Creative With What’s On Hand

It’s a way of living I grew up with that some where between college and having kids I put on the back burner.   I’m talking about using what is in your home pantry  and not planning the meal around making a trip to the grocery store.

It can be a challenge for your creative side when  living within your means.  Open the veggie box in your refrigerator and imagine the endless flavors you can create.

Tonight a jar of stewed tomatoes was used with carrots, onion, mushrooms, fresh herbs cooked slowly to create a pasta sauce. My kids usually moan ” spaghetti  again” because I’m a huge fan of tomato base sauces and any variety of noodle.   A few greenhouse tomatoes that were close to over ripe were diced and roasted in my favorite cast iron skillet.   Tonight was meatless but sausage or even a sliced pepperoni could make it a meaty sauce.   And who doesn’t have a loaf of bread on hand?  Tonight we used garlic fresh garlic and butter to toast up a wonderful Italian loaf to go with the pasta dish.

Last week I was challenged by a blog entry at Michael Nolan website.  In this article he shares how he and his partner are creating new dishes each day in their kitchen.  My thought was why not use what you only have on hand to  create these new menu plans each day.   Not to mention it is a great way to be economical.   In my home, at worst you would have jam and bread because I have a pantry full of homemade preserves from this past summer harvest and we always have flour that can be used to make bread.

Michael was one of our fabulous guest host on #gardenchat and was kind enough to giveaway a copy of his book ” I Garden : Urban Style” to Jan of Thanks for Today who just so happens to be doing a fun Eco-Friendly giveaway on her site.  I invite you to click over and enter her fabulous giveaways that include many fun things that can help you grow naturally.  I’m loving the rain barrel Jan is giving away in this contest.

Happy Weekend Everyone – I hope you will share a dish that you can always count on in your home!

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7 thoughts on “Creative With What’s On Hand

    1. THank you for sharing! I love all the things you can make from tomato sauce. I’m heading over to check out your blog now because I love your way of thinking.

  1. I love your philosophy Bren…we can be really creative if we just ‘dig’ a little through the pantry and/or refrigerator veggie drawers;-) Your meal last night looked delicious! Well, now that I’ve seen what Michael signed on that book I’m even more excited to receive it! I love what he wrote…and of course I was really excited to be the winner! Thanks for sharing about my sustainable living project/giveaway, Bren…and linking to it and joining in, as well!! I hope you will be a lucky winner of one of those cool garden gifts! You are one of the greenest people I know;-) Jan

  2. LOVE IT…I’m always a fan of Cupboard Cooking (as I call it, anyway). My fave has to be any sort of pasta with anything in my veggie drawer.

    Would love the recipe for your tomato sauce! 😉

  3. Lovely post Bren. and quite right too. By planning a meal round a shopping trip we end up spending too much on unnecessary stuff. your tomatoes look so good it’s made me hungry. Also I love pasta and that recipe sounds great….good for me as a vegetarian!
    I always enjoy your posts, they are so colourful

  4. I totally agree with you on using what you have on hand. Your sauce looked fabulous. I had made a commitment this year to use what I have making art projects. I have so much stuff and yet I continued to buy more. I’m doing really good so far this year. The only thing I have bought is replacement paint.
    As far as my pantry is concerned, sometimes I go in there looking for something and find something else I didn’t even know I had! lol