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The holidays are just around the corner and the time is now to start stocking the pantry for all the cooking, baking and entertaining you’ll be doing with your family. Before friends and relatives descend on your home, get to the closest supermarket to pick up these 10 must-have holiday pantry essentials.
Before you head out to the grocery store, make a grocery list and add all your pantry needs for the season. Try an online and mobile grocery list, like ZipList, to create and organize your shopping list, then take it with you to get your kitchen set up for the holidays.
Flour: All-purpose flour is ideal for most cookies, breads, cakes and pies. For a healthy twist, mix all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour. Substitute no more than half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour to preserve the taste and texture of your baked treats.
Butter: Buy your butter in bulk and freeze it during the holidays. Allow butter to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For recipes that require softened butter, allow a stick of butter to soften for one hour at room temperature
Sugar: If you’ll be baking, keep both granulated and powdered sugars on hand. Brown sugar is another one to keep in stock, though it’s often needed in smaller quantities. Skip artificial sweeteners, which rarely are a good substitute when baking.
Cinnamon & Nutmeg: A dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg can go far with cakes, custards, heavy creams and even coffee. Opt for cinnamon powder over cinnamon sticks, unless you have your own spice grinder. With nutmeg, it’s best to use the spice freshly grated or milled.
Chocolate: Keep unsweetened or baker’s chocolate around the house during the holidays to whip up tasty treats like Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars and Chocolate-Coconut Macaroon Pies. Meanwhile, pick up semisweet morsels for ever-popular Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Whipping Cream: Your houseguests may not be able to resist adding whipped cream to their hot cocoa, pudding and pies. You can either buy a tub of whipped cream or get creative and make a holiday favorite like Maple Whipped Cream.
Dried Fruits: Keep raisins, dried cranberries and other dried fruits like apricots and cherries on hand. These dried fruits are great healthy snacks, but are also ideal for holiday breads and even family salads.
Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Most bread and cake recipes require either baking soda or baking powder in order for the baked goods to rise. So unless you want flat cakes and sad faces, be sure to keep these on hand in your pantry this holiday season.
NOW, how'd you like some moolah to help stock your pantry? Ziplist is giving away a $200 Visa gift card to one lucky GalTimer.
All you have to do: Tell us the one pantry staple you can't do without this holiday season and you're automatically entered to win. (Leave your answer in the comment section below.)
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