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Tuesday, March 28, 2017


or, end of the month.

Can you relate? End of the month's grocery budget.  I've been trying to dream up yummy things, using what we have on hand. Last night, my plan was to make pumpkin muffins to go with lentil vegetable soup. But I didn't want just any pumpkin muffins. So I made a maple glaze for the muffins. Oh wow, yummy!

I am also running low on favorite flavored teas for my own consumption. I added a drop of maple extract to a cup of plain tea, and topped off with vanilla soy milk. That was a delicious maple tea latte which used only items from my pantry.

I got creative with the frozen sugar cookie dough the other evening. I cut it into squares (I'm too lazy to do shapes, ha ha), baked, then topped with milk chocolate chips. Once the chocolate chips were melty, I spread them with a knife, to make chocolate-topped sugar cookies.

No salsa in the house; so for some burritos at lunch yesterday, I mushed up canned tomatoes with some chili powder. It was a decent-enough salsa substitute.

Last of the eggs, too (when we run out of items, we run out of everything!). I made a large batch of the pumpkin muffins with just one medium egg, instead of two large eggs. They turned out just fine.

What are you running out of, and how are you improvising?


  1. With my impending home purchase and ensuing move, we're eating foodstuffs down, my list grows. Out of Pam spray, for example, I'm back to buttering baking dishes or brushing pans with vegetable oil. Noted my salt is getting low . . kind of how I feel when we are out of eggs . . need to refill that soon! Other staples like the Pam spray are: bread flour, sesame oil, evap milk, lasagna noodles, organic sugar for coffee, crushed pineapple, juices of any kind, ginger ale, cuke, coconut, spaghetti noodles, fzn peppers/onions, hotdogs. I am just using substitutes

    1. Hi Carol,
      That's a very reasonable plan. Use up as much as you can, now; you'll save money and not have to move as many items. I hope everything continues to go well with your home purchase. Have a wonderful day, Carol!

  2. I usually don't mess with the number of eggs when I'm baking. Are there certain rules you follow to use fewer eggs than it calls for when you are baking like you did in the pumpkin muffins?

    1. Hi live and learn,
      it all depends on what I'm baking. With cakes, I'll look for a recipe which calls for fewer eggs. I do have a 1-egg cake recipe, and that will work with 1 medium egg, if I don't have larges. If it's pancakes, then I use extra leavening and oil (no egg, or very low egg pancakes stick more than normal). With these muffins, I used the normal amount of baking powder, the 1 medium egg, and I used slightly less milk, so the batter was very think, not drippy at all. The reduced liquid I believe helped the muffins firm up quickly, to make up for a slower "firming" time without the extra egg.
      Here's a general guideline that I follow with egg substitutes:

      The muffins were delicious, enough that I ate two, which is rare for me. Have a great day, live and learn!

    2. Thanks for you insights. I remember the egg sub., but I didn't remember leaving them out as one of them.

  3. Yes, when we're out of one thing we surely are out of a lot of other things. We used so much when our son was home but I'm not sure I'm in a hurry to replace anything. I have a pantry full of stuff that still needs to be eaten so I want to incorporate those things into meals as much as possible.

    We're out of potatoes and though I love them I also know that I should cut them out of our diets. We are out of cream soups and those also should be cut out of our diet so I won't be buying those. I'm slowly cutting out the side dishes with our meals especially starches and carbs. We'll stick with the meat and heavy on the veggies. I'll see how that goes. It might not work.

    Your muffins look good. We love pumpkin apple streusel muffins. The crunchy topping is so good.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I like streusel topping on rhubarb muffins. But on pumpkin and apple, that sounds delicious, too!

      I do wonder how my cooking style will change when the kids have all moved into their own places. Like you've experienced, I wonder if we'll eat fewer starchy foods, or smaller meals. Did you ru out of many thins with your son home for the week, because you were low on those things already, or did it seem like a young man of his age does eat significantly more than mid-life adults? This gradual decline in what I eat, has been just that, very gradual. Having someone young either move in or out sounds like it changes the needs significantly.

      As we were running low on some convenience items, like canned corn (for corn pudding) and green beans, plus cream of mushroom soup (for green bean casserole), I hid the very last of those for an easier Easter dinner. I am amazed that we went through all of the cases of canned veggies, but we did.

      Have a great day, Alice!

  4. Mmmm, I'll be over later to sample one of your muffins. ;)

    Have you posted your lentil vegetable soup recipe? If so, can you send me the link?

    I've been trying to stock up on groceries which are on sale the past couple of weeks (eggs, butter). I haven't been buying much in the way of meat--trying to "eat down" our freezer foods. That includes our freezer fruit and vegs, although I admit to buying a fresh pineapple at Aldi this morning for $1.29--it just looked so good! Bread was on sale (which, at Aldi, is a VERY good price) so I figure with the $1.00 I saved on bread, I almost paid for the pineapple.

    Have you ever tried shaking your milk in a closed container and then microwaving it (opening the container slightly, of course)? It froths up your milk if you want a closer-to-authentic latte experience.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm not sure that I have posted that recipe. It's pretty good. Basically, it has celery, onions, garlic, carrots, herbs, canned tomatoes, lentils, beef bouillon. I'll type that recipe up soon, as it is a good one. In summer, I add zucchini. If I want meat in it, it's good with Polish sausage chunks or chicken. Otherwise, I lie it topped with Parmesan cheese.

      That is a good price for fresh pineapple. I tend to buy just the canned, as I'm allergic to fresh pineapple, but I know my family prefers the fresh.

      I've never tried shaking the milk. I'll give that a go and see if it works with soy milk, too.

      Have a great day, Kris!

  5. Yep. Same here. I told the kids I wouldn't be buying any groceries until Friday. No pepperoni for pizza. They had to decide if they wanted just plain cheese or I gave them the option of adding some sliced olives.

    I technically need a couple of bell peppers for tonight's red beans & rice, but I'm just going to omit them because I don't have them.

    I've planned a breakfast for dinner night later this week. We were gifted some whole milk & white bread & we have plenty of eggs, so I'll make French toast for the boys with that. The rest of us will probably just eat scrambled eggs.

    It's been a good exercise in self restraint for everyone. When it's gone, it's gone. I have a full pantry, so certainly no one has been deprived, they've just had to get a little creative. Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      What you're doing is helpful for your kids, too. I think it teaches kids that we have to make choices, that supplies are not limitless ,and sometimes things don't work out as we'd hoped. And I found that when we did have the desired items again, they were really appreciated.

      It's so easy to slip into a spoiled mentality, for me. We had a large bag of potato chips gifted to us and I was somewhat spoiled about going into the pantry for a quick snack. When those ran out I found myself privately whining. I've now adjusted (woe is me, I have to eat buttered in toast instead of potato chips, ha ha).

      The breakfast for dinner sounds like it will be a hit. I have a surplus of bread and milk, but very low on eggs. If I come across a container of frozen eggs in my freezer diving, then I'll do a baked French toast soon. (Or if I pick up eggs just after the first, which could happen if I go by Cash & Carry.)

      I hope your day is a sunny one, Melissa! It's dark and gloomy on this side of the mountains, today.

  6. Those muffins look good, Lili.

    We are improvising here too. Either that or I am just not being creative enough. LOL I have made a lot of pasta salad in the last two weeks, but we have a bunch of it, so I figure why not? LOL


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