Monday, July 19, 2010

The Bottomless Pantry

Thanks for joining me while I cook from the pantry in July! The way it looks in there, I will be doing the same in August and beyond. I should donate some of the food to my church's food pantry. The only thing is I generally like to donate foods that are ready to eat and most of the foods in my pantry are ingredients for recipes.

Here are just a few of the ways I have been cooking from the pantry... and using coupons combined with sales prices.

See these two boxes of pasta?
There was just a little in the bottom of the boxes. Why in the world I left these small amounts in the boxes, I'm not sure. But the good thing is that combined, they made just enough together to cook in a little chicken broth made from boiling chicken to be used in chicken salad.
Our Sunday lunchMy hubby likes to have some kind of bread with his meals, so when I have time I try to serve biscuits or cornbread. I found 2 of these corn muffin mixes in the pantry. They are easy and good
A 5 pound bag of potatoes were in the basket where I keep potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes. They were sprouting and slightly wrinkled, but still good. A tip I learned for making mashed potatoes. Slice the potatoes into thin slices before boiling. They mash up so much more easily that way. No need to get out a mixer. I also had a small amount of sour cream that needed to be used and always have butter or margarine on hand. I bought this marinated pork tenderloin on sale for half price and used a $1.00 off coupon. This brought the price down from $8.99 to $3.50.
I opened a can of green beans, put a few sliced onions on top and added little Italian Salad Dressing. After simmering for a bit the onions are tender and the salad dressing gives the plain old beans a little kick. Again, all these things were in the pantry.

Another tip for the busy homemaker is to cook on the weekend for the week ahead. Yesterday afternoon I cooked some chicken breasts bought on sale for 89 cents a pound in the crockpot with bbq sauce. When they were done I placed them in a baking dish that has a lid and refrigerated them. Then it will be easy to stick the pan in the oven after getting home from work to heat them. This way they will taste like they were freshly oven cooked in only a few minutes time.

I also browned some ground beef, chopped onions and green pepper. For one supper time meal this week, I can add jarred spaghetti sauce and make lasagana, or spaghetti. Something good to go with lasagna or spaghetti that uses up stale bread is to toast the bread in the oven under the broiler on one side. Then spread some margarine on the other side, toast that side, sprinkle with garlic powder and voila! Garlic bread! Yum!


Rita said...

I have fun using from the freezer and the pantry knowing I'm not letting it go to waste. I always have Italian dressing but had not thought of giving my green beans a kick with it. Will watch for a sale on Smithfield pork too that sounds very tasty. I'll be working from my pantry to see what good meals I can put together. It's hot & humid here hope everyone has air and will have a good day.

Granny J said...

I love your posts. You have such great ideas for saving money. With the economy the way it is, I think more people are trying to use up what they have and let nothing at all go to waste.

I love your tip for adding italian dressing to the green beans.

Denise said...

Great Ideas, even though I don't work there are days that we are doing something that makes dinner prep crazy or I'm exhausted and don't feel like cooking so I need to start thinking like you! Nothing better that working outside and knowing that I only have to transfer something from the freezer/refrigerator to the oven. I'm anxious to see what you have been doing in your sewing room lately, anything new?

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,'
My pantry is just about empty. After the move I will do a restock. This time I will be careful to only stock the things we use.
Have a wonderful week.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yolanda said...

This is wonderful. It is such a creative approach to cooking and being careful with your supplies. And I really like the picture of your dinner on a plate. Reasonably sized portions are always good to see!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
I like the onion, Italian dressing in the green beans idea. I'm tired of plain beans and my garden is over run w/beans.
That was a GREAT deal on the pork tenderloin.
Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

Hey Deb,

As usual, I loved your blog. TJ cooked a turkey breast tenderloin on the grill for the annual church picnic up at Elk Shoals last Sun.
I only buy marinated pork or turkey tenderloin when it is on sale!!

Never thought of the Italian Dressing in the green beans. I will try it right away. Onions I have done before.

Think of you and yours each day.


Lyn said...

Debbie, all your little tips must really help so you are not having to do as much when you get home from work. That is very smart thinking! And of course your meal looks really good. :)

DarcyLee said...

My husband found a really good deal on some manager special pork tenderloins and since we rarely have it we bought the whole lot of them, about 5 packages total, so we've really been enjoying them lately. I love this series you are doing of eating from the pantry. We've been doing it, too, only buying what we need. It really helps on the budget.

Rhonda said...

hi Debbie
your posts are always so encouraging and positive.

at the restaurant where my son works weekends, I had barbecue chicken pizza.
They spread bbq sauce on the crust, then top with chicken, bell peppers and mozz cheese. It is really good so if you have any leftover bbq chicken, you might rummage around your bottomless pantry for a crust and some cheese :)
like you, I can almost always put together a meal from ingredients on hand but I can't say I've ever thought of my pantry as bottomless. esp when I was feeding a houseful of teenagers.

Pen Pen said...

Great ideas... you are so resourceful! I found the book "Frozen Assets" in a thrift store recently. I am planning to try some of the recipes out before making them to freeze. We tried a ham and broccoli bake last week, that everyone seemed to like. I'm thinking of making ahead and freezing my Sunday meals, as Sundays seem to be so busy!!

Alexandra said...

Yummy! And I liked that pork roll meal that you had in the other post. I love to find those on sale. Your portions are so good. No wonderful you stay slim. I'm learning and adjusting my portions as apparently I've been super sizing my meals! My husband has always done this, so it must have rubbed off.

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