Perfect pantry list for quick and easy meals
Wouldn't it be nice if someone just gave you a pantry list of staples that would make dinner an easy-to-fix endeavor? Good news, Sandra Lee, star of Semi-Homemade Cooking on the Food Network and author of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Money Saving Meals not only shares her basic pantry list for delectable family-friendly dishes, but also her perfect pantry shortcuts that will save you time - and money - in the kitchen.
Perfect Pantry ShortcutsWhether you make your meals from scratch or use convenient ready-made foods from your local supermarket, keeping your kitchen stocked with the basics can make your cooking time more productive and enjoyable.
1. Stock your pantry wellAdd a protein (meat or soy substitute) and/or fresh vegetables to pantry staples (see list on page 2) and you can create a delicious, wholesome meal in mere minutes.
2. Choose double-duty foodsOlives, pickles, pearl onions, pineapples, cherries and peaches can serve as flavor enhancers as well as food and cocktail garnishes.
3. Think smallBuy good-quality herbs and spices in the smallest containers possible. Date them and alphabetize on inside-the-door racks. Herbs and spices start to lose their flavor after six months - are you really going to use that jumbo container of dried thyme in six months? Same goes for olive oil and other oils – only buy in quantities that you can use in a few months.
4. Get milkEvaporated milk has 60 percent less water. Swap it for regular milk to make a dish richer and creamier. Powdered milk is thrifty for cooking – and it works exactly the same in recipes.