Five Kitchen Staples You Didn't Know You Needed

Nothing gets my blood pumping like a well stocked kitchen. When I walk into a friend’s kitchen to find their knives all in a row, their pastas displayed in tasteful glass jars, and their pots hanging from the ceiling glimmering in the light, I am struck with pride and joy. Not all of us can have a perfect pantry all the time, but here is a list of the five things you should always have in your kitchen no matter what.

1. Garlic
As we all know, garlic packs a big punch, and without much more than salt, pepper and butter to work with it can make pretty much any dish worthwhile.

2. Better Than Bouillon
Chicken stock is often used to add flavor and moisture to dishes: Better Than Bouillon is a concentrated paste, which, when mixed with water becomes chicken broth. It has a ton of flavor and, as it’s in a jar, takes up way less room in your fridge.

3. One Great Knife
Dull knives are for dull people. Do yourself a favor and invest in one high quality chef’s knife for your kitchen. You don’t need a whole set, but when it comes to mincing onions or slicing tomatoes, you won’t regret having that special cutlery on hand. I received mine as a gift from my parents, and I don’t let anybody else touch it.

4. Frozen Herbs
Mostly recipes call for fresh or dried herbs, but leave out that option in between. Chopping and freezing your herbs will give you that fresh taste every time, without an extra trip to the grocery store. It’s also a great way to preserve your bunches of fresh herbs before they go bad.

5. Wine (red or white)
Not only is wine necessary to have around for drinking and placating hungry guests, it’s also a great addition to tons of dishes. Furthermore, you can use it to deglaze stubborn pots and pans.