Whether it’s a pantry, cupboard or freestanding shelf, you likely have a place in or near your kitchen where you store canned goods and nonperishables. Some things are used and replenished often. Things like flour, sugar, cereals… Then there are those items that fall into the just-in-case or that’s interesting category. Things you might need. Things that made you go “Hmm…” in the grocery store and you decided to give them a go.
Join me as we explore a few items from my own pantry.
Personally, I think this is one of the greatest inventions ever. Not just Velveeta, but these mini blocks are genius. You can use them in or on so many things--queso, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, baked potatoes... But the beauty of the mini blocks is that each block is only 4 ounces. So if I'm making a half batch of my daughter's macaroni and cheese recipe, I don't have to worry about leaving half a block sitting in the fridge. Instead I simply grab a mini block. Yes, it's a convenience item and those usually cost a little bit more, but knowing that it's always there, ready to go when I need it is worth it. Something else to consider, there are 5 - 4 oz blocks in each box for a total of 20 ounces, so keep that in mind when comparing its convenience price against the 16 oz package.
Soups, especially cream soups, are almost always a staple. Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom are key ingredients in loads of recipes, so I always make sure I stock up on those when there on sale. But then one day I saw this.
HEB is Texas grocery store chain, so you may not find cream of poblano soup where you live. But given the fact that my husband loves poblano peppers, I thought this might be something interesting to add to my pantry. It could be a great substitute for one of the other aforementioned cream soups in a casserole. Especially something like a King Ranch Chicken Casserole or anything with a Mexican bend to it.
Interesting jellies or sauces.
This little bitty jar of raspberry chipotle sauce is the perfect thing for a quick appetizer/snack when unexpected guests drop by. I simply pour the sauce over a brick of cream cheese (a staple from my fridge) and serve it with some crackers for a delicious treat. And for those of you cringing at the chipotle part, it's far more sweet than it is spicy and cream cheese counters the spice, making it the perfect go-to.
While we're talking about heat...
My heat-loving husband was into this sriracha sauce long before I was. Of course, he'd squirt it on things and eat it as is. However, I can't do the super-hot stuff like he does. Then I started mixing this sauce into things and fell in love. It's a key ingredient in my favorite dipping sauce. Start with some mayo, add just about as much ketchup, then start with a little squirt of sriracha, stir it in, sample, then add more until it's just right. Even if you don't like hot things, you'll be surprised how just a little bit of spice will wake up the flavors of other ingredients.
Okay, so I saw these on an end cap the other day and immediately thought of my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe (find it here). I don't know when I'll make them again, but this mix of dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries will definitely be in them.
Now it's your turn. What are some interesting things in your pantry/cupboard?
Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com