My aunt came into town and helped me rearrange my pantry. Once I knew what was in my pantry, it was easy to decide what to make for dinner.
I had some Pasta Roni’s Butter and Garlic noodles, sundried tomatoes, black olives, chickpeas, and canned chicken in the pantry. What could I make for dinner?
I cooked up one box of the butter and garlic noodles and added the drained chicken to the noodles.
Once I cooked up the other box of the noodles, I placed half of it in the other bowl. With the other half, I added sundried tomatoes, black olives, and drained chickpeas. YUM! It sort of reminded me of my favorite dish at Piada.
This is one of my family’s favorite side dishes. When I make them, I get a yeah. The Wee One especially loves it when I serve either corn, peas, or mixed veggies with it because he will mix the veggies with the noodles. His dad also mixes his veggies with his rice and noodles so he comes upon it naturally.
It’s as simple as boiling up some noodles and then adding butter, cheese, and parsley.
Stars of the recipe:
1/2 lb. of egg noodles (We use wide.)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. Italian blend shredded cheese
1 – 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
Cook up the egg noodles according to the package. Add salt when you put the egg noodles into the boiling water.
Drain the noodles, reserving about 1/4 c. of the cooking water.
Place the noodles back in the pot.
Add the butter, cheese, parsley, and cooking water. Stir until the butter and cheese are melted.
I love cookies. They are one of my favorite desserts. Like a Lay’s Chip, you can’t eat just one.
So last week, when Cookies and Cups posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Cookies, I knew I needed to try it so I can put it in my growing cookie recipe “file.” These cookies were so easy to make with only four ingredients.
Everyone who has tried the cookies has given it a thumbs up. They are extremely moist which is a plus.
All you need is five ingredients ~ six if you include the topping. So it’s perfect for the pantry challenge.
I found this recipe while various blogs were having a countdown to 2012. Each day they were posting their top recipes in different catergories. Recipe Shoebox listed this as one their top recipes in the dessert catergory. It looked so easy that I made it for New Years Eve. Hubby and I enjoyed it and over the next few days, I finished up the whole cheesecake. It was so delicious.
Baked Spaghetti – Again you can use whatever meat you have in your fridge or freezer. Use whatever cheese you may have in your fridge – okay maybe not bleu cheese. If the cheese is not shredded, shred it yourself.
Ranch Chicken Legs – As long as you have chicken (doesn’t have to be just legs – use chicken breasts or thighs), Bisquick or something similar, and dry ranch dressing packet (or the ingredients to make your own), you can cook this simple main dish.
Taco Crescent Bake – You can switch this up with cooked chicken or even ground turkey. You can try different cheeses. This is a great main dish. Don’t have tortilla chips but have tortillas, make your own chips.
Orange Chicken – I usually keep the ingredients for this simple dish in the freezer (popcorn chicken) and pantry (orange sauce) for an easy meal.
Crockpot Ribs – You can use this same method for chicken or even a pork roast. Use whatever barbecue sauce you have on hand.
Spanish style chicken noodle soup – This recipe calls for raw chicken. I’ve made it with cooked chicken. You can use frozen corn or canned corn. You can use dried black beans or canned black beans. If you use the dried beans, make sure you prep it beforehand.
As I was looking through various blogs, I found a pantry challenge. IT DOES NOT mean only eating out of the pantry or freezer. It means looking at what’s in the pantry or freezer before shopping or menu planning.
My goals for the pantry challenge are:
1. Lower my grocery bill
We’ve been spending too much at the grocery store. I want to lower that bill. So does hubby.
2. Clean out the pantry and freezer
We need to get that pantry cleaned out so if I cook dinners based around what I have in the pantry that will help us with the grocery bill. This week we have had baked spaghetti which used up a half box of spaghetti that was sitting in the pantry and already cooked hamburger that was in the freezer. We have also had peanut butter pancakes. I used up some white whole wheat flour that was not being used. Another meal was veggie beef soup. In that meal, we used up some more of the hamburger meat from the freezer and half bags of frozen vegetables hanging around in the freezer. We are going to have chicken scampi later on this week to use up some of the frozen chicken tenderloins that have made their home in our freezer.
Next week’s meals are going to use up a whole roasting chicken taking up room in the fridge’s freezer. We are also going to use the cooked chicken for a soup the next day. That soup contains corn and black beans. I have cans of those in the pantry which is going to save us money. It also calls for chicken broth. Again I have that in the pantry. The only expense I may have for that soup is the orzo pasta. I will have to check in the pantry to make sure I don’t have that.
3. Once a month cooking
I would love to do some once a month cooking. In order to do that, I need to get the deep freezer cleaned out. Since I make most of the dinners, I don’t always want to cook when I get home. On those days, I like to stop at a fast food restaurant which is both not healthy and not cheap. I would love to have back up meals in the freezer for the days I know I am going to be tired. Also with it being winter, the weather is unpredictable. It might take me longer to get home so I would like to have the option of a frozen meal that my hubby can pull out of the freezer.
Those are my three main goals for the pantry challenge. As I navigate through the challenge, I think I will come up with more goals than those 3.
Another recipe, I found on Menus4Moms website. It is easy to put together especially if you use taco seasoned ground beef that you have already cooked and then froze.
My picky hubby was surprised with how delicious this recipe was and how it didn’t taste too tacoey (made up word). He does not like some of the spices used in Mexican cooking especially cumin. As a result, I make my own taco seasoning so I can adjust the amount of spices. When I make the taco meat, I also adjust the amount of taco seasoning.
Taco Crescent Bake
Stars of the recipe:
a can of crescent rolls (I like the seamless one but the regular works just fine.)
2 cups of tortillas, roughly chopped, divided in 1/2
1 pound of taco seasoned ground beef
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (We love sharp cheddar here but mild cheddar would be okay.)
In a greased 9 by 13 baking dish, unroll crescent roll and press onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides . (If using regular crescent rolls, press all the seams together.)
Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed tortillas over the crescent rolls.
Spoon ground beef over the crescent rolls.
Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and remaining tortilla chips.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Serve plain or with additional sour cream or salsa.