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Pantry Staple Meal on the Cheap

It’s May 31st and in the good spirit of doing my best to stick to our monthly budget for groceries, I threw together a meal for the kids made from what I could find in our pantry:



Flat Bread

Oranges (ok, all I had to do here was open a can of mandarin oranges…but this was their favorite part!)

There are a few blogs that come to mind (cough *PW* cough) that are beautifully photographed, step-by-step, recipe tutorials.  Let’s be real here, how many of us (especially those with 3 hungry, whining kids under 4) can hang that heavy Nikon D40 around their neck and adjust the f-stop/aperture/white balance in order to achieve the perfect picture of garbanzo beans falling into a food processor?  I am not one of those people.  Maybe if I grow a third arm (which I’ve been begging God for), then I’ll start photographing my cooking sessions….for now, I’m just going to include the recipes sans photographs.  🙂

Lemonade Base:

  • 1 1/4 c lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 c water
  • ice (about 1 c, more or less)
  1. Get water really hot…not quite boiling….but super hot….enough to dissolve all that sugar for the simple syrup.  Stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved, then put enough ice to rapidly cool it to room temperature.
  2. In a large jar or lidded container that doesn’t spill all over the place when you try to pour (don’t you hate that?), add your lemon juice and simple syrup.  The lemonade base is done!
  3. To serve, pour equal parts lemonade base and water over ice…..if you’re serving it to little kids who drink watered-down everything, ignore the “equal parts” thing and put in however much you like.


  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (only drain one)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic (I use those frozen cubes from Trader Joe’s = convenient)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T tahini (if you have it….don’t worry about it if you don’t have any.  It’s used for consistency more than anything else)
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  1. Add all of the above ingredients (including the liquid from one can of beans) to a blender or food processor.
  2. Puree until smooth.
  3. Taste test and adjust seasonings, thin with olive oil if necessary, throw in the rest of that jar of roasted peppers from the fridge, if you want.
  4. Refrigerate before serving.
*This makes enough for my hummus-loving family to last a week!
Flat Bread:
  • 1 c flour tortilla mix (found this at Wal-Mart for about $2 for a large sack)
  • 1/2 c warm water
  1. Mix water and flour together until dry, then knead with your hands about 5 minutes.  Let the dough rest, covered with a damp towel 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a griddle over medium high.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 golf-ball sized pieces and flatten to about 4 inches in diameter.  If you were making tortillas, you would roll these out on a floured surface until they were practically paper-thin.
  4. Cook on the griddle about one minute per side, depending on done-ness.

*makes 8 pieces

Now, what will I make for dinner?


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