Pantry Challenge 2017-3

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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.


Thank you ALL for your understanding about my not hopping into the comments section too much this month. I empty my inbox every Tuesday after responding to all the comments of the previous week, but I know I won’t be able to do that this month. Because I couldn’t last January, either. Thank you for understanding!

One of the things about the Pantry Challenge that I love — besides you, of course, is that it forces me to bake as well as cook. My family enjoys it so much, as do I — even though I’m trying to lose the ten pounds I’ve gained over the last year.

Regardless, I’m thrilled that I made granola and banana bread. So yummy! Even if I only had a couple bites of each.

Today was pretty chill at our house. My husband and eldest son went back to work after a break. The rest of the kids put away Christmas, tidied things up, played with the neighbor boy, vegged with their video games. I took care of desk work, went for a walk, rode the exercise bike, filmed a video with my husband. It was a good day.

And the food wasn’t bad, either.

Pantry Challenge Meals, Day 3

Breakfast: Fried Eggs, leftover Roasted Vegetables, Granola, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, fruit.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Veggies, Hummus

Dinner: Mexibar of Taco Meat, Rice, Beans, Tortillas, Tostada Shells, toppings, Strawberries for dessert

We are slowly running out of all fresh fruits and veg, so I will need to make it to the store tomorrow or Thursday. I have two peppers, some celery and a handful of carrots left for snacking. I am planning to keep my purchases to JUST fresh produce and dairy this week. We shall see….

How’s the Pantry Challenge going for you?

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  1. Charyse H says:

    We’ve embraced the baking, too. I came home from work at noon and my hubby had made blueberry muffins!! We have bushes so always a surplus!

    Eggs with lots of veggies for brunch

    Cooked a whole chicken today for salads and had chef salads with muffins for dinner.

    I’m going to need produce by the weekend as well!

  2. So excited that you’re doing this again – it is very inspirational! I am hoping to join in later this week, when I’m off work and can take some time to get organized.

    I know we have a *lot* of food in the freezers. We already had quite a bit, plus my parents have been in town helping us, (and grocery shopping!). I really appreciate that they’re doing it, but I also want to be sure we aren’t wasting anything. We have a kitchen fridge/freezer, plus another in the garage, plus an upright deep freezer. And they’re all pretty full.

    My main goal is to eat down the older things from our stockpile. I would love to be able to defrost the deep freezer, but that might be weather -dependent, since we live in Colorado. (Funny, I would have never though about that being a problem before, but I saw it in a comment on a previous day!)

    • If you are just unplugging the freezer, then temperature might be an issue. I usually just take a hair dryer to it (being careful not to have the melting ice dripping into the dryer to electrocute myself, of course!) so outside temperature does not factor much for me.) Then again, I never get mine completely empty, so I *have* to defrost it quickly so I can put the food back into it before it also defrosts!

    • I like to defrost fast, often to get food back in the freezer. So, my solution for my chest freezer involves emptying it out, unplugging it and lining the bottom with towels, or occasionally old quilt or blanket pieces. I then set a soup kettle of boiling water I have heated on the stove in the bottom of the freezer, and close the lid. I go back in 30 minutes and check for slabs of ice I can throw in the sink to melt. I keep checking every so often until the ice is all off. Then I dump the wet towels or rags in the washer and dry off the sides with dry towels and leave the lid up for a bit to be sure the moisture is gone. Then I plug it back in and wait until it is down below zero to refill it. This only takes a few hours and any food that doesn’t fit in the other freezer, or in an ice chest has been waiting wrapped in blankets and quilts to stay frozen.

      This lets me defrost on my schedule which usually has been in the middle of winter, because my husband was hunting and bringing home a deer. He doesn’t go hunting the last few years, but that is still when I usually get the urge to defrost.

      I’ve been a bit wordy about this, but maybe you can use some or all of it. If you have an upright you would need a shallower pan, I think I used a dutch oven to defrost my Mom’s one time.

      • Thanks for the tips! I think I might be ok here as long as I can time it right. Colorado winters are weird – today school was delayed because of wind chills of negative 20. But in 2 days we are supposed to have a high of 60. 🙂

        I will keep the hair dryer and boiling water ideas in mind though!

  3. Everyone was on their own for breakfast (mostly finishing up the Christmas cereal, yogurt, milk, etc). Lunch was out while running errands with the kids. It was planned, but did not help the challenge. And dinner was at Grandma’s…so, she sent us home with leftover chicken. I’ll work to eat that up without having to add it to the freezer. We did pop a huge batch popcorn for snack tonight. We’ll be home for most of the day tomorrow, so I’m hoping to finish up a few things, especially from the fridge.

  4. Laurie in CA says:

    I’m back on schedule babysitting my 2yo grandson on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It forced me to plan ahead and pack a lunch the night before. I’ll probably need to go to the store Thursday or Friday for milk, eggs and some veggies.

    B – I had baked banana nut oatmeal (from the freezer) with cream, hubs had fried eggs, sausage (from the freezer) and toast.
    L – I had a salad w/homemade dressing and smoked salmon (pantry). Hubs had a fried egg sandwich.
    D – Senate Bean soup, corn bread or sourdough toast
    S – cashews, tangerines, choc. chip cookies from the freezer

    • Danielle L Zecher says:

      I’m curious. What is Senate Bean soup?

      • Laurie in CA says:

        It is a recipe that originated in the US Senate cafeteria. You use navy or great northern beans, ham hocks or shanks or ham bone (I always freeze my ham bone from the holidays to make it), onion, celery, potato, and some recipes add carrot. It’s a simple, stick to your ribs soup. You can make it on your stove top or crockpot.

      • I created an meatless version of this in my freezer book, if you have that.

  5. Kids back to school!! Mom back to work!

    B- they had oatmeal packets and toast and I finished a box of cereal with my coffee
    L- packed them PB and banana on hot dog buns, apple slices, chips, and a granola bar
    I finished the deli ham in a sandwich, cuke slices and took a green smoothie from the freezer for mid morning
    Husband finished the trail bologna and carrots in the fridge ( I saw a lot of white space when I got home!)

    D- fend for yourself before TKD class- partial bag of pierogis and bowl of mashed potatos were marked off the inventory list!

    I stopped by this small local grocery outlet that has an amazing, low cost deli to pick up some turkey and ham while the kids were in class. hubby is a creature of habit I cannot mess with!

  6. Stephanie M. says:


    B – Hubby had cereal; I had a cheese omelet

    L – Hubby has a roast beef and provolone sandwich and a piece of home made banana/chocolate chip cake from the freezer; I had white bean and tuna salad, using up a can of can of beans and a can of tuna from the pantry

    D – We finished the leftover home made chicken noodle soup; now a large whole chicken from the freezer is gone and I can see a whole lot of white space in my meat/fish drawer

    Dessert: we ate some more of the home made Christmas cookies that are in bins in the freezer; starting to see the light at the end of that tunnel too; tomorrow, I will consolidate some of them

  7. Yesterday was easy here as well. I hit the grocery store for fresh items and did buy some meat and bread that was on sale. Nothing major and no froo-froo items – just necessities.

    B- English muffins with pb&honey, fruit, coffee for me and hubs
    Snacks were cheese and crackers with cherry tomatoes
    L- LO spaghetti and veggie sticks with ranch
    More snacking…popcorn, fruit, sweets from the holiday
    D- turkey and bean tacos with corn, guac, salsa, sc and cheese

  8. I sent two of my kids down to our garage deep freeze to do a freezer inventory – – – only to find that the whole thing had somehow defrosted between Sat night and Tues morning. I felt like I was punched in the gut – all that loss of food and money. Some things were able to be saved because they were still really cold. But, there was a lot of loss. At least our chickens benefitted from some of the loss. Not the way I had intended to start clearing our freezer.

    • Oh Kiristin…..that is an awful way to start out the year. I worry about that since our deep freezer is over 15 years old,

      • We just found out our ice dispenser/filtered water on our main refrigerator is leaking everywhere. So, now we’ve turned off the water to the fridge. It’s 10 years old and has some broken shelves. Nevertheless, I hadn’t budgeted to replace it – – – AND the deep freeze right away. With 11 children who are here and homeschooled – we eat all meals at home. So, this is a big inconvenience. I know, I know – “First World problems.” But, appliances are my ally in keeping my household running smoothly. I knew we’d be replacing the washer/dryer soon since I spent so much time at a laundromat last year when either or both were in need of repairs. Not a good start to my year . . . .

    • Oh no!! That is terrible. Like Mona, mine is aging and I do sometimes worry about that as well. I would be devastated, as I am sure you are as well. So very sorry.

      • I lost a lot of food – meat, shredded zucchini, frozen chicken broth, frozen vegetables. A lot of it was ruined by the flood of water in the bottom of the chest freezer when everything defrosted. ICK. I feel like I was punched in the gut – a loss of food, money and prep time.

    • I am so sorry to hear this. It is devastating. The last time that happened, I called my husband crying. He thought one of the kids had died. Good thing is you caught it when you did and you were able to salvage some things. Hang in there!

    • Kristin
      I am so sorry for your loss of the food in you deep freeze!
      Our chest freezer is 50 years old and I worry about that happening to us too. I try to check it every other day and move things to the upright freezer whenever I can.
      Hopefully you will be able to find a replacement soon

    • Some homeowners insurance covers loss of contents. You might want to check.

    • I just wanted to chime in with my sympathies as well. That is a devastating way to start the year. I second what Kathy posted – check with your homeowners insurance. Ours covers $100. Not a ton compared to the total of food that are in most deep freezes, but at least it’s something. Good thoughts sent your way!

  9. Tuesday 1/3

    Breakfast – Oatmeal

    Lunch – Chef salads

    Dinner – Lemon chicken parmesan piccata over bowtie pasta, garlic bread

  10. tastycook says:


    B – fruit for hubby, fruit w/cottage cheese for me (finished up the cot. ch before it went off)

    L – salad w/l/o pork tenderloin and pineapple

    S – h/m pea soup from the freezer with bread for hubby, with ham sandwich for me. Hubby had some tapioca, I had a slice of fruit cake

    A good day for using up leftovers!

  11. We continued to eat leftovers and eat up the fresh produce on Day 3. All the fruit is gone except for Clementine’s. I will be very careful when I shop at Sprouts today.

  12. Hollie Paine-Dodge says:

    I’m always so so grateful to you for these challenges! Thank you!

    I finally found time to clean out full basement freezer, fridge, pantry and shelves. Feeling now organized and determined to eat up the forgottens. 😉

    And I, like you, forget about baking and how happy it makes my family. Holy cow do I have almond flour and baking soda to use up! That’s up first today.

    Thank you for always inspiring me to feed my family better.

  13. Tues 1/3
    B – cranberry walnut bread
    L – last of the lamb, baked sweet potato, grape tomatoes
    D – Pumpkin pork chili ( – I have SO much pork in the freezer, and had some frozen pumpkin that honestly has probably been there since I made this recipe a year ago, so finally out it went. In the spirit of the pantry challenge, some of the olives taking up space in the fridge for too long were converted into a lovely martini. We’ve all got to do our part, right?

    I actually had intended to use up some older dried beans when I made the chili but I made a list of 5 meal choices – that is the closest to meal planning we get – and told him to pick one. That’s what he picked and I did not want to say “oh wait, not that one, I did not soak the beans yet” as then he would not be enthused about participating the rest of the time. I used the canned beans even though those were just recently bought. It made such a large pot, though, I am pretty sure I’ll be putting half the leftovers in the freezer for later. I don’t want to eat chili for the whole rest of the week.

    I feel like I’m copying Jessica… yesterday she had chili, today I did. Today she had the Mexibar, and Chipotle-style is my plan for tomorrow’s lunch. If I see her post about doing a stir-fry in the next day or two, I’m going to feel a little stalker-ish!

  14. I get the baking thing. My husband was shocked to have dessert two nights in a row. Carmel apple tarts one night (okay they were frozen but I did bake them) and chocolate lava cake last night.

    Tuesday meals
    Breakfast-out with hub to celebrate the end of an awesome winter break
    Lunch-turkey rice soup

    Anyone know of any good instant pot recipes? I got one for Christmas and I’m a bit intimidated.

    • I have found really excellent Instant Pot recipes at,, and There is a beef stew recipe for Instant Pot on tasty yummies that I just made last week that is phenomenal. It is definitely going in my normal rotation.

    • has a lot.

    • Love the mac and cheese recipe from

    • I use mine to make rice! And that’s it. It sat in a box for a year after I got it as a gift, so that’s an improvement. 😉

      I tried a roast and a couple other things, but it wasn’t working well for me. Need to try some more probably.

      • Jessica, growing up my mom used her pressure cooker daily. That’s back when they had those wiggly thing on top that whisted. Scared the pants off me. It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I ventured out and bought one for myself.

        I use it to make chicken stock. It is the best way to make stock or broth.

        The MAIN reason that I bought it was to cook dried beans. After an overnight soak, I transfer to the pressure cooker and they are done in minutes. I make a huge batch and then freeze in 1 cup portions the excess for another meal.

        It came with a CD for viewing so that I wasn’t afraid of exploding the house the first time I used it. It didn’t hurt that I ask Engineer Man DH to stand behind me for support! LOL!

        • Yes! My mom used hers for sauerkraut and pork.

          I will try that with the beans. You still have to soak them?

          • Wow! Thanks everyone! I’ve got a lot of bookmarking to do. So far I’ve just done a turkey breast. It was okay, but I’ve made better. It did make great broth though that I used in soup. My techie son uses his InstantPot three times a week. I just have yet to experience the awesomeness of it, but I’ll keep trying.

          • Laurie in CA says:

            You can soak your beans in the instant pot. I followed the instructions that came with mine pot and it took less than 20 minutes start to finish (4 minutes actual cooking time). I then drain them and add fresh water and seasonings per the instructions and they cook for about 25 minutes. My hubs like them the best cooked in the instant pot.

  15. I haven’t commented yet, but we are joining in. We have SO much food to use up – we got 2 winter CSA’s so I have tons of root veggies, cabbages, and so forth to use up. We are running out of fruit, so probably next week we will need to shop for citrus. It is just the two of us.

    We had no breakfast because we ate too late the night before! 🙂

    For lunch, we had salads with radishes and carrots plus some leftover steak and pomegranates.

    For supper we had stuffed pumpkins and orange/pomegranate smoothies. Herbal tea and some dried pineapple for dessert.

    It was a good day!

  16. B: Cereal and milk; bagels and peanut butter; fresh raspberries
    L: Used LO chili to make chilidogs served with cheese & crackers LO from Christmas
    D: Pork fried rice, fresh raspberries

    We are running out of fresh produce. We have a couple of grapefruits, a couple of carrots, and a handful of spinach. So far I think the only groceries we will need this week are fresh produce and some dairy items.

    A gift of boxed beef from my mother just arrived so we are good on meat for the week – 4 beef fillets, 4 chicken breasts, 4 pork chops, and 8 hamburger patties! I am going to spread these treats out during the month. I think a dinner of steak, baked potatoes and wedge salad would make for an excellent pantry challenge finale.

  17. Yesterday PB for breakfast for the kids, used the last of the bread
    Kids went back to school, and I usually snack for lunch if I eat.
    Dinner was almost the end of leftovers, my daughter had lomein from Saturday. My son had half a plate of lomein and half beef and noodles from last week. My husband and I ate the rest of the scalloped potatoes and ham with peas.
    I decided to finally try out my nutrimill grain mill last night and made a loaf of bread with fresh ground wheat. It needs tweaking, but, it was very good!

  18. Tuesday, January 3:

    Breakfast: Me, biscuits with jam, hubs, cereal and milk

    Lunch: Me, l/o ham and beans, biscuits, mandarin orange, very old dried apple rings and a few coconut cookie rolls. Hubs had various l/o NYE snacks (crackers, cheese, meat, etc) and a slice of pie

    Dinner: Marinated Chicken, Broccoli and Rice

    Snacks: Popcorn. Hubs had yet another slice of pie! With Ice Cream! Late at night when I was asleep! Sneaky! At least it won’t be around for much longer!!

  19. Day 3
    It was a busy day here. Hubby and I went to the hospital about an hour away with his mom for a heart procedure. It turned out to be a much longer day than we planned due to the hospital having emergancies. Everything went well though, so that made the wait worth it.
    B-Misc. items, some had dippy eggs, meat grits, homemade bread and grapefruit.
    L-Kids at school and us at hospital cafeteria.
    D-Leftover lo mein from the weekend and fruit. Kids ate theirs early, hubby and I ate pretty late. So glad I had something healthy that everyone could grab quick.

  20. Hello all from rain soaked middle GA!
    Day 3:
    The last of the strawberries with a LO half can of mandarin oranges and the last of the BB muffins
    LO hotdogs and macaroni and cheese for lunch
    Dinner was homemade pizza with sausage, shallot and a few olives
    Snacks were bits from the fridge, summer sausage, cheese, crackers and nuts
    Dessert: hubs had a small pie with ice cream and I had ice cream with the last of the pineapple topping

    We are out of fruit except for some citrus. I had a large pkg of sausage thawed for company that never came Monday due to weather so I cooked it up for pizza, then portioned and froze the rest for Toscana soup this weekend and either another pizza or a quiche.
    Will be shopping tomorrow, sticking to my list of mostly produce. I spent some time yesterday researching recipes so I can try some new things. I agree that baking helps break up the challenge, I plan on giving my bread machine a workout.

    Melissa in GA

  21. This is my first Pantry Challenge (well official one, I’ve done short one week informal ones before). I spent last night organizing and reviewing my pantry and fridge. Now I feel ready to conquer this. I’m excited to get everything back in line in my kitchen after the holidays. I *hope* to need very little fresh produce as we receive a biweekly CSA box from local farmers, we get that in two days and we still have items from the last delivery so I feel like this challenge is timely.

    B-Bagel thin and cream cheese
    L-Chickpea omelet w/ avocado, corn, sour cream and salsa
    D-Asian vegetable rice noodle salad with peanut dressing

    The BF only eats dinner with me, he usually fends for himself during the daytime while I’m at work.

  22. B: waffles and maple syrup
    L: out to 5 Guys (I had to mystery shop it)
    D: salads w/carrots, tomatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, blue cheese (adults) and ranch
    cheeseball and crackers

    S: We ate the last of the cinnamon roll bread pudding. There is still quite a bit of whisky sauce left. I’m thinking it will be good on oatmeal, might try that Thursday morning…

  23. B- egg & bagel with cream cheese
    L- h/m Asian Chicken Noodle bowls. Used up my sir fry sauce and terriyaki sauce. Meat came from freezer as well as veggies from freezer plus 1/2 an old yellow pepper from fridge.
    D – Pork slices from freezer and a great pasta salad. Went through fridge and found 1 carrot, 2 stalks of celery, 15 grape tomatoes (kinda past prime) and about 10 olives, the other half of yellow pepper & 1/4 onion. All went in the salad with some sweet vadallia onion dressing. I usually make my own dressing but this was open and sounded good. It was very tasty! Finished off the stollen. Will not ever buy that again. We are not fans!
    Someone yesterday inspired me when they mentioned that during the challenge last year they learned to make several items that I usually buy. I am going on a hunt now for a recipe for egg roll wrappers. Surely one can make those even though I’ve never tried. My budget would allow buying but I’d like to reserve my money for produce etc.

  24. Wednesday – JAN 3

    Ugh! I’ve been posting to the comment section instead of this site!

    Thank goodness for that ‘copy and paste’ function. Surely I can’t rely on my memory for what I’ve eaten over 3 days. LOL!!!!

    Monday – Jan 2
    Breakfast – cup of hot tea
    Lunch – baked potato with black beans
    Dinner – Chicken Enchilada Casserole is on the menu for tonight. Was going to make chicken fajitas but Bachelor Son had a can of enchilada sauce in his cabinets.

    Tuesday –
    Breakfast – toast with peanut butter and orange marmalade, cup of hot tea
    Lunch – cheese and celery sticks. Cup of hot tea
    Dinner – Meatball stew for for two.

    Wednesday –
    Still operating out of bachelor son’s kitchen which appears the likes of which a successful pantry challenge has already taken place. LOL! Working with what I’ve got….

    Breakfast – white egg omlette with kale salad
    Lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    Dinner – chicken, broccoli and rice casserole.

    I think I’m on the right track now on where to find you ladies!!!

  25. Jan. 3
    Breakfast–Husband had scrambled eggs with onions broccoli cheese and ham and toast. I had homemade zucchini bread. The boys slept to late for breakfast.
    Lunch–hubs doesn’t eat lunch. I had the rest of a meat and cheese tray and an orange. One boy finished the white chicken chili and the other finished the l/o mac and cheese.
    Dinner–scrambled egg bake with homemade frozen shredded hashbrowns, onions ,frozen shredded zucchini, l/o sausage and cheese and toast with sliced apples.
    Snacks–christmas cookies, sweet breads, and orange sections.
    5 things out of the freezer!!

  26. I didn’t post yesterday, so this is for day two and three.


    B: Oats and milk for DH. Rye porridge for the girls. Toast with jam and a cup of coffee for me, when I had dropped DD1 off at kindergarten.
    L: Packed lunch for DH and DD1. Rye bread with cream cheese and cucumber+ milk for DD2. Last of the scalloped potatoes from NYE and a piece of rye bread with som sliced leftover roast veal for me.
    D: Rye porridge for the girls. Take-out pizza for DH and I after the girls were in bed.
    S: Crackers, fruit etc.

    We take turns bringing an afternoon meal for DD1’s kindergarten, and I noticed no one had put their name on the board for tuesday, so I put my daughter’s name on it and decided I would make potato soup with bread for them. I had not been feeling well, and it got worse during monday (cold, sore throat and no energy). So I didn’t get much done during the day and we actually ended up going clothes shopping for the girls in the afternoon, since this was the best day of the week to get it done. We got home after our normal dinner time with two very tired children, so we just fed them and picked up pizza later. I made the potato soup after the girls were in bed and decided it was best to just buy bread at the store on the way to kindergarten tuesday!


    B: Oats and milk for DH. Knækbrød (a Swedish type of bread) with butter for the girls. Toast and a cup of coffee for me.
    L: Packed lunch for DH and DD1. Rye bread with cold cuts for DD2. The last of the dessert from NYE for me after I had put DD2 down for her nap.
    D: Potato soup with bread (I had made enough for us as well)
    S: Bananas, crackers, Christmas cookies, kransekage (special cake from NYE)

    I am still not feeling well and this is definitely reflected in the meals we have! I hope this cold blows over soon….

    Kathy in Denmark

    • Hope you feel better soon! It seems colds are going around lots of places. That’s probably a little nicer than the intestinal bug zipping around my area. Thank heavens it seems to have bypassed my house.

      • Kathy in Denmark says:

        Thank you, Sandi. I am taking a natural potion, which is actually helping a lot! I hope you don’t get the intestinal bug, I agree that it is much worse than a cold!

        In Denmark, many people have influenza right now. I guess it’s just that time of year….

        Kathy in Denmark

  27. Just now jumping in. I’m not doing a full challenge, only trying to empty out our deep freeze so I can clean it. We’ve had colds going through the family, including me. Last night I was so tired I didn’t think I’d be able to make dinner, but I pushed myself and got it done.

    B – bagels, grapefruit, milk for family, and tea for me

    L – Alfredo noodles and veg (good cheap eats in 30 minutes cookbook), and French bread

    D – chilli and cornbread, chocolate lava cake for dessert

    Snacks – popcorn for the kids, lots of tea for me

  28. It is great to read everyone’s progress. I am getting some wonderful menu ideas from all of you! Here is the link to my pantry challenge post:

  29. Breakfast here is always “whatever is here that you will eat” Since I have to be at work at 6, I don’t see what everyone else eats, I had an apple and a cheese stick.

    Lunch is always “whatever is here that you will pack in your lunch box.” There again, I am gone before they ever rise and shine so I am not sure what they take. (Husband and 16 yo who packs a lunch like Jethro!!) I took LO spaghetti.

    Dinner is grilled chicken, salad and homemade bread slices. We need to eat up the bread and we don’t need both the bread and a starch.

    Our refrigerator is already showing bare spots, though not many. The freezer has a LONG way to go!

  30. Thanks to another reader’s post, I was able to use up the nearly expired milk-crisis averted.

    B: Hard boiled eggs, blackberries, yogurt
    L: Chicken strawberry poppyseed salads
    D: Au gratin potatoes and ham (I went to a meeting before it was done baking. The girls and HH did not think the mixed vegetables I also left for them were necessary:)

  31. B: Choice of cereal or Malt ‘o Meal
    L: Last two pieces of LO pizza and Doritos for the kids; Taquitos with sour cream for myself; Hubs had a lunch meeting at work (paid for by the company)
    D: Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese

    Drinks: Chocolate milk, water, cokes

    Snacks / Desserts: Christmas cookies, fritos, string cheese

    Husband was kind enough to stop at grocery store for me after work. Our intended budget is used up for the week. Working on a meal plan to cover through the weekend.

    Not worrying about the insane amount of junk we’ve been consuming so far, but definitely intend to stop from buying so much of it after it’s gone.

  32. Christine says:

    Used the rest of the eggs, some cheese and Christmas ham to make an egg bake for dinner. Served it with some leftovers from past nights.

  33. Tues. 1/3/17

    B: Cereal (w/ blueberries for me; the guys didn’t want any), toast w/ pumpkin butter, OJ, coffee.

    L: Half a grilled cheese sandwich for each of us, cantaloupe, grapes, yogurt parfaits (plain yogurt, cranberry-pomegranate compote, granola), Christmas treats, water, hot tea, hot cocoa.

    D: LO split pea soup, crackers, pear and tangelo slices, water, milk.

    S: Christmas chocolates

    Wed. 1/4/17

    B: Cereal, toast, OJ, coffee for the guys. (Nothing for me; had to have bloodwork done.)

    L: Son had PBJ sandwich, a yogurt parfait, and some trail mix. Hubs and I ate out.

    D: Son had a cheese sandwich and cantaloupe. Hubs had PB toast and some pita chips. I had crackers w/ guacamole and some pistachios. (It was an odd day. What can I say?)

    S: Christmas chocolates.

  34. I remember stocking up on your pre-made muffin mixes last year, sounds like its time to do that again! Kids are still home from school, but Im back to work.

    B- Paleo breakfast sausage & eggs, coffee
    L-Steak salad for me, party leftovers for the family
    D- Green Drink and Almond Milk for me, more party leftovers for the family….

    We have way too much party food, the family is done with eating leftovers and the shelf life will expire soon, so I’ll have to cook soon… haha.

  35. Tiffany R says:

    We are doing a modified pantry challenge since our freezers look very bare but I am determined to have less food waste. So yesterday’s dinner looked kinda weird…

    Dinner: Remaining bag of chicken fingers, remaining bag of fish fillets, leftover hamburger, French fries from freezer, leftover Mac and cheese and grapes that were not getting any younger. I told everyone that we were not leaving the table until the grapes were gone. It wasn’t that many but it made for a dinner time challenge that my son accepted. It is amazon how much a 12 year old boy can eat.


    • 22 yo boys can eat an awful lot as well. You’d think I’d be used to it by now!
      I figure if you go to a buffet then you will get a little bit of several different things that usually aren’t considered to “go together” and think that is just fine, so why shouldn’t that work at home as well? I must have used that concept a few times to great extent because now if I serve something that isn’t a normal mix of items, the kid just says, “We’ve had stranger combinations”. I don’t think he has any particular meal in mind, just that we’ve had some truly bizarre meals before so simply odd is no longer worth noticing. LOL. As long as he doesn’t have to prepare it and there’s at least one item he actually likes, he just accepts it.

  36. Day 4 was leftover ham made as ham and cheese sandwiches on thin bagels .Hubby had leftover mac and cheese and I had tom soup. He took the last of the mac and cheese with the last of the poorman stroganoff over it for his lunch. I had poorman stroganoff over a bun for mine. Both of us had pie for bfast.

  37. Sue Diamond says:

    4th Jan

    B – Scrambled eggs on toast with LO smoked salmon (yum!)
    L – Went to cafe with Daughter, Son and Son’s friend as they are all still off work/uni.
    D – Mushroom and Stilton Quinoa Risotto – really good as used up some very old mushrooms and most of the Stilton mountain LO from holidays! Followed by more LO cheese and biscuits.

    I have listed everything in our big chest freezer and most of the food cupboards, just a couple left to go. Can be tricky – there are four of us, one family member doesn’t eat meat or processed white flour/sugar, another doesn’t eat bread and I can’t eat chilli or tomatoes due to reflux!

    I sort of followed last year’s challenge but planning on participating fully this year, really awesome thing to do, thanks Jessica!

  38. Yet again, posting to the wrong page. When will I learn!!!

    Here’s what’s been going on in the kitchen these past few days….

    Wednesday – JAN 4
    Still operating out of bachelor son’s kitchen which appears the likes of which a successful pantry challenge has already taken place. LOL! Working with what I’ve got….
    Breakfast – white egg omlette with kale salad
    Lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    Dinner – chicken, broccoli and rice casserole.

    Thursday – JAN 5
    Breakfast – cup of hot tea
    Lunch – leftover chicken casserole
    Dinner – soft chicken and black bean tacos and kale chips.

    January 7, 2017 at 11:51 am
    Snow Alone Saturday –
    Where I am staying in NC did not receive as much snow as anticipated, ice/sleet and snow dusting which I personally think is more dangerous than snow.
    Bought a can of tomatoes for the cupboard earlier in the week, took it out today to make homemade tomato soup b/c snow and soup just seem to go together with a grilled cheese sandwich!
    Breakfast – hot cup of tea
    Lunch – soup and sandwich
    Dinner – Rotisserie Chicken Breast and gravy, roasted broccoli.

    Sunday – JAN 8
    Breakfast – cinnamon bagel with hot tea for me; omlette with cooked kale and toast for son.
    Lunch – leftover meatball stew and peanut butter saltine crackers
    Dinner – it was YOYO night tonight! Swiss cheese and crackers, a banana, and a Kellogg’s fruit granola bar.

    Tuesday – JAN 10
    Breakfast – cut of hot tea
    Lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    Dinner – faux chicken pot pie. Well, it’s chicken pot pie without all the crust (you know, the good part) only doing a little lattice topping and only a hint of gravy to keep the pot pie mixture from drying out.

    A few more days in son’s kitchen before returning to my own.

    A tip that I’m learning to doing a successful pantry challenge that I did not learn last year…when you have no car to go out and shop, you definately use what you have on hand! 😉

  39. Throw Back Thursday – JAN 12

    It’s my momiversary! Yes, 36 years ago today. Back then “#” wasn’t a hashtag, momiversary wasn’t even a word and 36 years wasn’t supposed to go so darn fast!!!!

    Breakfast – toast and hot tea

    Lunch – chicken salad

    Dinner – had to buy some chicken thighs as the freezer just has a few meatballs in it. Rosemary Baked Chicken thighs, broccoli and zucchini with a sweet potato.

    Dessert – used a very ripe banana to make banana cinnamon-walnut cookies! It is a soft cookie, if interested….

    Banana Cinnamon-Walnut Cookies
    ? 1 ripe banana mashed
    ? 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
    ? Handful of chopped walnuts
    ? ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    ? ½ tsp baking powder

    Swirl all ingred exc banana in food processor
    Pour food processor ingred into bowl
    Add mashed banana
    Spoon onto greased cookie sheet

    Bake 350 for about 10 min (ovens may vary)
    Yields 6 cookies

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