Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wintery chills and a personal pantry challenge

This is a really long posting,  Sorry, but I promise there is a good recipe at the end.

Brr! Brr!  The temperatures here in Wisconsin have been below zero all week with wind chills dipping into the the negative 30 range.  Our school district called school off yesterday, but not today, and I think today is a worse day - no sun, light snow all day, and wind!  Each day we've had somewhere we had to go -- nowhere far enough that the car would actually warm up, and I think that makes the trip even worse.  I guess I should be glad that roads were okay for driving and that the little trips broke up the week, but I was delighted that today was a day I could stay home all day.I know I'll sing a different tune if later this winter I get home bound for several stays due to storms, but today I am content to be here.

I've already blogged about the reading and sewing challenges I've undertaken this year, but I have another to share.  I know almost everyone is watching their pennies after the holidays; it just seems like the right thing to do.  Grocery shopping for all the Christmas doings felt overwhelming this year as the cash register totals steadily rose.  So I made a personal challenge to stay out of the grocery store (except for milk and other fresh essentials) and shop our pantry/freezer for a while.  So far this New Year, we've done okay.

Sunday we were invited to a "FIRST SUNDAY OF THE NEW YEAR" party, an annual affair that some friends host.  We aren't required to take anything, but I like to take a little something.  Only thing is, I totally forgot about the party until Saturday night.  Usually I would have just made a trip to the grocery store to pick up mixed nuts or dip/veggies, but we weren't going near the closest grocery store, so I shopped the pantry and refrigerator and made a big batch of caramel corn -- a smart thing to do because I had bought a large bottle of corn syrup for one Christmas recipe and I knew it would be sitting around for a long time before I used it up.  Now I have much less to use.

Monday we had our grandson with us for the day which can make cooking a little difficult as he is a picky eater.  Luckily when I gave him some choices based on what was in the house, he went for the tomato soup.  Easy lunch and I selected two frozen hamburger patties for supper for hubby and me,  With the mushrooms and cheese in the frig, I knew I could make mushroom swiss burgers  Only problem, no buns and hubby likes buns! A search of the freezer showed that I had a partial package of freezer dinner roll dough.  I thawed four of them, flattened them and stacked two apiece, then let them rise to make two hamburger buns (already sliced).  Fresh from the oven, they were perfect for a cold night.

Tuesday, I thawed a baggie of  roasted turkey breast left from a family holiday dinner and used it in the classic pot pie made with pie dough, cream soup, thyme and mixed veggies.  It was SO good and the leftovers make our Wednesday lunch.  I had a meeting Wednesday night and knew I didn't really want to cook.  Besides I didn't need much after that potpie lunch.  Russ suggested we use up the frozen pizza he had bought on sale before the holidays, so I left him to "doctor up" the pizza while I was gone.  With red peppers, olives, onion, mushrooms, and a handful of extra cheese, the on sale pizza turned into quite a feast.

That brings us to today's main meal- another personal favorite.  A few years ago I discovered this recipe when planning a brunch and wanted one dish made with egg beaters.  Turned out that I liked that dish more than the one I made with regular eggs.   The original eggbeater recipe was made with egg beaters, ham, frozen potatoes, cheese, and milk.  Sometimes we use browned sausage instead of ham and we always add chopped red peppers, mushrooms, and onions.  It is so easy and good.

Breakfast Casserole (just as good for lunch or dinner)

1 cup diced ham
1.5 cups frozen chunky hash browns or o'brien potatoes
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 8 oz containers egg beaters or 1 16 oz container
1 C milk
A mixture of chopped peppers, onions and mushrooms
salt and pepper

Lightly beat egg beaters in a bowl, then add all other ingredients.  Pour into
an 8 inch pan, sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Mine always takes a few minutes more.

Egg dish before baking

Ready to eat

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea, to shop out of your pantry and freezer. It would be good to get to the bottom of both those locations. :) We are cold here but the sun comes out and we've made it into the 40's most afternoons. The folks are enjoying the sunshine. Stay warm!