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Hi, I'm Pantry Raid

Otherwise known as Carrie Rowe & Diana Schmidt, we're well fed, thrifty and have more than meals falling from our pantries.   Diana is a recovering food snob who is always anticipating her next meal. She thinks a good pantry should give you...
Pantry Raid

December Makes Us Crazy

Pantry Raid
Soon dinner will be falling from your pantries too. By Pantry Raid on December 7, 2010


December makes us crazy:

We suspect we’re not the only tail chasers this time of year. Running around, going to parties, having parties, working late hours, making or buying presents, frantically stashing gifts (that we’ll forget where we hid) and trying so so hard to remember we really do love the holidays. That kind of crazy schedule deserves a dinner that’s nearly effortless and certainly delicious. While a frantically eaten jar of sauerkraut at the sink is something we’re both prone to do and rather keen on in these types of situations, this time around we’re talking sandwiches. Hot sandwiches that bring enormous smiles to our faces and erase a day of feeling frazzled leaving us feeling down right nourished and rather calm.


Working out recipes we’d like to share was a rather hilarious adventure – with a little help from Beano, we survived a weekend of testing falafel recipes while ironing out the ingredients. We learned canned beans make weird, floppy falafel, that 2 days of soaking beans is way too long and 6 hours isn’t nearly long enough. Despite all that, they’re shockingly simple to make (even over and over) and even more shocking, we still love falafel, though after batch 3 they started to resemble Grinch heads. Delicious, delicious Grinch heads. If you're interested in an all out awesome meal, watch Outpost's video for shockingly quick and easy pita (and then make them)! Thankfully, the turkey burgers didn’t resemble any Dr. Suess characters, rather they confirmed what Diana always suspected, that Carrie really is a genius. 


Prior to Carrie’s turkey burger invention, neither of us thought much of turkey burgers. To be perfectly honest, we hated them while everyone else seemed to love them. Faced with a pound of ground turkey and a head full of determination, Carrie managed to make a damn fine turkey that will be in regular rotation at both our houses. We’re pretty excited to be part of your turkey-burger-loving club thanks to our favorite cheese, Buffalo Wing cheddar. Yes you can use another cheese, but we promise it won’t be as tasty.


With a couple quick sandwiches in our pantry arsenal, we’re reminded that a crazy December can be awesome. We’re pretty certain the two quick sandwiches we picked out to share with you will not only make your December equally as awesome as ours, but also keep your holiday preparation merry and bright. Sandwiches can do that, it’s true.


Once the dishes are cleared, we have time to work on all the homemade gifts we’re fixin’ to give this year. In addition to the gifts we can make from our couches, they’ll also be a few jars donned with ribbon falling from our pantries. This week we’re fixin’ to put together a dulce de leche that features our favorite pantry pal, coconut milk. Our intentions are that our friends will warm this up and eat over vanilla ice cream or spread into their fancy French crêpes. You can make this up to a month in advance if you make some space in your refrigerator – and because December is only going to get busier, we’re banking on crossing this off our to-do this right away!






Diana-Is-Hungry-NOW Falafel Sandwiches (aka Grinch heads)

The falafel dough for this recipe turns quite green and we decided they look like little Grinch heads while frying in the pan – which is exactly what we feel like when we work ourselves to the point of being famished. That’s precisely why we keep our pantries stocked and our veggie bins in ample supply. The Grinch-iest part about this recipe is remembering to soak the beans overnight (Diana swears 13 hours is the perfect amount of time) and dragging the food processor out off the top shelf and getting it back up there when you’re done (yeah right.) Stuff these suckers in a pita, pour on the Good Sauce (recipe below) and you’ll be eating dinner well before you’re tempted to steal Cindy Lou Who’s candy cane (or eat cold baked beans from the can.)


Makes 4 – 6 sandwiches

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight

4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (or mint or parsley)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons flour

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

cooking oil

1. In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic until they’re minced. Add the soaked and drained garbanzos, cilantro, salt and cumin. Pulse until well blended.

2. Add the baking powder and flour and blend in the food processor until thickened (less than a minute). Stir in the sesame seeds until everything is incorporated.

3. Over medium high heat, heat 1/4 – 1/2 inch of cooking oil (you can deep fry them or fry them in less oil too).

4. For quick pan frying, form the mixture about ping pong ball size and then flatten slightly or make into complete patties. Fry for about 3 minutes per side. (We just threw spoonfuls in the pan).

5. Serve with pitas or naan, pickles and The Good Sauce or a tahini sauce alongside a hefty salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and feta.


The Good Sauce

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, nonfat

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained of excess water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped (or mint or parsley)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1. In a small bowl mix all ingredients.

2. If you have the forethought to make this ahead, letting this sit for even a mere 30 minutes in the refrigerator makes it taste even better. Stir before serving.



Carrie is a Genius Turkey Burgers

Prior to this recipe discovery we both hated turkey burgers. Shocking, we know. Everyone seems to love them. We realize the point of using turkey is for hearth health, but it’s our favorite cheese, Buffalo Wing cheddar, that saved turkey burger’s reputation for us. Everything in moderations, that’s what we say.

Makes 4 generous burgers

1 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup Buffal Wing Cheddar, shredded

1/2 cup scallions, chopped

salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

cooking oil

1. In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients

2. Form into patties and set aside

3. Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat with just a little cooking oil coating the pan. Fry about 5 minutes per side or until the juices run clear.

4. Flip onto your buns in waiting and garnish with your favorite burger toppings (we like ketchup, simple girls that we are.) We’re big fans of serving this this quickie burger with Alexia Sweet Potato fries. (It’s no wonder we put these burgers in rotation so often!)



Homemade Holiday Gift: Dulce De Leche

We’re not renowned bakers, but we’re pretty handy at putting delicious things in jars. This jar of deliciousness is exactly the type of thing you would like a guest to bring you as a hostess gift – being pretty big fans of the golden rule, this is one of the homemade gifts we’ll have on hand this season for our party going and gift giving.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


1. Whisk coconut milk, sugar, and coarse salt in heavy large skillet over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

2. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

3. Transfer sauce to small jars. Cool completely, then tighten on those lids and chill. Can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled.

4. We’re thinking some ribbon and brown paper tags will fancy this up for a mighty fine gift.


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