Saturday, July 18, 2020

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Recipes from the pantry

This week I was surprised to go to the grocery store and find the bread aisle almost empty.  I had heard that flour was beginning to be in short supply in different regions of the country but the shelves had been full here.  When I checked the baking aisle, I noticed there was plenty of all purpose flour but the bread flour was sold out.

One of the things I learned during the pandemic was that I was happy I had put back a few brownie mixes, a couple cake mixes (although one was way past the due date, more on that below), and a couple other favorite "mixes" since they helped stretch the flour I had in the pantry already.  For instance, my very favorite way to make pancakes is with the Krusteaz "add water" pancake mix.

I do have a couple good "from scratch" recipes but this mix is very good and I just have to add water.  It's excellent for making pancakes for just the two of us but also easy to use for a crowd.  So when I purchased a new box recently, I added another to "put back"  They are a perfect pantry food since it just requires added water and it makes an excellent pancake.  (Except their gluten free version requires milk and an egg.)

I like to start the pancake in the skillet and before it is ready to turn, sprinkle a handful of chopped pecans over it and give it about a minute or so for the nuts to become incorporated in the pancake, making it easier to turn.  That adds a little more nutrition but let's be honest, it is the extra flavor we love!

I've been thinking of recipes that can be put together from what is in the pantry.  I think the quintessential pantry recipe has always been tuna noodle casserole, at least the old fashioned kind I grew up with that is made with noodles, "cream of" soups, and canned tuna.  But as I was looking through my recipe card file, I came across a dessert recipe my sister had given me in the mid-90s for an easy peach cobbler.

I had a box of yellow cake mix that was quite a bit past its' Use By date that would be an excellent choice to use for this recipe and it turned out quite yummy.  I enjoyed a small amount with vanilla ice cream and it stayed in the refrigerator until my husband finished it.

Easy Peach Cobbler
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 large 29 ounce can of sliced peaches with the juice/syrup
1 stick butter, cut in slices

Grease a 9 x 13 dish and add the contents of the yellow cake mix in the bottom of it, evening it out a bit with a fork (or your fingers as I did).  Pour the peaches with juice/syrup over the cake mix and gently mix a bit with a fork to incorporate the liquid into the cake mix.  Don't stir!  (Some recipes call for putting the peaches with juice/syrup in first and sprinkling the cake mix over the peaches.)

Place slices of butter on top of mixture next and bake at 350 degrees "until brown".  That's what the recipe said.  Start looking at 25 minutes.  I used a smaller dish and it took 50 minutes to get brown.

You would be amazed how good this simple recipe is.  This is a true pantry dish, especially if you keep some Cool Whip in the freezer to serve with it.  I had vanilla ice cream put back in the deep freeze just for this kind of treat.  My husband also thought it was delicious, you can't tell it was made with canned peaches (my sister's instructions said that you can use other canned fruit).

I had another pantry recipe that I used to make when my son lived at home and I'd forgotten about.  It, too, begins with a yellow cake mix.

Easy Pumpkin Muffins
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

Yes... that is the correct ingredient list.  There are no eggs, no oil, just what is listed.

Mix together dry cake mix and spices.  Add pumpkin and mix until blended.  Spoon into well greased muffin tin about 3/4ths full.

Bake 20-25 minutes for average muffin tin and 12-14 minutes for the mini muffins.   These can be eaten as is or iced with your favorite icing.

My mother-in-law gave me a recipe long ago that is mostly from the pantry.  She served this cake to her bridge club.

Easy Fruit Cocktail Cake
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups drained fruit cocktail
1 egg, beaten

Pour into a greased 9 x 12 (I use 9 x 13) pan.

Top with mixture of:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

I hope these recipes will help extend your pantry ideas.

Mentioned in this blog post:
Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix, regular... here.
Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix, gluten free... here.
(This is one of those areas where the local grocery store is almost always cheaper than Amazon!)

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.
Image:  Brambly Hedge


Vee said...

The recipes sound good. I don't ordinarily like Krusteaz, but a friend gifted me with the cranberry orange muffin mix...superb. They were. I may have been listening to Cowboy Kent Rollins too much. 😁

The shelves have never looked so despairingly empty. I fear that this may be the way things are from now until The Rapture, which I am praying is imminent. One does learn to take what you get, which I suppose is the point.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipes.They sound great.
I sometimes make peach crisp with canned peaches in the winter when fresh ones are expensive/unavailable. It's good.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I was delighted to see recipes in this post! Thank you for sharing them. I like seeing what can be made from simple ingredients. I haven’t noticed a lack of flour here yet. I think I’ll have to pick up a few extra Aldi cake mixes.

Heather said...

It's interesting how different areas are stocked. We have just returned to Delaware from visiting family in Oklahoma and Texas. The Walmarts out there are well stocked and then I went to ours yesterday and it looked like looters had been there. It was crazy in the difference! My sweetheart is retired from the military so we do the majority of our grocery shopping at the commissary and went there today and I was happy to see that it was almost fully stocked again. I have spent the last few days organizing and taking stock of my pantries and freezer and will continue to fill as much as possible for the future is so uncertain.

My grandmother used to make fruit cocktail cake but it was a little different. I love both of these recipes and actually bought the ingredients at the beginning of lockdown for comfort desserts. 😊

Mindy said...

Oh my golly, you made my day with these easy treats. It's too hot to think right now, but I might be able to make a minimal effort. HaHa Thank you for sharing.

Margie from Toronto said...

These all sound wonderful! I too keep pancake mix that I only need add water to as being on my own - it's just easier. I have also started adding more cake & muffin mixes to my pantry and Bisquick - not things that I normally keep but they have proved handy. Bisquick in particular has sold out here.

Stuffing mixes and instant potatoes have made a reappearance so I've also added those. Some more exotic flours are back but still haven't seen bread flour as yet. But with All purpose & WW I can always make soda bread and scones - that sort of thing.

I was speaking with a friend at the start of lockdown and we were both chuckling over the fact that all those basics that people used to sneer at a bit flew off the shelves and what was left was all the expensive organic & vegetarian options - especially as it pertained to snack foods - everyone went back to chips & dip!

Mae said...

I will be trying that Fruit Cocktail Cake soon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these recipes ! One new thought I heard...Remember when they started raising extra corn for bio fuel. So there was less acreage for the corn we ate? Well now I found out they use peas for the basis for those meat less hamburgers and other items. So watch out for shorties of peas. Just something to keep an eye on. Also that there is a virus in the cucumber we could have less pickles on the shelfs and also olives have a problem. The Alaskan Prepper on youtube is one of the people that reported about these things and why among other products to keep a watch on. So many things can change what is on the grocers shelf. He is not into fear mongering.... just facts.

An owner of a paper mill said the reason there is an absence of disinfectant wipes on the shelves is that they use the same paper to make the masks as they do to make the wipes. The masks have priority. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. I had the name of the person on you tube wrong. It is Alaska Prepper NOT Alaskan Pepper like I mention before. Sarah