Pantry Pizza

pantry pizza
I’ve been loving Molly’s blog these days, I love her style of writing, the way she talks about days with her kids, and life in general. Her grocery challenge post really made me think last week. Our dining habits need overhauling. We are one of those totally city families when it comes to food. We take full advantage of the quick, easy, and good food around us whenever we feel busy or too lazy to cook for ourselves. Which is often these days. Too often. And too expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like to cook, but I don’t like to cook for picky eaters, and its hard to stay motivated to be creative with our meals. So, we head out to eat, or we grab on the go, yet always feel guilty about the expense and lack of thought put into it.
So, when I read Molly’s post about skipping the grocery store for a week, I decided to give it a try…of sorts. My mindset was to let us run out of some things. The idea was to work through our seemingly abundant supply in the pantry and really stop and think about meal prep. Today, when Peter was heading home from the track, he called to asked if he should pick up lunch. “There’s stuff here to eat”, I suggested. “But I don’t think there’s anything I want, and I’m starving.” The lack of a response on my end of the line was apparently all it took for him to quickly rethink lunch. We figured out within a minute that everything was here for tuna melts. Turns out we had everything on hand for homemade pizza for dinner too, plus watermelon. Pizza is one of those meals that pleases everybody in my house. If I make the dough, I know what’s in it (and I can usually get little hands to help me). I gather, chop, grate, and carmelize what’s in the fridge, then put it all out for everyone to make their own versions. (My most successful pizza dough recipes are always the ones from The Best Recipe, from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. Tonight I made the fast rise one in my standing mixer. It rises in about 40 minutes with the help of a preheated oven.)
pantry pizza
Molly, thank you so much for inspiring me. I am happy we are getting back on track here.
OK, back tomorrow. I made some stuff over the weekend.

  • Jennie

    June 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Pizza and tuna melts (though I use canned wild salmon and call them fake tuna melts) are my the-pantry-is-empty go-to meals as well. Like you said, pizza is the best vehicle besides quiche for cleaning out the vegetable bin in fridge. My goal right now is to clean out the freezer so there is room for the canister for my ice cream maker.

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    yes, must make room for the ice cream canister!

  • Deanna

    June 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I agree – both that MommyCoddle has be very inspiring, and that cooking down the pantry a bit is a good experience for the whole family!

  • Jen

    June 8, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Periodically we have ‘no eating out’ weeks. You’re right–it’s far too easy to simply grab a sandwich out, or order something in, when on first glance there’s nothing in the fridge or you don’t feel like cooking. We can eat out on Friday, so four more days to go 🙂 I love to cook, but I love not cooking almost as much!

  • mommycoddle

    June 8, 2009 at 4:31 am

    seriously, blair–thank you! I haven’t done my sum-up post yet from last week, but it was a really good experience for us, too. Personally, the hardest part was the days when I didn’t feel like being creative in the kitchen and I just wanted something easy that didn’t require a lot of thought. But by the end of the week the girls were really getting into it and pulled me out of a few weak moments.

  • Andrea

    June 8, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Your pizza looks delicious! I know how you feel about cooking for picky eaters. My daughter is the worst and it really does pull any energy you have about making the meal right out….

  • Kelly

    June 8, 2009 at 6:20 am

    This seems like such a good idea. I’m always trying to spend less at the store but for some reason staying out of the store doesn’t ever seem to be my way of doing it. But what a difference it makes.

  • Melissa Crowe

    June 8, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I’m right there with you, my dear–since moving from rural northern Maine to the big city of Portland (the _other_ Portland), we’ve been eating out far too much. There’s just so much deliciousness to choose from. Thanks for the home-cooked inspiration!

  • HomegrownLife

    June 8, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Some nights I feel like a magician as I stand in front of my cupboards and think “what magic can I work with this and that to come up with something edible and enjoyable for my family???”. It’s tough. Good for you for taking on the challenge. I’m heading over to read more about it right now!
    … your pizzas look perfect ….

  • Stephanie

    June 8, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Yum! I’d love one of those pizzas right now.

  • willy-nilly

    June 8, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I’ll have to check it out. We’ve been “eating down the pantry” as I call it here. Only because I’m always avoiding the grocery with kid in tow.

  • Erin

    June 8, 2009 at 11:02 am

    the two of you are inspiring me. i need to start thinking outside of the box.

  • kellyi

    June 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Hello. Completely Off Topic but too excited….
    We are now official treehouse appreciation society members 🙂
    Sorry, totally hijacking the comments but it was your idea that inspired us, and at times, caused a fair deal of head scratching and dismay. All is forgiven and you are once again a hero in our house 🙂

  • Tiff@ThreePeas

    June 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    We did the same thing last week. In fact we made chicken pizza but instead of making regular round pizza’s we got out the cookie cutters and made pizza shapes. The kids loved it!

  • Nikki

    June 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Yum! They look delicious! I want pizza for dinner now but we’re having chow mein…again.

  • milkybeer

    June 10, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    We have been planning to do the same thing! I always used to complain when I was a kid that all we had in our cupboards was “ingredients”, not FOOD. Now that I stock my own cupboards, I keep stocking them up week after week with more and more ingredients that I never seem to use up.

  • Sarah

    June 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    i’ve been trying to see how long i can go without grocery shopping as well. i usually run out of fruit and bread, but can survive on whats in the pantry for over a month.

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