Blog Posts by In the Pantry

  • In the Pantry: Surprising Shelf Lives of Pantry Staples

    Are any of these items lurking in your pantry past their expiration dates? You're probably keeping these items, like flour, baking soda, and butter, longer than you should. Here are the surprising shelf lives of five common kitchen staples and tips on how to properly store them.

    More on Shine: Expert tips to make your food last longer

    Flours - It's a common misconception that flour will simply last forever; however, that's just not the case. Store flour in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Flour kept in the pantry will last up to six months, but in the freezer, flour can last up to one year. Remember to write expiration dates on the airtight containers.

    Butter - Butter will be past its prime in about two weeks. To keep butter tasting fresh, store only one bar of butter in the fridge at a time, and place the others in the freezer where butter will last up to a month.

    Baking soda - Are you using the same box of baking soda as an air freshener for your refrigerator and in

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  • Sweet, Sticky, Ultra-Cinnamony Monkey Bread

    Monkey bread is a knotty-looking loaf of bread made from buttery balls of sweet dough glued together with caramel.

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    Apple Fritters
    Morning Buns
    Chocolate Eclair Cake

    WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
    It might have a funny name, but monkey bread is a soft, sweet, sticky, ultra-cinnamony treat (its moniker probably refers to how it's pulled apart and stuffed into eager mouths). To expedite the rising and proofing of the dough, and ensure our bread had plenty of yeasty flavor, we used a good amount of instant yeast. Butter and milk helped keep the dough rich and moist, and a little sugar made the bread sweet enough to eat on its own. A dip in butter and cinnamon sugar gave the monkey bread a thick, caramel-like coating after its stint in the oven. And a drizzle of a simple glaze finished it off.

    Monkey Bread

    Serves 6 to 8

    Make sure to use light brown sugar in the coating mix; dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor that can be

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  • In the Pantry: Spotlight on Superfoods

    Superfoods are in the spotlight, from kimchi to kombucha to chia. Here's why some of these superfoods are so popular, and why you might try adding them to your diet for an added boost of nutrition.

    More on Shine: 9 magical superfoods you've never heard of

    Flax seeds - Flax seeds are good for the heart. They contain Omega 3's and alpha linolenic acid that can benefit your heart's health. Try incorporating flax seeds in baked goods, shakes, or a bowl of oatmeal.

    Chia seeds - Chia seeds may resemble bird food, but they are packed with fiber. For example, Mamma Chia beverages deliver tons of nutrition.

    Hemp seeds - Hemp seeds are a complete protein. When you're on the go, eat a handful of hemp seeds just as you would eat a handful of trail mix.

    Kimchi - Fermented foods are another superfood to try adding to your diet. Simply, fermentation is the conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol or sugars. Kimchi can be added to soups for a little spiciness. You can even add 1 oz. kimchi juice to a

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  • In the Pantry: Food Storage Secrets

    Food storage can be pretty confusing: to refrigerate or not to refrigerate? What happens if I refrigerate a tomato? Will that onion change the taste of a potato? And what happens if the meats mingle with the milk? Here are some surprising food storage secrets to keep in mind when putting your groceries away.

    More on Shine: 7 tips on safe food storage from cooks who know

    Tomatoes: Do not refrigerate tomatoes. Tomatoes will lose their sweet, sugary flavor if stored in the refrigerator. You can keep them right on your counter in a colander.

    Potatoes and onions: These items are best kept apart. Just because you may cook with them together, doesn't mean they should be stored together. Onions and potatoes will prematurely age each other. Instead, keep both in a dry, dark area, like the pantry, but in separated areas.

    Coffee: It's tempting to store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer, but the roasted coffee beans are being exposed to water. You'll lose flavor with the condensation that

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  • Christina Tosi's Recipe for Leftover Pretzel Cake

    In honor of this year's James Beard Awards, we've asked last year's Rising Star Award Recipient Christina Tosi to give us an exclusive glimpse into the contents of her latest mixing bowl. Turns out, the creator of Momofuku Milk Bar's famous Crack Pie and Cake Balls - and patron saint of sweet-tooths everywhere - is up to her usual bag of tricks with another resourceful recipe. This time, it's a cake that can be made using the leftover bits in your pretzel bag. By Meghann Foye, REDBOOK.

    Cake
    1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 tbsp molasses
    3 eggs
    1/3 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup grapeseed oil
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/4 tsp baking powder
    3 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    3/4 cup cake flour
    3 cups pretzels, ground down into a powder

    Honey frosting
    1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
    Pinch kosher salt
    1/4 cup honey

    Related: 10 Smoothies We Can't Stop Sipping

    Pretzel crunch
    1/4 of a 16-oz bag pretzels
    2 tbsp light brown sugar
    2 tbsp powdered milk
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    2 tbsp unsalted butter,

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  • In the Pantry: What Not to Buy at the Grocery Store

    You may have purchased shredded cheese, dried herbs, or instant rice because it was convenient, but did it really taste that great? Do you have any of these flavorless and costly items on your shopping list? Here are four types of groceries you shouldn't be buying and bringing home.

    More on Shine: Do I really have to do that: The pasta edition

    Convenience foods - Chopped vegetables cost more than buying the whole onion or head of lettuce. Pre-diced onions can cost three times more than whole onions. Pre-grated cheese can become flavorless, since it's unknown when it was actually grated. Minced garlic loses its authentic flavor and becomes slimy. It's just as easy to mince, chop, or grate these items yourself.

    Suspicious seasonings - Good salt has a clean flavor, but classic iodized salt does not. Pre-ground black pepper does not have the same flavor as fresh ground peppercorns from a mill. "In the Pantry" host Aida Mollenkamp says, "These are black pieces of food confetti." Likewise,

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  • In the Pantry: When to Splurge on Pantry Staples

    Should you skimp or splurge? What staples are really worth their salts in that grocery aisle? Here are nine items to add to your pantry:

    Nut oil - Spend some money on a good oil, but instead of choosing olive oil, try something a little bit different, like a nut oil. Pick up a walnut oil or a pistachio oil ($16.99) that has really good flavor from a reputable company, like La Tourangelle. Because they roast most of their oils, it will last longer than a raw nut oil. Be sure to keep them in the refrigerator or freezer if you plan on not using them often.

    More on Shine: Last-minute meals from the pantry

    Infused oils - Try an infused oil, like a high-quality Meyer lemon oil ($15.95). Drizzle a little bit of the oil on a perfectly roasted fish.

    Vinegars - For true, authentic balsamic vinegar, choose balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy. Balsamic vinegar ($21.99) gets better with age. You can drizzle on cheese, fruit, or even ice cream.

    Finishing Salts - Think of texture as well as flavor

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  • In the Pantry: Must-Haves for a Well-Stocked Pantry

    If you want to spice up your recipes and save money, you need to begin with a well-curated cupboard. What should you have within arm's reach at all times?

    Start with a good salt and a good pepper. One suggestion is to keep two salts on hand: a kosher salt and a high-quality salt to use as a finishing touch on whatever you are serving. And of course salt can't be far from pepper, so stock your pantry with real peppercorns and a quality peppermill.

    Related: Making your kitchen sizzle - 5 oils every pantry should have

    Next, make sure you have an oil that can withstand high temperatures for tasks such as searing, grilling, and sautéing. In addition to that high-heat oil, stock a good quality olive oil. Just like the finishing salt, it's going to provide a lot of flavor to your recipes.

    Related: 13 must-have items for your pantry

    Now add some vinegars to your pantry. For a lower-end acidity, use cider, rice, or champagne vinegar. Then add a workhorse acid such as white

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