These are very personal lists, of course–very much tied to what I tend to cook.  But the main point, I think, is that when you’re stocked up with ingredients, you’ve got a lot of material to work with whenever you want to try a new recipe or throw something together.  Will you end up with a few “oops”es here and there?  Sure.  But, more often than not, it’s fun and rewarding to play around in the kitchen.

Maybe you’re already a condiment king or queen (like me!)–maybe you’re trying to build up to a stocked pantry–or maybe all you currently have in your refrigerator are a dozen eggs and a old jar of salsa.  Whichever fits, I’ve tried to tailor a list to meet your needs.  Start with staples, then work your way up to more unusual ingredients–most of the things I’ve listed will last a long time in the pantry, fridge, or freezer–so think about these items as “investments” in a sound culinary future!


Bare Bones Bachelor

Build Me Up

Land of Plenty

Blue Jean Produce Favorites

Blue Jean Liquor Cabinet

Blue Jean Spice Cabinet

coming soon:


4 responses to “GROCERY GUIDE

  1. Nikki Jackson

    Hey Nishta,

    I am going grocery shopping and I just borrowed some ingredients from your lists. Lordy, can you believe I’m a mother? He’s malnourished when I think of my poor cooking savvy. I love this website. I already know what I want to try to make, but maybe you have a foolproof recipe? I want a nice (it can be hot/spicy for SURE!) vegetarian soup. Something with a lot of punch to it! Can you suggest one?

    Love to you and yours,

    • bluejeangourmet

      hey Nikki–glad the grocery lists helped! As for a veggie soup recipe, off the top of my head, I love either a miso soup or a Southern soup with cornbread. For the miso soup, you’ll need miso paste from either the International aisle at your grocery store or from a specialty Asian store (don’t worry, it keeps in the fridge forever). Mushrooms, noodles, scallions, bok choy, you can throw in whatever you want with the miso & vegetable broth. You could easily spice up with a hot chili paste (look for Sambal Olek, come in a jar with a rooster on the front & a green plastic lid).

      A little more traditional would be a Southern-style soup, usually made with ham but you can forgo that. Cabbage, onions, carrots, and/or greens all go in a pot (throw in potatoes, too, if you like) with vegetable broth and seasonings (bay leaf, lots of salt & pepper). Spice up with a hot pepper sauce (vinegar based) and serve with cornbread. I’ve also got a recipe for a chickpea & spinach soup I can send you if you like! Also, I promise to develop a more precise recipe and blog about veggie soup in the future!

  2. Nikki Jackson

    mmmmm…gonna try miso this weekend! thanxoxo! hugs to my favorite Houstonianas.


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