Pantry Challenge 2014: Day Twelve

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This month I’m doing a Pantry Challenge. For two weeks, I’m focusing on using up what we have to save money and time and to reduce waste.

Pantry Challenge 2014: Day Twelve

Wow! Day 12 already? It’s weird to think how fast time flies.

Today there are no exciting pictures. Sorry about that. Anyway…

For breakfast I made cinnamon rolls with the last of the Artisan Bread Dough from Friday’s pizza. We did not like it half as well as my other two recipes so I won’t be doing that again. I also made a batch of Turkey Sausage.

I thought I was doing so well that I put the pot roast in the slow cooker before church, but I forgot to pull the fish to thaw for tacos. Instead we stopped at Chipotle on the way home and used some gift cards and free item coupons we got last month when they were really slow with our order. Win-win.

Then we headed home for football. Sad. Snacks included popcorn and smoothies. I buy gmo-free Bob’s Red Mill popcorn from Amazon and that is one of our go-to snacks with melted butter. I make it in an airpopper so there’s not too much mess to deal with.

For supper, I cooked one rutabaga (it was about the size of a volleyball), a softball-sized turnip, and a bunch of potatoes. I mashed them all with cream cheese, salt, and pepper and served that with the pot roast and veggies from the freezer.

I highly recommend this method for pot roast. It was so good. I used shallots, mushrooms, herbs de provence, and some Newcastle beer. So good!

Breakfast: Whole Grain Cinnamon RollsTurkey Sausage, Fruit

Lunch: Chipotle

Snacks: Popcorn and smoothies

Dinner: Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker with potatoes, rutabagas, turnips

Pantry ChallengeThis post is a part of the Pantry Challenge where we’re trying to save money on food by using up what we have. I’ll be posting daily updates on how the challenge is going.

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  1. Breakfast: cereal, banana strawberry bread
    Lunch: We were at an event so had little bits of snacky things offered
    Dinner: ham, wild rice, broccoli, carrots
    Dessert: brownies

    I have a gift card for Chipotle and I keep thinking about it, and keep putting it off, but I’ve seen at least 3 posts on here about people going to Chipotle and it is making my will power run pretty low… I’m trying not to go out, but I might break down over the next couple of days!

  2. Oh my goodness the potroast with potatoes sounds amazing!!! Today we lounged around. I organized out closet and put aside some clothes to bring to Platos Closet. Whatever we don’t get money for ill donate to Goodwill. Also got some bills paid and listed some books on

    Bfast- Ate out and watched football spent $25 with tip
    lunch- turkey sandwiches with the last of the spinach
    Dinner- last of the smothered porkchops with rice and peas. We are the last of the chocolate fondue that we had frozen from New Year’s Eve.

    Tomorrow will be pizza to use up pineapples and pepperoni for dinner. My leftover catastrophe salvage soup for lunch.

  3. Good call on the Chipotle!

    We went to the grocery store today, so we are stocked up and I plan to stay out of the stores for the rest of the month except to get milk and produce when we run out.

    B: Rye bread, homemade rolls, softboiled egg, coffe, freshly squeezed orangejuice. My daughter had 2 breakfasts as usual 😉
    L: rye bread with toppings
    D: leftover spinach lasagna, tossed salad, homemade baguette.
    Snacks: fruit

    We are expecting temperatures to drop this week, so I am thinking I will incorporate more soups and more hearty meals in this week’s meals. I am hoping for some snow – it has been unusually mild this winter and I think we need some colder temperatures and some snow now 🙂

  4. Breakfast – Bacon, eggs, toast and hashbrowns
    Lunch – Finish off the hoagie from Saturday, chips
    Dinner – Baked halibut, last of the ranch potatoes from Saturday

  5. Recuperating from my conference! Lovely day at home with my guys 🙂
    B – smoothies, cheese grits, granola
    L – last of the lasagna, tossed salad, french bread
    D – queso fundido with tortilla chips
    A simple day, using up leftovers, relaxing in my OWN KITCHEN. Have I mentioned how glad I am to be home? 🙂

  6. For dinner last night, I defrosted a 2-lb chub of ground beef (from a quality supplier at a fantastic sale price) and made a meatloaf. I accompanied it with
    –Lemon-dill green beans. I got the beans on sale at Sprouts for .77 per pound.
    –Braised red potatoes. I used up the last of a 5-lb bag and tried a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve never braised potatoes before but they were such a hit that I’ll be making them often from now on.
    And best of all, dinner tonight is taken care of: leftovers of last night’s success.

    • Yum. I want to go to your house for dinner! We saw the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for braised red potatoes on TV last weekend too (one of our favorite shows). Oh boy, did those look good. I have about seven red potatoes left and that’s how I’m cooking them later this week.

  7. Stephanie M. says:

    We had such a nice day yesterday. Our oldest daughter came for breakfast with our grandson. So we had her and our youngest daughter over at the same time all of us eating breakfast together which hubby made.

    B – Scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage, toast, cantaloupe and strawberries, yogurt and lox with capers and lemon slices

    L – too full to eat

    After everyone left, I spent the day in the kitchen making a big German dinner and hubby worked on his puzzle.

    D – Rouladen, spatzle, German potato salad, red cabbage, and Birdseye Bavarian style green beans

    Our youngest daughter ate with us because she loves that. Our oldest daughter would never eat this. So my hubby, our daughter and I ate our dinner on snack tables in the den while we watched the finale of “Hostages” which we had on the DVR. So much leftover, I get a day off in the kitchen tomorrow 🙂

  8. Heather M says:

    Sad football. So sad.

    As is now typical for Sunday, we raced out the door for 9am-noon church. And we had to stay late waiting, since daughter had a planning meeting for a February event. Needless to say, we were starved by 1pm! We watched football–east coast so 1-8pm) and put away christmas (yes, we wait until after the 6th, but busy week, etc…).

    Breakfast: guys– nothing, daughter– an apple in the car, me–a protein bar while waiting for the slowpokes
    Lunch: Tuna sandwiches for kids, hubs finished the last of the chile con carne and cornbread, I had tuna w/cottage cheese, a hardboiled egg, and toast. We all had fresh pineapple I bought at Costco on Friday.
    Dinner: Made a delicious(super delicious) baked pasta: a found 1/3lb leftover spicy bulk pork sausage from the freezer, browned and drained of as much fat as possible, mixed into a jar of pasta sauce from the pantry, a little shredded mozzarella and fontina that need to get eaten before they mold, and penne I cooked, from the pantry. Then the whole thing was topped with more of the same cheese and baked. I only used a total of 4oz mozzarella and 1 1/2 oz fontina, so not too heavy. We had a green salad w/tomatoes and carrots on the side. I ate the last few raw cauliflower florets, too.

    Dinner planned for today already, so only have to worry about figuring out the rest of the week. On to planning. No, on to the gym first. 🙂

    • Heather M says:

      Oh and re: Chipotle? I had to seriously resist the clamors for Chipotle on the way home from church.The kids were trying really hard. Good thing I was driving…

  9. Day 12:
    Breakfast: pancakes, milk and bananas
    Lunch: Spaghetti and meatballs with tossed salad
    Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and asst. fresh berries

    I got up early so we could have a hot breakfast before church. We had received a gift basket for Christmas, which included a bag of rice flour pancake mix. I was very hesitant after I mixed up the batter. It had a very strange bluish, gray hue, but they tasted great and the kids really liked them. Since I had everything out, I went ahead and made up all the batter and now we have enough pancakes in the freezer for several more meals.
    We have enough meatloaf leftovers for lunch tomorrow for my husband and myself. The kids eat at school. So tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch are already done. I have an easy dinner planned so it should be light kitchen duty. Perhaps I will take some time to make up some quick breads to stash in the freezer.

  10. Can I ask you a question on theArtisan Bread Dough? I got the recipe from the Kitchen Counter Cooking School (read based on your recommendation), and have never read the actual Artisan Bread in 5 min a day book. So we strongly prefer the bread baked on the first day – I baked it again after the dough had been in the refreigerator 2 days – I let it rise 90 min – did not care for the way the flavor developed. Still have more dough and not sure I’m going to bake it up. Any insight on keeping the dough in the refrigerator several days? I thought I read it could be stored up to 2 weeks, but I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. Thanks!

    • The artisan bread is not the best bread. It’s convenient and easy, but the flavor lacks something in my opinion.

      My people really like it as pizza, but not as bread. I’ve kept it for 2 weeks for that purpose. It doesn’t get “worse”, but it doesn’t get better, either.

      I’d read the first couple chapters of the book or browse their blog to get a better idea about how to enrich the flavor. Like I said, easy and convenient, but not great bread.

      • Thanks so much for the prompt response and insights. Bread preferences differ – my husband like the crust on the artisan bread – he likes to dip in olive oil. For the record I like your pizza crust recipe (though he prefers the one we’ve made for years.) I’ve meaning to check the book out of the library so maybe I will give that bread one more try.

        And I have not been doing a true pantry challenge but I do appreciate the inspiration here and I have been trying to use up some things we have on hand and not go to the grocery as often. After a crazy day I made pancakes for dinner using a mix we received for Christmas with a topping of peaches and blueberries – both fruits had been in the freezer a while. Turned out yummy!

  11. Do you still prefer the basic pizza dough or is the artisan bread dough just as good? I made homemade pizza on Friday with your basic pizza dough recipe and my family all raved.

    • I prefer my dough recipes. I have a few. They are easier to work with. But, on Friday I knew we were going to be gone for most of the afternoon. I could mix up the artisan dough and let it sit on the counter and not worry. That’s the thing, it’s easy and convenient, not as fussy.

      But, my people like it for pizza as a nice change. It’s a slightly different style dough, so it adds variety.

  12. We are eating from the pantry , just not what I had planned. Got cold one night and Hubby asked for chili. No probably as I canned chili in Nov. So what I had planned that night got moved. Last night it happened again, only this time I was dehydrating pumpkin (got 2 more in the butler’s pantry to deal with ) and decided to try a new pumpkin soup recipe. I don’t know what we are eating tonight because I have came down with the crud so Hubby will be cooking.

  13. Day 12:

    Breakfast: we had the veggie burritos we should have had on Saturday. We used up most of the frozen peppers in the freezer.

    Lunch: I had mac and cheese, older son had two sandwiches

    Dinner: Zucchini “crab” cakes, baked sweet potatoes, green beans with soy sauce and garlic- I used up a package of zucchini from the garden and an open package of frozen green beans.

    For dessert we had peach/blueberry pie that my husband made from frozen fruit from the freezer, with the last bit of cool whip. Delicious.

  14. Today
    breakfast-cold cereal with freezer blueberries
    lunch-leftover soup sprinkled with parmesan, apples
    dinner-all the leftovers from the refrigerator put on the counter for free choice microwaving. I called it a smorgesboard to make it sound fancier.

  15. Breakfast was the last of the bagels. Lunch was leftovers. Dinner was some pork that needed to go and some vegetables from the fridge that were getting old. I pulled a couple old freezer items for snacks, too. A pretty good day. And I revised the meal plan for this week to include more older items. I also plan to use up a cake mix for cupcake or cookies mid-week to help off-set two dinners that won’t be favorites with the guys in the house.

  16. Nia Hanna says:

    Jessica, I noticed you mention that Bob’s Red Mill popcorn is GMO – free, but I can find nothing about this on the website, or their packaging. Am I missing something? It took me a while, but I finally found a GMO free message on Orville Reddenbocker, but it’s a little highrt in cost than I prefer to pay. I’ve gotten used to $2 for Tader Joe’s Organic, that I can no longer find in my local store. So, tell me where’s that darn GMO free message for Bob’s popcorn? LOL. Bab’s is really a good deal on Amazon.

    • I emailed my contact at the company and asked. There is a statement here on their blog:

      • Nia Hanna says:

        Thank you so much Jessica. I am so excited to read this and I now feel confident in my continuance of purchasing Bob’s Red Mills’ products. It is very difficult hunting down organic everything. As I’m beginning to find, it really is a pain in the rear to forego a dish or snack because some ingredients aren’t available in organic form. Is it a shame I was sad at the thought I’d have to give up popcorn?

    • Heather M says:

      I used to use Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn too, but it seems to be gone in our stores as well. Darned TJ’s, removing items we love….

      • Nia Hanna says:

        know. It’s frustrating. When I asked one of the workers restocking chips and crackers, he said the quality was being questioned. I could see that. I was not ever able to get most of those kernels to pop and I thought it was weird how many unpopped kernels I’d end up with, but I wasn’t going to complain at the awesome price of $2. Maybe it was my popper. The air popper I used said it wouldn’t perform well with organic popcorn, not sure what’s so different about organic kernels. I was however very successful using my electric skillet to popcorn. MMMM, sounds good right now.

        • We’ve been using organic popcorn whenever our produce box has it. We’ve never had a problem with it. The air popper works fine. Weird.

          • Nia Hanna says:

            It is weird. I ended up tossing my popcorn from the box because none of the kernels popped. I used my heavy bottomed stainless steel pot, which makes fabulous popcorn usually, but not in this case. After reading the letter that comes in the box, it clearly said to store in a cool dry place (If I remember right) but not the fridge. Well you can guess that I’d put my popcorn straight into the fridge after unpacking the box, before reading the storage info. I was so disappointed, but I got to Trader Joe’s to purchase my second bag of organic popping corn and if it hadn’t been for my dud popcorn from the box, I probably would’ve waited around to get more in the box. BTW what air popper do you use that works well with organic corn that doesn’t come out stale?

        • Ours is a Presto. I’ve had it for 6 years at least.

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