Sep 23, 2015

Dinner from the Pantry/Freezer/What Have You

The other night our dinner plans fell through, and I was faced with either taking my children to the grocery store at 4 PM, which is a though too terrible to be faced, or getting a little creative with what was around.

Chicken thighs out of the freezer, baking staples, carrots, celery and frozen peas became Ellie Kreiger's Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie.  I omitted the green beans because I didn't have any, so I just upped the rest of the veggies.  It was delicious- and tasted even better because no Kroger trip was involved in its preparation.

 A bag of butter beans was unearthed from my freezer.  I boiled them up with some chicken broth and a generous amount of butter to disguise their lack of, um, youthfulness. No freezer burn was detectable.  Success!

Finally, some baked cinnamon apples.  Just slice up some apples, toss with a little brown sugar, little butter, and a lot of cinnamon.  Maybe a dash of lemon juice, if you have it/  Then bake for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees until the are soft.  A side dish and dessert!

I was perhaps excessively proud of myself for the way this all came together.  No one else in my family appreciated how amazing it was that I pulled a complete meal that pleased everyone out of thin air.  Obviously, they do not understand domestic genius at work.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, always keep some chicken and vegetables in your freezer, carrots, onion, celery and apples in your fridge, and flour in your pantry.  Prepared in the face of any culinary emergency.


  1. Brilliant and looks delicious too! I keep chicken or steak, and frozen stir fry veggies in the freezer to make an Asian dish or fajitas inpinch.

  2. I'm impressed!! My all-time low "pantry" meal was feeding my children turkey dogs and eggo waffles one summer Sunday afternoon when I could not get it together to go to Kroger. Maybe it was that daiquiri I had while lounging by the water table? However a better pantry dish I came up with is what we now affectionately call Feta-surprise. It's tiny soup pasta (stars, pastina, whatever is small & in your pantry), boiled and mixed with feta cheese when warm and a splash of italian dressing or olive oil & balsamic. Thumbs-up all around and a good way to kill those 1/4 filled boxes of pasta that fill up your cabinets. I also agree with Colleen with the addition of having on hand: wheat tortillas, shredded cheese and canned beans for a quesadilla. I'm glad you're back from summer hiatus!!

  3. Cannot wait until it's coolish enough here for pot pie! And soup! My emergency go-tos are always fish tacos: multigrain crusted cod filets

  4. Blergggg, fat fingers; hit post too soon!, the cod filets (baked for 20 minutes but taste like they've been fried - glorious!) + whatever veggies I have sautéed with some garlic and cumin and chili powder + raw tortillas (I also keep these in the freezer) that you can cook up "fresh" in a pan in 20 seconds = restaurant quality tacos!

    Also, my kids freak out over baked apples (and I don't even bake them -- I just cube them small and toss a bunch of cinnamon + 1 T water and throw them in the microwave for 3 min). I wish they were thusly impressed when I actually make an effort!


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