Raiding the Pantry

It's time to plan dinner, but you're short on time and resources. What's a woman to do?

Let's raid the cupboards and use what you already have!

Chances are you have tons of meals sitting in your kitchen right now, so why run out and buy more or call for take-out? With just a few staples we probably all have in the refrigerator and on the shelf, we can have a great meal ready in no time, and no one will ever know it wasn't planned.

* Breakfast for supper. One of our all time favorites, breakfast foods like eggs, pancakes, frozen waffles and fruit can be pulled out and mixed together for wonderful meals. Throw the vegetables you probably have leftover into omelets. There might be some biscuit mix in the pantry and waffles in the freezer, so top them with fruit and whipped cream. Tasty, fun and super-quick.

* Create your own casserole. Mix a meat, vegetables, pasta or potatoes, a can of soup and some great spices all together and bake. All of these may be leftover from another recipe or lurking in the back of the cupboard. It's time to pull them all out and put them to good use.

* Have tortilla night. This is another good opportunity to use up leftovers. You can throw everything but the kitchen sink onto a tortilla, then roll it up, sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler until melted. Try different meats, beans and veggies, or put together some fruit and chocolate tortillas for dessert.

* Go international. Make fried rice one night, refried beans the next and mini pizzas another. It's more than likely you have everything you already need.

* Keep it simple. There's no rule that says you have to use twenty-seven ingredients to have a great meal. Just combine potatoes, olive oil and ground red pepper for some tasty baked potatoes. Beef, mustard and some fresh herbs make an easy tenderloin. Simple techniques with great flavor will make anything you pull out of the pantry taste fabulous!


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