Blog Posts by In the Pantry

  • In the Pantry: Eggless, No-Fuss Breakfast Bites

    Scientific research continues to highlight the importance of eating breakfast. In recent studies, data has shown that regularly eating a healthy breakfast can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease. But when you're in a hurry to get the kids to school, beat traffic, grab a latte, and make your first meeting--all on time--you might be quick to just skip your breakfast eats. This week on "In the Pantry," Aida Mollenkamp shares easy, no-fuss breakfast options so you don't have to lose out on the benefits of your morning meal when you're on the go.

    More on Shine: 5 Reasons to Eat Breakfast

    Toast toppers. Forget your basic toast and jam. Glam up your bread, even when you're in a hurry, with delicious toppings that you probably already have in your refrigerator.

    You can turn your basic toast in breakfast bruschetta with a simple topping of chopped tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, and a tiny bit of salt. You could also cover toast with Read More »from In the Pantry: Eggless, No-Fuss Breakfast Bites
  • In the Pantry: Freezer Fundamentals

    According to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, food waste costs the average American family $2,275 per year. Where's that money--and food--going? In the trash. One simple way to help save money and food is to utilize your freezer. This week on "In the Pantry," Aida Mollenkamp explains the fundamentals of how to best preserve your food in the freezer.

    Stock up on freezer bags, freezer-safe containers, aluminum foil or parchment paper, masking tape, and a Sharpie pen. Choose freezer bags that have a label on them so you can easily mark your food. You'll use the foil or parchment paper to protect your solid foods. As for masking tape, you'll use it to label your containers. Masking tape can withstand cold temperatures and won't peel off with moisture.

    Use freezer bags for anything liquid, such as stock and soups. Make sure the liquid is cold before you put it in the freezer bag, and freeze the liquid flat so that it can be easily stacked. When you want to defrost a

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  • In the Pantry: Healthy Food Swaps

    On this week's episode of In the Pantry, host Aida Mollenkamp explains how you can eat healthier by swapping out certain ingredients with food substitutes that you probably already have in your kitchen.

    More on Shine: 6 superfoods you're not eating

    Use canola oil or applesauce instead of butter. Who doesn't love baking with real butter? But you have to use it in moderation. So, when butter is being called for melted in baked goods, you could instead use canola oil or applesauce, measure for measure.

    Use avocado instead of butter. When a recipe calls for butter at room temperature and the butter will be mixed into the batter, try using avocado. "It won't have an avocado flavor and lends a really great rich flavor to your finished product," said Mollenkamp. She added that that whenever mayonnaise is being called for in a recipe, she uses avocado in its place. However, she recommends against using an avocado if the recipe you're baking requires mayonnaise.

    Use spices instead of salt.

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  • In the Pantry: Superfood Smoothies

    Ready to change the way you eat your fruits and veggies? Try drinking them instead! On this week’s episode of In the Pantry, host Aida Mollenkamp shares recipes for her three favorite superfood smoothies with fresh, simple, and healthy ingredients.

    More on Shine: 9 Magical Superfoods You've Never Heard Of

    Acai Blueberry Smoothie - Call this your basic smoothie with an extra boost of healthy goodness. You’ll need two packets of acai berries, which you can find in the frozen food section of grocery store. Let the acai defrost, then add it to one cup of blueberries, a banana, and a cup of apple or orange juice. Like acai berries, chia seeds are rich with antioxidants. Chia seeds are also filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, giving your smoothie even more punch. Soak two tablespoons of chia seeds in 8 tablespoons of water for 30 minutes water to give them a more gelatinous texture, and then add the seeds to your smoothie along with a little bit of ice. And if you want more sweetness in your

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  • In the Pantry: How to Make Vinaigrette

    Grocery lists can seem endless (and pricy), since the list doesn't stop at bread, milk, and cheese. Because you can make it at home, vinaigrette is one less thing you'll need to buy at the store. For a perfect summer salad, you can easily mix up a vinaigrette with ingredients you probably have on hand. Here's how to make homemade vinaigrette.

    More on Shine: Get the secret behind a fantastic salad

    Vinaigrette chemistry:
    Vinaigrette is simply vinegar and oil, which acts like oil and water. The ingredients just won't stay together, even if you shake, whisk, and stir. To keep vinegar and oil from separating, use what is known as a binder. Binders include mustard, roasted garlic, or anchovies. These ingredients will marry the vinegar and oil together for a delicious vinaigrette to drizzle over an arugula salad.

    Vinaigrette seasonings:
    From your pantry, you can use different seasonings, like a high-quality salt or fresh-ground pepper, to flavor the vinaigrette. You can also add honey or

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  • In the Pantry: Easy Ingredient Substitutions for Recipes

    Have you ever been baking your favorite recipe but realized you didn't have a key ingredient, like buttermilk or butter? You don't have to make a quick trip to the store. Instead, you can substitute it! Here are four, easy ingredient substitutions for recipes:

    More on Shine: 7 no-fail baking substitutions that won't ruin your recipe

    Buttermilk - Buttermilk is sometimes needed for pancakes, breads, salad dressings and desserts. No buttermilk in the refrigerator? Use whole milk and a little lemon juice or white wine vinegar in place of buttermilk. To make a buttermilk substitute, use a ratio of 1 cup whole milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar for every cup of buttermilk in the recipe. Let sit for a few minutes and then use in the recipe as you would buttermilk.

    Butter - Did you run out of butter? An easy substitute is coconut oil. It works just like butter. Coconut oil is vegan-friendly, and you can melt it or sauté with it, too.

    Powdered sugar - If powdered sugar is

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  • In the Pantry: Alternative Uses for the Waffle Iron

    Tired of those single-purpose kitchen appliances collecting dust, or taking up valuable counter space? Some of your kitchen gadgets can actually act as secret double agents, serving multiple, creative purposes. You no longer have to wait until Saturday morning to pull out the waffle iron. Here are three alternative ways to reinvent the waffle iron.

    More on Shine: Shhhh! The secret ingredient for making the world's best waffles

    Sandwiches - For a classic grilled cheese, you don't have to buy a Panini press; just set the waffle iron temperature to medium and spray with non-stick spray. Build your favorite grilled cheese, placing the bread, cheese, tomatoes, and your favorite condiments in the waffle iron for three to four minutes.

    Desserts - Waffle irons are good for more than waffle batters. For a single serving of something sweet, bake your favorite boxed brownie or muffin mix in a waffle iron! Set it to medium-high heat for a crispy brownie that is perfectly served with ice

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  • In the Pantry: Three Ways to Make Popcorn

    You don't need an air popper or a microwave to make your favorite channel surfing companion, a delicious bowl of popcorn. Instead, try popping your popcorn in a big pot on the stovetop. Then, season it to your liking! Here is how to pop your popcorn on the stove and three scrumptious ways to season your popcorn.

    More on Shine: Kernel of creativity: dulce de leche popcorn

    Making Stovetop Popcorn:

    First, to make the popcorn, place a large pot over medium-high heat and add a couple of tablespoons of high-heat oil with a neutral flavor, like canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil. For every two tablespoons of oil, you'll need a quarter cup of kernels. Add just a couple of kernels to the pot, and as soon as they begin popping, the oil is at the right temperature. Remove pot from the heat, count to 20, and then add the remainder of the corn kernels and a pinch of salt. Return the pot to the stove and use the lid to shield you from oil splatters, but be sure not to cover the pot; you'll steam the

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  • In the Pantry: Make Pad Thai at Home

    Looking for an ethnic recipe that is easy and that can be prepared faster than you can order it over the phone? With the right ingredients from your pantry, making ethnic food in your own kitchen doesn't have to be intimidating. Here's how to make quick and easy Pad Thai at home.

    More on Shine: Very easy vegetarian Thai curry

    Pad Thai prep:
    From your pantry, you'll need Pad Thai noodles. These rice noodles are also perfect for cold noodle salads during summer. Prep your noodles by letting them soak in lukewarm water for 8-10 minutes until the noodles are pliable. You'll also need fish sauce, which has savory, salty notes often found in Thai food, chili powder, and Tamarind paste. Additionally, because Pad Thai is like stir fry, have the other ingredients, like minced garlic, thinly-sliced onion, bell pepper, chives, your choice of protein (shrimp, tofu, chicken, beef), and roasted peanuts, prepped and sliced before you turn the heat on the pan.

    How to make Pad Thai sauce: 

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  • In the Pantry: Leftover Condiment Recipes

    Leftover food and condiments are a nuisance: not enough for its intended use and too much to throw away. A spoonful of peanut butter or a little bit of mustard can be transformed into something delicious, so don't throw it away; use it up! Here's how to make your pantry items good to the last drop with these leftover condiment recipes:

    More on Shine: 10 new ways to use peanut butter

    Peanut Butter - With only a couple of spoonfuls of peanut or almond butter left, you can have breakfast in a jar. To make overnight oats with a nut-butter flavor, add 3 tablespoons oats and equal parts milk to 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter, then stir, screw on the top, and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, top the overnight oats with fruit or a drizzle of maple syrup.

    Mustard - Turn that little bit of mustard left in the bottle into a mustard marinade to use on pork chops, chicken, or flank steak. Use equal parts (2 tablespoons) coffee, bourbon, and mustard, add a dash (1

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