A week of pantry meals

The boys and I just came back from a week of visiting my youngest sister in Anchorage and helping her get ready to move. It was a lot of fun but between the extra money we spent on the trip and a couple of other expenses I found myself obliged to shop my own pantry, refrigerator and freezer for meals this week. This was actually a fun little challenge. I did have a little bit of money that I used to buy fruit, bread, milk and a few other things, including some marked down spinach. But all of these dinners for the most part came from what I had on hand.

On Sunday Christopher made us some pasta and frozen broccoli when we arrived home at about 8 o'clock at night. Since we'd left Anchorage at 9:30 in the morning, we were very grateful to have a hot dinner when we got home. Christopher told me he put butter, Italian seasoning and a little bit of provolone on the pasta. Yum.

On Monday I was still pretty tired from the trip so we just had Totino's pizzas from the freezer.

(I am pretty fond of Totino's pizzas. They cost $1.69 at Fred Meyers and I feel like they have seen us through some difficult times, including when newborn baby Silas wanted to nurse 24/7 and I was desperate for some calories but wasn't able to make myself anything to eat. I'll never forget how relieved I was when Christopher would come home from work and fill up my 32 ounce hospital water cup with ice water and put some Totino's pizzas in the oven for us to eat. My hero! They don't tell you in those pregnancy books that breastfeeding in those first few weeks after birth makes you VERY hungry and VERY thirsty.)

On Tuesday I made Easy Garlic Spaghetti from Catz in the Kitchen. I used some of the garlic oil to saute some chicken and added that to the spaghetti. We had them with green beans from the freezer.

On Wednesday I made a sheet pan dinner with chicken sausage, zucchini and a sweet potato. I had bought the ingredients for this meal the week before we went on the trip but didn't end up making it when I planned to. Miraculously, the 3 zucchini were still okay. I cut a mushy end off just one of them.

On Thursday we had the last piece of some halibut someone gave us. We had it with buttered rice and broccoli. We also made chocolate chip cookies because Silas had a dentist appointment that afternoon and did a great job -- Christopher is in charge of taking the boys to the dentist and he assured me he wouldn't let the dentist know how we were celebrating.

On Friday I made a pizza and we had it with a side of spinach. I happen to love steamed spinach, so that's how I made mine but Christopher and Silas prefer theirs raw with ranch dressing. Micah likes his raw with no "ranching" (ranch+dressing). Julian preferred not to eat his at all. He picked up a piece of pizza off his high chair tray that happened to have a piece of spinach stuck to it and he carefully shook the piece of pizza until the spinach flew off, then put the pizza in his mouth.

Today we had chicken tacos. I didn't have any fresh tomatoes, so I put a can of diced tomatoes in with the chicken while it was cooking. I did have cheddar cheese and lettuce to go on them. They were okay, but honestly could have used some sour cream, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Maybe next time.

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