Tummy Thursday: Staples

No fancy pics this week, as cooking was very plain, which brought me to today’s question for you: What are staples in your kitchen, and by that I mean dishes that you’ll (almost) always be willing to make and (almost) everybody is going to eat?

We had French Toast tonight and pancakes earlier this week (they can be small and American style or large and flat, more like crêpe). Various pasta with tomato sauce have never been turned down here, as well as meatball marinara pasta gratin (thank you, Ikea). Pizza goes without saying and wraps (to be filled at your own discretion) are also always ok.

What’s cooking in your kitchen?


  1. says

    Apples, cheddar cheese, assorted breads. My emergency spaghetti kit -- dried pasta, Trader Joe’s spaghetti sauce in a jar, and a pound of chicken Italian sausage in the freezer.

    Right now we all eat on different schedules, so there isn’t much family cooking unless Paul gets bored and decides to do one of his fryups. When it’s cooler and I can use the oven, I’ll make big pans of baked chicken with garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and white wine.

  2. Nightjar says

    It’s all a bit more complicated since I stopped eating meat, but some of the non-vegetarian things below have such a staple-status at home that I routinely have to make exceptions.

    Legume soup of all kinds, that’s how dinner starts (almost) every day for everyone. Vegetarian pizza, of course. A salad that consists of tuna, tomato, cucumber, peppers and onions (dressing: olive oil, vinegar, salt and wild oregano we collect in the woods every year). Same salad with tuna replaced by canned mackerel, or by salt cod (bacalhau). Salt cod, grilled and served with olive oil, garlic and bread. Oh, and this!

  3. voyager says

    Swiss steak, spaghetti, meatloaf and pizza. (pizza is easiest, we call not cook)
    Potatoes almost every day.
    Chicken stir fry is in pretty regular rotation, too.
    And we do French toast often on the weekends. With lots of warmed up maple syrup, which reminds me that maple syrup is a staple in our house like sugar.

  4. says

    Oh, and this!

    Oh Portuguese!
    I hovered over the link and looked if I could decipher it.
    “Peixinhos” I thought sounded somewhat like “peces”, which is fish in Spanish (but only alive).
    And horta sounded like “huerta”, which is the vegetable garden.
    And then I thought “this makes no sense at all, I must be wrong”.

  5. DonDueed says

    I only have to please myself, so… I’d say my favorite standby is a casserole of eggplant, ground beef, tomatoes and tomato sauce, topped with cheese, on a crust of crescent roll dough. The recipe came from my mom and she called it moussaka, though it’s not much like real moussaka.

    One thing I like about it (besides the yummyness) is that it reheats beautifully. That’s important for us single types.

  6. Some Old Programmer says

    I’ve got a sweet tooth, so our household has an odd little recipe (Sour Cream Cake) that only takes a handful of ingredients, bakes in half an hour, is quite tasty warm slathered with butter, and even better cold (again, with butter).

  7. rq says

    Pasta and pasta sauces, and chicken in pretty much any form. Pelmeņi (dumplings?). Also eggs, but there’s usually a conflict between fried, boiled and/or scrambled.
    Pancakes and french toast are favourites, but because they’re time consuming to make, I can only be bothered on weekends.
    I also keep a supply of apples, bananas, tomatoes, yoghurt, bread, cold cuts and cheese because there seem to be small hungry creatures spending time in my house while I’m away. I mix it up with nuts and dried fruits every now and then, but holy shit that stuff is expensive when you realize it disappears instantly (and that supply you thought would tide you through the work week as well is gone within a day…).

    Some Old Programmer
    That sounds like a recipe worth sharing!

  8. Some Old Programmer says

    rq @ 10: sure!

    Sour Cream Cake

    Combine dry ingredients:
    1 cup flour (5 oz, 140g)
    1 cup sugar (7oz, 200g)
    1 teaspoon baking powder (5ml)
    1 teaspoon salt (5ml)
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda (1.5ml)

    In a measuring cup:
    2 eggs
    sour cream to bring the level up to 1 cup (approx. 1/3 cup or 80g)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)

    Mix wet ingredients until homogeneous. Combine with dry ingredients. Bake in a greased and floured 9″ (23cm) cake pan at 350F (175C) for 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean. When warm, split and spread with butter for a lovely quick dessert. When cold, it forms a sweet crust that’s even better (with butter) (did I mention butter?).

    Sour cream is a variable product, so I judge the thickness of the batter before putting it in the pan. You want something that resembles pancake batter. If it’s too thick, the cake can come out more concave instead of a nice dome, so I often use some milk to thin it.
    I usually go light on the salt, but that’s my prejudice from having an MD make noises about my BP; last I heard the recommendations for dietary sodium were equivocal.

    I got this from my mom, who tells me it was published in the Los Angeles Times around the 1960s. It’s my first baking project, and it’s my kids’ first as well.

  9. rq says

    Thanks! Definitely simple enough to try with the kids, and just to clarify, it goes well with butter, yes? ;) I will report on my success, I hope to have a moment to try it out this weekend!

  10. Some Old Programmer says

    rq @12:
    On review, I have to issue a caution in that I may have misstated the volume of 2 eggs; I think they may come up to a 1/3 US Cup, not 2/3.

    I have US volume measuring cups, so I just add sour cream to the 1 cup mark. If you need other units, the US Cup is about 240ml, and the density of egg and sour cream is roughly that of water, so I’d think 240 grams total would get you to the original recipe’s total wet volume.

  11. says

    By now I have a measuring cup with US cups, but holy fuck, why couldn’t they simply adapt a sensible system of units?

    Some Old Programmer
    That sounds delicious, like cheesecake without the crust.

    BTW, I need to look at my cake.

  12. rq says

    Everything here, in recipes, is in grams. I cannot handle this. Standard cooking units should be a thing.

  13. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I live alone, and because of medical advice to restrict my diet, I have the freezer full of frozen entrees (250-500 Calories). Since the Redhead taught me well, here is everything from mac & cheese to vegetarian dishes. Tonight I had a breadlingless fish fillet (3.5 oz) with red beans and rice (half a can, 7.5 oz). I guess my preferred choice would be meat/cheese/starch with some veggies, which leaves a lot of cuisines open.

  14. dakotagreasemonkey says

    Right now, every body is harvesting the gardens of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (both hot and mild), sweet corn, beets, onions, rutabagas, and turnips.
    Lots of pickling going on, plus Salsa making. Canning Salsa is a big thing, along with blanching and vacuum packing garden produce.
    First frost was last night, so the “little ones” of the blossoms are either eaten first, pickled as “baby (name your vegetable”) or tilled under as fertilizer for next year.

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