Tag Archives: using the stockpile

What Did We Eat? March 16, 2019

This was a very busy work week. On several occasions, we just ate over at my sister’s house, since we were all there so much. 2 of those nights, we ate leftovers from a meeting they attended Sunday, so that was easy! My aunt dropped in to check on Jake one night and stayed and ate with us, so that was a nice addition:). She brought him some of his favorite cookies and he ate exactly 1 before falling asleep…

On Wednesday morning, I had a few hours. I made 3 kinds of soup–split pea, chicken-rice, and vegetable-chicken. I used the broth and bits from the Costco chicken to make the 2 chicken kinds, so they have very little meat in them, but still taste really good. The split pea is vegetarian. I hauled some of the chicken-rice soup over to Jake, who ate it for dinner the next 2 nights. His mouth is healing, but slowly. The second set of antibiotics helped him heal more, but he had a very rough time of it for a few days.

On Wednesday morning, I cooked up an Instant Pot of brown rice. Part of it was combined with frozen turkey bits, broccoli from last year’s garden, cheese, and a sauce made from milk, sweet rice flour to slightly thicken it, dried onion, a can of mushrooms, salt and pepper. It was really, really good. I took some of it over to my sister’s for Thursday night’s dinner. My aunt brought over some salad fixings she wasn’t going to be able to use up before they went bad, and we made salad to go with the casserole.

The rest of the brown rice was combined with previously cooked and frozen pinto beans (thawed out of course), cheese (including some Cojita cheese I got for my Friday Freebie a couple of weeks ago), salsa and a little enchilada sauce, both home-canned last summer. I wrapped this filling in tortillas, then foil, then labeled and froze for quick dinners for Patsy when Rob is home with her and I’m at work. She loves them and ate most of the ones I made a few weeks ago.

Our daughter, Lovana, plans to come visit later in the month, and she is a vegetarian. I froze some of the burritos and some of the split pea soup to have on hand while she’s here. Since she lives in Hawaii now, she’s sure she going to freeze to death here, but I assured her she can wrap up in how ever many of her Dad’s old coats she wants to:)

I made a turkey enchilada from the turkey bits in the freezer. With the 2 casseroles I made this week, I was able to finish that fairly large bag of turkey bits up before they lingered too long in the freezer.

The past 2 weeks haven’t been the easiest, but with everyone pulling together, we’ve all been able to eat tasty, healthy, economical meals. This week will have a much lighter schedule. Whew!!!

What did we eat? february 14, 2019

I served lots of salads and veggies this past week. One time, I put it out on a platter and added lots of goodies to make it look different. Somehow, it worked. We felt like we had a whole new kind of salad!

I made carrots sautéed in apple juice. Carrots are one of the most reasonable fresh veggies at this time of year, so we’ve been having them more often.

Rob made himself some cooked cabbage and chicken sausage with a side of sautéed mushrooms. The cabbage is also a good price, as it is in season at this time of year and he found 2 large packages of mushrooms on the mark-down rack, so he got to enjoy a bunch of those. We’ve had omelets from the mushrooms, as well. Another day, I made coleslaw from more cabbage.

I found a bag of frozen pesto cubes in the freezer. During the summer, I make it and freeze it in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out and freeze in a bag. My recipe is very simple–it includes basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. There are no pine nuts in it. I made brown rice pasta with the pesto last night. It was really good. I ate way too much.

I crumb-coated some rockfish that was in the freezer and served it with the pasta, and home-canned green beans. We ate several jars of green beans this week, several jars of fruit, and quite a few odds and ends from the freezers. I’m noticing that the chest freezer is starting to feel less tightly packed, which is good news since it’s hard to see what’s in there other than the top layer. It’s easier to dig around if it’s not too crammed. The 2 uprights are showing some spaces as well. The little freezer on top of the fridge in the kitchen is still crammed because I keep bringing veggies and things in from the shop for immediate use. Now that I’m getting more space, I plan to make up a few more things like muffins to have on hand for quick meals.

One night, Rob made hamburger patties, baked “French fries” and carrots with a little honey on them. Then, he took a picture of it (that’s his foot and knee there) and sent me a picture with the caption “I’ve got dinner for you.” I was super happy he did that, as I was heading home and was starving:).

Patsy made gluten-free crepes. They were really good. Way too good. We’d better not make those too often:).

We ate leftovers quite a few times as well.

I am happy to report that I have finally (hopefully) got things organized again so that I can stop going to the store every few days. I will do another produce run in a few days, and I’ll grab eggs if I see them on sale, but the staples are back in the pantry, at least for now. We are ready for a weekend with Jake and Michaela, and have the foods they will eat all stocked up. I have other things I’d rather do than go to the store, so I’m excited about that. Still, the reality is that if we cook from scratch a great deal, which we do, I am going to run out of foods we use, and it’s worth the time to me to go from store to store and get the best possible prices to stock back up, so I will always make time for that. I haven’t checked the ads yet this week, but last week I got butter for $1.99/box…..it’s aways worth looking:)

What did we eat? February 9, 2019

I decided to attack the winter squash that was left from last year’s garden. I got such a good crop of my acorn squash, was given 4 Butternuts, and my compost pile grew a couple more all by itself! We’ve been eating it all along, but when I went and looked at my still-large bucket full, some of them were starting to get bad spots on them. I cut each and every one of them open, threw away anything that was bad, and cut the rest into chunks, which I roasted in a 425 degree oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. I got 2 pans.

We ate a bunch.

I made ginger apple-butternut squash soup. I found a few apples in a box on the covered porch from last fall. They were a little wrinkly, but still good, so I wanted to target them as well. The soup was very different than what we usually make, but Rob and I both liked it.

I made quinoa bowls with quinoa, carrots and spinach on the bottom. Pieces of Rob’s BBQ’d chicken thigh meat with a chipotle-lime sauce and roasted squash came next and it was topped with a apple dressing. I started with a recipe from Gluten-Free and More Magazine, and changed it up quite a bit. We liked it!

We got 10 lbs of frozen chicken hindquarters for $5 last Friday. Rob barbecued the whole bag and we’ve been eating it all week. We’ve been pulling things from the freezers and eating them–lots of veggies, odds and end of things, etc. Patsy ate some frozen burritos one night from the ones I made and froze a few weeks ago. I’m going to have to make some more before long.

I made a mixture of hamburger and black beans with Mexican seasoning and we had tacos/taco salads one night. One night I sautéed some frozen shrimp that was in the freezer for myself after work.

We’ve also had some leftover pork chops from the ones my sister made last Sunday for Family Sunday Dinner at her house. I took leftover salad bar items from what was left when we had our friends over last Saturday.

I’ve had to adjust my February plans for food a bit from what I thought it was going to look like last week. I was out of a lot more things than I thought I was. So, I will not be saving grocery money this month. I will be spending every cent of my grocery budget, and perhaps a bit more. I’ve already gathered several kinds of gluten-free flour from the store, and my mom gave me some almond flour she was not using. (Thanks, again, Mom!). We’ve used a LOT of produce and I will be getting more weekly. I already got baking powder, baking soda, and 5 pounds of butter. I still need to get bulk spices, salt and pepper–you see how it is:). I went ahead and grabbed “Michaela and Jake” foods as the kids are spending next weekend with us and froze the things like bagels and ww bread.

I feel like my January use-it-up project was very successful and the goal of rotating my stocked food was met. I don’t mind buying more to keep the pantry full, and it’s nice to know that things are staying fresh out there. I plan to keep digging into the cupboards, freezers, and pantry and will continue to use up older things that are there. I will still attempt to do the weekly post about our menus and showcase the items I am using up.

Best of all, Rob continued to lose weight over the month and my blood sugars are a bit better than they were 3 months ago, even with the challenge and the holidays.

Quick-Cooking Tapioca


I’m always looking for appetizing ways to use the food that I have stockpiled.  There’s no point in having lots of food, just so it can get old on the shelves, and  end up cooking with stale, outdated ingredients.  Sometimes, when food is bought in bulk packages, it is much cheaper, but the purchaser ends up with more than they can use.  Last spring, this happened to my mother.  She bought a large package of quick-cooking tapioca and gave me a baggie of the excess.  I did not end up using it all up over the summer, so when I found it again recently, I decided to target it in my meals.

The first thing I did with it was use a couple of Tablespoons to thicken a beef stew.  This was a stew that was made from beef, broth, canned tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes, beans and some herbs and spices, plus salt and pepper.  When I finished, it was pretty runny.  I just put in a little tapioca and it thickened up nicely.  I am gluten-intolerant, so this made a nice substitute for wheat flour.

The second thing I made was tapioca pudding.  I got a recipe from the Kraft website.

2-3/4 cups milk (I used 2%)

1/3 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. Minute Tapioca (I have no idea of the brand my mother gave me, but it worked)

1 egg beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

I added:  1/4 teaspoon salt and a teaspoon butter

Mix milk, sugar, tapioca, salt and the beaten egg in a saucepan.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Cook on medium (I did med-high and watched it very carefully), stirring the entire time, until mixture comes to a full boil.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and butter.  Cool 20 minutes; stir.  Serve warm or cold.  Makes 6 servings.  Store leftovers in fridge.

When I got done cooking the mixture, it was so runny I though I had made a mistake and had tapioca soup.  The recipe says it thickens as it cools, but I thought there was no way this would become pudding.  But, it really did.  In fact, it turned out to be very thick once it was cold.  So, I might actually use 3 cups milk next time.