27 January 2009

End of the Month Menus

I hope I'm not the only one who sometimes runs out of grocery money at the end of the month. With tuition due, Christmas bills to pay off and a (hold your breath) 524.00$$ gas bill to pay, we're coming up a bit short this month. So I'm digging into the pantry for meals, and here's what I found:

Menu One:

*Layered and Baked Elk Pasta (Wade killed and butchered the elk. I was afraid to cook it until now, when I bravely defrosted it and cooked it into a really terrific meat sauce layered between bowties tossed in bechamel--a great pantry staple--then baked until buttered parmesean breadcrumbs--made from leftover pieces of baguette and frozen until a time of desperation--another great pantry staple--become crunchy.)
*Seared Garlic Cauliflower
*Cut up candied apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Staples on hand:

*Bowtie Pasta (Ziti would have been better, but would have cost $$)
*Milk (dried milk works well for Bechamel in a pinch)
*Frozen butter ( I always buy a lot on sale and freeze)
*Huge bag of onions in the garage (five bucks for 25 lbs.)
*Canned tomatoes

Had to purchase:

*Cauliflower for 1$

From the End of the Month Fairy:

*Candied apple

Menu Two:

*Brown Rice
*Black Beans
*Fried Eggs

Pantry Staples:

*Rice, Beans, Eggs


*misshapen oranges, but very delicious five pounds for a dollar (bought three pounds)

Menu Three:

*Mark Bittman's Chicken Chickpea Tangine (I'm sorry Mark Bittman, but I don't have a vanilla bean in my pantry--I have to leave it out, so it probably won't be quite as good as you intended it to be).

Pantry Staples:

*Chick peas
*Frozen cut-up chicken
*Dried Spices


*Fresh Broccoli (1.00)

Menu Four:

*Homemade Pita (I went to Carlon's house and ground some wheat that I have in storage in her wheat grinder. Nothing is better than freshly ground flour. If I have enough energy tomorrow, I'll bake bread.)
*Red Pepper Hummus
*Carrot Cake

Pantry Staples:

*Wheat Berries
*Canola and Olive Oils
*Chick Peas
*Red Pepper Hummus


*Cauliflower (1.00)
*Lemon (.33)

End of the Month Fairy:

*Carrot Cake

For after school snacks we're eating oranges and popcorn, apples (we still have a half bushel in the garage from Allred's) and peanut butter, cheese and toast, peanuts, and hot chocolate, all from the pantry.

Grocery Total: $6.33

Questions: What's in your pantry? Freezer? What do you cook when your dough runs low?



Marni C. said...

Lara--You are truly amazing.

What I love to make when there's nothing to eat is rice (brown or white) in the cooker w/black beans and tomatoes w/seasonings added in and kept warm for a long time. Also, lentil soup.

shaunita said...

Lentil soup is one of my favorite pantry meals. Curry is a pantry staple that makes almost any meal more exciting.

val said...

When I am scraping by and need to use what I got I like to make fried rice. I use brown rice, a few eggs and all the veggies I have in my fridge that are about to go bad (squash, celery, onions, etc.) and if I have it I will add in some teriyaki chicken. Delicious & satisfying!

The Fam said...

Marni--I've never thought of using the rice cooker to make a pilaf-esque dish. Shauna--what kind of curry do you do? Val--yes--brown rice!! I love it so much. I'm going to do a fried rice for breakfast this week. Thanks for the suggestion! Alice always fries her rice with green onions, which are so delish, but not always affordable on scraping by weeks.