Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pantry Challenge: Strawberry Short(cut) Cake

So last night G and I "celebrated" our engage-a-versary with some flank steak, boxed mashed potatoes and a salad.

I hadn't gone 'real' grocery shopping in a while, since G was away on business. I must say, I LOVE the challenge of putting things together out of nothing more than what we have on hand. Sometimes disparate ingredients and improvisation results in the most satisfying product.

All we had was the frozen flank steak (which I thawed) and marinated with a little garlic and soy. G threw it on the grill for 3.5 minutes a side. Medium-rare. Easy. Then the boxed mashed potatoes--I've been eating these for dinners because my stomach has been quite upset lately...and I've been lazy. (That's not good improvisation, but boxed mashed is actually quite good!) The salad was just a bunch of green leaf lettuce that I had previously purchased earlier in the week for my plan to eat BLTs every night.( I only made it twice: once for lunch and once for dinner.) There was an over-ripe avocado and tomato that had to be eaten as well. So I made a honey mustard dressing for avocado and tomato (with green leaf lettuce) salad. And done! Simple, flavorful, easy, and resourceful! We love trying to use up everything and to not waste.

But the best part was when G, after sitting back, thoroughly satisfied with the deliciously pedestrian meal, asked, "Is there dessert?" Haha. He has a serious sweet tooth.

There were a bunch of unfrosted cupcakes that I baked (then froze) from the leftover batter from Michelle's engagement cake. We also had a bunch of frozen berries (previously fresh strawberries and blueberries that we saved for smoothies) and some vanilla ice cream from a dinner party we threw the other week.

Let the cupcakes thaw for a couple minutes
Put about two cups of the berries in a pot with equal parts water and sugar (1 cup each)
Let it stew for about 20 minutes
Uwrap the cupcake, place it in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream
Ladle the sauce over it...

et voila! Strawberry Short(cut) Cake!

So from herein, I'm going to document these simple, voila, improvised dishes...which I'll call my pantry challenge!

I also challenge YOU to try to use what you already have in your fridge and pantry before you go out and buy ingredients for your next meal. It'll save you time, money, and teaches you to be creative. It's thoroughly satisfying! Email ( me or comment on what you've done.

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