I posted on Friday about Randy and his food obsession (well his obsession of food going bad before it's used) so today I did a big clean-out of the pantry.

Our family is big on snacks. We just love to snack … okay … really we just love to eat but there is always somebody snooping in the pantry for snacks. So for the past few weeks there has been a common theme with Jay and I opening the pantry door and closing it again in a huff not being able to find anything to eat. How can this be? Look at these 2 shelves, does this look like there are no snacks to you? Oh and this was after I threw out 1/2 a trash bag of things.

So next Randy suggested that we try and get through the next 6 days on the food that we have in the house and not food shop at all. The cupboards and the refrigerator are pretty much full and yet every day I can't think of a thing to cook. I'm always missing crucial ingredients for recipes and find myself popping out to the store just to buy one or two items and coming back with 4 or 5 bags of 'stuff'. So he issued me a challenge that from Sunday through Friday I cook with what we have and nothing more, he wants most of the cupboards, refrigerator and freezer empty by Saturday morning.

I scoured the internet for a couple of hours trying to find recipes to fit the ingredients I had in the house with no success. Crap, I have to be creative. Oh lordy, what on earth have I gotten myself into?

So first off I found a box of Betty Crocker Spice cake mix in the top of the pantry. I found 2 half used tubs of icing in the refrigerator and numerous packets of themed cupcake liners. Viola, snacks for the next few days (and possibly breakfast for me too) … and yes just for one day I got over my obsession with having the 'right' cupcake liners and used a combination of Christmas, Halloween and sports ones instead.

NEXT ON THE LIST WAS DINNER.This is what I came up with and it was a big hit with the boys and the babies. Flynn insisted on sitting in his highchair until every morsel was finished and Marisol screamed when I tried to feed her with the spoon because she just HAD to feed herself.


Salmon & Rice Bake

2 10.75oz cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 7.1oz bags Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon
2 cups frozen vegetables (I used beans, corn, peas & carrots)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cooked white rice (I used Jasmine)
1tsp salt
1tsp crushed red pepper (heaped tsp)
1tbsp minced onion
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1tsp paprika

Pack the cooked rice into the base of a baking dish. Mix all ingredients (apart from cheese and paprika) in a bowl. Pour over the top of the rice. Sprinkle cheese and paprika over the top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

SPECIAL TREAT FOR THE BABIES 17 MONTH BIRTHDAY TOMORROW

Jello (found a box stashed in with the baking supplies)

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7 comments

Melanie February 24, 2008 - 4:00 pm

Fun challange! I’ve done this before just not for a full week though! We call it “clean the cupboard” meals and they usually turn out suprisingly well. I am just like you though, I run out to the store almost every other day for “an ingredient or two” and have never walked out of the store with just one or two things in hand. Good luck! You will have to do MAJOR shopping next weekend, eh?

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BoufMom9 February 24, 2008 - 4:00 pm

I do just like how Melanie described. We call it clean out the fridge or cupboards nite or days, but never could make a week! LOL (of course, I have a few more mouths to feed. LOL)Dinner looks yummy none the less.ps If you have any other cake mixes, I have THOUSANDS of different recipes for them and I’ll send you some. You can make spice cookies with it. I made them with raisins and they were DE-LISH.

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Jenn H February 25, 2008 - 4:00 pm

Sounds like a fun challenge. I have a mastercook computer program that you can type in ingredients you have on hand and it will give you a list of recipes to try, love it!!

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TONYA February 25, 2008 - 4:00 pm

Jenn: That mastercook program sounds great, I’m going to look into that.

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The Romero-Schroeder February 26, 2008 - 4:00 pm

Love the recepies!!!! Thanks!

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Sheri March 2, 2008 - 4:00 pm

TonyaWe tried your salmon rice bake over the weekend at my moms. Very good. We will just use a little less crushed red pepper next time. Too hot for us. I could and should take the cupboard food challenge. I always do what you do and head out for one ingredient and end up with $50 worth of groceries in my cart. HaHa

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Caffeinated Cowgirl May 30, 2008 - 5:00 pm

I’m new to reading your site, thanks for the laughs and ideas! I have a “clean the pantry week” a few times a year also! Check out this site, you enter what you have & it tells you what you can make! http://www.supercook.com

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