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Pantry Cookin’

January 20, 2012

When it comes to cooking styles, you might have noticed that Ryan and I come from two different camps.  Ryan NEVER cooks without a recipe, and always follows whatever recipe he picks out to a T.  I, on the other hand, rarely even start with a recipe…and if I do, you can bet that I’ve strayed from it about five minutes into the cooking process. 

Witness: last night’s dinner, as compared to Ryan’s meal on Tuesday night.  Ryan neatly picked out his Cooking Light recipe (with a few nudges in the right direction from yours truly), bought the ingredients, and followed the recipe Staci Keanan-style (that would be step-by-step, for you non TGIF-ers out there) with only one substitution: salmon for chicken.  Wild man!!

Yesterday afternoon, I thought about finding a recipe in a cookbook…for about five seconds.  Then I decided to do what I do best: pantry cooking.  Pantry cooking is great because you don’t have to follow a recipe, you generally find cooking items that you’d completely forgotten existed in the back of your pantry (we still have wheatberries?!?), and, most importantly, you don’t have to leave the house. 

I scrounged up lentils:




and a sweet potato that was on its last leg:


plus some soy sausage that we had in the fridge.  Threw it all together with some garlic salt and water, and voila:


Pantry dining at its finest!

Today is actually my birthday, and Ryan has surprised me with an overnight trip to…Chattanooga!  I’ll see you from Tennessee!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2012 4:18 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Chattanooga is only 2 hours from Atlanta if you want to stop by! We have really good restaurants here.

  2. January 20, 2012 4:42 pm

    awww how sweet of Ryan! Have fun!!!!!!! ❤ and impromptu pantry cooking? story of my liiife ❤ love what you came up with chica!

  3. January 20, 2012 4:50 pm

    Happy Birthday Anna!! Enjoy your mini-vacay!

    I rarely follow a recipe anymore either. I often use one for inspiration, but I’m always switching up the sweeteners and types of flours, etc. etc.

  4. January 20, 2012 6:42 pm

    I love surprise trips! Have fun and Happy Birthday! 🙂

  5. January 20, 2012 7:21 pm

    Happy Birthday you hot mama, you!!!!

  6. January 20, 2012 7:54 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  7. January 20, 2012 8:33 pm

    Yay for pantry cooking. I’m the same way. I love my cookbooks of course, but I never follow them. More for inspiration.

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fun trip.

  8. January 20, 2012 10:16 pm

    HAPPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY!! Enjoy the trip. My cooking style lays right between the two of yours!

  9. January 21, 2012 12:14 am

    Oh and I cook like Ryan while Tony cooks like you. I’m a science girl when it comes to cooking and I like exact!

    Happy Birthday! Have a great trip! I love Chattanooga!

  10. January 21, 2012 7:38 pm

    I usually say “better late than pregnant” but that really doesn’t apply here, does it? 🙂

    I think I am more of a Ryan cook.

    Have a fabulous time in Chattanooga!!

    • January 21, 2012 7:38 pm

      Errr I usually say “better late than … ” in reference to belated birthday wishes


  11. January 22, 2012 4:42 pm

    Too funny, my parents are the same way – my dad never uses a recipe, my mom wouldn’t cook without one. I’m somewhere in between, I’ll follow one occasionally, partially follow or, of just start throwing stuff into the Vitamix until it tastes good. 🙂

  12. January 22, 2012 9:04 pm

    Happy Birthday sweet lady! I hope you have a wonderful trip!! 🙂

  13. January 23, 2012 1:17 am

    Pantry cooking is the best!

    Happy birthday! Hope you had a great trip!

  14. January 23, 2012 2:38 pm

    Happy birthday!! (belated, I know) – I derive a lot of pleasure of using up pantry odds and ends to make a meal!


  1. On Ryan’s Plate: An Evening at the Improv « On Anna's Plate

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