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You probably don’t know it, but you may have the secret ingredients for an exceptional Easter dinner in your pantry right now. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to sprinkle creativity into special meals by using staples like pancake mix, syrup and instant mashed potatoes in unexpected ways to craft new and delicious dishes the whole family will love.

celebrity chef adam gertlerCelebrity Chef Adam Gertler, host of Food Network’s “Kid in a Candy Store,” along with Hungry Jack®, have come up with original, easy-to-prepare recipes using everyday items to create a memorable Easter meal.

“Planning for a holiday meal can be stressful,” says Chef Gertler. “But by looking to your pantry for inspiration, you will find ingredients to make a truly unique and special meal sure to delight your family and guests!”

Here are ways to use up what you already have to make a complete Easter menu, including savory Bacon and Cheese Appetizer Bites, Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, and a Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin. You’ll create an Easter meal worth celebrating and make your hungry family a happy one.

For more creative recipes and tips, visit www.useupthebox.com.

Adam Gertler’s Use Up the Box Pantry Tips

Punchy Potatoes: Add a teaspoon of prepared horseradish or Dijon mustard and a sprinkle of garlic powder to Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potatoes for gourmet flavor ready in less than five minutes.

Make dry spices last: Ground spices tend to lose pungency rather quickly. Buy spices like cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, nutmeg, cloves and allspice whole and grind small batches as you need them. It’s a good idea to have a separate coffee grinder for your spices.

Save room and keep dry goods fresh: When you get home from the grocery store, transfer flours, pastas, cereals and other dry grains into resealable storage bags or containers. Simply label and date them with a marker, and you’ll be surprised at how much extra room you’ll have in your pantry.

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Bacon and Cheese Appetizer Bites
Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

bacon cheddar appetizers

Bacon and Cheese Appetizer Bites

Ingredients
Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon water
1 cup Hungry Jack Buttermilk Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Paprika

Preparation
HEAT oven to 400°F. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick cooking spray.
MIX sour cream and water in medium bowl until well combined. Add pancake mix, cheese and bacon pieces. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.
BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika. Serve warm.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
10 minutes

Serves
Makes 24 appetizers

 
 

maple glazed pork tenderloin

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons Hungry Jack Original Regular Syrup

Preparation
COMBINE thyme, marjoram, salt, onion powder and garlic powder in large resealable food storage bag. Seal bag and shake well. Add pork slices. Seal bag. Shake to coat.
MELT butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture. Cook and stir 8 to 10 minutes or until pork is browned and no longer pink in center. Add syrup. Cook and stir until pork is glazed.

Preparation Time
7 minutes

Cook Time
12 minutes

Serves
Makes 4 servings
 
 

Warm spinach salad

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients
1/4 cup Hungry Jack Original Syrup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Crisco 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves
1 small unpeeled red apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon or real bacon bits

Preparation
WHISK together syrup, vinegar, mustard, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium microwave-safe bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk in oil, stirring until thickened.
COMBINE spinach, apple, cheese and bacon in a large bowl. Just before serving, microwave vinaigrette on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until warm. Drizzle salad with desired amount of vinaigrette; toss salad and serve immediately.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
1 minute

Serves
Makes 4 servings
 
 

The Challenge

Open your pantry and take a good look. Do you have enough items on hand right now to throw together a dinner party. Then let’s do it! Take lots of photos, blog about it and let us know how it goes.

 
 
 

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