1. Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream...can't cook/bake/live/breath without it...from making tender biscuits and scones to rich, calorie-laden sauces...got to have cream!
2. Buttah...which is a given - it's like salt and pepper - a necessity on the table and in most foods or else how are you ever going to end up with Thunder Thighs and spend your entire life trying to get rid of them? That IS your heart's desire, too, right? Besides, you can't have cream without butter...or is it the other way around? (Two other "givens" are lemons and limes...I use them constantly...fresh, no bottled business.)
3. Yogurt...usually Greek Yogurt is what I have on hand - it makes the best salad dressings and sauces. I would NEVER, EVER stick a spoon into it and eat it plain - would rather eat dirt...but a salad dressing or BBQ sauce with Greek Yogurt is probably as close to winning the lottery as I'll ever come.
4. Parmesan Cheese...fresh shredded and fresh grated...it goes on everything and I love to add it to soups for a little extra saltiness...sometimes I buy a brick of Parm and shave it myself...but mostly I buy these little tubs because they're so convenient and I go through them pretty quickly.
5. Cottage Cheese...with lemon and pepper scooped up with potato chips. There, now you know my ONE vice...my weakness...my Kryptonite. Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.
6. Lemon Curd...yes, you can make it yourself but if you're short on time and need a fast dessert, spoon a little lemon curd into a pastry shell and call it pie...or heat it a bit, just until it melts and pour it over vanilla ice cream...the mister thinks ice cream with lemon sauce is the best thing in the world...he has no idea it comes out of a jar. Dessert is a snap with lemon curd!
7. Buttermilk...for cakes, and scones and potatoes and the best fried chicken EVER...and don't even THINK about using that fake buttermilk floury stuff...yuk!
8. Sour Cream...oh my, where to begin? I go through VATS of the stuff - can't make stroganoff without it, can't have any Mexican food without it, can't have most soups without a dollop on top...sheesh, it's in and out of the fridge as much as I am!
Those are my "regulars" - they're on my shopping list every week...along with Calamatta Olives...and cheese; Fontina, Harvarti, Gruyere, Swiss and Cheddar. If you add in flour, all of the sugars, powdered, granulated and brown, you can make over 5,000 recipes with the ingredients above. Actually I have no idea how many things you could make but I'm quite certain it would be close to 5,000.
I'm going shopping. Don't want Mr. Safeway to feel the effects of the economy because of me!