Pantry Challenge 2017-26 & 27

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This month we’re avoiding the grocery store and shopping the kitchen. Here’s how we’re eating. It’s like reality TV, for food.

Slowly, but surely, we’re working our way through the food. The big freezer is mostly empty of proteins, though there is a fare amount of ice cream. The kids will be thrilled.

The pantry shelves are looking bare. Not a ton left there. I’m thinking we could probably go another week with a few more proteins, but at the same time, I saw some good sales I don’t want to miss that end soon.

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 26

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast

Lunch: Pasta Salad

Dinner: Beef and Barley Soup from my freezer cookbook, sourdough rolls

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 27

Breakfast: Oatmeal Waffles

Lunch: Skillet Chicken, Israeli Couscous from GCE cookbook, steamed vegetables

Dinner: Homemade Pizza

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  1. Laurie in CA says:

    Day 26
    B – fried eggs, sausage and toast for hubs, protein blueberry smoothie for me
    L – big green salad w/ chicken, black beans, avocado and Dijon vinaigrette for me, beef burrito for hubs using taco leftover
    D – baked potato for hub and grandson, baked sweet potato for me, steamed broccoli and leftover meatloaf
    Day 27
    I tallied my receipts today and my total for January (I don’t plan on buying any groceries this month) is $217. Not what I had hoped for but definitely less than my normal $300-$350 budget. Jessica, can you set up a page for us to continue the pantry challenge into February for those that want to participate?
    B – Sausage, English muffins and milk for our overnight guest (our 14 yo grandson, fried eggs, sausage and toast for hubs, scrambled eggs with spinach and guacamole, pinto beans
    L – Hubs was golfing so he took two TJ nut packs (those things are life savers), l/o roasted veg soup, slice of chicken and apple for me
    D –salmon, roasted cauliflower, green salad and French bread for hubs

  2. Jessica, Hope your husband and family are all doing better.

    I’ve been out of touch due to knee problems and computer problems. But I now have a new computer and it is set up and I am slowly learning to cope with the new system. My thinking is to follow your gut and take advantage of the bargains. You can still go ahead and finish off what you have on hand first.

    We have been eating mostly from the frig and pantry but I couldn’t begin to remember it all since I last contributed.

    Today I had the last breakfast burrito from the freezer for breakfast and he had his usual PB and toast with an orange. We both had tea. He takes nuts and raisins for a snacky lunch and I had leftover fried chicken. Supper was soup using up onions from the freezer, potatoes from the pantry, kale, ham, broth and milk from the frig.

    Participating in the PC was fun and I missed it while fighting computer issues. It is very interesting to know what others are doing.

  3. Well today dawned cold and needed something special so made hot mocha cappuccino (instant) and made quick banana muffins. Lunch it was chilly in my house since my front door had been open for about 1/2 hour while it was being worked on and new weather stripping was being installed – sooo I had beef barley soup and the last of the oyster crackers with a big glass of ice water. Dinner I had planned for chicken fried rice with peas all from the freezer – but some friends from my senior community dropped by and it wouldn’t have been enough for everyone so I ordered a large pizza and sodas (cost $27) – my query is do I charge that against my grocery budget for the challenge? Tomorrow back on the protein clearing of my freezer – with blueberries, rice, peas, chicken breast being pulled out to defrost. I just notice today that my village market has Talenti gelato on sale for 2/$7 – so I will buy two (brownie fudge and vanilla bean) – to top homemade crazy cake I will bake on Sunday. I still have three weeks of protein in my freezer – so will have to begin getting creative about menus to use up pantry items rather than buy anything else.

    • I have a separate budget item for eating out. Do what works for you.

    • We eat breakfast out every Saturday and have done it for years. It’s part of our budget and life. My goal for PC is to only buy what I absolutely need (and I NEED my Saturday breakfasts!). It helps me break the December money spending frenzy. I use the money I save on not buying groceries and extras to help pay for our mid February wine and chocolate weekend.

  4. Stephanie M. says:


    B – Hubby had the last of Jessica’s home made pancakes from the freezer and a pear; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby had a pork chop and macaroni and cheese; I skipped lunch

    D – Paiella and saffron rice

    With the pork chops, I had two boneless pork chops left in the freezer so I decided to use them for hubby’s lunch for Thursday and Friday and also the container of mac and cheese that was in there. So rather than grill them, I had a box of onion soup mix in the pantry and I mixed one envelope with 1/4 cup of flour; dipped pork chops in egg and coated them with the onion soup/flour mixture; browned in a little oil and finished off for 20 minutes in the oven. With the remaining onion/soup/flour mixture, I put that in a small saucepan and added 1 cup water and slowly brought to a boil to make a tasty sauce for the chops.

    With the paiella, I was able to use up half of the last bag of shrimp I had in the freezer; with the other half, I’ll make some scampi or something in the next couple of weeks. I did have to buy some smoked sausage and two boneless chicken breasts though to complete the meal but that’s how I’ve handled this challenge. I bought whatever I needed to make a meal with what I had in the freezer. In doing it that way, I was able to cook what I wanted and still use up just about all the meat/fish I had.


    B – Hubby had cereal; I skipped breakfast

    L – Hubby had the last pork chop and the last of the mac and cheese and I had a tuna fish sandwich using up the last of the tuna fish

    D – Leftover Paiella and saffron rice – all gone

    We are out of any kind of snacks in this house and hubby, although he is all for the challenge and is always a good sport, is looking for stuff to eat in front of the TV at night. He’s been going through the Christmas cookies that I bring out in small batches from the freezer and put in the cookie jar. He finished the jar of cheese balls, his favorite and I don’t feel compelled to bake because I have quite a few cookies left so maybe tonight, I’ll make some jello because I do have a can of redi whip in the fridge and two boxes of jelllo and two boxes of pudding in the pantry.

    • Stephanie, hope you are feeling better. Sounds like you are still making some delicious meals!

      • Stephanie M. says:

        Thanks Mona. Actually, I’m feeling quite horrible right now. But with the pork chops, I had to cook them because I defrosted them two days before I got this miserable cold. And with the paiella, I decided that day to ignore the cold and cook anyway. I thought if I got up off the couch and put on some make up and did my hair, it would make me feel better. But that night, I coughed my head off. So today, (Saturday), I’m not doing anything except boiling some spaghetti tonight. I look like the last rose of summer and I sound like Brenda Vaccaro. LOL

        • Stephanie
          Haha! Hope you feel better soon!

        • Even if you feel awful, you manage to make us laugh! When I saw you had skipped a few meals, it looked like you were still feeling poor. Take it easy, conserve your energy – it takes everything you got to whip this crud!
          Melissa in GA

          • Stephanie M. says:

            I was voted most funniest and most talkative in High School Ha Ha. Yea, not too much appetite right now. LOL

          • Stephanie M. says:

            And I want everyone here to know that my own sweet mother has always said that when I finally “croak” the doctor will have to sew my mouth shut because otherwise it will keep on talking”. Is that an awful thing for my own mother to say? LOL

        • Laurie in CA says:

          Only us oldies probably remember who Brenda Bacarro is/was. When I get a cold like that I say I’m using my Kathleen Turner voice, lol.

          • Stephanie M. says:

            OMG I was wondering who would remember Brenda Vaccaro. I figured someone would. LOL But Kathleen Turner works too. Ha Ha. I am 56 years old and I remember both of them. The good old days. By the way Brenda Vaccaro is still with us. LOL

          • i remember both of them But hubby tells me I have my Lauren Bacall voice when I get hoarse and we all just aged our selves.
            Yesterday cereal eggs muffins coffee
            Scallops , pasta and beets hubby turkey meat spinach dip crackers me
            Baked spaghetti squash with cheese and marinara sauce garlic bread

            Today toast coffee me eggs smoked salmon cream cheese bagels hubby
            Later luch/dinner
            Spinach pie ,Greek beef cubes ,Greek salad ,hummus and pita chips

        • Danielle L Zecher says:

          I hope you rested over the weekend and are feeling better!

    • Ugh, so sorry you feel awful still. But you’re soldiering on , which is great. You should be very proud of yourself! Keep resting up and drinking lots of fluids. 🙂

    • Glad to hear you cleaned up for all of us Stephanie. hehe It really does get better but seems like it takes forever! I am NOT going to admit to knowing who all 3 of the names that were thrown out are or were. lol

  5. My two kids have the yucky cough so no one is sleeping very well. Hopefully husband and I can avoid it…

    The kids aren’t sick enough to lose their appetites though!

    Yesterday we ate
    B- smoothies with yogurt, bananas and peanut butter
    L- LO spaghetti and meat sauce, blueberries
    D- homemade pizzas, one with pepperoni, peppers, mushroom and onion
    And one with basil and cheese, Caesar salad, cantaloupe
    Snacks, granola bars, clementines, olives, blueberries, cheese sticks, pears…I could go on:)

    Thursday feels like long ago…
    Husband fed the kids baked oatmeal I had put into the oven before leaving early to teach at the gym, then I had some when I came home
    Lunch was leftovers for husband and me and Annie’s for the kids with carrot sticks
    Dinner was spaghetti with meat sauce and focaccia
    Snacks were the usual!!

    Our pantry looks good as does the big freeze. My kitchen freezer is a little loaded now so I hope to go through it today and make sure it’s all supposed to be in there!

  6. Stephanie- If specific purchases help use other items and you can thoroughly enjoy it all.. I think that is totally reasonable!

    Patricia- do you have an eating out/entertainment budget? You could consider that $27 well spent for an enjoyable social evening!

    Nothing much exciting here PC wise..
    B-I had pulled a bag of frozen french toast out and put into the fridge overnight so I tossed them on the griddle to warm up in the morning( all warm at teh same time versus multiple runs in the toaster oven!)
    L- regular packed lunch boxes
    D-Kids fended for self while I picked my mom up from airport…so sandwiches I am sure

    Friday- day off work! Need to buy grocery staples very soon
    B- 1 french toast and 2 pancakes were warmed and served along side scrambled eggs… juice b/c milk was low…
    L- almost out of bread so previous night I grabbed a can of pizza dough ( local discount store score) and spread it out and made a quick batch of pepperoni rolls for lunchboxes. sent with apples, pudding/yogurt cups and granola bars.
    D-defrosted 1.5ln of chicken breast- cut into large cubes. Quartered last of a bag of yellow potatoes, tossed with about a lb of baby carrots… seasoned and baked all on a sheet pan.. served with frozen peas and homemade bread. served with pesto from the freezer for those who desired.

    Made a batch of homemade bread in the morning.. I made a cup of oatmeal flour to give texture and when I divided the dough I made 1 loaf plain and the other I layered in cinnamon sugar and raisins.
    Made a double batch of snickerdoodles…

    I pulled a loaf of banana bread from the freezer and took that and half the cookies to a friend whose youngest was recently injured.
    majority of the stuff in the freezer is frozen fruit/veg at this point.. a small amount of protein.. and I saw a local store is having a major ice cream deal…. might make a run.. hard to say no to 6 1.75qt containers of all natural ice cream for $10!!

  7. Hope everyone is feeling better at your house! We have a couple inches of snow on the ground this morning. This has really been an odd January with all the warm temps but I guess winter is ready to make an appearance. :-p

    Thursday 1/26

    Breakfast – Homemade cinnamon rolls

    Lunch – Cheese & crackers

    Dinner – Chicken teriyaki over rice

    Friday 1/27

    Breakfast – Cinnamon rolls

    Lunch -Hard salami & swiss sandwiches

    Dinner – Salmon patties with the leftover potatoes and green beans

  8. tastycook says:


    B – fruit and yogurt

    L – Tuna sandwich

    S – Cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, carrots and peas


    B – fruit and yogurt for hubby, I went out with friends for our monthly breakfast

    L – bagel w/ cream cheese for hubby, nothing for me

    S- chili

    We keep slowly working away at what we have in the freezers. At the moment there is nothing in the way of fresh fruit or veggies in the house. Since hubby’s surgery we have changed our eating habits. Not necessarily big changes but if it’s something we want – we buy it while still using mostly what’s already in the house. It certainly has not been a no-spend month here but I am at about half of what I set the budget at for the month so I’m happy enough with that. We are aiming for smaller portions with lots of fresh fruit and veg. Breakfast most days is a mix of grapefruit, and pineapple – both fresh with berries of all sorts from the freezer. Lots of salads fo lunches or suppers and of course, January in Canada fresh produce is not cheap but . . . .

  9. I have not posted for several days. We’ve had quite the week. Our beautiful new granddaughter was born last Sunday night. My daughter had a delivery injury which resulted in an ambulance ride to the emergency room the day after coming home and was diagnosed with a torn abductor muscle and hip sprain. Then baby was readmitted overnight for jaundice treatment. All are home finally as of last night with daughter on crutches (with a newborn and toddler). I took the entire week off work to support, babysit, drive to doctors, etc. Pantry challenge focus was not a top priority to say the least.

    breakfast- oatmeal and oranges for the toddler, coffee and toast and thankfulness for Netflix and high chairs for this tired grandma
    lunch-frozen burritos and apple slices
    dinner-tomato basil, soup, rolls and salad brought over by friends.
    other-an adult beverage

    • Karen, so glad to hear things are going better for your daughter and your new baby girl! Lots of prayers to you all.

    • sounds like that adult beverage was well-earned! I’m sorry it all ended up so rough for her but happy to hear everyone is back home and on the mend. Thank goodness you were nearby and able to take the time to help out. I’m sure that was a huge blessing to her.

    • Karen–An adult beverage was definitely in order!!
      I am glad everyone is home and recovering.

    • Laurie in CA says:

      Gosh Karen, sorry you’ve had such a rough week. Glad mommy and baby aren’t too seriously ill/injured. My oldest was in the hospital for 5 days with jaundice. It wasn’t any fun making numerous trips to the hospital his first week.

    • Wow, that is a week. Hope your daughter is starting to feel better. Muscle/tendon/joint injuries can be so painful and take a while to bounce back from. She’s lucky to have you, tired as you are! Enjoy those babies!

    • Being a grandma I can relate to little ones making one tired. Hang in there, better days are coming! So glad momma and baby are doing better.

  10. tastycook says:

    Karen, so sorry to hear of your week – you have to be exhausted. Glad daughter and baby are now home.

    • Thanks all! Happy to report my daughter’s in a better place emotionally having her family all home and her injury is healing. Grandma and Grandpa are happy to have a day of rest. Whew!

  11. Day 26
    B: Cereal, boiled eggs, grapefruit
    L: Red beans and rice
    D: Chicken cutlets, stuffing, and green beans
    S: I thawed the last ½ of pie in the freezer – pumpkin leftover from Christmas

    Day 27
    B: Cereal, bananas
    L: Husband and I had our weekly lunch date
    D: A nice surprise!

    We are that house where the kids always end up spending the night. My kids have had sleepovers for several weeks in a row. A mother of one of the girls spending the night sent me a text this afternoon to tell me she was providing dinner for everyone. She brought 2 large pizzas and a 2-liter of cherry coke from one of our favorite pizzerias. Food is always such a thoughtful gift. Lunch out and dinner catered — I felt thoroughly spoiled.

  12. Fri.
    We went to a potluck and I brought pulled pork.
    We will be seeing the grandkids. Not sure about dinner plans, but there’s more pork so that will be available.
    (7 pound pork shoulder makes a lot!)
    Birthday brunch out.
    Dinner: chicken legs, rest of green veggies from frig. Rice.

  13. Thurs 1/26
    B – he probably skipped it. I had the sausage pancake muffins and avocado I brought to the hotel with me
    L – I ate on the road, I think he ate one of the meals I left him.
    D – We both got home late and neither of us were hungry so we just had some cheese as a snack.

    Fri 1/27
    B – I had oatmeal, he had coffeecake
    L – beef hot dogs
    D – chicken and brown rice

    Kid saw a new type of frozen pizza in the store and asked if we could make room for it in the freezer while it was on sale. Really?? I asked him what he thought I’d been trying to do for the past month. LOL. He said he knew that, but we’ve made such a tiny dent that he was not sure if the box would fit and could we see about rearranging things to make room for it. It’s on sale until Super Bowl (which I realize is only a week away) so guess I’ll be taking a closer look at the contents of the freezer instead of just randomly pulling out whatever is at the front or what I remember has been in there for 3+ years and really needs to go. Maybe if I reorganize it all, we’ll see more space than we thought we had. Meanwhile, I’m out of fresh produce again so will have to be spending a little more money at the store. Still should end up at only about 1/3 of usual budget, though, which makes me happy.

    • Had to laugh. Our freezers have similar problems. We didn’ do a full inventory but I listed 20 different things that I found in there that I really want to use up. I think a couple can be combined. I am not as low on meat as I thought. We can maybe go another month.

  14. Hello everyone and Happy Saturday!!
    Jan 26
    Breakfast–Husband had his eggs and I had my toast
    I skipped lunch
    Dinner. Chicken fetticuini Alfredo with broccoli on the side and bread.

    Jan 27
    Breakfast–Husband had his eggs and I had a couple banana muffins.
    Dinner was fried potatoes and beef in gravy

    Snacks have been muffins, string cheese, fruit and or cheese and crackers

    I had to babysit my 3 grandchildren last night so I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to take over there and kept some for us as well. All ingredients came from the pantry. Last year at Christmas I found chocolate chips for 99¢ and I bought 20 bags and am still using them. Win!!

  15. January 26

    Breakfast : I skipped, hubs had cereal and milk.

    Lunch: I brought potstickers and dome snacks to work, but didn’t eat much. I left chili and toast form hubs but he didnt eat it. Neither ofnus has had muchanged of an appetite this week.

    Dinner: Chicken soft tacos, but I skipped them and only had a small nibble of cheese.

    Hubs had cheese toast before he went to bed.

    I stopped at the store to get some deli meat and some sliced gouda for hubby’s sandwiches.

    January 27:

    Breakfast: pulled pork caesar salad wrap and coffee for me. Used up the last of the large tortillas from the freezer. Coffee to drink. Hubs had cereal and milk.

    Lunch: I took the potstickers again, but it was a crazy day and I didn’t get time to eat!! Hubs once again didn’t eat the chili so I have no idea what he ate.

    Dinner: Chicken Hot dogs.

    This was a very rough week for me at work, and I really had no energy or desire to cook much food or make anything that we usually have for meals. We just scrounged up whatever was easy. Hubby was beginning to grumble by Wednesday, and by last night he was definitely annoyed! I was also annoyed! Hence the crappy hot dog dinner!!

    We both decided it would be best for me to just head to bed early and sleep off my bad mood lol!! We’ll start fresh again on the weekend, and hopefully next week will be better! Our weekend will start with a day full of car repairs…hooray!!

    • Although, this week did clean out a bunch of items from the fridge, freezers and pantry! Last of the chili, pulled pork, large tortillas, hot dogs and hot dog buns from the freezer. Last of the caesar salad dressing and parmesan cheese from the fridge. Last of the croutons, last of the breadz from the pantry. So, that’s a win!!

    • Sorry it’s been a rough week for you. We all have them and they’re never fun. Hope that after the car repairs, things start looking up! 🙂

      • Thanks Heather! We ended up spending $1200+ on the car, which was a very unexpected expense especially when we were planning on saving up for a new one. But, it had to happen and at least we have saved a fair bit this month on groceries!

  16. Saturday – 1/28/17

    I took out 4 frozen bananas on Friday from the freezer and returned a 3×5 loaf of banana bread. But I also made 24 mini-banana muffins which are delicious and sharing with my grandson later today. Three loaves of Boston Brown Bread, one for him and two for my freezer.

    Quiet day in the kitchen today.

    Breakfast – granola bar and decaf coffee

    Lunch – tuna fish sandwich with homemade pickled cucumbers and tomato slices

    Dinner – take out pizza for my grandson

    I’ve only been home in my kitchen 10 days this month so it’s not a good time to evaluate how much I spent for the month.

    My out of pocket for 10 days tho is going to be $40 on perishable items like milks [Soy and Dairy] oj, fresh fruit, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, head of iceberg lettuce, had not a single baking potato or sweet potato left in the house so bought both, luncheon meat, celery, discounted Walmart loaves of bread for 50 cents each, and a few items for a food pantry. We’ll see what happens in FEB.

    • Welcome Back Felicia!!! Hope the family is all well. Did you get to spend some time with little Paige? I spent today in the kitchen doing some baking, funny how it is so easy to do baking when there is snow on the ground. Made banana nut muffins, some mini and some regular and some of both with cranberries too. Enjoy your little guy!

  17. Went out to do banking and pick up catsup toilet paper etc we were low on. Groceries 25.83 included 4 packages of sausage and 4 whole fryers I couldn’t pas up at 83 cents a pound. Had to weight the freezer lid again. Finishing up beef stew today with grilled cheese sandwiches on home made bread. So some out of the freezer and some meat back in. Its all good. I’m still 51.00 under budget for the month

  18. Thanks to all you ladies who cheered my on with my cupboard clean-out. It feels really good to look in them now. 🙂

    Good Pantry Challenge couple of days, here. Thursday, Jan. 26:

    B: son had cereal, bacon, and OJ; hubs had cereal; I had a bagel thin with cream cheese
    L: son took turkey/cheese sandwich, clif bar, pistachios; hubs took turkey/salami/cheese sandwich, side salad, and a banana oat muffin; I was taken out to lunch by a good friend- a very belated birthday lunch.
    D: all from the freezer we need to empty out! Beer battered fish filets, rest of the regular french fries, then I found a bag of Trader Joe’s Super Food Pilaf (quinoa, sweet potato, kale) I’d bought for a quick meal- it was so completely bland as to be almost inedible, so I added cannellini beans (also freezer) and some greek vinaigrette to fix it up. Didn’t work too well, but we ate it anyway, and threw out what was left- none of us would have finished it later anyway. Never buying that again.

    Day 27:

    B: son had cereal, turkey sausage, OJ; hubs had cereal; I had a banana oat muffin in the car while running to some appointments.
    L: son took turkey/cheese sandwich, clif bar, and pistachios; hubs took turkey/salami/cheese sandwich, banana oat muffin, pretzels, and a banana; I had cheese and crackers – the spanish cheeses are gone!
    D: made 7 small burger patties out of 1lb ground beef and some montreal steak seasoning and served them alongside the leftover cajun pasta from earlier in the week (it was loaded with veggies as well as a few last pieces of shrimp). Guys loved the burger patties! And another thing out of the freezer! It’s really emptying, though it’s about half full still. I usually have it stuffed silly.

    On an ugh note, Thursday night I had another bout with asthma and woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat and sinus congestion. I haven’t even been healthy a full week. I cannot be dealing with another col! Ugh, this month….

  19. Looks like you’re running a pizzeria. 🙂

    Thurs. 1/26/17

    B: The usual.

    L: Son had a field trip to Medieval Times and got to eat there. Hubs and I treated ourselves to Mexican food.

    D: Turkey and Swiss sandwiches; orange and pear slices; salad.

    Fri. 1/27/17

    B: The usual (w/ blueberries).

    L: The guys had their usual packed lunches. I had salad w/ the last of the turkey.

    D: Son had pizza at a library event. Hubs and I had subs from a local Italian place.

    S: Trail mix.

    Went to the store earlier in the week to get milk, frozen OJ, garlic, shoe laces, and toothpaste. Spent $11.79. We don’t NEED to buy anything more this month, but Vons has some of our staples on sale this week, so I may (or may not) pick up a handful of things on Tuesday. We’ll see . . . .

    The fridge looks great (we’ve even done a good job eating up the fresh produce and using up some of the condiments), and a few of the pantry shelves are starting to show a bit of empty space. The freezers, however, don’t seem to be going down much at all. I’m all for going on into February (although I will need to restock some staples–cereal, whole wheat flour, peanut butter, canned beans, and ????). I vote for a “continuation page” as well. 🙂

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

  20. My shopping is done until Feb. I spent close to 1/3 of my usual grocery budget in Jan. so for me it was a win. I vote to continue on with the challenge. Hope Jessica can set us up a page! I think my spending if we do continue would be at the 1/2 mark as their are some things that I am getting low on. Meat is not one of them.
    26 th
    B – oatmeal
    L – l/o chicken, pasta, roasted brussel sprouts
    D – BLT, chips, cottage cheese, last of the apple pie
    B – breakfast burritos with salsa and apple juice
    L – Silver Dollar Skillet Dinner ( ate this a few years back at Silver Dollar City and it’s easy to make and uses lots of small servings of veg. and any meat you choose), and angel food cake from freezer
    D – Smoked brisket from freezer (maybe smoked in Sept.). salad, l/o veggies, freezer cookies

  21. Jen in Colorado says:

    I would participation in a continuation page in February too.

    It’s really just me who is working on the PC (and not super consistently at that) – my Dad prefers lots of fresh veggies and fruits, and likes to grocery shop every few days. He is in town helping out with DS (age 6), while I’m working, etc.

    Thurs (26) –
    B – I think I skipped it – I don’t really remember

    L – chicken/veg/pasta mix that I made earlier in the week for work lunches

    D – out to a winery with friends – French onion soup and some snacky stuff

    Fri (27) –
    B – ChickFilA – this would have been DH’s bday, so some friends suggested we go together and donate blood in his name (so thoughtful of them) – last time I donated, I got really dizzy, so i purposely ate a heavy breakfast to try to prevent that

    L – leftover chicken/bean burrito

    D (DS and me)- sushi from Target (which sounds weird I know, but our Target recently got an actual sushi chef) – I was going to let DS pick a restaurant that DH would have enjoyed, but he chose sushi while we were at Target picking up a bday gift. Honestly, DH would have gotten a kick out of that. 🙂

    snack – strawberries and raspberries, Pirates Booty (DS)

    • Heather M says:

      Love that idea, to donate blood in his name. That’s really beautiful. Sushi chef at your Target? Wow. Sounds like it was a good day, honoring your DH. <3

  22. Hugs go out to all of you going through some rough times and to all of you still struggling with the sickness. I feel like I’m still fighting that sickness myself, runny nose for a couple days, stuffy at night & a sore throat today. Goodness! We all still have the PC that brings us all together!

    Day 26
    B – LO sausage quiche, sliced strawberries & orange
    L – chicken salad sandwiches, healthy 365 brand “Funyuns”
    D – chicken breast w/sun dried tomato cream sauce w/penne pasta and steamed broccoli
    S – cookies, prosciutto panina, Apple wedges, cashews & late night popcorn
    Dessert- pie from the freezer

    Day 27
    B – hubs had fried duck eggs & toast, I had cut strawberries & banana along w/2 graham crackers w/PB
    L – chicken salad sandwiches & chips w/ salsa
    D – Jessica’s slow cooker pulled pork (it was a hit), homemade bbq sauce, creamy cheddar grits & salad – we had friends over for dinner
    Dessert – peach blueberry crisp
    S – chips, chocolate
    Put 3 small bags of pork in the freezer for future meals, used the last of last seasons peaches and all the chicken salad.
    Trip to store with friend, got another pkg of strawberries, some produce, tortilla chips, corn tortillas & some dairy – spent $24
    I wouldn’t have gone to town except that we were having company and I needed salad fixings. I’ll use any excuse to food shop, apparently. 😉

    Melissa in GA

  23. Thursday
    B: I had a green smoothie, kids had waffles & milk
    L: I had a single-serve portion of turkey chili and leftover chocolate cake; kids took PBJ sandwiches, pretzels, pears & juice boxes
    D: artichoke chowder and homemade dinner rolls
    S: kids had waffles, I had a handful of chips

    B: kids had cereal, I had granola and tea (apparently not as much caffeine as my regular coffee because I had the worst, splitting headache by mid-morning)
    L: I needed caffeine so I went to McDonald’s for a burger, fries, and Coke; kids had pizza lunch at school
    D: I finally used a bag of pasta that had been lurking in the pantry for YEARS!; homemade meat sauce, homemade garlic bread and Caesar salad
    S: daughter made chocolate chip cookies

  24. Not a lot of progress the last few days, but no shopping either. We’ve had unexpected visits from grandparents on multiple days that resulted in meals out. So, the kids think it’s fantastic, but we’ve only eaten half of our meals at home. Hubby is gone for 5 more days. So, I am working on a list of meals and snacks (focusing on the freezer, which needs the most work) for the kids and I. I hope to put together a meal plan/list for the next week which hubby home, too. I think a very detailed meal plan might work best for a week.

  25. I hope everyone is all better very soon. What a horrible year for sickness. I am thankful everyday here when no one develops a cough, ache or pain. Last year we got hit hard when our middle child started school. My husband tells everyone we were sick from October till April. Lol. Not really but we did have a few bugs go through the house that we hadn’t seen in years.

    Today I didn’t cook too much as we still have leftovers. I did make a chicken in the instant pot (can you tell I love it?!) I made chicken salad for lunch with celery, red onion, geeen grapes, on multigrain sourdough. Dinner was a selection of leftovers. Lol. BBQ pulled chicken is gone now, as is the cole slaw. I have 2 salmon fillets left for lunch tomorrow, and enough soup for a few more lunches.
    I did bake 2.5 dozen banana choc chip muffins and a loaf of pecan whole wheat zucchini bread.
    The leftover chicken will be used in white chicken lasagna tomorrow.

  26. Day 26

    B: Craisin bran muffins or egg sandwich
    L: Leftovers
    D: OK, I caved and took DD2 to Dairy Queen. DD1 wasn’t hungry, and ahh had a business dinner.

    Day 27

    DD1 left this afternoon for a long weekend in Denver so I made meals that DD2 likes but DD1 does not.

    B: Egg sandwiches or craisin bran muffins
    L: Chucken burrito bowl
    D: Oven roasted potatoes, vegetables and kielbasa

  27. Seems like there was a lot of cooking over the weekend producing a lot of leftovers. Finished up the last of the sausage soup. Drained the broth off the beef soup that I intentionally made with no potatoes so I could freeze it..put two containers in the freezer. Cooked rice in the broth..ate some of that and will use the rest for fried rice this week. Froze the broth and chicken bits from processing chicken carcass and wings. Fried the boneless breasts and leg quarters. After frying I cut off the meat from leg quarters and put the bones in the pressure cooker this time only using 2 cups of water. The resulting chicken broth and bits of chicken is enough for soup for lunch. I’ll make some homemade noodles to drop in. I made potato patties from most of the mashed potatoes. There is still enough potatoes,cream gravy Cole slaw and fried chicken breast for a nice dinner. Fresh bread was baked as well as a chocolate cake with caramel sauce. And I still have a 12 pound turkey thawing in the fridge. I don’t think I will be doing much cooking this week

  28. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Thursday night was vegetable soup from the freezer and beer bread. Hubby made the beer bread, and it came out well. Now we both know he can successfully defrost soup from the freezer and make bread to go with it. 🙂

    Our 98 pound pig of a dog counter-surfed Thursday night. We chose to eat in the living room and watch TV, and he made into the kitchen so fast and quiet we didn’t know what he was up to until it was too late, so he finished off the soup and bread.

    Friday was baked pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast for me. Lunch out for me, and fried eggs with rice for dinner for me. Hubby started back on nights, and got dinner out on his way to work. The plan had been leftover soup and bread for lunch for me and hubby for dinner, but the dog changed that plan.

    • Stephanie M. says:

      OMG!!! I’m sorry for both of you but I have to laugh. Those darn dogs!!! 🙂 I’ve lost a lot of good eats in the past to dogs too. One time, one of them jumped on the kitchen chair and ate half a pizza while I had my back turned. That’s just to name one. And the funny thing is that dog was a mini dachshund. But if there’s food to be had, size doesn’t matter. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. After that pizza, my little dog looked like a small watermelon. Oh my! 🙂

      • Danielle L Zecher says:

        I’ve learned not to get too upset about it. Duke only has three legs, but that doesn’t slow him down at all, especially not if there’s food involved. He has stolen quite a few things over the years. He had a great time stealing goodies at the holidays when I was doing so much baking.

        The only thing that really irritated me about Thursday was that I had taken him to work that afternoon, and the security guys gave him cookies, so he’d already had a nice snack.

        • Stephanie M. says:

          You gotta love them though, no matter what antics they get themselves into. Ha Ha. I would say that Duke is a happy guy. So sweet and innocent!! 🙂

  29. I’m a little behind on posting. I was too wiped out last night to pick up my phone and I actually fell asleep putting my youngest to bed.

    I made a batch of Jessica’s mix and match muffins- the kids and husband inhaled them. I added banana, some pumpkin and mini chocolate chips. They’re already gone. Perfect match of not a cupcake but still a little sweetness.
    Breakfast was egg sandwiches on English muffins with homemade turkey sausage from the freezer. We had blueberry mango smoothies and cantaloupe with this.
    Lunch was calzones made with the last of the pepperoni, some Hard salami I had tossed into the freezer months ago, and mild provolone. They went over better than I thought. I made 18 small-ish ones and there are 10 left. Score for cleaning out freezer bits. Lol
    Dinner was beef stew with mushrooms, carrots, baby red potatoes and turnips. Def more veggies than meat but I prefer my stew to be mostly veggies. I served it with steamed farro. There are 2 quarts of stew left so we will be freezing some or having leftovers later in the week.
    Today I am making pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (still have some Hubbard squash purée in the fridge, this should finish it off)
    I also want to make a light refreshing quinoa Salad to use leftover red and white quinoa from Thursday’s dinner. I think I will use Jessica’s recipe since none of her recipes have ever failed me! It’s an easy and healthy take along for my husbands lunches.

    Hope everyone is doing well!

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