Living Out of the Pantry-Pumpkin Puffs

Living Out of the Pantry-Pumpkin PuffsLiving Out of the Pantry-Pumpkin Puffs

Recent events have left me both broke and car-less. If you haven’t read about the loss of my car, read about it here.

Basically, I’m stuck at home. I’m catching rides to necessary appointments. I’m bumming rides to work. I’m contemplating lawyers. To top it all off, I can’t even drive to the store. On a day I have more time, I can certainly walk to the nearest grocery store; it’s not too awfully far away, but I can’t walk there in the evening because I would have a difficult time getting back home in the dark.

As it happened, I was out of sweets. What could I eat that was sweet? I’ve had headaches from the car accident and wanted something with a little sweetness to sweeten the whole situation.

I looked around in my pantry for something to make. As it turns out I had gluten-free pancake mix from Bob’s Red Mill. I also had canned pumpkin. If you don’t know, pumpkin cookies are awfully good.

This is a thrown together recipe, so modification will be necessary to fit your individual preferences.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1&1/2 C Gluten-free pancake mix(or regular it doesn’t really matter)
  • 1/2-1 C Canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 C + Brown Sugar
  • An Egg
  • 1 tsp + Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Tbsp Butter

Sugar Glaze:

  • 1 C + Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp(plus or minus) milk
  • Vanilla extract(to taste)

Set your oven to 350 degrees.

Put all your dough ingredients in one bowl and stir it together. The dough as written, will not be too terribly sweet, but if you would like it sweeter, use more sugar. If you would like it less pumpkin-y, use less pumpkin. The pancake batter is a dough in and of itself so you don’t necessarily have to worry about leavenings and other additives you’d generally have to add various doughs.

Plop the dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with regular granulated sugar on top, if desired, for a bit of crunch on the top of the puff. Bake for 15 minutes. The dough will spread and poof up, a bit, thus why I called them “puffs.”

If you want them fast, stick them in the freezer for a few minutes to cool.

Put your powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add just a bit of milk and whisk. Continue adding milk and whisking until it’s the desired consistency. Drizzle over your puffs.

Eat and enjoy.

Use up all those cans of pumpkin you have in your pantry.

mmmm…….

Living Out of the Pantry-Pizza Hummus

Living Out of the Pantry-Pizza HummusI’m a little broke…ok, pretty broke. I’m trying to live on less than $50 a week food wise, and it hasn’t worked out well so far. Until the first of the month, I’m stuck living on what’s in my pantry. Luckily, I have a few things.

I happened to have some chips, but I didn’t have any dip. I thought to myself, “What kind of dip do you make out of junk from your pantry?”

Well, if you happen to have some chickpeas, you make hummus. I thought on various hummus flavors. Curry hummus? Multicultural, but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out. Maybe I’ll try it some other time. Hummus made with mesquite seasoning? Tuna hummus? Pumpkin hummus? As you can tell, I’m essentially thinking of random things in my pantry.

I looked in my pantry and I happened to have a small jar of pimientos, which are red peppers. First, I thought, “I’ll make red pepper hummus.” Then I thought, “No, I’ll make it taste like pizza.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans(it doesn’t necessarily matter what size can you have as long as the seasonings match up to the amount of beans)
  • Pimientos/roasted red peppers
  • Black olives-to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cheese for the top(if desired)
  1. Rinse the beans. It gets all the gunk off of the beans and takes away some of that “canny” flavor.
  2. Put the beans, black olives, pimientos and seasonings to taste in a blender or food processor. You do not have to have a fancy food processor to make hummus. Your blender will work just fine.
  3. Drizzle olive oil in as well. Only use enough to make your hummus the consistency you want.
  4. Use the puree setting on your blender and pulse. Stop and stir, pulse again. Puree until the consistency is as desired. I left mine a little chunky.
  5. If you want cheese, put the hummus in a bowl and sprinkle cheese on top. Put your hummus in the microwave for a bit to melt the cheese.
  6. Eat it, or put it in the fridge and save it for later. It will probably also freeze.

Hummus is inexpensive to make. So if you’re a little short on case, it can make good eating.

Doing all the Cooking at Once!

Doing all the Cooking at Once! Doing all the Cooking at Once!

I live alone.

…except for the two cats, they also live with me. There is also an occasional spider and swarm of centipedes, if centipedes can be said to swarm.

When you live alone, a lot of things are easier. Keeping the house clean is definitely easier. I cannot tell you how much of a difference it makes for a man to vacate the house as far as cleaning goes. You can walk into the kitchen and know the only mess you’re going to find is the one you didn’t, or did, make. It’s not going to be a mystery pile of dishes, with mystery food crusted on, with mystery smells to gag the things that prey upon maggots, if those things exist…in our nightmares. Maybe you know a man who likes to keep things tidy.

My cleaning time went from a giant production on the weekends, to a little here and a little there. It was a relief. Honestly, it took me several weeks to clean up the mess my maybe ex-husband left behind when he moved out, but, once I got it clean, it pretty much stayed clean. Hooray!

Now for the cooking. If I buy food, it generally stays these days. It doesn’t magically disappear. In my house, before the maybe ex-husband moved out, there was always a problem with food and finding it mysteriously gone.

Me: Where’s this?

Him: I ate it.

Me: Where’s that?

Him: I ate it.

Me: Where’s that thing that was at the back of the fridge?

Him: I ate it.

Me: Where are my leftovers from delicious restaurant?

Him: I ate them.

Me: But they were mine.

Him: I ate them.

Me: I was looking forward to eating those.

Me: Where’s the peanut butter/ketchup/oatmeal/etc.?

Him: I ate it all and we’ve been out of it for a while.

Me: You couldn’t have told me we needed some or went and picked some up?

You see how it was.

I make a lot of my own food. While buying food for one is definitely cheaper than buying food for two people, one of which eats like three people, it can still be expensive. When there’s only one person around, who is going to eat all of that? It’s not going to be me. I just can’t eat that much.

I have now taken an approach to cooking for an extended period of time, on one day, and then portioning that food out. Some people call it once a month cooking, but I honestly don’t know how long my food is going to last. It’s the first time I’ve ever portioned all my food out like this.

Doing all the Cooking at Once! I decided to get a lot of cooking done in one day. I chose a Sunday for my cooking day, but bought all my supplies on a Friday evening after work. That grocery bill was not something I was used to. It was on the expensive side. I left the grocery store, $70 more in debt, but hopefully with enough food for several weeks.

What was on the menu?

  • Chicken Soup (a staple for me)
  • Beef Stew ( A rarity, as beef is expensive)
  • Gluten Free Sausage Biscuits(These are from this website)

To start off, yes, I am gluten free. It’s not a phase or a fad on my part, nor do I have Celiac Disease, but I do have a gallbladder problem. If you have a gallbladder problem, cut the wheat out of your diet, you’ll thank me. It makes life livable.

Doing All the Cooking at Once!I cooked for hours.

I mean, hours. I was in the kitchen for a while. I got hot and sweaty. I cried at the onions. I used my crock pot and my blue stock pot, and baking sheets.

I finally ended up with food. I let things simmer for a while. I cleaned up the kitchen. I did laundry. I reorganized my pantry. I gave the cats a bath. This is all way too much adventure for a Sunday, but finally, it was done.

Doing all the Cooking at Once!WP_20150913_17_51_08_Pro

I put my food in some reusable, BPA free, microwavable containers
that I bought from my friend, Amazon. I put my biscuits in plastic freezer bags. All of this went into the freezer. This is my first time trying this, so we’ll see what happens.

I was actually hoping to get more food out of the whole thing. I only got seven bowls of chicken soup. Just seven. I guess I should have made a bigger pot of soup. Oh well. I’ll know better next time.

The Gluten Free Sausage Biscuits are delicious by the way. I substituted things. I used yellow cheese instead of white cheddar. I used chicken apple sausage instead of whatever was suggested in the recipe. They still turned out great.

I like the idea of going to my fridge/freezer and pulling out something that is already portioned out for me to eat. It’s a great idea. It’s convenient. No more wrestling with ladles the entire week.