Bringing Home Baby: Pantry Stock Up

Pantry Stock Up Before Baby

Nesting is absolutely in full force with this mama, and with only a month until baby sister makes her grand entrance into the world, I realized it was time to get everything in gear to make the transition as stress-free as possible. Our move from New England to the South took place within 3 weeks of our first born’s arrival, so we really didn’t even have the chance to prepare for what was coming. There was no nursery and our tiny freezer couldn’t have held more than a single freezer meal. This time around I have been determined to have things prepared in advance as much as possible.

I’ve already been working on freezer meals for a few weeks now and my mom is also planning to bring up a few more frozen dinners and sides from my favorite Texas grocery store when they come up for the birth. Currently, our freezer is stocked with Lasagna Roll-ups, Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole, Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, and Beef Stroganoff along with an assortment of frozen veggies, waffles, and pancakes. I might just go ahead and do a separate post covering my freezer stock-up plan, Thank goodness I love making lists so much!

Aside from the freezer meals, I knew that we would need to make sure that our pantry would need to be stocked with all of our favorite basic cooking staples before baby. And even more important, we’re going to need lots of grab-and-go treats, convenience foods that we don’t buy quite as regularly and a ton of snacks to keep a certain toddler big brother happy. I’m hoping that all of this planning and effort pays off. I have a feeling that I’ll be so thankful to not have to put on real clothes and run to the store because we’re out of mac n cheese or have seemingly nothing to make for dinner because the shopping hasn’t happened in those first few weeks with our newborn.

So without further ado, here’s the list of all of the things I hope to have on hand in the pantry when baby girl arrives:

Snacks & Grab & Go 

  • a variety of granola bars, breakfast cookies, etc.
  • crackers
  • peanut butter filled pretzels
  • tortilla chips
  • popcorn
  • nuts

For the Toddler

  • juice
  • applesauce & Go-Go style pouches
  • granola bars
  • fruit snacks
  • raisins, dried fruit
  • crackers
  • potato chips
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • simply good jell-o (not sponsored, but I’ve felt much better about this new line of products vs. their original counterparts)
  • simply good pudding mix
  • pop tarts (probably will only have one box on hand for an emergency treat on an extra rough morning)

Cooking Staples

  • pasta
  • jar sauces (typically, we make our own marinara, etc. but it will be nice to have a faster option in those newborn days)
  • bbq sauce (to make our fav crockpot bbq chicken)
  • italian dressing (for a quick chicken marinade)
  • box mac & cheese
  • rice: white, brown, spanish
  • canned black beans
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • canned whole tomatoes (for homemade salsa)
  • rotel or diced tomatoes & green chiles (for homemade salsa)
  • canned crushed tomatoes (for homemade marinara)
  • tomato paste

Baking Supplies

  • flour
  • sugar: white, brown
  • chocolate chips — I never want to live in a house without chocolate chips
  • yeast
  • bisquick  (for pancakes, waffles, drop biscuits, etc.)
  • cornbread mixes (great for throwing together quickly to go with soup)

Extras

  • s’mores supplies: graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate

Resurrection Rolls for Easter

Easter Resurrection Rolls

We have been talking a lot lately about what fun Easter traditions we could start that are more focused on Christ. Don’t get me wrong, we love bunnies, baby chicks, and eggs…but we would still like to have a couple of Savior-centric traditions for our kids to enjoy each year.

These Resurrection Rolls were right up our alley. We decided to do a test run this year and really enjoyed making these as a family and talking about what they represent. What a great family activity to tie in with the Scriptures. Happy Easter!

Ingredients:

  • 1 10 oz. can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs white sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a Silpat non-stick baking mat on your baking sheet or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Separate crescent rolls into individual triangles.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Dip a marshmallow into melted butter. Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Place marshmallow into the center of a dough triangle.
  6. Carefully wrap dough triangle around the marshmallow. Pinch the seams together tightly to seal in marshmallow as it melts.
  7. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat.
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
  9. Prepare to be amazed.

Recipe from All Recipes

Classic Carrot Cake

Classic Carrot Cake

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m not much of a carrot cake fan…but this classic carrot cake is seriously tasty! Warning: I’m going to use one of those dreaded words.  Moist. This cake is so incredibly moist and perfectly spiced with simple ingredients that you likely have on hand already at home.

Classic Carrot Cake with Slice

We agreed that this is the some of the best carrot cake we’ve ever had. Don’t you love it when something you make yourself reaches that best ever status? Such a good feeling. Anyway…this carrot cake is the perfect dessert to share with your family this Spring or to finish off your Easter dinner. It is sure to be a hit with the whole family and is a sneaky way to get some veggies into those picky eaters’ bellies.

I don’t know why, but I was really surprised when our moderately picky eater suddenly became an uber picky toddler who refuses to eat anything and everything. Even foods that he previously loved like mac n’ cheese, pizza, and chicken nuggets have been refused lately. These are kid classics! Needless to say, veggies have made the no-go list which has kicked off a desperate search for new recipes to sneak veggies into. I might have to try to adapt this recipe into a slightly less sugary carrot cake inspired muffin in the near future.

If anyone has any favorite hidden veggie recipes, send them my way. But before you do, make this awesome carrot cake!

Classic Carrot Cake Slice

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray and flour cake pan(s).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  3. Mix in dry ingredients including flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans (optional). Pour into prepared pan(s).
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto another surface to finish cooling before frosting.
  7. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  8. Frost the cooled cake.
  9. Decorate as desired.

Recipe from: All Recipes