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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Kitchen Information Reference Forum / Becky's Solutions ( Pantry Stock Up etc).
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    Becky's Solutions ( Pantry Stock Up etc).

    becky watkins
    Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:29 pm
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    Hi,
    Hope everybody is doing well. It feels like fall weather here right now, so I am enjoying that! icon_biggrin.gif I hope you all have a great weekend!!

    Pantry Staples:
    If you plan a well organized pantry with a variety of canned goods and spices, you can come up with nice and easy recipes in a flash. Healthy ones too. Here are a few of my tips for a well stocked pantry:

    Onions and Garlic:
    Onions and garlic will keep up to 2 months if you look for very dry ones with very dry and papery skins.

    The most versatile spices to have on hand are black pepper, paprika, oregano, fennel, and ground cumin. I always like to have on hand, garlic powder, sea salt, fresh black pepper, lemon pepper(not lemon salt), dry parsley, and fresh limes. Whatever spices you prefer, buy them in small containers so you can use them up before the flavor fades, which is about 6 to 8 months.

    Tuna: Tuna, either packed in oil or water, can be used in many dishes such as green salads, in pasta dishes, or as a tuna-salad sandwich.

    Tomatoes: Try to buy cans of whole tomatoes (not crushed or pureed), because they contain the highest quality of tomatoes. You can dice them yourself in you need to.

    Pasta and Rice:
    There are so many recipes using pasta or rice. So, try to store a few varieties such as lingine, penne, and lasagna noodles. The same goes with rice. Store some wild rice, brown, and basmati rice.

    Beans:
    Very healthy and so many ways to eat beans such as in salads, soups, and side dishes. Store white beans such as, cannellini, navy, garbanzo. Pink or red beans are also great to store, kidney and pinto beans. Black beans are also great to have on hand.

    Cornmeal:
    This is the main ingredient for cornbread or corn muffins. It can also be used for breading, such as when you make fried catfish.

    Honey:
    Honey makes wonderful glazes, salad dressings, or desserts. You can use it in a cup of tea, or in plain yogurt.

    Breadcrumbs:
    I know the freshly made kind taste better, but when you are in a bind, the store-bought ones last longer and most are quite tasty. They usually last up to 6 months, if unopened.

    Chicken Broth:
    You can buy this is cans or in cartons, both need to be refrigerated once they are opened.

    Nuts:
    Nuts are great to have on hand for so many recipes or just to munch on. They are delicious in salads. Plus, there are so many varieties of nuts.

    Baking Supplies:
    Stock everything you would need to bake with; some examples are: sugar, brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, cornstarch, shortening, vanilla extract, and semisweet chocolate chips.

    Oils and Vinegars:
    If you don't want to add flavor to a particular dish you are cooking, add Canola oil. However, if you want some flavor from oil, then you should add extra-virgin olive oil (preferably cold pressed). You should also have on hand various flavors of vinegar, such as red, white, balsamic vinegars. They work great in marinades and in salads.

    Odd and Ends:
    Always keep on hand some goodies that you enjoy like sun-dried tomatoes, olive tapenade, worchestershire sauce, anchovies, canned chicken, soups, powdered milk, canned vegetables etc.

    Quick Lunches From Your Pantry:
    Do you feel like eating something Mediterranena for lunch?
    Please try this for a healthy and tasty quickie type of meal.
    Layer Feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive tapenade in a pita pocket and put it on a hot oiled skillet until the cheese softens. icon_biggrin.gif YUM!!

    Revive your tomato soup with dried wasabi peas or Goldfish crackers on top. You can always stir in some shredded fresh spinach leaves into the soup just before you serve it. Some people may like a dollop of sour cream on top.

    30 Second Salad:
    This is great! Just spoon a little olive oil and vinegar dressing into a halved and pitted avocado. Then eat it right out of the avocado skin. So tasty and easy!! icon_biggrin.gif

    Another little tid bit:
    Salt:
    It is a great grit remover. You know how spinach greens can be trapped with dirt; well, swirl them in a bath of salt water. The salt's abrasiveness helps scrub the surfaces of the leaves.

    Wine Bottle:
    You can use a wine bottle as a dough shaper if you don't have a rolling pin or misplaced the one you had. Just place a sheet of plastic wrap between the bottle and dough to avoid sticking. If the bottle is empty, you can fill it with ice-cold water and cork it to keep the dough chilled as you are rolling the dough out for a pie.

    Flow Regulator:
    Use a fork's tines to poke small holes in the foil seals of oil, syrup, and salad dressing bottles instead of peeling off the foil on top of the bottles. That way, you'll prevent the liquids from gushing out!!! Which I have done!! icon_lol.gif

    Well, that's it for the day!! I will see you again tomorrow. Please be safe, but have fun!!
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif
    3KillerBs
    Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:45 pm
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    My must-have herb is Italian Seasoning. It goes so well on so many different foods.

    I always have jars of artichoke hearts, both marinated and water-packed, and I always have a few jars of spaghetti sauce.
    becky watkins
    Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:21 pm
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    You are so right, 3Killer B's !!!!! icon_biggrin.gif
    Thanks for mentioning those things!
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif


    Last edited by becky watkins on Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total
    bmxmama
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:50 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I keep evaporated milk on hand. Not always do I remember to pick up milk so if I need it as a just in case it's perfect. Not to mention, I use it for mashed potatoes and gravy.
    becky watkins
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:25 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Bmxmama,
    That is a great idea to keep evaporated milk on hand! Also, now you can get milk in cartons that don't require refrigeration until you open the carton. They have had this in Europe for a long time. If you plan on using it to drink, you should refrigerate it first before you open it, to make it more flavorful.
    Thanks for your input, Bmxmama!
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif


    Last edited by becky watkins on Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total
    lauralie41
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:55 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Lemon pepper is a must....love that stuff!

    Minced onion is another one I try to keep on hand in case I run out of onions or they go bad.
    bmxmama
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:50 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    becky watkins wrote:
    Bmxmamma,
    That is a great idea to keep evaporated milk on hand! Also, now you can get milk in cartons that don't require refrigeration until you open the carton. They have had this in Europe for a long time. If you plan on using it to drink, you should refrigerate it first before you open it, to make it more flavorful.
    Thanks for your input, Bmxmamma!
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif


    icon_eek.gif I didn't know they have cartons of milk that don't require refrigeration! I must really live in the middle of nowhere. icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif
    becky watkins
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:04 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Oh I know what you mean, Lauralie!!! I feel lost if I don't have lemon pepper. Yes, chopped onions or onion powder etc. is also terrific to have on hand. Thanks for mentioning these!
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif
    becky watkins
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:06 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Yes they do, bmxmama!!! I am trying to think where to find it in the grocery aisles. I think by the powdered milk possibly or baking section. I know health food stores carry it. You can always ask at your grocery store. I hope you can find it as it is great to have on hand. It is relatively new in the US.
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif
    bmxmama
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:54 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    becky watkins wrote:
    Yes they do, bmxmama!!! I am trying to think where to find it in the grocery aisles. I think by the powdered milk possibly or baking section. I know health food stores carry it. You can always ask at your grocery store. I hope you can find it as it is great to have on hand. It is relatively new in the US.
    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif


    Well, you know....now I'll have to look for some but I doubt my kids will even try it. But you never know my mom can't drink milk so she drinks rice milk and soy milk and they will actually drink that and it comes in a box.
    bmxmama
    Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:56 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I just thought of another thing I keep in my cabinets. Top Ramen, I know..not really nutritious but if you add some veggies to it as a soup it's a lot better. I usually use them to make fried noodles with left over meat from dinner and a variety of veggies, usually cabbage, carrots, onions, zucchini and garlic. My kids love it.
    becky watkins
    Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:00 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Yes, Ramen Noodles are really great!!! I just can't eat them anymore as a long time ago that is basically all I could afford to eat and just got totally burned out. But, there are lots of ways to use ramen noodles to make great meals. Wish I had those recipes back then! icon_rolleyes.gif

    As far as the shelf milk, make sure it is very cold, and then your children may like it. You can also add some powdered milk to it, to add more body and vitamins. When I was living in Europe, I added half milk and half of the shelfed milk, so you may even try it that way. But, it is wonderful to have on hand to cook with.

    Love,
    Becky icon_biggrin.gif
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