Isaiah 1:18

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's a contest!

Yes, friend, we are having our first contest. I happened to be surfing some of my favorite foodie blogs and I ran into a most interesting post. Crystal Paine of "Money Saving Mom" introduced a challenge of sorts to her readers just the other day. Her idea is to eat out of her pantry for four weeks. Can you imagine not running to the grocers every other day for that one or two ingredients needed for a recipe that you want to make today? I live out in the country and while we do have local grocery stores, I would just as soon stay home. It's really cold out and wouldn't it be nice just to be able to stay in front of your fire those extra moments that you would otherwise dedicate to food shopping? If you don't have a fire place, then I invite you to just take that time and meet me here. We can have coffee, my beverage of choice. We can talk about events of the world or swap recipes or tips, anything to keep me out of a stalled checkout line. Crystal's friend, Kelly, wrote within the article a list of some nuggets that you will take away from this challenge in the form of "discoveries." Some of them are: creativity, thankfulness and purpose. Please go visit Crystal at and I assure you that you will find something to enjoy.
Now, please, do not get me wrong. I think this is an excellent idea! As a matter of fact, it has been presented to me on other occasions! My husband has actually suggested that I try to do this. Oh, and yes, our son too - though I have to admit, I think he was just mimicking his Dad. I don't think he realizes that to follow this course would mean that his preferred frozen pizza would not be purchased beforehand and wouldn't make it to the house during the challenge if it is not already in my freezer.
Now, anyone that knows me very well at all or has been to my home knows that we have a surplus of food. I think the saying goes: "enough for an army." Yes, I am embarrassed to admit it but they say that the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem.
Here goes - I know I have too much food in my house. I know, as well, that in spite of this, I still go to the grocery store. Going to the grocery store is not the actual problem, it's going and buying more food that doesn't necessarily complete or complement a meal that you already have planned.
Ok, so I have decided to join the challenge, kinda, sorta. Umm...I just found the post and am not prepared to sign my name to the dotted line. I do hope to follow as closely as possible Crystal's guidelines and see how I do. I also hope that the next time "Money Saving Mom" hosts this challenge, I will be up to it and make it official. In the meantime, I will do it quietly and behind the scenes, in case I mess up royally. I will let Crystal know that I am on board, kinda, sorta.
Ok, your part! The contest!
I have an item in my pantry that I really need to use. It's:

As a matter of fact, I have three crispy pizza crust mixes. They really need to be used up. My problem is that I don't want pizza! Why in the world would I buy a pizza crust mix, much less three of them, if I didn't want pizza? C'mon, I know you are asking that or, at least, thinking it. I know that I am. At any rate, I want you to come up with an original recipe using this product as an ingredient in the dish. The only other rule is that all other elements must be common ingredients that you would normally find in an average southeastern pantry. You see, I need to be able to make this dish without having to go to the grocery. Crystal does set up some guidelines for what shopping you are allowed to do: you can only go shopping a maximum of three times during the challenge period, you can only spend a maximum of $75 per visit and you can only purchase dairy and produce.

Before I go any further with the contest information, you should know that there are benefits to this exercise. The most important is that you save time and money. My extra time will be invested in more research for our blog. The money saved will be handled somewhat differently. Crystal makes the suggestion that all extra money saved be donated to a local food bank. My extra money during this time will be donated to The Bethesda Center in the form of nonperishables that may be put on their shelves until needed for filling food baskets for the needy. The Bethesda Center is a local organization that has a store with marked down products and provides food baskets in times of need. They also help with utilities should the need arise.

Ok, now back to the contest. How do you benefit? What is your prize? Well, I am a brand new blogger who has not yet had any followers to join. I have not had anyone approach me with a prize to give away either. So, should you decide to take part in this, your prize will be bragging rights! Ok, maybe not that! Kind of prideful, isn't it? So what I will do, is publish your recipe along with your name and photo. Still have to learn how to do that from an email; that's how new a blogger I am. I will also publish photos of the recipe in stages as I make it. Just make a comment below with a name, email address that I can get in touch with you and the category of food that your recipe would fall under: breakfast, main dish... I will contact you through email and you can respond with your recipe. I will choose the one that fulfills the guidelines the closest with what I have on hand. Can't tell you what I have because I have so much I do not know what it is and because this will give everyone an equal footing. The contest will start immediately and run through February 15th, 2010. I will determine which recipe I will make and it will be published here end of February. I will be taking part in the challenge in February, a month later than "Money Saving Mom" but I feel that I will get as much enjoyment and knowledge as if I had done it in January.

To take part in this challenge or just to read the original blog, please go to "Money Saving Mom" at and key in Eat from the pantry challenge. I am sure she would love for you to join her.

Until later, keep cooking. Blessings. Linda


  1. Ha. I'm kind of like you in that with my 4.5 freezers, 2 refrigerators, storage shelves in the garage to go with the bulging ones in the house, I wouldn't have to go shopping for 6 months -- except for fresh food. And yet I manage to go every week. But what I do is buy in bulk when things are on sale in order to save least that is the thinking behind my shopping.

    But I'm not much for entering contests and challenges, so I'll probably just watch others on this one. My husband has to leave Sat. for a 2-week stint on the North Slope, so that's my time to cut way back on cooking/eating and get serious about losing more weight. And sorting through all the accumulated clutter in the storage areas. And work on taxes. And, and, and..........

    Great writing, Linda.


  2. Hi Sharon,
    Yes, I have 2 refrigerators and 2 chest freezers and a pantry. Like you, I stock up when things are on sale. My problem began when I just didn't stop with the sales. Finally learned that a sale wasn't a sale if you didn't need the product. This challenge will help me save up some money and free up some much needed space. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that hubby has a good trip and that you make some you time while he's gone.

  3. Linda, how many ounces of product are in each package? Sylvia

  4. Hi Sylvia, each package is 6.5 oz. dry mix. Oooh, hope you can come up with something yummy! Thanks Linda

  5. Linda, I'm thinking about sausage balls. You could replace the bisquick with this mix and proceded as usual with saucage, etc. What do you think? Not very original but would use up the mix. Syl

  6. That's a good idea, Sylvia! I guess I could use any of their recipes. Hmmm....Thank you so much!

  7. Linda, I think you could make up as biscuits and put cinnamon and icing on for cinnamon rolls. Josh would love these. Syl

  8. Yummy, I think that I would like them too. Have a Valentine's school party soon, so this may be done! Thanks again, Sylvia.

  9. Okay, Linda I'm going to work on a recipe for the pizza mix. I enjoy the challenge of making "something out of next to nothing"! After raising five children, (four of them boys) there were many times "creative dishes" turned up for dinner. Creative is a nice word to use for making do with what you have. ;)

    I've been working on making breads, and coming up with recipes that are both healthy and ones my family will eat! I almost have one for Ezekiel Bread ready. I'll be back when I have the pizza mix recipe.....

  10. Cathey
    That would be great! I would also be interested in knowing how your Ezekial bread turns out; I have had it before and liked it. What about sprouting, do you do that as well? Something I am definitely interested in.