Saturday, February 27, 2016
The Bare Essentials Challenge: Weekly Recap
This week we officially, finally, ran out of cheese, but luckily I was able to get a 2 lb chunk of cheese, not our usual preferred brand but any port in a storm, for 5.00 yesterday as part of 5.00 Friday. I'm down to my last four pounds of butter, so I'm wondering how long that'll stretch, but we'll see how it goes :).
Hey, actually looking at the menu plan I'm not doing half bad, really. Sure the days were messed up for me and we're not having chicken pot pie until tomorrow, but still...I actually did halfway decent. Excellent!
I used the leftover taco chicken, threw about 2/3 of a container of salsa from the fridge into it, through in leftover olives from taco night and some frozen corn and some chicken stock and 6 hours later on low and we had taco soup!
I served mine garnished with a little sour cream in the middle and some corn chips. I then ended up eating a LOT of taco soup this week for lunches as it made a huge amount and no one in the family but me liked it all that well. I used it up, though, so that's all that mattered.
2. Roast Chicken Night
About the biggest thing we used up that night was an older chicken in the freezer that was just in the "needs to be used up" phase. I found the container of cranberry relish that was in the freezer from Thanksgiving and so we used a part of that for the roast chicken night as well as the subsequent leftover eating meals.
3. While digging through the standing freezer to pull out meat for the weekend and next week, I found a bonus I had nearly forgotten about. Pumpkin Pasties! These were left over from my Halloween adventures. They aren't freezer burned yet, more is the miracle, so I'm defrosting them and will be packing them as a treat into the husband's lunches this next week as well as using them as dessert. They need to be used up and are tasty, so we might as well...you know...use them up!
Well I used up the rest of a loaf of home made bread that was going stale and for a change I made JUST enough french toast mixture to do the entire loaf. I was proud of myself.
We not only ate the french toast with eggs one night (home made canned blueberries on top, obviously), but I also ate french toast as lunch the next day and this morning my husband ate the rest of it for breakfast, so it pretty much worked flawlessly for 3 meals the last couple of days. Love it when that happens :).
While digging in the freezer I pulled out one of the last bags of home made applesauce from last year (February of last year to be exact) and a bag of apple pie filling to make into a pie later in the week. The applesauce I served up with some pork steaks from the freezer. I also used up the last little bit of our cheese, the rest of the left over black olives from taco night and the lettuce that was starting to go a little wilty and we had salad. I also used up one of the potatoes that was kind of going wrinkly already and mashed it in with some mashed potatoes from a mix. This really helps to improve the texture and taste of mashed potatoes that might not live up to your expectations on what they should taste like. I then mixed in some garlic powder and some Parmesan cheese and we had some nice flavored mashed potatoes for dinner (that tasted a lot better than the original really really kind of "meh" mashed potato mix I had).
I took the short ribs I'd gotten at Carrs cheap the other week and used a recipe from The Galloping Gourmet I had, but with a lot of deviations as I used pantry staples a lot to replace his ingredients. I'll post up the recipe for this soon, but needless to say it was super delicious, is rich so a little goes a long way and we have leftovers we can eat for lunch tomorrow.
7. Chicken Pot Pie Night
I took a couple of little bags with turkey from the freezer that definitely needed to be used up, picked every bit of chicken that was left off the carcass from early in the week, took some SOS mix and made up the consistency of 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and then added a bunch of frozen veg med and let it simmer in the crock pot for four hours. I then let it cool and put it into a casserole and put it into the fridge. Now the filling is ready for a pie crust on top and the oven or I can make up some biscuits and we can have chicken and biscuits for dinner tomorrow...sky is pretty much the limit on that one. It's great having a dish I can just pop in the oven tomorrow, no prep and it'll take care of itself for a while till dinner time. Woot!
So there you are folks. My culinary fun for the week. You use up anything fun this week?