Pantry Challenge Day 20: Baking Day

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This is Day 20 of my month-long Pantry Challenge series  where we’re eating down the pantry (and freezer and fridge) to use up what we have, rotate stock, and save some cash. Today was a baking day.

Today actually felt like a vacation. Hubs has worked six days a week since the start of the year. This weekend is his first weekend in awhile. So, we’ve all shifted into vacation mode: sleeping late, wanting to eat out, etc.

In my efforts to curb the desires for outside fun food, I spent some time baking. I had hopes that I could knock out my list in two hours or less. I was pretty thrilled to do it in 90 minutes of active time. Contrary to how I normally do it, I left the longest baking item for the end of the baking time. This worked so much better because I could leave the kitchen for the hour while the breads baked. I didn’t need to babysit them or twiddle my thumbs while waiting for something to finish.

I was able to make the following:

  • 24 Chocolate-Toffee Cookies (I omitted the melted chocolate to stretch the chips I had)
  • 5 loaves of quick bread (cranberry and pumpkin)
  • a double batch of brownies
  • a double batch of artisan bread dough

This should make for easier snacking throughout the week, especially now that the crackers, chips, and other fun food have dwindled.

As for the actual eating? Well, it went down this way:


In light of our vacation mode, I spent some eating out money on baguettes from the French bakery. Petit dejeuner is one of our favorite breakfasts. There’s something so very lovely about dipping bread spread with cold butter into a hot cup of cafe au lait. Yum!

Sorry, no photo, since I ate mine as we were rushing out the door for church.


It was a beautiful day again today. I had no desire to go home for lunch, but we failed to pack a picnic, so we compromised (sort of) and ate In-N-Out burgers al fresco on their patio. Not quite the same as a picnic on the beach, but still out in the fresh air. Our bill was $25, so I didn’t feel too bad.


I cooked a huge pot of black beans yesterday. We had chips and cheese and an amazing amount of toppings for nachos, so I made a Nacho Bar. Everyone ate his fill. And then some.

It was just as well that our meal plan for the day got shifted. Someone took out the bowl of shrimp I had thawed out of the refrigerator and forgot to return it. I had to dump the shrimp I had planned for tonight’s dinner. You win some, you lose some.

Day 20 Menus

Breakfast: Petit Dejeuner
Lunch: In-N-Out Burger
Dinner: DIY Nachos

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

How was your Day 20?

This post is part of a month-long Pantry Challenge series. You can read more about my goals for the challenge here.

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  1. Today has been unplanned,but still worked out good.
    Breakfast, ham and cheese omlettes with toast.
    Lunch, Kettle potato chips and a nice cold glass of Perrier water…just my toddler and me. He wanted chips and we both did not feel like a lunch. So good.
    Dinner was short ribs in the crockpot and roasted butternut squash and onions. So yummy, and lots of veggies left over for a soup later this week. I must try my Vitamixer!

  2. We were still homebound yesterday from the stomach bug (at least it’s finally through everyone) so it was light food here and no real meals: bananas, rice, toast, cheerios.
    Baking day is a great idea for today. Especially since it’s so stinking cold out today in WV! I’m adding it to the to do list now. Thanks!

  3. I would have cried about the shrimp…

    • Yeah, me, too. I decided to rationalize it. I bought it at a great sale, something like $2/lb, and there was only about a pound left. Sad, but better than food poisoning.

  4. Breakfast – Egg, sausage and cheese on English muffins
    Lunch – Mini burgers and spicy fries
    Dinner – Shrimp and pasta with cheese and herb sauce

    Made banana nut muffins with the bananas we had left before we left for Disney

  5. Another good day!
    Breakfast: English muffin
    Lunch: homemade chicken salad sandwich
    Dinner: surprise birthday dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant

  6. All is well here.
    We only have one child, so we stayed on track.
    Plus – we are in week three of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It is keeping me focused on being frugal. For sure.

    So glad you got some great baking done.

  7. Everything came from the pantry/freezer. I even managed to pull off a low meat day and my extremely carnivorous boy didn’t even seem to notice.
    Breakfast: skipped
    Lunch: stuffed clams, veggies sauteed in balsamic vinegar
    Snack: pistachios
    Dinner: spicy Cajun rice, red beans, cornbread
    Dessert: peppermint ice cream

  8. I can’t do a baking day until I buy more eggs and more potatoes (potato bread is so yummy). I should make up some granola though it doesn’t take eggs and as long as it doesn’t take too much in nuts I can make that too. I’ve been trying sweetpeas pumpkin cranberry granola bars but they just are sticking together and they are not crunch enough for my liking for granola cereal.

  9. I made (2) loaves of cranberry bread with free cranberries I scored at Publix with winetags a few weeks back. My son loves cranberries – I made one loaf for him and the other I brought to work today as a treat since we all have to work.

    Yesterday I made a ham and cheese quiche for brunch, we had nachos for the championship NFL game for late lunch and I made a beef supreme casserole for dinner. Plenty of casserole leftovers for the week!

  10. Yesterday was super easy day for me.. I didnt make anything to eat until about 3pm.. I made Mexican style tacos/burritos with eggs, chorizo, & fried potato squares.. I had salsa (canned in the summer) with mine and M’honey had his straight up. I also snacked on a couple flour tortillas and then had another taco for supper.. and had a benedryl I have gluten & nightshade issues… but every once in a while.. 😉

    M’honey had the rest of the l.o. beef with red wine mushrooms over noodles..

    We had oranges & apples for snacks…

  11. Heather M says:

    Sunday the 20th was exactly as I had figured…. nothing at all eaten out of the pantry/freezer.

    We scrounged breakfast/lunch (as in all we ate was crackers, hardboiled eggs, and juice). The hubs went into town to his work’s inauguration reception thing while the rest of us went to church. He called when we were leaving and asked if we’d pick him up in town (he’d taken the Metro into town). Kind of a big mistake… we crossed the bridge just as the various police forces were beginning the road closures for today’s inauguration. We kept getting diverted onto different streets, and away from where the hubs was. We finally met up (where the car could end up, and where his feet took him… a few blocks west of the White House). By the time we crossed back over the river, we were all starving, so picked up our favorite Peruvian rotisserie chicken dinners ($37 for the 4 of us!). But it was worth it.

    21st-22nd will be more oddness, I have a feeling. The kids are off, the hubs is working (yeah, had to leave at 6:15am when so many are off work today, but others he works with had to be in at 4am). They will be hanging with friends, we might see a movie or two, etc. I’m going to try to be good. We do have tons of food. Just a matter of whether we are home.

    Happy MLK day to all. Lots to ponder from him.

  12. Heather M says:

    PS…. Jessica, the baking day looks awesome! Enjoy all those goodies this week!

  13. We did well today with company visiting and our baby’s baptism. Breakfast was super easy, homemade bread & jam or cereal and yogurt. We had a fancy Sunday meal complete with china (which so rarely happens around here) which was roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, whole wheat rolls, roasted Brussels sprouts and steamed multi-colored carrots. As I was cleaning up the lunch I through together a stew for dinner with the leftover meat and gravy and was able to chop up some veggies from a veggie platter which needed to be used up. We served dinner with some quick sour cream biscuits & sliced apples. It felt great to have tasty food all day and not add more leftovers to the fridge.

  14. It appears we are all coming down with colds so it was comfort food all around. Breakfast was french toast and sausage; lunch was mock Outback mac and cheese (nothing low fat or low calorie about this one, but oh so yummy); dinner was spaghetti and meatballs. I made a double batch of the mac and cheese which should make for some nice hot lunches this week. My challenge for this evening is some baking for breakfast this week.

  15. Breakfast-cottage cheese and fruit (me); hubs had eggs and sausage;son had left over waffles;
    Lunch: packed lunches for us all (mine was soup and a cheese stick)
    Supper-(we’re from SC remember)-hamburger steaks, gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans

    When I thawed the hamburger today, I thawed enough to make a meat loaf. I already have it mixed in the fridge to cook for supper tomorrow night. 🙂 Since we had the potatoes tonight, I will have to come up with something different for tomorrow.

    Still on track!

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