chickpeas, romaine lettuce, garlic

  133. Parmigiano
    Olive Oil

  134. Maywyn says...

    garlic powder, olive oil, basil, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper

  135. Krissy says...

    Lemons, coconut oil, bananas, spinach and almond butter/milk.

  136. emily says...

    Jon Hamm, I wish.

  137. RBC says...

    beans of some sort

    and,really, bread, milk, and eggs (can you tell we like mexican and have 3 young children?)

  138. Elizabeth says...

    Cheese, olive oil, eggs, Israeli couscous, salsa.

  139. Elizabeth G says...

    I’m never without
    Greek yogurt
    Klaussen dill pickle spears =)

  140. Garlic, EVOO, Fresh thyme, Red wine, Eggs…I ALWAYS have these, and lemons too!

  141. Elizabeth says...

    grapefruit lacroix
    pink lady apples

    thick multigrain bread
    70% dark chocolate
    half & half

    It’s so interesting to read all the different answers!

  142. beks says...

    Good olive oil
    Red pepper flakes
    Black pepper
    Asiago cheese
    A shirt (the neighbors house looks right in)

  143. Emily says...

    peanut butter
    rolled oats
    popcorn kernels

    and since other people are breaking the rules, I’ll add lemons, onions, eggs, and evoo. :)

  144. Michelle says...

    With these three I can make pancakes, waffles, pasta, bread, dumplings
    Add some butter for yummy
    And rack of lamb

  145. kadcat says...

    Gah, this list varies widely if I have the motivation to cook or not! I absolutely love to cook, but do I feel motivated to do it on a regular basis after getting home from a long day of work? No. So, I’m making two lists: the lazy and cooking ones, haha! Lazy: coffee, bread, peanut butter, yogurt, fruit. Cooking: jarred garlic, lemon juice, good quality oils/vinegars, greens (usually kale), beans/chicken (depending on my mood).