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 27 of the Pantry Challenge!
Today was a full day of photo shooting. I think in the last two days, I’ve prepped and photographed nine recipes. That’s a lot, for me.
What We Ate
Only three of us were eating at home today as one son was fasting before a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament.
Breakfast – Girls had an assortment of smoothies, oats, eggs, and grapefruit. My youngest made a batch of Lemon Blueberry Scones. I had a piece of Pumpkin Streusel Pie.
Lunch – I reshot this Chicken & Raspberry Salad Recipe so that’s what the girls and I had for lunch.
Dinner – We normally have pizza on Friday nights, but Bryan requested that for his birthday on Sunday, so we swapped meal plans. I made Chicken Noodle Soup instead. There was a bag of oyster crackers that we busted out.
How did Day 27 go for you?
B – I had oatmeal and stopped at Starbucks for a mocha. Dh had oatmeal and yogurt
L – I took veggies, yogurt and a grapefruit, dh took leftover ham and rice
D – I went out with coworkers for an early dinner/happy hour – Mexican, dh took ds and met dd at college and they went to a Pita place for dinner
Had projects going on so was glad to have leftovers to heat and eat.
B- bagel with cream cheese
Lunch – bowl of chili – added chopped onion, cheese, and some broken crackers to mine as a topping.
Dinner – A remake on the leftover pasta. I had a tiny bit of Italian hamburger in the freezer that I thawed added to it.
Snacks – a little bag of cheetos from my snack box, almonds
B- avocado toast and eggs; hubby took his usual yogurt to work; boys had cereal
L- packed sandwich lunch for boys; hubby got free BBQ at work; I ate breakfast late so snack lunch of cheese, crackers, fruit, granola bar
S- older son had a snack plate after school similar to my lunch, younger ate hubby’s lo bbq
D- out with friends we haven’t seen in forever, but sadly no leftovers, guess we were all hungry!
ZC from MA
B: the usual–overnight oats with flax milk, almond butter and blueberries
L: ate at work. Today is a long day at work so I saved some for dinner.
D: lunch leftovers
The challenge has gone well for me, and there’s only a few items (2 types of sauces, half a bag of beans, ham in the freezer) from my starting list that I want to use up. There are several other items on the list but they are foods I go through regularly and wasn’t intentionally trying to get rid of. I also substantially cut restaurant spending (other than our cafeteria, which is cheap-ish and helps me have more variety in my diet).
I am planning to carry on into February, and happy to stay connected with the group if there is a space for it!
This is great! You’ve done so well. I definitely have quite a few things to get through still and also intend to continue into February.
Friday, January 27, 2023
B – I had a yogurt parfait.
L – Paul had the last of the leftover hamburger soup. I skipped
D – I didn’t feel like cooking today so Paul had a grilled cheese sandwich and French fries. I had a turkey sandwich.
Stopped by the grocery because they had cantaloupe and pineapple for $2, but ended up spending $15.90 and didn’t get a pineapple (they had none!). Everything I bought was on sale or clearance: the hugest cantaloupe, big bag of spinach, 2 lemons(ok, not on sale, we needed them but only grabbed 2 at 50c each), 2 pack of green bell peppers, a loaf of bread, clearance deli ham sell by Feb 6, a clearance package of jalapeno chicken sausage, and 2 boxes of kraft mac and cheese(I like to keep them on hand and we haven’t had any in the cupboard for ages).
B: we both skipped
L: L took leftover pasta w/the last chicken sausage from day 26 dinner, a piece of ww eggnog choc chip bread, and 2 satsumas; I had the last frozen french bread pizza and some air popped popcorn (was in a snacky mood)
D: ended up making a plan B, since I lost track of time and my original plans needed too much time. Luckily I had the clearance ham. I made roasted potatoes with a Spanish twist(tossed with olive oil and seasoned w/paprika, oregano, rosemary, roasted, then tossed with a tiny bit more olive oil, a few dashes of sherry vinegar, salt, and chopped green olives), then while the potatoes roasted I heated through some of the thin deli ham, heated up the package of cauliflower with cheese sauce from the freezer, and sliced some cucumbers and tomatoes (and chopped those olives). Even cleaned up a little while waiting on the potatoes. This was an easy and yummy 30 minute meal.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
B: avocado toast, DH had a shake
L: DH out, me-an enchilada from the freezer
D: LOs from last night (pork, rice, slaw) and 3 bean salad
S: a few gingerbread cookies from the freezer
B-fried eggs, avocado and cream cheese on a gf bagel, and a kiwi.
L- whatever leftovers that were in the fridge, a little pasta, a little tuna some fruit and some cucumber.
Snack- I made a loaf of gf peanut butter bread, it turned out pretty good, so I toasted some up with some butter and made a hot chocolate to go with it.
D- French onion soup
Dessert- a donut my husband brought home from work.
Friday January 27th
B – hubby had his usual but I went out for our once a month brekkie with a group of girlfriends, the same place hubby and I went yesterday. Sausage, egg and hashbrowns with toast and jam for me. It really is the best breakfast in town, great service and not expensive.
L – None for me but hubby had bacon and eggs and the last lonely biscuit form the freezer.
S – a simple chicken salad. I marinaded the chicken in an Asian sesame dressing then baked it. A bed of mixed greens, with some blue cheese, pear and cashews and a little of the same dressing drizzled over the top – so good!
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Tasty, your chicken salad sounds like Jessica’s pear salad with blue cheese with a variation in the nuts. That is one of my favorites!
B I had cream of wheat and pbj toast (homemade jam), DH I’m not sure, prob yogurt, DD egg sandwich before work
L I had LO hocks, DH had LO fish and chips DD took LO
D Pork tenderloin, using pork from freezer, apple juice that needed using, the last few Tb of cream, and egg noodles to go with, and frozen peas. DH says it was good. DD fries and popcorn chicken from freezer.
S cheese and crackers, chips and homemade dip, popsicles
Am trying hard to get a sourdough starter up and running but been having some difficulty. While digging around the pantry I found some packs of instant sourdough I bought during early pandemic, so will try that soon. It says add to any yeasted bread recipe.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Jessica, your date day sounded lovely. I was in Coronado many years ago and loved it. The hotel was magnificent!
Danielle L Zecher
Breakfast: I had Starbucks. Hubby had McDonald’s.
Lunch: Leftover Swedish Meatballs.
Dinner: Cheese Enchiladas (from the GCE 30 Minutes cookbook) and chips and salsa. I was going to make cowboy caviar, but opted for easy with the salsa. The enchiladas are one of our absolute favorite dinners.
Duke Update: He will be staying in the hospital for at least one more night. His red blood count has dropped, and he’s anemic. They said they’re monitoring it closely and will call again this afternoon. He is eating well, though, and they said he’s a little perkier. Hopefully, he will be doing a lot better and be able to come home tomorrow.
Jessica, your day sounded fantastic! That’s too bad about Hodad’s. I’ve always “heard” about it too, but not from anyone I know in SD. We usually stick to our tried and true places when out there to visit. Or if it’s a new place, my parents or other family members have discovered it, lol. When I was there in October alone (!!- helping my parents with the final push getting organized after they downsized earlier in the year), I got to go to a longtime but not frequently visited family favorite- Point Loma Seafood. Oh it was good!
Back to the Challenge. Another good day, though I did buy a little more than planned at the store, but nothing frivolous. I figure it’ll get us through til the end of next week, so half of the cost (it’s upstairs and I can’t remember, but in the $40s) should be attributed to February, lol. I’ll do a final accounting on the 31st.
B: banana oat chocolate chip muffins
L: he had some leftover beef Pad Kee Mao; I grabbed a slice of pizza at the grocery store- had been running all sorts of errands and was starving and caved
D: harissa chicken noodle lettuce wraps – these are delicious and used pantry(canned chicken, vermicelli rice noodles), freezer (green beans, defrosted and sliced), and fresh items (carrots, cilantro, green onion, lettuce) as well as a homemade sauce of honey, harissa, soy, lime juice and zest, olive oil, and black sesame seeds, and freshly ground black pepper. They are delicious!
Thursday January 27th
B – the usual mix of fruit and yogurt and muffins for each of us.
L – I had a smoke meat sandwich to finish the smoked meat, hubby was out and grabbed something???
S – shepherd`s pie made with leftover prime rib from Christmas and the very last of our homegrown potatoes from last summer. Brussels sprouts added a nice colour to the plate. A small slice of fruit bread finished off that loaf.
So, again, another fairly successful day for the challenge. February we will be comtinueing as well. Hubby is well aware of what is being done and is easy to please as long as there is the occasional treat. Maybe by the end of February I will see some real progress!
B-cornflakes with bananas, coffee and milk.
L-I had L/O cheesy potatoes and the last of the salsa from the fridge with some chips. Hubby had the last pheasant sausage and L/O green beans
D-I package the country ribs 3 to a package when I freeze them. We ate two yesterday. So I pulled the rest of the meat off the third. These ribs were very meaty. I mixed in more BBQ sauce, warmed up and served it on buns. Also had tator tots in the air fryer and home canned corn,
I pulled brats from the freezer for tomorrow. Will have with homecanned sauerkraut and German potato salad.
Someone asked about canning. How do I know how much to can? I keep an inventory. Last year I still had quite a few green beans canned from the previous year. I know we go thru about 60 pints a year, so I planted less beans because I only needed to can about 30 pints. Well it was a phenomenal green bean year! And on half as many plants I again canned 60 pints. This year there will be only 1 row for eating fresh! I try to use my canned goods within 5 years. But I never turn down free food that can be frozen or canned. And my garden is ever changing depending what I need to preserve. Hope that helps.
Wednesday we had homemade pizza and breadsticks (from leftover dough, etc) for lunch and chicken with pasta for dinner. Not exactly a pantry challenge dinner, but I feel like we needed a normal, family favorite. Thursday I had lunch out with my high schooler and we ran to Costco. I needed a few household items and a couple of grocery things, and only grabbed a few unplanned items. I found a refrigerated Asian noodle dish (individual packets) for the big kids to try. I wanted something easy and good for them when they need a meal, but don’t really have much time. And I grabbed a pan of cinnamon rolls, because I caved. I’ll be working through the pantry/freezers through February, so I think we need to occasional splurge to get us through and with my son home they’ll be gone in 3 days. Dinner was a good pantry challenge one…potato soup and beer bread. We finished off the shriveling potatoes and a can of beer. We aren’t beer drinkers, but have some in the house from the holidays that needs to be used up or given away.
Good for you taking time for you and Bryan! We do weekly hike and coffee dates.
So…I have mentioned before that my 23 yr old eats non stop. He eats everything it seems including my lunch many nights after I am in bed. He lives here after graduating college and pays a small amount of rent. He is NOT happy with my grocery challenge. He wants easy convenience foods that I rarely buy but frequently make. Well I have been out of time and haven’t and he is getting very upset. BUT he is digging in the freezer and finding things from 6 months ago and cooking them. So I’ll take it.
B – oatmeal or bagels, grapefruit
L – I had a snacky lunch of yogurt, wheat thins, peppers/cucumbers, almonds, hubby took leftovers
D – We ordered burgers and I was again disappointed. They messed up 2 of the 4 orders and all was cold. It’s been very cold here (like 0) but it’s a 5 minute drive in a warm car from when hubby picked it up. Not worth it – lesson learned from this place anyway.
Paul had cereal. I had overnight oatmeal and peanuts.
L – we both had chicken salad sandwiches.
S – leftover pasta w fagioli.
Kathy in Denmark
B: The usual for the girls and me. DH had yoghurt with HM granola I made while heating up the quiche in the oven
L: DH and the girls had their usual. I made a tuna salad sandwich on HM bread. So good!
S: Cereal with milk or yoghurt with granola
D: Potato/cabbage soup with bread
I haven’t made granola in a while, so DH was pleased. Our kids usually only have cereal as a snack, as I just don’t think it keeps them full long enough to be breakfast.
I made the soup with potaotes, onions and half of a sweetheart cabbage (a pointy white cabbage, but with thinner leaves than normal white cabbage). Seasoned with garlic powder, sage and time and finished off with a little heavy cream after I pureed it. It was very tasty and no one even knew they were eating cabbage 😉
My picky eater initially said it looked like something she wouldn’t like, so I suggested she closed her eyes while eating. She ended up having seconds 🙂
The bread was an italian style loaf that DH brought home from work. Delicious and free, so what’s not to like.
Kathy, the soup sounds delicious! And, the HM tuna sandwich being “so delicious!”- I’d have to agree. Tuna sandwiches are one of my very favorite things.
Also, how fun that you spent time in Brussels while in university! My time in Belgium, which was my first trip to Europe, was spent with my host family a young widow (teacher) and her 10 year old son, in Liege. Most of my time was spent there and also exploring the south of Belgium, mostly the countryside, the Ardennes, Spa, etc. I went up to Brussels several times, and did an overnight trip with 2 other exchange students to Bruges. We also went on two vacations. The first to stay for a week with friends of hers in Normandy. We did day/afternoon trips all over, including Omaha beach, St. Malo, Mt. St. Michel, Bayeux, etc. Then, we spent a week in the Swiss alps in Villars. Both trips were incredible. Really, the entire summer was. It definitely played a part in who I grew to be, fostered my innate interests, and opened my eyes to so many new things, not the least of which was food. I grew up in southern California, Venezuela, St. Thomas, and Puerto Rico (all but CA were between the ages of 6 until just when I turned 13). So Europe and its cultures and food were completely new to me even though I had dreamed of going there since I was a young child (I read a lot, lol). Anyways. One day we will make it to Denmark. So many places to visit in this world! 🙂
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
We’ve made the trip to France and Belgium as well. Beautiful. We also were in Normandy, Omaha Beach (had an uncle come ashore there) Bayeux, Mt St Michel, the Ardennes and Bastogne. While in Bastogne, we had an older gentleman as a guide. He was a child during WWII and the occupation. His recollections were fascinating. Hope to make the trip across the pond again before too much longer!
I missed a day of posting yesterday since I had date night with hubby. He cooked an amazing meal and surprised me with a trip he has planned for us overseas! I am sorry to have to cut this pantry challenge short. I really enjoyed participating again and chatting with you wonderful lot! I’m definitely going to continue once we get back in a few weeks. Stay safe and warm everyone!
Kathy in Denmark
Wow – way to go Hubby!
Enjoy your trip – I’m sure it will be wonderful.
Enjoy your trip, Lily.
Oh my goodness, Lily! How wonderful and exciting! I hope you have the best time and so look forward to catching up with you again next year. 🙂
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
B: avo toast DH: eggs, grits
L: PB&J-needed easy
D: Casserole from freezer made earlier in the month, raw carrots, apple slices
Stopped by the store for the sale items. One item was out of stock but the (more important) beef was in stock. I spent $21.56 for a total of $64.34 for the month. That exceeds my planned total by 14.34. I could have trimmed it back to ~$10 over, but purchased some chips for DH (and guests) and some brioche hamburger buns that I don’t often see on sale. I will use some of the buns for the beef. My husband got excited, asking if we were going to have hamburgers this weekend. This will sound so ridiculous to those of you with those frigid temps… but I asked him if he was going to grill out in 21 degree weather. He quickly decided that maybe another, warmer day would be better for a winter cookout.
Made minestrone soup and began the rustic no-knead bread to go with it. I wasn’t sure if my son and future DIL would have eaten when they arrived, so I wanted to have an option for them in case they hadn’t. They had, so will have it for lunch which is when the bread will be ready.
Going to cook the turkey and sides tomorrow!! Hooray! Then turkey will be available for sandwiches. We may go out to eat Sat. night, depending on the weather. If we don’t, I’ll prepare another dinner here. I’ve still got lots of choices-shrimp, crab, roast or chicken. My 6” of free freezer space is temporarily taken back up with the bread I stuck in there for sandwiches this weekend. But my refrigerator freezer is improving:) and soon the chest freezer will open back up.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Well done hubby! Have a wonderful time, Lily. What a great surprise. Some of us will probably still be plodding along when you get back.
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
My other comment went in the wrong place 🙁 Have a great trip Lily!