Well, I come from a long line of good cooks (including the men). 2 years ago we remodeled our house and turned our old living room into a Spanish-style formal dining room. Having no dining space before, this forced me to learn to cook sit-down dinners. At the intermediate level of cooking you discover the importance of SPICES! Right now all of Emeril's line (fish, essence & southwest) have me enthralled and I use them on everything. I plan to find a way to re-make them with low/no sodium and just stick them back in their original containers. Some of my pantry staples are: chicken & beef stock (someday I'll make my own from scratch), a whole shelf of spices, cream of chicken & mushroom soup, multiple cans of every single Rotel product there is, and several different types of rices.