Vanilla Sugar

When a simple baking recipe calls for a combination of vanilla extract and sugar as two of its ingredients, I usually reach for the vanilla sugar as a substitute.

Balsamic Reduction

A good Balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency is a wonderful addition to all sorts of dishes, from jazzing up Asparagus to amazing Brussels Sprouts to an oddly tangy addition to desserts, having a Balsamic reduction on hand is a kitchen staple.

Awesome Onions

awesome-onionsOur kitchen has about six recipes for grilled onions that are our “go to” recipe for various dishes depending on whether we want sweet, smoky, earthy, and so on.

This particular onion recipe works well on steak sandwiches and grilled burgers as it has a slightly sweet flavour that makes the underlying smokiness of the meat “pop.”

Crystallized Ginger

I use crystallized ginger in a variety of desserts and cakes, it makes hot tea taste wonderful, and makes for a sweet and spicy snack just to eat whenever.

Once you have made a batch of crystallized ginger, you can use the leftover water that you boiled the ginger in to make ginger simple syrup.

Simple syrup

Simple syrups are used in so many recipes and drink mixes that it is worth keeping a half-liter bottle on hand.

As you can store simple syrup in the refrigerator almost indefinitely, there’s no excuse to never have it to available.


Buttermilk is one of those ingredients you need when you need. And at any other time it just sits on your fridge door until you have to pour it away down the sink when it spoiled.

I make my buttermilk on demand almost to the exact amount the recipe requires rather than trying to keep a store bought variety in stock.

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