Posted by: aauntiem | May 11, 2010

Pantry Party

This week Picasso and I are playing a little game. It is a game we sometimes play, albeit begrudgingly, at the end of semester.

With all the family activities, job hunting (and sometimes paying, ie: certification, applications to grad school, etc.), and general craziness that has settled upon our lives the last few weeks we have gotten our meal and grocery list out of whack.

We have bought things we plan to eat and then zombies attack causing us to have to put aside the oven fried chicken and make crude weapons from bubble gum and gardening tools.

When zombies attack the smart thing to do is order take-out.

Case in point: Spaghetti has been on the menu for a month and has yet to make it to the table. Our menu needs a chiropractor. This week is no exception.

I feel a little like these guys

and, my poo, so to speak, comes in the form of a pantry party.

We did not buy meals for the week.

We are rebels.

We are dangerous, zombie fighting, poo flinging, rebels.

That’s right, you heard me, we are making dinner without a menu. We are using pantry ingredients. We are making spaghetti.

Because, people, I live on the edge.

Now, a pantry party, if you should chose to accept the dare and play the game, has a couple of rules:

  1. You may not, under any circumstances, go the grocery store to pick up that one thing that would make the most awesome super can’t believe I made that with only this ingredient. Learn to make it or make do. Zombies are at your door; so you better learn to make your own caffeinated beverage in the absence of diet coke (can I get a sweet tea, amen).
  2. Don’t be neighborly this week just to cozy up for a cup of flour. That is cheating!
  3. Use as much out of your pantry/freezer/fridge as you can—the point is to use up what you already bought. Get creative (unless you have a Picasso) and add some of this and some of that.
  4. Anything close to expiration must go. It is like a blow-out sale in your own fridge.
  5. This is not an excuse to make a four layer spice cake with pumpkin butter layers and a coffee/cream cheese frosting

unless you are absolutely sure that is the only thing you can make out of your pantry right now. I understand; you are a rebel and without it you could starve.

Now that that is settled, I thought I would share with you a quick meal that I happen to have in my pantry:

Skinny Tater Tot Casserole
5 Weight Watcher Points Per Serving

Serves 8
1 pound(s) 96% Lean Ground Round
1 can(s) Campbell’s Low Sodium Soup Cream Of Mushroom
1 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Half the package, 16 oz Ore-Ida Tater Tots

1 dash of hot sauce

Onion, if you don’t have a Picasso

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Coat a big rectangular baking dish (like an 11×7 baking dish) with nonstick cooking spray.

Now, go ahead and heat a large skillet to high heat and brown your beef for 4-5 minutes. Pre-season your beef with salt, pepper, and a dash of hot sauce. Cook through, stirring occasionally.

Drain the beef to get rid of any excess grease.

Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.

Spoon soup evenly over beef mixture. Just let it sit there and coat the top of your beef layer, you don’t want to stir it. Stir=bad.

Sprinkle the beef soupy mixture with cheese.

Now, add a single layer of tater tots to the top.

Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until your tots are golden brown and beef mixture is bubbly.

So, what is in your pantry?


AuntieM

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