Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Quick Cooking Holiday Pantry

I'm late, I'm late ...... again!  Yesterday was absolutely nothing that I anticipated - oh my.  Today is a new day, and I have a new start.
Here we go!

During the holidays, we are all busy with visiting, visitors, buying gifts, wrapping, decorating, plays and musicals, bazaars....................  It is coming up on a busy time in all out lives.
Here is a great list to help you stay on track, and to help for those unexpected gifts and visitors.
We all love scratch food, but SOMETIMES it pays to have prepared things on hand.

Broth - all types (homemade or canned)
Bread cubes, crumbs - seasoned and unseasoned (homemade or store bought) - even a few boxes of stuffing mix
Canned tuna and chicken
Tomato products of all types
Canned beans
Quick bread mixes, cake mixes, baking/biscuit mixes - these really can help out
Condiments of all types
Soups - especially 'cream of' - canned or homemade mixes
Pasta - all shapes and sizes
Peanut butter - great for making sweets
Oatmeal - good for baking
Seasonings of all types
Nuts - all types for baking
Vinegars - great for cooking (flavored)
Chocolate chips and/or other flavors
Marshmallow cream and marshmallows
Canned veggies/frozen veggies
Baking goods - sugar, eggs, flour, etc.
Cheeses of all types - for eating and cooking
Whipping cream, canned or frozen whipped toppings
Tea, coffee
Canned milks (sweetened and evaporated) and dry milk
Frozen fruit and condensed fruit juices

If you keep basics on hand (I know this sounds like a lot) - it sure can help out. 
You can make gifts - jar mixes, baked goods, candy, tea/coffee mixes, etc.  You are ready to throw a few ingredients together for an impromptu lunch or dinner, or have items on hand for an afternoon visit.  YOU WILL ALWAYS BE READY for what life throws at you.  No unexpected runs to the grocery.

Homemade goodies for gifting and eating are always at the ready and easy to do.  Wrap or tin and you are ready for about anything.  Breads wrapped in plastic wrap and a ribbon - great for a gift OR slice with tea/coffee for an afternoon visit.  Candy, cookies always great for gifting or company.

I have noticed Aldi has already started marking down baking ingredients effective this weeks ads.  Meijer is having a sale on baking goods - now until Thanksgiving.  Let the sales begin.  LET THE PANTRY STOCK-UP BEGIN.

Here's a couple throw together quick ideas that may help.

1 pkg. stuffing mix
1 reg. can cream of mushroom
1 reg. can cream of chicken
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
Stir stuffing mix and soups together adding 1 1/2 cans of water, onion and celery.  Place in a greased 11 x7 casserole dish.  Bake covered with aluminum foil at 325* for 10 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to bake for 50 minutes - until top is golden.
Super easy to throw together with basic ingredients.

3 eggs
2 - 18 oz. lemon cake mixes
8 oz. container of frozen whipped topping - thawed
1 C powdered sugar
Combine eggs, cake mix and whipped topping - mix well.  Chill 1 hour.  Drop by teaspoon into powdered sugar, coat thoroughly and roll into balls.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375* for 10-11 minutes.  Makes 8 dozen.
Any flavor cake mix would work!

Make up different jar mixes for gifting for those unexpected drop by visitors/neighbors/co-workers.  If you don't give them away - they are great to keep in your pantry.  Google "jar recipes" - and will get so many ideas or go to the library - there are many books on the subject.

Be prepared, be stocked up, and be ready to ENJOY a simpler holiday season.


  1. I think gifts for eating are the best as we all have too much stuff. But then we get stuffed. Well what is worse?:)

    1. I give a lot of 'EATING' gifts and love getting them as well. It is neat to get things/give things that you may not get for yourself. We all HAVE to eat!

  2. Always love to read your posts on keeping things handy for last minute cooking. Thanks for all you do to make us better home economists.

    1. Well thank you. That is nice. I just like being prepared and figure we all need a nudge once in while.

  3. I have been looking at upcoming sales for sugar and flour and both have a limit of 4. I usually like to get 20 so I am hoping it is on sale several weeks in a row. Otherwise I am going to be paying more for it. Also butter hasn't had a great price lately so I am hoping for that to go low so I can really stock up. This is when I stock up on baking goods and turkeys.

    I always keep a few ready made items on hand. It is cheaper then getting takeout.

    1. Great idea on ready made items! Yeah, I haven't seen butter cheap yet either. Heavy cream is really cheap at Meijer and I was thinking about making my own butter. Something ne to try.
      Good luck with getting the flour you are looking for. I imagine sales will be pretty good for the next many weeks.

    2. Is the store out of your way? If not, go in several times, or have other family members go in one also.

  4. Very little of the basics seems to be coming on sale here. It all seems to be getting more and more expensive. Having said that when something does come up we make sure we stock up.
    I always try to have something in the cake tin and something frozen. Being so hot here it doesnt take long for the frozen cake to thaw. I like to have this as a quick and ready gift. It also means if it is too hot to bake we already have something when a sweet is required. However this is all about to change.
    Bluey has had a couple of funny turns lately. Last Saturday was the worst. His whole body was shaking, like he was having a seizure, but he was completely aware and was not running a temp. I have dealt with kids having something similar as those children were diabetics and this shaking was a sign of low blood sugar. I got some ginger beer into him and the shakes started to settle down. After a series of tests he has been diagnosed as diabetic. I am now researching what he can and cant have and what changes we are going to need to make. He isnt on meds as long as we address diet and exercise. Change is happening.
    The usual Christmas goodies will be under review this year.

    1. Sorry to hear Bluey has been diagnosed with diabetics. Hopefully you can get it under control. It is hard to change lifestyle. Good luck with that.

      I well imagine most of your grocery goods are imported - and fuel and transportation is so expensive. I am sorry you aren't getting good deals like we do.
      Good luck at finding a cheap PRICE WHEN YOU CAN.

    2. Jane, the biggest changes I have made are with white flour, white rice, white potatoes (mashed potatoes and baked potatoes are a real treat for me occasionally). Swapped them out for wheat flour, brown rice, oatmeal, and orange sweet potatoes. Next was the sweets. I was never a candy "junkie", but now there are definite limits to what I put in my mouth. My doctor told me I could have 2 bites of any cake I like, just not a whole slice. Lots of veggies as sometimes even meat will make my blood sugar spike. I also put ground cinnamon into size "0" gel capsules and have 2 a day. Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. DO NOT JUST PUT ON A TEASPOON AND SWALLOW - IT IS SO POWDERY THAT IT CAN GET INTO YOUR LUNGS AND ASPHYXIATE YOU. So, it is a definite "watch what you eat" situation for me. Hope some of this helps, and please do your own research, and keep trying different things. Remember that what works for one person, doesn't always work for the next. Good luck on your new "journey".

  5. Hope everything is ok!
    Thanks for the tips. I am watching for sales too. I need to check out Aldi this week.

    1. Yes, all is well. Thank you. Just a day!!!!!
      Good luck at getting lots off good deals.

  6. I will be doing some baking for gifts, as usual, this holiday season just not as much. I had to laugh when I was checking my Baking drawer" to see what I need to add and discovered the bag of miniature marshmallows are no longer individual pieces - just one big clump! Any suggestions on how to use them? They still feel soft and squishy not dried out at all. I hate to throw them out. Thanks, Shirley

    1. How about rice crispy treats? That might be a good solution :0)

    2. I agree with Gaila - rice crispy treats or maybe fudge with the marshmallows.

      I do less baking each year - but there are some things I bake for gifts that ARE expected. Things that Mom used to bake have passed on for me to make.

      Make something yummy with those marshmallows. ENJOY

    3. Thanks Gaila and Cheryl for the suggestion. I've never made Rice Krispy treats before so didn't think of it. I will definitely do that. Shirley

    4. They are soooooo good. I have made them with chocolate rice krispy's as well! ENJOY

    5. Wow! Chocolate! That's even better! Shirley

  7. Great ideas! Food gifts are the best!!

  8. I also saw butter was $2.99# at Aldi. I hold off for $1.99, but my friend in SoCal leaps at that.

    The other pantry I stock is our Sick Pantry. I make sure to have fresh cold meds on hand. Vapor rub, cough. Drops, etc. And also a few days worth of chicken soup, saltines, apple sauce, honey, tea bags, and whatever we might to avoid going out if we can avoid it. We both got pneumonia two years ago and with the exception of the doctor office and the drive thru pharmacy, we kept it to ourselves and had plenty to get us through. We ate a lot of eggs, soup, and applesauce!!

    1. Wonderful reminder to everyone. It is getting to that time of the year and flu season. It is always wise to have the medical supplies up to date and on hand.
      Great advice.

  9. My brothers are my main gift receiving people this year. One will get a tub of the soft striped mints (right now $5 for 180 at Walmart), and a huge container of homemade Chex Mix. That is a family gift. My other brother is widowed and I have decided to make him 10 meals for his freezer. He so often stops at a burger joint on the way home, and loves when I offer to cook. He can cook, just doesn't like to anymore, so "heat and eat" is good for him.