Kitchen Essentials

This post already makes me feel like a chef. When you read cookery books - or am I the only one who does that?  - most of the writers create a list of things you shouldn't be without, from disposable trays to "CSI gloves" and spices to frozen prawns. 

You may already have an idea of what I keep in my cupboards, if you've looked through all my recipes. But I'd show you what my favourite ingredients and pieces of equipment are; maybe you'll find a new use for something of yours too!

For baking
Plain Flour
Self-raising flour
Caster sugar
Brown sugar 
Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
Vanilla Extract

For cooking
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flavourless oil (e.g. sunflower)
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, of course!
Frozen peas

Herby things
Herbes de Provence
Bay leaves
Dried herbs are good; however, nothing beats a fresh herb garden. Grow things in pots on the windowsill if you're short of space! My favourites are thyme, mint and rosemary.

Little extras
Dried cranberries
Seeds and nuts - pumpkin/sunflower seeds, walnuts and peanuts
Sundried tomatoes in oil (use the oil for salad dressings)
Rolled oats

Kitchen Equipment
Cast-iron pot (a brilliant investment)
Measuring scales
Measuring cups
A set of bowls for baking
A set of pans for cooking
Baking trays (brownie tins are very versatile) 
7-inch pair of cake tins
1lb loaf tin

What are you favourites and essentials for the kitchen?