9 Foods to Stock in Your Pantry in 2012

Every January, my pantry inevitably needs an in-depth examination. So I clear out the remnants of holiday foodstuffs that have collected – candy canes, cracker fragments, sprinkles and other cookie decorations – and take a good look at what is left.

A lot of my homemade jam and preserves have been given away as gifts; my stash of nuts, dried fruit and olives has dwindled (as it should over the entertaining season), and there is plenty of space for starting over.

With my intentional food-related goals for the new year at the forefront of my planning, I sit down to write a list of staples I need to stock. I take notice of low granola supplies, the absence of canned beans, and other clues that point to my need for a grocery haul.

The result is a list of basic staples that I think anyone striving to serve wholesome family food should stockpile and I’m sharing it here with you today.

If you’re serious about maintaining a diet of nourishing foods, one of the best things you can do is stock your pantry with quality ingredients. You’ll be inspired to try new recipes – and have the resources to follow through with them – and more inclined to steer clear of prepackaged and processed foods.

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Weekend Links

Meet the Contributors for 2012

I do the majority of the writing and recipe development in this little corner of the web, but I am supported by a talented and diverse group of seven individuals who lend their voices to this space every Wednesday.

Each contributor to Simple Bites brings something different to the table, expressing different styles, voices and opinions on everything from kids to canning. They’ve written some of your favorite posts this year and continue to submit relevant, engaging and insanely useful content. I’m so fortunate to have each of them.

Here are the contributors for 2012. These folks know their stuff, and I couldn’t be happier to be their editor. Head to my Contributors page to read more of their bios or follow them on twitter.

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Creamy Orange Cardamom Curd Recipe

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

I was born in Southern California and spent my first nine years living in a little town called Eagle Rock. We had guava trees in the front yard and towering palm trees in the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the curb.

Nearby, my grandmother grew Meyer lemons and had a four foot high hedge of rosemary. Of course, in those days, I had no appreciation for absurd bounty that grew all around me. I longed for winter and days of heavy, deep snow.

These days, I’m quite contentedly tucked into a life in Philadelphia. We get more than enough snow to satisfy my longings, but in true grass-in-always-greener fashion, I miss the warm winters of Los Angeles and all that gorgeous citrus.

While I can’t beam all that sun my way, I can still get the citrus. I buy box upon box of those easy to peel clementines. I order Meyer lemons direct from Florida. And I make jars of Orange Cardamom Curd as an occasional treat.

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My Intentional Food-Related Goals for 2012 (Q&A)

Happy New Year! 

I don’t buy into all the dietary hype that rolls around in January. I’ve never had a gym membership, and I don’t diet, period. However, after the holidays, my body starts craving winter salads and hearty soups and I naturally turn to common sense seasonal eating in the New Year.

I think most of us do, whether we are health conscious or not.

The start of a new year is a perfect time to reflect on past eating habits for the future. That’s what I’d love to discuss today.

January is also an ideal time to set a few goals for intentional healthy eating for the year. Below I’ll share mine, and then I’d love to hear yours in the comments.

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