Let’s talk about pantry staples. Pantry necessities. Pantry must-haves.
My top 5 must-have spices: red pepper flakes (Brett puts on everything from scrambled eggs to a curry chicken that took me hours); an all-around basic Cajun seasoning; dried basil; nutmeg; and sesame oil (two drops and your dish tastes authentic!)
My indispensable cooking tools: plastic cutting boards with no-skid corners; a good knife (I love and use only one knife!); wooden spoons (sauces, pasta, stir-fry…and gentle on your pans); tongs (flipping meats, transferring something hot from one pan to another); pinch bowls (mince and measure your small ingredients ahead of time and set aside); plastic mixing bowls; and these spatulas which are soft and heat-resistant.
(Oh, wait! These bar towels of which I have two sets and use a new towel daily. They get more absorbent with every single wash. I’m obsessed.)
Guaranteed-you-will-always-find-these-in-my-pantry….foods: a good balsamic vinegar; Target brand jumbo box of fruit snacks; dry jasmine rice; beef and chicken broth and bouillon cubes; an extra jar of Hellman’s mayo (I simply can’t eat a dry sandwich…); and lastly, coffee. Good coffee.
There is, however, one new item that I only just discovered two weeks ago: Bisquick! When exploring Thanksgiving dishes to bring as a guest, I found the perfect recipe for Cheddar Ham Drop Biscuits made from Bisquick mix. I started reading the box and realized this Bisquik stuff was like magic! The next week, I needed some super quick rolls to serve with our soup: voila, parmesan cheese biscuits. Yesterday morning, Brett was begging for pancakes. Twenty minutes later they were on his plate doused in peanut butter and syrup. Bisquick to the rescue!!!!!
It’s my new favorite thing, and at the top of today’s grocery shopping list.
Ham & Cheddar Biscuits – adapted from Ham Cheddar Biscuits on Allrecipes.com
2 1/4 C bisquick mix
1/2 C milk
1/4 C sour cream
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C fully cooked chopped ham
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS butter, melted
Mix all ingredients just until moistened and combined. Spray large cookie sheet with Pam. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-9 minutes until tops are golden. Brush with melted butter if desired.
(Note: there are endless variations of this recipe! Most recently, I made these with only parmesan cheese – no ham – and also pressed some of the parmesan into the top of the biscuits before baking. Amazing!)