After working insane hours for the past several months, my husband and I took a much needed two week vacation at the end of October. We rented a tiny little cottage in Sanibel, FL that sat just steps from the beach. We love trying to stay somewhere with a kitchen when we go on vacation; not only do we both enjoy cooking, it’s a great way to keep our budget on track. When we get to wherever we’re staying, we take stock of what’s in the kitchen and plan a trip to the store. Here are the essentials we typically stock up on to make vacation kitchens workable:
- Extra-virgin olive oil: A small bottle on hand can be used for cooking, dressing salads, and making marinades and sauces.
- Butter: Optional, but it’s nice to have on hand for buttering toast, saucing pasta, and more.
- Garlic and onion: Essentials for when you’re cooking with a limited pantry
- Lemons/Lemon juice: Sometimes we cheap out and just get a bottle of lemon juice, but it’s usually in combination with a couple of fresh lemons too. We add lemon to our beverages (iced tea, water, seltzer), use it in salad dressings and pasta sauces, and for finishing fish.
- Pasta: It rounds out a lot of dinners, is affordable and easy to find pretty much anywhere
- Tuna: We’ll make a simple tuna salad with finely minced onion, lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper
- The rest: Snacks like cheese and crackers, peanuts, and chips to handle those times when I get hangry; bread to make sandwiches; a pack or two of deli meat so we’re not sick of tuna salad by the end of our stay; and a small bottle of mustard (I like Dijon) for sandwiches and sauces/dressings/marinades.
Makes about 1 cup
Click here for a printable recipe
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely minced onion
2 T. finely chopped pickled jalapeños
2/3 c. cilantro, finely chopped
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. jarred jalapeño juice (or to taste)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Once all ingredients have been chopped, combine them in a jar with a lid. Screw lid on and shake well to combine. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.