I started this blog in large part because I found that many of my (twenty-something, often newly married) friends wanted to cook more at home for themselves but didn’t know where to start.

pretty carrots

The thing is, most of those friends have lived in big cities and come of age in a food-conscious era.  They know what naan, pho, & edamame are.  They crave sharp, exciting flavors.  Mom’s meatloaf just wasn’t going to cut it.

But even if you know what you want to eat, how do you even begin to learn how to make it when your pantry and refrigerator are empty?  Stocking yourself up with ingredients is, I feel, one of the best ways to make yourself into a good cook.

When you have a lot to work with, you’re freed up to experiment, try new recipes, and be adventurous in your kitchen.  Of course, one list isn’t going to work for everyone, so here at Blue Jean Gourmet, we’ve designed a few lists with different “kitchen personalities” in mind.

Bare Bones Bachelor

Build Me Up

Land of Plenty

See something we’re missing?  What ingredient(s) do you always keep on hand?

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