cleaning out the fridge

We’re leaving in a few days, so that means I’m in the process of attempting to use up all my perishable food items as thoroughly as possible.  Interestingly, I enjoy the creative challenge in trying to decide what meals to make so as to use up as many food items as possible.

Last Thursday, I wrote out a detailed menu for our remaining days at home, writing out both lunches and suppers.  So, far I’ve been able to stick quite close to the plan, which makes me proud of myself.  And it is SO nice to have the decisions made about what to prepare and to not to have to decide what to make for meals!  I really wish I could motivate myself to plan like this more frequently.

Tonight, scalloped potatoes with ham was on the menu, in order to use up some of yesterday’s Easter ham, as well as finish off my potatoes before we leave.  I used a slow-cooker recipe that called for 3 pounds of potatoes.  Much to my delight, when I weighed my potatoes in my trusty kitchen scale, it came out to exactly 3 pounds!  It’s like it was destiny!  For the cheese, I used cubes of various kinds of cheese left over after Easter breakfast yesterday.  (Hey, if no one takes their Easter breakfast food home after church, it automatically becomes the property of the one who does the clean-up.  And pretty much every year, that person is ME.)  I shredded the cheese in my hand-held Pampered Chef cheese shredder, but there wasn’t quite enough for the recipe.  So, I shredded a few more ounces of Monterey Jack.  I had one onion left, along with about 1/4 of a cup already chopped in the fridge, so that was a perfect amount as well.  Finally, although the recipe didn’t call for it, I chopped up the last of my red pepper and threw that in, too.  I was so tickled to use up so much food stuff in this recipe!  I served the scalloped potatoes and ham with the coleslaw I had made yesterday, and since Curious J is too young for coleslaw, I gave her the remaining half of an avocado in my fridge that needed to be used up.

For breakfast tomorrow, there’s enough egg bake left for the four of us.  I made a fantastic egg bake for the Easter breakfast.  I cubed Dutch Crunch rolls for the bread (YUM!), to which I added a pound of browned pork sausage, onions, red pepper, cheese, and of course, eggs and milk.  It turned out fantastic, and it was one of the better egg bakes I’ve done recently.  To my delight, both of my girls liked it; sometimes they have issues with sausage.  (Lyd will try a very non-spicy sausage, and complain that it’s “too spicy!”  Yet, she loves kielbasa, so I never know quite how she’s going to react.)  I also have some egg bake that another member of our church made and then left behind after church (you leave it, it becomes mine), but that one’s a little spicier, so I’m thinking that my girls won’t go for it.  But JJ and I will! 🙂

I won’t use up all the opened cheese in the fridge before we leave, so I’ll shred and freeze that before we go.  By the time we leave, I’ll probably have about a dozen hardboiled, decorated eggs left, but they last a long time, and they’ll be good until we get back.  I have one carrot left, which I’ll peel and cut to take along on the plane ride, I’ll wrap up the celery in tin foil and hope that it lasts, I have a few other things here and there which I’ll either find a way to use up or give to my neighbor who is watching my house while we’re gone, and that will take care of my fridge.  Yay!

Our breakfast on the morning we leave will probably be our usual travel-morning non-breakfast made up of whatever leftovers have yet to be eaten up, and then we’ll be off!  Grandparents, here we come! 🙂

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Funny and true: Tonight at supper, Lyd said to me, “Momma, you make good stuff for supper, lunch and breakfast!”  What a nice compliment from my lovely daughter. 🙂  Although to be perfectly honest, I can’t take any credit for breakfast this morning; JJ toasted waffles for him and Lyd because they were awake before Curious J and I were.  But lunch was my leftover chicken quinoa soup that I had made entirely from scratch (broth and all!) last week, to which I added carrots, spinach and zucchini.  Despite how healthy it was, both my girls liked it, so I take Lyd’s words as a real compliment! 🙂

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