Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Pantry and Stash Challenges

I'm all about being frugal wherever I can. I love the idea of a pantry challenge right around Christmas. Use up what you have in the pantry. The end of the year is the perfect time to rotate through food stores. Throughout the year, I tend to stock up on things and well, never use them. I put them in back corners of my pantry and then totally forget about them. We usually buy fresh produce, but I'll buy dented cans of vegetables thinking eventually we'll eat them. I end up with 10 cans of peas or something.

Tonight's dinner was a perfect use it up meal.

I "big family" sized it. You can do the proportions to whatever looks like it will feed your family. D had used one of those infamous cans of peas for his lunch today so I happened to have a freshly opened can of peas to throw in the mix.

Leftover Casserole

2 C of whatever leftover meat you have on hand (I had chopped ham)
1 can cream of whatever soup
various vegetables (I used peas, mushrooms, and green onions)
1/2 C milk
Cooked rice
1 C shredded cheese
2 slices of toasted bread

Mix up the meat, soup, veggies and milk in a bowl. Stir in enough rice to fill up whatever sizes casserole dish will feed your family. Top with shredded cheese. Crumble up the toasted bread on top like bread crumbs. Bake in 350 degree oven til cheese is melted.

I was really surprised at how well received this was. It looked like one of those frightening casseroles from the 1960s recipe books. It probably was in one of those recipe books!

Another thing we've been doing a lot of is baked oatmeal. I love oatmeal on cold winter mornings. Most baked oatmeals call for applesauce. That gets old pretty quickly. My cleaning out the pantry solution is to use jars of baby food. Yes, baby food. Millie has decided she no longer cares for mushed stuff. She wants the real deal. I now have about 60 jars of baby foods in my pantry.

Many of the vegetables are getting used in recipes from Deceptively Delicious. I decided to swap out the applesauce for peaches to get a peaches and cream baked oatmeal! YUMMMY

Baby Food Baked Oatmeal

2 C oats (not instant)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1 egg
1 1/2 C milk
2 T melted butter
3 jars of stage 2 fruit baby food (equivalent of 1 C)

Mix together the oats, brown sugar and baking powder in a casserole dish. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until set.

My other stash challenge going on is to use up my fabric stash. I am growing out of my limited storage. That means I need to actually sew things up. This is being a slow process as everyone has been sick with different things. Last week I had a tooth pulled and was so messed up from those meds it took me a few days to get things back in working order. Then, kids started dropping with a nasty intestinal thing. blech. I think we're healthy now. We'll see how long this actually lasts.

In the meantime, I'm sewing like a mad woman. I have several things cut and ready to go. I just need to keep the little Miss and the Terrorist out of trouble long enough to get it done! I'll be posting pictures of some of my projects in the coming days.

1 comment:

  1. We keep our pantry lean and mean, but I wonder what I could come up with in there?


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