January 26, 2010

The RIGHT Way to Eat Chili

All month long we've been participating in this Eat From the Pantry Challenge inspired by my favorite coupon blog. Here is what I've learned about my cooking habits after doing it for 3 weeks:

  • I have enough food in our house to feed my family for three months at any given time! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a crazy thing.
  • I am terrible, really terrible about planning a menu ahead of time. My cooking is guided by "what I feel at the moment" so I'm constantly changing the menus I had planned.
  • We have leftovers at least twice a week and call it Refrigerator Night. We just pull everything out and each person decides what they want to eat from the stash. I usually make so much on cooking nights we would be wasting food if we didn't do this. 
  • I love to cook but not the same things over and over. I don't cook the same thing twice in one month, sometimes I won't cook that same thing twice in one year. We love variety so eating the same thing over and over just doesn't work for us.
  • I can't live without lettuce and milk. I did breakdown midway and buy both of those things along with some grapefruit. 
When we have dinner, we almost always have a meat and a couple of different frozen or fresh veggies (which thanks to my neighbor we have enjoyed carrots this week and last). I often serve homemade bread if we are not having rice, pasta or potatoes. Many times, the husband and I will have salad to go with our meal. The kids will only eat salad if it has ginger dressing on it. And only the Makoto Ginger Dressing will do the trick. This stuff tastes JUST like what you get at a Japanese Steak House. If you like those house salads, don't waste your money trying other ginger dressings from the store, because they are terrible. Makoto is really fresh and gingery tasting. (FYI, Makoto also carries the white sauce they give you for your vegetables.)

Here's what we ate for dinner this month while we were trying to whittle down our stockpile:
  • Venison Chili with Beans - served over rice with cheddar cheese and sour cream; the kids love it this way (pictured above)
  • Vegetable Beef Soup and Sourdough Cornbread - leftovers I stored in the freezer
  • Spaghetti - a Christmas gift from my amazing Aunt Sharon
  • Corn Potato Chowder - with homemade bread and salad
  • Roast Chicken and Sauteed Cabbage - the chicken roasts quickly in my convection microwave that came with our house
  • Spinach Salad - will post my soon-to-be-sister-in-law's tasty dressing soon 
  • Chicken Broccoli Devine - hubbie's childhood fave
  • Venison Meatloaf - with corn and mashed potatoes, comfort food at it's best
  • Homemade Pizza - with sourdough crust
  • Venison Stroganoff over Egg Noodles- I tried a new recipe we didn't like, I'll go back to the onion soup and sour cream deal next time
  • Baked Fish with Parmesan Cream Sauce
  • Venison Tacos - using the chip and dip tray method
  • Tomato Soup and Grilled Ham and Cheese
  • Sweet Meatballs with Rice - you know the kind of sauce made with grape jelly and chili sauce
  • Pumpkin Ravioli with Chicken Sausage - will post more on this later as I used wonton wrappers to make the ravioli and it was very easy
  • Spiral Sliced Ham with Cherry Sauce- frozen ham leftover from Christmas a friend gave me cherries her mother had canned and I made up a recipe for the sauce
  • Breakfast for dinner - omelets (from our fresh eggs), sourdough pancakes, and venison sausage
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup - leftovers I froze, made with lamb stock and very yummy
For this week, we had the chili last night. We'll have stirfry one night, but I have no idea for the rest of the week. I imagine it will involve chicken, since I'm kinda tired of venison. I'm excited about going to the grocery store and giving in to my gluttony and desire just to cruise the aisles. Ahhh, fresh fruit, crisp veggies, and dairy products, how I long for you. I'll have to be careful not to overspend on next Monday!!


  1. We call our leftovers "rich man's food" because some people are so poor that they don't get any food, we are so rich we have some leftover!

  2. Christian, love that idea. What a way to spin it, remembering to be thankful even for leftovers.


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