Pantry Raid: Six Snow-Day Meals

Holy crap, it's snowing! Who could've seen that coming? (Shut up, Everyone's Parents.) We're excited for the snow day, but once the roads froze over we were a little concerned that a grocery run wasn't an option in the near future. So, it's time to bust open that pantry and get a little creative. Here's a list of six things we're gonna be eating during Dallas Snowpocalypse 2011:

Ramen Casserole Bust open about eight packages of ramen noodles (discard the spices or use them to kick your dog's food up a notch). Cook them, throw them in a buttered casserole dish with some frozen chicken nuggets, cover that in whatever cheese you have (we're hoping it's not Easy Cheese, but in a jam, that'll do.) Sprinkle with Parmesan (assuming you've got a giant thing of Kraft stuff in your pantry, or a bunch of leftover Parm packets from Papa John's). Shove in the oven and demolish in an hour.


Crazy Popcorn You definitely have a package of popcorn in your pantry that's been sitting there for at least a year, waiting to be popped. But don't just pop it, make it into something tasty. Try topping it with Tabasco or cayenne or garlic salt. Or, go sweet and sprinkle it with cinnamon, sugar and cookie sprinkles (sure, use the leftover Christmas ones) on top. Make your own weirdo popcorn trail mix in sweet (raisins, craisins, chocolate chips and marshmallows) or savory (peanuts, almonds and leftover crumbs from the bottom of a bag of habanero Doritos).

Cherry Snocones Get some snow from your front yard (or substitute that fluffy ice that's stuck to the packages of frozen peas in your freezer), throw it in a cup and pour cherry cough syrup on top, Married with Children-style.

Veggie Dirty Rice Whatever frozen veggies you have, plus rice, plus that almost expired can of black beans,

plus some of that Emeril Lagasse's Bam! seasonings you got from your aunt three years ago. (Be sure to avoid substituting with Emeril's Essence. Sounds like it's made of dehydrated Emeril fluid, which would make a different, probably not delicious, kind of dirty rice.)

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Soup We're lucky to have cheese in our fridge and a few slices of bread in our pantry, so we're making grilled cheese sandwiches tonight. Did you know you can make a bunch of them at once if you make them in the oven instead of in a skillet? Pair your ovened cheese sandwiches with whatever soup you have in the pantry. Here's hoping it's not cream of mushroom.

Jack and Mallows One bottle Jack Daniels. One package marshmallows. Happy Snowmageddon!

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade