Growing up with my Maw Maw’s cooking spoiled me with the best of southern delights as a child. I always wanted a family of my own to cook for every night (I know…crazy, right?), but as wild as it sounds I like to cook. Now that I have my own family, I do enjoy serving them a sit-down dinner most nights of the week.
Any good cook will tell you that if you like to cook a lot, you are going to shop a lot for groceries. Now while some of the ingredients change week to week depending on the upcoming menu, there are five things I buy every single time I go to the store that help make some of my best at-home creations.
Here are 5 items every mom should have on hand for delicious meal-making:
1. Rotisserie Chicken
Not only is this item convenient because it’s already cooked, but it is the perfect ingredient to pull when you bring it home and then use in all kinds of different food concoctions. For example, this past week I purchased two chickens and pulled them right when I got home from Publix. So far, I’ve used the chicken in a homemade white chicken chili, a homemade mexican dish I make with rice, onions, and queso, and will be mixing it into our chicken caesar salad for lunch today! There are so many variations of meals you can make by just having this chicken ready to go in your fridge.
2. Frozen Bread
I may have time to make certain things from scratch, but ya’ll bread is not one of them. I’ve never really been much of a baker, but I am a firm believer that bread makes every meal just a little bit better! I buy yeast rolls, biscuits, garlic bread, etc. and store them in my freezer. It’s convenient because I always have something to add to any pasta dish, or heat up for breakfast sandwiches in the morning. And since frozen bread doesn’t go bad, I never have to throw it away and feel wasteful.
3. Chicken Broth
I use chicken broth almost every single day in my meals. It’s such a great supplement for flavor instead of just using water all of the time. A splash here and there can really help strengthen the taste of your food and it’s versatility is equal to that of the rotisserie chicken. You can make stews, casseroles, pastas, etc. If I have a bunch of random veggies, a brothy soup is a great and healthy way to mix them altogether to create a meal.
There are 5 things I buy every time I go to the store to help make my best at-home creations.
4. Salad in a Bag
I can’t even tell you how many times my husband says, “But I’m hungry now…” as we wait on dinner to finish. Salad in a bag has saved our stomachs on more than one occasion. We keep the caesar salad mixes stocked so that whenever we are hungry for something before dinner is ready we can mix up a salad without any protein, or have a complete meal by adding the rotisserie chicken mentioned above.
Simply put, I can’t live without bacon. So when you come to my house for a southern meal, there will probably be bacon somewhere in it. I use it for flavoring, shortening, and most obviously for eating by itself. Most people enjoy the taste and the smell of it so it’s likely to be an easy crowd-pleaser in addition to a great taste boost for your salads, pastas, and sandwiches.
So next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure you pick up these five must-haves—you can’t go wrong!
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