Shop Your Pantry

For want of time and energy and because I didn’t really see any fantastic deals in the weekly circulars, I recently went almost two weeks without grocery shopping. Other than running out of bananas (we were really stocked on other fruit, like tons and tons of apples), it actually wasn’t that tough, because I keep a fairly well stocked pantry by stocking up on things when they go on great sales.

I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what I can make based on what I have on hand. Over the past few years, I have learned quite a bit about how to make substitutions in recipes (after lots of failed attempts!), and I like not being limited by missing one or two ingredients.

For example, one night I sort of felt like making chicken pot pie. I looked on the internet and found some basic ideas of what to do. I didn’t have any chicken, but I did have ground turkey. I didn’t have any of the vegetables commonly found in pot pies, but I did have celery and green beans. I didn’t have any “cream of” soups, but it’s fairly easy to make your own from chicken broth, milk, and cornstarch or flour. Lastly, I didn’t have any pre-made biscuits or pie crust or anything for the topping, but I did have some cornmeal. And really, making cornbread from cornmeal is no more difficult than making it from a box mix. So my chicken pot pie was actually a turkey pot pie with cornbread on the top. It turned out really well, and the family enjoyed it.

Since I was tweaking things as I went along, I’m hesitant to post a recipe, knowing I’d almost certainly leave you with a mess on your hands. Instead, I’ll just encourage you to get creative with your pantry and don’t let a few missing ingredients stand in your way!

Check out more creative kitchen ideas at Alaina’s Keeping Creative Kitchen carnival!

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