Pantry Essentials for Nutritious Homemade Meals

Every parent has been there. It's Thursday afternoon and the kids are asking, "What's for dinner?" Searching for inspiration, you head to the refrigerator, only to realize that the groceries you bought on Sunday have run out or spoiled. But before the panic sets in and you reach for the takeout menus, remember that the solution for a wholesome, homemade meal is right in your pantry - or "Cantry."  "With a well-stocked pantry full of canned ingredients, I know I always have the makings of a nutritious and flavorful meal," said Kelsey Nixon, host of "Kelsey's Essentials" on Cooking Channel and Food Network.  "Fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak of ripeness and canned in just hours, making the can one of the best ways to get food from its source to my family's table. I just open up a can, unlock that flavor and goodness and make it a 'Cantry' Thursday night!"

With canned food staples like canned beans, chicken, green beans and broth on hand, you'll be well on your way to savory meals like Quinoa Chicken Vegetable Salad and Nixon's Pasta e Fagioli Soup.

For more information about the canning process, delicious recipes and to learn how you can get cooking with canned foods, visit


Top Viewing Party Tips

Whether you're getting together to watch the finale of your favorite TV series or cheering on your favorite sports team, set the stage for an exciting evening with family and friends by hosting your very own viewing party.

You'll receive plenty of praise from your guests with these five tips:

1. Set-up: When decorating for your at-home viewing party, look for colors and other trinkets that fit into your event's theme. For example, sporting events always call for your team's colors, or if you're planning on binge watching your favorite new TV series - you'll need proper entertainment-themed items like British flags and tea cups, scandalous tabloids or thrones for seating.

2. Create a Memorable Entrance: Impress party-goers the minute they walk in. For movie or TV viewings, place a red carpet, rug or long piece of red fabric against a blank white wall near the entrance to simulate a red carpet "step and repeat" paparazzi photo zone.

3. Please Be Seated in Theater (or Stadium) Style: Provide each guest with a cardboard tray to carry food and beverages to the seating area.

4. Serve Popcorn with Flair: Add zest to popcorn by using real butter mixed with herbs or sprinkle grated Dry Jack cheese on top for a burst of flavor.

. Premiere a Themed Concession Stand: Food is the highlight of any outing, and your viewing party is no exception. Feature delicious nibbles and noshes such as these simple recipes for Wild Wild West Dip, Super Chicken Chilaquiles and Bacon Oaxaca Mini Grilled Cheeses.

For these and other easy recipes to add flavor to your event, visit