Have a post-holidays “un-stock the pantry” party

January 7 2013 | Guest post by Cindy Whitt
Got a few gift baskets over the holidays and now you're not sure what to do with the left-over weird can of mustard and crackers?
Got a few gift baskets over the holidays and now you're not sure what to do with the left-over weird can of mustard and crackers?

I usually have a bunch of oddball ingredients leftover from the stuff I make during the holidays — a can of pumpkin puree, half a box of powdered sugar, and partial bags of chocolate chips. I also end up with an assortment of prepackaged food that I get as gifts and never get around to using. (I think I still have a set of test tube shots from Christmas 2009. Does liquor go bad?)

If your friends and family bake, they probably have a bunch of leftovers they don't know what to do with it, either. And someone you know probably got a gift basket, ate all the good stuff (i.e. the chocolate) and left the tiny jars of hot mustard and weird crackers behind.

So, start a new post-holiday tradition — an un-stock the pantry party. Invite everyone to come over with their leftover ingredients and try to come up with new recipes. If you don't have a big kitchen, see if someone who does will host it if you offer to clean up afterwards. You can open those prepackaged food items to snack on while you bake, and drink the booze leftover from New Year's Eve.

If you can't come up with ideas on your own, you can search Pinterest, or use a site like My Fridge Food, where you choose your ingredients and it generates recipes based on what you have.

It'll clear your cabinets for the New Year and help beat the post-holiday party withdrawals.

  1. Here's a fun recipe for you! It'll use up that pumpkin puree and powdered sugar! Plus, it's seriously yummy.

    For the Cake:
    1 Yellow Cake Mix
    1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree

    For the Glaze:
    2 cups powdered sugar
    2.5 tablespoons of water
    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

    Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated.

    Pour batter into a greased 7 x 11 X 2 pan. This is the small, rectangular-sized pan from your Pyrex set. You know, the set you had to have when you got married and rarely ever used all the pieces. Finally, you have a use for it.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

    Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, water, and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more sugar or water if needed.

  2. Thanks! That sounds good.
    I've never heard of that size Pyrex dish. I buy my pans/dishes piece by piece at random places and depending on if I'd actually use them enough to keep in my tiny kitchen.
    Would an 8×8 work?

    • Probably. The cake doesn't bake up much, so as long as the batter fits with a little room at the top, it should work.

  3. My little spin is our annual "last chance new years eve" party. A party do do that one thing you didn't get to do and many people have brought the Christmas dish they forgot to serve.

    • That's a good idea. I end up with so many leftover ingredients because I have high hopes of making lots of stuff, then I don't get around to doing everything. There's always a recipe left that I wanted to try and didn't.

  4. one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree, and one box of cake mix (the recipe I had was yellow, but I'm sure it'd work with any kind!)

    Mix and bake. SO good. I made it for thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Easiest recipe ever.

  5. We'll be abroad for a few months. We're planning to have an un-stock the freezer /fridge party, as we hope to shut off utilities while we're gone. Items to use up include 3lbs of ground beef and at least six different open containers of mustard (all different varieties) Any good mustard – meatballs recipes? 🙂

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