In the Pantry

The secret to a well-stocked pantry is to keep small quantities of a large number of basic ingredients. Discover pantry essentials at TwiceasTasty.com.At 500 square feet, my house has a smaller kitchen and less food-storage space than most. Yet at any given moment, I can conjure a dozen of meals for a dozen people—I just need to find places for them to sit.

The secret to a well-stocked pantry is to keep small quantities of a large number of basic ingredients. Instead of buying prepackaged meals, sauces, and mixes, you can store fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, proteins, and flavorings individually and mix them in endless variations. I dedicate at least half my pantry and most of my freezer and fridge space to such items. I fill the rest with homemade items that let me shortcut regularly used recipes, from stocks to pestos to condiments.

The advantages go beyond versatility. Stocking your pantry in this manner means your ingredients stay fresh, you can spend your money on quality items instead of large quantities that go stale before you finish them, and you’ll always open the fridge or cupboard and find something you want to eat.
Read more about improving your pantry

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Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I love letting dough rise overnight to bake off for sweet breakfast buns. My creations haven’t always been successful—but this one is. Learn to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze.Last week’s Sourdough Brioche post evolved out of a desire to make this week’s recipe: Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. I’ve long loved letting dough rise overnight to bake off for sweet breakfast buns. But I’ve had some failures. I once overloaded a bundt pan with balls of frozen bread dough to make my mom’s favorite buttterscotch roll recipe—only to wake up and find the dough balls dangling rather obscenely outside the pan.

Initially, my cinnamon roll recipe was also unappealing—but for its flavor, not its looks. The plan was to use pizza dough. I’d read about such conversions on various blogs and websites, with titles like Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever and Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls. My attempt resulted in spiral-wound, cinnamon-tinged… pizza crust.

So although a handy ball of pizza dough seems like an easy shortcut, you’re better off learning to make last week’s delicious Sourdough Brioche Dough. It won’t just turn into the best hamburger buns you’ve ever tasted; it will turn into breakfast buns that taste and feel like cinnamon rolls.
Learn to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

Slow Cooker Fruit Butters

The garden I play in came with an established orchard—primarily apple trees. With little effort on our part, we always seem to end the growing season with far more boxes of apples than we need. After we’ve eaten our fill, I always store a box or two of whole, unblemished apples for eating out of hand. Then I make as much applesauce as my canning shelves can hold. By November, I’m salvaging the fruit in the remaining boxes to create apple butter.

Fruit butters capture all of the flavor of your chosen fruit. Often seen as finicky, they’re traditionally prone to burning and need endless stirring during their lengthy cooking time. I avoided them for years but then discovered a slow cooker variation. I fell for the hands-off, burnproof technique that let me dump a bunch of fruit into my Crock-Pot, leave it to cook for hours, and return to find a perfect blend ready for the canning kettle.
Learn to make Any-Fruit Butter and Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Fresh Green Tomatoes

As the growing season slows, the primary complaint I hear is “but my tomatoes are still hard and green!” The lament is loudest in northwest Montana, where our growing season is about 90 days. Tomatoes need 50–100 days to mature, so it’s easy to see why so many green fruits remain on our vines as the first frost approaches. My solution, as I explained last week, is to let most remaining tomatoes ripen indoors. But I always set some green tomatoes aside to eat fresh.

What comes to mind when you think of eating a green tomato? For many, it’s a plate of breaded and fried slices. Although Fried Green Tomatoes aren’t as Southern as you might think, they are delicious, easy to make, and suitable just about any time of day. Your mind may also turn to a Mexican salsa verde. The traditional recipes—and to my palate, the tastiest versions—are made with tomatillos, but green tomatoes are suitable stand-ins.
Learn to make Fried Green Tomatoes and Fresh Green Tomato Salsa