Tag Archives: food

Tips & Tricks: Keeping a Stocked Pantry

24 Aug

It’s only when I’m working in someone else’s kitchen that I forget that I keep mine stocked to the gills in comparison to most. There are a few reasons that I keep so much on hand:

  • Reduces trips to the store – When you go to the grocery store for one thing, how many times do you come out with just one thing?  Plus we live in the country so ‘popping out to the store’ isn’t a 5 minute trip.
  • Saves money – Not running out to the grocery store every day will keep you from buying things you don’t need. By staying fully stocked at all times, you’ll also be able to pick up things only when they’re on sale.
  • Trying new recipes – Having most ingredients on hand makes it easy to try to new dishes.
  • Satisfying cravings – Have a sudden desire for fresh buttermilk biscuits? A stocked pantry can make that happen in 20 minutes.
  • Zombie apocalypse – Ya never know when it’s gonna happen… 

It’s not like I have some crazy ‘extreme couponing’ style warehouse of stuff either. I have a regular sized kitchen. I do use space saving ideas like keeping my spices on the side of my fridge using these magnetic tins. They just happen to be on sale at Canadian Tire this week.

My one secret though, is that I did turn a coat closet into a pantry. It was right off of our kitchen and let’s face it, we’re bad at hanging up our coats anyway so it was a win-win situation. It cost just over $100 and a half a day of labour from Mr. Bacon and his dad. It’s by far the best home improvement we’ve done in our house.

If you don’t have a coat closet, a shelving unit in the basement will do nicely as well.

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Recipe: Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

11 Aug

Usually, I’m all about the chewy cookie. These chocolate chip cookies are the exception. Anyone who’s had one has been unable to eat just one. In fact, last time I brought them into the office, people would randomly show up at my cube after their first taste like a crack addict pleading with a dealer, “Please man! I just need one more!!!!!” *twitch twitch*

I think it’s the hint of saltyness with the sweet cookie and the chocolate but for me, it’s just because they’re the cookies my mom made when I was growing up. She said she’s never made another recipe after finding this one, and I haven’t either.

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hard margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts or pecans are best)

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Cream the margarine until fluffy and beat in the sugar. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, chocolate chips and nuts.

Use a medium cookie scoop to portion spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment. Bake @ 350 degrees for approximately 17 minutes or until golden.

Tips & tricks:

  • Don’t use butter for this recipe! Use hard margarine, in particular Imperial brand (the kind that comes in squares). It works best and yes they still taste lovely and buttery even with margarine. Ignore this rule at your peril.
  • For perfect cookies every time, pick up some Air Bake cookie sheets. The double wall construction means that your cookies don’t get burnt on the bottom while the middle cooks. They’re worth the investment and are available at Home Sense, Bed Bath & Beyond and other nicer kitchen stores.
  • Use parchment. They sell it at the dollar store and it means never scrubbing crud off of pans. You just pick the parchment up, wipe any crumbs off the pan and put it back in the cupboard.