AARGH! I Forgot ___ at the Store!

We’ve all done it.  Started a recipe thinking we had everything we needed only to get to a critical stage and found out we are missing a key ingredient.  A string of curse words later, after checking with the “go-to” neighbor, we are begging our kids who drive or our spouses to run to the store for what we desperately need to save our cooking creation.

I found a couple of resources online for the most common substitutions (thank you Kraft Foods & Life Hacker!):

Today I ran into an even tougher situation.  I had no Condensed Cream of Celery Soup to make the comfort food I was having a big craving for: my Mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole.  But I had no one to bail me out!  No one was home next door, my son has moved a state away (to avoid the emergency runs to the store??? hmmm… ) and my husband was still at work and nowhere near to coming home.  FML!

Time to create a fix from what I had in the cupboard…First things first, I needed a creamy, thick base for the soup.  Milk & Cornstarch would take care of that.  The rest should be a piece of cake, right?  Just some seasonings and the main ingredient, chopped celery.

Scratch Condensed Cream of Celery Soup

  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 C chopped celery
  • 2 TBLS olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt-Free Seasoning (Mrs. Dash type) I use McCormick Perfect Pinch Original All Purpose
  1. In a small pan, saute’ olive oil and the celery for 2 minutes over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add the bouillon cube (crushed), pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and all-purpose seasoning.  Stir to combine and let it continue cooking until you complete the next step.
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the cold milk and the cornstarch.
  4. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly then whisk in the butter it melts and the sauce begins to thicken
  5. Immediately add the celery mixture.to the sauce and cook another 30 seconds.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside to cool until you need it for your recipe.

It took 10 minutes start to finish, made just a bit more than a 10.75 ounce can from the store, had no preservatives, no added salt and was lower in fat and calories because I used 2% milk to make it.  Win-Win!

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