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Monday, January 19, 2009

i challenge you

while getting ready this morning, i stumbled upon a bag full of some fabulous cosmetics samples from trips to sephora. and so i came up with a fun idea - hopefully it's fun and not lame as hell. heh.

while y'all KNOW i love food - eating it, buying it, making it - i'm not particularly creative or inventive with it. i'm the kind of girl who has to have a recipe, complete with specific measurements and temperatures and cooking times.

and with a move looming near (like, within the next couple of weeks-ish), i'm loath to buying more stuff unless i absolutely have to. on saturday night, i made a tuna noodle casserole for dinner. the hub and i both love the stuff, and i was stoked to realize that i already had everything i needed right there in my pantry. score! plus, it was super easy and total comfort food. awesome.

inspired, i went in the pantry this morning and started pulling everything out of there. i knew there had to be more easy meals just waiting to be discovered, without having to buy anything else, and so i emptied out the entire bottom shelf.
you knew there'd be spam in there! and yeah, there's a lot of canned goods and processed stuff too. i know it. and i'm making it a point to try to stick to more fresh produce and healthier items going forward. but for now, my goal is to use up as much of this stuff as i can in the next couple of weeks.

in my freezer, i've got chicken breasts (some boneless, some not), three ribeye steaks, a couple of tilapia filets, a pork tenderloin roast, a pound of ground beef, and various frozen veggies. i have butter, sour cream, milk, cream cheese, and various shredded cheeses in the fridge. plus, i've got bread, spaghetti, egg noodles, penne, macaroni, panko, breadcrumbs, and a cupboard full of all sorts of spices and seasonings.

where am i going with this? well, i'll tell you:

leave me an idea or a recipe in the comments to this post using the ingredients i have on hand, along with an e-mail or link to your blog, if you have one (feel free to e-mail your contact info to me separately, if you don't want to post it). i'll put all of your names in a hat, and at the end of the week, the bean will draw a name and whoever it is will win that fun assortment of sephora samples and goodies.

whee! it's a challenge WITH a prize! fun, right? yay!

you know you want to play. just do it. all the cool kids are.


  1. Unless you've got the ingredients and a hankering for grilled cheese, I don't think I can help you.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This is what's in the crock pot for tonight...

    Salsa Chicken

    4 frozen chicken breasts
    1 packet taco seasoning
    1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
    1 cup salsa
    1/2 cup sour cream

    Put chicken breasts in crock pot. Sprinkle taco seasoning on top. Mix soup and salsa together and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours. Mix in sour cream (I think this is optional). Serve with tortillas, rice, etc.

    Looks like you probably have everything you need for that! Not on the blog yet, but www.itsmelissaskitchen.blogspot.com

  4. Note: I usually shred the chicken before mixing in the sour cream.

  5. Coming out of lurking status...No specific recipes but two suggested websites where you can enter what you have and it gives a list of recipes.



  6. I love your blog! Here's a couple recipes I lurve (I'll do separate posts to help you out :)

    Chicken-noodle bowls

    1 pound chicken, seasoned to taste, stir fried

    Spaghetti noodles (enough to feed the troops) cooked

    To the cooked chicken, stir fry whatever veggies you like. I've done broccoli, baby snap peas, carrots, water chestnuts or any other veggies.

    Add a bunch of sliced green onions

    1 cup of chicken broth or sherry

    sliced fresh ginger (to taste - I do a whole nubbin of it)

    toasted seasame seeds

    1/3 cup soy sauce

    a sprinkle of sugar or honey (lightly coat the pan)

    a dash or 2 (or 3) of seasame oil

    Mix all together, serve & enjoy!
    Yummy & pretty healthy too!

  7. This is my FAV for fish (and it's yummy with chicken)

    Take enough lemons and oranges sliced to fill the bottom of a baking pan (1 or 2 of each). Place them alternating along the bottom of the pan

    Lay your thawed fish (or pounded out chicken) on top of the fruit

    Drizzle with Olive Oil, salt & pepper

    Zest another orange or lemon on top of the fish and squeeze fresh juice on too!

    Bake @ 350 for about 20 minutes.
    And there you have it! So Yummy!

    (You can also top the meat with fresh dill....delish!)

    Good luck in your new adventures!

  8. I lied. I have another

    take 1 pound hamburger, season how you'd like

    Make into smaller hamburger patties.

    Dip into a flour mixture made of flour, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like. I use red pepper, cavender's or whatever floats my boat that day

    Then dip into beaten egg (probably 2)

    Then dip into crushed crackers

    Cook in a heated pan with olive oil until done

    Another yummy fav that reminds me of home :)

  9. you know i'm a recipe girl, too.
    but...i'll suggest pasta puttanesca, though, as most of the ingredients are pantry ones.

    i can't find my usual recipe i follow online and am too lazy to type it out. this one is pretty good. just sub a can of tuna for the anchovy fillets. throw everything in, let the sauce simmer, and it's a more flavorful but saucy pasta sauce.

    you know how to reach me.
    but sub the

  10. I found this for you online; Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Bacon and Herbs --


    Hey, it's got bacon. I should win.

    Surprisingly, I don't have that many canned goods / packages of seasoning, mostly because I don't know what to do with them.

  11. This is such a great idea. I have no recipes since I'm sick of all my cooking. I've been stealing them from justjenn.

    I'm gonna have to borrow some of the above.

  12. De-lurking here

    Here's a recipe for parmesan crusted chicken (definitely quick and easy):

    Mix together breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (usually 2 parts breadcrumbs to 1 part parmesan cheese)

    Spread thin layer of mayo on each chicken breast and coat with breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for ~30-40 minutes.

  13. I also have a crockpot recipe for ya:

    boneless chicken
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    sliced mushrooms

    set crockpot on low for 8 hours. the chicken will just shred to pieces once it's cooked. i usually serve this over rice.

  14. Epicurious.com will also let you just type in ingredients and it'll find a recipe for you. I like it, b/c you can choose "on a budget" and "healthy" at the same time. I really couldn't think of anything with what I saw pictured. Sorry. :(

  15. you have peanut butter and nutella. 'nuf said.

    kidding, sort of. I also swear by epicurious.com and cookinglight.com - both are my go-to websites. GL!

  16. I don't know that I have a good recipie, but I lurve me some sephora goodies, so I'll give it a shot.

    Cook up some steak, cut it into some strips.

    *Sidetracked, but is that spam bacon? I didn't know they made that.*

    Ok ADD away.. Mix the steak in with some chili on the stove, bring the chili to a boil and throw it over some pasta.

    Quick easy and DELISH!

  17. I don't need the prize, but I do the same clean out when we move, so I'll email you a bunch of "clean out the pantry" ideas.

  18. I cook mainly chinese food so unless if you got a whole fish or bok choy in there, I'm out. =)

  19. When I saw you had panko and spam, two things popped up into my head! Chicken Katsu (b/c you said you also have chicken), and spam musubi. Those are two local favorites in Hawaii (where I live and am from). I'm sure you'd love both. If you're interested at all in finding out the recipes for either of these yummy things just email me at heatheritokazu@yahoo.com.
    Love your blog!

  20. Okay, Im pretty basic when it comes to cooking... but I'll share some ideas.

    Chick breasts, cream o mushroom, water (double the amount the can says to add) and (I use rice, but you can also use) egg noodles. Crock pot em or oven 'em at 350 for 2-4hrs. (Crockpot takes a little longer.) You can also add some frozen veggies for color and flavor (tried it with rice, but not noodles).

    Also, shredded pork loin simmered in BBQ sauce... on buns, bread, crackers, with a fork (when it comes to BBQ pork, I'm not picky) hot or cold (like left-overs... not raw, haha). I see you have KC Masterpiece... for future reference, Sweet Baby Ray's is less ketchup-y about the same price.

    Also, how's this:
    12 ounces Package semisweet chocolate -morsels
    12 ounces Jar crunchy peanut butter
    14 ounces Can sweetened condensed milk


    Put chocolate chips and peanut butter into a microwave-safe dish. Microwave, on high 1-2 minutes until chips have completely melted. Add sweetened condensed milk; stir until mixture is of a uniform consistency. Pour into an 8x8 square pan lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1" pieces.

    This recipe from CDKitchen for Easy Peanut Butter Fudge serves/makes 16

  21. with the onion dip mix, you can make quick chili. I've made this a few times, so quick and easy.


    1 Package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
    1 1/2 # lean ground beef
    8 oz can tomato sauce
    1 can, black beans (drained)
    4 tbsp chili powder


    Brown beef, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.
    Serves 8

    also make some crepes with nutella and fresh bananas

    so does this mean i get 2 entries? hehehe

  22. Chicken chili. http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotchicken/r/bl118c19.htm

    P.S. Love the challenge idea. Will love it more if I win. ;)

  23. i'm lacking brain power to do this. but, looks like you're getting some good recipes. :)

  24. There are tons of versions of this, but w/ those taco seasoning packets I see...

    Taco Soup

    1 lb ground beef
    1 can rotel
    1 can regular diced tomatoes
    1 can pinto beans
    1 can Bush's chili beans
    1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
    1 packet taco seasoning
    1 can sweet kernel corn
    1 can cut green beans

    Brown the meat, add taco seasoning to it. Combine all ingredients in a pot or crockpot. Basically cook till hot. I put it in the crockpot on Saturday (on low) for 7 hours. You can heat on the stove for quicker meal.
    Oh, with the canned ingredients, I used the whole can, juices and all, for the tomatoes & beans. The corn & green beans were drained before added to the pot. Then, I added a few canfulls of water (just to get to whatever consistency you want!)


    Angel Chicken Pasta from Allrecipes.com



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