If you’re reading this & saying “pah-lease, I don’t cook”,  then YOU should continue reading. Here’s why:

  • Going out is fabulush but going out 4x a week in Manhattan IS VERY EXPENSIVE. 
  • Downing a handful of whole grain crackers covered in that lo-cal soft wedge “cheese” will not help you squeeze into that figure-hugging date night outfit
  • If you’re running around the city attending multiple events, wouldn’t it be nice to have real food to come home to (amongst other things)?

Years ago when I worked in finance, I had a gay bestie (GB) who worked beside me. When I was fighting with my Ex-Ex, GB told me I could stay at his place while he was away in London….

GB: “Stay at my place love. Everything you need is there. I always keep my kitchen stocked with basics.”

MG: “Basics? What basics?? You leave the office at 8pm every night.’

GB (with a lip curl): “Darling, every chic New Yorker should have the basics. What if someone drops by last minute…”

Well of course.

In reality, no one was going to stop by my apt last minute. But the fact that he said “chic New Yorker” in a gorg Euro accent, meant that I had to have basics too. And don’t worry if you don’t know ‘how to’ cook, because I really don’t either. I’m just good at assuming things. HI!

10 Basic Pantry Items Every City Girl Should Have:

  1. Fresh basic herbs like parsley, cilantro & dill. Yes you should have these. They cost about $1-$2 a bunch. The trick to making them last is to wash them after buying, shake excess water, wrap in a damp towel & store in a sealed plastic bag in fridge.
  2. Dry Spices. Besides salt & pepper (please tell me you have these already), garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon & herb de provence (sounds fancy, but you can buy this at CVS).
  3. A hard cheese. Perfect to add to salads or a as a quick snack, my favs are gorgonzola, gouda & parmesan.
  4. Bread Crumbs.  Anything that is fried can be baked, so keep this on hand to make those delish hi-fat foods curve friendly.
  5. Oil. Any oil you want, but I stick with extra virgin olive oil. I even use it in desserts and sometimes as a hair mask. Hi again!
  6. Everyday Condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayo. Not those tiny packets you kept from the diner, invest in small bottles of each). You’d be surprised how many simple recipes use one or more of these staples.
  7. Quality Condiments like balsamic vinaigrette & honey. These make for easy but amaze sauces & dressings.
  8. Frozen Greens like broccoli, spinach & peas. They’re frozen so they will last a long time. Plus you need greens to survive, for realz.
  9. Dry Carbs like boil-in-a bag brown rice & pasta. These make the easiest side dishes & with those greens, a great main dish.
  10. Canned beans & tomatoes. Canned anything lasts a while, so have these handy for salads, pasta sauce, etc.
Next week on Little New York Kitchen: 10 Basic Cooking Utensils Every City Girl Should Have

Any basics you would add to this list, dahlings? 


P.S. – If you have dietary restrictions, just replace the item you can’t have with something you can. The whole idea is to have basics that can work with any main dish ingredient whether it’s meat, fish, tofu or veggies. 

image credit: miss mors via weheartit