Monday, September 28, 2009

Make-Over Monday .... S'More Low-Cal!!!

It's Monday Again.... And in Honor of our Cheesecake Party Tonight. I thought I would post a Quick & Easy Low-Cal Cheesecake Treat that the whole Family will enjoy...

Quick S'More Cheesecake Bites

Prep Time:10 min Total Time:10 min
Makes:12 servings, one s'more sandwich each

1-1/2 cups PHILADELPHIA Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake Filling Chocolate Dream
12 Graham Crackers, broken in half
12 large Marshmallows

SPREAD 2 Tbsp. of the cheesecake filling onto 12 of the graham squares; set aside.

PLACE 6 of the remaining graham squares in single layer on microwaveable plate; top each with 1 marshmallow. Microwave on HIGH 20 sec. or until marshmallows begin to melt. Cover each with 1 of the remaining graham squares, filling-side down, to make six sandwiches. Press grahams together gently to secure. Repeat with remaining graham squares and marshmallows.

SERVE immediately. Store leftovers in refregerator.

Only 180 Calories each....

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Reminder: The Pantry is dark on Sundays!
We are God fearing, church going people who, enjoy a day full of sabbath blessings, family time and everyday, over-the-counter snacks !!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Checking out Our Heritage....

After our night out with the Greeks, we decided to move a little closer to home and go check out the Irish Festival today. We enjoyed BBQ Ribs, Funnel cakes & Bagpipe music.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Barefoot Blogger Birthday Cake!

Our second Barefoot Blogger challenge for Sept. was chosen by Mary of Passionate Perseverance and she would like us to try Beatty’s Chocolate Cake... I needed cupcakes for a party this weekend so I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give this recipe a try. I really liked the Cake portion of this recipe, but I changed out the frosting so that I could be a little creative with my decorations.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Our FoodBuzz challenge today was to cook with Apples... So I decided to come up with a fun and new Apple side dish to go with our grilled burgers tonight. This is what I came up with....

Apple & Sweet Potato Chutney


1 large apple (cored & diced)
1 small sweet potato (peeled & diced)
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1 clove garlic diced
1/8 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water or chicken stock
salt & pepper to taste

To a large saute pan melt butter and olive oil together, add onions and saute for two minutes. Add remaining ingredients, saute until apples and sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hot Crab & Spinach Dip

    1 medium red pepper, chopped
    3 green onions, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
    2 tsp. vegetable oil or olive oil
    1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
    2 cans (6 oz. each) crabmeat, drained and broken up
    1 cup Real Mayonnaise
    1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    An Assortment of your favorite crackers, pita chips or tortilla chips

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Sauté peppers and onions in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
ADD crabmeat, spinach, mayo and cheese; mix well. Spoon into lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.
BAKE 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve as a spread with crackers or as a dip with chips.

Note: You can use imitation crabmeat, but it does change the taste.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Reminder: The Pantry is dark on Sundays!
We are God fearing, church going people who, enjoy a day full of sabbath blessings, family time and everyday, over-the-counter snacks !!!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Memories of my Mother-in-law...

Today would have been her birthday and one of my favorite memories was coming to visit and she had made her famous Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies. So I memory of her, I give you....

Mint-Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

6 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar until very firm. While continuing to beat the egg whites, gradually add sugar and vanilla, beat until eggs whites will set up in stiff peaks. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls on pan. Bake 275 degrees for 25-30 minutes. They should only be lightly browned.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Make-Over Monday...Tasty Taco Salad!

And as I have spent this past year studying and learning how to make-over my favorite recipes into better tasting, lower calorie treats, I discovered the my loaded Taco Salad recipe that I thought was good for me was actually contributing to my down fall.... So staying with the Theme of the day I would like to post my Made-Over Tasty Taco Salad recipe for the day.

Tasty Taco Salad

Prep Time: 20 mins * Total Time: 20 mins * Makes:4 servings

4 whole wheat flour tortillas (8 inch)
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup of chopped white or yellow onion
1 small clove of chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon of dry taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup warm water
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups shredded lettuce or baby spinach
1 cup Finely Shredded Four Cheese
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream (about 1 tablespoon per person)
1/2 cup salsa (about 2 tablespoons per person)

CRUMPLE 4 large sheets of foil to make 4 (3-inch) balls; place on baking sheet. Place 1 tortilla over each ball; spray with low-cal cooking spray. Bake 6 to 8 min. or until tortillas are golden brown. (Tortillas will drape over balls as they bake.)
*by using whole wheat and baking shells instead of frying or using store bought chips you save 80 calories per person

MEANWHILE, cook meat with onion, garlic, taco seasoning mix, salt & pepper and warm water.
*by cooking your meat with the following ingredients instead of browning it in 2 tablespoons of oil you save 120 calories per person
FILL shells with lettuce, meat mixture, cheese and vegetables just before serving top with sour cream and salsa.
*by measuring and using sour cream and salsa instead of salad dressing you save 60 calories per person

So by making-over my Favorite Taco Salad, I have saved myself 302 calories... going from 580 to 278.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary to the Chef's At the Pantry...

The Pantry Chef's Celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary Today....

So they are eating "OUT" in Charleston, S.C. tonight!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Reminder: The Pantry is dark on Sundays!
We are God fearing, church going people who, enjoy a day full of sabbath blessings, family time and everyday, over-the-counter snacks !!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Down with a Migraine....!

I hate to see those blinking spots that appear just before the pounding starts.
So needless to say.... "NO FOOD TODAY!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers - Brithday Sheet Cake - Sept. 09

I was so excited and could hardly wait to try my first Barefoot Bloggers Challenge... Like many other have posted, I too had the same problem with my cake over browning around the edges before it was cooked in the center. This is the third time in three different states that I have tried this recipe and it came out the same all three times! hehehehe…..I guess a lot can be said for consistency….. The frosting recipe is fantastic, but I don’t think I will use the cake portion of the recipe again, I have others that I favor better.
On the other hand... Because my cake was so badly burned are the edges I decided to get a little creative with it and turned it into a Stacked Sheet Cake. Adding a cup of frosting between each layer of cake, topping it off with a light sprinkle of more lemon zest. I hope that was okay? Here is the way it turned out.
by: Ina Garten, (the Barefoot Contessa)


For the cake:

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the Frosting:

  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M's)

SUZY…….. Hope you have a Happy Birthday and thanks for the recipe choice! It was a good one... Thanks!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saying Good-Bye to Summer!

Last night, a small group of my Husbands co-workers were having a pot luck, end of summer/end of season get-together. I guess a variety food options were suggested and in the end everyone just decided to bring what ever they wanted. My hubby decided that he wanted to make & take Chicken Enchiladas, which I profusely disagreed with, stating that "There is no quality control to our recipe", "They are hard to keep warm", "You never know if they are burnt on the bottom until served".... etc...etc....etc.... to which every time I would come up with what I thought was a good reason why not it he would respond with "They will be just fine!" So... in the end he won and the enchiladas were made. And to make bad matters worse, they turned out beautiful, wonderful and was the biggest hit at the party! All I could do was Bite my tongue and eat my words..... SO in honor of my patient hubby, I give you....

(Party Style)

6 Chicken Breasts (cooked and cubed)
6 cups of Chicken Stock (reserved from cooking chicken)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic (diced)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (16 oz) Sour cream
1 (12oz) can Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 cup grated cheese
1 small can diced green chillies
12 medium four tortillas

Place chicken breasts in a large pot, add salt, pepper & seasonings as if your going to make chicken soup, then boil. While boiling, place butter and olive oil to a small pan and warm, chop onion, garlic add to melted butter and olive oil. Sauté until flavors are mixed well and onion has become soft but not brown. Set onion mixture aside, drain cooked chicken reserving 6 cups of stock. Cool Chicken and then cut into cubes.

In a large bowl, combine 4 cans Cream of Chicken soup, the sour cream, milk, onion mixture, half of the cheese and the green chillies. Mix well, this mixture will be thick. Add chicken stock, 1 cup at a time) until mixture is of sauce consistency. Add chicken and stir.

Grease or Spray a large 9'x13 baking dish, coat well. Pour 2 cups of chicken mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Now take 2 flour tortillas and place flat on top of chicken mixture. Cover with 2 more cups of chicken mixture. Next take remaining tortillas and fill each center with 1/4 cup of chicken mixture and roll each tortilla, enchiladas style as you go, placing each filled tortilla side by side until all ten are fill. Pour and Spread remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas until completely covered. Top with remaining cheese and some parsley.

Cover and bake on 350* for about 1 hour or until center is hot

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

mmmmmm........ Chocolate Pudding!

We have been craving Chocolate pudding at our house.... Hope you all enjoy as much as we do!

    1 Cup sugar
    1/2 Cup cocoa powder

    1/4 Cup cornstarch

    1/4 tsp. salt

    1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

    2 1/2 cups half & half
    1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir. Over medium heat, gradually add the milk and half & half, stirring constantly. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Continue at low boil, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from stove and add the vanilla, stirring constantly to blend. Pour into serving bowls and chill uncovered. Pudding can be enjoyed warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles for an extra treat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

CALABASH..... Before & After!

Shortly after moving to South Carolina, we discovered a new food genre called Calabash... I immediately fell in love only to find out that like a lot of other things in life, every one has that own philosophy about what is real Calabash. SO I started to ask around... And for the most part this is the conclusion and outcome that I like best.

According to Ella's Calabash Seafood Restaurant in Calabash, NC.... "Calabash Style" means seafood prepared fresh, lightly battered and fried to order using the same family recipes that have been past down through the generations.

And since I don't have a family recipe that has been passed down through the generations, I can only make one up, so here is what I have come up with....

* 1 cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder
* 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic powder
* 1 teaspoons of dry mustard
* 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (you can use seasoned)
* 1/4 cup white cornmeal
* 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
* 1 egg
* 3 cups cooking oil
* 2 tablespoons of milk
* 2-4 large Blue Crabs

On one sheet of waxed paper, place flour, onion powder, garlic powder & dry mustard. In pie plate, with fork, beat egg with milk. On another sheet of waxed paper, combine cornmeal and bread crumbs. Dip clean dry crabs in flour just to dust, then in egg mixture, then in cornmeal mixture until coated.

In 12 inch skillet over medium heat, in hot oil;, fry Crabs, carefully turning once. Cook about 6-8 minutes or until nice and brown. Serve with horseradish or Tartar sauce.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Just as a FYI... the Pantry is and will remain dark on Sundays!
We are God fearing, church going people who, enjoy a day full of sabbath blessings, family time and everyday, over-the-counter snacks !!!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Homemade Chicken Stock

One of the biggest assets to having a frugal pantry is the willingness to be creative and trust in the things that you know or that you are willing to learn how to do. Making. freezing and rotating your own Homemade Chicken, Beef and Veggie stock is one of those things simple, environmentally safe, user friendly and self staining things that you can do to help start saving money and eating more healthy. Plus Stock or broth is one of the easiest things you can cook, if you are just starting out in the kitchen.

So... here you go, lets give it a try.


1 chicken carcass or 1 1/2 - 2 pounds of raw chicken pieces (bone-in and skin-on works best)
1 - 2 large onions pieces, skins and leftovers
4 carrots peels,
4 celery tops and leaves
2 - 3 garlic whole cloves
2 dried or fresh bay leaves
4 - 5 thyme or rosemary sprigs with stems
4 - 5 parsley sprigs with stems
10 crushed black peppercorns (optional)
1 tablespoon Adobo seasonings
(side note on Veggies... we use all the leftover stuff from the veggies we have used all week, I keep everything in a ziplock bag until i get meat bones or a bag full then I make stock.this is how we make sure we don't waste anything...)

  1. Put chicken (whole, parts, pieces, bones and all in a large pot or crock pot. Cover with water. Sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar (this draws out the minerals in the bones into your stock).
  2. Add salt, pepper, seasonings, and vegetables. Sometimes, for my veggie stock, I usually throw in at least carrot, celery, onion, and extra garlic. They can go in whole since they will cook down to mush anyway.
  3. Turn on the heat. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer 2-3 hours or more on the stove top, or overnight in your crock pot.
  4. Strain the solids out, letting the stuff set in the strainer for at least 10 minutes,pressing lightly on the bones and veggies to squeeze out every last drop of your liquid goodness. My stock often becomes a little cloudy with all the pulpy leftovers, but that is okay because that is where the nutrition is. let cool... this is important to do before placing in you freezer bags.
  5. I do NOT skim the fat, because there’s so much good stuff for you in the fat. (Not to mention the flavor!) but if you want to you can just place your stock in a open container in the fridge until fat in top is hard and can easyly be lifted off the top. Your stock will become stiff and jelly like, that is okay and sometimes easier to handle when filling your freezer bags.
  6. After your stock has cooled, Pour the stock into freezer containers, label, and freeze. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

End of Summer Fun.....

A while back, I found this great recipe while surfing through the website... My Boys thought that would make a great treat for a party that they were planning for the Labor day weekend. WE thought we would share it here....

Watermelon Pops
Prep Time: 35 min Total Time: 4 hr 35 min Makes: 16 servings

What You Need!
1 cup sugar, divided
1 pkg. (3 oz.) Lime Flavor Gelatin
2 cups boiling water, divided
ice cubes
1 cup cold water, divided
1 pkg. (3 oz.) Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
3 Tbsp. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 pkg. (4 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups thawed Whipped Topping
12-16 craft sticks or plastic spoons
12-16 (3-oz) paper cups

What You Need to DO!

MIX 1/3 cup sugar and lime gelatin mix in medium bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to 1/2 cup cold water to measure 3/4 cup. Add to lime gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 25 min.

MEANWHILE, repeat Step 1 using strawberry gelatin mix and omitting the refrigeration step. Pour into 16 (3-oz.) paper cups. Freeze 20 min. Stir 1/2 tsp. chocolate chips into gelatin in each cup.

BEAT cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in COOL WHIP; spread over gelatin in cups.

POUR lime gelatin over cream cheese mixture. Insert wooden popcycle/craft stick into gelatin in center of each cup. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Remove pops from cups just before serving.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lunch is served!

I love experimenting with all the different things that you can put into a sandwich... And a couple of weeks ago I was asked to come up with a simple lunch that fit into the "Back to School" theme for a group of ladies/friends at my church. I wanted to make them something fun, easy and yet had a gourmet flare to it. So... In putting my thought together for all of this, I thought it would be fun to take fun and regular sandwiches that we make for our kids and fancy them up a bit...

My menu thus developed into three different sandwiches made with those new little round flat sandwich bread from Arnold's Bakery (you can by them at Sam's Club or Walmart). The sandwich that I am featuring today is the....

"Twisted Club"
*Ham (3 slices)
*Cheddar Cheese (1 slice)
*Turkey (3 slices)
*Swiss Cheese (1 slice)
*Apple (1 round slice)
*Bacon (3 slices - cooked)
*Tomato (1 slice)

We served the sandwiches on small plates in a brown paper bags with a side of fresh fruit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Heirloom Mozzarella Capreses

As I started to think about all the wonderful recipes I wanted to post as my very first here on my new blog.... It became all to clear to me that I should use my favorite creation that I have chosen to use as part of my blog logo/header. And since this is my all time favorite salad I would like to give you both versions...

Orginial Mozzarella Caprese

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt to taste*
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a circular design around the side of a serving plate, alternate fresh mozzarella slices on a large platter (or on individual plates if you are doing individual portions) with sliced tomatoes, overlapping for effect.
Tear fresh basil leaves and sprinkle liberally over the slices. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle capers over the top.
Just before serving, drizzle on some top-quality extra-virgin olive oil.  

NOTE: Insalata Caprese should never be allowed to sit in oil for any length of time and become soggy, and no vinegar of any kind goes on true Insalata Caprese!
Makes 4 servings.

My Heirloom Mozzarella Caprese

1 large yellow Heirloom Tomato (sliced)
8-10 small Cherry Tomatoes
4 slices of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
4 Sprigs of fresh Basil
olive oil

Arrange Salad on a large Serving dish, alternating yellow tomato slices and mozzarella cheese. Top with Basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. Splash with olive oil, crushed black paper and enjoy.