Pantry Challenge Day 3: Breakfast Freezer Cooking

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This is Day 3 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. I even did some freezer cooking!

Today went fairly well, considering all things. I spent three-hours answering the backlog of email that had accumulated over the holidays as well as did a substantial freezer cooking session.

Freezer cooking? Pantry Challenge? Is that possible? Yes, because I did breakfasts, mostly oatmeal and baked good kind of breakfasts.

I buy oats in bulk so I had plenty from buying some a week or two ago and lots of leftover baking supplies from before Christmas. I spent four hours and I think we are set! I’ll add fruit and dairy and maybe some hard cooked eggs and we’ll be able to have some kind of Breakfast Bar all month long.

I’ll be sharing the cooking plan tomorrow over at Life as MOM’s Freezer Cooking Days.

How did we eat? Here’s how:


Last night I pulled from the freezer two loaves of Vanilla Cranberry Bread from last month’s freezer cooking and two of Bilbo’s Seed Cakes that I had frozen. Both disappeared throughout the course of the day. Several of the kids commented that they liked the Seed Cakes better after having been frozen. Not sure if that was their imagination or if the cake’s flavor improved upon freezing — that can happen — either way, they gobbled it down.


I love meal-sized salads, so that’s what I had for lunch with garbanzo beans, avocado, hard cooked eggs, carrot, blue cheese, and some croutons that I made with bread cubes from the freezer.

I seasoned the bread cubes with olive oil and Jamie’s Spice Mix from the freezer (cookbook, cough, cough). Loved them! They taste like an Italian Spiced Crouton.

The kids had ham sandwiches on rye bread and hard cooked eggs. I didn’t do well on the fruit and veg front. I thawed orange juice and applesauce. Does that count?

We haven’t had produce deliveries for two weeks, so the supply is running low of fresh fruit. We’ve got apples and carrots, though, so I will dig those out tomorrow.


Tonight’s meal was courtesy of FishBoy15. This morning he prepped veggies, ham, and chicken and we made California Chicken Gumbo for a Mob, tweaking slightly based on what was in the freezer and fridge. It’s a slow cooker recipe, so he got most of his work done ahead of time. At serving time, he toasted the rest of the loaf of rye bread and we had that with dinner.

All in all, it was a good day. I anticipate some balking when I serve leftover soup tomorrow at lunch. I’ll find a dessert to go with.

Day 3 Menus

Breakfast: Bilbo’s Seed Cakes, Vanilla Cranberry Bread

Lunch: Salad Composee for the mom, Ham Sandwiches and Hard Cooked Eggs for the Kids

Dinner: California Chicken Gumbo for a Mob, toast

Are you doing a Pantry Challenge? What are you learning?

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. Day 3 Menus:
    Breakfast: Blueberry muffins, peanut butter and cranberry juice
    Lunch: Leftover sub sandwiches from NY day
    Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and applesauce

    Found fixings for fried rice including shredded chicken in the freezer, so I will be making that for dinner this week. Have cleared out some freezer space this week, but I seem to be adding to the stockpile at the same time. Made too many mashed potatoes today. I had to go to the store today. We were out of milk and eggs.

    I started my pantry inventory tonight. Lots of leftover baking supplies from the holidays so will be doing some baking.

  2. Day 3
    Breakfast : banana chocolate chip muffins/ green smoothie for me
    Lunch: leftovers : black bean soup, hot dog, corn bread, grapes
    Dinner: leftovers: ham and bean soup, tuna bean salad, turkey skillet dinner, fruits and veggies
    Today was clean out the fridge day, obviously! Its mostly cleared out now. My husband requested chicken salad for dinner tomorrow which works out great, I’ve got all the produce for it and it needs used up. Love when someone requests something I have everything on hand for, especially during a pantry challenge!

  3. What am I learning? That I’m gonna need some more dish soap 🙂

    Yesterday was a good day for us. The kids ate cheese and crackers for breakfast and I had a roll with leftover fruit. Lunch was more leftovers in pita bread, and dinner was homemade pizza. I think the kids will be happy that the leftovers are gone!

    I’m going to make my menu for next week now.

  4. Day 3:

    Breakfast – pumpkin pancakes for me (made later last week). 2 yr old eats a medly of dried cereal most mornings. Baby pushed all of his breakfast away minus maybe a bite of avocado mash.

    mid-morning snack – I was starving on the way to my 7 month old’s dr. appointment so I used my starbucks giftcard and got a spinach breakfast wrap.

    Lunch – 2 year old had chicken nuggets from the freezer, grapes, and ycogurt covered raisins (made a run to the bulk store since these are a staple in our house – also had to buy cocoa and flax and saw whole leaf taragon in bulk so HAD to get it b/c no other stores carry it around us). Baby again decided he did not want lunch.
    I had the rest of the turkey noodle soup, and later made myself a piece of toasted bread with almond butter and honey and munched on various snacks left on the counter.

    Dinner – chopped salad with the remaining iceburg we had in the fridge, red onion, 1/3 red cabbage given to us at Christmas, cooked up bacon crumbles from 1/3 package I had in the freezer, 1 lonely salmon fllet sauted to put on top, with a sliced avocado and feta crumbles for daddy. Dressing was made out of left-over champagne from New Years. Pretty successful dinner. Served with a canister of biscuits I had in the fridge that needed to be used by the weekend.

  5. Day 3
    Breakfast – French Toast
    Lunch – Sandwiches and cut up fruit
    Dinner – Pizza and Salad

  6. Breakfast: for hubs – omelet w/bell pepper, mushrooms, ham & cheese, cheese grits; for me – yogurt w/dried cranberries & pecans; for ds – cheesy hashbrown casserole (homemade)

    Lunch: hubs took us to lunch at our fave Mexican restaurant…long story…

    Dinner: Leftovers from lunch for ds (quesadilla, Mexican rice), for dh & me, taco salads w/ leftover refried beans from lunch.

    Disappointed about our lunch out, but overall, a good day for the challenge. Also made Pasta Fagioli soup to freeze (sans pasta) along with peanut butter cookies and Ellie Krieger’s triple chocolate cookies for snacks, all ingredients on hand.

  7. I am just loving your blog… I just found it this week after Aimee of SimpleBites linked to the Pantry Challenge, and I’m already seeing so many recipes I want to try! 🙂

    My Pantry Challenge task for myself today is cleaning out my pantry/fridge/freezers and taking inventory of what I have so that I can make a menu plan and a small grocery list for the few things we need.

    The last couple days have been finishing up a meal plan from Christmas week, so essentially we were eating down the pantry already this week! 🙂 Dinner two nights ago was pasta alfredo with some random freezer veg that needed to be eaten and dinner last night was a bbq chicken pizza. 🙂 We breakfast lightly and eat leftovers for lunch most days, so I probably won’t be blogging about those meals much.

  8. I’m so glad you posted about breakfast. It’s the one meal that always gives me grief….even without a pantry challenge. You reminded me I have some over ripe bananas in the freezer that would love to be made into banana bread. Today is my first trip to the store and this list is very light – milk, eggs and dog food. Here’s to week 1.

  9. I dont know that I’ve really learned anything new.. Im an old hat at this and actually pantry shopping is how I tend to shop and freezer & pantry cooking is my norm. What I could do better at is rotating my food storage in my downstairs pantry.. I think it needs a shift and a bit of organizing.. Putting that on the To Do list! 🙂

    Today we’ll have oatmeal with maple syrup for breakfast, LO meatloaf and asparagus for lunch and I think I’ll make something with the boneless chicken thighs I have thawing in the frig. Maybe green chicken chili.. sounds good to me. 😉

  10. We plowed through a lot of random leftovers yesterday: some baby spinach, a half of a tomato, a little bit of onion and some blue cheese made for a good salad. We also finished off a slice of homemade pizza and two sweet potatoes that were on the edge.

  11. I made Tuscan white bean and kale soup. Sort of from the pantry. I had bought the kale on 12/31 =)

  12. I have been prepping some breakfast items in advance myself. I made a half-gallon of yogurt using milk from the freezer and discounted yogurt as my starter. The rest of the store bought yogurt went into English muffins. I took some half and half out of the freezer to make waffles today. I want to make two types of muffins next week. I usually have basic ingredients. Making them into something in advance makes life easier.

  13. I think this is my 3rd year to do this. Each year it puts me back on track for spending and rotating what we already have. I usually go to the grocery store every Saturday morning. Tomorrow I will just be buying milk, eggs and fresh veggies.

    Today I thawed some sausage and some beef to brown. I will thaw the pizza dough tomorrow and we will use the frozen mozz. cheese to make pizza’s for dinner tomorrow night. Tonight we are having a Honey Baked Ham meal that was sent to us by a friend. (Hubs has Leukemia and she sent it b/c he has been really sick recently 🙂 .) It will provide enough leftovers for us to eat for Sunday supper as well. Therefore, we will be using up very little this weekend, but we won’t be purchasing anything to add to our collection.

    I must get busy with my menu list for next week. Our kids go back to school Monday and I need to plan ahead so that we get right back into the swing of things.
    Thanks for the reminders to plan ahead and shop from the freezer/pantry!

  14. Joining in!! I’m so excited! 🙂 I’ve been wanting to clean out / paint the basement cold room since we moved in and I’ve just never had the motivation so why not use up what we have and do it NOW? Thanks for the inspiration. Here’s my first post:

  15. what are those raisin looking bars in the first photo?

  16. We went to the store yesterday (had to be in town anyway) and bought potatoes, parsnips, apples, rutabagas and turnips. We were out of potatoes and apples completely. The other root veggies were a planned purchase.

    Our menu for today:
    Breakfast was leftover pancakes.
    Lunch was noodle soup .
    Supper will be beef stew (full of veggies) and fresh bread. The bread is cooling and the crockpot is taking care of the beef stew.

  17. I am working on my own version of a pantry challenge. Today I made pancakes with some shake & pour Bisquick we didn’t use when we went camping a few months ago. I added a handful of blueberries that had been hanging out in the freezer for a few months since it was too few to make anything with. I also found some cookie dough in the freezer than I am going to bake instead of making any new desserts. I don’t have that much built up but I am trying to use up the bits and pieces that haven’t been used. Thanks for the encouragement.

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