Monday, February 4, 2008

A clean pantry and Menu Plan Monday....

Sunday I spent a few hours cleaning out my pantry. It looks WAY, WAY better. It had been a while since I last cleaned it. And, it just so happens that I think I may have Laura beat with my choc. chips, nuts, etc... pile. What do you think?? The bin on the left has only choc. chips, baking chocolate squares, powdered sugar in it. The one on the right is nuts, rasins, etc...

Well, I didn't get to all of the things on my plan last week. I ended up with a nasty cold, so I am pleased that I actually cooked 4 days last week!! I did try the lentil salad, but I bought some super tiny red lentils and they cooked up WAY faster than I thought they would. Then I couldn't get them to drain well, so I messed the salad up. It tasted good, but since I didn't drain the lentils well, it was pretty liquidy. I will try it again with normal lentils!!

We also tried a new recipe that I had not planned. I made some rice that I found on Nicole's blog. I made a couple of changes, as I had to use what I had on hand. Instead of tomato sauce, I used 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes. Also, instead of cumin seed, I used several dashes of ground cumin. This rice was soooo super yummy!! I had intended to do tacos, but we ended up with more of a tostada because I was out of taco shells and didn't know it. I just fried up some corn tortillas. We put the rice and beans on the tostada. It was super, super yummy!!

We also had the continental beef (from this cookbook). It was also very good. I'll post the recipe below.

I am cooking with what we have on hand this week. Since I wasn't feeling well (and still am not 100%), I stayed home on Sunday when I typically do my shopping.

*=new recipe
Monday--pretzel crusted chicken with cheddar mustard sauce* (saw it on Donna's menu), salad, cous cous

Tuesday--crock pot beef stew*, rolls, salad

Wednesday--Kung Pao Chicken, steamed veggies, rice, lumpia

Thursday--spaghetti with sausage, salad

Friday--blt sandwiches, chips, salad

Continental Beef (Since it was my first time to have this, I just made it on serving day.)

6T butter (might want to use 4 if you omit mushrooms)
1 c. minced onion
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional--I omitted)
2.5 lbs. beef chuck, cut into cubes (may also substitute other beef suitable for stewing, i.e. beef stew, round steak--I used round steak)
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. granulated sugar
2 t. paprika
2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Serving Day:
*1 cup sour cream (optional--I used)
2 cups rice or 16 oz. buttered noodles (I used egg noodles)

Cooking Day Instructions:
Melt 2 T. butter in large pot over low heat. Add onion and mushrooms and brown lightly. Remove from pan (I just did the onion and meat at the same time). Add more butter (1-2 T.) to pan and melt; add beef in 2 or 3 batches and brown. (You may need to turn heat up slightly to brown meat.) Put beef, mushrooms, and onions back into pan.

Combine tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pour suace over meat. Cover and cook slowly over low heat for 2.5 hours or until meat is tender (it took about 1.5 hours for mine). Stir occasionally. (Recipe may also be prepared in crockpot for 8-10 hours on low, until beef is tender.) Cool meat mixture. Freeze in freezer bag.

Serving Day Instructions:
Thaw meat completely and warm in sauce pan until heated through. Do not allow beef mixture to boil when heating. Serve over rice or hot buttered noodles.
*Variation using sour cream: Just before serving, add sour cream to beef mixture. Stir until smooth and heated through. Do not boil.

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!


Sharon said...

Great menu! And by the way, I LOVE the pictures in your blog header! How sweet!

I'm also impressed with your pantry. You put me to shame! lol

The pretzel crusted chicken sounds interesting. You'll have to review it for us!
Have a great week!

Rona's Home Page said...

Your panty looks great. It's nice to have everything organized. You find things so much faster.

Lora said...

What an awesome pantry! Whenever I organize I always get new inspiration for meals:)

Sarah said...

You can't really go wrong with beef stew, and I've heard good things about the pretzel-crusted chicken by several people; I look forward to hearing your results next week!

Congrats on cleaning your pantry! I did this a few weeks ago but I think I need to do it again, hopefully with my cooking from only the freezer and pantry this month it'll clear things out! :)

I'm sorry the lentil salad didn't turn out so well, but I encourage you to try it again! :) It is really awesome!

Have a great week!

Michelle said...

hi candi.the pantry just looks awesome and I must try the pretzel crusted chicken :) hope you feel better this week..

Org Junkie said...

Woowee, check out all your baskets you've got going on! I'm so jealous of your large pantry, that's awesome!!

Have a great week!


PlanningQueen said...

There is something so satisfying about an organised pantry. Yours looks fantastic.

Bonnie said...

Your pantry looks great !! I've done some work in my kitchen this week too. Gotta love !!

teachermomof2 said...

Your pantry looks great! I *wish* I had as much space in my kitchen!
Nice job!

Have a great week!

Samantha said...


Wanna come do my pantry? it looks great and i like your idea of the bins for baking bags of chips, nuts, etc. just slide all over the place.

Sandra said...

Sounds wonderful, great menu. Thanks for sharing!

Your pantry looks great, nice job :)

My Menu Plan is up too :)

Jasmine31 said...

Great job on the pantry! The menu sounds good!

Niki said...

Congratulations! Your pantry looks great. Have a great week.

Tasha said...

Sounds yummy! I really need to get back in to doing mpm, especially now with WW's. This semester has just started out busier than most!

Nicole said...

Whoa! Your pantry is HU-GE!! Glad you guys liked the rice. That recipe is from my Grandmother :)

Melissa said...

Just what I need to do, organize the pantry, yours looks great!

Audra said...

Your menu looks great and I bet the Tostada things were awesome. I love your pantry. Label makers are a great thing. I also love the new look of your blog.

Melissa said...

okay you need to come over and help my pantry...great job! Of course I need more room like you have to do any good for my pantry.

Slot Machines said...

Even so

Anonymous said...

backlinks seo seo optomization backlink service backlink solutions

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just want to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have here on this post. I'll be coming back to your website for more soon.

[url=]click here[/url]