Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pantry Purge Update - Week 2

WOW!!  A super successful week on using up stuff on my list!!  Half of my time is up - and almost half of the items used.  What a fun project!  I am already identifying items for the next 4 week period!  Maybe I ought to assign rooms in my house to this kind of weekly attention :-)

Last Saturday I used two of the bags of cookie mix and made cookies for the family (much to their delight!)  They were sugar cookies and I found some sprinkles to use on them.  (Sprinkles will be an issue for another month - but they need to go too!)

Also we had the frozen tamales for dinner - which were a hit - and I tried a cheesy rice casserole (I liked it but the men didn't - so I now have several small containers of it in my freezer)  Now you know how I get so much in my freezer!  The recipe will go into my "potluck recipe" file.  I think it will work with a crowd - just not MY crowd :-)  Along with a big green salad (and some mixed veggies for my non-salad eater) it was a good meal.

A cold moved into the house overnight... so soup was now on the agenda.  The end of a bag of potatoes became Cheesy Potato Soup....  my earlier research had prompted me to consider using the evaporated milk in fudge..... but I saw evaporated milk in one of the potato soup recipes... so I used it up there.

While I was making soup on Sunday, I also used the last bag of frozen tomatoes from the garden and made a marinara sauce.  Of course, it ended up in the freezer so I am not sure if it counts as using up.  I think it does - because the marinara will disappear much more quickly than frozen raw tomatoes will!  I'll keep an eye on it and make sure it goes soon.  I also used frozen chopped peppers and celery in it!

I also cooked up the Italian sausage but it was way too greasy for me.  I blotted it and sliced it thin and returned it to the freezer to think on a bit.  I think I will use it in bits on pizza or perhaps in spaghetti sauce or chili.  I've been looking for a sale on English muffins to make individual pizzas for the freezer.. that might be a good place for some of the sausage.  Or in an egg casserole.  I will have to use it sparingly though.

On Monday night, I made Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup from a recipe I found at,2348,155182-226206,00.html

The spice mix in it was pretty good.  I did increase the liquid and decrease the amount of cabbage (1-1/4 head!)  to make it work for us.   It used about 3/4c of the barley.. but not all of the leftover box.  There is probably another 1/2c left and I will probably save that for next month.  We like the soup but will need a couple of weeks break before we do the same thing again :-)

Wednesday night was the ground lamb.  My brother was kind enough to send instructions to me and coach me through it :-)  I did them right because they tasted pretty much the way I remember from when I was a child.  But now I know why the mint jelly was my strongest memory about it - because what I liked BEST about lamb patties - was MINT JELLY!  They turned out fine - BUT since they are not a favorite for my husband or me - and they were actively disliked by my sons... they will not be a repeat (except for the 2 leftover patties)  We are SUCH NON-meat eaters!  4 adults managed to put away TWO lamb patties.... LOL!!  I think the leftover two will be dinner for my husband and me tonight or tomorrow.  And they did not end up being a help toward frugality because NOW I have the better part of a jar of mint jelly in my refrigerator!  BUT the good news is that I DIDN'T MESS THEM UP :-)

I've been working on the Kalamata olives as snacks & another can of water chestnuts in my daily salads.  But they aren't gone yet so I can't count them!

I also googled roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes and will focus on doing something with those next week.  Need to focus on the refrigerator items next week!

So......  what's left?


jar roasted red peppers
bag sundried tomatoes
2 cans water chestnuts
2 cans pumpkin
1/2 c barley
2 bags of cookie mix
3/4 jar wheat germ


3 open bottles lemon juice (3?)
the end of a container of bacon bits
corn tortillas
jar sliced hot banana peppers
1/2 jar Hoisin sauce
1/2 jar Kalamata olives

ADDED:  open jar mint jelly


1 box Schwan salmon fillets
1 bag cranberries
frozen orange juice (not to drink)

    large container marinara sauce
    small container sliced cooked Italian sausage

*** = used up!
2 cans water chestnuts
2 bags cookie mix
3/4c. barley
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 bag wild rice
1 can beets
1 pound ground lamb
1 bag tamales
1 bag raw frozen tomatoes
1 package Italian sausage

1 comment:

  1. Glad you can follow a recipe big sister. Its funny because my girls love lamb but they can take or leave the mint jelly.