recipes

Clean Out The Pantry

Recently we decided to give the “Imperfect Produce” service a try. The first box we got was really good, except for the lettuce. The second box had good stuff in it, too, but some of the stuff was on the verge of going bad–so that was a big disappointment. Overall, I wasn’t super happy with it because it felt like pressure to use the produce quickly before it went bad. I don’t mind “ugly” produce (like a weird shape or smaller than normal, etc) but I didn’t want almost too-ripe stuff. It didn’t seem like I was saving any money, either.

So it was a short-lived experiment. But the good news? We got random produce that I normally wouldn’t buy in the store and got to experiment a little bit. For example, we made a fennel salad that was really good.

We used this recipe, Fennel and Endive Salad, as an idea and instead of endive, used kale. I liked the flavor and crunch of the raw fennel. The salad went with a simple skillet dinner. We had carrots and celery, onions and mushrooms to use up so we cooked them in the skillet with chicken and then used a Tikka Masala “simmer sauce” packet I got at the store.

Dinner was pretty good and fairly easy. We’ve been trying to also work through the pantry and use up stuff that’s been in there too long. The simmer sauce packet was one of them. (I have another one for pad thai that I am thinking I will use with carrot or zoodle noodles!).

The reason to “eat through the pantry” was twofold. I was tired of buying stuff each week when we had things in the pantry and it was overflowing. We just needed to be better about eating stuff I buy!

Another “pantry meal” was stuffed peppers. I had a can of “fiesta” corn (corn with red and green peppers) and taco seasoning so I made some ground turkey taco meat and then stuffed the peppers from the imperfect produce box.

Then I topped it with cheese and baked it for 30 minutes.

The flavor was really good. We had salad with it. It was a tasty and filling dinner.

It was also nice to be creative and have something different.

So looking through the pantry now, I see a lot of things that I need to be creative with! Cans of black beans, polenta, cans of Rotel diced tomatoes, lots of refried beans…I’m seeing some bean enchiladas in our future!

What are some of your favorite “clean out the pantry” meals?

Cheese & Wine

After Logan’s nap we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I haven’t been in about 15 years, I think. And they recently remodeled it. It looked really nice! We checked out stuff but it was pretty crazy. I mean the crowds and lines were pretty insane.

And unfortunately, the cheese factory wasn’t doing anything. Maybe they were on a break? But there wasn’t anything to see. So we bought some Tillamook cheese curds and a small loaf of smoked gouda and left.

Instead, we went to The Blue Heron French Cheese Company.

I loved the Blue Heron. It was a much better experience than Tillamook Cheese Factory. Less busy AND they had a petting zoo! I posted some videos on Instagram of Logan feeding the animals!

 

Skip the Cheese Factory and go to Blue Heron. They have a TON of cheese, wine tasting, a gift shop, ice cream shop and petting zoo. So much fun!

We got a serving of the Black Cherry ice cream and the three of us shared it outside.

We came home with a jar of puttanesca sauce, a spicy red jalapeno mustard, some smoked gouda and smoked brie. Michael’s mom bought some peppercorn brie, too.

We came home and then prepped dinner stuff. Michael’s mom brought filet mignon that Michael grilled up and it was delicious–like butter!

I baked a loaf of delicious multigrain bread. And I also made this recipe: Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Tomatoes and Onions. The swiss chard and onion was from our “Imperfect Produce” box and the tomatoes were from our garden. It turned out great! I was happy with it.

We also had the peppercorn brie with dinner–SO GOOD! I definitely ate too much bread and brie. The steak was perfect. The swiss chard was great.

On Sunday we packed up and made a stop at the Cape Meares Lighthouse before heading home. It was a really pretty view.


You could go up into the lighthouse and do a tour but since we had Bella we skipped it. We took some photos and then made the drive back to Portland.

Logan slept the whole way home! It was a great trip!