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 26 of the Pantry Challenge!
I spent the bulk of the day in the kitchen, shooting old recipes. The life of a food blogger who’s been doing it for 14+ years is to redo to keep up with the young kids.
Here’s hoping it works!
What We Ate
Four of us were home to eat today.
Breakfast – protein smoothies, grapefruit, and S’mores
Lunch – chicken sausage from the freezer, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Olive Oil and Garlic, and green beans from the freezer.
Dinner – Since it’s date night, Bryan and I went out for Thai. I’m trying to learn new cooking styles, but I can’t cook what I’m not familiar with. The kids made ramen and dolled it up with soft cooked eggs, bacon, and onions.
How did Day 26 go for you?
Breakfast: I skipped. I think Nick got fast food on the way to work.
Lunch: I DoorDashed Panera. Nick got lunch out.
Dinner: I didn’t finish up with work until around 10:00pm, so never cooked. I snacked on corn chips and white chocolate. I think Nick had chips and cookies for dinner.
B – muffins
L – chicken noodle soup (leftovers from the can I opened the other day)
Snacks – butterfinger candy (yes -I hit up the vending at work!), almonds,
D – I had another snacky meal- bagel chips w/ cream cheese spread, baby carrots, cantaloupe chunks. Also ate a piece of chocolate cake.
B: L skipped; I had the last bit of german pancake with its leftover blueberry sauce
L: L took another toasted turkey, avo, arugula sandwich, last of the pineapple, and ww eggnog choc chip bread; I ate some leftover rice with the last little spicy sauce still hanging around from our favorite peruvian rotisserie, breakfast turkey sausage from the freezer ( we have tons of this- I buy it at costco when it’s on coupon and have way more than I thought, so we don’t need it for ages), and the last of the slaw
D: needed to use up the last bit of good-ish arugula so opted to make some pasta, tossed it with a little olive oil and tons of garlic, the arugula, parmesan, then decided it needed more, so added chopped tomato and dried italian seasoning. Much better. We also had roasted pepper asiago chicken sausage from the freezer (had bought it on clearance months ago, yay me!). Enough leftovers for L’s lunch.
Thursday, January 26, 2023.
B – I had a yogurt parfait.
L – Paul had cereal. I had a salad and a garlic bread stick.
D – hamburger soup from the freezer that I cooked a few weeks ago. This was what was left over and now it’s done.
ZC from MA
B: overnight oats as usual, with flax milk and blueberries. I tried to leave out the nut butter this time and the result was a bit too bland for my liking, so I’ll keep adding it in the future.
L: bought at work
D: grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup
S: an apple
B- I made a breakfast quesadilla and had a banana with peanut butter on it.
L- leftover vegetable and mozza sandwich, leftover salad
Snack- some rice cake
D- garlic parm pasta, broccoli and garlic toast
Dessert- we finished up the mini cheesecakes.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
I love bananas with peanut butter on them!
Thursday January 26th
B – our weekly breakfast out. Hubby had sausage, poached eggs and hasbrowns with toast and marmalade. I just had toast and bacon – made a yummy bacon sandwich. (I only did this because I am going to the same restaurant tomorrow morning with a group of friends and couldn’t eat that big a breakfast 2 days in a row!!!)
L – we each had a yogurt, I had a banana too!
S Beef stew and Brussels sprouts
I’ll try to think of the last 2 days.
B – dh had leftover bread and grapefruit, leftover bread for me
L – We had a snow day! dh had leftovers and fruit, I kind of munched on snacky stuff around lunchtime
D – I pulled out ham slices from Christmas and made brown rice with the remains of a carton of beef broth. Served with roasted broccoli
B – Dh had leftover bread and grapefruit, I had a muffin and turkey sausage from the freezer
L – I took a salad I had packed for the 25th and had a muffin my boss brought to work, dh took leftovers
D – We went out for Mexican
Well I have discovered you have to write down what you eat every single day or — you forget!!
B I had scrambled egg and pb toast, hubs skipped
We had to make an unexpected vet visist, our cat had a lovely abscess on her back end that was causing her much pain. Hubs worries a lot, and doesn’t eat. She’s ok, currently on 2 pain meds, and antibiotics.
L Hub had a sausage egg wrap that was purchased from Tim’s for DD work lunch but she didn’t eat. I had LO pork hock boiled dinner, and a pumpkin biscuit that I made in the morning, using up the bit of pumpkin and sage that needed using up.
D one pan chinken, using chicken breasts and mushrooms and bacon from freezer, a creamed corn recipe, cheesy brussels sprouts using the sprouts from fridge that needed using up, and a potato casserole.
S popcorn, DD had a sausage in a bun, not sure about hubs
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
I’m feeling pretty good about how our challenge is going as well. I spied some Aldi crackers in your snacky lunch yesterday, Jessica. I love that cracker assortment they have. Oh goodness, those S’mores look amazing!
B: DH finished up the breakfast casserole. I had the last HM biscuit. With just the 2 of us, we are often eating leftovers up to the limit of 4 days! So far, no problems ?
L: DH: chicken/Havarti sandwich which finished up the last of the deli meat that was in the freezer and the last slice of Havarti cheese, also from the freezer. I had avocado toast.
D: pork chops (freezer) with tomatoes, onions and peppers, rice, slaw and orange supremes. Jessica, thank you for showing how to do these.
Today, DH and I had another out-of-town day. We made a 3 hour round trip to a nearby small city to complete an errand we couldn’t do at home. They had an Aldi there. I was tempted by their vegetables on sale, but reasoned that I still have fresh, frozen and canned vegetables, so I really didn’t need to buy any fresh produce at this point. I haven’t gotten around to experimenting with making bread, so I bought one loaf of whole wheat bread. They didn’t have the wide pan bread that I usually get there, DH’s favorite. I spent 1.72 bringing my running total to $66.12.
Impressive you managed to eat at home while having a busy day mostly away from home! I get the temptations at Aldi, lol, and am impressed you didn’t just go ahead and buy more. I stopped in the grocery today for a handful of things and still grabbed 2 clearance items, even though we could have done without (one will be particularly useful though, so ??).
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
I forgot to add that we each had a bit of a snack enroute which is how we could eat the late lunch at home. Aldi is tempting, especially since we don’t have one at home! I really do have sufficient veggies to make it through the end of the challenge (and probably beyond) and then I’ll think about restocking when I can frugally do so. I’ll keep an eye out on IG for your plant-based meal.
B-Pear zucchini bread and home canned peaches, coffee and OJ
L- L/O broccoli cheese soup for me with pickled asparagus and carrot and celery sticks. Hubby was gone from home he said he only had pretzels in his truck so he ate those.
D-Country ribs in the crockpot with 2 partial jars of specialty BBQ sauce that were gifts, one spicy and one apple. Made the ribs tasty. We also had cheesy potatoes and green beans.
Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Need to go have a freezer rummage to see what is for tomorrow.
Jessica, what a drag both about the dead slow cooker and the unsafe roast! But, what can you do?
Another good Challenge day here. And, someone decided to really enjoy snacking on the bit-overbaked banana muffins– ah the dangers of working from home. Luckily I made enough that I can still enjoy one for breakfast.
B: banana oat chocolate chip muffins
L: mini whole grain pita pizzas – trying to use up the fresh mozzarella before it turns, also had a few little marinara thingees from pizza and garlic bread takeout in December that had accumulated in the fridge ( we don’t dip our garlic bread in them lol) so popped them open and used them up too.
D: Pad Kee Mao with beef – didn’t make it too traditionally as I also added a bunch of fresh spinach at the end to amp up the veggies since I wasn’t in the mood for salad with it. It used up what I think is the last package of frozen sirloin steak and some rice noodles from the cupboard, as well as the fresh veg (2 bell peppers, an onion, and the spinach) and various condiments to make the sauce. I didn’t have the thai chiles to make it spicy, so I used a jalapeno and also added sriracha to the sauce.
I have some errands to run and we are out of bread, so I’ll stop into the store and probably also grab a few more items to make it through mid-next week. I feel good about that, as I’m still being very conscious to only buy either fresh produce/dairy/bread as needed and nothing else unless we run out of something we use regularly. Plus, between potentially yucky weather friday afternoon into saturday and the eye surgery Monday morning, today seems to be a good day to do that. 🙂
That is very disappointing about the slow cooker, Jessica. It does seem the new models don’t last like the old ones did. Good day here I feel. I’ve been very conscious using up things that I want out of the pantry and freezer.
B-Scrambled eggs and yogurt parfait for hubs, cereal and almonds for me, cereal for DD too. Both DD and I made hot cocoa. It was below zero again this morning milking, I don’t like coffee and needed warmed up!
L-Leftover cubed steak, potatoes and carrots and green beans. Apple for hubs.
D-Casing sausage and sauerkraut, broccoli from the freezer, salads, and carrots and peppers in ranch dip.
S-Finished off some open boxes of crackers.
We’re having our kids all home Friday evening for a homemade pizza celebration. Just found out this week our Grandson who is allergic to nuts, soy, and dairy passed his dairy allergen test and is allowed to have some. Yay!! I need to have things ready quick that evening so I made some dessert items ahead. Made pretzel bark from a Pinterest recipe and used up some coating chocolate that didn’t get used at Christmas and a pack of caramels that needed to go and finished them with mini M & M’s that were in the pantry for awhile. Also had found 2 bags of 2019 blueberries in the freezer when we got our new beef at the beginning of the month, so I cooked those up and made a blueberry pie filling to make blueberry delight on Friday. That also will use the graham crackers that I want gone.
Kathy in Denmark
I am catching up! We are still doing the challenge, I just haven’t been updating.
Brunch: Bread, croissants, smoothies and scrambled eggs plus coffee
S: Don’t know, but I’m sure we had something…
D: Quiche and spaghetti bake with mixed salad and bread
The croissants were baked from frozen. I have found a brand which is from Belgium with real butter and they are the very good!
I made two quiches for dinner: one with onion and one with spinach. The spaghetti bake was litterally just the pasta and marinara from a few days ago, topped with cheese and baked in the oven. DD2 is not a fan of quiche, so that was for her. I used up different odds and ends for the quiches, which is always nice, and they turned out great!
B +L: The usual for all
S: Hot cocoa
D: Rye bread, fried potatoes and eggs, cut up veggies
B+L: The usual
S: Toasted hot dog buns with butter
D: LO quiche and pasta with mixed salad and bread
I had bought hot dog buns a while ago, but have not been able to find any of the actual hot dogs we like! Luckily, my kids really like them toasted and buttered, so that is how we had them 🙂
B+L: The usual
S: HM rolls and hot cocoa
D: Tortillas with beans, guacamole and different veggies
Re breakfast and lunch: I know it sounds boring, but I guess we are just creatures of habit when it comes to breakfast. I also want to make sure my kids have a filling breakfast before school, so they don’t get hungry before lunch.
I vary what I put in their lunches, but they always have bread, protein, veggies and some fruit. DH has a catered lunch, so I have no idea what he has! I usually have rye bread with different toppings, depending on what we have. I have used up a lot of small packages from the freezer during January, so I am happy with that.
Now on to read what everyone else has had for the last couple of days.
I also love making a quiche or frittata to use up odds and ends! They always end up tasty! I love that you found a brand of frozen croissants from Belgium – I was an exchange student there the summer I was 17 and this just made me smile. I hope you are having a good week 🙂
Kathy in Denmark
Quiches are the best, but I try to make enough for two meals as they are quite labour intensive when made completely from scratch. They do freeze well, so maybe I should just make a bunch and stash in my freezer 🙂
I actually studied at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) for one semester in – I think – 2005! I really enjoyed my time there.
Where in Belgium did you go?
Danielle L Zecher
That’s a bummer about the roast, but it’s definitely not worth risking food poisoning for anything.
Yesterday wasn’t a good Pantry Challenge day.
We had to be at the vet, a little over an hour away, with Duke by 8:15. Of course, he couldn’t eat, so we didn’t eat in front of him. The surgeon was awesome and wanted an ultrasound to make sure nothing had changed so there were no surprises during surgery. With all of that, we were there about two hours. So we went to the McDonald’s drive-thru when we left. I was upset and worried, so didn’t want food, but got a latte. Hubby got breakfast. I got to work around noon and never got a chance for lunch, so I was pretty hangry for most of the afternoon. I picked up a Wal-Mart grocery order (mostly produce, milk, and things we eat all the time, but were out of) and McDonald’s on the way home.
Duke update: So far he’s doing well. One part of the tumor was too close to his vena cava, so the surgeon said she removed 95% of it so as not to damage his vena cava. They’ve sent it off for biopsy and are planning to do the blood tests today to see if getting most of it was enough to stop the Cushing’s Disease. They said he did well with the anesthesia and was resting comfortably last night. Assuming he keeps doing well, we should get to bring him home tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who wished him well yesterday.
I hope Duke has a smooth recovery and healing.
I’m happy to hear he did well with the surgery and wishing him a good recovery and good news from the doctor.
Praying Duke has an easy recovery and the tests come back with good news.
Very glad to hear he made it through his surgery well and tolerated the anesthesia. Fingers crossed the Cushings is stopped now! I hope he is home and resting comfortably as soon as possible. You sure deserved not to think about cooking on Wednesday. Glad you did what you needed to do for you. Sending you hugs.
So glad to hear the surgery went well!
B – Paul had peanut butter toast and yogurt. I had a yogurt parfait.
L – we both had chicken salad sandwiches and grapes.
D – pasta e fagioli.
Thursday is National chocolate cake day and I had a container of sour cream I needed to use so I made a chocolate Bundt cake and we gave it to one of our daughters. Our other daughter doesn’t eat cake. But I was happy to get one more thing out of my fridge that I didn’t have a current use for. As of now, there is nothing else in my fridge that I need to get rid of at the moment. I only buy limited fruit and veggies as I need it because I got tired of buying too much and throwing it out because it never got eaten. During this challenge, I got into the habit of staging the next days food items on the top shelf in my fridge so that everything I need is right there ready for me and by the end of the day, that shelf is empty.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Sounds like you managed your pantry challenge just perfectly Stephanie! Good for you.
That stinks you had to throw out the roast, I hate food waste like that but nothing you can do.
B – leftover chocolate chip bread, grapefruit for hubby and I, kids slept later and I don’t know
L – We both took leftover spaghetti bake from the night before. I may have had to write “mom” on mine to avoid it being eaten by my son. Even that doesn’t always work.
D – I so wanted to order out! And everything I could/can think of involved ingredients I don’t have right now. And I forgot to pick up eggs from my egg lady last weekend and I had decided on breakfast for dinner. So I cooked up some pork sausage into patties and we had cheese grits instead of the french toast I wanted. Served with cucumber and pepper slices.
So impressed that you didn’t cave to the takeout desire! Dinner sounded yummy, despite not being what you wanted. Good work 🙂
It was my boys’ half birthday (theyre 8.5 now) so they picked the menu.
B Bacon and eggs
L kids had hot dogs my husband got from Omaha Steaks as a work Christmas gift
I had home canned beef stew
Husband had leftovers
D T bone steaks from our half beef we bought in Oct , leftover green bean casserole and scalloped potatoes
Then my husband spent 103 at Aldi on produce and dairy and .89 chicken drumsticks. Our first trip /grocery spending since Dec 21. I’m excited for Fresh fruit and salads !
We dont usually eat much meat but we celebrate half birthdays to give us more joy in the winters. My kids all have summer birthdays so half birthdays are Jan and Feb
Yay for fresh produce! And the fact that it is the FIRST shopping since Dec 21 (amazing!)…. well you definitely deserve to enjoy all the fresh. 🙂
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
B: avo toast, DH: grits, egg
L: LO ravioli lasagna, apple DH: Italian sausage in brioche roll, carrots
D: Last of the tilefish (freezer), baked re-stuffed potatoes using LO baked potatoes (used sour cream that needed to be consumed), Brussel sprouts (freezer), apple slices
Jessica, that’s bad about your slow cooker, but you definitely don’t want food borne illness from the roast. A bummer though, for lots of reasons. Glad you have a backup, or 4 🙂 I do love my slow cooker, but my husband (the cleaner upper) hates to see me use it as he despises washing it! I do want to try and get a bit better using my Instant Pot, though it’s a pain to wash as well.
Wednesday January 26th
B – fruit, yogurt and a muffin for hubby, I had rhubarb, yogurt and a slice of toast and marmalade ( had to try the marmalade I made on Tuesday)
L – hubby, no idea, I wasn’t home. I had a smoked meat when I did get back home
S – some l/o beef veggie soup and we split a small pizza.
I have to be making progress because we have eaten well and I haven’t shopped at all this week but it doesn’t really show too much.
This is how I feel- don’t see tons of progress, but not buying a ton either. It must be since we are only cooking for two these days. 🙂