Stocking a Pantry

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Weeks ago, I came across a great article on Stocking Your Pantry from Paula Deen. Interestingly enough, pretty much everything that author Kendra Adachi cites as musts for your pantry, fridge, and freezer are staples here in the ‘Lil Burgher house [prior to reading], too! You never know when you might have unexpected guests or reason to throw a party. I also like to keep some easy dip mixes on hand from Tastefully Simple to toss in with these staples and viola! have a spectacular spread.

For instance, the other day prior to the Super Bowl, I quickly grabbed two boxes, some sour cream and mayo and had two dips. I can’t tell you how valuable time is these days being a working mom of two, so having a well stocked kitchen is a blessing, indeed.

Now that you have a nicely stocked pantry, perhaps it is time for a pantry challenge (making a meal that uses at least one item from your pantry every day of the week)? I am always using my pantry to drive meal plans for us. We are always fully stocked on canned chicken, tomatoes, taco shells, rice, pasta, and sauce, so even on those “bad days”, we can quickly throw something together.

Speaking of meal plans, here’s a few really basic dinner ideas using items from the article to get you started. Enjoy!

Breakfast Burritos–Flour Tortillas, Eggs, Sausage, Salsa, and Cheese—Fry up the sausage and eggs. Spoon into burritos

Baked Ziti–Ziti, pasta sauce, cheese, Italian bread crumbs—Boil water. Add ziti to water and cook as directed. Spray a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray. Drain ziti and pour into baking pan. Spoon sauce over the ziti and mix in some mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs on top of the ziti and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Italian Sausages and Roasted Potatoes–Italian Sausage, (rolls), sauce, (bonus if you have peppers on hand), potatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, spices of choice—I am a fan of Italian sausage made in a crock pot, so put the crock pot on low and add sausage, sauce, and peppers. Let this cook for 6-8 hours. When sausage is just about finished, you can cut up your potatoes into cubes. Put the potatoes in a baking pan, coat with EVOO, and sprinkle with spices (we are a fan of seasoned salt or Tony Chachere’s Creole). Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. (Potatoes a favorite thanks to Mrs. ‘Ski.)

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