Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where has my savvy-shopping fever gone?

For those that are still wondering where my weekly coupon shopping breakdowns have vanished to - I am on a self-proposed pantry/fridge/freezer use-it-all-up-no-buying-until-I-do mission. If wondering how this all came about, see the recent post about my "vaca" from shopping and my action plan.

To give an update, after three weeks with no coupon shopping, I have to say I am itching to get back into it. Each Sunday it's been hard not to print my list from Southern Savers and hit the stores. All week I read other blogs detailing their great finds and it's terrible! But alas, I am committed to waiting until after the first of the year to restock.

The cooking has been interesting to say the least. I've had to tweak recipes, create new ones and, well, sometimes we just eat one of the 30 cans of soup from the pantry! I believe that I will still have soup and boxes of cereal in my pantry come NEXT Christmas! (Actually I plan to donate what's left to Must Ministries come January.)

If you are just getting started (or plan to after the holidays), here are a few of the recipes I've made using just what I already have in the pantry – with modifications of course!

Chicken Parmesan – in my case, Chicken Mozzarella!
Recipe Source: Kraft Kitchen Holiday 2004 Magazine
6 Small boneless chicken breasts - I used four large ones from the freezer
26oz Jar of Spaghetti Sauce - I used 2 cans of Lasagna sauce I’ve had for ever instead
6 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (I did not have, so didn’t add)
1½ cup of Mozzarella (I added 2 cups to make up for the missing parmesan)

Original Directions: Preheat over 375 degrees. Pour the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9in. casserole dish. Stir in 4 Tbsp of the parmesan. Lay the chicken in the sauce, flipping it once to cover with sauce. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and top with mozzarella and remaining parmesan: continue baking 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through. Serve over pasta if desired. It was yummy!

Sheppard’s Pie
Recipe Source: Southern Living July 2008 Magazine
1 1/2lb. Ground Round
1 Cup Chopped Onion
8oz. Mushrooms – I used jarred from the pantry, of course
1 Garlic Clove. Minced
1 Cup frozen peas – I used canned from the pantry
4 tsp. beef bouillon – I used Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp – Four, all purpose
1 Can stewed Tomatoes
1 Bay Leaf
2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
Top with Cheese and Carrot Mashed Potatoes (see below)

Brown beef. Remove beef but reserve the drippings in the pan. Reduce heat to medium and sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic for 10 minutes. Stir in beef, peas and next 4 ingredients. Sprinkle flour over mixture and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf and vinegar. Reduce to medium and cook 3 minutes until thickened. Remove bay leaf. Place in a 3 quart dish, top evenly with potatoes mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Cheese and Carrot Mashed Potatoes – sounds kind of gross, but if you remember it’s going into the Sheppard’s Pie, you’ll be fine

1lb. baby carrots
1 Tbsp. butter – (I have 3lbs. in the freezer!)
1 Carton Frozen or Deli Mashed Potatoes
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Steam carrots – to do this, place carrots and ¼ cup of water in a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, allowing one corner open to steam. Microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes. Add butter the steamed carrots and mash them (I used my pastry cutter!) Prepare potatoes according to directions. Add cheese, carrots and remaining mixture. These area actually pretty good by themselves, but go ahead and add them to the Sheppard’s Pie.

Are you on a pantry clearing spree too? Share your recipes! I am positive I have the ingredients somewhere around here!

Don’t know where to start? Check out my original post and pick a time to start - maybe after the holidays when your gluttony starts to get to you!

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