When I'm figuring what we're going to have for dinner, I either poke around in the freezer to see what needs to be cooked, or I look at my rough list for ideas. This list isn't anything fancy, but I just jot down dinner ideas that I find while rummaging through my cookbooks.
Sometimes I note what special ingredients the recipe has that I want to use up and I always write down the cookbook and page where it was found.
This week we started with a cheese tortellini that had been hanging out in the freezer with homemade canned spaghetti sauce from the summer (when I first made it I thought it might be a bit sweeter than I liked, but now it has melded into an incredibly good flavor!) and homemade bread into which I mixed a little less than a tablespoon of garlic powder and dried parsley.
Another meal we ate was chicken breasts baked in a 9 x 11- dish with cut up carrots, potatoes, and garlic all tossed in olive oil, and a baked acorn squash. I cook my squashes by throwing the whole thing in the oven on the oven rack and baking it until a fork pokes in easily. I then cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and the skin usually peels right off. Then I mash it with what ever seasonings I want to add. It's simple and good!
Homestyle Chicken and Sausage was a big hit. I only added sausage though.
One night we ate out.
And our Sunday dinner was an easy Baked Ziti Casserole from Family Feasts for $75 a Week.
My family loves their desserts and this week I made a pumpkin pie and brownies and last night a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies. I freeze some of the cookie dough in dropped spoonfuls so that I can just take them out, put them on a cookie sheet, and have fresh baked cookies anytime.
One goal of this challenge is to clean out one of the freezers we have (we have a chest freezer and an upright freezer) so that I can defrost one and then move everything over and defrost the other. It would be nice to actually be able to turn one freezer off over the summer until we stock up on our meats in the fall.
Next week will be my last week reporting on my Pantry Challenge, but I will continue following it all the way into the spring - when the fresh vegetables start coming in!