Thursday, May 26, 2022

Easy Recipes from the Pantry

 Things are getting tight for a lot of people.  Using our pantries and our freezers can be essential.  You can still have yummy and fun and easy recipes to fix - just using what you have on hand.  No expensive or fancy ingredients and easy prep.
I know some people may NOT have some of the things I list for these ingredients on hand - but if you do - easy peasy is the word!

1 8 oz. pk. corn muffin mix
1 15 oz. can cream corn
1/2 C sour cream (I have used ranch dip too!)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Combine all the ingredients and pour into a buttered 2-quart pan.  Bake at 350^F for 35 minutes

1 - 6 oz. box cherry Jell-O
1 - 8 oz. pack cream cheese - softened
1 - 20 oz. can cherry pie pilling
1 - 15 oz. can crushed pineapple w/juice
Dissolve gelatin in 3/4 C boiling water.  Beat in cream cheese with a mixer.  Fold in pie filling an pineapple.
Pour in a 9 x 13 pan and refrigerate till set

3 C cooked diced or sliced chicken
2 C cooked brown rice (or white)
1 - 10 oz. can Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
1 - 10 oz. can tomatoes with chilies
Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a buttered 3 quart baking dish.  Bake at 350*F for 45 minutes.

4 medium potatoes - peeled and sliced
1 lb. ground beef - browned and drained (or less if desired)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or what you have)
1 can condensed vegetable beef soup
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and place in a greased 3 quart baking dish.  Bake at 350*F for 1 hour 30 minutes or until potatoes are done.

1 1/4 C flour
3/4 C packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) softened butter
MIX THESE 3 together
Press half of this in a 9" buttered pans - TOP with 3/4 C PRESERVES - add remainder of flour mix
Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.  Cut into bars!
Use whatever type of preserves you may have.  It is all good!


My hack - is use Twinkies instead of cake!!!!!
I know we have all heard about how Twinkies will live forever, even after the apocalypse when we are all gone!  LOL!!!  Twinkies do contain more REAL ingredients than they do chemicals  (really).  Yes, they have a shelf life of a good 25 days or so.  BUT - they taste sooooooo good.  (what store bought cakes don't have some preservatives?)
I use Twinkies and top with strawberries.  You have the cake and cream all in one.  They are also tasty when frozen first!!!

You know my logic - if you don't have a certain ingredient listed - well switch it up, and use something you DO have.
No chicken?  Well use pork or beef or canned chicken.
No cherry Jell-O - use another flavor and maybe a different type of pie filling
No cream of mushroom soup?  Use cream of chicken, or onion, or broccoli, or celery - whatever you have.
No ground beef?  Use ground sausage or turkey
No brown rice?  Use white or long grain/wild rice

Use what you have and stretch those meals and yummies to save a dollar or two.  Easy doesn't mean tasteless - it means being smart and providing tasty alternatives for a little money and NO extra shopping.
You can also use the equivalent to ingredient portions from what you have home canned or frozen. 
Get creative, have fun and enjoy the 'fruits' of your pantry!!!!


  1. Thank you for the recipes, Cheryl. Been down with a bad case of stomach flu all week. Finally getting around to reading. Sorry.

  2. I always look for the best recipe you got that I have the stuff for ...strawberry twinkies make the cut! Thanks Cheryl!

  3. Debby in Kansas USAMay 26, 2022 at 1:07 PM

    Well, now you've gone and done it, Cheryl! Twinkies were too expensive in my childhood. However, we had a Dolly Madison thrift bakery nearby. They sold Zingers in 3packs. Cheap. My mom would separate them into singles. My brothers loved the chocolate, but I was the weirdo!! I LOVED the raspberry coconut! Now I want one and I don't think there's any such thing anymore. They were even better frozen!!

    Great recipes! I think we're going to try and keep the oven off all summer and use the stove minimally. I'll use the crockpot a couple of days per week, but otherwise stick to cold meals. Aside from the heat, it'll reduce electricity use.

    Funny, it's hard to think of cold meals right now because it's only 62° in here! We've had rain for 3 days- between 6 and 7 inches total and no sun. I'm cold to my bones! If you're east of Kansas, check to make sure your sump is working! Ours hasn't quit running for at least 36 hours.

    Don't forget to fly your flag this weekend! We always watch the PBS Memorial day concert. I love the military branch shout out with each branches song!

    1. I liked Zingers too! Twinkies were always a favorite for me. Mom never bought - I think I was a teen before I had them.
      It is chilly here today and rain and more rain - tomorrow too. I use the stove, but not the oven much in summer. My grill fell apart and I didn't replace. I do have a George Foreman, so that can be used too.

      Yes, so many think of the weekend as party time and days off - it is such a somber holiday. Remembering those who gave the ULTIMATE sacrifice.

  4. This morning I bought 4 30-oz jars of mayonnaise for 50 cents each. Expired a few days ago. I immediately came home and looked up baking with mayonnaise. I already knew about the chocolate cake but discovered that a cup of mayo can be subbed in for an equal amount of oil and omit the eggs in other baking. I'll be making cookies with it! I already calculated that the mayo will be cheaper than oil and eggs.

    1. Woohoo! You go gal! That is fantastic. WOW .50 each - I would have bought as well. It will still last quite a while unopened. Great job.

  5. Some very thrifty recipes there. Thanks for sharing.

    God bless.

    1. You are welcome. Times are dictating using what we have!

  6. Oh my goodness, I think all kids loved Twinkies. I really liked the snowballs with cream filling and coconut on top. My daughter made a recipe similar to your cornbread casserole but she added hamburger and a can of regular corn.

    1. MMmmmm me too! That would be good too. So many wonderful pantry recipes out there.

  7. Zingers! YES!!!! A favorite. They're still available, but you have to be on the look-out for them. And they're not as good as before they changed up the recipe years ago.

    Back when I was younger, my mom used to make pineapple upside down cake for special dinners (like, when a colleague of my Dad's came over for dinner, or if they had neighbors over). But when we were out of pineapple (we lived about 15 miles outside of town, so getting groceries was a once a week or every two), she'd substitute peach or pear halves, or sometimes even apples. It still made for a wonderful dessert.

    Lately, I've been making a goulash-type recipe to use up bits of peppers, onions, and spaghetti sauce. It's a copycat recipe of the Pizza Hut Cavatini (Cavatappi, when I was working there). Having worked there in college, it caught my eye. It's very adaptable and you can add and substitute to your heart's delight. Because I'm cooking for one, I cut the recipe quantity down quite a bit, and it still makes a ton. The recipe calls for spiral noodles, shells, and wheels; I substituted rotini, mini shells, and elbow, and have even used bow-tie and mostacoli noodles -- whatever you have on hand and want to use up, just adjust the cook time and add the ones with a shorter cook time mid-way through. It calls for green pepper; I've used a mix of red, yellow, and green, again whatever I have on hand. Onions can be vidalia or red or green -- whatever needs to be used up. It calls for ground beef, sausage, and pepperoni. I add chopped up pizza pepperoni if I have it, or maybe dice up some salami or a beef stick. I use one link of Italian sausage and, unless I have some leftover ground beef (or will be using some in another recipe), I omit it. A good use for finishing up the remaining jar of spaghetti sauce, too. Kind of a way to lean out the refrigerator.

    1. Lori--good idea on using other fruit besides pineapple. I'll have to remember that especially using apples. I usually have a random apple around. I love copy cat recipes. I'm checking that one out!

    2. Pineapple upside down cake was my request of mom every year for my birthday. It is my favorite and she always made us a favorite thing for our birthday. I love adding different fruit.
      Goulash is such a favorite of mine. I make it often. It is never the same - I just use what I have. It is one of those dishes that is easy to change and still taste good.

    3. Margaret, I have a bunch of apples I need to use up - thanks for a reminder. I think fried apples are in order for me!

  8. Oh yum I love new recipes (to me anyway). I copied down that potato beef casserole recipe. That one is right up my alley. It's going have to wait until after the long weekend because it's gonna be hot here the entire weekend. We won't be putting on the oven until late next next week when the hot temps move out and some much needed rain moves in. But I'm definitely making that one. Thanks!

    1. YAY! I hope you like it. I mean what isn't to like? LOL
      You could even through some cheese on it if you want to.
      Going to be hot here after tomorrow as well.

  9. Debby in Kansas USAMay 27, 2022 at 9:31 AM

    I'm sure I've told this story before...

    My mom lived with us for almost 2 years. I woke up one morning in mid July, same old same old. But I had this urge to make a Pineapple upside down cake. Completely unusual and it was my mom's favorite. I hadn't made one in ages, decades. I didn't have a cast iron pan, but used regular cake pans and made 2 8" cakes. My mom woke up around 9am and I always took her coffee and oatmeal for breakfast after she settled in her TV chair. When I took in her coffee and cake, she clapped! She said she had been craving the PUC because she hadn't made one since moving to KS. She gobbled it up and had seconds! She ended up eating one whole cake herself! She was tiny, only about 5'2" and 100 lbs!! She asked how I knew she wanted one. I just shrugged.

    She had a stroke about 2 weeks later and died not long after.

    I was so grateful that I followed that odd urge and made that cake for her. The Lord works in mysterious ways! We just need to pay attention!!!

    1. Debby, what a lovely story. Thanks for telling it.

    2. WOW - what a neat story. Yes, sometimes we just get that 'God nudge" as I call it and we truly NEED to listen.

  10. Thank you for the recipes. They all look so good. Yummy. Regine

  11. I am going to make Cherry Crush, today, I hope. I have everything.

  12. That cherry crush sounds devine!!