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A Project To Rescue Pantry Puzzlers Before They Hit The Trash

It's the season for dusting, scrubbing and digging into the inner confines of the cupboard, where a stash of daunting ingredients may await.

Rather than generate more food waste, consider tapping the wisdom of the crowd through NPR's new Cook Your Cupboard project.

How does it work? Upload photos of between one and three items from your cupboard that you're not sure what to do with to our Tumblr site. The crowd will then weigh in on how to cook it. We'll also select a few lucky contributors to ask a chef for advice on Morning Edition.

Since we launched last week, we've come across some seriously weird items. Our intrepid commenters, however, have totally stepped up to the challenge, and come up with some amazing recipe ideas.

Wayne Wolczak ferreted out raspberry chipotle sauce, roasted garlic and onion jelly, and coconut curd from his kitchen. He got this suggestion from Kathy Suszczewicz:

"The next time you have guests over, dump that raspberry chipotle over cream cheese. Best dip ever! You can blend some goat cheese and cream cheese (Parmesan, too?) with some garlic and fresh minced herbs and serve that garlic/onion jelly on crostini. There won't be leftovers. Coconut curd makes a perfect white cake layer filling. Even if it's boxed white cake, just spoon over and garnish with lime."

We didn't ask for the suggestions to combine all the things in the shot, but many commenters took that on anyway. Like the submission by Laurel of harissa and chickpea flour, that got this response from Rachel Schell-Lambert:

"You can add in some harissa to chickpea pancake flour, or stir it into strained yogurt and smear it on the chickpea pancakes, then add fillings like sauteed veggies or meats."

There have been a lot of mouth-watering uses for coconut milk. There was the cornbread tip from Joe Kolk, a pineapple smoothie recipe, and some awesome thai curry recipes.

And how about some junk food stragglers? A submission from Steph Gordy that included orange Crush dessert topper and Funyuns yielded suggestions for a candy-orange daiquiri and crumbled-Funyun casserole topper.

If you need ideas or have some to share, get your photo in soon. The first round ends April 14th, and soon after we'll have Nigella Lawson weigh in on one of the submissions.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Peruvians Love Their Chicha Street Art. The Government ... Not So Much

Walk down a street in Peru and you'll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren't impressed.
NPR

Tea-Infused Sweets: Chocolate + Jasmine Tea Is A Match Made In Heaven

Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
WAMU 88.5

America's First Ladies

They walk a tricky line: closest adviser to the President of the United States and hostess in chief. A new book examines the evolution of the role of first lady of the United States.

WAMU 88.5

E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

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