Shopping Savvy

Shopping Savvy is where I purchase and store foods that I use in my book and recipes found here online. Often recipes do not turn out the same because the ingredients are purchased from different suppliers. This section is also useful to see how to properly store foods. I live on an island and I usually only go shopping once a week so my supplies may be different from city dwellers. This section will be updated occasionally.



I keep the following items in my freezer most of the time so that when on the spur of the moment I may want to make a recipe and I don't have fresh items on hand I can use these. These are foods that store well in the freezer. It is important however to label and date them so they do not linger in the freezer too long.:

  • leftover organic tomato paste in a zip-lock bag from Trader Joes (Only need 2 tablespoons of tomato paste? Save the rest this way.)
  • an inch of fresh ginger in a zip-lock bag (In a pinch grate from the frozen state.)
  • a whole fresh habanero, serrano, jalapeno, and Anaheim chili in a zip-lock bag (in a pinch)
  • canned chili adobo frozen in a zip-lock bag
  • roasted garlic in a zip-lock bag
  • compound butter (like my Herb and Almond butter on page 107 for vegetables)
  • a bag of chopped spinach from Trader Joes
  • a bag of petite peas from Trader Joes
  • a bag of shelled edamame from Trader Joes
  • a bag of fava beans from Trader Joes
  • a bag of pearl onions from Trader Joes
  • several salt-boiled fresh grape leaves from my garden for dolmas
  • a bag of small organic (does not contain GMO's) corn tortillas from Skagit Valley Co-op
  • a package organic 3 grain Tempeh from Trader Joes
  • a bag of organic blueberries from Costco (smoothies)
  • frozen sliced organic bananas in a zip-lock bag (smoothies)
  • small packets of garlic puree I make from Costco organic garlic sealed in a zip-lock bag
  • fresh lime juice frozen in ice cubes in a zip-lock bag
  • fresh lemon juice frozen in ice cubes in a zip-lock bag
  • frozen basil cubes from Trader Joes
  • organic unsalted butter
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds cut from wedges from Costco in a zip-lock bag
  • freezer container of home-cooked brown rice from Trader Joes or my own
  • several pints of homemade Rich Chicken Broth (on page 103 Sharing the Table)
  • several pints of Vegetable Broth (on page 104 Sharing the Table)
  • Parma Prosciutto from Costco
  • Applewood smoked bacon from Costco or Trader Joe's rolled individually in plastic wrap stored in a zip-lock bag
  • 1 package pie crust from Trader Joes
  • 1 package filo dough
  • 1 package puff pastry from Whole Foods




Most refrigerators have different compartments that store specific foods at ultimate temperature and humidity. I follow these for the most part but find some differences that I will mention here. The following items are usually in my fridge:


  • one gallon filtered water from local grocer
  • whole organic milk from a Skagit Valley dairy
  • organic heavy cream from Skagit Valley dairy
  • Nancy's organic sour cream from Skagit Valley Co-op
  • whole milk organic Greek yogurt from Trader Joe's
  • unsweetened almond milk from Trader Joe's
  • a jar of Kalamata olives from Costco or Trader Joe's
  • A bag of Costco Asparagus standing, top open, bottoms cut and wrapped 2" in soaked paper towels


  • a dozen organic, free range eggs from my friend or from Trader Joe's
  • jar of Dijon mustard from Costco
  • a jar of deli style spicy brown mustard from Trader Joe's
  • a bottle of organic maple syrup from Trader Joe's
  • organic, unsweetened, salt-free tahini
  • San Juan salsa
  • organic avocado mayonnaise
  • a jar of green picholine olives from Trader Joe's
  • organic peanut butter from Trader Joe's
  • organic almond butter from Trader Joe's
  • organic white miso from Skagit Valley Co-op


  • Kirkland organic salted butter
  • Tapatio salsa picante
  • Chipotle Tabasco
  • Jalapeno Tabasco
  • Roland Piri Piri pepper sauce with garlic
  • Sirachca sauce at Trader Joe's
  • double concentrated tomato paste at Trader Joe's
  • Napoleon anchovy paste
  • Olo's Harissa sauce
  • Crosse and Blackwell Seafood Cocktail Sauce
  • Red Star dry active yeast
  • La Tourange roasted walnut oil
  • Alessi White Basamic Pear Infused Vinegar
  • Aceto Balsamico di Modena at Trader Joe's
  • Aged Fig Balsamic Vinegar
  • Balsamic Glaze at Trader Joe's
  • Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar at Trader Joe's
  • California Harvest Pomegranate Champagne Vinegar
  • White Balsamic Vinegar at Trader Joe's
  • Beaufor Tarragon White Wine Vinegar
  • Cortas Pomegranate Molasses
  • Yamasa Soy Sauce
  • Pearl River Bridge Superior Dark Soy Sauce
  • Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Flavored Soy Sauce
  • Thai fish sauce


  • a head of organic celery
  • a bunch of organic carrots
  • herbs washed, spun dry, rolled in paper towels and in a produce grocery bag (Except basil and mint which are moisture and temperature sensitive. Store them like a bouquet of flowers in water, at room temperature.)
  • lettuce washed, spun dry, rolled in paper towels and in a produce grocery bag
  • any prepackaged produce should have their tops cut open so they can breathe
  • All other produce like zucchini, cabbage, peppers, ginger, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli etc.


  • meats, poultry in a drip container (I recycle Costco roast chicken container bottoms)
  • fish for only one day on a bed of ice
  • brown sugar double bagged with zip lock
  • brown rice double bagged with zip lock
  • packaged nuts, dried fruits
  • Parmigiano Reggiano (finely grated in zip lock bag and a spare in original wrapper from Costco) Stravecchio is older (3 years) and much better
  • Gruyère in original wrapping from Costco

  • Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar

  • Feta cheese crumbles

  • Pointe Ryes blue cheese



I live on an island with only one bridge therefore I stock a full pantry in case of emergencies. It is best, however, to stock only those items that one can use within six months. Keep all like items together.