Monday, January 16, 2012
Freezer Cooking from the Pantry and Freezer
Part of the reason for doing a Pantry Challenge is to use up what you have. Looking through my freezer and pantry over the past couple of weeks I realized I had somethings that needed to be used up pretty quickly and there were also some freezer staples I was either out of or extremely low on. Thus I began putting together a freezer cooking session based on what I had on hand.
I like to keep homemade muffins and breakfast bars in the freezer for quick breakfasts on the go, but the rush of the holidays had depleted my supply. I had fresh cranberries in the refrigerator as well as some over ripe bananas that needed to be used quickly. I also have an abundance of oatmeal hanging out in my pantry thanks to some really good sales. Those cranberries, bananas and oatmeal quickly became Pineapple Muffins, Cranberry Muffins, Banana Oat Muffins and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. Leftover cranberries made their way into the freezer to make more muffins at a later date. The only item I had to purchase was a container of vanilla yogurt for the muffins.
Total - 48 muffins, 16 oatmeal bars
I always keep pre-cooked hamburger in the freezer for really quick weekday meals. My DH purchased (3) 5 pound portions of ground beef before the holidays and I didn't have time to do anything with it then, so I threw it in the freezer. I thawed 10 pounds worth and made 5 pounds into WW Sloppy Joes and the other 5 pounds I cooked up with onions and garlic for spaghetti and tacos. I purchased a red onion and fresh garlic for this.
Total - 3 meals Sloppy Joes, 4 meals cooked, seasoned ground beef
I had some buttermilk to use before the expiration date, so Boo Boo made her first batch of pancakes all by herself.
Total - 26 pancakes
Bubba gets himself up and off to school each day after I am already at work, so I like to keep quick breakfast items in the freezer for him. One of his favorites -- breakfast burritos. I had cheese, ham, sausage, tortillas and a few eggs already on hand. I just purchased another dozen eggs to make it worth the mess.
Total - 12 breakfast burritos
We love mac and cheese at our house and we used the last of it over the holidays, so I quicky whipped up a batch for the freezer from the pantry and refrigerator.
Total - 3 side dishes of Macaroni and Cheese
Christmas 2010 my DH brought home a HUGE, ENORMOUS bag of chocolate chips from the restaurant supply store. That bag has been sitting in my freezer for over a year because I was too busy to portion out the chips into smaller bags. I finally took the plunge and opened the bag, making a double batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies (freezing most of them to cook later) and portioned out rest of the chips into smaller bags for easier use.
Total - 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies
One of the things I HATE about cereral is the bits and pieces you have left when everyone tires of their "favorite" cereal. I took all those this and that cereals as well as crackers, pretzels and peanuts from the holidays and made Chex Mix for the kids to snack on over the next couple of weeks.
Total - 14 cups Chex Mix
This took just a few hours on Saturday afternoon, cost me less than $10.00 and give us quick items for breakfasts and snacks for a couple of months. It's a win, win, win in my book.
Good Cheap Eats Pantry Challenge
It's A Blog Party
Melt in Your Mouth Monday