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Old 01-06-2005, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First for anyone who isn't involved in the frugal mamas thread let me explain exactly what a pantry challenge is. Basically we're commiting to eating out of what's already in our pantry for the next month. Some of us are doing it because money is tight, others because they want to finally find creative ways to use up what they have.

Trips to the store for bread, milk, eggs, and fresh produce are ok, but should be kept to a minimum. Before we head to the store we should ask ourselves, "Is there *any* way I can make this myself or make due without it?" Examples of this would be making your own bread, use up dry milk, or substitute a heaping tablespon of soy flour and a tablespoon of water for an egg when baking. You get the idea.

Anyway, now that's out of the way, how is everyone doing so far? What do you think the hardest part of doing this will be? What things do you anticipate *really* needing to go get at the store? Does anyone want to share what they're making today for dinner? Pass a little inspiration on to the rest of us?
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janerose
Anyway, now that's out of the way, how is everyone doing so far? What do you think the hardest part of doing this will be? What things do you anticipate *really* needing to go get at the store? Does anyone want to share what they're making today for dinner? Pass a little inspiration on to the rest of us?
Well, this was my idea so it only seems fair I should start!

So far we're doing fine, but it's only been like 5 days since we went to the store. :LOL

The hardest part for me will just be finding the time to actually cook with a 3 1/2 mo old. Luckily DH comes home each day for lunch, so I've started putting dinner together while he's here to watch dd. Lunches are harder. Today we're having leftovers We shouldn't need to go to the store for anything except some fresh fruit. Especially bananas since DH is on a diuretic and needs to have 1 a day. We all know how long bananas keep!

Today for dinner we're having venison stew. It's the first time I've made it so we'll see how it comes out. The venison was given to us by a co-worker of DH, and I'm tossing in celery, carrots, onion, and potato. Probably some broth made from bouillon too. Cross your fingers!

Holly
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:21 PM
 
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Count me in, Holly!

Tonight DH and I are eating out the freezer. We're having hamburger-cabbage soup with a side of whole wheat bread smeared with Laughing Cow cheese.

I may or may not have some apples that need to be used up; if so, I will make baked apples with raisins again and freeze them.
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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In my freezer I have a bag of edaname, any suggestions on how to prepare? My brown bananas are going into bread to freeze, kids won't eat them w/ spots at all. Hmmm what is for dinner tonight? A late basketball game for dd so it could get ugly.
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:49 PM
 
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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Thanks for starting this Holly!

OK, since we are detoxing this week we are doing mainly veggies. But we are using all the canned tuna, canned soups from Trader Joes and Almond Butter- so yummy! I have cleaned out the cabinets and pantry from decluttering (see my discussion on declutter in personal growth). We will go back to living out of the freezer next week or after.

From going thru the pantry I found a few lost souls and pitched them (expired not telling when!) so I know what I will replace soon.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-06-2005, 07:55 PM
 
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I am IN!!! What a great idea!!!! I keep shopping all the time and few days later - there is nothing to cook from, but pantry is still full! :

This is fun thread! And how usefull! GREAT IDEA!
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Old 01-06-2005, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greensleeves
Anyone know what to do with a can of sweet potatoes, besides just heat it up?
We use canned pumpkin in pancakes. It makes them really moist. I'd think sweet potatoes would work as well. You can also substitute them for the bananas in banana bread or stir them into vanilla pudding (sounds wierd but it's actually pretty good). Can you tell we have our own challenges from time to time? :LOL

I remember as a kid, we had a whole shelf in the pantry w/ unlabeled cans, since you can usually get them pretty cheap at our salvage grocery. We would have "mystery dinner" night once a week. We would all pick a can. Sounds sad, but we enjoyed it.

Last night I made pita bread and hummus to have for dinner tonight. I'm going to make falafel, as well (garbanzos were .25 a can a few weeks ago).

This is going to be fun!

mama to DD yikes2.gif She's a teenager! 12/19/97 and DS jammin.gif 09/18/03
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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I love this!!

I have been trying and trying to this for months. We have leftover provisions from when we went sailing for a year... there are some SCARY things in my pantry
(canned butter from New Zealand!) :

I'll keep ya posted!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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Holly - if you have it, throw a little sage into the venison stew (maybe a tsp dried/ground, or 2 leaves) .. it cuts down the game-y taste if you're not used to it.
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greensleeves
Anyone know what to do with a can of sweet potatoes, besides just heat it up?
You can puree them and make sweet potato pie! I am really lazy so I don't make a crust. I can post the recipe if you're interested. It's insanely easy.
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quest4quiet
I remember as a kid, we had a whole shelf in the pantry w/ unlabeled cans, since you can usually get them pretty cheap at our salvage grocery. We would have "mystery dinner" night once a week. We would all pick a can. Sounds sad, but we enjoyed it.
I did this as a kid too and took the tradition to South Dakota when I lived there - commodities are notorious for only having half a stash labled. :
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quest4quiet
Last night I made pita bread and hummus to have for dinner tonight. I'm going to make falafel, as well (garbanzos were .25 a can a few weeks ago).

This is going to be fun!
that is what we had too!!!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weebitty2
Holly - if you have it, throw a little sage into the venison stew (maybe a tsp dried/ground, or 2 leaves) .. it cuts down the game-y taste if you're not used to it.
It would figure sage is the ONE thing I don't have! I tossed in some oregano & just a dash each or rosemary & thyme. Plus I added a bunch of garlic. Can you ever go wrong with garlic? Thanks for the tip though. I'll definitly try it in the future.

Also, I'll have to try the banana thing. It's ridiculous how fast we go through them & how many we end up tossing because they go brown. I'm not freezing any more at the moment because we have so many frozen already. Hmm...sounds like I should plan on banana muffins or bread sometime soon!
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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nak

Mind if I join y'all? DH and I just had our first kiddo together and I'm trying to be a SAHM. I'm used to go shopping once a week... but not anymore. I'm putting on the gloves and face mask, and finding out what hides behind the first row of my cabinets... : Wish me luck!!!

Quoteriginally Posted by SamI'mNotSamantha : : : Bi/Crunchy/WOH/Single/Student Mama to my skinny-mini SuperMunchkin : (11/2004)! "I will not take 'but' for an answer." - Langston Hughes
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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Great Bannana bread-
This is from a Martha Stewart cookbook- she may be a liar, convicted felon, and
not too smart about trading but she makes the best darn bread ever...

1 stick of unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas- the riper the better
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan or four small pans
With mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs beating well.
Sift the dry ingredients together and combine with the butter mixture. Blend well. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir well. Pour into pan.
Bake one hour after cake tester comes out clean. Turn onto rack to cool

Everyone I served this to loves it.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quest4quiet
We use canned pumpkin in pancakes. It makes them really moist.
Could you please post a recipe for this. I am really curious about them.

Thanks

Stephany
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:58 PM
 
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I just took inventory and made a menu for the next couple weeks a few days ago, what a coincidence!

Tonight I had to use up the rest of eggs since they are about to expire so I made chicken (canned) and egg salad sandwiches. There are lots of things in the freezer that we will be eating over the next couple weeks, and in the pantry.

If you have yeast, flour, cheese and some random things to use as toppings, pizza or calzones can easily be made. We made some this week with a jar of pesto I needed to use up and will have some calzones next week with some left over marinara sauce and cremini mushroom stems chopped up in them.

Next week for breakfast, since we wont have any milk or eggs, I am going to make some Japanese breakfast dishes, since I happen to have some stuff lying around. A warm bowl of rice, some natto mixed with vinegar, soy sauce and spicy mustard, and a bowl of miso soup with wakame. Natto is hard to smell, but goes down pretty well. I haven't tried to eat any since I have been pregnant though, so we'll see if I can! :LOL
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2radata
Could you please post a recipe for this. I am really curious about them.

Thanks
I use the just add water pancake mix., w/ 1/4 c extra liquid. To that, I add 1/4 to 1/2c of pumpkin(not pie filling, but plain pumpkin). 1t of vanilla, dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, sometimes ginger. If we have them, I'll add raisins or dried cranberries. If DH makes them, he adds 1/3c of whey protein and adds extra water. We are pretty serious about our pancakes, lol.

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Old 01-07-2005, 03:47 AM
 
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Hi! Count me in! I havebig bags of brown rice and ryeflour in my cold room. Does anybody have recipes for rice milk and crispbread crackers( like Ryvita or Wasa)? I would really appreciate it!
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:59 AM
 
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I'm in. Dinner is going to be interesting around here.

I was reading one of the ladies magazines in some dr. office this week (I think). The hint from heloise was that if you wrap bananas individually in plastic wrap, they don't go brown and overripe.

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Old 01-07-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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I am gonna try that banana bread today! Thanks for the recipe!

My problem is that I have mostly only dry products in my pantry, such 8 grain cereal, 5 grain cereal, 7 grain cereal, pasta, flour, lentils, beans, dry fruit, etc.

Also some wet, such past souce, canned tomatos mainly.

We don't eat much meat. and my DH does not wanna have pasta every day KWIM? :LOL I would not mind :LOL

Sometimes I feel like there are only 3 recipes out there... KWIM? I just can't think of anything to cook!

I love to cook, but my imagination is pretty pathetic!

Anyone knows what to do with soft goat cheese? I bought a big stick 2 weeks ago for sun-dried tomatos and goat cheese pasta and now the rest is sitting in the refrigarator. I don't want it to go bad, it's fairly expencive!
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Old 01-07-2005, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nak

looks like we got moved. thought that may happen.

how did yesterday go for everyone? we didn't end up eating our stew because neither of us was hungry (too many snacks : ) so guess what's on the menu for today! lol

does anyone have a favorite site they go to for recipes? thought they may help those who have posted looking for ideas. lots of times if i have something, but no idea what to do with it i go to a recipe site and do a search for that ingredient. my all time fav site is www.allrecipes.com also, for the veggies in our group www.vegweb.com is pretty good too.
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Old 01-07-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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thank you for that vegweb.com!! I was needing something like that for a looong time!

I like allrecipes.com too. I got there a lot. FOund the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipes there!

I need a special software where you can put more than one or two ingredients and it will bring up recipes made from those ingredients. :LOL I am sure there si something like that out there.....
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quest4quiet
We use canned pumpkin in pancakes. It makes them really moist. I'd think sweet potatoes would work as well. You can also substitute them for the bananas in banana bread or stir them into vanilla pudding (sounds wierd but it's actually pretty good). Can you tell we have our own challenges from time to time? :LOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by selugigage
You can puree them and make sweet potato pie! I am really lazy so I don't make a crust. I can post the recipe if you're interested. It's insanely easy.

Wow, thanks for the tips! I'll try it this weekend!



Last night we had our turkey spaghetti, I sneaked some spinach into the sauce. Mwa ha ha ha.
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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WRT to searching out recipes --- I often just google the dish or the ingredient and see what comes up. I get a wide variety of large websites like allrecipe.com and stuff from the home kitchen that people have posted on their personal websites.
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yin Yang
Anyone knows what to do with soft goat cheese? I bought a big stick 2 weeks ago for sun-dried tomatos and goat cheese pasta and now the rest is sitting in the refrigarator. I don't want it to go bad, it's fairly expencive!
Goat cheese is my #1 favorite food! In addition to putting it on pasta, you can put it on green salads, spread it on toast or in a sandwhich, put it in an omelet or scramled eggs, spread on crackers and serve with fruit, put a big slice on half a tomato drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven, put a blob in your lentil soup, put on baked potatoes, spread over steak (if you eat meat)..... it's pretty much good everywhere except in your coffee.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gottaknit
Goat cheese is my #1 favorite food! In addition to putting it on pasta, you can put it on green salads, spread it on toast or in a sandwhich, put it in an omelet or scramled eggs, spread on crackers and serve with fruit, put a big slice on half a tomato drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven, put a blob in your lentil soup, put on baked potatoes, spread over steak (if you eat meat)..... it's pretty much good everywhere except in your coffee.
thanks! I will be making lentil stew tonight so I will put it in it!
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:29 PM
 
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I don't understand the frugality of using up everything in your pantry, at all. When I use something up, I write it down on my list and buy more. If I used up everything in my pantry I'd have to go on a big shopping trip to replace it all! IMO, you're supposed to have flour and tins of tomatoes in the pantry - that's what it's for, and it means that you can make meals at short notice, which saves on eating out and take-out - the real money spending.

Also, while I'm grumbling, and I have done this myself many a time, but surely making banana bread to use up brown bananas is a false economy - a dollar's worth of butter, sugar, eggs and flours sacrificed to save ten cents worth of bananas.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
Great Bannana bread-
This is from a Martha Stewart cookbook- she may be a liar, convicted felon, and
not too smart about trading but she makes the best darn bread ever...

1 stick of unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas- the riper the better
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan or four small pans
With mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs beating well.
Sift the dry ingredients together and combine with the butter mixture. Blend well. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir well. Pour into pan.
Bake one hour after cake tester comes out clean. Turn onto rack to cool

Everyone I served this to loves it.
This is the recipe I use...always get compliments on it! It is so good!
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