Assessing your home cooking environment and pantry
● Self reflection on meal planning and budgeting

My meal planning and budgeting are chaotic at best.  I buy things that can be quickly thrown together using lots of processed foods or less than healthy items.  I usally do not have a list or a plan when grocery shopping.
● Kitchen inventory (pantry and equipment)

Hamburger Helper, Can Soup, Premixed Rice, Frozen Pizza are the staples of my pantry.  Although I do have chopped onions, peppers, carrots and celery in the freezer along with chicken breasts and various other meats.  Missing are things are basically all the dry goods listed flour, sugar, oats, baking soda, baking powder, vinagers, but I do have many spices and seasonings beyond salt and pepper and olive oil, soy sauce, mustard etc.

I do have most of the pots pans and utensils listed on the kitchen cooking basics list except for the cheese grater, mason jars, and dutch oven.

Finding a recipe to make only using items in my pantry was very difficult as my pantry is lacking in several areas.

Recipe 1

Asparagus Soup
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Asparagus Soup
Total Time:1 hr 20 min
Prep:20 min
Cook:1 hr
Yield:8 to 12 servings
3 pounds fresh asparagus, rinsed
8 cups chicken stock  -I used 33% less sodium canned stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter – I only had salted butter
1 cup minced shallots – did not have shallots used combo of white and red onions
1 cup minced leeks, whites only, well rinsed – did not have any
1 tablespoon minced garlic – used more that this
1/2 teaspoon salt  -did not add salt as I used salted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper –only have black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream – used half and half 
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, garnish – used preshredded cheddar cheese
Trim the attractive top tips from the asparagus, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Cut the woody stem ends from each spear and reserve. Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.

Add the decorative tips to the stock and blanch until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a strainer and refresh in an ice water bath. Drain on paper towels and reserve for the garnish. Reserve the stock.

In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add the cream and reserved asparagus tips. Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Alternatively, if serving the soup later, do not add the cream and let cool at room temperature (or in an ice water bath). Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, add the cream and asparagus tips, and warm the soup gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally.


I roasted the onions, garlic, aspargus in oven before adding to soup and blending





Recipe 2


Deviled Eggs
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Total Time:30 min
Prep:30 min
Yield:12 deviled egg halves
6 eggs, hard boiled, cooled, and peeled
2 tablespoons mayonnaise –used premade jar mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard – wow actually  had this in the fridge
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar – used a different vinegar forget the type at the moment
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives – did not have
Hot pepper sauce – used tobasco sauce
Salt and pepper
3 parsley sprigs, for garnish – did not have
Place the cooked egg yolks in a bowl. Using a fork, work the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, chives, and salt and pepper into the yolks to form a smooth paste. Taste. Place 1/2 of this mixture in a small pastry bag with a large star tip. To the remaining mixture, add the jalapenos and season with Hot pepper sauce. Fill 6 of the egg halves with the basic filling. Fill the pastry bag with the jalapeno filling. Fill the remaining egg white halves. Top with paprika. Place on a platter on the radicchio leaves, and parsley sprigs.

I did add some finely diced red onion to this




Deviled eggs.jpg


They did not turn out pretty but I liked the taste 

I definatly have a lot of planning and work ahead of me to make meal planning and cooking part of my normal routine.  It also felt like all I did all day long was do dishes 😀



3 thoughts on “HOME ASSIGNMENT 1:

  1. RobinS says:

    Ha! Cooking does have a tendency to create a seemingly never-ending pile of dishes – definitely my least favorite part of the cooking process!
    You chose some good recipes to highlight the pantry ingredients that you had on hand, and I’d bet your version of the soup was better tasting than the Emeril Lagasse version (roasting all the vegetables was a brilliant idea!).
    You can’t go wrong with deviled eggs, right?
    Do you think you’ll change anything about your pantry, now that you’ve assessed it?
    Thanks for sharing!


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