Well-stocked cupboard shelves are the most important ingredient for fast family meals. These ideas will help you get set for off-the-shelf cooking.
--Always keep these ingredients on hand: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, bouillon granules, catsup, cooking oil, cornstarch, eggs, margarine or butter, mayonnaise or salad dressing, milk, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce.
\o7 MIX AND MATCH STAPLES
\f7 Look for ways to use the same staples in several different recipes.
--Frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, pineapple chunks, quick-cooking rice, water chestnuts, pea pods, soy sauce, ground ginger and onion powder can make shrimp stir-fry, Oriental shrimp soup, shrimp kebabs, or shrimp foo yung.
--Fully cooked ham, frozen broccoli, cheese spread, evaporated milk, bread and onion can make Denver sandwiches, crustless quiche, or ham and broccoli rarebit.
--Shredded mozzarella cheese, frozen spinach, refrigerated pizza dough, canned pizza sauce, fettuccine, evaporated milk, mushrooms, pepperoni, olives and grated Parmesan cheese can become pizza casserole, fettuccine carbonara, spinach calzones, or spinach-mushroom pizza.
--Cooked turkey, salsa, sharp American cheese, flour tortillas, bean dip, packaged corn muffin mix, canned green chili peppers and olives make any one of four Tex-Mex entrees: turkey-chili bake, \o7 huevos rancheros, \f7 turkey pizza, or cheesy turkey enchiladas.
\o7 INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS
\f7 Missing a recipe ingredient? Instead of making a dash to the grocery store, use a substitute from this list:
--Need one tablespoon cornstarch for thickening? Use two tablespoons all-purpose flour.
--Need two cups tomato sauce? Use three-quarters cup tomato paste plus one cup water.
--Need one cup tomato juice? Use one-half cup tomato sauce plus one-half cup water.
--Need one cup chicken or beef broth? Use one teaspoon instant chicken or beef bouillon granules plus one cup water.
--Need one small onion? Use one-eighth teaspoon onion powder or one tablespoon dried minced onion.
--Need one clove garlic? Use one-eighth teaspoon garlic powder.
--Need one tablespoon fresh snipped herbs? Use one teaspoon dried herbs, crushed.
--Need one square (one ounce) unsweetened chocolate? Use three tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus one tablespoon shortening.
\o7 VEGETABLE FIX-UPS
\f7 Give canned vegetables an easy dress-up:
--Orange Beets: Stir two tablespoons orange marmalade into hot drained canned beets. If desired, top with toasted slivered almonds.
--Cashew Green Beans: In skillet heat and stir one-half cup cashews until toasted. Add one (16-ounce) can whole or cut green beans, drained. Toss together. Heat through.
--Herbed Carrots: In saucepan heat one (16-ounce) can sliced carrots to boiling, then drain. Gently stir in one tablespoon butter, one teaspoon brown sugar, one-eighth teaspoon ground ginger and one-eighth teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed.