February Pantry Challenge... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's a link to the January pantry Challenge:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=233821

How do we feel about doing this again? Do you think we still need a dedicated thread or can most of our discussions and questions just go into this forum?

I'm up for it either way. LMK what you think...
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#2 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 04:00 PM
 
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I was really hoping we would start a February Pantry Challenge thread. I was so inspired by the last one, and I loved being able to ask, "Hey, what do I do with this ingredient?" I even liked just reading what everyone had to eat each day.
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#3 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 04:18 PM
 
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I would love to do this again. Last month was so inspring. We do need to get a bunch of things at the store, but I'm just going to get basics (sugar, bread, meat, dairy, produce, etc) and try to keep using up all that stuff we still have.
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#4 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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I think we should keep a pantry challenge thread. It is fun and helpful to read what others are making and it is a good central place to get ideas to use all those odd items.
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#5 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 05:01 PM
 
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I'm in! I only caught the tail end of last month's! Can someone tell me how to make cobbler with frozen fruit and oatmeal or flour????
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#6 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leomom
I'm in! I only caught the tail end of last month's! Can someone tell me how to make cobbler with frozen fruit and oatmeal or flour????
I guess put the fruit in the bottom of a baking dish and either drop spoonfuls of a basic biscut dough made from the flour or make a crumb topping out of oatmeal, butter, conimon, and brown sugar and bake till brown at 350
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#7 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nak

so today for lunch we had eggs -- dh's poached as a sandwich w/ cheese, mine scrambled w/ cheese & cooked in the micro. supper is cheesy rice & tomatoes w/ leftover strawberry shortcake for dessert. these are both super easy meals for days like today when dd is fussy.

i've got a list going for shopping on friday when dh gets paid. we put a whiteboard (that was hanging around unused) up in the kitchen. as i run out or get low of something i put it on the list. toiletries & household items go on too.
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#8 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 07:39 PM
 
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OK,
I'm in- I loved the last challenge.

But, I am looking to do a Pantry lifestyle. I need to make this a habit.

So I am trying to come up with some sort of way of doing this. A couple things I have learned from the Jan challenge was- we ate out less, we did take out never, We double batched cooked.

The double batching was the life saver. Even today we flew in today from our out of town trip to FL. On the way back from the airport at 11am, I remembered chili in the freezer. We boiled some elbow macs and had chili for lunch- yummy.

So now, I am doing double batch cooking for a few weeks and that should help with half of the meals at the end of the month. We also lived out of the freezer a lot and that also is so much easier.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#9 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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What exactly is a pantry challenge?
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#10 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Messac888
What exactly is a pantry challenge?
Read this: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...1&page=1&pp=20

Hey...anyone have some healthy recipes for/using sweet potatoes?
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#11 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 10:00 PM
 
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This is what JaneRose started last month and congrats to her on putting together a great bond created by this challenge- I hope it repeats itself.
She wrote:

"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? "

So there you have- I think the rules are the same. But if you are like some of us, you lived out the pantry and now are rebuilding and reincorporating what you learned last month and now its not a challenge but a habit.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#12 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 10:12 PM
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I think this is a great idea. I love a challenge. I will be planting a garden soon for spring and I will have a bunch of veggies and few ideas. I will keep up with this thread to get ideas.
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#13 of 230 Old 01-31-2005, 10:38 PM
 
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OOH! I wanna play!! Can most of the things that y'all make or reccomend be made in 1 or 2 person batches? DH and DD are VERY VERY picky eaters and won't even try new things. But I'm tired of pasta, pizza, and chicken nuggets. One of my resolutions this year is to start cooking!! (At least for me and DS. DH and DD can keep their boring food )

Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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#14 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 01:06 AM
 
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I anticipate having trouble finding creative ways to satisfy my sweet tooth once the chocolate and ice cream runs out!!! :LOL
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#15 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 02:28 AM
 
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Hey ladies. I'm in again. I'll add a link to our old thread so people know where to find the new one.
I've got to go shopping tommorow as we are our of basics. I'm hitting the farmers market first and then the grocery store, hoping to save a bit of money that way.
Planning on taking some vegetable soup and cheese rolls out of the freezer for lunch tommorow.
Does anyone know how to make oatmeal (steel cut or otherwise) in the cp?

Mama to 3:
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#16 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 02:39 AM
 
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Speaking of farmers' market, can someone give me some tips for saving money there? Anytime I go, I spend a bundle- way more than i would the grocery store!!
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#17 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leomom
I anticipate having trouble finding creative ways to satisfy my sweet tooth once the chocolate and ice cream runs out!!! :LOL
nak

next trip to the store buy some cocoa & other baking staples if you don't already have them on hand. i've started making almost all our sweets from scratch. at least that way you know what's in them (ie: no hydrogenated oils, preservatives, etc).
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#18 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have a recipe that uses turkey burger? I got some cause I'm trying to transition us off beef, but honestly neither of us care for the taste of it on it's own. So burgers, meatloaf, and stuff like that is out. The only thing I could come up with is goulash.

I've got most of the staples - most types of canned tomatoes, sauce, bunch of canned beans.

TIA!
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#19 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 12:25 PM
 
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Hmmm, I went shopping in our freezer this morning and found a hidden container of gorgonzola tomato sauce that's a year old. Yesss! Will have a little taste of summer tonight. A little pantry searching goes a long way...
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#20 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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A pantry challenge! I like it and I'm in...although I did just go to the store yesterday (becausemy pantry was nearly bare. Maybe I did my own version last month? :LOL) so maybe in my head I'll be doing a two-month challenge.

Now, heres my first challenge...like I said, I went to the store yesterday and when I got home to put things away, my freezer was nearly bursting. In my freezer I have a bag of Frozen strawberries that I have never used. I almost threw them away! : I just don't know what to do with the things! No clue. The only thing that I can think of is a smoothy. But don't I need ice to make a smoothy? Never have it, no room in the freezer.

Anyway, TIA!
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#21 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 12:51 PM
 
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Janerose,
You can sub the turkey for hamburger recipes that are seasoned, like chili, spaghette, hamburger stroganoff, tacos, lasagna, anything like that you shouldn't be able to tell the difference.


Aisling, you could use the strawberries to make muffins, like blueberry just put in strawberry. You need to chop them up pretty little and they are a little mushier, but we thought they tasted great. Also, sometimes we make smoothies with just plain yogurt and fruit. You may want to add sugar if you like it sweeter or maybe just some juice. Also, you could use frozen concentrate juice for the ice.
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#22 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aisling
A pantry challenge! I like it and I'm in...although I did just go to the store yesterday (becausemy pantry was nearly bare. Maybe I did my own version last month? :LOL) so maybe in my head I'll be doing a two-month challenge.

Now, heres my first challenge...like I said, I went to the store yesterday and when I got home to put things away, my freezer was nearly bursting. In my freezer I have a bag of Frozen strawberries that I have never used. I almost threw them away! : I just don't know what to do with the things! No clue. The only thing that I can think of is a smoothy. But don't I need ice to make a smoothy? Never have it, no room in the freezer.

Anyway, TIA!
I don't use ice to make smoothies if I have frozen fruit. I mix some yogurt, juice, frozen fruit, banana if I have it, and I like to put a bit of oats for fiber and texture.
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#23 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 01:01 PM
 
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I would use the frozen strawberries to make freezie pops. Combine w yogurt and put in blender. Add orange juice or a bit of sugar for sweetness if needed. Freeze and presto! Also very healthy and more cost effective.

I have made turkey meatballs and they are very good. Give me a few hours and I will post the recipe for you. I usually make them up and then freeze individually to fry up later.

I need to go to the grocery. I waited until it was Febuary to do it so I would stay under budget for Jan. But We are grilling hamburgers tonight and I have a few potoatoes to make up french frys as well so we are set for dinner. I can post the easy french fries if anyone wants them.

I am seeing how long we can make it to the grocery especially since the sales starts again tomorrow on Wed.

I would love to go to a farmers market but not in the dead of winter in Chicago!

For farmers market savings- go at the end of the duration. The dealers are packing up and have to haul everything they did not sell back. Strike a deal. Also ask yourself what would you make with the things you buy or go with a menu in mind. Hope that helps!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#24 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 02:14 PM
 
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: I was hoping we'd start again! I did have to rebuild my pantry basics when we went big shopping on Sunday, but I still have a store of ethnic and "unique" foods to use up. Also I had never even peeked into my "sauce cabinet" or my baking supplies so I still have a lot of food clutter (yummy clutter at least) to use. Things like walnut oil, all kinds of vinegars and marinades that I always buy with good intentions but wind up sitting around for a year. I could do a month long challenge alone on all the flours I have purchased, determined to make my own tortillas, chapati and pita. I don't even know how to hand make regular bread, LOL, though I dream of learning!

: Am I alone in these culinary dreams, LOL? I have chapati, whole wheat and corn flours. If not flatbreads/breads...what?

Just wanted to add, we're not huge ground turkey fans, but I wanted to second the advice to use it for chili and spaghetti sauce...very yummy, I think because it's spiced and in a liquid (turkey seems dry compared to beef) you truly cannot tell.
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#25 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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Anita, I share very similar culinary dreams, and I have the pantry to show for it, too. I love being able to open a cookbook, pick a recipe, and know that I have all the ingredients already. The problem is that some ingredients don't get used often enough, and I later find them buried in the back of the pantry. Hence, my participation in the Pantry Challenge!

Last night was grilled chicken, ramen noodles, sweet corn, and bread. We keep already-grilled chicken in the freezer, and the corn (also out of the freezer) was from my grandparents' garden. I made the bread in the bread machine. I served some olive oil and parmesan cheese on the side for dipping the bread.

Tonight is pizza made from Trader Joe's dough and sauce. I've got a bunch of cheese in the fridge and a can of mushrooms in the pantry. I've got a couple of apples that I might bake since I'll already have the oven on.

Tomorrow is boneless country-style pork ribs. I'll probably cook them in the crock pot. Not sure about side dishes yet. I have chili thawing for Thursday. Friday may be "breakfast for supper"--omelets, toast, and mandarin oranges....well, if I'm not overcome by this nagging craving for Chinese food. :

I do need to go to the store, though. The aforementioned apples are the only fresh produce we have in the house, we're out of milk and OJ, and I want yogurt so bad I can't stand it. At least that's all healthy, right?!
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#26 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 05:15 PM
 
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Okay, pantry challenge mamas, I posted about this in healthy eating, but I didn't get any takers so I will try you. I found a container of basmati rice in the pantry. I am a white rice kind of girl, but I would like to try basmati. Do you have any great recipes for a newbie to try?
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#27 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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For basmati rice you just cook it the same as any rice I'm pretty sure. Water to rice ratio is 2:1 and you cook it 30 minutes or so until the water's gone and the rice is tender. HTH
Oh, and for the frozen strawberries I would put them in that banana berry bread recipe from the last thread. I actually bought some frozen berries today just for that reason.
Just got back from the farmer's market and grocery. Did well, just bought the essentials that we were out of.
Bought some beautiful carrots for ds's birthday cake. They still had the tops on and it reminded me of this great soup I made that incorporated the tops into it. If anyone's interested I've got the recipe somewhere around here.
So, speaking of the ethnic kitchen and condiments galore, I've got some sauces in my fridge that I know I've used now and again, but would like to use up.
I've got hoisin sauce
fish sauce
thai chili paste
orange marmalade
ginger wasabi sauce
pumpkin butter
and a ton of dates.
Any ideas?

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#28 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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isosmom, my sister likes to mix hoisin sauce with peanut butter and eat as a sandwich. it's also good mixed again with pb and enough coconut milk to make a saucy consisyency. this can then be used on chicken in a sorta stirfry. yummy
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#29 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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For Dates- we make a nice little appetizer. Bacon wrapped dates yummy!

Turkey meatballs from the The Joy of Cooking

This also works as a meatloaf as well

Start w
in a medium skillet over medium heat
1 tablespn of olive oil

add 1/2 chopped onion and a clove of crushed up garlic

cook stirring about 5-7 minutes and onions are tender but not brown.

Add this mixture to a mixing bowl (I use my kitchenaid mixer bowl)
add
1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1 large egg
1/4 c grated cheese
2 tblspns milk
3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspn dried
1 tablespn fresh parsley or t teaspn dried
1 1/2 teaspn salt
1/2 teaspn ground pepper

throughly combine this mixture and then roll into 1 inch balls and roll in cornmeal.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespn olive oil
brown on all sides.

I substituted the cornmeal for breadcrumbs but it was still a very tasty turkey meatball. We serve it with tomato sauce over wheat pasta.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#30 of 230 Old 02-01-2005, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janerose
nak

next trip to the store buy some cocoa & other baking staples if you don't already have them on hand. i've started making almost all our sweets from scratch. at least that way you know what's in them (ie: no hydrogenated oils, preservatives, etc).
You are so right! I have tons of baking things that I need to start using. I like homemade sweets better anyway! Thanks for the reminder. That's why I love this thread!
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