Dinner

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?

Seattle

This weekend we went up to Seattle to spend some time with family. Bella got to go on “Vacation” at her boyfriend’s house. 😀 You think she’s happy??

Traffic was pretty decent and Logan slept for most of the drive to Seattle, so we lucked out! We arrived at my parents house and unpacked, got settled in and then had dinner. My mom made fresh salmon and salad and (not pictured) her amazing mustard bread. It’s my favorite!

It was a pretty low-key night considering Logan and I are both getting over nasty colds. So we went to bed pretty early.

On Saturday we had breakfast and I went to the gym. It was an ok workout. I was glad I did it, even though I was still feeling a bit rundown. It perked me up a bit.

Oh, did I mention that my brother was there visiting from California?! He is LOVING Californian life and has found a a group to go cycling with (up big mountains, too) and has lost a bunch of weight.

After the gym, my dad went golfing (in the rain!) and my brother, mom, Michael and Logan and I went down to Edmonds to go to the Marina park. I remember going as a kid and liking it a lot. Edmonds has changed so much since I lived in Seattle. So many modern condos and buildings and tons of art studios.

The park had some nice toys for kids and there was also the marina there, so Logan was SUPER fascinated with the forklifts moving the boats to dry dock. And he got to see the ferry boats!

It’s so funny because I’ve forgotten what “beaches” in Washington are like: sandy and rocky. The beaches in Oregon are pretty nice, even if they are cold. 😉 Of course, nothing compares to Hawaii!

After spending a good hour and a half at the beach, we went back to the house for lunch:

And naps:

After Logan woke up we did a whirlwind tour of seeing friends and family! A friend came over to visit and then the three of us went to visit my Grandma and take her some groceries, flowers and art from Logan. 🙂

I love looking at my Grandma’s photos!

Logan was happy to show Grammy his cars:

We visited some more family after that and then home for dinner. Pork roast, salad and potatoes:

And a plum torte for dessert:

Sunday I went to the gym for a quickie workout, hung out with the family a bit more and then packed up the car.

We met some friends in Ballard for lunch at Ballard Pizza. We hadn’t seen our friends in so long, so it was nice to see them and the kids (who are all growing like weeds!) and catch up. Lunch was pretty good. The caesar salad was a bit bland.

But the pizza was good and the crust was excellent.

After lunch it was time for the very long, slow drive home. It was a great weekend seeing lots of people but today I am very, very tired!