Baking Basics: My Must-Have, On-Hand Ingredients

Welcome back to another Baking Basics installment! Today, let’s talk about how I stalk my pantry for Baking with a little Cooking mixed in.

Most people keep the basics on hand… flour, sugar, eggs, butter. You can make a lot of things with those four ingredients. But, I keep a large array of ingredients on hand. I have some favorites too. I live fairly close to town, but especially this day in age, I try to avoid Walmart at all costs, and where I live, that IS our grocery store. I wish more grocery stores would move into the area… please read this and follow suit!! Once I start to get low on something, I put it on my grocery list so I can re-stock it before I’m completely out.

Below is everything I keep in my pantry on a regular basis, along with brand recommendations and links, where applicable. Is there anything you would add to the list?!


  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Bread Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour


How to Make Buttermilk (sour milk)

Picture this… you find a recipe you want to make… something that requires buttermilk… for example:

And you happen to be fresh out of buttermilk… or better yet, you have never bought buttermilk in your life. It happens to the best of us! But… what you may not know is making buttermilk (aka sour milk) is super simple and you probably have the ingredients for that!

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream; (more…)

A Glossary of Bold Seasonings

So earlier this week I ran across a notebook of my grandma’s where she kept recipes.  As I flipped through the book, I ran across this page she’d torn out from the Redbook May 1995 issue on page 144.  I liked it so I had to share:

The basics for a well-seasoned dish are in everyone’s kitchen and nearest market.  Here’s how to buy, use, and store some of the easy-to-find herbs, spices, and vegetables that give any meal a special taste to boost.


Herbs: Fresh, leafy green herbs are available all summer and, in some areas, throughout the year.  Buy in unwilted bunches with no bruised leaves, and preferably with roots attached.  Store in a container of water in the refrigerator, covering the container with a plastic bag secured by a rubber band.  Use dried herbs only in cooked dishes, and use half the amount of the fresh herb called for.

Basil: This big-leaved herb has a delicate mint and licorice flavor.  Rinse well before using, as basil leaves hold soil; gently pat dry with paper towels.  Dried basil is not recommended; it is better to use chopped parsley flavored with dried mint and a little anise seed. (more…)