11 Fab Kitchen Essentials To Get You Through The Winter | www.eatingfabulously.com
As we maneuver around this unseasonably warm weather, in the back of our minds we know winter is coming, and with that we must prepare. I know Im not the only one who doesn't want to go to the grocery store often during the chilly winter months, especially if there is snow on the ground. Every kitchen has the essentials and I put together a list of basic essentials that can make an array of fab meals until we all come out of hibernation in March. I love these essentials because they easily transition into meals for brunch, dinner and even quick appetizers. 
Here are my 11 Fab Kitchen Essentials To Get You Through The Winter...

Chef Knife - every fab girl needs a sharp chef knife. One basic chef's knife will get you through anything once you learn how to handle it properly. I use Global and MAC knives and they have endured just about everything, even my early days in culinary school. Remember a sharp knife reduces the risk of cutting yourself, so make sure you keep your knife in great condition. If you are afraid to sharpen your knives on your own, head to a kitchen store or a restaurant supply store in your area and inquire about scheduled sharpening's whether in store or drop off.
Onions & Garlic - every meal starts off with onions and garlic! Onions are a staple in pretty much every cuisine around the world. Its a base ingredient in a variety of dishes, and one of the main ingredients when you are making soups and stocks. Keeping garlic in your kitchen at all times like onions is a absolute must. Adding garlic to even the simplest of dishes will add another level of flavor.

Canola Oil and Olive Oil - amongst all of the oils, canola oil and olive oil are essentials. Canola oil can be used for a variety of cooking techniques including rubbing some on a chicken or fish before roasting, sautéing vegetables or even making a quick vinaigrette. Olive oil is a great thing to have as you can drizzle it over hot pasta, use it as a marinade or make a quick appetizer dip of olive oil, crushed pepper flakes and toasted bread when unexpected guests come over.

Bacon - I mean, come on who doesn't love bacon :: hands in the air emoji:: whether thick cut, regular or slab, bacon is something every person needs to get through the winter. Tossed with pasta, wrapped around a hearty meatloaf or crumbled on top of cupcakes for fab flavor, I make sure to have bacon in my freezer at all times. Or even just because it's Tuesday. 

11 Fab Kitchen Essentials To Get You Through The Winter | www.eatingfabulously.com
Canned Tomatoes - I learned over the years that canned tomatoes are a complete gift of life. I love fresh tomatoes in the summer but in the winter, fresh tomatoes taste like wet cardboard. I love to catch a big 10/$10 sale on canned tomatoes and I buy a variety ( whole peeled, crushed, diced, stewed) and keep them in my pantry all winter. You can make multiple meals ranging from tomato sauce for pasta, tomato soup, shrimp and grits and even vegetable and tomato Parmesan soup when it really gets chilly.

Butter - I mean it's butter. Whether it's salted or unsalted, French or Irish, need I say more?

Dry Herbs and Spices - Everyone knows spices and herbs bring tons of flavor to just about anything you cook. But who wants to go to the store for fresh herbs when there is snow on the ground if you don't have to? Having these basic spices and dried herbs in your pantry can carry you through a winter full of fabulous foods.
  • Sea salt 
  • Black pepper 
  • Chili powder or flakes 
  • Smoked paprika 
  • Thyme 
  • Rosemary 
  • Oregano 
  • Garlic 
  • Onion powder 

Parmesan Cheese + The Rind - Parmesan cheese is a great cheese to have on hand at all times because of the flavor and shelf life. It's a drier cheese so it holds longer and can be added or topped on a variety of dishes. Not sure what to do with that left over rind? Keep it! The rind can also be used to flavor soups or added in the cooking process for broths to add a additional layer of flavor.

Polenta or Grits - Whatever region of the world you are from, grits and polenta can make a simple dinner fab. Umm hello, shrimp and grits right?!? Polenta and grits are 1 in the same depending on what part of the world you reside it. Both made of ground corn, polenta is finely ground cornmeal where as grits are ground corn. Both are great in a sense that they start off with absolutely no flavor so you can add anything you want in them or on top of them. And it's great that it's cheap and comes in large quantities. Breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, grits and polenta can get you through the next 6 chilly months.

Frozen Shrimp - 3 words. Just. So. Easy. I keep a bag of frozen white shrimp in my freezer and I love every minute of it. I get a bag from Whole Foods for $20 and I can get 4 - 5 meals out of one bag. Quality frozen shrimp are super quick, easy, and convenient with no peeling or cleaning required. Just unthaw in some warm water when needed, and you've got shrimp and grits, garlic spaghetti with shrimp, and even shrimp stir fry all winter long.

Dry Pasta - You are never going to go wrong with dry pasta in the winter. I try to catch a 5/$5 sale on boxed pasta and buy a different variety. I always make sure I have at least 2 boxes of thin spaghetti, 1 box of pasta for a quick soup( I like pastina) , and then the other 2 boxes I grab whatever fun shape I desire. Keeping boxed pasta can make several quick meals on nights where cooking needs to be 30 minutes of less.

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