Sunday, October 5, 2014

Day 5- Keeping the Stock up--- essentials to have on hand

keeping the stock up

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I grew up in a home where my mom always had baking items on hand. Not brownie mix, mind you, but, flour, sugars, butter, etc. She always kept a stock of many different things to avoid stressing or running to the store in order to prepare a last minute dessert or dish.

Here are a few tips I like to use in our kitchen stock pile:

  • Find a favorite recipe for a soup, dip, dessert, and main dish and ALWAYS have those ingredients on hand.
    • These don’t have to be fancy dishes and could maybe only include a few ingredients, but it can be a life saver when you have to prepare something quickly.

Here are 4 of my quick choices. I have several others that I use very often, but these are just 4 that I’d thought I’d share with you and that I love having this stuff on hand.

Chicken Chili

Chili cheese dip

Shortbread bars

Chicken Penne

2 cans black beans
1 bag frozen corn (or 2 cans)
1 bag frozen chicken breasts
1 pack chili seasoning
1/2 cup water

Throw all in Crockpot and simmer on low all day.

Shred chicken when done.

Serve with cheese, sour cream, chives, and tortilla chips

2-8 oz cream cheese
2 cans Hormel chili with beans
Green onions, chopped olives (optional)
Tortilla chips
Spread the cream cheese on the bottom of a 9x13 pan and top with chili. I like to spread the chili with a fork and mash up some of the beans. Cover with shredded cheddar, mozzarella or a mixture of cheeses. You can add olives & green onions if desired.
Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with tortillas

14 T butter
1/4 c. sugar
Cream these.
2 c. flour
Dash of salt
Stir in.
Batter will be thick. Spread on 9x13 ungreased pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. You want them slightly golden around edges, but just barely.
Make the frosting before bars come out of oven.
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter (cut in)
2-4 T milk (don’t let it get too runny)
Dash of Salt
3/4 tsp. almond flavor
Frost and cut immediately after removed from over to avoid crumbling and breaking.
Chill in fridge before serving.

Sauté 1 onion, 2 T minced garlic, & 6 chicken breasts
Add 1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika

Add 1 bag of frozen broccoli and sauté til softened

Boil box of penne pasta til’ tender. Drain and put in pot with 1/2 cup butter, 2 tsp. parsley, 1 tsp garlic

Add: 1 cup milk & 1 cup cheddar cheese

Toss all together and serve

Here is a list of ingredients I keep a stock of that are essential for making last minute things not so stressful:

  • Flour & Sugar
    • You can always throw the flour in the freezer if you don’t use it fast enough.baking jars (7)
  • Chocolate chips
    • Throw them in the freezer
    • Throw Chocolate candies leftover from Holidays in the freezer-you can crush them and throw them into many desserts
  • Box mixes
    • I am a scratch baker and cook, but I still have a few boxes set aside for a just in case rough day in the kitchen. Plus, one of my favorite muffins calls for a spice cake mix!
  • Butter
    • When I see a sale on butter I grab as much as I can and have them on hand for the rainy day or for when the grocery budget doesn’t allow me to get what I need. When you accumulate sale items you are less likely to actually run out. Butter freezes great!
  • Chicken
    • Chicken is the “cheap” meat of the day. Chicken is also incredibly easy to throw in the crockpot or prepare quick, yummy meals. My freezer almost always has chicken of some kind stashed away.
  • Oils
    • Olive oil is a must for cooking and vegetable oil is usually needed in baking. Make sure you keep up with this especially if you are a boxed mix kind of baker. spicecupboard
  • Eggs
    • Eggs are needed in MANY recipes. You cannot buy these in bulk since they will go bad, but if you bake a ton and have littles who love scrambled eggs in the morning you can get a better deal buying a larger box.
  • Cheese
    • Who doesn’t love cheese? Well, this Wisconsin girl, doesn’t! But, my family does!!!! And, I do use it a great deal in my cooking.
    • Cheese freezes great, but make sure you shred the blocks before to make it easier and not so crumbly.
  • Pasta
    • Pasta is CHEAP! It may not be incredibly healthy, but there are many yummy brands out there with tremendous options. They have whole wheat now and gluten free too. Pasta can fill any menu with spectacular flavors. Make sure you have several different kinds, shapes, & sizes for many fun dishes.
  • Yeast
    • This may not be an ingredient that many use as often as myself, but it is one that I have to have in my stock for my bread baking.
    • Buy it in bulk at Sams and freeze what you aren’t using!
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Hope this can help some begin keeping their stock up realistically for their kitchen.

Join us tomorrow for help in preparing a menu when guests are coming.