As people avoid going to restaurants and making unnecessary trips to the stores amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, common pantry staples found in the home are being thrust into the spotlight. Without a constant bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables or variety at our fingertips on demand, we’re getting back to the basics with these timeless classics.

We’re compiled these 3 easy recipes you can make with items commonly found at home. We hope that they embody a sense of comfort and assurance that’s especially welcome in these times of uncertainty.


These fluffy, no-fail buttermilk pancakes by Fraiche Nutrition are a breeze to make and a serious crowd pleaser! Pro tip: Keep extra cooked pancakes from breakfast covered in the fridge to re-heat in the microwave for a quick snack later on.

Angel Cakes (Photo via Fraiche Nutrition)


  • 3 tbsp. melted butter or vegan butter
  • 2 c. flour*
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. buttermilk**
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the buttermilk, vanilla and cooled melted butter.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed: do not over mix! It will still look lumpy.
  5. Heat a griddle or pan with a small amount of vegetable oil on medium heat, pour into pancake shapes of your choice, and flip when the bubbles appear on the top and the bottom is golden brown.
  6. Enjoy with whatever you like to dress your pancakes with!

Recipe Notes:

*substitute a 1:1 gluten free flour blend or 1/2 whole wheat flour: you can substitute all of the flour for whole wheat flour but it becomes denser 

**if you don’t have buttermilk mix 2 cups of 2% milk whole milk with 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes before using.


Pumpkin Pie: Add 1 cup pumpkin puree + 1 tsp. cinnamon to the batter Apple or

Pear Cinnamon: Add 3/4 cup grated apple or pear + 1 tsp. cinnamon to the batter

Raspberry Lemon: Add 1 cup raspberries + 1 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest to the batter

Banana Bread: Add 2 mashed ripe bananas + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (1/2 c. chopped walnuts optional)

Carrot Cake: Add 1 cup mixture of grated carrot and apple + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (1/4 cup raisins optional)


If you’ve got an overload of pantry goods and you need to use them up, this delicious vegetarian chilli recipe by Cookie & Kate will make tidy work of all your dry stores.

Vegetarian Chilli (Photo via Cookie & Kate)


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons chilli powder*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes**, with their juices
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
  • Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or crème fraîche, grated cheddar cheese, etc.


  1. In a large dutch-oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the chilli from the heat and discard the bay leaf. For the best texture and flavour, transfer 1 ½ cups of the chilli to a blender, making sure to get some of the liquid portion. Securely fasten the lid and blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. (Or, you can blend the chilli briefly with an immersion blender, or mash the chilli with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chilli-like consistency.)
  5. Add the chopped cilantro, stir to combine, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added ¼ teaspoon more at this point. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chilli will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days or you can freeze it for longer-term storage.


If you couldn’t tell from the theme of this year’s Gala, we like to promote La Dolce Vita! Literally meaning “cheese and pepper”, this minimalist, Italian cacio e pepe is easy and delicious. Now, that’s amore!

Cacio y Pepe (Photo via New York Times)


  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. pasta noodles (such as tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


  • Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve. Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen.

Let us know if you enjoy these recipes by sending us a message or tagging us in a photo on social media! We’d love to hear from you.