Week 1: Great Cupboard Clean Out!

I’m keeping a running blog post that I come in and edit every day to keep up with the Great Cupboard Clean Out my mom and I are doing! Here is a link to my post about it: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/the-great-cupboard-clean-out/ and my mom’s post about it: https://www.joscountryjunction.com/a-challenge-straight-from-the-kitchen/

Head to my mom’s blog www.joscountryjunction.com to see her progress with the cupboard clean out – we will update every TUESDAY!

Wednesday: Today I was home ALL DAY with the boys – making a point to being using up our cupboard stash! I had some lettuce I needed to use up so I decided to make a greek salad! I used up this bag of chick peas in place of croutons, I used up some canned chopped olives and this DELICIOUS ranch from my FAVORITE Primal Kitchen that has been sitting in my cupboard for too long. I also threw some frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer – just with some salt and pepper for chicken for my salad. YUM! It was SO GOOD! Even Gannon loved it!

Can you believe how crispy and golden those thighs got? Like for real – I only added salt and pepper and cooked for about 40 minutes in the air fryer – turning them once. For this meal I actually USED UP one can of olives, chickpeas, and chicken thighs.

I also totally FAILED at making a banana cake. I had a ton of bananas – I like to buy the “singles” bag for 99 cents – they needed to get used right away so I found an awesome recipe for banana cake from I am Baker (she’s my fave) and she used self rising flour – I did not AND I didn’t have the knowledge to add baking soda. Craig just keeps saying “It’s got good flavor but uhm… it’s REALLY dense.” It’s okay honey, I know it is awful. I got a pretty picture of it though and the frosting is 10/10! THIS is why I don’t bake!!! I’m a cooker, not a baker! That’s for sure!

As you can see, there are still bananas that need to get used up so maybe I’ll attempt this recipe again tomorrow.

Thursday: I ate the same thing again today – greek salad and reattempted the banana cake to use up those nasty bananas! I also made a smoothie using left over frozen fruit! I’ve also decided to create some of my own rules to the Great Cupboard Clean Out – my mom has a LOT more food than I do so she can have her $100 spending limit but here are my exceptions:

$50 per week on FOOD – I usually get groceries on Thursdays while Gannon has speech therapy – this trip will have a $50 cap on it per week EXCLUDING pop, beer, milk, coffee, and Craig’s energy drinks.

Today I rang in at $42 – I got eggs, bread crumbs (to use up all of that frozen chicken!), my favorite Primal Kitchen Chipotle Mayo, yeast (for pizza), some baking supplies, more bananas, Carver’s snacks for school, some avocados and tomatoes. Total: $42.51 – then I went and got bread from Kwik Star so that was about $5. Overall, I’m under my grocery budget for the week, I have meals prepped in my head.

And just like that it’s MONDAY and this post goes live tomorrow to keep up with my mom! I’m still sticking to it, doing well, I made a zucchini cake today and it went much better than my two failed banana cakes last week! Here is the link to my mom’s blog for that post! https://www.joscountryjunction.com/best-zucchini-bars/ It used up the zucchini and carrots I had in my fridge and some cream cheese that needed to get gone. Carver LOVED it – I will for sure bake this again!

Then, I’m onto home made pizza! PLEASE NOTE: Wax paper, is NOT parchment paper. The pizza was delicious and amazing and ALMOST as good as my mom’s but I had to peel off melted wax paper from the bottom of the crust. This used up pepper jack cheese, some leftover sausage, and a package of meat sticks that were all about to go bad!

I tried a few other new recipes too! But they were SO GOOD I feel like they need their very own blog post so that will be coming in the future! Overall, this is a FUN challenge, leave a comment and let me know if you are tagging along with us! I need butter and cheese but other than that I don’t even need much from the store this week!

Also, CABBAGE is next on my list – we have TOO MUCH! Leave me a recipe!

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  1. Joy
    April 20, 2021 / 12:27 pm

    Stir fry the cabbage with sausage or hamburger and add some crispy bacon if you have it. Add seasoning and soy sauce.

  2. April 20, 2021 / 1:00 pm

    I agree with Joy. Slice the cabbage thinly . . slice up some onion and green peppers. Stir-fry the veggies. Add some leftover chopped ham, pork, chicken or whatever. Your Mom said she had 5 lbs of sliced ham to use up. This would have been perfect. Add soy sauce to taste. Servie over dry chinese noodles heated slightly. We like the crunch of the noodles.

    You could also make a cabbage soup and add dried beans to it.
    editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
    May 4, 2020·3 min read

    Self-rising flour makes impossibly fluffy pancakes, sky-high biscuits and muffins that rival any bakery’s. But it’s not all that common in recipes, plus it has a short shelf life, so stocking up isn’t really worth it. So of course you’re left high and dry when you want to whip up a batch of biscuits once every six months. Don’t head to the grocery yet: Here’s how to make a self-rising flour substitute with ingredients you have at home.

    But first, what is self-rising flour?
    Self-rising flour is exactly what it sounds like: flour that makes baked goods rise without additional leavening. The secret is not one magical ingredient but a blend made from a combination of white flour, baking powder and salt. Self-rising flour is frequently called for in Southern recipes like biscuits and cobblers, but it was invented by a British baker who thought sailors in the British Navy would benefit from freshly baked bread while at sea. (How sweet.)

    Most recipes call for all-purpose flour and list the leavening—baking soda or baking powder—as a separate ingredient because it’s easier to control and adjust the amount needed, plus all-purpose flour is more versatile. So when you stumble upon a dreamy, three-ingredient biscuit recipe that requires the self-rising flour you don’t have in your pantry, is it worth making a special trip to the store? Not so fast. You can easily make a DIY substitution with ingredients you already have at home.

    How to Make Your Own Self-Rising Flour Substitute
    All-purpose flour
    Baking powder
    Fine sea salt

    1. In a bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon fine sea salt.
    2. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

    Voilà, self-rising flour. For every cup of self-rising flour called for in your recipe, you can use this substitute. The only caveat? Self-rising flour is often milled from a softer wheat than all-purpose is, so your final results will be ever so slightly less tender.

  3. Margaret from North Texas
    April 20, 2021 / 1:05 pm

    Put cabbage and a little onion in food processor and grind to make cold slaw, add a little chopped green pepper—whisk a dressing of 2T. sugar, 2T. white vinegar, and 2T water, a little salt , and pour over cabbage mix. Hope you enjoy and sounds like you are off to a good start on the” cupboard clean out”!!

  4. sew happy
    April 20, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    I am happy to read someone explained what self-raising flour is. It is something used often in the South. At first, I was going to say, with your mom being a good baker, why are you not, then I remember I can not make a good pie because my mom was the pie maker in the family. Have fun trying new recipes.

  5. Cindy F
    April 20, 2021 / 1:43 pm

    We love cutting cabbage into slabs, sprinkling with olive oil, salt and pepper and then baking in the oven. I forget what temp and how long but you want the cabbage to get roasted well and need to turn once so both sides get done. Another thing to do with cabbage is to combine cabbage and chicken in a dish. I don’t have a specific recipe but lots out there. I hadn’t considered putting those two together but any kind of seasoning mix works…whether Asian, tomato based, greek….just use what you love.

  6. Diane in WA
    April 20, 2021 / 9:31 pm

    I don’t have a bunch of food in the pantry but some stuff in the freezer that needs to be used. So will go through the freezer and either use the item or throw it out.

  7. Sally C.
    April 20, 2021 / 10:14 pm

    There is a great Cabbage and Noodles recipe on Spend with Pennies Blog. I am enjoying both your Mom’s and your challenge and it is making me look at my own pantry and freezer a little better.

  8. Joanne Lytle
    April 20, 2021 / 10:31 pm

    If you’re going to make bread, or pizza regularly, buy the jar of yeast (Fleishman’s , 4 0z., brown bottle), either active or instant is ok. it’s much cheaper, and usually way more reliable. I keep a jar in the cupboard. Or, If you know someone with a membership in Sams, bj’s, or Cosco, ask them to buy the packages of yeast for you, keep a jar in the cupboard, and the rest in the freezer – and share it with the family, of course! I also can buy yeast at the health food store. 2 1/4 tsp. yeast = 1 package. I use parchment for my pizza and re-use it, usually twice.
    Nice challenge. I’m trying to use up my freezer and cupboard stock too.

  9. Lori
    April 20, 2021 / 11:30 pm

    Just a thought about bananas. Once the bananas are fully ripe, leave the peeling on and put them in a ziplock and toss in the freezer. Thaw and use for banana bread or cake. Or use frozen in smoothies.

  10. Cat S.
    April 22, 2021 / 6:44 am

    My family-approved way to use up cabbage is low-carb egg roll in a bowl: https://stylishcravings.com/low-carb-easy-make-egg-roll-bowl/

    I make these back into egg rolls by using egg roll wrappers from the store (refrigerated section), and baking them for ~15 mins at 400 F, until the wrappers start to brown.

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