Friday, April 1, 2011

Hot Spot #4: Pantry and Fridge

Yet again, this weeks hot spot was the perfect preparation for our upcoming move. We're less than 2 weeks away from packing all our belongings into our two cars and making the 17 hour journey home. Needless to say, with space so precious, I don't plan to take many pantry items. So we're trying to eat what we already have and will send any extras home with extended family members who are coming for a final visit/packing party next weekend.

I've gotten much better at keeping the fridge organized. I realized how much food we were wasting just because it got buried and forgotten about and have since learned a few tricks that help keep moldy surprises to a minimum.

-I stack leftovers together. This way it's more obvious to me that there is a meal waiting to be eaten rather than a few random tupperwares scattered here and there.
-I put half used bags of shred cheese in the door. Other wise the new ones I bring home from the grocery tend to end up on top in the meat/cheese drawer and the old ones languish in the bottom.
-I open the veggie/fruit drawer almost every day and try to plan our dinner based on what needs to be used in there. Meat is usually being defrosted anyway so I try to let our produce guide our menu.

Actually cleaning the fridge, another story. Check out these before and afters and try not to judge!



I've been deliberately keeping our pantry on the low side for the past month knowing we'll be moving again soon. I didn't find much to throw away, but I did use take note of what dry ingredients need to be used up and planned meals for our remaining days here based on what's available. We'll be having tacos, casseroles, chili, spaghetti and soups. I'm also looking forward to "getting rid of" a few of our baking items. I mean, we can't waste those chocolate chips, right?



I did notice several things that won't be gracing my pantry again (I hope...). We've been taking baby steps towards eliminating processed foods from our diet. We still have a long way to go, but I did find a few things in our pantry that I think we're about to get rid of for good.
-Soup in a can. I just don't like the taste any more. I make amazing soups and I have a recipe for making a white sauce (cream soup replacer) for casseroles that looks pretty simple.
-Granola bars. Don't get me wrong, I love granola bars! They are such an easy grab-and-go snack. However, the ones in the store tend to be high in sugar and have a lot of things I don't want to eat in them, particularly soy. I'm hoping to replace this beloved snack with fruits, veggies and occasionally my own homemade bars.
-Salad dressing. I love making my own dressing! It's simpler than I ever thought, tastes better and again, allows me to avoid the soy and other GMO oils in typical salad dressing.

There's another item in my pantry I'm hoping to get rid of soon...but it's a big commitment. I'd like to say goodbye to breakfast cereal or at least become much more distant acquaintances. This means actually waking up to cook my husband breakfast. It's only an extra 30 minutes of sleep to give up, but boy do I love those 30 minutes, especially since Caleb just started waking multiple times/night again. This is a more long term goal, but the idea of starting the day over a warm breakfast with my best friend does sound pretty wonderful.

1 comment:

Shonda said...

Good job. I'm a make it yourself kind of girl. Have you checked out Heavenly Homemakers? She has tons of great recipes for homemade goodies.