Thursday, May 15, 2014

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Pantry Baking Essentials

When Luke and I first got married, I was still very new at the whole baking and cooking thing.  It wasn't brand new for me but I was still unsure about a lot of it.  I remember being in the middle of cooking or baking something and I'd realize I didn't have one of the ingredients I needed so I'd have to turn off the stove or the oven and drive to the grocery store.  Fortunately, the grocery store was only a mile from our house but it was still aggravating to be in the middle of cooking something and have to stop to run to the store.  This didn't just happen once or twice, this happened on numerous occasions.  I think that's why I'm a little obsessive about making sure I keep my pantry and refrigerator stocked with items we use on a regular basis.  I actually make jokes about it with Luke.  Since I don't have to go grocery shopping every time I bake/cook now, I tell Luke I'm going shopping in the pantry. 
 
I have a few suggestions to save you from having to grocery shop every time you want to bake something.  These are a few items that are baking essentials in our pantry.
 
1.  Semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips.  I also keep semi-sweet chocolate melts which are super yummy in brownies.
 
2.  Heath Bits - the Chocolate Toffee Bits and the Bits O' Brickle Toffee
 
3.  Reese's Peanut Butter Chips...these are delicious in any dessert!
 
4.  Baker's Chocolate Bars - White Chocolate and Unsweetened Chocolate
 
 
 
5.  Graham Cracker Crumbs
 
6.  Duncan Hines cakes mixes and brownies mixes
 
 
7.  Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa
 
8.  All-purpose flour
 
9.  White sugar, raw sugar, confectioners sugar and  brown sugar
 
10.  Baking soda and baking powder
 
11.  Salt
 
12.  Peanut Butter...I actually like to always have 2 jars at all times
 
13.  Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk
 
14.  Old fashioned oats
 
15.  Vanilla Extract
 
 
I've found it's easier to keep track of what you have if the pantry is organized.  It's also easier to grab what you need if you have all of your baking goods are in one section of your pantry instead of having to rummage around the entire pantry.  We try to keep all of the baking bits, chips and chocolates together, the box mixes together, the sugars and flour together, etc.  
 
I've also noticed the pantry looks a lot neater and even more organized if you use clear canisters to store most of your items.  I always label my canisters because I want to make sure Luke can find what he needs if I'm not around.
 
 
 
What baking goods do you keep on hand in your pantry?

Duplin's Peach Bellini


I thought I'd stick with the NC theme for Thirsty Thursday. :)  At the wine tasting, we sampled Duplin's Peach Bellini and everyone loved it so of course I couldn't leave without buying the Peach Bellini kit.  You can order the kit on the Duplin Winery website and have it shipped to your house.  It's super yummy so I definitely recommend you order some! ;)
  
 
 
 
 To make a pitcher of Duplin's Peach Bellinis:
 
1/2 package of the Peach Bellini mix
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (Duplin's Carlos Wine)
 
In a pitcher, stir the bellini mix and wine together.  Then fill half of your blender with ice and pour the bellini mixture over the ice.  Then let your blender do the work for you.  Once you have the consistency you want, pour your Peach Bellini into a pitcher or your individual glasses.
 
Or....
 
You can do what I did and make an individual serving.  I wasn't in the mood for a frozen drink so I decided to make it my own way.  I poured about 2 teaspoons of the Peach Bellini mix into a champagne glass and then poured the chilled Carlos wine into the glass and stirred it together with a drinking straw.  Delish! ;)


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