How to Use Up Kitchen Staples

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There are a lot of common items in a kitchen that can be used in ways you may not have realized. Learn how to use up kitchen staples with help from a social entrepreneur in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: From Garden to Table
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Holly Hirshberg from And I'm going to use up some of my pantry staples. I'm going to make pancakes today. And this is one of those things that I make on days when I have a lot of stuff.. oops, I almost put it in the wrong place, when I have a lot of that I need to use up. You know I'm running low on eggs, I'm running low on everything, I haven't been to the grocery store. Pancakes, delicious, fun to have a special treat and I'm using up the stuff in my cabinet anyway. Two eggs, put the shells in my compost pile. And I'm going to mix it up a little bit with my whisk, This is a whisk. And I'll just make up everything blend. Pancakes are one of those things, you know a lot of people get them special when they go out to eat. There not hard to make at home. I have.. let me check my cheat sheet here, I have a cup of milk. I'm going to use skim milk. Use any kind you want. I like the skim milk because I'm going to add a lot of fat, so when I eat it, because I'm going to add butter and syrup. So, I figure you know, at least this way I can pretend they're good for me. I'm going to add an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, that's going to make everything work right. And that'll cut the sweetness of my syrup later on. This is sugar, three tablespoons of sugar. And then as I go, I'm going to mix it because that's going to make mixing it at the end a lot easier. Now you can leave out the sugar if you want to do it a little more savory. I like the sugar. That's why I put it in. Some, a quarter of a cup of oil, just some regular vegetable oil. Don't do olive oil or it's going to taste terrible. Some people do melted butter. I guess it depends what you're using up in your pantry. Then OK. Now, this is going to, this is where it gets exciting. I have four tablespoons of baking powder here, and I have two cups of all purpose flour. I'm going to put those together before I put them in my big mixing bowl. And I'm going to mix it together with a fork. Because when this the liquid, I want it to all hit at the same time. So, I'm just going to stir that in there. You know a lot of times they talk about sifting things together whatever. You know, I tell you, I'm a lazy cook. And so I do it the easy way. This is the easy way. OK. So I have that mixed together, and I'm going to put it in my mixture over here. And I'm going to mix it. Now, you want this to be lumpy. You can see it's mixing there. It's going to be lumpy. I just don't want any raw flour. You can use an electric mixer. But you know, if you have a whisk, just pull out of your cabinet and use that. No point in getting out a big piece of equipment. Usually I make these on you know, the weekend morning. I don't want to do a lot of dishes afterward. So, I just use minimal amount of equipment and I'm good to go. All right. OK. You know what. It's a little bit thick. I'm going to add some more milk. So, if it's not the consistency you want, then you can add more milk. I'm going to more milk, probably another cup of milk. I'm going to mix it up and I'm going to show you what it should look like. So, hang on one second. I'm going to mix it up. This is a great recipe because if you didn't add enough of something, or you want to add a little more of something, you can. And it's not that big a deal. If you wanted to add vanilla, if you wanted to add.. you know what I like to do, pumpkin pie spice, so that my pancakes are pumpkin pie spice flavored. You could add chocolate chips, just whatever you have on hand, use it up. This is a good time, apples, fruit. All right. This is more of the consistency I want. It's thick but I can still stir it. Got some lumps in it, we want it to have the lumps. And I'm ready to move to the stove now. All right. I'm ready to start cooking. I have my pan heating up on medium heat. I don't want to put my pancakes in a cold pan. So, give your pan a couple of seconds to heat up. I have a non stick pan so I don't need to add oil. If you have a regular pan, you might want to spray it with non stick cooking spray, maybe some butter or put some oil in it, something to keep it from sticking. Because if your pancake stick, you're going to be so sad. I have a spoonful of pancake mix. Going to put it on my.. and once you get a little more adventurous you can do bigger ones or more, make a little design. But I'm just going to show you this. Now, a trick to pancakes. It's kind of hard to tell when they're done and when you first start making pancakes, you might get confused about when to flip them. It takes about a minute per side. If you look at it you can see it's starting to get some bubbles. That's going to be where the steam comes up into the pancake and makes it raise up. I need to see bubbles all over the surface before I'm ready to flip it. So, a little bit of patience, they do cook quickly, but you have to be sure that you wait so that your pancakes turn out right. So, I'm just going to sit here and wait while my surface bubbles up. So, it's ready to flip. You can see it's raising up, bubbles all over the top. I'm going to go ahead and flip it. It's starting to smell cooked too. Perfect. Look at that. All right. Now, I'm going to give it about a minute on this side, to maybe 30 to 45 seconds. It probably doesn't need to cook as long because it's already kind of cooked through. But it looks great doesn't it? OK. How do I tell if this side is done. Like a cake you can touch it. Don't burn yourself. You can touch it. If it bounces bake it's probably done. And we can check the other side too. See how it's all brown and golden and beautiful. It looks done. I'll even flip it to show you the other side. /got another one going here. Feel better, look how beautiful, brown around the edges, brown in the center. Oh my gosh, awesome. All right. This ones done. You can see I have a lot of batter left. I'm going to be able to make a couple of stacks of pancakes. What a great weekend breakfast. You know what, it's easy enough that you could make it on a weekday too. Enjoy.


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