Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I'm like a squirrel, stockpiling nuts and berries for the winter. Only I hoard things like chicken breasts and chocolate chips.

I have a tendency to buy things in mass when they go on sale. Especially things that can normally be spendy. I like to scope out all the grocery ads and wait until things like chicken breasts, frozen pizzas, and salmon are on sale, then buy as much as my freezer will hold. This results in a very packed freezer! I have heard that your freezer runs more efficiently when it is full, so I guess my stockpiling is good for the pocketbook in more than one way. I also like to use coupons, and I get emailed coupons for Nestle baking chips, so I end up with lots of different kinds of chocolate chips. I recently discovered Aldi, which is new to our city in the last year. They have awesome deals on frozen seafood, like salmon and tilapia.

I realized that I have way too much stuff in my freezer and pantry and decided to start clearing it out. Not throwing it away, mind you, but cooking it. I've been on a whirlwind of cooking chicken, cookies, you name it, to use it all up. I found some really good recipes in the process.

It all started with a half bag of Valentine's Day M&Ms and a half bag of chocoate chips (why do I always have a half bag of chocolate chips?). I decided cookies were in order and leftover M&Ms and chocolate chips would be perfect to add to Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies. This was two weeks after Valentine's day, but my husband's co-workers didn't seem to mind. They gobbled them up!

Next was using up some of that chicken. Chicken, chicken, chicken......Heather's Best Ever Baked Chicken and Crispy Herb Baked Chicken had been sitting in my recipe box forever, so I finally tried those as well.

Then I found a random box of barley. I have absolutely no idea why I bought it or what recipe I was planning on using it for, but it expired in only a few days. Mushroom barley soup is a pretty classic recipe, but I've never made it before, so I tried Very Easy Mushroom Barley Soup.

A bag of Nestle Mint and Dark Chocolate Chips was the perfect addition to Chewy Brownie Cookies. These are officially my favorite chocoloate chocolate chip cookies now. They are just fabulous.

Half a box of phyllo dough buried in the freezer was just the right amount to make Wrapped Salmon.

Whew! And I'm not done yet! I've still got more ingredients and recipes before I'm done with my spring cleaning. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.


  1. I am a chocolate chip hoarder;) I have bags and bags of them. Walmart had Hershey's chip of every variety on sale around Christmas, for under $2 a bag! So I kept buying them. Now I think I have over 20 bags!!!

  2. Your soup looks delicious! I do have some barley as well, I may make some soup this week. Great pictures as always!

  3. Yum! I may use of my Phyllo stash in the freezer now. Thanks for inspiring.