I have figured out the best and easiest way to cook well is to have a well-stocked pantry. This takes time as you'll want to find good ingredients, but this way, you will almost always produce great results.
This is why I am a big believer in a fantastic olive oil. It can take the most basic dish and make it revolutionary. And one of my new favourite discoveries is Olive & Olives.
This Canadian shop (with stores in Toronto and Montreal) was started by Claudia and Danièle and Claudia's obsession about Spanish olive oil, and has quickly grown into an industry.
And you can see why. The quality is what makes the difference in a good oil. In fact, I just want to drink Olive & Olives Organic Estate Bottled Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a cup. This unctuous blend of arbequina and arbreblanque olives is fruity, fresh and has a kick of spice that whether you're dipping bread, marinating meat, dressing a salad with it or drizzling it over ice cream (try it - it's wicked).
Of course, this is just one of many available to choose from. And a good pantry will also always have a stellar vinegars and olives and other pantry items on hand, so whether you have 30 mins or 3 hours to make a meal, it will no doubt be a memorable one.