Monday, December 28, 2009

eating from my freezer, fridge and pantry challenge

we cleaned out our freezer today to make room for the beef that is coming next week. it's amazing to find out what you have! i am hoping to make it a goal this year to keep it organized and use up what i have. i was reading money saving mom's post today on the pantry challenge and thought that would be perfect for me as well because i feel i am bursting at the seams with all of our food. so i made a list of items in our fridge and pantry (food storage too) that need to be used up. i can't believe all the condiments that accumulate in our fridge! so i made a list of recipes that could be used per ingredient.

fridge recipes:

pickle relish
*cheddar and macaroni salad
*cindy's turkey salad
*tuna waldorf salad sandwhich
*old fashioned potato salad
*special deviled eggs
*special hamburger sauce
*the best potato salad
*toasted chicken sandwhich

horseradish sauce:
*special deviled eggs
*southwest dipping sauce

teriyaki sauce:
*bbq steak teriyaki
*hawaiian chicken
*melt in your mouth pork chops
*orange teriyaki chicken
*teriyaki marinade
*teriyaki steak
*chicken wraps
*bowtie chicken pasta salad

hot sauce:
*detroit hot honey wings
*sticky fingers
*sweet spicy wings

grape jelly:
*quick sweet and sour meatballs
*sweet and sour smoky bites

pantry recipes:

peanut butter:
*chocolate peanut butter cup cookies
*creamy peanut butter fudge
*creamy peanut dessert
*crunchy peanut butter swirl brownies
*flourless peanut butter cookies
*fluffy apple dip
*fudge puddles
*layered peanut butter bars
*caramel crunch bars
*loaded peanut butter cup cookies
*magic in the middle cookies
*peanut butter trifle
*solid peanut butter cups
*decadent chocolate and peanut butter mousse pie
*oatmeal peanut butter cookies
*peanut butter bannana bread
*peanut butter bars
*peanut butter truffle brownies
*peanut butter brownie cookies

*sunshine jello

cake and brownie mixes:
*blueberry dump cake
*brownies to die for
*cheesecake topped brownie
*goey butter cake
*homemade oreos
*mandarin orange cake
*million dollar cake
*nieman marcus cake
*pistachio cake
*goey butter cake II
*pecan pie bars

evaporated milk:
*sue's hot fudge sauce

beef broth:
*department store onion soup
*french onion soup III
*rich and simple french onion soup

cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup:
*chicken and spinach alfredo lasagna
*chicken chimichangas with green sauce
*chicken ranch enchiladas
*sandy's casserole
*simply creamy lemon chicken sauce
*slow cooker enchiladas
*sonora's chicken
*tator tot casserole
*hashbrown casserole

tomato soup:
*bacon cheeseburger pasta
*best ever meatloaf
*hubby's favorite casserole
*mom's sloppy joes
*sweet chili
*beef taco bake

pork and beans:
*pronto chili
*frito pie

canned peaches:
*ooey gooey peach cobbler
*peach cheesecake

i am hoping to avoid buying lots of food at the grocery store except for the essentials: milk, cheese, eggs, fruit and veggies (although i have a lot of frozen veggies that need to be used up). i hope i can stick with this challenge!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

menu plan 12/24- 12/30

Thursday: traditional christmas eve dinner @ mom's
( ham, potatoes, rolls, etc.)

Friday: breakfast casserole
*butterscotch bundt rolls
*homemade hot chocolate

dinner: chicken pasta salad (make the day before)

Saturday: bajio chicken
*fresh fruit

Monday: beef stroganoff
* rice or noodles

Tuesday: leftovers or freezer meal

Wednesday: slow cooker split pea soup

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

meatloaf dinner

Meatloaf Dinner
recipe found at 365 days of slow cooking

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 slices bread, cubed
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped green peppers (I used red peppers)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
8 small red potatoes
4-6 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks

1. Beat together eggs and milk.
2. Stir in bread cubes, onions, green peppers, salt, and pepper. Add beef and mix well.
3. Shape into loaf that is about an inch smaller in circumference than the inside of the slow cooker. Place loaf into slow cooker.
4. Spread top with ketchup.
5. Place carrots and potatoes around meatloaf.
6. Cover. Cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat and cook on low for 7-8 hours longer.

molly's rolls

photo source

Molly's Rolls
recipe found at real mom kitchen

1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (I just heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it sit while the yeast bubbled)
1/3 cup sugar
1 package yeast(2 1/4 teaspoon)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 T salt
1 egg
flour (I think I ended up use 4 1/2 cups)

In mixer combine yeast, sugar, and warm water; let grow until bubbly(about 5 minutes). Add milk and mix. Mix in oil and egg. Slowly add 2 cups flour, mix and then add salt. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until it comes away from side of bowl. Let rise in mixing bowl for about 30 minutes. Form rolls as desired and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise and additional 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Brush hot rolls with melted butter. I made 2 dozen with this recipe.

sweet and sour chicken

photo source

Sweet and Sour Chicken
recipe found at my kitchen cafe

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced - about 6-8 minutes.

chicken crunch

photo source

Chicken Crunch
recipe found at ksl

• 6 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves cut into bit size pieces
• 2 cups Captain Crunch Cereal
• 1/2 cup Corn Flakes
• 1/2 tsp. onion powder
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 cup milk
• Canola Oil


1. Cut up chicken breast halves into bite size pieces. (Hint: Chicken Breasts cut easier when semi-frozen)
2. Crush the Corn flakes and Captain Crunch Cereal, in a Ziploc bag, with a rolling pin.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a deep dish or pie tin and mix well.
4. Mix together, beaten egg and 1 C of milk in a bowl.
5. Dump chicken bites into the liquid first and then using a slotted spoon, put into the dry ingredients. Stir them, so they are well coated.
6. Heat oil in a frying pan to 375 degrees and fry for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.
7. For the "Less Fat" inclined cook, follow the same instructions, however, don't fry in oil, but heat up the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes until crispy.

Tangy Mustard Sauce
• 4 Tbs. Grey Poupon country style mustard
• 6 Tbs. mayonnaise
• 2 tsp. yellow mustard
• 2 tsp. creamy style horseradish sauce
• 2 tsp. honey

Menu Plan 12/17-12/23

Thursday: spaghetti
*green salad
*zucchini and yellow squash
*garlic bread

Friday: tacos w/ fresh salsa
(lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sourcream, guacamole)
dessert: rice pudding

Saturday: christmas party (cheese ball)


Monday: pasta figoli
*green salad
treat: peppermint popcorn

Tuesday: leftovers or freezer meal

Wednesday: chicken and sweet potatoes (in crockpot)
*veggie or green salad
*fresh fruit
* hawaiian bread

breakfast ideas:

snack ideas:
*crackers and cheese

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

christmas decor on a dime

welcome to my little christmas home tour. most of my decor was purchased from last year's christmas clearance, the di (thrift store), the $ store, or items found around the house. i did it on a very low budget! i hope you enjoy...

i got the wreaths and ribbon from after christmas clearance last year.

that is pretty much all of our outdoor decor. come inside, it's cold out there!

here is what you see when you walk in the front door.

for my tree this year i went with family winter and christmas pictures. i just lined them with red paper and hung them with some twine. i wanted to line them with silver paper to, to give it the look of a silver frame but i could not find any silver paper in town. the garland is made from burlap. the ornaments are from after christmas sales last year.

this just makes me smile. those with kids know how kids like to arrange ornaments, in clumps. as my two year old helped put the ornaments up she would say "this one needs a friend"

this is a metal star that i mod podged with some extra christmas piano music i had. i used her instructions found here.

my favorite nativity picture with a framed scripture next to it. i used to have a nativity to display here but in an attempt to spray paint broke. it was just a cheap one so i thought the framed picture of the nativity would go well in its place until i can find a new one.

a clearance silver framed with a reminder for me why we celebrate christmas. the urn and glass vase were finds around the house. the glass got some pinecones and ornaments added to it.

the apothecary jars and picture frames are up year around. i just switched the pics out for some winter ones ( pottery barn inspired) the jars are filled with faux snow, pinecones and ornaments. the little deer ornament i found at tj maxx. i would love to fill my tree with them but at $4 a piece i just bought one for the shelf.

the peace sign was inspired by this one. super cheap and easy to make.

i feel like this arrangement is lacking something. maybe some greenery? i'm thinking maybe a green wreath hung on the wall. the basket and lanterns are up year around. i just added some pinecones and ornaments (bought last year after christmas clearance) to the lanterns. the trees came from the di and i just sprayed them silver they were clear glass.

this is my pottery barn inspired framed joy. i bought the frames on clearance for $4 each and just printed the letters out on my computer.

for the mantle i started out by using a prelit garland with some burlap wrapped around it. i added some silver ornaments and some candles i had around the house. the topiaries are on the mantle year around and the pinecones are placed in metal toothbrush holders that i got on clearance for $1 a long time ago. i knew they would come in handy one of these days.
if it looks like something is missing you're right. the stockings....i am working on them.

to hang my cards up i just used some chair webbing and hung it up with twine.

here is the hutch. i just added a greenery garland from the dollar store. the tree up top was found at the di. i got the grass (bottom shelf) from a yard sale. and the two black containers filled with pinecones were found at di and spray painted black. (i lined my hutch with burlap if you would like to see how i did that click here)

i already had the pitchers and other dishes on display, so i just filled the one with some leftover ornaments.

i made the noel sign by cutting out the letters from some light cardboard (that came in a pack of page protectors) and glittered them. my inner hoarder is now telling me not to throw anything away because you can make so many great things from what would be trash. i had the candlesticks and just stuck an ornament on the top.

i had this bowl that i got at the thrift store, i filled it with some pinecones and ornaments that i had.

i cut out a piece of burlap for the runner. i got the two small trees from walmart for $4 each. i then found some small metal containers to put them in for about $2.50 each.

thanks for stopping by. i hope you enjoyed the home tour! have a merry one!

i am also linking up with diy day@ a soft place to land

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Menu Plan 12/10- 12/16

Thursday: chicken crunch
*green salad or fresh or frozen veggie
*fresh fruit
*hawaiian bread

Friday: broccoli soup
*green salad
*leftover rolls or molly's rolls

Saturday: wedding

Sunday: Spaghetti
*green salad
*garlic bread

Monday: chinese honey chicken
*fresh or frozen veggie
treat: rice pudding (cook at lunch and serve cold?)

Tuesday: leftovers or freezer meal

Wednesday: crockpot meatloaf
*fresh fruit

clam chowder

Clam Chowder

2 cans of chopped clams
1 onion, chopped
1 c. chopped celery
2 c. cubed potatoes
3 carrots chopped
¾ c. butter
¾ c. flour
1 pint half & half
1 tsp. sugar

Add enough water to cover vegetables and cook for about 20 mins. Add clams and juice to vegetables. In a separate pot melt butter then add flour , stir and add half and half, sugar and salt. Stir until thickened, add to vegetables and clams. Heat through.

*suggested sides: green salad, rolls, breadsticks or homemade bread

cheesy sweet & savory spuds

Cheesy Sweet & Savory Spuds
recipe adapted from allrecipes

• 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 cup heavy cream (try using half and half next time)
• 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules ( could try using less next time)
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons black pepper
• 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. Place the potatoes and sweet potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook about 15 minutes, until tender but firm. Remove from heat, and drain.
2. Preheat the oven broiler.
3. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes. Gradually mix in butter, heavy cream, chicken bouillon, brown sugar, and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a medium baking dish, and top with Monterey Jack cheese.
4. Broil uncovered in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

*very good but very rich try using half and half in place of cream and maybe try using less chicken bouillon.

slab apple pie

photo source

Slab Apple Pie
recipe found at life as mom

One batch Gramma John's Pie Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons cold water

In medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup butter and salt with a pastry blender, or two knives held together. Kids can do this with a fork if that is easier. Work these ingredients together until they form pea-sized crumbs. Quickly stir in cold water and combine until a dough forms. Pat into a pie plate, pushing the dough thin and up the sides.

Slab Apple Pie with Easy Crumb Top:

6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare pie crust according to directions and pat it into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. In large mixing bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Spread in an even layer over crust. In food processor, combine flour, butter, and brown sugar, pulsing until coarse crumbs are formed, or in a large mixing bowl, combine these ingredients, cutting butter into sugar and flour with a pastry blender or two knives held together. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle crumb top over apple layer.* Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until filling bubbles. Cool completely.

If preparing ahead of time to freeze. Wrap with foil and label at the *. Then, when ready to serve, bake frozen pie at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° and continue baking as directed.
*food storage items used: sugar, spices, flour, brown sugar
*food storage items that could be used: dried apples, powdered butter or shortening

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Food Storage for December

Food Storage Month by Month


"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Basic Storage:
· Rice 44 lbs per person
Sugar and honey 20 lbs per person

Expanded Storage:
· Popcorn

Nonperishable item:
· Matches

Food Storage Recipes for Rice:
*beef stroganoff over rice
*honey glazed chicken over rice
*mandarin chicken over rice
*cheesy broccoli and rice casserole

Food Storage Recipes for Honey:
*shockingly simple coleslaw
*honey lime chicken enchiladas
*honey glazed chicken
*honey butter mexican shrimp tacos

shockingly simple coleslaw

Shockingly Simple Coleslaw
recipe found at real mom kitchen

16 oz bag of coleslaw mix
½ Cup mayonnaise or miracle whip (I’m a mayo girl)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (I used honey Dijon)
1 teaspoon honey

Place cabbage into a large bowl. Place mayonnaise, sugar, mustard and honey into a small bowl and mix together. Pour and stir into cabbage until combined. Serve immediately for a crunchy slaw or refrigerate for 1 hour for a more tender slaw.

honey lime chicken enchiladas

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
recipe adapted from real mom kitchen

6 tablespoons honey (might try using slightly less next time)
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I cooked mine the day before in a crock pot with chix broth)
8-10 flour tortillas (I made 7, I really filled the shells)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour (I tossed mine together in a ziploc bag in the morning and let it sit in the refrigerator all day). Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Cheesy Potato Casserole

6 peeled potatoes, boiled and grated
I c. sour cream
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

2 c. crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Directions: In a bowl mix potatoes, sour cream, butter, cream of chicken soup and grated cheese. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and add crushed cornflakes. Top potato mixture with cornflake topping. Bake at 350 for 45 mins or until bubbling and golden brown.

slow cooker maple brown sugar ham

photo source

Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Ham

7-8 pound bone-in spiral-cut ham
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all natural maple syrup (yes, please use pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup)
2 cups pineapple juice

Use a 6-7 quart slow cooker. Unwrap the ham and discard flavor packet. Place the ham into the slow cooker stoneware, flat-side down. Rub brown sugar on all sides. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. An hour before serving, baste ham with the collected juices from the bottom of the slow cooker. When cooking is done, remove carefully and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before carving.

*suggested sides: cheesy potato casserole, green beans, rolls

Menu Plan 12/4 - 12/9

Friday: out to eat
dessert: slab apple pie (double and freeze one)

Saturday: salmon
*fresh veggie or green salad
*cheesy sweet and savory spuds

Sunday: broccoli and cheddar mini quiches (with ham)
* fresh fruit

Monday: clam chowder (freeze leftovers)
*green salad
*30 min rolls
treat: peppermint popcorn

Tuesday: christmas party (pork)

Wednesday: maple roasted chicken and sweet potatoes (try cooking in crockpot)
*green salad or fresh veggie
*fresh fruit
*hawaiian bread
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