Home Forums Challenges The Pantry Clean-Up Game

This topic contains 253 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of luxcat luxcat 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #158674
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    As part of the Great Pre-Move Revolution that’s happening in my apartment, the newest project (born this weekend) is to clean out my pantry and use up as much of the food I have in there as I can before September 1st.

    I don’t know about you, but I have some things in my pantry that I don’t use on a regular basis, either because it’s easier to make something else, or because I just plain forgot I had them. And since I don’t want to fill up 2 boxes with food I don’t use and move them across town so I can continue not to use them, I decided it’s time to get out of my dietary routine, and take advantage of my pantry. And in case anyone else’s pantry is due for a good cleaning, I thought I’d post this and encourage you lovely folks to join me in a Pantry Clean-Up Game!

    Any game has rules, and the Pantry Clean-Up Game is no different, so here’s how it works:

    1. Clean out your pantry, toss anything that’s expired, then sort the rest into 2 piles:
    a. Keep: things that you use on a regular basis and regularly repurchase when you run out.
    b. Use up: things you likely won’t repurchase when you run out, things that are about to expire, or just excess inventory — e.g. I eat pasta, but I went a little crazy at a bulk food store a while back and now I have too much pasta, so half of it is going in the “use up” pile.

    2. Put ONLY the “keep” pile back into your pantry, and enjoy the extra space. Make an inventory of the “use up” pile and put everything into a container on your counter, as a reminder.

    3. Give yourself a set amount of time (for me, it’s the month of August) to use up the “use up” pile. Look for new recipes that call for these things. Incorporate them in your meal plan, if you have one. Throw a dinner party. Have fun with it! Every time you use up an item, cross it off the inventory.

    4. At the end of the set period, donate anything you haven’t found a use for.

    5. Tweak these rules any way you see fit. If you wish, use this thread to track your progress, share ideas, recipes, or stories, and keep each other motivated.

    Let the Game begin!

  • #167976
    Avatar of Kamakazi
    Kamakazi
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I have been trying very hard to not let my pantry pile up. What generally happens is when I am out of food I will buy quite a bit, enough to run me about a month (other than the stuff that spoils of course) and I refuse to buy anything new until everything in the pantry is used or is missing a mate (if all I have left is half a box of instant mash potatoes I won’t just eat that for 3 days to get rid of it).

    I guess for me this is the 6th step to your game, how to keep it from piling up again.

  • #167977
    Avatar of ValH
    ValH
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I love this idea. I think I am going to focus on the freezer first, with the modifications that would be necessary. I have been trying to do this, but always get sucked in by the wonder of things in the freezers at the grocery store.

    For the next month I will not buy and more freezer items, I will use what I have.

  • #167981
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    One way to clean out your pantry is to lose your job and fall into poverty. When you can’t buy food, you are forced to use up every last bit of the stored food. Game is over when there’s nothing left in the house but a few condiments and the cake sprinkles.

  • #167986
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Doing the same thing here pre-move. I got serious about losing weight a while back, and stopped baking when I was bored. Great for getting rid of weight, not so much for emptying the cupboards. Goal for the next few weeks is to bake and gift a lot of goodies. Dual purpose – a chance to drop in on friends while delivering goodies and say goodbye, plus lighten the load for the movers.

    I am not paying anyone $85 an hour to move 65 cent canned goods!

  • #167990

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    What about non food items in the pantry such as disposable utensils, cups, plates and so forth, including some that have been there for forever and look like they won’t be used in the near or distant future?

  • #168005
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    i think i’d organise a picnic to use that stuff up and then never ever buy it again.
    we use real plates and glasses and cloth for our picnics….it’s so much nicer.
    yes, stuff gets smashed occasionally, but it’s still my preference.

  • #168008
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    before I moved to Europe I had alcohol in lovely decanters. Since it would take me years to use up hard alcohol, I hosted a drink-it-up party. You know, that very old and wonderful scotch tastes way better with a room full of your favourite people sharing it and laughing on a rainy January evening.

  • #168016
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I recently gave away all my picnic stuff to the next-door neighbor. I hadn’t used it for years and obviously wasn’t going to use it again.

    The neighbor is a great asset. She’s a Vietnamese immigrant with a large extended family. She accepts just about anything I pass along, because she’s sure that someone can use it. She gives me bananas and papayas from her brother’s farm, the ones that are too big to sell to the supermarket. Yum!

  • #168021
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    And for those of us not moving, there’s no reason not to play! I found some Israeli couscous in my pantry (did I buy that?) a few weeks ago and cooked it up. We both didn’t like it! Donated to a friend who does like it. My biggest issue is seeing something I use regularly on sale at the grocery and so buying it, only to realize I already had an extra in the pantry. I’m thinking I need more than a mental inventory of my “spare” stuff…

  • #168043
    Avatar of Gypsie
    Gypsie
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @jbeany – AS for baking when you are bored, I did some of that but I made Dog Biscuits! There are so many recipes out there like whole wheat, lower calorie for the heftier dog. I made a ton and then handed them to all my neighborhood Dog lovers. I know you there are kitty treat recipes out there too!

  • #168045
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    the most amazing ideas come out of this forum!
    i love the pantry clean up game….this one is easy and effective.
    i’ll be doing this next week.
    thank you anita, for the idea!

  • #168047

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh my gosh, this thread has just reminded me that I bought a jar of mango chutney two months ago that I have never used! As I was walking out of the market, I though to myself, “Hmmm… I should have bought some Naan while I was in there. Oh well, I’ll buy some the next time I’m at the store!” Of course, I never did.

    I think tonight I’ll be starting my first dive into the pantry while the in-laws are away and I’ll leave the stuff they bought that I’ll never eat in a pile. They can sort through the rest when they get home because my MIL likes to buy mostly pre-made boxed foods (brownie mixes, cake mixes, hamburger helper *ick*, etc.). I do NOT know why we need to stock up on non-perishables that probably require a grocery store run to make anyway!

  • #168048
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Mango chutney is nice in tuna salad. Gives it a bit of zing.

  • #168049
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Okay, I have proof positive that I am not making the ginger bread-and-butter pudding often enough to justify stockpiling ginger preserves: I just found a two-year-old jar, unopened, at the back of the pantry. Crap.

  • #168054

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @lucy1965: Ginger bread-and-butter pudding . . . sounds YUMMY! May I please have the recipe:P

    @GirlOverboard: I love mango chutney. Yes, it tastes good mixed in with tuna salad. I love it with curry. I like it over cream cheese used as a spread for breads and crackers.

    Mmmmmm, making myself hungry:O

  • #168063
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    mango chutney on grilled cheese sandwiches, with some chopped scallions, yummity yummity!

    ginger preserves could be used up a few spoonfuls at a time by adding to spicy stir fries. i am salivating at the mere idea.

  • #168070
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    DH loves a full frig and pantry! I prefer shopping with him as opposed to alone, but he wants to buy so much more than we could possibly eat in 3 weeks!
    I have to be very strict and not get doubles of what we already have and tell him we have to use up what we have. Luckily this summer we have spent a fair bit of time at our cottage up north, so when our cupboards are looking like Mrs. Hubbard’s- I say-let’s not buy more- it will just go to waste since we won’t be here to eat it.

  • #168084
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @n2ch Here you go: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/my-grandmothers-ginger-jam-bread-and-butter-pudding-recipe/index.html

    It is very very tasty, but sadly I’m the only one who’ll eat it. Obviously I need to have some of you over. :-)

  • #168094
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’m in.

  • #168107
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @bandicoot I think you’ve just solved my supper dilemma: I’ve got extra sharp cheddar cheese, sourdough bread and mango chutney. NOM NOM NOM

  • #168115
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh my, my husband is going to love this ginger bread and butter pudding! THanks! And also for the ideas for mango chutney. We have a jar of pear chutney that will be good the same way.

    Anyone got any good ideas for a jar of ploughman’s pickle! Neither of us much liked it straight from the jar….

  • #168126

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh my gosh, you all have given me so many ideas for how to use my mango chutney! lol. Here I was thinking I’d need crackers or bread of some kind. I think I know what I’m doing for dinner tonight….

    Thanks everyone!

  • #168133
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Yum! I grew up on bread pudding. Thanks for the ginger pudding recipe.
    Question: could apricot jam be substituted? I love apricot jam.

  • #168172
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @SunshineR I don’t see why not . . . .

  • #168174
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @lucy1965: Thanks!

    I enjoy baking desserts but it is so hot without air conditioning. That’s why I had so much store-bought junk food around here.
    Lately I’ve been making a written list of what I do have for meals and snacks. It is on the front of my fridge.

    Next I need to buy a mirror that talks back…lol.

  • #168202
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Sunshine- such a simple, yet perfect idea- making a list of what’s in your frig and taping it on!
    My folks, who are aging and not always well, seem to have no idea what’s in their frig. The last time I went shopping for them (during a recuperation period) sis and I had to clean out the frig before we could put anything in it. I found 3 bars of cream cheese dated 2008, some kind of jarred sauce that’s sell by date was in 2005, sweet smelling deli roast beef that had the rainbow shine to it that my Dad was STILL eating, I’m not even kidding with this. We threw away 3 paper grocery bags full of expired, moldy and rotten food. Their frig still was almost full when we were finished. I’ve raised 5 kids and my frig was barely ever as full as theirs is for just 2 of them, plus they hardly eat anything at meals. I couldn’t tackle the freezer or the pantry…

    I digress,(only because I was so horrified) but I’ve actually taken to doing this list thing myself. It’s great for knowing what I have and what I need next time I go shopping.

  • #168205
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I like to make lists of possible recipes, based on the ingredients I have. Those get posted on the fridge for my cooking days. I live alone, so cooking every night has little appeal, but if I don’t cook, I end up picking at cheese and crackers instead of something substantial. I eat more in the long run that way. I’ve started doing designated cooking nights, where I’ll make 4 or 5 recipes and put most of it in single serve tubs in the freezer. If I post a list of possible recipes, I can make whatever sounds best to eat for the next week or 10 days, plus I can also make a list of the few missing ingredients for those recipes for one single trip to the store.

  • #168220

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @jbeany: I’m working myself up to going back on a special food plan. I like your idea of cooking ahead and freezing in single serving tubs. What kind of tubs do you use?

    @irishbell: I relate to your experience with your parent’s refrigerator.

    @lucy1965: Thanks for the recipe – looks so YUMMY! I love ginger and I love custard and I love bread so of course I would love your shared recipe! I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’ll “have” to do it soon before I follow strictly my food plan.

  • #168222
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    needtocleanhouse, I put everything into Ziplock freezer baggies. Everything. They can be labeled. I squish out air and pack them not too tightly, just enough so they will lie flat when frozen solid, with no weird bulging. Tubs would work too if you have space for them.

  • #168223
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    needtocleanhouse, I put everything into Ziplock freezer baggies. Everything. They can be labeled. I squish out air and pack them not too tightly, just enough so they will lie flat when frozen solid, with no weird bulging. Tubs would work too if you have space for them.

  • #168225
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I bought a stack of tubs at the dollar store. I don’t think there’s a brand name. Just little plastic fake tupperware. I like the square ones; they stack better and take up less space.

  • #168227

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Alright, two days after I said I was going to tackle my pantry, I finally did it! I played the Pantry Clean-Up Game with my husband and we won!lol.

    Sorry for the long post ahead – with the story of my uncluttering comes some venting about our sources of clutter.

    Anyway, last night I had a ton of energy when I got home, so I just went for it and didn’t stop until I was done… around midnight. There is actually SPACE in our pantry (which is really more of just a big cupboard) and I know where everything is. Not only that, but I also tackled our spice cabinet! They look great!

    So, remember how I was talking about my mom-in-law’s bad shopping habits? While I was cleaning out the cabinet, I found *eight* count’em *EIGHT* boxes of pudding. No, she’s not planning on making pie, we don’t even own any pie tins. We also have THREE boxes of pretzel crackers, a bag of mixed “bottom of the box” crackers, two boxes of saltines and a bag of chips. I don’t even eat that stuff and my husband doesn’t either!

    As for my father-in-law, well, he loves, loves, loves storage – but also being crafty and [what he thinks is] thifty. When I cleared out the pantry, I found a whole bunch of those red plastic cans that Foldger’s coffee comes in. Labels were written so large that the name of whatever he’s storing in there is wrapped around so you can’t just read what’s inside without pulling the can out. Not knowing what is in your pantry makes for duplicate purchases. :(

    Funny story relating to this – Hubby and I kept buying bags of these rice crackers that we love to break out when entertaining. We kept figuring that people were just eating them all because we’d wake up to finish cleaning (it’s hard to tidy after a party at 2am) and everything would be put away… with no rice crackers in sight. However, when I cleared out the pantry, I found about 3 bags of mostly finished rice crackers from weeks ago… stuffed into the jar labeled “noodles.” The sad thing is, I’m certain that when he saw the Japanese writing on the bag, he figured that they should go with the rest of the “Oriental” foods, instead of with the snack foods. So he stuffed them in the noodle jar. I love the old man dearly, but he is a little out of touch with the modern world in a lot of ways. :P

    So, I condensed. I condensed and I tossed and I chipped away at it all. I took things out of the containers that didn’t need to be in there, such as bags that are already self-sealing. I whittled away at all of the crap and now things are looking much better. Soon, hubby and I will be taking a trip to the Container Store and will be getting CLEAR containers with an easy labeling system and will recycle all of those Foldgers cans. He’s also decided that he’s going to have a talk with his mother about their once-a-month big shopping trips where they stock up on things that we really don’t need to be stocking up on – like eight boxes of pudding.

    Oof!

  • #168229
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’m going to play this game over the weekend and expect to have some extra space in my baking cabinet when finished. I really don’t need cornmeal AND biscuit mix AND flour AND … I don’t bake that much.

    The things I tend to buy because I forget I already have some at home? Tomato paste and canned pears (in juice). I just think, oh, I probably need that. No more shopping without a list!!

  • #168239
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Besides making a list of what I have on-hand for meals and snacks, I have a few other things that work well for me and BF:
    I put a removable label on the top of each fridge leftover container with its item and date.
    Use up fridge leftovers before weekly rubbish day, or pitch. No more “science experiment” surprises lurking within the fridge.
    We have a shopping list and a “wish-for” list on the front of the fridge. Now I can see and remember what we need. It helps my budget go a little further and cuts back on my junk food stash…just a little ;)

  • #168250

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Yea: Have room in my pantry into which I easily place items just acquired for a go at baking. Have a special barbecue for which I’m baking and . . . need some stress relief . . .

    Anyone else do stress baking?

    Curried Chicken or Turkey with Mango Chutney: Cut up left over cold chicken or turkey into squares. Mix with mayo and curry powder and mango chutney. Use as sandwich spread or on a tossed salad or in a papaya or avocado.

  • #168253
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @needtocleanhouse -

    There’s something so calming about the smell of something rising in the oven, isn’t there? I had to learn to immediately deliver most of what I’ve made to someone else, though, or the stress eating follows as soon as the oven timer dings!

  • #168426
    Avatar of Joan G
    Joan G
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I live in South Florida, Hurricane Central, (or one of them), and for 6 months of the year, from June 1 through December 1, we should be prepared with pantry (and first aid, water, etc.) supplies to last for about 7 days for all the people living in our home. This is my 37th hurricane season, and I’ve learned a few things. I always make a list of the extra supplies we store. When the season is over, that list is the first I look at when making meal plans and shopping lists. The supply list lives where the shopping list pad lives. And I’ve learned not to buy any hurricane food supplies that I wouldn’t eat at any other time!!

  • #168614

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @ jbeany: yes, very calming and grounding. I read on the other thread that you just did some pantry clean up baking. Wild Plum jelly – yummy – do you know where I might find some? I had it a long time ago and remember it still because it was so delicious. I’ll be doing some pantry/refrigerator baking soon. It will probably involve apples, flour, sugar, molasses, honey, milk and some other simple ingredients. Isn’t it amazing how you can throw in a little of this and a little of that, a concoction that looks so unappetizing, then have it transform to something so yummy? Alchemy I tell you. And like you, I gift others with it before I eat way too much although sometimes um . . .

    PS I also stay up late cleaning and bake something in the oven as I unclutter. It makes me feel good when I do. Very soothing.

  • #168616
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Hey everyone, I’m so glad people are finding this helpful!

    I had made a lot of headway into my own pantry clean-up, and it looked like I might actually eat my way out of needing to move the stuff. And then… I went away for 3 days. Since I have two cats, I asked my mom to drop in and feed them while I was gone. My mom loves cats, so she jumped at the idea and probably ended up spending most of the weekend at my place, playing with the kitties. Which is perfectly fine, in fact I’m very glad all 3 of them were in good company :)

    HOWEVER. I did not have the presence of mind to let my mom know I was trying to clean out my pantry. So my mom, being the wonderful mom she is, saw my newly decluttered pantry as a sign that I’m lacking in groceries and took it upon herself to buy me “a few things” so I don’t come home to an empty fridge. Thoughtful? Yes. Appreciated? Very. But… sigh.

    Just wanted to put this down as a reminder of the importance of communication…

  • #168624
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @ Anita – Too funny!

    @ needtocleanhouse – I made the wild plum jam myself, thanks to a friend with a mass of plum trees that grow unattended by her old farmhouse. A couple of years ago, the weather was perfect for plums, and the trees just exploded with fruit. She couldn’t give it away fast enough, so I did jam with a two bushels of them. (Guess what everyone got from me for Christmas that year!) I’m down to just one jar now, after putting 4 in the quick bread and tossing one with an iffy seal on the lid.

    Last night was the plum bread and oatmeal-cherry cookies. I’ve still got oatmeal, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallows, coconut, honey, real maple syrup, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. So, homemade maple-honey granola, with some made into peanut butter granola bars, and some of those magic cookie bars with an oatmeal crumb bottom and the condensed milk topping. I may break down and buy some butter to make pound cake or shortbread cookies with all the extra flour and sugar I have here. (Movers are $90 an hour. $1.50 a minute. Not paying them to haul flour and sugar!)

  • #168747

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Fresh ginger apple cake!

    Here’s a recipe for Energy Bars that was used for a church fund raiser:

    Energy Bars

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix the following together in a 9×13 inch pan:
    2-1/2 C Rice Krispies
    2 C Instant Quaker Oats
    1 C Dry Roasted Peanuts (unsalted)
    1 C Raisins
    1/4 C Sunflower Seeds (unsalted/no shells)
    1/4 C Sesame Seeds
    Bake for 7-10 minutes, until warm, stirring 2-3 times.

    In a large sauce pan, melt the following slowly:
    1/2 C Butter (1 stick) – do not use margarine
    10 oz bag Miniature Marshmallows
    1/2 C Creamy Peanut Butter

    Pour the wet ingredients over the dry while still very warm and quickly mix together thoroughly. Spread out in the pan, pressing down firmly (use wax paper to press down with).

    Cool completely and cut into 2×2 inch bars. Wrap each bar individually in wax paper or plastic wrap. Makes approx. 24 bars.

  • #168748
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @n2ch: Yum! Thanks for the recipe…I’m going to try it soon.

    Last night, I cleaned out 20 small glass spice jars and a spice rack. The jars were too narrow for most measuring spoons and the spices were very very old…spices and lids to rubbish can, glass jars to recycling, spice rack to my growing pile of yard-sale items.

  • #168767
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Polished off the last of the salad dressing, bought two small bottles to replace it.

  • #168770
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I may have taken my pared down pantry too far. I’ve had a nauseous tummy for a day or so, but needed something to eat last night, went looking for some saltines in my pantry- not a cracker anywhere to be found! But- it was so organized and clean I knew right away there were no crackers….

  • #168797
    Avatar of ozegal
    ozegal
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’m almost jealous that you guys even have to clean out the pantry! my pantry is huge! 2x2metres and 6 shelves high, with room for a fridge (used to be the laundry). I have a shelf with plain air tight containers that hold flour, rice pasta etc i can fit 1kg packets in so usually gets used in a month or so… the rest has a can of beans, tomatoes, corn, a basket with herbs, a basket with cake making odds, and a tray with condiments. Money has been so tight the past few years with me taking time off work to be SAHM that I haven’t had the dosh to stockpile, or buy anything that wasn’t immediately neccessary. :(
    I always envied the way my dad’s pantry looked like he was ready for a natural disaster – but with 4 kids 6years between oldest and youngest, I guess he needed to stockpile!
    On the plus side, now us kids have all moved out of home he hasn’t seemed to have changed his shopping habbits. Last time I went to visit for a few days, the only things in the pantry that were in date were the peanut butter, the chocolate and the coffee! I had to throw out 4 jars of the same mustard in the fridge, and a jar or saurkraut that had gone dry! amongst other things!
    So I guess being poor isn’t all its cracked up to be – but it had had its benefits as far as being able to clutter :)

  • #168857

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @ozegal – does it feel like forced deprivation? I knew a woman once who talked about being raised dirt poor on a rural farm with no electricity or running water. She talked about learning to “make a dollar out of a dime” and was wonderfully creative when she cooked. She did have a penchant for “taking” things for free that bothered my own sense of propriety like reading entire books at bookstores (multiple visits) rather than buying them or even borrowing them from the library simply because she liked being at the bookstore more. But wait, what’s that log doing in my eye . . . I remember being in a store a long time ago and looking at a canned item in my hand and debating whether to buy this really inexpensive item or not because money was tight at the time. Someone laughed at me in a derisive way. I will always keep that unsavory picture in my mind. I felt deprived and embarrassed.

    Doing some stress baking of this corn bread recipe I found recently and modified for what was in my pantry. I’m not so much a corn bread person and with that disclosure/caveat let me say that I like this one. It has a little gritty slightly crunchy texture.

    1 egg
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup evaporated milk + little vinegar (or use buttermilk instead)
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 cup yellow cornmeal (regular, not coarse)
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt

    Place all ingredients in a pie pan and mix until just combined. Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes. Test with toothpick – to come out clean.

  • #168873
    Avatar of Kamakazi
    Kamakazi
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Well, took a big step back this weekend when I spent over $400 at Sam’s Club stocking up. My pantry BARELY held it all. Lots of canned and boxed stuff for when I don’t feel like cooking from scratch. Also quite a bit of breakfast cereal (I LOVE Cheerios). I have to get the easy stuff or I don’t have the discipline to not go out to get something to eat.

  • #168900
    Avatar of EraserGirl
    EraserGirl
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    you know something – i hadn’t even thought about this before.
    my ‘pantry’ are shelves above my head which i never think about because i can’t see them. (in contrast to my last life where i had a walk in pantry ultra full, ultra organized ) hence i don’t cook enough using shelf stable items.

    today I am going to switch the pantry with something that is eye level.and see if that makes a difference.

  • #168926

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    The recipe for the famous compost cookies from Momofuku Bar in NYC:

    INGREDIENTS:
    1 cup Butter
    1 cup Sugar
    3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
    1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    2 Large Eggs
    1 3/4 cups AP Flour
    2 tsp Baking Powder
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    2 tsp Kosher Salt
    1 1/2 cups Your favorite baking ingredients! (chocolate chips, raisinettes, cocoa krispies etc.)
    1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (pot. chips, pretzels, etc)

    DIRECTIONS:
    In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

    On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

    When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

    On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

    Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.

    Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.

    DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

    Heat the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven)

    When the oven reads 400F, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheetpan a minimum of 4″ apart in any direction.

    Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

    At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don’t match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.

    Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

    Yield: 15 6oz cookies

  • #169022
    Avatar of badkitti
    badkitti
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I played a diffeent version of the pantry game – I only had a gew things to remove as they were outof date (The fridge was a different story!). I pulled everything out and re stocked the shelves, this time putting things I needed more on an eye level – and using smaller lower shelves for baking things – they now slide out in a tray. I now also have space for bread inside the cupboard, and am enjoying the resulting clear counter space.

  • #169037

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Stress baking and pantry declutter for the day:

    7 Day Prune Cake

    1 1/2 C sugar
    1 1/2 C cooked prunes, mashed
    3/4 C shortening (butter or etc)
    3 eggs, beaten
    2 3/4 C flour
    1 t allspice
    1 1/2 t cinnamon
    1 1/2 t baking soda
    3/4 C boiling coffee

    Cream sugar and shortening, add beaten eggs and mix. Mix in prunes. Add dry ingredients (but only 1/2 t of the baking soda) and mix. Mix 1 t soda into hot coffee then mix in with other ingredients.

    Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

    Cake gathers moisture and will hold flavor over a week’s time. Whether you leave it out or refrigerate depends on your particular environment.

  • #169041
    Avatar of EraserGirl
    EraserGirl
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    can we move the recipes to a different thread?
    somehow tieing it in with a header such as pantry streamlining ideas.
    i always find that having a few simple basic ingredients in stock is cheaper and less cluttered than having all sorts of premade items.
    I have some speedy recipes for half size orders of brownies, cookies and breads
    that i make in a jiffy when i need them instead of having all of those items in half opened packages in the cupboard.

  • #169043

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Per rules of the game set by Anita in her first post:

    5. Tweak these rules any way you see fit. If you wish, use this thread to track your progress, share ideas, recipes, or stories, and keep each other motivated.

    Feel free to start a new thread for recipes only if you like to post your speedy recipes there instead.

  • #169174
    Avatar of EraserGirl
    EraserGirl
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @needtocleanhouse ah, my bad.

  • #180066

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Going declutter my pantry again. I found some things in a high shelf that I would like to get rid of so I may as well clean my pantry again. Today I tossed a roll of old plastic wrap and an old pack of good storage bags, the kind with the twist top that preceded the kind with the zip top. Going to need a step ladder.

  • #180099

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Brought in a step stool and took everything out of one cubbyhole; next step is to clean it/wipe it down and figure out what to do with the space. Tossed a bag of old plastic wrap, cups etc etc from it. Also found 2 large coffee makers which will be going off to charity this week.

  • #180132
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    oh wow, I love this thread! And I really need to play this game, the other day I was trying to find some rice and ended up unearthing about a billion packets of different sorts of dried pulses. All of which require overnight soaking. Hmmmm. I’m thinking soup, and dhaal. Bean salads. Ooh, bean burgers!
    For the mango chutney, I found a recipe somewhere for flatbreads which are great with curry and chutney. Dead easy, you just dry-fry them in a pan and they take about a couple of minutes to make and the whole family loves them, even the kids who hate curry :) Here is a similar recipe, though I used wholemeal flour as I wanted to use it up, and I didn’t do the puffing thing:

    http://www.seasaltwithfood.com/2010/04/indian-flat-bread-chapatti.html

  • #180145
    Avatar of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    As part of MIL’s visit today she insisted on making a dish using the Cypriot bulghar wheat/pasta mixture she gave us ages ago. Obviously the kids wouldn’t eat it, leading to much ranting on her part, but we’ll have it for our dinner and it did declutter the pantry a little.

    I need to cook black beans and soya beans. Any inspiration?

  • #180164

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    The chapatti looks scrumptious as does the naan! Wait til I get the maintenance part of my food plan!!!

    Here’s a food blog that uses a lot of alternative proteins:

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/

  • #180168
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Hmmm, Charity, I love black beans in a taco salad, in chile, mixed with rice….. always have some in my pantry.

  • #180193
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Charity how about black bean soup? Or a black bean salsa with chips? Or just season them with onion, cumin, hot pepper, oregano and salt and eat them with rice or in burritos?

  • #180208
    Avatar of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thanks – big palaver to soak them overnight and boil them, but I must make the effort.

  • #180212
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Ah, didn’t realize they were still in that stage. I buy cans – much easier. I don’t suppose you have a pressure cooker?

  • #180213
    Avatar of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    No, no pressure cooker. I bought them for complicated reasons – I needed beans to weight a doll that I’m using for my classes (childbirth education). The directions told me 3lb 5oz of beans but I could only fit half of that in, hence ending up with loads of dried black and soya beans left over.

  • #180226
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Whoops! LOL

    While looking for seeds for DH to sprout this morning I offloaded l/2 box of Israeli couscous (which we didn’t like) and some regular couscous which smelled bad (and I can’t recall how old it is. Also found some lentils which had migrated to the back and added them to the veg soup I had started. :)

    PS – the sprouts were there, right where they were supposed to be! Yay.

  • #180268
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    My husband bakes his own sourdough bread and we both love to cook many different types of food. As a result we have a huge variety of ingredients and two small cupboards in which to store them. My solution is to have containers of different heights, but with the same lid size. They are of the same depth as the cupboard. All containers are stacked on the shelves and the contents of all are visible at once. We have 37 containers which house 11 different types of flour, 4 types of rice, 7 types of dried beans and peas, 6 types of dried fruits as well as many other raw ingredients.
    We live in Melbourne and are lucky enough to have a wonderful market. When we need to refill the containers, we take them with us and have the stall holders measure the ingredients directly into them. This means that there is no packaging, and they just get put straight back on to the shelves when we get home.

  • #180309
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Borlotti beans in water to soak overnight, thank you to this thread. I have a lot of veg to unclutter so minestrone will be perfect, mmmm. Lots of garlic and parmesan cheese.
    Charity: you must be very charitable to allow such a MIL in the house, I feel like smacking her on your behalf!

  • #180311

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    For those in the US: May 14 is the letter carriers food drive — you can leave bags of packaged food out by your mailbox and they will pick it up. No glass jars.

    We have a bunch of food in the pantry I need to unload — a lot of it is stuff that the grocery store gave away for free if you bought something else. I have NO NEED for two jars of marshmallow fluff. Really. I know it’s a ways away, but something to keep in mind . . .

  • #180333
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    ooh. Marshmallow fluff for making fudge. Yum….

    Just when I’ve (mostly) decluttered my cupboards for my weight loss plan, along comes the temptation of fudge.

  • #180364
    Avatar of morfydd
    morfydd
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Charity: My handy bean cookbook says you can soak the whole mess of them overnight, then portion into freezer bags and stick in the freezer. Then you have only the cooking time once they come out of the freezer.

    I have done this. Then they just sit in my freezer mocking me instead of my pantry, but you may actually use them. :)

  • #180375
    Avatar of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Excellent idea!

  • #180376
    Avatar of Joless
    Joless
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @Charity – I make burritos with black beans (may not officially be burritos but as I’m not from the US, that’s what I call ‘em)

    Fry up some chopped onion, peppers, chili if you want it til soft. Add black beans and heat through for a few mins. Wrap in tortilla wraps with grated cheese or sour cream or salsa or whatever. Can also wrap several and put into an oven dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake ’til cheese is melted. Alter as you see fit for your family. Yum.

  • #180377
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    directions for cooking beans in a crock pot
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/cooking-dried-beans-in-crockpot.html

    (I used to do this routinely but it’s been years & I didn’t want to give directions from memory.)

  • #180402
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    thank you morfydd!! I was just coming on here to say I was cooking a roast dinner instead and what shall I do with the beans which I soaked! You’re probably right about the freezer lurking, but mostly it’s the thought of having to soak stuff overnight which puts me off using the things :)

  • #180414
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Joless, that sounds so yummy right now! I have some wholewheat tortillas in the fridge (took 4 years to locate here, bought two packages because I knew I would never see them again, and guess what? I haven’t!)

    I think that is going to be dinner tomorrow!

  • #180453
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    djk:
    http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/1864/flour-tortilla-wraps.aspx
    they don’t look very difficult to make :)

  • #180457
    Avatar of Joless
    Joless
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @djk – I enjoy them :-) You might want to Google for real recipes (or use the one lottielot suggested) since I don’t know what the official way of making them is and I don’t want you to miss out something vital and be disappointed with your dinner :-)

  • #180460
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    ok am I a big dummy. Although I bake all sorts of things including bread, it never crossed my mind to make my own!

  • #180543

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Making yogurt in a crock pot. Normally this wouldn’t sound yummy, but since I am decluttering fat at the moment, it sounds really really really good!

    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

  • #180636
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    djk@ If you want to know how to start your own sourdough “mother”, you can grow it with organic rye flour. If you are in Australia, Dan Lepard’s “The Handmade Loaf” will tell you how. There is an American book called “The Bread Bible” which is also useful. Finally, there is a website called “Sourdough Companion” where professional and amateur bakers share their recipes for different types of bread. I benefit from my husband’s hobby everyday!

  • #180643
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Sorry djk, I misinterpreted your post. Please ignore my bread making suggestions.

  • #180706
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Jackthetiger, love the sourdough starter ideas:) Right now I am eating low-carb but there is nothing like the smell of homemade bread coming out of the oven!

  • #180791
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    djk, I would hate to live without sourdough bread. My husband’s latest concoction is a fruit bread made with dried figs and hazelnuts.

  • #180819

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I love me my carbs and appreciate the bread link :) The fruit bread with dried figs (my fav) and hazelnuts (not so much) sounds delicious – I would substitute another nut or even another fruit.

  • #180824
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Sometimes he makes dried apricot and sultana. I also like the strength of the plain sourdough with blue cheese.

  • #180830
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh, my, sourdough and blue cheese! Call me when it’s ready, please. :)

    Today I made chowder (soup?) out of half the package of surimi (fake crab) that I purchased one day when I was in a hurry, thinking it was real crab. I should have realized from the price, but… It ended up in the freezer, and since we finished the lentil soup yesterday, the crab became lunch. Turned out well, and helped use up the cheap sherry I bought to make a brunch dish over the weekend. (The stuff is not fit to drink, esp as it’s dry sherry, and I prefer cream sherry if I’m going to drink it at all)

  • #180842

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    This sounds like fun. My pantry is in pretty good shape but I will take a look through it and see if there is anything I could use up so I can join in the fun.

  • #180879
    Avatar of JuliaJayne
    JuliaJayne
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I used up 2 partial boxes of rotini pasta in the following recipe from the taste of home website. I used red onion because I prefer the flavor in certain recipes, and roasted the asparagus until it was almost done, then cut it to size. It was very good and is marked as a favorite side dish. I’m sure broccoli would be a good substitute for the asparagus.

    * 6 ounces uncooked linguine
    * 1 small onion, chopped
    * 2 garlic cloves, minced
    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 2 teaspoons butter
    * 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    * 2 tablespoons white wine or chicken broth
    * 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    * 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/8 teaspoon pepper

    Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil and butter until tender. Add asparagus; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add wine or broth; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Remove from the heat.

    Drain linguine; add to asparagus mixture. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

  • #180989

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Yum – Paris

    http://goparis.about.com/od/parisneighborhoods/ss/Montorgeuil_Pix_6.htm

    I can only dream.

    The almond crackers below are what I’ll be making to stick to my food plan. And actually, in their own way, look scrumptuous!

    http://cavemanfood.blogspot.com/2009/04/grain-free-almond-crackers.html

    Grain Free Almond Crackers

    GRAIN FREE ALMOND CRACKERS

    ingredients:
    1 cup almond flour
    1 egg white
    1 pinch salt

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

    In a bowl, mix together the almond flour, egg white, and salt until it forms a paste.

    Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make sure you use parchment paper, because if you don’t you’ll end up chipping your crackers out of the pan. Place the dough in the middle and top with another piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin (or any other cylindrical instrument), roll out the dough as thin as you can get it. Try to make it take up the whole cookie sheet if you can. Super thin.

    Peel off the top layer of paper and score the dough with a knife into whatever size crackers you want. Bake in the 325 oven for 10 minutes and then check on the crackers. You are looking for them to color ever so slightly. A little color means crispy, but a lot of color means burned nut taste, which is no good. If the edges have started to color nicely, remove them to a plate and put the remaining crackers back in the oven. Keep doing this, checking every 5 minutes and removing the golden crackers, until finally they are all baked to perfection.

    Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

    You can make many variations on thee crackers by adding in different seasonings to the dough base.

  • #181223
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Mmmm Paris….so delicious. Life is too short to deny the small pleasures in life and these purchases will never clutter up your life.

  • #181278

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Have some peanut butter you want to unclutter? I do and I know I WILL be baking this peanut butter cake once I get to phase IV of my food plan. Perhaps you have some peanut butter you’d like to use up this way too?

    From: http://coleensrecipes.blogspot.com/search/label/CAKE%20RECIPES?updated-max=2009-06-30T00:01:00-08:00&max-results=20

  • #181508

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Set aside for postperson food collection: 2 cans tom paste, 2 cans soup, 4 cans albacore tuna

  • #181554
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Ew, that peanut butter cake actually sounds revolting! But i’m not keen on cakes generally so forgive my rudeness… My kids live on the stuff, I have 2 walking unclutterers of peanut butter :)
    In the stock pan waiting for a chicken carcass: a load of onions and bendy carrots, leeks and celery. I freeze stock and have nearly run out. I also started buying small tins of baked beans, much less wastage from those. I used up my last bread mix for a friend coming for lunch last week, along with jars of pickled onions, olives and feta from the fridge. I think if I kept just those ingredients in the house that would suit most occasions! Last week I made gammon and bean soup from leftover roast gammon. It was yummy, I put in the leftover veg from the roast too and some little tinned beans (can’t remember their name). So easy and yummy, I think I will buy some more tins of beans for soups and salads.
    I have a million onions right now:any ideas what to make with them? I have a spectacular recipe for onion and tallegio tart which is gorgeous and uses about 10 onions, but I would need to invite another friend for lunch as my dh hates it.

  • #181558

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    lottielot: for the onions:
    http://ask.metafilter.com/126484/How-to-use-up-loads-of-onions

    I was going to recommend a quiche, but sounds like you already thought of that — French onion soup?

  • #181562
  • #181569
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    okay, I’m hungry…first Paris, then cake, now roasted lamb. What next? (keep me guessing….hee-hee)

  • #181695

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    http://www.cocoandme.com/2006/11/19/the-chocolates-cakes-on-my-stall/

    Great stuff from a woman who makes it and sells at a Saturday-only chocolates & cakes stall at Broadway Market, in Hackney, East London. I’ll be sure to visit next time I’m in London!

    And to ll: right back at ya – ew yuck ick

  • #181712
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    lottielot- maybe you could find some onion-worthy recipes at simplifried. i’ve had a look there, some yummy ideas.

  • #181733

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

  • #181743
  • #181748
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    So day before yesterday was pie day, and in my pantry I had:

    shortbread crust, premade
    a can of lemon curd
    confectioners sugar

    We had cream cheese in the fridge, too, so a quick trip for whipped topping at the corner store and: Lemon Supreme Pie.

    It was no-bake, so my son & goddaughter helped make it, too.

  • #181759
    Avatar of candy
    candy
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @needtocleanhouse: that pasta dish looks delicious! I’ll try it one of these days.

  • #181907
  • #182668

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I made the almond flour crackers and added in sunflower seeds:

    Proclamation: Winner!

  • #185012

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Pantry Game again! I looked for a squeeze bottle of Heinz relish I’d picked up a month or so ago and couldn’t find it – so frustrating. In the process of looking for it I started to cull and rearrange my pantry again. Question: if you clean the pantry once why do you have to do it again? Same goes for making beds.

    Anyway, am starting another pantry clean up round. Just in time for my food plan. I tossed quite a bit but have more to go and need to rearrange and tidy up! Free up some space! Let go of that bbq sauce that is way past expiration date!

  • #185123

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Found the squeeze bottle of relish :) (Prayers to St. Anthony do work.)

    Tossed out more old old old supplies like saran wrap so that shelf is all clear now; just have to wipe it down and I’ll have a big space to store things.

  • #185129
    Avatar of JuliaJayne
    JuliaJayne
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I forgot about this thread.

    I’m in the process of using things up from the fridge and freezer, and started working on the pantry. I like your idea of putting the items to use up off to the side as a reminder.

  • #185131

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’ve been trying to use up stuff in the freezer, much of which was bought on sale and pre-diet.

    Last week I made chicken enchiladas, using a bag of frozen, pre-cooked chicken fajita meat. They were good and that bag is gone.

    This week I made a casserole with whole wheat penne rigate, fat free cottage cheese, tomato and a whole bunch of vegetables from the crisper. I studded the top with frozen pre-cooked spicy meatballs, cut in half so that it looked like more than it really was :) Covered it all with a half jar of spicy red pepper tomato sauce left over from a previous meal and sprinkled it with a little reduced fat mozzarella. It was a big hit!

    There are still some meatballs left, so this weekend I may pick up a whole wheat bollito and make open-faced meatball subs for lunch. Should make a nice meal with some homemade cole slaw and with only half a roll I should be able to keep the calories down.

    I got rid of a whole bunch of pantry stuff last week, donated to the Mail Carrier Food Drive.

  • #185913

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Back to the pantry. I’m rearranging the shelves so that the things I use most are stored in the most convenient places. Duh. I found myself having to stand on something in order to reach the back of a shelf for herbs/spices and thought, duh, put them within easy reach. So now they are on a shelf where I can see and reach them easily. And do I need or want 6 cans of salmon? The last time I ate one of those it must have been years ago because I don’t like canned salmon; in fact I don’t like salmon in general except occasionally if it’s really fresh and wild; sometimes I like it on sushi or as sashimi, but that’s only once in a while. And waterchestnuts? Why 5 cans of those? They’re supposed to be good for arthritis per my herbalist. Ms. meow likes salmon. I’m in the process of going through the things I have stored in the pantry and figuring out what to do with them. I am approaching it in the Ella style and am finding that method to be helpful (thanks Ella).

  • #185914
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    my kitchen is a nightmare right now.
    i just popped in here to whine about it.
    1. my movements are still limited
    2. we have a guest who eats completely differently to us
    he is all about the packages and the processing….my pantry and fridge are overflowing with all kinds of junk food….it is all hopelessly untidy, but it is spotlessly clean.
    i spent an afternoon recently cooking up curries and soups and chilli beans and making yoghurt.
    it is all stacked in nice containers.
    at the very least, i know we have good food at the ready for the next week.
    and i can let them do the heating up, dishing up and cleaning up and i need not go back out there for a while.
    also….things have been moved around. this makes me crazy. i like my tools to be stored in specific places.
    fortunately it isn’t a mad clutter, so it will only take me an hour or so to fix it all when i am up and about again.

  • #185931
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    NTCH – I’ve been doing that too, putting things I use most where I can reach them easiest. DH and I worked together to reorganize our linen closet (he uses one shelf for his office supplies, and our old LPs are on the bottom, so he has an interest) and now when I want a clean towel, lo and behold, it’s on the middle shelf and I can take it out without tumbling everything else down. The extra blankets and pillow are at the top – they only get used when we have company. I got a small canvas container and rolled up the washclothes and handtowels. I repurposed a wire unit that hooks on the shelf above and gives you an added layer to a shelf – now has all the kitchen towels. DH cleared out the first aid/OTC medications boxes and now both have room and no expired medications. Likewise the area that holds sunscreen and analgesic stuff for insect bites. Looks really nice. I know this isn’t a pantry, but the same idea. :)

    I have a few things that need to leave my pantry. I know there’s an expired carton of protein powder, as well as a small container of cat toys. I’d like to find a better place for these. They can reach any shelf of the linen closets (it has no door). DH has a couple drawers in his bedside table, I wonder if there’s room in one for cat toys. They haven’t yet learned to do drawers! They can open both the screen door and the main front door. This is only a problem in that – of course – they don’t shut them and we find ourselves with mosquitos and the occasional wasp in the house.

    Bandicoot – I’d be screaming about my kitchen as well. You’re wise to retreat until you’re in a position to put it back how you like it, and your helper and his food are gone. At least it’s still clean!

  • #186012
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    My pantry isn’t too badly cluttered right now but it really needs reorganising. As my kids have grown the junk food has migrated higher and higher, but now they can reach the top shelf when they stand on a chair, so that organisation system is redundant!
    Still, I’m thinking scones to use up some flour. And I have strawberries in the freezer to make some jam to go on them. Yum.

  • #186892
    Avatar of JuliaJayne
    JuliaJayne
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    There were 7 different types of dry pasta in the cupboard; all the boxes or bags are half full. I’m making something tonight from a recipe that was on one of the packages, so now there are 6 half-full packages of pasta in the cupboard. The pastas usually take up an entire shelf. It drive me nuts.

    I’d like to know if anyone has any solutions to all the half full packages of dry pasta. Making extra and freezing it is not an option; we don’t have freezer space.

  • #186896
    Avatar of Gypsie
    Gypsie
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @JJ, How about some fun pasta salads?

    I make a caesar pasta salad with romaine, pasta, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber and a dressing of half light italian and half light caesar. Then top it with shredded parmesan. It’s delicious and anytime I go to a pot luck, I take a huge pan of it. I never have any leftover to bring home.

  • #186909
    Avatar of JuliaJayne
    JuliaJayne
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    That sounds really good Gypsie. Thanks! I’ll copy it and add it to the menu plan for next week.

    I just finished cleaning up after making most of a dinner pasta salad for tomorrow. I’ll add the dressing before dinner.

  • #186910
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’ve already copied to evernote. Thank you gypsie, it sounds delicious.
    I make a pasta salad with whatever kind of pasta- i prefer thin or small pastas for this particular recipe. After cooking aldente, I sprinkle it with McCormicks Salad Supreme seasoning, then toss with Italian dressing. I prefer it cold, after it’s been sitting overnight in the frig, but it’s good warm also. top with some Parmesan.

  • #186914

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I have a tall skinny glass jar for spaghetti and a large glass storage jar with a bale and wire closing. If I have scrag ends of uncooked pasta I just shove them in the containers. The squat shapes (macaroni, rigatoni, etc.) get made into mac & cheese when I have enough and the spaghetti gets made into . . well, spaghetti.

  • #186918
    Avatar of JuliaJayne
    JuliaJayne
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Irish, copied your recipe; sounds good. I didn’t know what Salad Supreme was, so I looked for a recipe. Here it is if you’re inclined to make it yourself.

    Homemade Salad Supreme
    1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
    1 teaspoon paprika
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon poppy seed
    1/2 teaspoon celery seed
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
    1 dash cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons romano cheese (optional)

    Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/salad-supreme-seasoning-24917#ixzz1QKguB7PG

    Susan, I like your idea of combining pastas in a glass jar. I will start doing that, too!

  • #186975
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    JJ- good idea, thanks. When I make that recipe, I use lots of the seasoning. it would probably be cheaper homemade!

  • #187382

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Continuing to fiddle around with the pantry. I’d like to make it “perfect” or at least better user friendly. In the cogitating stage with it.

  • #187454
    Avatar of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Vacuum-packed chestnuts – any great ideas? I took them out of the cupboard and left them on the side, to inspire me to use them up, but that was several months ago!

  • #187456

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    http://allrecipes.com/Search/Ingredients.aspx?WithTerm=&SearchIn=All&Wanted1=chestnuts&Unwanted1=water%20chestnuts

    I have _The Chestnut Cook Book: Recipes, Folklore and Practical Information_ by Annie Bhagwandin. It has a lot of recipes using chestnuts in soups, sides, main dishes, breads and pastas, and desserts. What might you be interested in? One of my favorite dishes is Chinese stuffed duck (stuffed with barley, chestnuts and other things). I’m actually trying to find a good source for chestnut flour.

  • #187467
    Avatar of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Charity, I normally use the vacuum pack chestnuts in game stew with redcurrant in the winter or I fry them in a little salted butter to go with Christmas dinner.
    However a summer suggestion is to heat them with some salt over a barbeque, you could just put them on a piece of foil, roasted chestnuts without the fiddly skin to peel.

  • #187470

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’ve been working on cleaning out the freezer — gave a stack of five or six frozen dinners to the MIL earlier in the week. Also had five frozen “meals for two” (we probably bought these with coupons ages ago) — cooked one up in two casserole dishes for the MIL as it is to high in calories for us and will use up the others in our Tuesday casseroles (when I have a staff meeting that runs late and fix something that DH can just pop into the oven.)

    Also found in the freezer some mango that will probably become a smoothie or two and a bag of red lentils that I need to think about.

  • #187472
    Avatar of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thank you – I should have specified something vegetarian, but not cake because I’m the only one in the house who eats it!. I had never thought of babrbequeing them, but I think I’ll make a variation on this tonight – I need to use up some lentils as well so it is perfect.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chestnut-lentils-and-vegetable-stew/detail.aspx

  • #187509
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Susan, I found a good recipe for red lentil soup online. It is very delicious, and I’ll glad share the link. I’m too lazy to go upstairs for it right now, but the next time I do….. :)

  • #187510

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thanks, pkilmain — we love soups of all kinds and have them often. A cup of soup before the main meal really fills you up! I’m excited about using up everything in the freezer and starting over from scratch!

  • #187512
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Ok, Susan, here’s the link. http://Www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/8315.

    I use light coconut milk, and because i don’t like it, i leave out the cilantro.

  • #187521

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    That soup sounds lovely! DH doesn’t like cilantro either. People either love it or hate it.

  • #187528
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I drifted off to sleep last night remembering i didn’t tell you that i’ve also made it without the carrots. While they add fiber and lrssen the calories per serving, the soup tastes fine without them. Enjoy!

  • #188704
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I just finished a thorough clean and reorganize of the pantry.
    Since dd’s return to Michigan early last month, things around here have gotten a bit sloppy and shoved behind doors.
    I had the carpeting steam cleaned, thorough vacuumed the whole house and am going on a room by room clean. a clean-ish and organized house has a calming effect on me. especially when I go to the frig and pantry and can find just what I need to whip up whatever my heart desires. or what the kids are hankering for.

  • #189704

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Facing the pantry clean up again because I need to rearrange and organize because of the unitaskers I’ve just purchased (waffle maker, corn dog maker, crockpot, electric kettle, as well as baking supplies and pans. I will start with one shelf right after posting this. Maybe I’ll find things to toss or give away.

  • #189789

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    started reorganizing the pantry but felt overwhelmed by the task because it means taking all out and putting all plus more back in and i didn’t feel up to the chore even if i start with only one shelf.

  • #194376

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Cleaning my pantry again. Will do one shelf right now!

  • #194379
    Avatar of whit
    whit
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Hadn’t seen this thread before – neat! As it happens, husband and I inventoried the pantry this weekend, and, as usual, discovered some triplicates (popcorn, pistachios) and some gems (chocolate-covered cashews!). Now that we know what’s there, will try to use more of it (not this week, though, this is not a heavy-cooking week). Also, I plan to give away some stuff that will never get used (chicken broth, now that I’m vegetarian) and will certainly not buy more of other stuff (coconut milk, indian spice mixes).

  • #194381
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    regarding cilantro….some people actually have a gene that causes them to experience cilantro scent as a horrible cat pee kind of smell.

  • #194401
    Avatar of JuliaJayne
    JuliaJayne
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I know someone who compares the smell of cilantro to stinky feet.

    For me, the scent is closer to basil. Delicious :)

  • #194421
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    took inventory of the pantry last week and have made several meals out of what is in there, along with fresh produce. Did the same with the freezer today, have planned this weeks meals with what i have there. it was great not having to do a big shop 2 weekends in a row!
    i did break down and buy a turkey breast after I saw tyler florence making yummy turkey breast sandwiches on tv this morning though…

  • #194564
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    ooooohhhh, I know that there are those with wildly differing tastes when it comes to cilantro…but I love the stuff. I have come to the conclusion that I adore stinky food: garlic, onions, ripe cheeses, cilantro, truffles, you name it. Pungent makes me swoon. And spicy. And full of herbs.

    I am less adoring of bitter though. I have had brussel sprouts many times and hated them every time except once. Can’t figure out what the difference was that one time.

    btw Bandicoot, I dreamt of you a few nights ago. You had a fabulous river on your property and I loved your boat. It was most excellent. Well done you!

  • #195243

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Another start on the pantry. Why does it keep getting messy?

  • #195246
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I don’t know, but I appear to have flour all over mine. The lower drawers I know why they’re messy: it’s because my kids NEVER throw empty packets out! Drives me bonkers!
    I spotted a bunch of out of date stuff on one shelf, this weekend I will have a clearout.

  • #195250
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh yeah, finished a packet of quinoa/couscous/something else I forget by cooking it for lunch tomorrow. I like this because it makes a really nice salad if you chuck some roasted veg in and a few bits like feta cheese, or real salad ingredients like tomatoes. It’s also extremely healthy but has a nice texture and is a good salad base. Must remember to chuck some things into it and take to uni tomorrow.
    Finished some old French bread by turning it into breadcrumbs and making homemade chicken nuggets for dinner.

  • #195271
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    My pantry is in need of cleaning again too. I’ve stayed out of the kitchen for ages, and let the boyfriend do his thing, but I was looking for something the other day and could not find anything in the general mess.

  • #196497

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered and rearranged one shelf of the pantry.

  • #196507
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    why does the pantry keep getting messy?
    the same reason the entire kitchen keeps getting messy.
    because it is getting used all day long by various people….it gets a lot of traffic and sees a lot of action.
    i cannot bear a grimy or messy kitchen, but it’s the one place i will tolerate a bit of clutter.
    there is often work in progress….and i prefer lots of open shelving and tools hanging on hooks, so i’ve got access to stuff. it looks busy.
    i have been in several designer kitchens with walls of cupboards and nothing on the benches whatsoever…..and they just aren’t my style.
    cooking anything was a nightmare of opening cupboards and drawers…..and everything felt a bit sterile and odd.

  • #196513

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I like that reasoning.

  • #196527
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    ntch, i can tell that you are a keen cook too!

  • #196573
    Avatar of Irulan
    Irulan
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’m the opposite when it comes to kitchens. I get very overwhelmed by having everything out in the open. I like to have an area for each dish so that I can focus on one thing at a time, and I clean up some as I go along. Well-designed drawers and cupboards improve accessibility because I can put things away if I don’t need them for a while. That’s especially helpful on holidays when I need to have up to a half-dozen dishes all ready to serve at the same time.

    My pantry gets cluttered because I don’t have a real pantry in my small apartment kitchen. I have one cupboard between the fridge and the stove that holds spices, oils, canned soup, and coffee/tea items. I keep the least-used items on the highest shelf because I’m so short, but it still gets messy pretty quickly. I don’t tend to buy much shelf-stable food.

    How do you other apartment dwellers deal with canned goods? They’re hard to stack.

  • #196578
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    i guess i don’t keep a lot of canned stuff.
    i just line them up on a shelf:
    crushed tomatoes
    corn kernels
    evaporated milk
    condensed milk
    chickpeas
    kidney beans
    borlotti beans
    lentils
    baked beans
    maybe four to six cans of each? and only that many because we live in the sticks.

    we always seem to have swarms of jam though!

    today, my glass jars arrived in the post and i spent HOURS washing them, removing the stickers, drying them, and filling them with stuff, then arranging them in the pantry.
    it looks so nice and clean and orderly in there now.

    and i realise i need a whole new pantry.
    i can repurpose the current one for linen and general storage, and get a new one made to better specifications (more shelves, closer together, cut to the height of the jars, and shallower! and right to the ceiling!
    and zomg, i can probably do away entirely with the doors too.

  • #196602
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered and neatened the pantry (and frig) as I now have all my thanksgiving
    food bought and put away. well, not the produce or the turkey just yet.
    I am so looking forward to a small-ish immediate family group of 15, as opposed to the 30-ish
    crowds I’ve had in the past. the same will go for Christmas.
    I love hosting big parties of family, friends and such, but sometimes “just say no” has to be
    the mantra.

  • #196658
    Avatar of Irulan
    Irulan
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I hear you on downsizing the parties, irishbell. My parents used to host parties on that scale when I was a teen, and I was always press-ganged into kitchen duty! One the one hand, it was a lot of fun, but on the other hand, I really enjoy being able to leave the kitchen every now and again.
    bandicoot, that’s a pretty good amount of canned stuff! I’ve got about 8 cans of things total, they just annoy me because they get in the way of my spices.

  • #196665

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Rearranged stuff and started a tomato-related cabinet and moved the waffle maker to another empty space high up.

  • #196698
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    You’re making me think that I should move my cans to the other side of the pantry. I have one drawer of cans and one of jars, but they’re hard to see because they’re down low so I can’t see the labels unless I bend down. If I put them on a shelf the other side I could see them easier.
    The high shelves and drawers are an issue: too high and I can’t see what’s there and things get lost behind stuff. Maybe I need to go the bandicoot storage jar route. It gets annoying with pasta though: my kids eat mountains of the stuff so I spend forever filling up jars and then having to remember cooking times for different shapes.
    Uncluttered a massive lot of veg and some tinned cannelini beans into minestrone soup, which I’ve been eating for 2 days straight. Yum.

  • #196719
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Hmmm, Lottie, I just start with 6 minutes for shapes and then taste test from there.

  • #196782
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Pkilmain: I buy an Italian brand and a supermarket brand: the former is usually 10-13 minutes and the latter 8-10, but occasionally I mistake a shape for the wrong brand and end up massively over or undercooking it! Which the kids don’t care about but dh moans. There is always far too much chaos in the kitchen to faff about checking every minute: I’m usually busy cooking a separate dinner for dh and me, lots of different veggies for my fussy kids who have no overlaps in their tastes, making juice for ds2, tidying up the kitchen, tripping over the cats who want feeding…If it wasn’t for timers nothing would get cooked at all!
    Ntch: your banana bread has infiltrated my consciousness: I have some cooking in the oven. Hopefully everyone will like it: I seem to have lots of bananas permanently cluttering the kitchen. I’ve also found that freezing muffins or cake is handy for lunchboxes or snacks, especially right now as there is no food in the larder other than ingredients. LOTS of ingredients!

  • #196786

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    My main pantry has movable shelving boards so that I can change the height of the shelves to fit the size of the cans/stuff I want to store in them. It gives a nice option to me so I can change the shelving space/height from time to time if I want (which I haven’t in a long while). I start the shelving very high on one pantry so I can store art supplies on the bottom.

    Seed planted on thinking about best utilization of and convenience for storage space. Uh-oh…

  • #196787
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Got it Lottie – mostly it’s just me in the kitchen, though if we’re having fish, the cats are underfoot here as well.

  • #196794
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Today we used up the last of the sugar cubes (part of my fantasy life food stash).

  • #196798
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    if you cook lots of different kinds of pasta, then maybe it would make life easier if you made a master list of shapes and cooking times and kept it inside a cookbook or on a noticeboard or fridge door?
    under or overcooked pasta is just inedible….i am all for putting on the timer and getting it right with the least amount of checking and rechecking.

    we are feeling vegetarian and slaw-hungry today, so lunch was a slaw with cabbage, carrot, onion, ginger, green apple, tomato, mint and a classic thai dressing (2 tblsp each of sweet chilli, fish sauce, fresh lime), with toasted peanuts and marinated fried tofu chunks.
    and dinner is corn fritters with a simpler slaw. and dried pawpaw spears.

  • #196805
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Lucy: how can sugar cubes be part of a fantasy life? I have some every day in my coffee. The posh brown ones though, I prefer them to the too-regularly-sized white ones!
    Bandicoot: I’m getting hungry just reading about your meals, they sound yummy!
    The banana bread was a big hit with everyone apart from ds1, who dislikes bananas. It was unbelievably easy to make too, no creaming butter and sugar, just melted butter chucked straight in. Next time walnuts would be nice too. Ds2 was so excited about it he pretty much sat in the kitchen for an entire hour watching the timer and giving regular updates!

  • #196840

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered the pantry and fridge:

    1. crock pot chile (came out “okay” – needs some doctoring up)

    2. crustless, mostly sugarless, dairy-free (coconut milk) pumpkin “pie”

    lottielot: glad to hear it was a big hit and lol re Ds2 watching and giving updates.

  • #196860
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    LOL on the “slaw feeling” bandicoot. We were at a potluck dinner last night, and there was an amazing cabbage slaw there. It was my green veg for the meal, and I had fruit salad for dessert.

  • #196871

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    My pantry was bare following a declutter and organizing, but is now stuffed after my holiday shopping trip (stocked up for through the end of the month, plus a lot of the unusual things I bought will be used for Christmas too – I plan to bake and do candy with my kids).

  • #196872
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    lottie: I bought them when I thought I was going to have people over for tea. For various reasons, that didn’t happen, so when cleaning off a shelf I took them down and put them with our morning tea things.

  • #196909

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Cleared out a pantry shelf as part of a rearranging pantry [again] project.

  • #197181

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered the pantry and fridge of banana, flour, diff kinds of sugars and sweeteners, mayo, pumpkin, coconut milk, evaporated milk and etc etc into more banana bread and crustless sugar free pumpkin pie to give away; and eggplant cheese tom etc etc into eggplant casserole – this one I may keep for the leg of lamb dinner. Will declutter the rotisserie chicken into stock and chicken curry w/ papadam and mincemeat.

  • #197184
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    we are still chewing through mountains of slaw here!
    we’ll get sick of it eventually and be all about green salads again.
    last night’s slaw had a different dressing….i whisked chunky peanut butter into apple cider vinegar, added a little salt and sweet chilli sauce.
    it made a creamy tart spicy sweet dressing for cabbage/apple/carrot/onion/red pepper with sunflower and pumpkin seeds plus dried cranberries.

  • #197254
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Beetroot into beetroot tzatziki and some roasted ones for making a salad with for a weekend lunch (for me, nobody else eats beetroot). I love your slaws, bandicoot. I have some smoked mackerel in the fridge and lots of potatoes so I’m thinking a salad with mackerel, sliced boiled potatoes and lettuce would be nice. In summer I put green beans in too, and lots of mustard. I love big salads which have everything you need in them.
    On Wednesday I thought dh was out but he was home (misread his calendar) so I made bubble and squeak with roast leftovers (chicken, lots of uneaten cooked veg) and some mash, crisped it under the grill and put a fried egg on top, yum! Usually I make a pie but this was a good change.
    Sweet potatoes? None of us like them, any suggestions? I can deal with most root veg from the vegbox, but not this.

  • #197262
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh gosh, we love sweet potatoes here! You can bake them in a pie like pumpkin, or make a soup (lots of online recipe, squash ones work as well). We eat them just as we would white potato. Oh, you can also slice really thin, coat with a bit of oil and bake into a chip….

  • #197270
    Avatar of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I am also surprised, lottielot, that your family isn’t into sweet potatoes. I love them. We especially like them in a Jamaican-inspired stew we make – it is basically sweet potatoes, chicken, spicy curry powder (the Jamaican kind), and green onions. Point being, maybe if you use them in something spicy or bold-flavored, the sweetness will balance out. Sweet potato chips or fries are also tasty, as pkilmain pointed out. Good luck!

  • #197312
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Yeah, I think spicing things up is the way to go, will hunt out a few recipes. Actually, I think I had a sweet potato Thai veggie curry recently, that could be nice. It’s just a bit too sweet for my palate when roasted, and the kids haven’t liked it but I could deffo try the chips on them, thanks for the ideas! I like finding new ways of using up veggies, my next challenge is Jerusalem artichokes, I have millions of them at the allotment!

  • #197337
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    lottielot: Here’s a sweet potato recipe link found in the Simplifried section of our site. Looks scrumptious!

    http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/11/sweet-potato-and-marshmallow-biscuits/

  • #197339
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    DH requested one of my vegetable soups today so we can let our systems recover a bit from this week’s excesses. I didn’t have anything in the house that I usually use (carrot, squash, potato, celery, etc) so I went through the fridge, freezer and pantry for anything about to expire and boiled it all up in some chicken broth with an onion. I need to puree it and get some of the tomato skins out and spice it to taste… think it will be ok tho.

    used up:
    one can white beans (about to expire)
    one can diced tomato (also about to expire)
    some leftover garbanzo beans
    some fresh-but-withering cherry tomatoes
    a bag of frozen leeks which were developing ice crystals
    an onion
    one pint of free range chicken broth
    two frozen crushed garlic tabs from a half used container (found another half used container in the freezer, oops.)
    not sure what spices yet… need to blend it first to see what it needs.

  • #197342
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I’m proud of the meal plan; its aim is to use up something from the fridge, freezer and/or pantry every day. Unbelievable how much there is to use really. I think I’ll try not to have as expanded a pantry again, but will work on making meal plans again and buy according to menu needs instead of purchasing random items for Justin. It is a monetary investment after all and at times like this I have to be careful of my spending. Trying to look at it as a challenge rather than restriction.

  • #197345
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    sweet potatoes = soup.

    fry onions/garlic/ginger/curry powder in a neutral oil.
    add chopped scrubbed sweet potatoes, plus anything else you have lying around.
    carot, celery, corn, turnip….nothing cruciferous though.
    cover with chicken stock, or water, and a chopped tomato or two.
    simmer until soft, add coconut cream or the coconut cream powder. a big knob of peanut butter is awesome too.
    blend until smooth, test for seasoning, serve with chopped mint or basil or coriander or all three plus scallions.

    we also like sweet potato salad.
    steam cubes of sweet potato.
    chop red onion. peel oranges and cut into chunks.
    make a sweet vinaigrette with brown sugar and curry powder, lots of parsley/mint.
    you want it to be sweet, tart, spicy and full of zingy herbs.
    mix vinaigrette into oranges, onions, sweet potato, add some sultanas or raisins.
    yum.

  • #197362
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Ella: pmsl at those biscuits with little faces! My kids would definitely lurve those, particularly with marshmallows!
    Thanks for the ideas, bandicoot :)
    I finally finished the strawberries in the freezer: after a run I have a banana milkshake with added yoghurt and some frozen berries to make it cold and add extra yumminess. I think I finished the raspberries, I just finished the strawberries, now it’s on to the currants. I was going to make jam, but this is healthier and my stash should last me till June when the fruit is back in season.

  • #197391
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I just got an EPIPHANY, people. If you are anything like me, there are maaany tea types in your pantry. Lately I have had coffee only and some of them are a few years old so I want to use them before they die on me. The solution? *drum roll*

    TEA ADVENT CALENDAR

    I have sixteen kinds as well as an ice tea and a brand new, still unopened one as gift from India, so while I do have eighteen teas, I will use sixteen and some of them twice. I have to add that five are the teaser-sized Kusmi but still. No more tea hoarding. Off to put some calendar post-its on the jars! I might even make a tea while waiting for 1 December; it’s not like I will run out before the 24th… Haha.

  • #197410
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    nina, that is a lovely idea!

    we used to have a lot of tea clutter here, but we finally worked out our favourites and we stick to those most of the time.
    i discovered kusmi tea and mariages freres in paris and was only saved by my one-bag travel policy!
    the packaging is very appealing and the teas we tasted were simply divine. hard to go past.

  • #197412

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Nina; I love that idea too! And it fits in with the diet much better than djk’s equally lovely idea of sticking magnets on candy tins :)

    {scrambling to the huge tea caddy to see if this will work — and maybe a packed of cocoa for Christmas eve . . . }

  • #197415
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Yesterday DH went to the cold storage for facial tissues; he said “There’s really not a lot down there at the moment.”

    He’s right, but everything down there we use! There used to be so much that we bought in bulk and never used up before it hit the expiration date, and now — particularly since it’s usually just the two of us — nearly all of our food actually fits in the kitchen! We bulk buy rice, sugar, diced tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and some dry goods (toilet paper, facial tissue, dishwasher salt and trash bags), and take containers downstairs to fill when we need to.

  • #197416
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thanks! When I open the door, my cupboard smiles at me with its silly postits and I smile back. Susan, I have saved for Christmas eve my last tea flower, you know one of those things that is an oval ball when dry and then opens up in water. Have saved it for a special occasion and 24th is it.

  • #197419

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Ninakk: I checked the tea stash and there are 16 different varieties of bags. Yikes! Trying to figure out how to arrange it for advent. Really like this idea.

  • #197420
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    ninakk: I absolutely LOVE your Advent Tea idea! I hope you’ll start a separate thread for us. It would be so fun to see what everybody’s drinking each day. I just counted 20 different teas and herbals in my cupboard. Yikers! Didn’t realize I had so many boxes stashed behind the front ranks.

  • #197421
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Hey, that is a nice idea, Ella! A bit of slowing down over a cup of tea – shall I put the kettle on?

  • #197425
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    LOL – I have two kinds of tea in my cupboard: English Breakfast, which I drink all the time; and a pomegranate rooibus which DH bought me. Smells divine, taste, eh. I’m trying to find someone who likes it so I can pass it on.

  • #197426
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    i am always up for a cup of tea.
    sencha for me.

  • #197440

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered the pantry and fridge and made to [mostly] give away, honey cake and chicken soup.

  • #197539
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    i have just taken an armenian nutmeg cake from the oven.
    it is for visitors at morning tea tomorrow.
    it occurs to me that it is a very delicious spicy festive, but light, sort of cake and perhaps i should make one for christmas rather than the entire christmas cake ordeal, which is fine in the winter here, but is just too rich and heavy in the steamy sunny mid-30°Cs.
    hmm, i shall ponder more tomorrow when we are eating it.

  • #197577
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Nutmeg cake? That sounds delicious! I made a cardamom cake a while ago, I love cakes with spices in, mmm. Can’t stand Christmas pudding, much too strong tasting for all of us. I must remind dh not to buy one this year, nor Christmas cake, as none of us likes it. We’ve already demolished a whole packet of mini mince pies though, and it’s not even December yet!
    Dh asked me to make mash and then he’ll cook bubble and squeak with leftover gammon when he comes home. Proper winter food!
    I have lots of leftover apples again so I’m going to make some kind of apple cake or pudding with them, or jersey black butter, I found a recipe but keep forgetting to make it.

  • #197584

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I love Christmas cake, the old fashioned English sort. I’ve made it only a couple of times – it was delicious – but maybe I’ll make it this year for dear friends who will be visiting during Christmas. Oh, forgot, she loves my fresh ginger cake with apples – so I’ll make that and maybe a pumpkin bread and maybe a Kahlua chocolate chip chocolate cake.

    I love cakes with spices too. Have to try a cardamon cake. There’s a chocolate cake with chinese 5 spice recipe that is currently making the food blog rounds. I’d like to try baking that one as well:

    http://almostbourdain.blogspot.com/2010/05/flourless-chinese-five-spice-chocolate.html

    Decluttered the pantry and fridge and made curried chicken salad with raisins and mincemeat and water chestnuts and celery – yum.

  • #197611
    Avatar of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    bandicoot – I think you are going to have to share the nutmeg cake recipe. Sounds completely delicious. I’m a big fan of nutmeg (ever since my mom had me put a dash under my pillow at night for sweet dreams as a kid) as well as light-tasting cakes.

    ninakk – Tea advent calendar sounds AWESOME and a good way to slow down and enjoy the month of December. Please do start a separate thread as Ella suggested. I don’t have too many teas (over the years I’ve started to pare down to the favorites), but I have enough that I could still take part.

  • #197648
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    http://unclutterer.com/discuss/topic/tea-advent-calendar

    sleepykitten, it’s already up and running. Join us!

  • #197773

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered the pantry and fridge into soup for friends in town.

  • #197788
    Avatar of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    bandicoot, another request for the nutmeg cake recipe.

  • #198265

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered the pantry and fridge into 2 recipes of cake mostly for a couple and a family in town.

  • #198268

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Softened the rock-hard brown sugar left over from the last time I made cookies — ummm — a year or more ago — into pecan tassies for the MIL’s Christmas party on Thursday. Also put a half bag of last year’s smashed (with a hammer on purpose) candy canes into a big batch of peppermint meringue cookies. Well, the pecans were fresh. So were the eggs :) Don’t tell her about the other stuff.

  • #198277
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Sugar lasts forever, susan!
    Lots of fruit into juice, a heap of root veg and greens into a healthy soup with barley and cannelini beans. Love this sort of soup!
    A breakthrough: my kids will now both eat goats cheese. I always seem to end up chucking half of it out as I was the only one to eat it. We actually finished the posh stuff I bought at a recent farmer’s market though.

  • #198322
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    sorry, i didn’t see the recipe requests until now!
    i used this recipe:
    http://www.food.com/recipe/armenian-nutmeg-cake-62761
    they are all pretty much the same…..easy, no mixer required, and delicious cake!

  • #198586

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttered the fridge and pantry by making veg soup w/ baby carrots, onions, mustard cabbage, tom, old wine, dehydrated onion soup mix. Something healthy that should last me for a while. I can add in fish or other protein when reheating it later.

  • #198685

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttering the pantry by preparing a care package for friends who will be in town soon. Mayo, ketchup, tuna, mustard, laundry detergent so far.

  • #198801
    Avatar of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I plan a drinks cabinet declutter over Christmas, we’ll find out what is lurking in the back and set a challenge to DS to research and mix some cocktails while he’s home that use up what we have in there. We do have some champagne, wine and port specially for Christmas so won’t be only drinking strange concoctions!

  • #198838

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Have another friend in town until Friday so made her a cake so she could taste it and decide whether to make it as well. It’s baking as we speak. Decluttered the pantry of flour, oil, spices etc and fridge of eggs and juice. Can’t wait to have a bit hot out of the oven. I’ll use some as Christmas/holiday gift treats as well.

  • #198840
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Hmmm, Netleigh, drinks night at your house could be interesting this month! :)

  • #198845
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Haha, my parents never gave me a challenge to check the bar cupboard out. Turns out they had drink mixers from the 70′s in there and some of them are actually still drinkable so those were passed on to sis and I. I don’t know why but mom doesn’t see why someone would want a cocktail, since “Oh but if you have a strong one right before dinner, your taste buds will be all numb so no, I’m not serving cocktail before dinner but am sticking to my bubbly”. Okay, but hello, it’s not only before dinner that one can have a cocktail though… She should ask me when one can have one, I know. Just like Netleigh does ask her son. Tsk tsk.

  • #198878
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I just made pizza dough partly out of rye flour, because I ran out of white & wheat flour.

  • #198967
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Well, who would have thought. Hubby left for two weeks’ vacation today and I thought I would see how much I can make to eat out of what we have already. I have all ingredients, freezer included for dinners tomorrow, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For today and Thursday I need to by half the meal and Tuesday is still a question mark, because I get guests then. Then it’s only a bit more for breakfast and lunch each day, but I do have about half the ingredients for all those meals, too.

  • #199053

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Plans for holiday baking gifts, decluttering the pantry fridge and freezer:

    1. banana bread
    2. fresh ginger cake, maybe w/ frozen peaches instead of apples
    3. honey cake
    4. pumpkin bread
    5. choc choc chip kahlua cake
    6. blondies
    7. almond crackers (for myself)
    8. pumpkin custard (for myself)
    9. peanut butter brownies/cake/bars
    10. corn bread

  • #199096

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Finished baking 3 loaves banana/orange bread, 6 loaves pumpkin bread, 2 recipes of almond crackers and 2 recipes of pumpkin custard.

  • #199235
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Made a nutmeg cake which I’m busy uncluttering rather rapidly! Really yummy. I’ve also been using up stuff from the freezer: frying steak which I marinated and stir fried, and a beef, chilli and chocolate pie which was pretty good. There’s quite a bit still lurking in there so I will tackle more this week so I can actually fit more stuff in there. We have lots of stock so I’m thinking risotto and vegetable soup to use up some of the root veg from the veg box. I have lots of beetroot to start using from the allotment, time for some more recipes.

  • #199239

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Love me my beetroot and tops even more. There’s a beetroot cake recipe making the food blog rounds. I love beets just cut and boiled, drained with a pat of butter and salt and pepper. I like the roasted ones from Whole foods too. I’ve never roasted beets but it probably would be simple and easy to do. I also have put beets in as one of the vegs baked with pot roast. My grandmother used to make a great pickled beets with fresh onions.

  • #199243
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Lottie, I cooked, then sliced and froze the last of my beets – or I thought I had. DH brought me another dozen or so that I now have to deal with. I also have a lot that I pickled and canned. We eat them both hot and cold.

    I’m considering a CSA when we get back from Hawaii. We had one a couple year’s back, and while I have no need of it in summer or fall, it fills in the lean time of late winter and spring when our own frozen and canned stipuff is done and we’re craving fresh stuff. Of course, this is not local veg – it is flown here from Washington state (and is organic). Hard to reconcile to eating locally, but essentially all our food that’s not from our home garden is flown or barged here. We do have one organic farm that operates in the summer with a CSA and selling at farmers’ markets, and two semi-commercial farms that grow potatos and carrots.

  • #199255
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thanks for the ideas:) I just found another recipe which sounds good:
    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3215/warm-mackerel-and-beetroot-salad
    I love mackerel salads, and I still have rocket at the allotment to use up too, maybe some of the Jerusalem artichokes sliced thinly for extra crunch too. I may steal your idea of cooking and freezing beetroot, pkilmain, though I have to get rid of some of the frozen stuff cluttering up the freezer first! I made risotto with bacon, yellow peppers and peas for dinner, I keep buying big packs of peppers and they needed using up too.
    Pkilmain: it seems like where you live you are forced to eat imported food, either that or have scurvy!

  • #199277
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Whey… what to do with it? I always have a big pot of whey left over from making ricotta. I hate to just pour it down the drain, but what else is it good for? A friend of mine suggested I could feed it to a pig… if only I had a pig at hand.

  • #199279
    Avatar of PJ
    PJ
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    @Ella, what about using it as the liquid required to bake bread? Or the liquid to mash potatoes? Creamy soup? Cook porridge in it?

    Here’s one example of the internet’s answer to the question of what to do with whey …

    http://ask.metafilter.com/30439/Curds-and-way-too-much-whey

  • #199284

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Whey: how about freezing it in ice cube trays and throwing a couple in with a smoothie? I BUY powdered whey for my smoothies :) I think it would also work in a soup like cream of mushroom. I second the bread idea — sort of like using potato water for potato bread.

    I used up all but one of the end-of-season eggplants from the garden to make baba ganoush, which we had with vegetable crudites last night along with homemade lentil/kale soup. All was delicious and bursting with healthy ingredients. Think I will make a little ratatouille with the remaining one — a little is a novel concept. I usually make enough to feed Paris.

  • #199290
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Ella: I’m intrigued about you saying you make ricotta. Tell us more! I LOVE fresh ricotta but it’s impossible to find here without travelling an hour to a specialist Italian shop.
    Defrosted some spag bol sauce and some courgette fritters for dinner. The quest to dig out the freezer continues, it desperately needs defrosting as it’s half full of ice. Maybe a ‘complete by the new year’ task…

  • #199301
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    PJ and SIT: Thanks for the ideas and link. I saved a quart of whey in the fridge. I think I’ll use it for pancakes instead of buttermilk. Or maybe for cooking rice. Freezing it for smoothies is a great idea! What a shame that I’ve been throwing it away all these years.

    lottielot: It’s very easy to make your own ricotta. I make a fresh batch every week or so. I learned how to make ricotta on the first day of a culinary vacation in Umbria. We made it with sheep’s milk, which is super rich, and it was curdled with the enzymes in the lining of a lamb’s stomach. But our cheesemaker/shepherd teacher said we could make it at home with cow’s milk and lemon juice. For the rest of the week, we ate our ricotta every morning spread on toast and drizzled with chestnut honey. And that’s what I had for breakfast today. Mmmm-MMM! Let me know if you want my recipe.

  • #199308
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I want it – I love ricotta…..

  • #199310
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    OK, here’s the ricotta recipe. Measurements are US:

    Rinse out a 4-quart pan with cold water. The thin layer of water will help prevent the milk from sticking.

    Heat ½ gallon (2 quarts) of organic whole milk over medium-low heat. Stir in a small pinch of salt. Set a timer for 5-minute increments. Every 5 minutes, stir well and check the temperature. The temp should rise about 10 degrees F for each 5 minutes. Adjust the heat if the temp is rising too fast or too slow. Do not let the milk come to a boil or form a skin on top. When small bubbles form all the way around the edge (between 160°F and 170°F) and the milk just begins to smell “cooked,” stir in about ¼ cup
    (4 tablespoons) of freshly squeezed and strained organic lemon juice. Curds should begin to form right away; but if not, stir in another tablespoon of lemon juice.

    Cover the pan and set aside off the heat. Let rest about 2 hours. Slowly and carefully skim the curds and transfer each skimmerful into a colander lined with a damp cheesecloth. Let drain briefly in the colander. Then gather up the edges of the cloth into a bundle and twist the top to squeeze out some of the excess whey. Don’t wring out too much whey or the ricotta will be dry and crumbly. Let hang to cool and drain over the sink, then store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to
    1 week.

  • #199339
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thanks, Ella. I just popped it into Evernote, my new toy for saving recipes. I can pull them up on my iPad in the kitchen. Works like a charm.

  • #199355
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Wow, thanks Ella! Mmmmm, I am so going to have to try this, it does sound pretty straightforward. I’m going into town later so I will pop into the cookery shop and buy some muslin and some lemons. And full fat milk, I only have semi skimmed. Can’t wait to try this!

  • #199359
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    this also how you make paneer.
    paneer needs a further step of resting in the cheesecloth and colander with something heavy on top of it to press it into a block.
    makes absolutely delicious curry.

  • #199380
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    You can tweak that ricotta recipe to your taste, using different types of milk, more or less lemon or salt, cooking to a higher temp, etc., any of which will result in different flavor, texture, and possibly yield. Don’t be surprised that you’ll only get a fist-sized ball of cheese from 2 quarts of milk. Just save the whey and use it as suggested above. :)

  • #199384

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Yums! I’ll try it with goat milk, which much to my surprise when I first tried it a couple of years ago is absolutely fabulous!!! And the whey will go into a honey cake or ginger cake :P

    Today’s pantry clean up = almond crackers with almond meal received as a present just the other day :D Made it for the giver so she can taste it. I’m enjoying baking with alternative flours. Exploring baking and cooking with almond flour.

  • #199430

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttering the pantry and fridge to make Kahlua Amaretto whiskey chocolate chip chocolate sour cream cake which I will give away along with peppermint whipped cream :P

  • #199467

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    More decluttering the pantry and fridge to make blondies, double recipe, to give away for Christmas today.

  • #199473
  • #199474
    Avatar of candy
    candy
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    ntch: you’re making me drool!! :)

  • #199476
    Avatar of patia
    patia
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Added vanilla wafers (crumbled) that I found in the pantry to some peppermint bark. Turned out nicely, if I do say so. Dipping pretzels in chocolate will remove another bag from the pantry. Made dark bark with bacon and peanuts, which used up a lot up chocolate chips.

  • #199506
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I forgot to visit the kitchen shop for muslin and our milkman had the day off today so this ricotta is on hold for a few days. I did make some curried red lentils though, using up root veg, a jar of green curry sauce and of course, red lentils. Tasted delicious, I’m going to have the leftovers for lunch. I should eat more lentils, they’re so healthy and versatile.

  • #199513

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttering the pantry, fridge, and freezer of butter, flour, honey, molasses, sugar, ginger, spices, peaches to make peach ginger bread to give away to a friend who has just had a death in the family. He picked it out from the long list of choices I gave him so ginger bread it is, with a peach twist that is.

  • #199542
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    So… I tried using the whey for cooking rice, instead of using water. It boiled up faster than water, spilled over, made a big mess. Plus whatever trace fats were still in there curdled up from being reheated (they don’t call it “ricotta” for nothing!). Fortunately I hadn’t stirred in the rice yet, so I poured the curdled liquid through a sieve and back into the pan and added enough water to make up for what was lost (now roughly 2/3 whey and 1/3 water). Now it’s cooking quite nicely… oh, just finished… time to taste… It’s just fine. Not really tasting much different than with water only, but the grains plumped up quite a bit more. And of course lots of extra nutrients. So I will dub it a success, and be more watchful of the pot next time.

  • #199575

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Decluttering the pantry, fridge, and freezer to make pumpkin custard and slow cooker stew using various meats, carrots, onions, onion soup mix, tom, kale, okra.

    I gave away the ginger bread and neighbor gave me some Christmas treats so promptly passed that along as well. I picked up a kabocha pumpkin and will do something with that in the slow cooker next. It lasts a long time out so don’t have to worry about making something right away.

  • #199614
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Turkey curry yesterday, turkey rolls and turkey noodle soup today. Turkey shepherds pie tomorrow, then the cats will get the rest of it :) I also used up stuff from the cupboard and freezer yesterday making pancakes with raspberries simmered with cinnamon and vanilla. Verrrry nice!

  • #199623
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I made some curried lentil soup. Supposed to have red lentils, but I didn’t have any. Tastes pretty much the same with green/brown, but a rather unappetizing color! :) Also earlier in the week I made some fresh pea soup (as opposed to dried split peas) with some of our frozen peas from the garden. It was amazingly good and I’ll do it again.

  • #199627
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    omg i fell into the worst trap this week.
    i thought i was too old and cynical to get caught like this….but i did.
    i spotted a brick of lavazza coffee at an incredible price….so i snapped up two of them. two KILOS.
    of course, i get it home and it is minutes from it’s expiry date and it is the worst-tasting coffee EVER because of this.
    fortunately, i can use it all eventually to make soap with, so it isn’t wasted.
    but sheesh.

    we have to work this morning : then this afternoon my cyclone-pantry-prep supplies are arriving…..so i have an hour in between to give the pantry a quick clean and tidy up to get ready for the incoming stuff.
    i like to lay in a generous week or two of supplies at this time of year, so we can share if required.
    additionally, it’s a little less stress for everyone if we aren’t involved in the panicked last minute run to the stores whenever a cyclone warning is announced.
    i have been caught before, with no food at home and a supermarket stripped bare….a whole entire huge supermarket without a thing in it!….and all roads north cut for weeks and lots of talk of helicopters dropping off food, or food being brought up the coast, thousands of kilometres, by barge.
    so, now i like to have a bit of tinned milk and beans and tomatoes and dry goods set aside.

  • #199641
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    right!
    got all that stowed away.
    and cooked down the last of the tomatoes from the garden into several cups of very concentrated tomato puree, and got those into the freezer.
    while i was in the freezer (just a regular freezer compartment hanging off the bottom of the fridge) i tipped the peas and corn and berries into square plastic containers that stack.
    it looks really organised and good in there!
    the containers were freed up after a workshop reshuffle and i have been wondering what do with them.

  • #199660
    Avatar of candy
    candy
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I uncluttered some boneless chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, garlic, white wine, vegetable stock and thyme into a really great improvised chicken casserole. Threw in a dash of cream and some truffle oil just before serving. Delicious! And leftovers for tomorrow!

  • #199756
    Avatar of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Finally done with all the holiday-related madness/traveling/etc. and looking forward to joining the pantry clean-up game. I mentioned on another thread that my husband and I are facing a stricter budget in 2012, so I need to get more creative about cooking tasty, nutritious meals with what we have. Lentils, here we come! :) (Fortunately, I really enjoy lentils. And I have a vast spice collection to aid in doctoring them up.)

    I have a horrible tendency (I am deeply ashamed of it) to allow food to go bad in the fridge. I do cook a lot, and I’m a decent “improvisational” cook when I put my mind to it. Mostly it’s that I get super busy and tend to forget about, say, the greens that are about to wilt.

    So for me, the pantry clean-up game needs to also be the fridge clean-up game. And the frugality game. They all fit together, don’t they!

  • #199846
    Avatar of candy
    candy
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Oh, sleepykitten – I have the same problem. I love to cook, and I also loooove to buy new things to try out. The problem is that I quite often don’t get around to using all the stuff I buy in time, and so it goes bad. Resolution for the new year: meal planning, and if I buy things to try out I have to really try them out within the week. Meal planning ftw.

  • #199853
    Avatar of Northshore
    Northshore
    Participant

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Fed the last of the Christmas tenderloin to the grandchildren for lunch. Kids that young should not be so fond of good beef. This may have been a mistake on my part.

  • #199899
    Avatar of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    candy – it’s good to know that I am not alone in my struggles to use up food! I agree, meal planning is the key. Another goal to work on in 2012. :)

  • #199919
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Blackcurrant and white chocolate muffins, eventually I will use up some of the masses of baking ingredients in the larder. And the eggs were pretty close to their use by date, so I put 2 in instead of 1 and ended up with extra tasty muffins which the kids liked, albeit the tops were a tad crunchy. Also did a root veggie pilaf thingy with a bit of quinoa and a tin of vegetable curry which needed using up. Next up will be soaking some pulses and then looking for recipes for them.

  • #212419
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I need to use up a load of dry stuff in the pantry and was wondering whether there are others to join me? Summer is arriving and I need to eat more mindfully as well as healthier, so planning some meals based on soon expiring things would be great for both bottom and wallet.

  • #212887
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    I took a detailed inventory of the freezer the other day and just cleaned out the fridge, in which there’s almost nothing to use up within a few days except some veggies.

    I’m working on going back to my weekly schedule, because it drives me nuts to spend more time than necessary thinking about home maintenance instead of just getting it done. So grocery shopping on Saturday it is, but the meal planning this time is a little bit more complicated than normally due to the pantry clean-up game. Will ponder and look up some new recipes, then post a plan for the next 6-7 days.

  • #212888
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Good work ninakk! A weekly schedule worked best for me when I was a long way from the store, but now that I can walk to the store in a few minutes I’ve gone to mostly day-to-day planning and keeping only a handful of staples and frozen items around. I still am in a rut of cooking the same things all the time. I really need to break out the recipe collection and do something new!

  • #212935
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Thanks! I had hoarded some chicken recipes a year ago and decided to try one; will make dinner two evenings. Thought I’d make it today, but obviously forgot the chicken breasts in the freezer last night *eye roll* One perk is I won’t have to cook from scratch twice today :D

    Meal plan Friday – Wednesday:
    Fr lunch carrot soup, dinner leftover meat with some dying potatoes

    Sa lunch carrot soup, dinner chicken with dried plums (have a few of the latter left) and rice (needs to be used up)
    http://www.marthastewart.com/313001/braised-chicken-with-dried-plums

    Su lunch slice of christmas ham (…) with small salad, dinner chicken leftovers

    Mo lunch eating out, dinner improv couscous with bell peppers and zucchini
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/company-couscous/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=couscous&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

    Tu lunch couscous leftovers, dinner chanterelle soup

    We lunch soup leftovers, dinner whatever is still leftovers

    The grocery list is shockingly short; box of champignons as addition to the precious chanterelles and cream for the soup, milk, orange juice, a couple of bananas.

    Eta:
    Dug up two more recipes to use when making the next meal plan, putting some chickpeas and red beans centre stage.

  • #213984
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Used up 1 kg good-quality minced meat (2.2 lbs) from the freezer and more than 8 dl whole-wheat macaroni (27 fl oz). Köttmakaronilåda it became, meat macaroni oven thingy. Sis ate with me and said it was delicious. Pretty good since I’m normally the worse cook out of the two of us. There are two smaller casseroles untouched and a large one that will feed me the two coming days, a dinner a day; rest goes into freezer. Lucky for me it’s been raining today or the kitchen would have felt unbearably hot.

  • #214348
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    can anyone advise how to use a bottle of port wine? We don’t drink it (too sweet) and I was thinking it might make a nice vinegar or something but no idea how to go about it.

    or can I preserve something in it?

  • #214359
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    Gosh I love port wine, but not on its own! I love combining it with either high-quality chocolate or cheese as dessert.

  • #214360
    Avatar of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    You can cook with it, game or venison casserole with port, cumberland sauce for ham, red cabbage with port, port jelly.
    It will be good for cooking with for longer after opening the bottle than it would be for drinking.

  • #214368
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    portwine is super for gravy! and with vanilla ice cream. and for selfmade jam and especially plum butter. hmmmmm: now i am hungry :-)

  • #214455
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    The Pantry Clean-Up Game

    wonderful ideas- thank you!

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