Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homestead Wannabes' "Pantry Raid": Using What You Have

We're becoming such "Foodies" around here ;) We've never had television, but recently we bought a Roku so we could watch instant movies on Netflix. They have so many documentaries perfect for homeschooling. We've also discovered some fun TV shows we can watch without commercials. I was surprised to find a show called "Pantry Raid". The premise is a professional chef who goes into a person's home. That person literally cannot cook, usually because their confidence is so low. He uses only the things in their pantry and fridge and helps build their confidence in the kitchen as they create tasty, beautiful dishes, using only what they already have. 

The kids love "Pantry Raid" and we've been using our creative juices to come up with some fun, fancy, cheap meals. The above pictures is our "salad on a stick", using skewers. I didn't have hardly anything to make a salad that night. I was completely out of lettuce, so I used wedges of cabbage and stuck on a slice of cucumber, cheese and carrot. I drizzled some ranch over the top with a little balsamic vinegar for color and they were gobbling them down. It's all about the plating!

Earlier that day I had put a chicken in the crockpot, using my favorite slow-cooked garlic chicken recipe. I put some rice on a platter, then arranged the pieces of chicken on top, with a bit of spinach here and there for color. 

Here is one serving of everything we had that night. The rice, chicken and salad on a stick. I accidentally erased our dessert picture. I used homemade chocolate chip ice cream and just added a few organic white and dark chips and sliced almonds to the top and served them in wine glasses. The kids thought they were in heaven. 

For lunch the next day, Josiah made gourmet tacos with the interesting sauce created from homemade ketchup, mayo, brown mustard, salsa and garlic, onion and chili powder. I have to admit it wasn't too bad. He was so proud of himself. Oh, and he also helped me make the whole wheat tortillas.

The next day we made fancy open face tuna sandwiches for lunch. I cut a slice of homemade bread in half, put a slice of queso fresco and put on some tuna mixed with pickles and mayo. I had Josiah put a spoonful on top of each piece of bread with a sprig of cilantro. Yum!

The thing I really enjoy about this program is that it shows cooking as art and that is something I can really get into, especially when it is easy and actually saves me money because I'm inspired to use the things are already have on hand. 

Now go forth and make a mundane meal fun!


Rachel and Family said...

What a great post, my stomach is grumbling... I'll have to look for that show on netflix. There is a website I like that does the thinking for you (what to create out of your pantry) "called recipe key". You plug in what you already have and it spits out recipes.
I've been getting an organic veggie/fruit box and we have fun trying to come up with what to make out of it. I've got some new ideas after reading your post...

Rachel and Family said...

ps. love your Easter blog look!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Thanks, Rachel! Could you comment back with that web address? That sounds awesome! You're kids would love that show. Have fun with your fruit!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! Your tuna sands look great!

Bernice said...

My son was wanting a snack today. He wanted something like a fruit salad but we didn't have any fruit on hand. He started pulling stuff out of the fridge and pantry and made us some cheese, tomato,and carrots on a stick. It was pretty good. I bet he would love that show. He likes being creative.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

That is awesome, Bernice!

Camille said...

What a fun post Jackie! You have had lots of creativity going on in your home...your kids look so happy about their food! Yippee for you! Everything looks delish. :)


RaD said...

I can't tell you how many times I've made a meal just throwing stuff I had on hand together. But, I've never made it into art! Maybe one day I'll try it out.

Jill said...

Great post!! Love it! Have a wonderful weekend!


Yuri Richardson said...


We have 4 children and homeschool/home church. We live in Bermuda and have been homeschooling for some 17yrs now.

Some of our favorite web sites for children are:

Answers In Genesis (a family staple)
jungle walk
multiplication dot com
For healthy eating we like Hacres dot com
arcademicskillbuilders dot com

thanks for your post.

Shalom In Messiah.

Jenn said...

Love the creativity! Your children are so blessed to have you for their momma and teacher! You are definitely doing an awesome job!

naturally country said...

Thank you for your recipes, I have made the cornmeal bars, pancakes, and cream of whatever soups and they are great. Thank you so much!!!


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