This eating out of my pantry, frig, and freezer is now on week 4! I did break down and go to the store for toiletries and
storage items like toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, soap, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and storage bags. I knew I wouldn't have room in the cart for all that plus food. And just getting those type items cost an unbelievable amount! So I decided to spread
the cost out :)
Planning menus has now turned into a game for me. It's a challenge on week 4 to come up with new and interesting dishes that actually taste good. Thankfully, I have a husband who plays along and
eats almost anything I put in front of him.
Light Pimento Cheese - This recipe interested me because it didn't have a photo to go with it and because of the prior
reviews, one who didn't even make the recipe, I'm sure! For this spread to be good, you need to buy the best tasting pimento cheese the store sells. I happened to have some in my frig, as well as the fat-free cottage cheese, so I figured I'd give it a try.
For me, the pickle relish was too overpowering, but oddly enough, my husband really liked it. It did make a pretty tea sandwich, though, don't you think?
We've had a lot going on for the last few months what with our granddaughter's cancer diagnosis and my husband working really late hours. So he decided to surprise me and scheduled a 4-day trip
to the coast. Since we were to leave on Valentine's Day, I decided to have an early Valentine's dinner. I must admit, I broke down and bought some strawberries, blackberries, and lemon curd at the store. I wanted them for my special dessert, but more about
that in a moment. My entree was Connie's Sweet and Sour Christmas Meatballs. I had all the ingredients for this, so I thought I'd give it a try. I tweaked the
meatballs a bit but followed the sauce part exactly. I like that the sauce uses normal, everyday ingredients. I served the meatballs over rice, and fixed a side of Pineapple Casserole.
I've certainly had better, but believe this recipe could be improved upon if the flour and sugar were actually mixed into the pineapple rather than just lying on top. I also think there's too much cheese (as well as sugar), but that may be just my preference.
The dessert was the star of this meal. It was a Chef John recipe, Lemon
Berry Tartlets. I had 1 sheet of phyllo dough in my freezer. In fact, I'd been trying to find a use for it lately. Well,
I saw this recipe and decided it was what I wanted to fix. Yes, I had to buy the other ingredients for it, but I wanted to fix something really special (and easy) for my Sweetie for our pre-Valentine's dinner. He enjoyed it too!
Our few days at the beach were just what we needed! My husband especially got extra brownie points because when we arrived at our condo, he had flowers and a basket of goodies waiting for me. We
slept late, walked the beach, ate seafood, and.............shopped at the outlet mall! Don't I have a fabulous husband? He even shopped with me without complaining. Even more brownie points for that!
Back to reality. My next meal was headlined by an entree I happened to catch on AR's front page - Quick and Easy
Mexican Chicken. I accompanied it with noodles topped with the left-over sauce from the chicken and another can of those Jalapeno Black-Eyed peas. Thankfully, my husband loves those peas! (By the way, take a look at the pretty, ruffled white plate. I got
it at Goodwill for $.25!)
Another quick and easy meal I fixed was Spinach Ravioli. I had a box of frozen spinach ravioli in my freezer. I also had a jar of Prego Heart Healthy Spaghetti Sauce in my pantry. A quick boil
of the ravioli and a quick warming of the sauce and voilà...another meal without buying more groceries. Oh, I also grated a couple of mozzarella cheese sticks I
had bought for the Grands over the top of the sauce, and I pulled out a couple of slices of Onion, Garlic Cheese Bread I had made and frozen earlier in the month.
My 4th meal was 1-Dish Pepperoni Cheese Pizza Bake. I was really digging to make this. I used 2 different
kinds of yeast, the teeny tiny mini pepperoni I had bought for the grandkids, and some mozzarella cheese sticks which had gone past their "use by" date. This was probably my husband's least favorite thing I'd fixed in a while. My attitude is that not all meals
are going to be 5 stars. This one certainly would have been better had I used onions, peppers, and another type of meat. But I didn't have all that. So, for this to be my last pantry meal before going to the grocery store, it wasn't bad.
For dessert this night, I used some of those strawberries and blackberries I bought. I layered them in a pretty dessert dish and topped them with a dollop of lemon curd and whipped topping. Then
I sprinkled cinnamon on top. Not Chef John's recipe, but still delicious.
Every day when my husband came in this week, he asked if I went to the grocery store :) I think he's ready for the pantry to have chips and crackers and just a little bit of junk food in it. And
now I'm finally ready to go to the store. I used food I already had, didn't have to throw away any expired items, and actually made a game of shopping out of my own pantry for 4 weeks. I think I rose to the challenge and had fun doing it!