Friday, February 17, 2012

Pantry Ponderings - Brand name pantry goodies

No one keeps a more beautiful pantry than the folks at Brambley Hedge
Today is Show and Tell as I want to share some items I keep in my pantry that are premade and shelf stable.  Usually when we think of deepening the pantry, our thinking is towards buying in bulk or at least ingredients we put together for meals.

I do realize great savings can be made in making our own mixes and such but I've come to appreciate some of these premade items over the years.  Especially since there are now only two of us at home.

While I use Uncle Ben's converted brown rice most of the time (stores better than regular brown rice, which I also use), I do like having the quick version in my pantry.   A friend gave me the box of instant brown rice and I've been keeping it for just the day I will need it.  Other similar items like couscous make for a quick side dish that is pantry friendly.

I use the Krusteaz Honey Wheat mix all the time for pancakes and the Casbah Hummus mix was given to me to try.  Mixes like these where you just add water are also great to keep on hand for emergencies.  (I've seen the regular buttermilk Krusteaz mix sold in large containers at Wal Mart.)

I make my own hummus most of the time from canned beans, tahini, etc. but I do love the idea of pantry friendly shelf stable mixes.  As a side note... I just saw recently where making your own hummus at home instead of buying the container at the grocery store can save you as much as 90% of the cost.

Having shelf stable milk products on hand have saved me more than once in the middle of baking!  I would remind you, if you are keeping products such as the Borden milk shown for baking, make certain you purchase at least 2% milk.  Many baking recipes are much better when made with 2% or whole milk!

The Coconut Dream will be used in smoothies and the Tazo Chai is actually Christopher's that he didn't use.  I will never turn down Tazo Chai... yum.

Most of my cake recipes are made from scratch but I always try to keep a few different mixes on hand.  I keep pie fillings not for pies... but to mix with the cake mix for delicious cakes.  There are all kinds of recipes online for mixing cake mixes with pie filling, pumpkin, canned fruit, etc.

Of course, they can be used for... cakes and pies.  ;)

I know these are just a few items from my pantry (which is not all that deep right now!) but I'm hoping they spark your imagination for pre-made shelf stable products for your pantry.

Here's another look at my favorite pantry pictures.  I love the Brambley Hedge books!

This page is technically a kitchen instead of a pantry but it still makes my heart sing.

Note:  My friend, Mrs. Rabe, shows how to make the homemade laundry detergent on her blog... here.  The "recipe" was requested in the Comments section a couple days ago.


Vee said...

Oh those illustrations are sweet!

Diane at Lavender Dreams has been doing a series on being frugal as a couple with no children at home. I learned that I am doing just a few things wrong.

One was that I bought an entire chicken and baked it, then didn't freeze some of it. Sure enough, I had to toss it because we grew weary of that much chicken in so few days. I've got to do better.

I'm intrigued by the shelf milk. I really should get some. Good tip about the higher fat content.

Mrs.Rabe said...

That book art work makes my heart sing! I love it!

I have been fortunate lately that one of our discount grocery stores had name brand cake mixes for .99 cents! I've been checking for the French Vanilla but no luck....I stock up some mixes as well. In times of stress or great busyness or unexpected company, these kinds of items really help!

Have I mentioned that I love these posts? :)


ps - thanks for the link to the requested laundry soap recipe! I hope the poster finds it helpful!

Anonymous said...

As I have said before you mentioned quite while back about trying to keep some easy or ready pantry items for hospitality. Then you are ready for unexpected company and can just relax and enjoy their visit. That was such a good hint! :) Yes I too love your pantry posts as you always bring u something different than any one else seems to. :) We were fortunate to be able to stock up a bit on some meats today. Not much but anything helps. There was a sale at $2 a pound for organic meats. Yea! I want to get into canning meats soon and not just depend on the freezer. We are trying to not only watch our driving habits as we have always done to save gas, {and our own personal energy! :) ] but also try to invite a neighbor or friend to go too. Also we take orders from others and pick up things they need. We needed some spices so when out we went to Winco as they have bulk spices and other things we needed at good prices. The all spice cost 21c and the dill was 24c. We can all just do what we can to keep our pantries supplied. Thank you Brenda for much inspiration!! Sarah

Suze said...

One of my all time favorite videos to watch is the British live actor version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". The Beaver's house and their trust in Aslan is so comfortable and comforting. The snug little house is neat as a pin and full of supplies.

happy momma said...

Love those sweet books and the artwork. I don't like mice in the house,but those sweet little critters in the books would be welcome anytime. There's something about a well stocked pantry that gives a homemaker contentment. God Bless

Anonymous said...

I personally don't use mixes of any kind, not only because it costs more than homemade, which just means adding a few more ingredients, but also because we try to avoid all of the additives and preservative that are not good for our bodies (if I can't pronounce it, I probably don't want to eat it!) You may want to be cautious about storing something like pancake mix that says "just add water", as it will likely contain powdered egg that does NOT store long-term and could make you very sick if it goes bad.

Cheryl (copperswife) said...

Such pretty illustrations!

I like having mixes and convenience items as part of my pantry/storage. They have served me well in times of immediate crisis.

LisaZ said...

Your boxed hummus idea is a great one! I don't like to eat or store too many grains but am always needing protein ideas. The "just mix with water" hummus is brilliant!

I'd LOVE for you to share some more protein ideas, besides peanut butter and beans which of course I have. Are there any?