Anyone up for a Pantry Challenge in November? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 313 Old 11-05-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by michelle524 View Post
A couple of questions:

I have a bag of cranberries in the freezer. I know I didn't buy them in 2006, I think I got them in 2005 and planned to make them in 2006 (since I know you can freeze them for a year). But, I was super preg then, so I didn't make them. Think they are too old to make for Christmas or Thanksgiving this year?

Also, I have a tub of tofu that says use by 11/1. I can't possibly use it until tomorrow, 11/6. Think that's too late? I don't eat tofu too often (clearly) so I'm not sure how fast it goes bad.

Thanks!
The tofu should be fine. I often use them past their date. With the cranberries I would take them out and look over them. If they are really dried out from freezer burn I would toss them. Otherwise I would make some sauce from them far enough in advance to know whether it taste good enough for a holiday dinner. Stuff is often safe to eat after a long time in the freezer but can lose a lot of flavor.

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#122 of 313 Old 11-05-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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I have a pumpkin question: we bought a pumpkin to carve and never did. So, now I have this big ol' pumpkin sitting in my kitchen, mocking me. Can I eat him? : For some reason I have it in my head that the kind you carve and the kind you eat aren't the same, but I'd love to try my hand at pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin bread. Or pumpkin pancakes. Or maybe all 3. It's a big pumpkin.

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#123 of 313 Old 11-05-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Breakfast: cold cereal and juice
Lunch: kids - school lunch mum - leftovers from dinner


Monday:
tri-colour rotini with sauteed mushrooms in parmesan sauce
salad
Italian bread

Tuesday:
broccoli cheddar soup
Italian bread

Wednesday:
lasagna
salad
green beans

Thursday:
baked beans
cornbread
spinach salad (I may just cook the spinach, instead)
pineapple upside down cake

Friday:
curry
"yellow" rice
chopped veg (tomatoes and cucumber)
boiled eggs
chapatis
chutney

Saturday:
curried pumpkin soup
cranberry muffins

Sunday:
baked potatoes (with butter, salsa, sour cream, cheese, et cetera)
chocolate pudding
left overs

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#124 of 313 Old 11-05-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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Roast your pumpkin and then puree the roasted flesh. Yummy! You could probably make pie, bread, and pancakes, and perhaps have enough left over to add to mac and cheese or chili (it's great in both.)
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#125 of 313 Old 11-05-2007, 08:14 PM
 
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Well, we've done pretty well so far. I used part of a tin of pineapple last night with puttanesca sauce on wholemeal pasta. Kind of unusual but it was actually very tasty! The rest of the pineapple will go into stuffed bread rolls with tomato sauce, cheese, herbs etc (I'm going to a hen's night and have to bring 'bready things').

DH needs to take a potato salad to a BBQ on Thursday. I have a bit of mayo left, and a few potatoes; I can make some more mayonnaise by hand if need be. Very doable.

I'm trying to remember what else we've been eating! Pita crisps, homemade, gallons of (I just discovered how to make homemade pita bread, and good golly that stuff is delicious); vegetarian risotto (well, with chicken stock) for dinner and DH's lunch; roast veggies and chicken casserole; and I made a bit too much sauce for the casserole, so the next day we ate the leftovers with pasta, peas and corn mixed in.

DH will have to get his own dinner tonight, but we still have a respectable quantity of frozen meals in the freezer--baked beans and vichyssoise and devilled sausages and so on. He'll be fine. The only sad thing is, he's recently become obsessed with taking little jellies with peach chunks in them and custard on top, to work for a snack. I'm happy to make them, but we can't afford to waste the eggs until the chickens start laying again (yes... I refuse to make packet custard... call me a snob), and we're out of tinned peaches. Maybe we'll have to buy a tin out of next week's $40 budget... those jellies just make him so happy! I did suggest using tinned pears, which we have, but he was strongly against that idea. My husband is a weirdo...

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#126 of 313 Old 11-05-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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I finally finished doing an inventory of my freezers, fridge, basement pantry and kitchen cabinets. :

I have a few questions, if anyone can help me out:

What can I do with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, if we don't really do salads? Same with Thousand Island. I was thinking I could mix the TI with some cans of tuna I have to use in a sandwich. I'm more stumped by the raspberry dressing.

Also, what can I do with kombu? I have no idea why I bought it. I'm sure I read that it was good for you... I do have some miso soup mix and maybe I could throw it in there?

And I have about eight whole tomatoes, frozen, that are probably two or so years old. Maybe three. : Should I chuck them or are they somehow salvageable?

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#127 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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We had a layered chicken dish tonight with rice and cheese. It was yummy. Still loving this challenge. I thought for sure we would start to feel deprived, like we weren't getting to eat anything good, but instead I think the meals have been even better than normal. Definitely more creative!

For raspberry vinaigrette, do you eat any type of salads? (Pasta, fruit, etc.) I have lots of recipes that call for balsamic vinaigrette dressing, I bet raspberry vinaigrette could be substituted. Most of them seem to be chicken dishes. I can't help you with the tomatoes. If they aren't super dehydrated they might be okay. You could mix them with tomato or pasta sauce in case they've lost flavour.

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DD2, born at home in the water, March 2010
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#128 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by New Mama View Post

What can I do with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, if we don't really do salads? Same with Thousand Island. I was thinking I could mix the TI with some cans of tuna I have to use in a sandwich. I'm more stumped by the raspberry dressing.
I'll bet you could make a marinade for chicken or baste kabobs with it.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#129 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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I'm still doing well. I bought 2 blocks of cheese and a 1/2 gallon of milk on the 1st of the month, and that's it so far.

Thus far, we've had homemade pizza (twice , using up flour (I have buckets of wheat berries sitting in my basement!), tomato sauce, 2 cans of pinapple, and 2 cans of spaghetti sauce.

We've also had sandwiches. And a whole bunch of pasta. My kids really like buttered noodles, which makes an easy lunch. Today for lunch I used up 3 different kinds of pasta, tossed in a little bit of butter, a dollop of sour cream, some broccoli, garlic powder, and a little bit of cheddar. It was a HUGE hit For dinner I made enchiladas, finishing up a package of corn tortillas, a can of enchilada sauce, some ground beef, and the last of a bag of frozen corn.

Tomorrow I'm planning to have oatmeal (or popcorn? or toast?) for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, and fajitas for supper. I'll be using my last loaf of bread for the PB&J, so I'll need to bake another big batch of bread in the next day or two. My other big challenge is that tomorrow we will run out of fresh fruit. In my house, this is a BIG deal- my kids eat an amazing amount of fruit. My plan is to serve the last 3 bruised apples for lunch (cut into pieces). We also have some raisins, which will help. On Wednesday we'll have oatmeal with raisins for breakfast, and pancakes with fruit sauce (made from frozen fruit out of my freezer) for lunch. Hopefully this will get us through until Thursday when we can make a run to the store.

I'm usually a big meal planner, but I've found that I'm really enjoying the challenge of coming up with something each day. Eating out of the pantry tends to make me feel deprived. But to my surprise, I'm happier when I *don't* plan ahead- I think that the creative challege of coming up with something tasty each day is helping me survive and keep from feeling down.

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#130 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 07:09 AM
 
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yesterday's dinner was hamburger steaks, mashed potatos, corn, and beets.

Only thing from the freezer was the hamburger - so 10 items out of the freezer.
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#131 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 10:57 AM
 
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I know I said I wasn't really going to participate in the Pantry Challenge, but I'm finding more and more things that I'd like to clear out to make room to stockpile stuff we really use. So, here's my update for the last 3-4 days. I'm only including meals that actually used up stuff that I was trying to get rid of.

* hotdogs/brats/hamburgers/french fries (lunch & dinner for 2 days, supplemented with other stuff)
* nearly-stale bread (made french toast)
* shepherd's pie (used leftover colcannon for the potato layer and an odd, opened bag of frozen peas & carrots for the veggie layer)
* chicken & veggie stirfry (used up 5 squash & 3 carrots that were almost too far gone to rescue)
* cowgirl beans & noodles (one of my single-serving freezer meals that I've been wanting to get rid of for a month -- my lunch today!)

Dinners for the rest of the week:
Tuesday -- hamburger & rice skillet (will use up the last of an odd bag of frozen mixed veggies)
Wednesday -- chicken "pot pie" (will use up some of the cooked, diced potatoes from the fridge)
Thursday -- chili & cornbread (will use up one of the 10 bags of chili seasoning I have stockpiled)
Friday -- vegetable soup & biscuits (will use up all the leftovers stowed in the freezer - random veggies, 3 cooked porkchops, a little bit of rice, some navy beans, etc. - plus the rest of the potatoes in the fridge and a can or 2 of corn from the pantry)

I'm excited about this! If I can find a rockin' sale on chicken this week or next, I'll plan to try a chicken curry recipe. I'm also going to chop up that pumpkin and do something (or many somethings) with it. Yessiree ... very excited.

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#132 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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Okay, yesterday we made homade pizzas using up a package of frozen bread dogh dh brought home months ago for no good reason, and a jar of sauce from the pantry.
I could still use help with how to use a ton of dried pinto beans. Also does anyone know how long an open jar of mushroom pesto will keep in the fridge? It's been in there awhile.
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#133 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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Ok I have been meaning to come here and post . I would like to join you all in this challenge .
We did this the other day . There was a small amount of ribs and ham steak left in my freezer so I slow cooked the ribs and when Dh came home he put them and the Ham steak on the grill with BBQ sauce and I made corn on the cob that I frooze about 2 monthes ago and some instant Mash patatos my mom gave us several monthes ago . It was a yummy dinner

I made Lentil soup last night using up fresh spinich , onions , carotts , celery (from the freezer) and lentil beans from the pantry . Me Dh and 1 DD ate this for lunch today as well and I feed my freezer two portions of it as well .

Tonight I am making a frozen Shepards pie a friend gave me when I had the baby last month and a can of cream corn .

I will post as I use up more items
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#134 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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Last night we used up the last of the hamburger buns from the freezer, the last of the premade hamburgers, made a package of blueberry muffins from the cupboard. So far today we finished up the leftover chicken soup and the leftover tomato soup from the fridge.

That makes 5 items gone so far today.

My total $ spent so far this month is $10.

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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#135 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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I have no clue what we are having for dinner, it's been an awful day. Either pasta with veggie meatballs or frozen pizza probably.

Maybe someone can help me: Remember the split pea-barley soup from yesterday, well, it was cruncy, and not in a good way. The peas never really cooked all the way. I put it in the crock pot for 2 hours on high and then 10 on low. What did I do wrong? Also, any ideas how to fix it? Can I keep cooking it? I'd hate to throw it away, but I can't eat it like this. DH tried to eat some, which I appreciate, because it was really bad.

For pintos - I usually make enchiladas, tacos or burritos. I have a good enchilada sauce recipe if you'd like. Also, sometimes I saute garlic, onion and pintos with whatever veggies I have and make a wrap.
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#136 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 09:40 PM
 
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Hmm. Michelle524, did you soak the split peas prior to cooking?

I didn't end up using all the pineapple in the bread rolls; I still have more than half a tin left, with the juice. What can I do with it? It has to be meatless, and not pizza--I've been feeding DH too many bread-based meals recently. Ideas?

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#137 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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Hmm. Michelle524, did you soak the split peas prior to cooking?

I didn't end up using all the pineapple in the bread rolls; I still have more than half a tin left, with the juice. What can I do with it? It has to be meatless, and not pizza--I've been feeding DH too many bread-based meals recently. Ideas?
I didn't soak them. When I made this recipe last time, I did it on the stove. But I figured in 12 hours the peas would get tender...
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#138 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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Hmm. Michelle524, did you soak the split peas prior to cooking?

I didn't end up using all the pineapple in the bread rolls; I still have more than half a tin left, with the juice. What can I do with it? It has to be meatless, and not pizza--I've been feeding DH too many bread-based meals recently. Ideas?
I recently made ham with coconut milk and a big can of pineapple in the crockpot recently (someone posted the recipe on the N&GE forum). If you have any ham and/or coconut milk, you could do that. Or if you just have coconut milk, you could cook rice or couscous in the mixture instead of in water or broth.

ETA: Oops, I just noticed you said meatless So skip that first suggestion then!

ETA2: What about pina colada smoothies? (Or, erm, just pina coladas? I guess it depends on the kind of day you had )

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#139 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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Well today would have been our normal $150 weekly trip to the Commissary, but instead I had DH pick up things on his way home from work. We bought-
Organic milk and eggs, butter, salt, 4 bottles of apple juice (had coupons that made them all free!) and a loaf of DH's bread. Spent only $12! Woohoo!

Tomorrow I'm going to make blueberry muffins for breakfast! I'm out of my bread, so I'm going to attempt to bake a loaf! I have a ton of whole wheat flour that I bought on sale that I'd love to use up.

Oh and DH had no idea that the chili I made had Boca burgers instead of beef. He loved it! I'll never tell.

Mama to a 6 year old diva, and new little man July 2011.

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#140 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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I saw a few tuna recipes in Good Housekeeping that I wanted to pass along. One is a twice baked potato with tuna and cheese melted on it. Another was spaghetti puttanesca with tuna (has olives and capers.) Another recipe from a cookbook I was looking at last night had tuna sandwich souffle - basically, tuna sandwiches with an egg and milk mixture poured over, refrigerated a few hours, then baked to crispy and light brown.
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#141 of 313 Old 11-06-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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Last night we used up the last of the hamburger buns from the freezer, the last of the premade hamburgers, made a package of blueberry muffins from the cupboard. So far today we finished up the leftover chicken soup and the leftover tomato soup from the fridge.

That makes 5 items gone so far today.

My total $ spent so far this month is $10.
Ok, so I can now add 2 packages of chicken breasts to my "gone" list.

7 items for the day.

I did also go to the grocery store since the kids "needed" ice cream to go with my birthday cake tonight. Ice cream was 50% off for Edys so I got 2 of those, a 2lb bag of carrots, 2 cans of cat food, a bag of baby spinach for dh, 2 75% halloween mini muffin cups, and a bag of apples for only $11.96. Bringing my monthly total to $21.96

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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#142 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 01:42 AM
 
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Bought $25 worth of needed groceries today. But I'm not counting it b/c it's left over from Oct's grocery budget. In addition, we have $40 more from Oct. The Nov grocery budget starts on the 14th--$240. So really, we have $280 to spend, though I hope we won't need all of it!
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#143 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 10:22 AM
 
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Last night was grits and grillades. That used up the random round steak I wasn't sure what to do with. I didn't have any celery, so I used celery salt. It made it a little salty, but not bad. And, I found a pint of half and half in the freezer, so I used that on the grits. Soooooo not very good for you, but soooooo good.

Tonight is a grain soup. It'll use barley, brown rice, ancho chilis, and black beans out of the pantry, zuchinni out of the freezer, and some chicken stock I made last weekend. I had to buy some mushrooms this weekend at the store, but that's all I needed.
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#144 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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Bought $184 worth of groceries & HBA goods{ mostly groceries though} - not too bad considering the bill before coupons was $342!

Yesterday we ate frozen waffles for breakfast, and had chicken one pot for dinner.

2 more items out of the freezer makes 12 items in total.
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#145 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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I didn't end up using all the pineapple in the bread rolls; I still have more than half a tin left, with the juice. What can I do with it? It has to be meatless, and not pizza--I've been feeding DH too many bread-based meals recently. Ideas?
I had a stir fry yesterday with chicken (you could sub tofu or something in here), green peppers, onions, and pineapple. The sauce had soy sauce, garlic, a little sugar, olive oil and pineapple juice (maybe some other ingredients I don't remember). Served over rice. You could also skewer these items and grill them.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#146 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 10:44 AM
 
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I'll jump on board. I was already starting to do this in the last month so I have made some good progress. I won't be able to commit to no grocery spending, but my goal is to have the chest freezer emptied before the end of the month and all frozen meat products in the upstairs freezer used.

Time to go look what is for dinner!
Update: I've used up 9 items so far and have only spent $7 (ran out of soy sauce and we had been out of onions for a week). I have inventoried both freezers but not the frig or pantry yet.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#147 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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We had pork chops with a sauce made out of mustard last night (we don't eat mustard so it's been sitting for a while). Tonight we're having chicken burgers using up some buns from the freezer and some salsa.

Lindsay - DD1, born posterior and chin up at home, Aug 2007
DD2, born at home in the water, March 2010
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#148 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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Yes please post the enchilada recipe w/pintos. Also how long do you soak them?
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#149 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I am eating Chips , salsa , cheese and refried beans for lunch using up the cheese and chips and sour cream that is going to go bad soon .
Not healthy I am sure but yummy
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#150 of 313 Old 11-07-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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Yes please post the enchilada recipe w/pintos. Also how long do you soak them?

Here's the recipe:

3 8oz cans tomato sauce
4 1/2 cups water
6 tbsp cornstarch
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Start with the lesser amount of chili powder unless you like really spicy foods. Mix well with a whisk until well combined. Cook and stir over medium heat untiil thickened, about 7 minutes. Taste and add more chili powder if desired.

This makes a massive amount. I cut it down by 1/3 and only make that at a time. It freezes OK (not as good as fresh, but ok).

I put the beans in a tortilla, throw in cheese and some sauce, then I roll them and put them in a baking dish, cover with more cheese and more sauce, then bake for a couple of minutes on about 400 until the cheese is melted. I serve it with a quick pico de gallo.

I wasn't clear, I use canned beans, I'm not sure about soaking. I might have posted a question about it in the beginning of this one, or the feed the freezer thread, I can't remember now.
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