February 19, 2011

Day 18 and 19—Challenge Update

I missed the update from yesterday and am posting information for today.  We’ve been doing what we can to enjoy the beautiful weather that our area has been blessed with lately, and as a result, I’ve not been on the computer as much.  I’m soaking up the sunshine as much as I can before the weather shifts again.

I’ve also spent a good amount of time getting ready for the Second Annual Knoxville Coupon Fair, which is just around the corner.  Next weekend, our church (Faith UMC) will welcome wonderful coupon experts and businesses to a resource fair open to and free for the community.  It was so much fun last year, and I think it will be even better this year.  If you are in the East TN area, I hope you’ll join us!

Breakfast—leftover oatmeal

Lunch—leftover chicken noodle soup and some home canned peaches that I put up this summer

Supper—I made a version of chili mac. I doubled the recipe so that I would have something to bring to the potluck luncheon that will follow church services tomorrow.  We are celebrating a couple in our congregation who have been married for 50 years. 

What have I learned?

Freebies make going to the mail feel like Christmas morning.  I love receiving free things in the mail.  I try to only sign up for products that I know we will use or ones that are new to us to avoid waste.  Whenever I receive one, I feel like doing a little happy dance at the mailbox.  Today, I received a cereal bar from Quaker, and it was a perfect snack to share after our daughter’s soccer practice this afternoon. 

Using up odds and ends feels great.  Tonight’s dish was pretty different for me.  I don’t usually make chili mac, but I knew what ingredients I had on hand and thought it might work.  Instead of using black beans, which I would have preferred, I used some pinto beans I had in the freezer.  I didn’t have quite enough tomato sauce so I added the last of some taco sauce we had in the fridge.  We didn’t have any onions in the dry storage, freezer or garden, and so I used a little extra garlic powder and some Ro*tel to add a little more flavor.  The recipe needed something with a little more texture, and I added some frozen corn and a few home canned jalapenos.  Making do worked just fine!  Even our daughter loved it!

Recipe, if you want to call it that:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef from a local farmer, cooked in olive oil and fat drained

1 can Ro*tel, undrained

1 can Muir Glen diced tomatoes, slightly drained

1 (8oz) can Hunts tomato sauce

Approx 1/8 cup taco sauce

Garlic powder to taste

Salt and Tony’s to taste

1/8 cup pickled jalapenos, more or less to taste

Approx 2 cups pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Approx 1/4 cup frozen corn

1 box whole grain pasta, cooked al dente

Mix the ingredients and season to taste.  Put in a casserole dish and top with the shredded cheese of your choice.  Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and dish is heated throughout. 

From the updates that you have been giving me, it sounds like everyone is doing fantastic with the challenge thus far!  I have so enjoyed learning from each of you on how you are finding creative ways to make do.  I get so inspired hearing that some of you have gone without a trip to the grocery in three weeks and others are having conversations with your husbands about whether or not to make a special run to the store for cinnamon.  I’ve enjoyed reading your meal plans, recipes, and what you’ve learned.  You all are such an inspiration to me! 

Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway if you haven’t already!  It is the last one for this month, and it is for a $5 gift card to Walgreens.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Gabrielle.. Yesterday my daughter said to me.. "You know Mom, I know you're in this Eat from your Pantry Challenge", but I'm hungry and the cupboards are bare.. lol... I guess the mission was accomplished. Of course, it's all in the eye of the beholder. I told her to get creative and eat something that she normally wouldn't usually find convenient.. When you're talking to 19 year old, that's possible... lol.