The Planned Pantry

If you have a garden or a box of seasonal produce delivered to your door (in Santa Barbara this service is offered by such companies as Plow to Porch, Fairview Gardens or Local Harvest Delivery) and you have the below items stocked in your pantry, you will be able to not only make most of the recipes on this site, but it will elevate the taste of all your culinary endeavors. A well-stocked pantry also ensures that you will be able to entertain breakfast, lunch or dinner on a whim!

Whenever possible, I choose organic products, although this is not necessarily indicated on my list. Choosing organic products not only is better for our beautiful world, but I find the quality of the ingredients make a huge difference in the overall taste of the food. The most important thing about stocking a pantry is to have the best tasting and finest quality items you can get. This does not necessarily mean the most expensive. Trader Joe’s is a great and inexpensive resource for organic sugar, flour, condiments, grains, specialty nuts, cheeses and oil.

Sometimes you will find that your dish tastes “off” and you aren’t sure why. Do yourself a favor and try your ingredients before you cook with them. Take olive oil, for instance; it’s more common than you think to open a recently purchased bottle only to find that it’s rancid. It’s such a drag to take the time to cook a wonderful meal and have it flop because the oil is bad. Ugh! Selecting the finest ingredients will result in great tasting meals all the time, and you will be confident that even the simplest preparation will taste delicious.

At first glance this list may seem long, but you likely already have many of these ingredients on your shelves. As you stock and re-stock your pantry, enjoy the thrill of the hunt of finding the best ingredients.



Coconut oil

Canola oil and spray

Grape seed oil

Olive Oil – for cooking, Costco Kirkland Reserve (I buy it by the case)

Olive oil – for finishing, whatever the Rare Wine Company is offering


Cooking Booze

White wine – Sauvignon Blanc, a little for the cook and a little for the pan

Red wine– Nebiolo from Northern Italy, fruity and light

Sherry – Oloroso, Spain




Sherry vinegar

White wine vinegar

White Balsamic vinegar

Aged Balsamic vinegar

Rice wine vinegar

Apple cider vinegar



Kosher – Diamond Crystal

Murray River –pink, Australia

Maldon – flaky white; Brittnay, France

Kilauea – black, Hawaii


Specialty Dry Herbs, Spices and Sauces

Aleppo Pepper

Cayenne pepper


Smoked Paprika

Sweet Paprika


Yellow and black mustard seed


Celery salt – for the rim of our Bloody Mary’s


Star Anise

Vanilla bean

Vanilla extract

Almond extract

Soy sauce

Fish Sauce

Sriracha sauce



Dijon mustard

Stone ground mustard



All purpose flour

White whole wheat flour

Semolina flour

O0 flour

Whole-wheat pastry flour

Cake flour



Baking soda

Baking powder

Corn starch

Rapid rise yeast



Turbine sugar


Light and dark brown sugar

Confectioner’s sugar

Agave nectar

Honey – local

Maple syrup

Coconut milk



Grains and Starches


Flax seed


Brown rice cereal


Carnaroli rice

Brown Basmati rice

Jasmine rice


Pasta, assortment

Udon noodles

Soba noodles

Whole wheat bread

Crackers, assortment

Popcorn — essential for movie night!


Other Staples

White anchovies

French lentils

San Marzano tomatoes

Capers, packed in salt

Tomato paste, in a tube

Smoked dried tomatoes

Piquillo peppers

Dried beans; flagolette, pinquito (from Shephard Farms) and pinto (from Rancho Gordo)

Tortilla chips

Valrhona chocolate – dark chocolate, in a variety of percentages

Dark chocolate chips, I like Ghirardelli disks

Unsweetened baking chocolate

Peanut butter

Nuts; my stash is an assortment from TJ’s and Farmer’s Market (peanuts, almonds, Marcona almonds, pecans and cashews)

Unsweetened dried fruit- cherries, blueberries, cranberries, currants

Coconut, unsweetened


Pantry Basket Drawers

Heads of garlic

Yellow onion

Ginger root

Dried Chiles de Arbol


Refrigerated Staples

Farm eggs


French ham

Sliced turkey


Roasted chicken

Green olives, in salt brine

Triple cream cheese



Israeli feta

White cheddar




Greek yogurt

Butter, unsalted

Mayonnaise (I like Spectrum if I don’t make it myself)


Whole wheat tortillas

Mini corn tortillas, Gurrero

Chicken stock

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