I agree that a well stocked panty comes in handy. But I think there needs to be a balance between available space, shelf-life, knowledge of key food stuffs and frequency of usage too. I do find myself stocking the pantry a bit more during the winter months—perhaps it’s from living in MN all my life or just being a bit on the type A side. Either way, it came in handy for our assignment! It was nice to have a number of proteins in the freezer too. Alas, I was most certainly missing fresh produce components. A normal week consists of knowing which nights dinner will be prepared at home and the appropriate shopping is done. While not necessarily ideal, it does cut down on the food waste during busy times.
Dish one was a chicken florentine recipe that I found online. I knew I had the majority of ingredients but I was missing spinach–be it fresh or canned. I was going to use frozen peas in lieu of Popeye’s fav but I couldn’t find them in my freezer. So I substituted canned peas. I made sure I had all the other ingredients ready to go and read through the recipe. I liked the idea of this recipe because it used the chicken that I was going to prepare anyway, it had a total time investment of 45 minutes and used one skillet for cooking.
All went well. No fires, spills, burns, or other mishaps. The resident cat even stayed out of the way. It tasted fine too. Would I make it again? Only if I had spinach. Peas are okay but it was just a chicken dish with rice & peas. Nothing uber special. After the meal was completed, I did find the frozen peas on the freezer door. I knew I had frozen peas in there!
Pantry Chili. I was a bit surprised we were to make two recipes for our homework assignment in week 1. It could have been scary if faced with the on hand ingredients found in this refrigerator….
Thankfully, this is merely a new refrigerator we have at work. Whew!
Again, I didn’t have any of the usual fresh items the recipe I received from brother-in-law Bob called for—onion, celery, garlic, etc. I might have even thrown in some green pepper if I had some on hand. Nonetheless, I raided the spice rack and found good options. After browning the hamburger, I threw everything else in the crockpot for one hour (the recipe also included a can of tomato soup that was a bit camera shy). The resident cat’s attention was peaked when the meat was cooking. Thankfully, she didn’t show much interest in any of the prep activity thereafter.
During the chili cooking time, I tinkered with a corn bread/cake mix recipe that I found online that sounded intriguing. In essence, it combines a corn bread mix with a cake mix in equal portions and then follows the cake mix prep and baking instructions. The chili turned out to be much tastier than expected having used only frozen hamburger and pantry parts. Who knew?! It was topped with a little bit of mix shredded cheese before dining. I thought the corn bread muffins were very good too but I think I will make the honey butter next time. Today’s lunch will be a repeat of last night’s dinner. I do enjoy me leftovers!