The holidays can be a frantic season, given all of the traffic that a home sees. Preparing for it can be potentially painful, especially considering the sheer amount of cooking done compared to other times of the year. However, if you stock your pantry well, you should be prepared for just about everything.
The Baking Basics
Part of what makes how to stock a pantry interesting is that you will likely be doing more baking than any other time of the year. While this means different things for different cooks, At the very least, make sure that you have a lot of flour, usually all-purpose and possibly gluten-free; you will easily go through ten pounds or more. You should also make sure that you have a number of different spices, from a generic pumpkin spice blend to all of the usual favorites: ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and both ground and full-size gloves. Make sure you have plenty of candy sprinkles, and you should be well-prepared.
Of course, you should be ready for basics as well. You should also have plenty of salt and pepper, possibly starting with twice as much as you would normally have to allow for baking. You will also need plenty of baking powder and baking soda. If you use it, make sure that you have shortening and the three sugars: granulated, powdered, and brown. Throw in some vanilla extract and cream of tartar, and you should be ready for almost anything.
Preparing For Meals
While a lot of focus goes on the big meals, you should be ready for regular meals. This means plenty of pasta, potatoes, and rice for the starch component, with a variety of pasta, but definitely elbow, spaghetti, and bowtie. Onions will always be in season, as well as garlic. You should always have some tomato paste and sauce ready to go. Although it may seem like cheating, you should also include several meals-in-a-box, such as macaroni and cheese; they save on meal prep, and with crowds, that can only be good. Throw in a small variety of cereals and bread, and you should be good.
Make sure that you have some soups, especially chicken noodle and a couple of cream soups, as well as some broth. Throw in some canned vegetables for emergencies, and you should be ready for an army. Preparing for the holidays is really not that hard, especially if you do so ahead of schedule and break it down so you are not overwhelming yourself. Above all, have fun with cooking, and it should go well.
A Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Grain-Free Vegan Pancake Mix
Because you never know who’s coming over for breakfast during the holidays, and because you never know who has what types of dietary requirements, it can be a good idea to keep a vegan-friendly, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO paleo pancake mix on hand Fortunately, you have several options when it comes to how you pull that off. The easy way is to just purchase a box of the appropriate pancake mix and make sure that you keep it in stock. You can also make sure that you have the ingredients on hand at all times.
The recipe is not that hard:
- In a bowl, mix together one cup of all-purpose gluten-free flour, ½ teaspoon each of gluten-free baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a half-cup of water; add water a little at a time until the batter is smooth.
- Set batter aside for about five minutes, or about the time to properly warm a pan with two tablespoons of oil.
- Put batter into the pan and cook until the pancake is dry around the edge, then flip to cook for a few minutes more.
It should take about 3-4 minutes for the first side and another two minutes on the other, depending on how big the pancakes are. This should make enough pancakes for one person.
It is not that hard to keep the ingredients on hand, and it makes a quick and easy breakfast you can count on. You can even mix the non-liquid ingredients ahead of time and be ready for whenever someone shows up. This should make you ready for whenever someone spends the night or shows up unexpectedly in the morning.
Be sure to follow these tips on how to stock your pantry for the holidays and you will find that cooking and baking will be a pleasure when you have everything you need on hand.
Featured Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash