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Kitchen & Food

Stock your pantry with essential ingredients, find ways to streamline grocery shopping and dinner prep, and get lists of must-have kitchen tools.

Spice rack

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Beyond-Basic Spice Checklist

Are you an avid cook or baker? For a well-stocked pantry, supplement the items on Real Simple’s Basic Spice List with the following.

AllspiceThough it tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, this aromatic seasoning is really just a single spice. It complements both sweet dishes (think apple and pumpkin pies) and savory dishes (such as Caribbean jerk chicken).

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Milk, bread, eggs, butter, and apples

Grocery Shopping Checklist

  • Make a list of everything you need.
  • Plan your menu around what’s in season.
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Spices

Basic Spice Checklist

  • Bay leaves
  • Black peppercorns
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Henckels Five Star 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Day-Before Dinner Preparation Checklist

  • Wash, trim, and chop vegetables and herbs.
  • Peel and cut up potatoes.
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Chocolate

Chocolate-Buying Checklist

  • Cocoa as the first ingredient.
  • Cocoa percentage of at least 60 percent.
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Extra virgin olive oil

Olive-Oil Buying Checklist

  • A dark-tinted glass bottle or a tin.
  • “Extra virgin” on the label.
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Charcoal grill

Using a Chimney Starter Checklist

  • Remove the grill lid and grill grate; open all air vents.
  • Place a few pieces of crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the chimney, place the chimney on the bottom grill grate, and fill the upper chamber with charcoal or briquettes.
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Gas grill

Choosing the Best Grill Checklist

  • Thick, heavy sides and a tight-fitting lid to retain and conduct heat efficiently
  • At least 2 burners
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An immersion blender, a rubber spatula, and more kitchen supplies

Cooking Basics Checklist

  • Before starting, read the recipe all the way through. Then preheat the oven, if necessary.
  • Make sure you have the ingredients and gear you need and get it all out.
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Newsletter checklist

How complete is your makeup bag? Be sure to stock these 15 essentials.

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