Sunday, January 31, 2010


For those of you who are new to our site...

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 !!!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fruitful Friday.... "Did You Remember the Herbs & Spices"

Don't forget that having a well-stocked pantry includes the Dried Herbs and Spices, having a stock of herbs and spices on hand will really help "spice" up your quick meals.
Here is a suggested list of the top ten Herbs & Spices that every pantry needs:

Kosher Salt -This coarse flake salt is use for gourmet cooking, brining, drying, marinating and as a finishing touch to your favorite dish.

Black Peppercorns - Whether tart or sweet, the full, fruity taste of berries mellows black pepper's mild heat and piney, citrus notes. Almost any kind of fresh berry can complement pepper's flavor. Choose a single type or mix and match different varieties to create an assortment of tasty combination.

Parsley - besides using fresh parsley as a garnish, mince it and sprinkle it on soups, pasta, grains, and potatoes. Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable,

Basil, - A common ingredient in tomato sauces, this intensely flavored herb also works well in salads, soups and vinaigrettes. 

Oregano - is often used in tomato sauces, fried vegetables, and grilled meat. Together with basil, it contributes much to the distinctive character of many Italian dishes.

Rosemary - this aromatic herb complements the flavors of a variety of dishes, especially poultry and lamb. On the health front, evidence suggests that rosemary helps protect against cancer.

Thyme - is often used to flavor meats, soups and stews. It has a particular affinity to and is often used as a primary flavor with lamb, tomatoes and eggs.

Cloves -With their intense orange scent and piquant flavor, cloves nicely complement fall & harvest  vegetables such as pumpkin and squash. Cloves also spice up rice dishes and baked goods.

Cinnamon - the seasoning that’s as comforting as grandma’s apple pie, has been studied not only for its antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial effects but also for its role in insulin activity

Nutmeg - is a tasty addition to cheese sauces and is best grated fresh. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.

These would be a great starting point. Unless you cook a lot, buy these items in the smallest quantity possible. Dried herbs and spices can lose their flavor and it is recommended that you should replace them after 6 months. You will wind up wasting money if you buy the jumbo size container of paprika, only use it once or twice and wind up throwing it away.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers - Shrimp Bisque - Jan, 28th

Great recipe this week... thick and rich! It was really good, but I think our favorite is still "She Crab Soup". 


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.
*We elected to leave out the Cognac & Dry Sherry. That is not something  that we choose to have in the house.

This recipe is not exactly a "thrifty" style recipe, unless you can use all of the items from your pantry...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday .... "Dragon Fruit"

We love the "daily special" FoodBuzz Challenges and often we are challenged to cook with some very unusual items. One of the items that really intrigued us was this...

What is it?.........................
Dragon Fruit

Where does it grow?......... 
It is a beautiful fruit grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Israel. 

How do you prepare it?....  
It is actually the fruit of a type of cactus, so you place the dragon fruit over a cutting board or other clean surface, cut the fruit straight down the middle with a sharp knife. It will cut quite easily. 
Cut through to the other side, so that you can separate the fruit into 2 sections. Inside the flesh may be white or red - both will have tiny black edible seeds, just like kiwi fruit, take a tablespoon and scoop out the inside meat of the fruit. Making sure all of the pink skin has been removed. Do not eat any of the pink skin... it is not eatable. You can eat the fruit just plain in slices or cubes, you can add it to summer salads or you could try it our way... See recipe below.

What does it taste like?.....  
It fruit tastes wonderful! - sweet and crunchy, with a flavor that's like a cross between kiwi and pear.

What recipe would you suggest using this mystery Ingredient?..... 
Dragon Fruit Sorbet
2 dragon fruits (also known as pitaya or pitahaya)
3/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar or simple syrup 

Cut the dragon fruit in half. Scoop out the flesh. Reserve the halves for serving, if desired. Freeze the halves until you are ready to fill them (to help them maintain their shape). Meanwhile, place the pulp in the blender along with the water, lime juice and agave nectar. Pulse until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen. Spoon into halves and serve. If you are not ready to eat, spoon the sorbet into the halves, wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap then freeze until serving.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Cocoa - Nana Bread

This is a great recipe, just not our family's favorite. We prefer plain old fashioned Banana Bread! Check out other great at  "Tuesday's with Dori"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make-Over Monday: Taco Soup

We were in the mood for a Little Spice tonight, so we decide here at the Pantry that we were going to play with an old favorite and re-work it into the calorie count that we wanted. Our goal was not to lose the bold flavor or the richness of the soup and yet we wanted to feel like we could enjoy a whole bowl full with out busting our daily calorie limits. So here you are...

1 lb ground turkey or extra lean beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 can of red Kidney Beans
1 can of black beans
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 half onion diced
1/4 green pepper diced
1/4 yellow pepper diced
1/2 can black olives sliced
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 package tortilla chips

Brown meat in the microwave, add taco seasoning, stir. Add the onion, beans, corn and tomatoes, juice and all. Simmer together 10-20 minutes until warm. Serve with sprinkle of cheese and chips. You can add a teaspoon full of sour cream on top as garnish if you like.

makes 8 - 1 1/2 cup servings / Calories per serving with sour cream is 248

Sunday, January 24, 2010


For those of you who are new to our site...

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 !!!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fruitful Friday.... "Using Your Pantry!"

Now that we all understand what a PANTRY is and we have learned how to fruitfully stock our pantries. Now... comes the Challenge or the hard part of being a Pantry Person... "Using The Pantry". We call this the Pantry Challenge and I love the way that Mary Ann Romans (a blogger with explains it:

What Is A Pantry Challenge? 

by Mary Ann Romans (16 Jan 2007 09:32 AM)

You may have heard the term "pantry challenge" come up a lot on frugal websites and forums. But what exactly is a pantry challenge?

A pantry challenge is using your existing food sources and resources, YOUR PANTRY, to make all of your meals. It is a challenge to not buy anything new from the grocery store to complete dinner.
A pantry challenge can be anything you want it to be. You can do the challenge by yourself or as part of a group. A group challenge can be a lot of fun. The members tend to keep each other motivated, inspire each other and share tips and ideas.
A pantry challenge can vary in its "rules." You first set the time length for the challenge. Most challenges last for a week or two, but you might try three days if it is your first challenge, or a month if you are an experienced pantry challenge participant.
Other rules to set for the challenge have to do with what is allowed. Can you purchase milk and fresh produce, for example? Are non-food items included in the challenge, such as no paper products? Can you use up some freezer meals or does everything need to be made from pantry items? It is really up to you and the group to decide how strict to go.

Why should you have a pantry challenge? There are a few good reasons. A pantry challenge can come in handy when the budget is running low, and it is better to make do with what you have for the week or other time frame. A pantry challenge can also help you use up older items in your pantry that you tend not to grab when it comes to dinner time. Example... Remember that great sale on black olives? Well, those four cans have been sitting on the shelf forever. Now is the time to get creative with them.

Have you ever participating in a pantry challenge? We would love to know your pantry challenge tips! Please feel free to leave them in the comments, we would like to make a list to share with everyone here on our blog...

Now that you understand what a Pantry Challenge is... Today, we would like to Challenge to make Dinner from your newly stocked Pantry and then share with us what you made and how it went.  

Here is what we made from our pantry... Taco Soup!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thrifty Thursday ---- Cherry Kisses!

The Recipe that we chose for Today is a new recipe that I found on We made them for the Youth Party last night and they were a big hit...

Marshmallow Cherry Kisses

what you need:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
16   maraschino cherries with stems
16 JET-PUFFED Marshmallows

To Make It:
MELT chocolate in small saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally. Place in small bowl; cool slightly. Meanwhile, drain cherries and thoroughly pat dry (I drained mine on paper towels over night).

MAKE indentation in each marshmallow with your finger, then insert 1 of the cherries into the hole, leaving 1/3 of the stem end of the cherry exposed. Using a fork to support the bottom of the marshmallow, dip the marshmallow into the chocolate, turning to evenly coat the cherry. Gently shake off excess chocolate. By doing it like the recipe says, you actually cover the whole cherry.  

I wanted mine to look like the picture (you know me... follow the picture, don't stop and read the recipe) Anyway, I dipped my marshmallow and placed it on the wax paper and while the choloclate was still wet I pushed the cheery in it... and voila'! They looked just like the picture.

PLACE on wax paper-covered baking sheet; cover. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes or until set. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

These also fit with in our $5.00 budget Challenge! You can make 3 dozen for $4.87...

1 - Bag Marshmallows  ~ $.99
1 - Bag Chocolate Chips  ~ $1.99
1 - 10 oz. bottle of Maraschino Cherries  ~ $1.89

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

Yummy.... GOOD? Well.... let's just say they actually looked better than they tasted. I found them to be very heavy and unbalanced. I think I like my Chocolate Oatmeal bars better, but I would like to try this recipe again and maybe make it with milk chocolate and add coconut instead of peanuts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Make-Over Monday: Baked Flounder with Orange & Kiwi Salad

In trying to keep my caloric intake under control this month and due to the fact that I have been craving fish... We decided to take one of our favorite FAT dishes and make-it-over...

For the Baked Flounder... (for one person)
Place one piece of flounder in a large, lightly greased baking dish, cover fish with three lemon slices and sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley, grill seasonings and one chopped green onion. Baked at 350* about ten minutes or until fish is white and flaky.

For the Orange & Kiwi Salad... (for one person)
1 cup Iceberg Lettuce, shredded and placed on a plate. Next add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh oranges and 1 chopped kiwi to lettuce. Drizzle with Poppy Seed Dressing of choice.

Original Recipe calls for the fish to be breaded & fried at 342 calories + salad at 199 calories = 541 per serving.
Our Recipe was with the fish unbreaded and baked at  206 calories + salad at 160 calories = 366 per serving.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


For those of you who are new to our site...

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, January 16, 2010

Super Saturday - " Knife Skills"

Now that we are familiar some of the different styles of knives, let try some of the skills that go along with them. These are very easy and traditional techniques that are commonly used in a kitchen, be it at home or in the fanciest restaurant.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fruitful Friday.... "Stocking Your Pantry!"

There is a big difference in "Building" your pantry and "Stocking" your pantry.

"Building" your pantry is designing a food storage program that works for you... Like the things we talked about last week.

"Stocking" your pantry is now that you have a food storage program that works for you, this is when you decide how you are going to buy all the items on your list from last week along with adding those weekly  items to your pantry that you use regularly, milk, pancake syrup, cereal, pasta sauces, plus all your fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.

Some ideas that work are...

A. If you have enough money, just go out a buy everything and "Stock" your pantry. (We use half of our Tax Refund)
B. If you have a revolving budget then you can buy two or three of each items each time you shop.
C. If you have a fixed budget then you buy 1 or 2 extra items each month or each time you shop.
D. If you in bulk, are in case lots when they are on sale. Also if you buy the whole case, don't be afraid  to ask if you can have the "stocking fee" taken off the price of the case. Most grocers that I have asked will give it to me as they do not have to pay someone to put it on the shelf and they still get paid for the item.
E. If you find that buying in bulk gives you to much at one time then you can always find a group of friends to go in with you. Our local homeschool and church group buys in bulk from a co-op. It's a great way to get high quality items for less. In addition, because there are other families, we often split a "bulk" item. That way, we are able to buy what we need, split the order with another family, keep things fresh and get the savings without a lot of cash outlay.
F. Shop with coupons, but only use coupons for the items that you normally buy. Don't buy an item just because you have a coupon.
G. Watch name brands, sometimes generic or in-store brands are cheaper and just a good tasting. Often the products are all from the same plant, just labeled different.
H. Garden, Can or Freeze foods. Some people say this isn't a savings. It just depends on how you do it. I water my garden at the same time that I water my lawn with the automatic sprinkler system. I would have watered the same area if it were grass, we just get fresh produce to enjoy, plus extra vegetables and herbs to can and dry.
I. Our favorite thing to do is shop the local Fresh & Farmer's Markets. I can usually find huge saving by shopping there. I buy extra and then I freeze or can it.

After you've stocked your pantry, supermarket trips may be less frequent. You'll only need to shop for perishable foods and depleted pantry items.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben

We just totally and simply took a pass on this recipe. We don't eat lots of fried things anymore and filling my body with these just really didn't make much sense. I do know they are very tasty though... if not fried to long. There was a time in my younger days when I made these quite often, That is probably why I can't have them now!

But just to tell you a little about the recipe....

"scherben"  is the German word for fragments or pieces - and  this recipe is cookies or strips of fried dough, dusted with powdered sugar. They are very plain tasting and we like ours sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar like a snickerdoodle.  Mrs Vogel was a real person who had a son who adored them and she would make them for him as often as she could.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


For those of you who are new to our site...

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, January 9, 2010

Super Saturday - "Knife Styles"

One of the first important things that I learned when I starting training to be a chef was the importance of Knife Skills. So I thought we would start our first Super Saturday Cooking School class out with some new ideas about knives...

Knives are essential tools in any kitchen and can be your best friend when you're preparing food. And A sharp knife is a safe knife because it glides easily through food. Cutting surfaces, instead of food dulls knives. There are a wide variety of knives and each have a purpose and a place in the kitchen. During this class we are only going to hit on a few...

Chef's Knives: They are great for cutting both raw and cooked meat. Always Cut meats across the grain, straight up and down, either as thick or thin as desired, holding the chef's knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board. Chef's knives are also handy for thinly slicing raw meats for stir-fries. You can use them to chop large or hard vegetables and mince smaller items such as garlic, too.

Tips for Buying a Chef's Knife

* Buy the best quality knife that you can afford.
* Make sure there are no gaps at the joint where the blade and handle meet.
* Sizes range from 6- to 12-inch blades, but an 8-inch blade is standard.
* The blade should curve toward the tip to allow a rocking motion.
* A hefty bolster (the metal part between the blade and the handle) will help balance the knife and give you more control.
* The tang (metal extending into the handle) should extend to the butt of the knife handle.
* There is no rule on how heavy the knife should be. Some people like a weighty knife while others like a lighter one. It’s important to hold the knife before you buy to make sure it feels right for you.

Paring Knives: They are an excellent choice for precision work and can be used to cut out the cores or centers of most vegetables. Use to slice, by cutting down 3 or 4 times to form vertical slices. Remember to discard the stem, core and seeds. They are also used to cut strips or chop fine as desired. Paring knives are also good for peeling fruits and vegetables.

Serrated Knives: They have a wavy blade that has teeth along the edge. This gives them a greater ability to cut, and makes them ideal for foods that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside, such as bread and rolls. Serrated knives are also perfect for slicing more delicate foods such as tomatoes and cakes. They cut much better than plain-edge knives, even when dull, so they can also last longer without sharpening.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


For those of you who are new to our site...

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 !!!!!!