This month, we’re shopping our kitchen in order to use up what we have so we can save money and clear kitchen clutter.
Here we go with Day 15 of the Pantry Challenge!
Everyone was home today, but it was still fairly quiet. I spend the morning meal planning, cleaning the fridge, shopping at Sprouts (for eggs) and ALDI (for fresh produce, chicken, and milk), and doing a little meal prep.
I thawed a few things for lunch and dinner. Emptying our side-by-side freezer is my immediate goal so I can turn it into a meal prep freezer.
Eggs were a fantastic deal at Sprouts (still!) so I grabbed three 18-packs. Unfortunately the entire bag flopped over in the car. I lost ten of them in a wicked mess that Bryan graciously cleaned up.
Since I’d bought them at a really great price, the mess was the worst part of the experience. I baked nine into an Egg Hash Brown Casserole with ham from the freezer.
I also prepped chicken and veggies for Bryan’s Spicy Chicken Fajita Burritos and made a batch of Hard Cooked Eggs in the pressure cooker.
What We Ate
Breakfast – I had frozen muffins in the freezer, so my youngest baked those up before church.
Lunch – Bryan has some of the egg bake and an apple. I made a big salad and cooked up brats from the freezer.
Dinner – Tacos made with tilapia as well as shaved pork, both from the side-by-side. I reheated some beans we had a few days ago and rehydrated corn tortillas. With lettuce and salsa we were good to go. I honestly just ate Jalapeno Cheese Dip and chips while I prepped.
How did your Day 15 go?
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
We’re on the road, but I fixed a sandwich for me to take and took some dinner meals with us. Catching up from the past few days.
L: Me-chicken, Havarti, apple sandwich, DH picked up sub
D: Asian chicken breast (freezer), Asian salad, rice pilaf
S: cheese straws
Still out of town, traveled to second destination.
B: eggs, toast and bacon
L: Picked up fast food
D: DS and DDIL took us out to dinner. Brought food home as portion was large.
B: DIL made yummy French toast casserole with yogurt and fresh fruit
L: LOs from dinner last night
D: I provided meal with food from home that I brought with us to prepare-beef roast (freezer), mashed potatoes, gravy, Jessica’s pear/blue cheese salad (subbed apples)
B – dh had oatmeal, ds had cereal, I had a scone and ds had a muffin at the coffee shop after church
L – dh had mac n cheese, I had leftovers, no idea on ds
D – bacon wrapped cheese stuffed chicken from costco (last 2 in the freezer), honey sriracha brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and homemade pickles
B: we both skipped and were gone all morning, with L not home until close to 3! Have a feeling this will become the norm this year.
L: I wasn’t starving so had two pieces of toast with that cinnamon bun spread. Later I had some sliced deli with mustard. When L got home I made him another toasted turkey and pepperjack sandwich. No spinach this time since it’s gone.
D: made a delicious soup from a thai peanut chicken ramen recipe, but mine wasn’t ramen and wasn’t the same, since I was missing key ingredients. The broth(which I halved since it’s just 2 of us) was the same, luckily. Used a good sized bag of frozen mixed bell pepper slices that good me prepped and froze in September prior to going out of town for 10 days. Also there was a single large boneless chicken thigh in its large original bag in the freezer, so that had to go. Plus I defrosted a small bag of shredded cooked chicken breast to bulk up the protein, saving about half of it for possible future bbq chicken sandwiches. Also added sliced onion, not in the recipe. So delicious!! I also baked up the last few brazilian cheese puff things.
Dessert: And, in even more good Challenge work, I took the other half of the can of light coconut milk and while the soup was simmering and cooking that chicken, made an easy dessert that transported me right back to my childhood when we lived in Puerto Rico 4th thru middle of 7th grade: Tembleque de Coco. Whisked together the coconut milk with a little superfine sugar, cornstarch (1/8 c of each per 1 c of milk) and a pinch of salt, heated it while whisking nonstop until it thickened. Portioned into two ramekins and chilled. Served with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Future me is thrilled I won’t have to find another use for that half-can. Present me loved every little bite! It’s simple and yummy, and super fast!
sliced deli turkey!! Also, in the soup I used up the last little bits of a package of rice noodles, less than a servings’ worth but plenty for this soup. We also have one serving left for lunch for someone this week.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Glad you are getting back to more typical meals after your procedures.
Your dessert sounds quite good. That was a great success in using up the LO 1/2 can of coconut milk. The last time I had 1/2 can of it left, I forgot about it and had to throw it away after it went bad. So frustrating.
And now, I want to know more about this cinnamon bun spread. Brand name? Where is it found? Sounds like a great spread to dress up a piece of toast, so do tell!
Thanks, Lynn! Unfortunately, the cinnamon bun spread is a seasonal Trader Joe’s item only available in the Fall. This year I bought two jars (they’re small). But it only takes a little to taste amazing, so i’ll be able to enjoy it for a while. 🙂
ZC from MA
B: overnight oats with soy milk, nut butter and strawberries
L: first time eating out this month (other than cafeteria at work). I got a latte and a piece of orange cake at a local café.
D: carrot soup, grilled cheese sandwich
S: a banana with yogurt, a slice of toast
I have been experimenting with online grocery shopping and had an order delivered today. I got around 2-weeks’ worth of food and the goal is to stretch it through the month. We’ll see if that happens!
I woke up not feeling very well so food was very plain today.
B- rice porridge
L- some leftover gnocchi in marinara
D- we went to my parents and had some sushi, I brought most of it home since my stomach was not agreeable.
This pantry challenge is the hardest one I’ve ever done between grocery prices, having no surplus of food this year and a 7 year old who is having a growth spurt and eating everything in the house, I’m going to have to do a fairly large shop this week to restock.
Sunday January 15th
B – I had a yogurt
Brunch – French toast (made with a panettone bought on sale specially for this purpose) and bacon
S – beef stew (from the freezer), served in a Yorkshire pudding with broccoli, rice pudding for dessert
Pannetone french toast sounds amazing, Tasty! What a great idea!
A friend put me on to this a few years ago and now it’s a regular in January for us. Actually this weekend hubby just bought 2 more panettone on sale for $ 2.25 each, full size, not the mini ones and their best buy date is the end of June!
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Tasty, I remember getting a full-sized panettone for 2.50 one year in an after Christmas sale. It was my first time eating it and it was delicious. I’ve been looking out for them this year but have only seen small ones, though they might help with impulse control!
Sunday, January 15, 2023
B – we both skipped
L – Paul had my leftover chicken Parmesan and pasta from last nights date night. I had a ham sandwich and CSS a banana.
D – grilled chicken, rice, roasted asparagus, and salad.
B- avocado toast with eggs for me, everyone else wanted cereal
L- we had LO from restaurants for everyone but the hubby so used my CAVA reward to grab him a bowl on our way home from church
D- chicken Parmesan over spaghetti (finished up the opened pizza sauce for the marina and half used mozzarella in fridge); made pumpkin muffins for dessert from pumpkin purée in freezer and subbed HM apple pie spice for pumpkin pie spice to use it up
S- finished the avocado from this morning with the last of a box of pita crackers, one son had a smoothie with the last of the Greek yogurt and some frozen fruit
Did go to grocery and spend $50…chicken was FINALLY on sale so I stocked up, ground beef and cereal had great sales too, & got some produce
Sunday was definitely a meal-prep and use-up-tidbits kind of day. I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself…and my daughter was shocked that I was in the kitchen for so long. LOL
Breakfast – I was gifted a bunch of little bags of flour over the holidays by my dog groomer, who isn’t a baker and didn’t know what to do with them. So my daughter and I pulled out the Waffle Maker (vigorously cleaning it as it’s been in storage for over a year) and mixed up a few batches of your yummy waffles. Some regular, some cinnamon. Now our freezer is full of waffles for whenever the kids want some. I also found a package of bacon deep in the freezer, so cooked it in the oven as the waffles were cooking. Not a bad breakfast! 🙂
Lunch – Had a whole pack of sliced ham that needed to be used up, and had an overabundance of eggs, so I decided to try a recipe I found for Baked Ham & Egg cups. Figured it would be a good lunch for the week. Boy, are they good! Had 2 for lunch with some red peppers and strawberries. Happy that my lunches are planned for the rest of the week. 2 points for mom!
Dinner – There was a pork roast that I had been staring at in the freezer for the last month or so. Thankfully, I thought to pull it from the freezer on Friday and put it in the fridge, so it was completely defrosted and ready to go for last night. Had a pack of frozen baby carrots left over from all of the packages I had bought for Christmas Dinner, so added those to the pot along with some baby potatoes. We had ourselves and old fashioned family dinner, with gravy made from the roast drippings. Yummy!
On top of all that, I used up some of the Quick Oats that I had bought for a holiday recipe that never happened, along with half a bag of frozen raspberries left over in the freezer, and made a large batch of Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. They are now in the freezer, for whenever anyone wants to grab one and heat it up.
I also used up a half pack of frozen puff pastries and made your amazing Cinnamon Puffs. My kids devoured them all already, so I think I’ll have to buy some more pastry once the month is up and do another batch.
Wow, just writing it all down is hard work! LOL But it was a good day!
Danielle L Zecher
Breakfast: We slept in and skipped.
Lunch: Leftover baked ziti and three bean salad.
Dinner: Tukey Pot Pie using shredded cooked turkey from the freezer, the rest of the bag of frozen green beans I opened for the 3 bean salad, baby carrots that needed to be used, and milk approaching its expiration date.
I also attempted a loaf of bread in the bread machine, but it turned out to be a lump of partially raw, partially burnt nastiness. I’m not sure what went wrong.
B: Found some frozen waffles the night before, so I pulled one out for breakfast with syrup and butter.
L: I was helping my son car shop, so all that I ended up having was some muffins for a snack when I got home around 3 pm.
D: The other half made a pot of chili to take to work, so I had a bowl of it with my cheddar bay biscuits for dinner.
Kathy in Denmark
B: Boiled eggs, bread, cheese and jam, coffee and milk
Late lunch: Different cheeses, cut up veggies, bread and crackers
D: Pork meatballs in a curry sauce with rice. Vegetarian version for DH
We grabbed a planned lunch out (we were in 2 different directions). Dinner was stirfry and noodles at home, using up a sauce and small package of chicken that I had targeted. A couple of small things disappeared from the fridge for breakfast and snacks, too. I’m using my inventory list from last week to generate meal options for this week. I’ve penciled a bunch onto the calendar and will select and shift as needed. I also put a few of the raspberry bars in the freezer for a different week, so we don’t feel the need to eat them all quickly. I found various ice cream toppings in the fridge (mostly hot fudge and caramel). Ice cream is a favorite of the whole house, but I might look for a cookie bar recipe that would use some of the caramel, too. Anyone have a good one?
Catching up on two days again, for no good reason. We haven’t left the house this week except when I ran the Target errand Thursday. Anyways, plugging along nicely here, though it takes forever to see space in the freezer with just two of us eating. Which is why I’ll likely go into February with the Challenge, until I run out of steam.
Brunch: I had a scrambled egg, bacon, and a GF bagel with cream cheese- only 1 left, these are leftover from while our daughter was in town; he had bacon, pineapple, and peanuts (was a pretty busy workday)
Dinner: baked some boursin with the last of the tomatoes I’d tossed into the fridge before we went out of town(i don’t like eating tomatoes fresh once they’ve been refrigerated, i’m kinda spoiled I guess), chopped shallot, basil, etc., boiled some pasta, sauteed some spinach, crisped up the prosciutto we had. Mixed together everything and topped it with the crispy prosciutto and whoa, it was so delicious. Also a side salad.
no cooking at all
B: we both skipped, sleeping in
L: I had cheese and crackers; he snacked on popcorn, peanuts, and christmas treats
D: we almost finished off the quinoa tuna salad. it’s so yummy and i had apparently made a pretty big batch. So good. I had some ice cream (we don’t keep it around that often, but still have some from over the holidays).
Danielle L Zecher
I’ll be continuing the PC in February, too. It’s just the two of us, so it takes a while to see progress. Do you have a recipe for the tuna quinoa salad? That sounds so good!
It was a low-key day for us. I did have a 1/2 gallon of milk that expired yesterday so I was trying to use that up.
B – homemade pancakes
S – we hiked in the morning and went to a local coffee shop for coffee and split and scone
L – I have a lot of boxes of mac n cheese so dh and I split a box. I also made a smoothie and dh had a salad.
D – daughters boyfriend was suddenly coming for dinner and I had pulled a 4 pack of chicken patties from the freezer (there would be 5 eating). Change of plans and I thawed a pack of ground deer meat my dad hunted. We had build your own tacos with meat, rice, seasoned black beans that had been taking up space in my pantry since quarantine, salsa, cheese, sour cream. Also put out a plate of fresh veggies.
S – I made homemade pork jerky with some of the hog my boys hunted. It was yummy and finally ready after dinner.
Saturday January 15th
B – regular for hubby,, banana and a muffin for me
L – pulled pork on a bun (using l/o roast pork from earlier in the week,the rest will be frozen for another day)
S – it was a bitterly cold day and I wanted something comforting. So I pulled some beef stew from the freezer and served that in individual Yorkshire puddings. We also finished off the apple pudding and custard that needed to be eaten.
I did go thru the fridge to see what needs to be used and/or purchased. Also we t thru the fridge freezer and got rid of a couple of things I knew we were not going to use.
B – Paul had peanut butter toast and yogurt parfait. I had overnight oatmeal and peanuts.
L – Paul had the leftover cheesesteak sandwich from when he went out for a business lunch yesterday. I had a roast beef sandwich and a banana.
D – we had a little “date night” tonight. I had a $50.00 gift card to a local Italian restaurant. So we ordered two meals for take out and the total was $49.00!! It’s a nice restaurant where you can eat there but we wanted to have dinner at home and watch a Hitchcock movie while we ate. Paul had limoncello chicken and I had chicken Marsala and we watched Dial M for Murder. It was really good and so was dinner. So while everyone was in the restaurant on a frigid windy night, we were having our dinner and a movie in our pajamas. Lol. To me, that’s cozy. Lol.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
B: I had coffee, DH had peanut butter toast and coffee
L: chili and avocado toast for me, DH: chili and cheese steak
D: DH bought pizza in honor of it being pizza week? from one of our local pizzerias after declining my offer of a homemade one. Added carrots with ranch and apple slices to round it out.
After reading an article that indicated that Romaine lettuce prices would be increasing by 61% with decreasing availability, I’m regretting that I didn’t buy any at the store on Thur. May need to make a trip to get some. I was hoping to use up my current produce and then the frozen vegetables before buying Romaine later in the month, but I’m worried that there may not be any when I’m ready for it. Jessica, it was quoting farmers in CA as saying due to changes in eating habits during the pandemic that much of the lettuce (and other fresh produce) wound up being tilled under in the fields so they wouldn’t be replanting as much this go round resulting in scarcity and increased prices. I’m also wondering if I should have snagged some whole chickens on sale as well. Decisions, decisions.
Oh boy I hate that romaine news. We eat piles of salads here in our house, sides many nights and also many many main dish salads for lunch and for dinner. Ugh. well, we are apparently going against trends. And I feel good about that but not about the prices we’ll be paying to keep eating that way.
We are expecting a heavy snow day tomorrow so ran to the store this morning for milk, salad and fresh fruit. The salad selection, while nice and fresh,, was very limited – a sign of the times!
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Heather, the same here. Usually, we eat salads multiple times per week, until my husband says no more! (He’s not as big a fan as me-I love all kinds). But I had a lot of other vegetables in the refrigerator I wanted to eat (cauliflower, carrots, celery, cabbage) though these can be “long haulers” since they stay fresh for longer periods. Last pantry challenge I had observed that I had few freezer veggies. I think I remedied that over this past year as I have plenty of those this go round, so I was trying to eat those down as well before I bought more fresh produce. Also, we are heading out of town, and I was worried about lettuce wilting while we were gone. But I’m heading up towards Harris Teeter today and if I see the Romaine, I’m going to buy some. It will make me feel a bit better, I think! All spring and summer we picked our own lettuce, so I am really missing that option now too.
Looks like you have plenty of snow in DC!