Saturday, February 11, 2017

Snow Planning

Snow has a way of changing a home chef's plans.What was going to be a day of baking and decorating turned out to be a day of food shopping. Now, instead of testing doneness, it 's planning on what to make for a day in.

That's the problem with weather - any kind during any time of the year. Winter can be the most challenging. I thought I was going to spend the day filling cupcake papers with spice cake batter and melting chocolate for glaze. Instead, I was trolling the aisles of my local Stop & Shop looking for ingredients for two to three days worth of meals.Unfortunately,  there was not much to choose from. People panic when they hear the word snow and dreary news forecasts don't help the matter any. The store was lucky it still had the basics, eggs, milk and bread on the shelves.Home chefs  may still get these basics, but not necessarily what they want or usually buy. Settle for what's left over. If there's no white bread, then choose whole wheat or rye. Rolls and bagels can even stand in for the regular loaf. The family may even like the change.As for eggs., many love the white kind but the brown is just as good.If there are no eggs left, then buy the egg substitutes, They work for omelets  and, scrambled  recipes along with being OK for many recipes.If the store is out of milk, think evaporated. It's a little thicker than regular milk, resembling cream but it still can be used in coffee and tea.

Ironically, it's freezers that can be a home chef's best friend. If you want to have a varied diet during bad weather, then it pays to stock up. Chopped meat is always a good buy because it's versatile. It can be made into everything from hamburgers to chili.Also, buy hot dogs and chicken nuggets for the kids. They'll either be bored and whiny from staying in all day or super hungry from being outside all day.Have steaks and chops for the older kids to enjoy. Pantries should also filled to anticipate days in. Make sure there is plenty of versatile ingredients such as rice and pasta. Rice can go both savory and sweet.Use it for a nice side with chicken breasts or stir fries or as the next.base for a creamy, raisin studded pudding. As for the pasta store several different types. Make a pastina soup one day and a penne or spaghetti the next.Another must have are soup mixes. These feed a large crowd along with having a lot left over for the next day. They also have a more homemade taste than the canned kind, although these are good to have too , for an instant lunch. Baking ingredients are a must too. Nothing keeps the kids occupied than baking cookies or frosting cupcakes. Homemade cake is a nice end to a hearty meal too on a blustery night.

These are the days when there's always a threat of snow. Make sure the kitchen, freezer and pantry are well stocked to anticipate several days indoors. It'll save from experiencing any shortages later on.

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