Getting started in the kitchen

Cooking, and cooking from scratch has been a big part of the way I grew up learning from my mother and grandmother. For example, I can remember grandma every summer making homemade pickles by pickling cucumbers she would get from a local farmer. At Christmas time, she made homemade chocolates that she would hand out to the neighbours. Mom is an amazing cook and has always tried to put her own spin on recipes and constantly make things taste better. I learned so much from them both! As much as I love to cook and bake, there have been things that I have learned along the way from my own experiences that hopefully will help you as you begin.

I tend to enjoy the simplicity of things rather than that of flamboyance and complexity. I used to try out new recipes that had a long ingredients list, some of which I had to Google certain items because I had no idea what they were. After Googling the item I’d have to try and find them in the grocery store, which was a whole other challenge. If I did find it, it could be expensive and turns out you probably will only ever use it once, which is such a waste, and who’s to say it was even going to be something I would enjoy eating. I’ve fine tuned the way I cook and what recipes I use and if you keep your pantry stocked with certain herbs and spices you are good to go with anything you want to tackle. Anything else is for the crazy advanced cook. I’m just focused on good ol’ family, friendly, good eatin’!

Baking requires different ingredients. I love having a stocked pantry of baking needs and making things from scratch rather than a boxed mix because you know if you have the ingredients you can make it. If you use up a box of brownie mix, for example, you can’t make any more brownies. Learn to bake from scratch and you can make just about anything.

Basic Herbs & Spices:

  • Basil
  • Oregano

  • Thyme

  • Rosemary

  • Bay leaf

  • Sage

  • Dill

  • Paprika

  • Curry powder

  • Chili powder

  • Salt and pepper

  • Cinnamon

  • Clove

  • Nutmeg


In the fridge:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Yeast

Fresh Ingredients: 

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Bell pepper

Baking Basics:

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cream of tarter
  • All purpose flour
  • Cake flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Vegetable oil
  • White vinegar
  • Good vanilla extract (not imitation)