Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Recipes from the pantry

This week I was surprised to go to the grocery store and find the bread aisle almost empty.  I had heard that flour was beginning to be in short supply in different regions of the country but the shelves had been full here.  When I checked the baking aisle, I noticed there was plenty of all purpose flour but the bread flour was sold out.

One of the things I learned during the pandemic was that I was happy I had put back a few brownie mixes, a couple cake mixes (although one was way past the due date, more on that below), and a couple other favorite "mixes" since they helped stretch the flour I had in the pantry already.  For instance, my very favorite way to make pancakes is with the Krusteaz "add water" pancake mix.

I do have a couple good "from scratch" recipes but this mix is very good and I just have to add water.  It's excellent for making pancakes for just the two of us but also easy to use for a crowd.  So when I purchased a new box recently, I added another to "put back"  They are a perfect pantry food since it just requires added water and it makes an excellent pancake.  (Except their gluten free version requires milk and an egg.)

I like to start the pancake in the skillet and before it is ready to turn, sprinkle a handful of chopped pecans over it and give it about a minute or so for the nuts to become incorporated in the pancake, making it easier to turn.  That adds a little more nutrition but let's be honest, it is the extra flavor we love!

I've been thinking of recipes that can be put together from what is in the pantry.  I think the quintessential pantry recipe has always been tuna noodle casserole, at least the old fashioned kind I grew up with that is made with noodles, "cream of" soups, and canned tuna.  But as I was looking through my recipe card file, I came across a dessert recipe my sister had given me in the mid-90s for an easy peach cobbler.

I had a box of yellow cake mix that was quite a bit past its' Use By date that would be an excellent choice to use for this recipe and it turned out quite yummy.  I enjoyed a small amount with vanilla ice cream and it stayed in the refrigerator until my husband finished it.

Easy Peach Cobbler
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 large 29 ounce can of sliced peaches with the juice/syrup
1 stick butter, cut in slices

Grease a 9 x 13 dish and add the contents of the yellow cake mix in the bottom of it, evening it out a bit with a fork (or your fingers as I did).  Pour the peaches with juice/syrup over the cake mix and gently mix a bit with a fork to incorporate the liquid into the cake mix.  Don't stir!  (Some recipes call for putting the peaches with juice/syrup in first and sprinkling the cake mix over the peaches.)

Place slices of butter on top of mixture next and bake at 350 degrees "until brown".  That's what the recipe said.  Start looking at 25 minutes.  I used a smaller dish and it took 50 minutes to get brown.

You would be amazed how good this simple recipe is.  This is a true pantry dish, especially if you keep some Cool Whip in the freezer to serve with it.  I had vanilla ice cream put back in the deep freeze just for this kind of treat.  My husband also thought it was delicious, you can't tell it was made with canned peaches (my sister's instructions said that you can use other canned fruit).

I had another pantry recipe that I used to make when my son lived at home and I'd forgotten about.  It, too, begins with a yellow cake mix.

Easy Pumpkin Muffins
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

Yes... that is the correct ingredient list.  There are no eggs, no oil, just what is listed.

Mix together dry cake mix and spices.  Add pumpkin and mix until blended.  Spoon into well greased muffin tin about 3/4ths full.

Bake 20-25 minutes for average muffin tin and 12-14 minutes for the mini muffins.   These can be eaten as is or iced with your favorite icing.

My mother-in-law gave me a recipe long ago that is mostly from the pantry.  She served this cake to her bridge club.

Easy Fruit Cocktail Cake
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups drained fruit cocktail
1 egg, beaten

Pour into a greased 9 x 12 (I use 9 x 13) pan.

Top with mixture of:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

I hope these recipes will help extend your pantry ideas.

Mentioned in this blog post:
Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix, regular... here.
Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix, gluten free... here.
(This is one of those areas where the local grocery store is almost always cheaper than Amazon!)

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Image:  Brambly Hedge

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Recipes from the pantry