Pantry Challenge mamas - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 316 Old 01-12-2005, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Selu Gigage
I use a "hint" from The Tightwad Gazette, for every 8 oz can, add: 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp pepper. I also add a little onion powder when I have it around.
Also, if it's too watery thicken it with tomato paste.
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#122 of 316 Old 01-12-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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Thanks for the pizza sauce suggestions. Tomorrow I am going to fix it up. I need to wait for my MIL to let me borrow some ice cube trays tonight, so I can freeze the pizza sauce to use in the future.
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#123 of 316 Old 01-12-2005, 06:53 PM
 
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nak

i'm really just getting to my pantry. i had a ton of fridge leftovers when i found this thread...and the first thing i did as part of this challenge is eat all my freezer soup...it was brrrrrr cold here for a while and it warmed my tummy . today i've made falafel from the pantry mixes (this is one thing i stocked up on BIG time when pg :LOL and used our cukes and tomatoes and onions (technically from the pantry lol) for the relish. I have two huge containers of plain yogurt so that's our dressing LOL.

i have a ton of pasta and apples and am thinking of noodle kugel with the only meat we have...a pork roast, for Friday because we'll be eating falafel 24/7 until then

FYI...my teething baby is nursing on and off, to explain my inconsistancy
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#124 of 316 Old 01-12-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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We had the best pantry dinner tonight. I had a jar of Trader Joe's brushetta with garlic and basil. I also had a bag of frozen onions and bell peppers. I cheated and bought a spaghetti squash (but it was cheap!).

I cooked the squash and then heated the onions and peppers in a little olive oil. I combined it with the brushetta and heated it until warm. Then I threw it on top of the squash. It was awesome. I'm so full... :
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#125 of 316 Old 01-12-2005, 11:37 PM
 
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Well we went shopping for basics today. Bought eggs, rice milk, veggies and fruit. Kept it pretty simple.
Dh made dinner tonight, salad with pantry canned beans, frozen edamame and corn, shredded carrots we needed to get rid of and some romaine I bought today.
Also ate tamales from the freezer and roasted potatoes we had to use up.
I'm so glad I can finally see the bottom of my freezer
Plan on using up some dried limas I've had forever and make a soup in the crockpot tommorow with those and some canned tomatoes. (Well, dh is going to make it, I'll be at work.)

Mama to 3:
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#126 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 01:25 AM
 
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Made soup in the crock pot today. Ham & lentil. Very simple. Pound of ham diced, 2 c of lentils (wanted to use those up and did!) chopped onion and a stalk of celery chopped. 2 quarts of water on top of everything, a few spices here and there and presto- very yummy soup. cooked on low all day. We ate it with a fun salad-
I had 4 slices of bacon that needed to be used, a grilled chicken breast, feta and blue cheeses left over from holiday time, and walnuts from the pantry. balsamic vin & e/v olive oil and some honey for dressing.

I found a can of condensed milk that will go in tomorrow' mac n cheese.

Also made the blueberry bananna bread into muffins. I guess they were good, they're all gone! Perfect timing, I had a rotting bannana and yogurt that needed to be used up.


"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#127 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 02:13 AM
 
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You guys all had great dinners tonight!! We ate frozen waffles.
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#128 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GriffinsMom
I had a jar of Trader Joe's brushetta with garlic and basil.
I this stuff! I throw it over some white beans and top with Parmesan for the quickest meal, so filling and good!
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#129 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Eating leftovers today to clean out the fridge. We're going out of town for the weekend to celebrate a beleated x-mas w/ dh's extended family. I am going to make sandwiches & snacks though for the car ride tomorrow. Trying to avoid the expense of eating out yet like we always do (it's a 5+ hr car trip...)
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#130 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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OMG!! I was here last time on Saturday then our computer crashed and got it back Wednesday night and you went fro 3 pages to 7!!!! I don't have that much time to read it all! How am I ever gonna get throught it! :LOL

Well, if I ask question that has been already asked, I apologize.......
got to go now.
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#131 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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I've been lurking on this thread for a while and decided to take the challenge myself. I did great for almost 3 weeks (used lots of pantry and freezer items). Then yesterday I went to Trader Joe's (presumably just for some nuts for dh, milk, and a neccesary item--ORGANIC DECAF COFFEE!

$94.86 later.... : I feel like I fell off the wagon---I'm sorry!

Cristi
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#132 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 04:25 PM
 
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Cristi- but look how far you got! I am struggling with the same issue at Trader Joes. Today I went and only spent $28 ($15 of which is milk). But I also got apples, grapes, bannanas, and fruit leathers. All things that DD loves and wants. It was hard not to buy other things but once the pantry challenge is over I am reforming my TJ experience or sending DH.


"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#133 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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I ruined dinner I was trying so hard to stick to the pantry challenge and use some things just kicking around. I used the crock pot and threw in a bunch of stuff from a receipe but I added rice. Thats where it went wrong. It was cooking for 7 hours when I got home to a dried out mess. I added plenty of chicken stock, at least for stove top cooking. Maybe I should have used more liquid. I am bummed....everything is a learning experience I guess.

I am intimidated by the whole crock pot thing...I really want to be able to use it more but I need more practice to boost my confidence.
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#134 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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Last night, I was feeling inspired, and craving Mexican, so I grabbed every Mexican-related food in the pantry to see what I could do. I made some taco-seasoned meat substitute (TVP) and a Mexican rice mix, mixed them w/ a jar of hot taco sauce, a can of beanless chili, and some cheese. I spread that in a 13 x 9 x 2, and then topped it w/ 3 boxes of cornbread mix that I made up. I baked it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. The cornbread ended being 4x the thickness of the meaty layer--which was fine w/ DH b/c he loves cornbread. Oh well, still edible, and the leftovers will last a while.
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#135 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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I'm coming to this thread a bit late, but this challenge sounds exactly what I need. I have a packed pantry and freezer, and am forever throwing stuff away that is rotten or out of date. I think a lot of the problem is, I buy things that I think I will use, but I am intimidated by cooking (I ONLY cook with recipes, and I measure EVERYTHING) so I end up cooking the same things over and over (usually WW pasta and a tomato sauce, or salmon with potatoes). I have a bunch of things to use up, so I am going to try and start today.

A couple of you have mentioned falafel, which I love. Do you have a recipe? I'm also looking for a recipe for banana bread that is made with molasses or something rather than sugar. Help!
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#136 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cristi & Amy -- Oh, if I had a Trader Joe's near me I'd jump up & down with joy! As it is we drive by a town in MA (on our way to my IL's house) that has a Trader Joe's & a Whole Foods. I'm tempted to stop & go shopping just cause I can. :

Anyway, this challenge for me isn't so much about cleaning out the cupboards as it is becoming more mindful of my eating & shopping habits. We'll all probably fall off the wagon at some point. We went out for pizza on Saturday & had McD's when DH worked late Tuesday night.
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#137 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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Kristina,

I cook in my crockpot all the time and I still haven't figured out the rice thing. I usually just make a huge batch on the weekend and freeze it then take out how much I need through the week. That way I don't have to worry about it getting gross in the crockpot and it is always available. It freezes really well.
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#138 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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I'm also a novice at the crockpot so I can understand- but Rome was not built in a day and they did not have crockpots!

My crockpot is a 2 quart that I got off the clearence table several years ago for $10. I am thinking the reason I never use it is because its combersome to wash etc. I am upgrading this week - any ideas on which one? There are a few on sale at Kohl's.


This pantry challenge is no longer clearing things out, but its a chance to try new things like the crock pot, the bannana blueberry bread, fun stuff and learning what my family is very capable of. I'm also revisiting things I have not cooked in a while and realizing what kind of budget is feasible. I am hoping to cut off several dollars of our food budget- we shall see.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#139 of 316 Old 01-13-2005, 09:29 PM
 
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I asked in the Frugal mams forum to give me ideas and oh did they ever. I also added a few onto the end of this. This can easily be cut and pasted into a word document. I have a folder in my docs just for recipes.

Crock pot

>chicken breasts, half a taco seasoning packet or equivilent of homemade mix, 16 oz salsa cooked on low for 8 hours and then mixed with a cup of sour cream after chicken is removed.
Pour "gravy" over chicken breasts.

>chicken breasts with lime juice, brown sugar, a splash of white wine or juice and some water mixed together and poured over chicken and slow cooked 6-8 hours on low.

>. Beef (or bean) stews, chicken and turkey soups, pasta sauces are all pretty easy to do. Plus you can make extras to freeze. I find it fun to be creative -- like some chicken, brown sugar, honey mustard, and a bit of rosemary.

>Meat - pork, chicken, beef, whatever
can of cream of whatever or homemade cream soup
little can of tomato paste or puree, not the juicy stuff like sauce
dump it all in, cook all day on low
When it is done, you have a nice thick gravy, you can also dump in any leftover veggies you have. We usually eat this with rice or noodles.

Saucy beef:
2 lbs stew meat
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix
Mix soups together and pour over beef in crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. We usually serve ours over egg noodles or rice.

Sweet and Spicy KielbasaKielbasa (I do a lot of this at once and freeze it)
equal parts brown sugar and brown mustard.
Mix the sugar and mustard together and pour over sausage. Cook on medium about 6 hours

Chicken and Stuffing
6 chicken breasts
2 packages Stovetop stuffing mixed with ingredients on package (I'm sure you could make your own stuffing mix)
2 cans cream of mushroom
Place chicken in bottom of crockpot, add stuffing and pour soup over top. Cook on high about 4 hours. This recipe can easily be split in half for smaller families.

>My favorite things to do with the crock pot is soup. I just dump in whatever we have around- leftover meat, fresh or frozen veggies, dry or canned beans, lentils, broth or boullion, spices, pasta, and extra water. It always tastes good, no matter what I put in.

Ham & Lentil Soup
2 cups lentils
1/2 pound ham -- diced
1 onion -- chopped
1 bay leaf
2 ribs celery -- chopped
1 clove garlic -- minced
salt and pepper -- to taste

Combine all ingredients with 2 quarts water in the crock pot. Cook on low, covered, 8 to 10 hours. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Mac n cheese
8 oz macaroni noodles, cooked in salted water.
1/2 c. butter
3 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c whole milk (I used 2%, it came out fine)
2 eggs

Grease cp lightly w/spray on oil. Cook noodles in salted water, add to cp. Add butter and cheese, mix. Add milk, evaporated milk, and beaten eggs. Season w/salt and pepper. Cover and DO NOT LIFT LID!!!! (I know, it's very hard for us stirrers!) Cook for 3 hrs on low.

Chicken and gravy w potatoes
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Potatoes, quartered, with jackets
About 6 stalks celery
1/2 pkg baby carrots
1 can cream of chicken soup*
1 pkg dry onion soup mix

Place vegetables on bottom of crock pot. Brown chicken breasts in PAM or vegetable spray. Place over vegetables. Cover with the cream of chicken soup, undiluted. Sprinkle with dry onion soup mix. Do not add water. Cover and cook all day on low, or 6 hours on high.

I had planned to substitute either Campbell's healthy choice or reduced fat cream of chicken.

Potato soup
8 potatoes (peeled or not) chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
1 can chicken broth
2 T dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
sliced green onions, grated cheese, and chopped bacon for toppings
Put all ingredients down to and including the pepper into the crockpot. Add water to within 1" of the top of the crockpot (this recipe is for a 5 qt, so adjust accordingly). Cook on high for 8 hours. 1 hour before serving, put milk into a small conatiner with a lid, add flour and shake till well mixed. Add to the soup. Rosemary can be added for a good flavor

barbecue, beef, crockpot

2 1/2 lb beef round steak
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup catsup
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 small onion -- diced
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup celery

Cut beef into thin strips. Brown in skillet. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, mustard, onion, water, brown sugar and celery. Pour into crockpot. Add meat. Cook on medium heat for 3 or 4 hours. Serve over hamburger buns

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#140 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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This is kind of cheating b/c I had bought the materials earlier intending to make it but never got around to it... still, I did clear things out! I saw this one on tv.

I used regular bread and painted a little olive oil on it. I had a jar of Trader Joe's roasted red peppers and a jar of green olives. I sliced the olives up and then layered peppers and olives on the bread. I then put mozzarella on top and closed off the sandwich. We made paninis using our George Forman grill (x-mas present from MIL).

Sooooo good.

Tomorrow I'm going to make applesauce in my crock-pot: peel and cut apples into cubes, toss into crock-pot with 1/2 cup of water (maybe more if its a lot of apples). Dh adds sugar when he makes it but I don't think it needs it unless they are very tart apples. Let them cook until you can smash them with a spoon or fork. When they are cooked you can either stir it really well or blend in your blender. Sometimes I add a little cinnamon at the end. :
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#141 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 01:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st
Also made the blueberry bananna bread into muffins. I guess they were good, they're all gone!
Glad they were a hit. This reminds me - I sometimes make "individual" pound cakes in a muffin tin. I have a recipe for "light" pound cakes that is really good and not too terrible for you. I usually put blueberries in those too. I'm going to have to scare up the recipe - I found yet another package of frozen blueberries in my freezer. :
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#142 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 04:55 AM
 
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mmmmmm..the paninis sound good. I can't believe how long this thread is getting. Last night, I made split pea soup w/ leftover xmas ham that was in the freezer. Had no idea how to make it, but I guessed and it's gone so it must have been close, lol. Tonight was the worst. DH volunteered to "make dinner". He is a reservist and he had some MRE's from drill. Needless to say he won't be "cooking" again anytime soon. I see all these crockpot recipes. Are there any other cast iron dutch oven mamas here? :LOL

mama to DD yikes2.gif She's a teenager! 12/19/97 and DS jammin.gif 09/18/03
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#143 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 09:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GriffinsMom

Tomorrow I'm going to make applesauce in my crock-pot: peel and cut apples into cubes, toss into crock-pot with 1/2 cup of water (maybe more if its a lot of apples). Dh adds sugar when he makes it but I don't think it needs it unless they are very tart apples. Let them cook until you can smash them with a spoon or fork. When they are cooked you can either stir it really well or blend in your blender. Sometimes I add a little cinnamon at the end. :

if you add tiny bit of salt it will draw the sugar out of apples and will be naturally sweeter wiout any added sugar.

i am surprised how much stuff you all have in the freezer. i have almost nothing! some frozen veggies but no frozen soups or anything

the problem in our family is that my husband won't eat anything two days in a row. I wll,even whole week, I don't care, but not him. He will eat anything I cook, but not twice in a row. That makes the chalenge harder.
I pretty much try to cook eaxct amount for 2-3 people so there is no leftovers.

Can we have a recipe for that pound cake please?
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#144 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 09:43 AM
 
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Jen I love crockpot applesauce! I made 4 quarts in September and it's all gone now. I cannot wait until next fall when I have my chest freezer and I can a ton.

I am not doing very well with the challenge this week. I've been lazy and dealing with my new field placement... which has led to eating out or picking up an Amy's entree at the corner store. I am going to map out a better plan for this next week and stick to it! I have a ton of stuff to eat up still.
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#145 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 11:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by quest4quiet
I see all these crockpot recipes. Are there any other cast iron dutch oven mamas here? :LOL
Glad you like the recipes, this is new to me. I cook more with my Le creuset pots then anything but I am trying the crock for fun. I cook my beef stew in my le creuset dutch oven pot in the oven. It is soooo good. We made it for the il's one time and my fil took a generous second helping and said this is real good, it tastes like the one my mom made while growing up. I thought my mil would fall out of her chair along with dh. I guess he has never said anything like that before. Needless to say she cornered me later and wanted to know how I did that!
Its so funny since I had been after her to buy one of these for years and she asked for one for mother's day that year. She has taught me how to cook things before so I found it so funny.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#146 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st
Glad you like the recipes, this is new to me. I cook more with my Le creuset pots then anything but I am trying the crock for fun. I cook my beef stew in my le creuset dutch oven pot in the oven. It is soooo good. We made it for the il's one time and my fil took a generous second helping and said this is real good, it tastes like the one my mom made while growing up. I thought my mil would fall out of her chair along with dh. I guess he has never said anything like that before. Needless to say she cornered me later and wanted to know how I did that!
Its so funny since I had been after her to buy one of these for years and she asked for one for mother's day that year. She has taught me how to cook things before so I found it so funny.
Oh Le Creuset - I admire those EVERY TIME I go to Whole foods My secret love......
BTW - their website has recipes:

http://www.lecreuset.com/usa/recipes.php
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#147 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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Okay, I cannot believe I'm diggin' this frugal mama thread! I'm proud of my self for even reading it! I am a recovering product-junkie! ;0

Pantry challange! ahhhaaaa we call it "cupboard meals" at my house. When the cash runs low the cupboard meals thrive!

Last night we had: pumpkin/potato pancakes w/ roasted broccoli!

we had a 16 oz can of organic pumpkin left over from thanksgiving. Plus left over mashed potatoes in the freezer which we thawed out...

even amounts of pumpkin / potato in food processor until smooth
add 3 tsp self rising flour
1/4 cup ap flour
1 egg
3 green onions (chopped)
salt/pepper
**mix in bowl and fry w/ olive oil for 3 min. on each side.

Broccoli...
left over from raw salad.
preheat oven to 450. coat broccoli w/ olive oil, salt, marjoram and mix in a tsp crushed garlic. Roast for 30 - 40 minutes. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
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#148 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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Recovering product jumkie? That would be me. Back during our double income days and no child we bought every gadget, appliance there was. My friend does pampered chef so I had a mess of their no need to have products. I actually ended up giving them back to her for her demos so someone can buy the stuff to end up in their closet.

We do use our ice cream maker to make sorbet, I am pulling out the yogurt machine this weekend,- I do use all the time- my kitchenaid mixer, food processer, food chopper, pizza stone, griddle, espresso maker,(starbucks or the local coffee house is almost $10 for the two of us!) I have also got rid of different gadgets we don't use.

We do enjoy cooking in this house and always have so it makes sense to try things. I also pared down my cookbooks. We have always gotten them as gifts since people know we love to cook. I donated 20 (yes 20) to the library last week.

Last night mac n cheese- awesome!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#149 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 12:39 PM
 
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I'm a cookbook HOUND! And we're vegetarian. I currently have 55 cookbooks- and I read them daily! Really! And use them every two weeks to put together our meal plans.
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#150 of 316 Old 01-14-2005, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
I'm a cookbook HOUND! And we're vegetarian. I currently have 55 cookbooks- and I read them daily! Really! And use them every two weeks to put together our meal plans.
WOW!
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