Grocery Challenge

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Wooh! Sorry I’ve been incommunicado. My husband and I took our anniversary vacation last weekend and then I went and spent the rest of the week with my folks. I’m really excited about this post since it’s been in the back of my mind for quite awhile. I’m giving myself a grocery challenge for the month of February to see how long my family and I can live off of the things we have stored in our freezer and pantry. I will exclude having to go buy things like milk and other drinks. I also get fresh fruit and vegetable twice a month using Bountiful Baskets, which is a volunteer based food co-op. You get a random assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables every other week. The site gives really clear instructions on what you need to do. I just picked up my second basket today and, so far, I’ve been really pleased with the selections. I don’t really know what to do with a few of the vegetables I got, but I feel like this will help push me out of my comfort zone and make me cook with things that I would normally not select at the grocery store.

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Back to my challenge now! As you can see I have an unbelievable amount of stuff in my freezers (yes, plural! That’s probably where my problems started).  At least you can see the back wall of my stand up freezer! That’s not so bad, right?! I tend to freeze a lot of things and then not even give them a second glance, which leads to a lot of freezer burn and, in addition, it clogs up my storage space. My challenge is to see just how much food I actually have stored up and how long we can eat off of it. I feel like I’m going to be pretty shocked by the end of this! I’m hoping this will force me to really push the limits of my culinary creativity and save some serious money on our grocery budget for the month.

Here’s the first stash buster recipes I used tonight. I made some potato pancakes using leftover mashed potatoes and some apple dumplings using apples I just got today through my Bountiful Baskets and some canned buttermilk biscuits I have had forever.

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Potato Pancakes (AH-mazing!)

  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/3 cup flour, slightly heaping
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • chopped herbs of your choice (I used chives from the onions I’m growing and a bit of rosemary and garlic seasoning)
  • butter

Mix the potatoes and the other ingredients together in a bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the butter. Form balls with the potatoes and then press them into flat discs once you have them in the skillet. Heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side, making sure they have a little bit of crunch.

Now you’ve got an easy-peasy and creative way to use up your leftover mashed potatoes. I always make way too much so I was overjoyed to find this recipe. They turned out oh-so-good!

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Apple Dumplings

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples or 3 small Gala apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cans buttermilk biscuits (mine were the tiny biscuits with 10 biscuits per can)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Peel, core and slice each apple into 6-8 slices. Add to a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over them to keep the apples from turning. Now steel yourselves as you open your biscuit cans. Mine were older so I had barely begun to peel the paper before they exploded open with a sound like a gun shot and nearly made me have a heart attack. I don’t know why people seem to enjoy opening these stupid cans! It scares the life out of me! Okay, rant over. Lay one or two apples slices on a biscuit and then fold another biscuit over the top. Pinch dough together and place in greased casserole dish. Continue until you have all your apples and biscuits used up or you run out of room in the dish (which is what happened to me) In a sauce pan bring water, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the butter, and the vanilla to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour the hot mixture over the apple and biscuits. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 35 minutes and then bite into your own little piece of heaven.

DSC04017The water/sugar mix will make this beautiful glaze that you can spoon up and drizzle over the top. It’s just awesome!

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Hope you enjoy these recipes and I will keep y’all updated on my grocery challenge. Have a blessed day everyone!

 

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