My husband says if the world shut down we’d be able to eat out of our pantry for months.  I don’t disagree.  A well stocked pantry means you’re always prepared.  Toppings, sauces, jars of olives and capers, stocks etc.  Here’s a few I’m relying on at the moment.

This is my latest find. I love these Lentil Rice Crispbreads. East Hampton Gourmet will ship them right to your door.  They’re wheat free, low in fat, high in protein and baked! They come in different flavors too. Perfect for dips.


This past weekend I happened to have a bowl of tuna, cannelli beans, tomatoes and onions in the fridge. I dumped the whole lot in the vitamix, added some of my favorite meredith dairy feta and voila. A healthy dip with delicious  chips. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and it’s perfect.


By far the most used topping at the moment. Exotic Hot Topping by Crunch Dynasty. I bought this from food52. You don’t need much but it takes your meal to another level in one sprinkle.


At Christmas a friend of mine gave me a beautifully packaged bottle of Tupelo Honey.  I loved it so much I went on line and ordered another bottle.  Just gorgeous.


I use ginger and garlic on a regular basis. Usually freshly crushed or chopped. But this is a great find. Especially for dressings. Ginger syrup is sweet so if you add to a lime or lemon dressing or rice vinaigrette, you don’t need to add sugar.
I picked this up from wholefoods, but it’s from the ginger people out of California so look out for it in your supermarket.

IMG_0049Yes another topping. Nori Komi Furikake is so versatile. You can throw it over an asian salad or steamed veggies. But the other night I sprinkled it over fresh tuna and pan fried it. Delicious. Wholefoods has a variety to choose from. Or you can have it delivered from Amazon.





Can’t do without red chili flakes. They amplify flavors, they’re good for boosting your metabolism and they make a dish look properly dressed. All supermarkets carry these.  


My most favored dressing is my dad’s recipe. It’s simply freshly squeezed lemon juice, same amount of extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove crushed garlic and 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard. I sometimes use a honey mustard to give the dressing a little sweetness. Dad used to add sugar but I prefer to leave that out. Put all ingredients into a jar and shake. Make it your own. Salt and pepper to taste or play with it. I like to add freshly grated ginger sometimes too.


How does anyone do without a garlic press? I see chefs chopping garlic cloves so expertly but I can’t get mine fine enough. So I cheat. I put freshly peeled garlic in and squeeze. Done!

Keep frequently used herbs and spices out and close to your cook top.  Cuts down on prep time.  But as Jamie Oliver says, only have out what you need.  Don’t clutter it up with your unopened mail, keys, kids toys etc.  Keep it organized.


This is a lively, fresh and rub I used on Tilapia fillets that other day.  Shallow pan fried and served on mini soft tacos with clean slaw!  Go easy… it’s quite hot. Thanks Williams-Sonoma

IMG_0971There’s a theme here.  First I couldn’t live without Sriracha Sauce, now it’s Sriracha Mayo. Make your own by adding Sricracha sauce to your favorite mayo. Then you can control the heat.

IMG_6223A nut bag makes milking almonds so much easier.  Make your own almond milk.
Found my nutbag on line at


Gochugaru is Korean Red Chili flakes.  Gives a slightly tangy heat to foods.  But you can always use regular red chili flakes too. 











  1. Leave a Reply

    Jenny weeks
    May 21, 2015

    Love love love it .Clever girl

  2. Leave a Reply

    Victoria Tomalty
    June 28, 2015

    Thanks for the tips.. Excellent ideas!..:)

  3. Leave a Reply

    Karen Scott
    February 13, 2016

    Cookwhatwhen is now in “my favorites”…Just beautifully done, Shelley!
    Can’t wait to explore:)

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    April 11, 2017

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