Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pantry Challenge Report: Week Three - On Track - Sort Of

     Well, I'm doing better. 

After the porkchop frenzy last week, I didn't stop at the grocery store all week, though I was tempted. King Soopers, our local Kroger affiliate, is running a special on pork roast -- 99 cents a pound! But I held back. 

The Brick, bless his heart, now cooks one night a week. Last Monday, he was bound and determined that he needed a green pepper. (This, in spite of his asserting for years that cooked green peppers just 'did something' to his gaseous output.) I got a glimpse of his Sprouts receipt: $11 and change. (He bought some spinach and other stuff, too.) 
    The meal was delicious, and I love it when he cooks. Didn't have the heart to make a fuss out of an extra dollar and change. 
    Our neighbors dropped by with dumpster-dived veggies and fruit. (They got a dozen eggs in return.) Nearly all of it went to the chickens, but I scavenged some for banana bread, and pulled out some limes. I also snagged bread and some hamburger buns from the thrift shop. (They put it out free generally on Wednesdays. This week was half-price books, too!)

    I have been busy with work, so wasn't that big on fancy stuff. I cooked for us to eat. Not much more than that. I have been learning the merits of cooking protein in a sauce or soup that you plan to use for something else. The meat really enriches the flavor, and becomes deliciously tender. I did it twice (see Suppers below) -- and it worked great both times.
    Next week, I need to use some more venison, and finish off that ham. (Pea soup, pea soup!) I also want to make some French onion soup. Tomatoes sound good. Peppers, too, and Mexican food -- maybe we need the Vitamin C? (I have tomatoes canned with green peppers and onion in-house...but it Wasn't What the Recipe Asked For, according to the Brick. His engineering nature likes to keep to specifications.)
    A big blizzard is supposedly moving into Colorado tonight, and lasting through should be a good week for soup.

    We need milk -- so I will steel myself to get just that tonight. A few gallons at $1.99 each should keep me under the $5 limit -- and make up for the Brick's extra bucks over the $10 limit. 

      scrambled eggs (with cheese and green onion) and turkey bacon
      chopped-up mixture of potatoes, onion, ham and turkey bacon  (cottage fry)
      boiled eggs and bratwurst
      cheese guys (quesadillas) and eggs

Sunday mornings, we generally sing on Worship Team, and practice runs anywhere from 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. That means coffee in travel mugs, and a breakfast bar grabbed on the way out the door.

Lunch/snacks/desserts:   brownies (made a double batch), banana bread, nachos (with lime juice squeezed over), frozen burritos (the 25-centers I got last week), leftover soup, chocolate-covered almonds, applesauce, oranges, a few cookies. Made a banana-only split with 'nanas, chocolate sauce and lots of nuts.
    Also blenderized a bag of frozen melon chunks, with a little sugar and water -- cool and tasty.

     Spanish porkchops with green pepper rings, and cooked rice inside (the Brick's contribution)
     Pork chops slow-cooked in canned green chili, with a can of chopped tomatoes thrown in
   (this turned out really fine...and the extra pork chop, chopped, made for a meatier 'chili')
     Canned chicken noodle soup, with chopped leeks and carrots added
     Boneless chicken thighs (cooked in the soup above -- which made them deliciously tender, and added to the soup's flavor)
     Boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, plus celery and carrot sticks
     Canned beef and mushroom soup
     Grilled cheese sandwiches (using the waffle iron! I read this as a tip -- and it works)
     Baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, canned peas and sliced ham (leftover potatoes went into the cottage fry)


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