I mentioned in an earlier post that I am participating in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge and will be feeding my family from the pantry and freezer for the month of January. My original enthusiasm has turned to a mild panic as I have realized that my pantry and freezer were not as full as I thought. I have had extra people in my kitchen and discovered that items had been haphazardly thrown in the cupboards. What I mistook for a full pantry has turned out to be disorganization. However, I am not about to throw in the towel on this challenge!
The web is a useful tool when you are trying to make do with what you have on hand. AllRecipes.com has a feature that allows you to enter ingredients that you want to use, as well as, ingredients that you don’t want to use, and will then list recipes that meet your requirements.
When I have a recipe that I want to make, but am missing a key ingredient I visit Baking 911, to see if I can come up with a substitution. Sometimes I just do a search on the recipe to see how others make it, which often provides me with ideas for substitutions. I wanted to make my mother-in-law’s lemon poppy cake, but found I was missing a key ingredient. After searching on lemon poppy cakes, I discovered a recipe that not only used ingredients that I had on hand, but that my family now prefers.
Quite often, I just wing it. Last week I had combined most of the ingredients to make Nutty Broccoli Salad when I discovered that I was out of cranberries. I could easily have used raisons, but my daughter does not like them. So I looked around the kitchen for a sweet fruit that would blend with the other ingredients and found a nice, crisp apple. We all liked the substitution so much that I think it will become a regular ingredient in the salad.
How do you stretch your pantry and freezer to feed your family?