Thursday, November 6, 2008


Whew, had to get creative with what we had in the pantry this past two weeks...took a hit at the bank, unexpectedly.

Here are a few things we had, and how we stretched them. Recipes to follow in later post, possibly...

Flour, eggs, butter, a dab of cottage cheese, dab of sour cream, two yellow squashes, a few yellow onions, bit of fresh spinach, little bit of Parmesan, powdered milk, tuna, canned cranberry sauce, evaporated milk, dry pasta, canned pumpkin, leg/thigh chicken quarters, shredded cheese...

Made bread.
Noodles Romanoff. (this was a big hit!)
Squash/onion/spinach/cheese noodle bake.
Noodle florentine soup (used leftover veggies for stock, chopped onion, water from boiling noodles, leftover noodles from other dish, rest of fresh spinach).
Homemade mac n cheese.

Made milk-less, egg-less chocolate cake using cocoa.
Homemade pimento cheese on homemade bread.
Cheese melt open-faced sandwiches.
Chicken salad.
Chicken and dressing, with can of cranberry sauce I found at back of pantry.
Tuna salad.
Had very small amount of ground beef (less than 1 lb)...doled it out in small patties, one at a time, for hubby for b'fast with cheese melt toast. Found another scant pound at back of freezer and made meatballs to go with pasta. Stretched the meatballs with breadcrumbs and stuff. Stretched leftover meatballs further by crumbling them and making stroganoff (more noodles, y'know)

There is a constant pot of soup going on the back burner...all leftover veg, meat bits, and noodles go into it. I doctor it with onion and sometimes a dab of Better than Boullion. It rounds off the corners of our meals.

Leftover individual serving applesauces and mango/peach sauce (from when his mom was sick and had to have those) were served on hot pumpkin bread spread with remaining cream cheese and topped with the apple/mango/peach sauce.

I have some chicken stock left, if it's still good. If so, it'll become chicken and dumplings since I still have a few pieces leftover chicken.

Veggies were incorporated into all the above. The only veg I had this week was cabbage, one or two squash, onions, and a bit of romaine, so we had a lot of cabbage sauteed in a touch of olive oil, other veg added in or lightly steamed.

I think I'm noodled out...perhaps rice will figure in this week? :)

I can't say we've done badly, but way way too much starch. The only fresh fruit we had this week was a few remaining apples. We really made them last!

Beverages were fresh kombucha...YUMMM :) or cold water. Hot tea, for curling up and snuggling with hubby.

I think we're still going to be stretching it for a while to come. As long as I have time to peruse cookbooks and figure out substitutions, I'm doing alright in the kitchen. Takes a LOT more time for prep for some things, other things not so much. We're not hungry, and the kombucha is really giving me more energy.

Time to stay creative!

What meals have you stretched this week?


Paulette said...

Robbyn, it's amazing what we can do if we just get a little creative. We spend every weekend from dawn to dusk working on our house in the country...we have been going about 3 weeks the past few months between grocery shopping, except to occasionally pick up milk. The only impact is we're eating a little healthier because everything is home-made. Soups are especially easy in these situations, you can make anything into soup almost.

Good luck, you are very creative, no doubt you will come up with some interesting things to share with us.

amanda o said...

sounds like you did an amzing job with what you had. much better than i could have!

Anonymous said...

Us too my friend. As you know we're a one income family by choice. Which means, there is no latte factor in my family. No cable, no satellite, no monthly cellphone bills, no eating where to make the cuts many americans are having to make in recent months. We've been comfortable, but make do for awhile now. My husband works on commission. If there is no work, there is not much $. And for months now, there has been no work. (His bosses try to help of course, they don't want to lose him. But they can only do so much.) I feel very happy in my pantry and my freezer. Very proud in that even though we're very stretched here, my kids aren't eating boxed mac and cheese and hotdogs. But I'm also more than a little worried, as it's only Nov. and my pantry is getting barer by the day.

Donna said...

I always use lots of beans, lentils, and split peas on hand. Those make for some cheap eating! I have lots of bean-and-rice dishes that we love. When I have less than a pound of ground beef, I make hamburger stew.

MeadowLark said...

Actually, your menu sounds delicious! And it's a good reminder that we don't need meat at every meal. I say SOUP SOUP SOUP!

Robbyn said...

3 weeks is really good, paulette! I'm finding that we, too, are eating healthier somewhat since nearly everything is made here at home. LOVE your list at your blog :)

Amanda, I bet you do great...mine was desperation and looking at the pantry and thinking Uh Oh... :)

Angie, Whew...we'll be praying for your hubby's work

Donna, do you have any favorite beans/lentil soup or dish recipes to share? I went and got some dried ones just a couple days ago, yay!

Meadowlark, you're right...soup ROCKS :)