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Easy Pantry Pie Crust

25 Apr Easy Pantry Pie Crust (5)
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This recipe, thanks to it’s pantry friendly ingredients, is hands down the easiest pie crust you’re ever going to make!  A food processor isn’t necessary (since there’s no “cutting-in” of butter or shortening) and it works whether your water is ice cold or room temperature.  With a little help even a child can make this pie crust, which to me is awesome!! Continue reading

Homemade Hamburger Helper: 9 varieties

4 Apr Homemade Hamburger Helper (20)

Print any of the hamburger helper recipe cards!  

salisbury       potato stroganoff      cheesy jambalaya           

cheesy italian shells        cheesy beef taco       

cheeseburger macaroni      lasagna

beef stroganoff        chili mac

We’re all looking for an easy way to get dinner on the table.  Most nights we’d like it to be without too much thought and without having to worry whether the family is going to eat what we make.  Betty Crocker and other manufacturers have made a killing on the idea of “dinner in a box” albeit with the price of preservatives, colorings and chemicals added in.  Enter Suzanne McMinn.  This gal heads up the site “Chickens in the Road” and she’s figured out a number of the Hamburger Helper boxed dinners for us, allowing us to enjoy the convenience we want minus the additives we don’t.

Now I have to be honest, I’ve never bought Hamburger Helper and only learned about this website and recipe idea from a reader who asked for a food storage version of it.  But I’m so glad she did!  And can we say “pantry meal time”??  I love it when I see people naturally coming up with the same idea.  Ready packed meals make sense whether you’re using them day to day or to have on hand in case of emergency, whether the emergency be immediate –to have ready to grab and go with your 72 hour kit– or longer term.

Thanks to Suzanne doing the hard work,  I’ve done the much easier part of translating them to food storage.  And btw, there are all kinds of additions you can make to these recipes, I’d suggest visiting Suzanne’s original blog post for more ideas on that.  Also, all of the recipes call for 1 lb. ground beef (or about 2 cups cooked), so if you’re using fresh ground beef (or hamburger from the freezer) that’s the amount you’d need.

Each recipe serves 4-6

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Baked Shells Casserole

7 Mar Baked Shells Casserole (29)

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Today’s recipe is my food storage version of a popular Rachel Ray dish of the same name.  It turned out to be her #1 most downloaded recipe of 2010 in fact.  It does take some extra time to make but (food storage or not) it’s a guaranteed winner!

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Seafood Lasagna Rolls

28 Feb Seafood Lasagna Rolls (13)

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We liked the recipe we have for Lasagna Rolls so much that I decided to try out a seafood version.  I used this stellar recipe for Seafood Lasagna from ‘Taste of Home’ as a jumping off point and they turned out great!

serves 8

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Beignets (french doughnuts)

16 Feb Beignets (6)

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Beignets, I know, are usually deep fried.  So I’m going to be in trouble with someone for deciding to bake them {there goes my shot at working at Krispy Kreme or Cafe Du Monde} but we’ve found the results “baked” are still very tasty and as long as they’re warm my kids don’t seem to care whether they’re fried or not, they gobble them up them anyway.  The good news is that by cutting out the oil for the deep frying, this doughnut “wanna be” becomes a reasonable food storage planned treat.

makes 20 beignets

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Italian Love Nests

14 Feb Italian Love Nests (15)

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I thought this recipe would be a fun one to save for Valentines week.  This “outside the box” pasta idea uses angel hair pasta tossed with an alfredo sauce, along with chopped ham or sausage, and bakes it into cute {crisped} muffin sized nests.  Here’s the non-food storage recipe it’s based off of (no, I didn’t make this idea up myself).  Once again, to keep these little babies held together, chia powder takes the place of the eggs it once called for.

Everyone here loved these!   Using a marinara sauce would work too, btw, so don’t feel limited to the cream sauce if you want to branch out.  Ha ha!  Get it?  “Branch out”, “love nests?”  Have fun and enjoy!

makes 18 nests

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Pigs in a Blanket

27 Nov Pigs in a Blanket (1)

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Here’s another idea using the Hot Ham Roll’s biscuit mix.  My five year old loves that he makes this dinner 90% “by himself”.   It’s a perfect kid helper meal;  the kids have fun making pig families of all sizes and wrapping them up in their doughy blankets.   So easy!

As an aside, I have to admit I’m not one who personally “gets along” with hot dogs {we’ve never really been friends} so for me I like the fact that I can sneak a package of vegetarian hot dogs in and my kids (and my husband) for whatever reason never suspect.  It’s funny to me that they never ask questions but they don’t.  They think they’re getting hotdogs for dinner and I sleep better at night knowing they didn’t.  Everyone’s happy :)

This meal works as a short term (3 month) meal for me by my keeping a couple packages of (faux) hotdogs in the freezer.  Alternately, vienna sausage “pigs” work as a longer storable option if you want to include it in your long term plan. Continue reading

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