As I mentioned from the start, this will evolve, but for now ... here's the goal: "Nothing from bottles, boxes or bags that I could healthfully make myself (or, ourselves)." What a tall order! Between the 40+ hours of work, plus the 15+ hours commuting time each week, this will be challenging. But, for those who know me, I'm always up for a good challenge!
We will, of course, be using what we already have in our pantry and cupboards over the next few weeks, but ultimately, it will mean:
- Breads -- Everything from white to wheat, cinnamon raisin to banana. If it goes in our tummies, it comes from our oven. And what's more comforting and heartwarming than the smell of fresh-baked bread?
- Dressings -- I never realized how easy it is to make your own dressing. We were so used to buying a few bottles of dressing as our "go to" for our salads. But, when we looked at the ingredients, at words we can't even pronounce, that was enough of that. I've started experimenting with all kinds of vinaigrettes and even a few creamy dressings. So much better than the bottled stuff for sure!
- Sauces -- No more bottled bar-b-que or stirfry sauce. I'm shying away from ketchup for the moment and still plan on using our three-month supply (my husband is a little obsessed) and haven't decided about this one -- especially since we use an organic kind made of just a few ingredients. Hmmmm ....
- Pastas -- Being Italian, I've always prided myself in my family's recipe for gnocchi (yum!), but we've always purchased boxed spaghetti, rigatoni, etc. But, once our current pantry supply is exhausted, we'll be making delicious homemade pasta that can be prepared in little more time than it takes to boil the pot of water.
- Chips -- Hellllllo, baked kale, potato and apple chips! We'll start these this weekend. I'm really excited for these guilt-free pleasures! (And really excited to buy a mandoline!)
- Baked goods -- And I mean any and every. I love baking, always have. But, I'll be the first to admit that buying a box of cookies or picking up a cake or pie from the local bakery is a great, quick way to satisfy a craving or reward yourself with an indulgence. But, now, if we're in our house, the cookies, pies, cakes, muffins (you name it!), will be created with love in our kitchen.
- Stocks -- I've always been a weekend cook, loving to make brunch and big family style dinners on Saturdays and Sundays. Earlier this year, I experimented with making chicken stock. From that I made several meals, including chicken pot pie, chicken soup, chicken and biscuits, risotto, etc. My husband said it was so much better than store bought, boxed stock. Since then, every time I've made any of the above, he asks, "Is that homemade stock?" With it making that much of an impression, I've always felt guilty about resorting back to the box. But, not now. From now on, I'll make stock once a month for everything from risotto to soup to pot pie.
- Granolas -- Who doesn't love a good yogurt and granola parfait? Well, in our house, it's something we all agree on (yup, babies included!) for either a simple breakfast or filling afternoon snack. In addition to making granola granola, we'll also make our own granola bars.
- Thursday -- potato frittata
- Friday -- chicken cacciatore