What to take so you can cook when you travel: the adventurous cook’s supply list.

When we travel, we try to stay in places that have a kitchen. Cooking is a very enjoyable part of vacation for me, so I’ve created a list of basic supplies from home to make it easier.

Especially if we’re flying, everything on my list has to fit into a small, lightweight package without spilling, so  I use zip-loc bags for baking supplies and spices, and label them with a permanent marker.

Once at our destination, we shop for dairy, fresh herbs, fruits, veggies and proteins – gotta support local businesses, right?

If you plan ahead, you can easily bring the supplies that work for you. For me, here’s what I normally take for a week or 10 days:

baking suppliesBAKING SUPPLIES – in snack pack and sandwich size zip-loc bags with a guesstimate of how much I would normally take.  I am really into oatmeal cookies so I’ll probably add a cup of pecans and craisins this year.

kosher salt            (1/4 cup)
basmati rice          (2 cups)
cornstarch             (1/4 cup)
powdered sugar  (1/4 cup)
yeast                        (2 Tbsp)
brown sugar          (1 cup)
walnuts                   (1 cup)
oatmeal                   (3 cups)
baking soda           (2 Tbsp)
cocoa powder       (1/4 cup)
baking powder     (3 Tbsp)
flour                         (4 cups)
sugar                        (2 cups)

spicesSPICES – Usually a couple Tbps of each, depending on the spice. Portion pack zip-loc bags are nice for this.  Forgot cumin, but that should be on the list, too.

black pepper in grinder
bay leaves
brazilian bbq rub (or Montreal steak seasoning – anything spicy!)
caraway seeds
red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
one whole nutmeg (not pictured)

liquid flavoringsLIQUID FLAVORINGS – in the original containers works best to prevent spilling.  Fish sauce travels well in an empty little plastic booze bottle. Takeout soy sauce packets are great, too.


mixesMIXES – in the original package.  (I like to try new mixes, too and Shan has a million good ones!)

chicken karahi mix
pilau biryani (my favorite!!!)
taco seasoning
chicken bouillon cubes
Mae Ploy brand Thai red, yellow or green curry paste, about 3 Tbsp in a zip log bag.  I double bag these because they are very strong.  (not pictured)

Not on my list, but certainly indispensable: coffee and tea stuff.  Kumy brings the burr grinder, electric milk frother, french press coffee maker and good coffee beans, as well as Pakistani tea and herbal teas.  We love our coffee and tea.

All these weigh just a pound or two, but makes it so I can cook almost anything. When we get back home, I cut the tops off the zip-loc bags and pour anything leftover back into the original containers.

Share your must-have ingredients in the comments section!

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