Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cooking from the Pantry Challenge update...

A friend asked me yesterday how my cooking from the pantry challenge was coming along and I had to be honest with her. NOT SO GOOD! But then later in the day I went back and reviewed. You know it is wasn't as bad as I thought considering what we discovered when we did a thorough clean out of the cabinets, refrigerator, and freezers.... such as there were only 2 lbs of frozen vegetables left.  However there is definitely room for improvement. :)

What exactly have I accomplished?
-1 pork roast (from freezer)=2 meals of BBQ pork, 20 shredded pork taquitos (frozen)
-1 whole chicken=(from freezer) eaten with rice (pantry staple), as an after sports snack, and in sandwiches

-bags of tomatoes, spinach, and pesto + miscellaneous bits of fried hamburger & sausage=5 2c bags of enchilada sauce & pasta sauce (5 last minute meals!)

-leftover granola, miscellaneous instant oatmeal, plus bits of nuts/seeds,fruits=1 sheet pan full of chewy granola bars

-2 1 gallon zip lock bags whole peaches (frozen)=fruit roll-ups

"party mix" from left over cereals (plus what remains of the peach/strawberry fruit leather, and the granola bars.)
in the freezer: 5 containers of apple sauce
                      1 gallon bag of jalapenos
                      1/2 loaf of rye bread
in the cabinets: numerous bulk containers of assorted "jello"

2 days worth of jello for packed lunches and our streusel topping (made from cereal crumbs, butter & spices) (and yes one of the jobs for this weekend is emptying 'fridge in order to wash shelves!)

Did we buy groceries?  Yes because A.) there were exactly 2 lbs of frozen veggies left and 2.) there were days I did not plan ahead and discovered we were out of things like bread or fresh fruit.  I am not even counting the milk as it is a necessary staple in our household.  

Where could I have done better? What changes can I implement?
-planning ahead.  Since we have kids in sports and Chris teaches one night a week we do not always eat together but I can still plan for this by having things prepared and portioned out.
-have some make ahead meals in the freezer for nights I am plum tuckered out and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.... i.e. the frozen sauces for pasta and taquitos.
-make a comprehensive list of what we have on hand (working on this one)
-take an hour one evening and plan meals for the week... plan those meals according to what we have  on hand!

Its a beginning.... :)


  1. Wow it sounds like you have done awesome!! You have given me the motivation to go through our pantry. Thanks.

  2. How creative to come up with the idea to make enchilada sauce and pasta sauce using those ingredients! In fact, all of your creativity sound delicious! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    1. "Mike"... I'm glad you asked as well! I hope that your crocus are enjoying the beautiful weather... and I have some more ideas for your room "makeover."

      Alisha... thank you so very much! I am glad that I have given you motivation to go through your pantry. We used to cook like this the whole time we were in Alaska but we were lured away by the availability of the "instant gratification" of fast food/take out when we moved back to the lower 48. I really am starting to enjoy cooking again!

      Bama Girl,

      Thank you so very much for stopping by! I hope to see you again and thank you for the kind words.