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Spring Pantry Challenge - Page 4

post #61 of 92
I'm in too! I just restocked our pantry - our food coop is taking a haitus till June (organizer is having a baby) so I placed a large order...I stocked up with flour, basmati rice, split peas, oatmeal, and chickpeas. We're good on flour and oil too, and the freezer has a ton of different meat (chickens, wild meat (elk, moose, dear), some bacon, pork chops, a pork tenderloin - and more!) I'll still have to shop for some veg and fruit - don't have much left from canning in the fall, but I definitely want to use up some of the stuff I have kicking around!


Anybody know how long cheese keeps in the freezer? I've had some in there since July...hmmm.....
post #62 of 92
OK, I have 5 boxes of bulgar wheat I need to use up. (I couldn't help it, they were on sale, LOL!) Any suggestions?
post #63 of 92
--substitute 1/3 cup of bulgar for some of the flour in whole wheat bread

--soak bulgar in water or stock and use in chili or spaghetti sauce like you would textured vegetable protein, to sub. for part or all of the meat
post #64 of 92
I just threw away bacon because it was so old, DH was good about it but I know he is frustrated by the waste. I have a list of frozen food but it doesn't have dates so I don't know what I have to use first. This month I will go through the freezer again and mark the dates and then I will meal plan. And after this I will date things on my list.

Does anyone have a good website if how long you can keep food - frozen and non-frozen?
post #65 of 92
OK, another question--I have a lamb shank. I don't know what this is or why I bought it, but what can I do with it? Can I make a stew or soup for supper? Can I add some bulgar?
post #66 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
OK, another question--I have a lamb shank. I don't know what this is or why I bought it, but what can I do with it? Can I make a stew or soup for supper? Can I add some bulgar?

Lamb shanks are divine. I am pretty sure that it is the front leg of the animal.

Thaw it, sear it in oil, add some nice broth and simmer, simmer, simmer. It will make a flavorful broth and the meat should fall off the bone. I make them once a year for dh's birthday and simmer them in a bottle of red wine. Oi! So good.

I have used this technique (though I made some changes to the recipe since I was short ingredients: onion for leeks, parsley/thyme for herb de provence):

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fo...rovence-109263
post #67 of 92
The lamb stew was yummy.

OK, tonight's concoction:
I have these Mexican-flavored "beef crumbles". I know they're crap, but they were 4/$1 at the surplus outlet and I figured they would come in handy if I was in a pinch, but I need to use them. I also have some whole wheat tortillas and some salsa con queso, so I was going to make burritos by mixing the salsa con queso with the crumbles and put out some shredded cheese and tomatoes out. I'm out of lettuce : so we may need to run out and get some for salad. Does that sound like it would work? I'm not exactly Top Chef material.
post #68 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I have these Mexican-flavored "beef crumbles"....I'm out of lettuce : so we may need to run out and get some for salad. Does that sound like it would work? I'm not exactly Top Chef material.
Do you have onion, green pepper, or beans? I might mix in some sauteed onion and/or green pepper and some cooked beans. (We have bags and bags of frozen green pepper strips from the garden.) I suppose it will depend on how well flavored the beef crumbles are - I'd probably have lots of salsa or other mexican seasoning nearby.

Today I had my first of the crockpot beans and rice servings I frozen over the weekend. Pretty good. I forgot to add cheese and extra salsa this morning, but it was still decent.

I've also got a couple recipes I want to try out this week - Sesame Chicken (we have a TON of sesame seeds. DH keeps buying new bags.) and Braised Pork with Shitake Mushrooms (in the crockpot!).
post #69 of 92
I have all of those things, so that would work!
post #70 of 92
Dinner was great!

OK, today's pantry usage:
I had some frozen chicken breasts stuffed with broccoli that we had for lunch.

We're having chicken quarters marinated in a baja lime marinade for dinner from the freezer and pantry.

I also am thawing out some hummus that was BOGO.
post #71 of 92
Thread Starter 
I did pretty good this morning. While eating breakfast, I was able to boil some pasta for lunch. This pasta is OLD. And threw in some more frozen pesto. It's from 2005. I am really pushing the limits, but it tastes just fine.

DH bought bagels at Costco last night (UGH!, so expensive IMHO). So DD asked for "the red cheese." That apparently is cream cheese with sundried tomatoes. So, we continue to use those up. However, I think we'll need to keep an eye for sales on cream cheese again.

DD and I are going on a road trip over the weekend, so I am going to make sure to take some snacks and drinks and hopefully avoid any fast food along the way.

Last night I had a dream that the freezer in the basement was almost empty. Alas, it was just a dream. I wonder if I should take a cookbook with me on my trip so I can do some meal planning.
post #72 of 92
My nephew is being deployed to Iraq. Next week he leaves for the pre-deployment training, so we had a big party for him last weekend. I had some frozen hors d'oeuvres that I was going to use over the holidays, but never did. I have 3 freezers (one that is the regular fridge/freezer) and one of them is filled to the gills with a side of beef and about 50lbs. of chicken. It was good to free up some room in the other freezer and use up the hors d'oeuvres. I am going to fill some of that space with IQF cookie dough balls. While I have the space, I make cookie dough, make the balls, put them on a cookie sheet, then freeze them IQF. Once frozen, I put them in zipper bags and can pull out a few at a time to bake for after-school treats.

Speaking of school, dd is about to be on spring break. We're not going anywhere and she loves to cook with me, so we're going to do a couple of things. I like to can soups, so we're going to make up bean soup and chili soup specifically for canning next week. Then I'm going to make up some baking mixes (I love my Make-A-Mix cookbook) for brownies and muffins and dd will get to have fun with my food saver. These mixes just require eggs/oil/milk and voila! We'll make the cookie dough (and eat a little ) next week, too.
post #73 of 92
So I fed the freezer today to use things. Our produce sent us a big honking cabbage, like the size of a basketball so I made stuffed cabbage again.
Bought some yummy home made ricotta so made mannicotti and a smaller lasagna with all other stuff on hand.

Some interesting things that have happened:

We have a neighbor who has kids the same age as our kids and our dd1s are in the same class so they are friends. We have gotten quite friendly so since we are big time cooks, we worked out a deal we give them at least one meal a week and they give us 64 oz of their keg beer. They claim that is there "buying in bulk" as I call it! They love my cooking and their dd loves it more- "Mom can we make it like Mrs L.....does..."
So this week they had a baked pasta dish and then last night tacos. We are all happy and some nights a bit tipsy!

Then, another neighbor who also are our friends and have 2dd twins in
dd1's class and their son is in dd2's class bought a 1/4 of a pig. We are arranging a trade for my beef. She is mad with all the bacon she got and we are doing cartwheels over it, so she will get ground beef and some roasts and steaks. I will get bacon "YUMMM), a ham, pork chops, and ham hocks for soup, and maybe even ribs!!

Tonight its swedish meatballs and again, a family is needing a meal so I am making enough for dinner, the freezer, and another family.
post #74 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
OK, another question--I have a lamb shank. I don't know what this is or why I bought it, but what can I do with it? Can I make a stew or soup for supper? Can I add some bulgar?


That's cute.
post #75 of 92
Thread Starter 
I am prepping tonight for making Sesame Chicken tomorrow night.

I did need to get green onions. However, I was able to use up 1/2 a yellow onion in the fridge, some congealed honey, sesame seeds (how did we get so many?), green peppers from the fridge. All the other ingredients were on hand, and I even made my own teriaki sauce.

And for this evening's dinner, we had Polish sausage from the freeze, a bag of frozen broccoli, homemade bread and home-canned spiced Red Hot apples. The sausage is one of our 'cheater' meals, but at least it was a well rounded meal.

However, there are still SO MANY TOMATOES in the freezer. Soup? Tomato Juice? I don't know!
post #76 of 92
I was getting something out of the deep freeze and stumbled on a bag of what looked like chicken parts. Dated 4/7/08 w DH's handwriting. So I let it defrost and figured I could make something with it for dinner or stock etc. Turned out, it was cut up chicken ready for cooking. I keep my menus from months past (yes a bit OCD, but it gives ideas for meals) so I looked up the date. DDs and I were out of town, DH was leaving out of town, so he must have cut up chicken we didnt use so he froze it. then I noticed we had a chicken dish and delivered one as well so we must have had too much.

So DH cooked it up and we had a chicken alfredo dish w broccolli last night. So much chicken, he had it for lunch w some more pasta and a cold dressing sort of thing. It was like finding money in your coat you didnt know was there LOL.
post #77 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by HydeParkB View Post
However, there are still SO MANY TOMATOES in the freezer. Soup? Tomato Juice? I don't know!
I used mine up to make pasta sauce. It was yummy!
post #78 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I keep my menus from months past (yes a bit OCD, but it gives ideas for meals) so I looked up the date.
I SO do that, too!!!! I just checked and I have all of my monthly meal plans back to August of 2007.
post #79 of 92
I've been trying to use up the older stuff in my freezer/pantry so this is a great thread for me!

I don't even KNOW what is in my big freezer other than some packages of venison and a placenta.

I need to get my head around not needing to have tonnes of extra food in the house. For a few years dh was a landscaper so we used to stuff the house all spring/summer/fall to live off of during the winter. After that he was in a job with variable hours so we never knew what kind of pay cheque he would get so when there was money we'd stock up.
Now he is in a line of work where the work is steady, job is secure and it's not seasonal. We need to use up what we have!
post #80 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I SO do that, too!!!! I just checked and I have all of my monthly meal plans back to August of 2007.
Thank you for fessing up to this I feel better knowing others do it. Interesting, my calendars also start at Aug 07. We moved in June of 07 and started our kitchen that week. We had a full operational kitchen in August so that started the meal planning again!
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