Posts Tagged ‘pantry’

One of my worst fears has come to pass for local families, and at the worst time of the year.  Early today an apartment complex caught fire, several families with children lost everything.  Can you join me in making a donation or spreading the word to those who can make a donation to help save Christmas for these families?  One of the schools affected, Forest North Elementary PTA is taking donations of any kind but for those not in the area who want to help can do so on their website.  Alternatively, contact the Austin Disaster  Relief Network – 512-331-2600 or donate online.  News story is here.

I realize you probably have every charity in the world contacting you for help.  My dear readers, if you can spare anything for these kids I would be very grateful for any assistance you can give to our neighbors.  Thank you and have a blessed holiday season!

Now a recipe for you and your family on this chilly Austin day…


The fall back plan in my kitchen is pasta.  I can make fresh or dried pasta and any little stragglers of food in the fridge can be used to dress it up.  Even if there’s no tomato sauce, like today, I use some canned diced tomato and tomato paste instead.  Look for tomato paste infused with roasted garlic, whatever you make from the pantry with it will be pleased.

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 15oz can petite diced tomato
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste (with roasted garlic)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Seasoning (Victorian Epicure)
  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry rubbed sage

Start with the pasta.  Brown the meat in a large skillet and break apart as it cooks.  Season the meat well with salt and pepper.  Add the onion and carrot, garlic and herbs.  Stir to distribute and pick up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomato, paste and about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to dissolve the paste.  Cover and simmer gently until ready to serve and the pasta is al denté.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.   Remove from heat.

Serve with Pizza Toasts and a side salad for a comforting meal with your family.

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A trifecta of spices blended perfectly to create this lean and mean chili.  I always stock the pantry with a couple of types of beans (canned and dried) and canned tomatoes.  With some ground meat I can whip up a chili without needing a trip to the grocery store!  Bonus.

My chili does include at least one vegetable because there’s normally someone hiding in the fridge without a purpose.  This was also a great way to use up my fresh parsley before it went south.

If any one knows what a Peruano bean is, let me know…

  • 1 lb very lean (93%) ground turkey
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 – 3 tsp fajita seasoning
  • bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 can (15oz) Peruano beans
  • 1 can (15oz) Kidney beans
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 4 oz tomato sauce

Brown the turkey in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, drain on paper towel in a large bowl to remove excess oil and any fat from the meat.

Clean out the pot with paper towel and add just a little olive oil, then the onion and carrot.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the spices to bloom in the hot oil.  Add a pinch of salt and stir.

Return the meat to the pot.  Add the remaining ingredients, reserving some parsley to garnish.  Turn down the heat to a tick above low, simmer for 20 minutes. 

Serve with hot biscuits or fresh bread to sop up the sauce.

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