Pantry Party March 2013 Announcement


Welcome to a round up featuring recipes you cook with ingredients found in your pantry. On the 1st of each month (well, this post is going up early because I got excited) I’ll announce the pantry party challenge of the month.  All you need to do is cook something based on the theme with at least one ingredient found in your pantry. Have some pasta? Some jelly? Some sauce? Flour? Sugar? Canned foods? We all have stuff pushed in our pantries that get forgotten about, so now is the time to make use of these otherwise forgotten foods.

On the 29th of each month I will post the round-up, with all the recipes and links to your blogs showcasing your contribution to the party.

I hope you’ll join me and explore your pantries!

How to Participate:

1. Visit The Law Student’s Cookbook on the 1st of each month to find out the Pantry Challenge Theme of the month.

2. Cook up something delicious based on the theme for the month with at least one ingredient found in your pantry.

3. Post the recipe on your blog. You can submit more than one recipe in a month if you wish, but all recipes must be current. If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate! Just send me an email with a write-up of your recipe, a picture, and any other information. I’ll make a post with recipes from readers who participated.

4. You must link to the announcement post for the given month in your blog post. If you wish, you can also use the graphic above in your post or sidebar (which you can find here.)

5. Email your recipes to no later than the 28th of each month. In the email include:

* Your name
* Your blog name
* Permalink to the blog post
* A photo of your recipe or permission to pull one from the post

6. On the 29th of each month visit The Law Student’s Cookbook for the recipe round up!

The theme for March is BREADED.
This month’s theme is up to your interpretation! Create a dish that involves an element that’s breaded. Breaded chicken? Breaded Brussels sprouts? Creative breading? Just make sure you use some ingredients in your pantry!

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal: February


Once again I received another wonderful box in the mail full of food. I love participating in this program and foresee continuing in it so long as it exists.

This month I received a box from Alyson at Simply Nutricising. In the email I sent Alyson with my likes I told her I liked hazelnuts, chocolate, candy, and spices. I also told her that I rely on snacks during the week when I have my late night classes but that I love to cook. The box Alyson sent me hit the mark perfectly. I love everything in the box.

The box I sent this month was sent to Kiersten. I sent her some Annie’s Mac & Cheese, some jam, some herbal coffee, and some other things.

So if you haven’t heard about it already, I’m assuming now you’re wondering “WHAT IS FOODIE PEN PALS!?” I mean, when I first read a blog post about it that’s exactly what I thought. So here, let me tell you.

Foodie Pen Pals is a program that Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean put together, where she pairs people together to send boxes of food to each other, based on likes and dislikes.

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you’re paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treat

So.. What did I get this month?

IMG_8632I had opened my box so late on Tuesday night. I have class Tuesdays until almost 9:30 p.m. I got home and I shoved some food into my face and realized there was a box sitting on the counter that I hadn’t seen when I walked in. After shoving food into my face I tore the box open like a ravenous dog.

IMG_8637Among the food varieties packed in the box, Alyson sent me a super cute kitchen towel. I’m always in need of these, so this was excellent.

IMG_8638Whenever I get a FPP box I can’t resist but chowing down on something immediately. I obviously don’t eat everything in the box in one sitting, but I always have to have something. Considering I had just finished dinner Matt and I shared this ka-ka-o milk chocolate peanut butter bark. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever. And I have an even bigger love for chocolate. I probably should have made this bark last longer than the minute it took to eat it so I could have savored it a lot more than I did, but it was excellent and was a perfect way to start the February FPP box.

IMG_8639Speaking of chocolate, Alyson sent me a handful of chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day. I did restrain myself a little bit – I haven’t eaten them all yet.

IMG_8640Alyson really listened when I said that there are some days when I could really use some snacks. She sent me multiple 100-calorie snack packs in three different varieties: chocolate pomegranate, dark chocolate roasted almonds, and dark chocolate blueberry. I’ve tried the almonds and the blueberries so far. I’m actually going to need to find these on my own because they are really satisfying when sitting in a class that feels like it’ll never end and your stomach is rumbling. On top of that, chocolate!

IMG_8641I haven’t had a Dum-Dum in forever. When I was in elementary school I recall having them a lot. I vaguely recall a teacher handing them out as rewards. I love the bouquet she created with the lollipops. They bring me right back to childhood!

IMG_8633Alyson also included this box of instant oatmeal called OatFit. I brought the box to work because when I get hungry after court it’s super easy to pop this in the microwave and have a big bowl of oatmeal. The coolest part about this is the convenience factor. The packet that the oatmeal comes in is also the measuring cup for water. Such a great product!

IMG_8635I’m feeling like this is the endless box of goodies! Alyson also sent me these flavored vinegars in calamansi (citrus) and cherry. Though I haven’t used them yet, I have found several ideas online for things I’m going to make with them. I plan on using the calamansi on roast salmon. Alyson also suggested using it in a salad dressing.

IMG_8636Last but not least, Alyson sent me two Penzey’s spices. One was in Bold Taco and the other is cinnamon. I love spices (and told Alyson that) so I was very excited for these. Also, I’ve been wanting to order Penzey’s for some time now, but I just hadn’t been able to justify the cost of their spices to myself plus shipping. But after trying the Bold Taco spice (I haven’t opened the cinnamon yet) I think I’m going to have to change that and start exclusively buying Penzey’s.

With the Bold Taco spice I made a pasta dish. It was delicious.


Enchilada Pasta Casserole

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into small pieces
1/2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 can diced green chiles
6 oz egg noodles


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot boil water. Cook the egg noodles to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, cook the chicken until no longer pink. Stir in the Bold Taco spice until the chicken is all covered.

3. Add in the cream cheese until melted.

4. In a large bowl combine the heavy cream, enchilada sauce, half of the cheddar, half of the monterey jack cheese, the corn, and the diced chiles.  Stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the chicken and simmer for 3 minutes.

5. Add the pasta to the chicken. Mix well until everything is coated in the sauce.

6. Pour the pasta into a casserole dish. Cover with the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 15 minutes.

* serves 3

Pantry Party February Round Up


This month at Pantry Party we shared our noodle recipes which utilized not only noodles, but also at least ingredient found in our pantries. There are so many ways you can eat noodles – and in fact, there’s a ton of ways you can interpret ‘noodles,’ as you’ll see from some of our entries! This month’s Pantry Party brought out some hearty looking noodle dishes.

The next theme will be posted March 1st, so be looking!

20121022-194338Our first dish this month came from Jeni at I Got This Martha. For Italian night at Jeni’s she had a fabulous dish of sausage, mozzarella, basil, and a homemade tomato sauce baked with penne pasta. I love pasta bakes and this combination does seem fabulous!

DSC_9483Janet from The Taste Space showed that “noodles” can be defined loosely – that noodles don’t need to be pasta. Janet shared Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chickpeas. When I had made the theme ‘noodles’ I hadn’t even considered spaghetti squash – but of course, the insides of it do in fact create noodles! I love the creativity of this dish.

6a00d835508b1869e2017d410f3b4b970cSpeaking of creativity, Simona from Briciole made her noodles from scratch. I’ve always wanted to do this, but I’m so intimidated. Not only do her gnocchetti alla farina di castagne look delicious, they also look adorable!

dancingMelissa shared her Crock Pot Lasagna Soup. Unfortunately Melissa’s website seems to be down for the time being, but hopefully it reappears so we can snatch this recipe!

picanteMelissa also shared her Chicken Picatta. I love chicken picatta generally, I’m sure her’s tasted wonderfully.

ribs n red gravy 8Michelle from Ms. enPlace made a delicious dish: Spare Ribs in Smoky Tomato Gravy. I love ribs and I love pasta, so this combination seems to be the epitome of that. Michelle made good use of her pantry with this dish, using the pasta, onions, garlic, tomato paste, Ro-tel, and the spices in the dish. Perfect use of the pantry!

sobaEggplant2Shelby from Diabetic Foodie shared Soba Noodles with Roasted Eggplant. This dish is served at either room temperature of from the fridge. I love Asian dishes and I love noodle dishes – this looks great!

Macadamia Nut PestoMy noodle dish this month involved pesto. In the last few days I’ve been on a pesto kick, so this Macadamia Tomato Pesto Pasta fit right into this obsession. I had some macadamia nuts in my pantry that were begging to be used this month. This was a great way to use them.

mac n cheese pizzaThe last noodle dish this month comes from Kim of Mo’Betta. This is one of the many creative takes on noodles that came about this month. Kim’s Macaroni n’ Cheese Pizza was inspired by a sample that her daughter tried at Fresh Market. Kim made it at home and I’m sure it was even better than the pizza in the store!

I love all the creativity this month with this noodle theme! Next month’s theme will be announced on March 1st. Thanks for participating and hope to see you again next month!






Roasted Red Pepper Pesto



Like I said in my last post, I need to make more pestos. They are just SO good!
This pesto was made to share with Tinned Tomatoes pasta please. The theme this month was peppers and is hosted by We Don’t Eat Anything With A Face.

I actually don’t really like bell peppers. If I can get them sauteed enough they’re tolerable, but for the most part I really just don’t enjoy them. This use of the bell peppers was so good. I got the taste of the peppers, but I didn’t get that weird crunch that turns me off so much.

What kind of pesto should I make next?

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

2 red bell peppers
2 tbsp basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz spaghetti noodles


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Cover the bell peppers in aluminum foil. Over an open flame roast for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil, cut the pepper, and seed and vein them.

3. In a food processor grind the walnuts. Remove them and set aside.

4. Add the roasted peppers, basil leaves, and garlic to the food processor and processor until well chopped. Add the walnuts, cheese, and olive oil. Process more until you have a pesto consistency.

5. Mix the pesto into the noodles.

* serves 2
* Besides Pasta Please, this is shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Macadamia Tomato Pesto

Macadamia Nut PestoThis month at our very own Pantry Party, the theme is noodles! The goal of Pantry Party is to look through your pantries and use ingredients that are crying out to be used – ingredients that may have been forgotten about. Also, the dishes entered into the challenge should meet whatever the monthly theme is. This month I relied on some macadamia nuts that were hiding in my pantry. You’ll also see I used two different types of noodles, because I decided it made more sense to use the partial boxes than open up a new box.

I have a whole shelf of nuts. I have almonds, I have pine nuts, and I also have macadamia nuts. Well, actually, I don’t have them anymore because I used them – but you get it. I had macadamia nuts and then I used them to make this pasta sauce.

I love pestos and I had forgotten how much I liked making pesto from ingredients other than just basil and pine nuts. This was a delicious sauce and was a very easy meal to make.

So, don’t forget to enter this month’s noodle themed Pantry Party! I’d love to see what type of noodle-y dishes you have in store. Entries are due by the 26th of February.

Macadamia Tomato Pesto

1/3 cup macadamia nuts
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbsp basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
pepper, to taste
9 oz noodles


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Once cooked drain and set aside.

2. In a skillet dry toast the macadamia nuts until lightly browned, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes.

3. Place the nuts, tomatoes, basil, garlic, Parmesan, 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, and pepper into the food processor. Process until pureed, about 30 seconds.

4. In the skillet  over medium heat add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Pour the puree into the skillet and stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Toss the noodles with the sauce.

* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Chicken Broccoli Curry and Spiced Roasted Beets


When I made the beet and potato salad I had intentionally roasted more beets than I needed for that dish. I had read somewhere that it was a good idea to roast the beets all at once, even if you didn’t intend to use them right away. Honestly, I have no idea if it made a difference, but it did make making this meal super easy since the beets were already roasted.

Yesterday was a very long, tiring day. I went on a prison tour with my class. It was about a 3 hour long tour of a local prison. While obviously touring prison isn’t as stressful as being in prison, the entire experience was exhausting. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see it though, because with my future career path it’s crucial that I’m aware of everything. I’d like to go visit other prisons in the future.

But anyway, when I got home yesterday afternoon I was exhausted. I passed out for about 2 hours after it.

By the time dinner came around I wasn’t really feeling hungry (especially because I had a very late lunch after the tour,) but I wanted to make sure I ate dinner so I didn’t wake up at midnight with the gnawing in my stomach that would result in me chowing down on things in the kitchen which I shouldn’t be chowing on. For under 600 calories, this meal was better than cracking the Nutella at midnight. I mean, the Nutella would have tasted delicious.. But.. You know.

Chicken Broccoli Curry

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
3/4 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water


1. In a small bowl toss together the curry powder and the chicken breast cubes, making sure the chicken is well seasoned.

2. In a skillet heat the peanut oil. Add the chicken breast pieces into the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the skillet.

3. Add the broccoli, garlic, and ginger into the skillet. Cook for several minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 7 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir to combine. Stir the chicken back into the skillet. Bring to a slight boil and add the cornstarch. Boil for a minute and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

* serves 2

Spiced Roasted Beets

2 beets, peeled and roasted and cut into cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lime juice


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Toss together the roasted beets and the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the beets are evenly coated with the spices.

3. Place in a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Though the beets are already roasted, getting them hot and baking them into spices makes them all the tastier.

* serves 2
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Eggplant Parmesan



I know I say this every time I post a recipe that uses eggplant: I really don’t like eggplant. But I have this tendency when I don’t like certain foods to keep making them in different ways. I figure that it isn’t always the actual food I dislike, but the preparation of the food. The eggplant parmesan was a great way to eat eggplant. It didn’t even taste like eggplant. I first breaded and fried it and then baked it.

In retrospect though I should have served it with something else. I had just made the eggplant, but it would have been good with pasta or even some garlic bread.

I loved the fresh basil. I love basil anyway, but for some reason it tasted even better than usual.

Eggplant Parmesan

1/2 eggplant, cut into 4 slices
1 15-oz can whole tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
a glug of olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 eggs, beaten
6 oz mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped


1. 2 hours before you’re ready to start cooking, place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt. Set over a sink and let sit for 2 hours.

2. Once the 2 hours are passed, press the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.

3. In a food processor combine the tomatoes, garlic, and the glug of olive oil. Process until well combined and chopped. Season with pepper. Set aside.

4. In a shallow dish combine the flour and breadcrumbs. In another shall dish beat the egg. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add the eggplant slices. Fry until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.

6.  Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Place 2 slices of eggplant in the casserole dish. Use 1/2 of the mozzarella to layer the eggplant. Place the basil on top of the mozzarella. Layer another slice of eggplant onto each stack. Cover with the remaining sauce and then the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, and Foodie Friday

Chicken with Spicy Onions


This is a different curry than I’ve ever tasted before. It was pretty easy also.

This dish was made for two reasons (or three actually):

1. I like curry.
2. I watched the Food ‘n Flix movie of the month, Today’s Special. This month the movie is being sponsored by Kahakai Kitchen. Today’s Special is a movie about a trained French chef who takes over his family’s Indian restaurant, Tandoori Palace.
3. The random cookbook I grabbed off my shelf this month for Random Recipes was Best Ever Indian Cookbook. I got it on sale at Border’s (back when they existed) and use it quite frequently. I hadn’t made this dish before, it was the recipe I randomly opened the book to. It’s one I definitely would make again.

Since I watched Today’s Special and picked my random cookbook on the same day, it seemed to make sense to use the recipe for two different food round-ups since it was an Indian recipe and I was going to make Indian food for the movie.

This recipe called for a lot of onion. I love onions, so that was not a problem. The sauce was delicious. It wasn’t quite the same flavor of curry I usually have. It was slightly sweeter.

In other news, I realized I forgot to participate in Food ‘n Flix last month. That makes me sad.

Chicken with Spicy Onions
(from Best Ever Indian Cookbook)

2 chicken thighs, bone in
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, shredded
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp plain yogurt
2 1/2 tsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp cornstarch


1. Rub the chicken thighs with turmeric, chili powder, and salt. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and fry until both sides of the chicken are sealed. At this point you don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through. Remove and set on a plate.

2. In the remaining oil add 3/4 of the onions, most of the cilantro, half of the ginger, and half of the jalapeno. Fry until the onions are translucent.

3. Return the chicken to the skillet. Mix well and cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

4. In a small dish stir together the yogurt, cream, and cornstarch. Stir the yogurt mixture into the chicken.

5. Cook on low heat for several minutes. Add the remaining onions, jalapeno, ginger, and cilantro. Cook for several more minutes.

6. Serve over rice if you desire.

* serves 2
* Besides Random Recipes and Food ‘n Flix, this dish is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Beet and Potato Salad



This potato salad couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, this is probably the most festive I’ll be. It’s funny that this was accidentally planned too. I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. I’m not bitter either – I have nothing to be bitter about. I just find it a little silly to celebrate love one day a year in such a commercial way. I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated Valentine’s Day actually. In fact, Matt and I have decided to hit up Walgreen’s this weekend to stock up on chocolate – that’s how we roll.

But anyway, if unlike me, you do celebrate Valentine’s Day, this is a perfect potato salad for the occasion.

I love beets. I’m always shocked at how my hands get so pink. It’s so crazy to me that just cutting it makes so much pink! What a strange veggie!

I made this potato salad for No Croutons Required, this month sponsored by Tinned Tomatoes. The theme is obviously potato salads. 🙂

Beet and Potato Salad

1 large red potato
1 large beet
1 egg
1/4 red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt


1. Preheat your oven to 425. Cut the greens off of the beet and cut most of the root off of the beet. Place the beet in a baking dish and fill the dish with 1/4 inch of water. Cover your baking dish with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Once the beet is roasted, peel the skin off.

2. While the beet is roasting, cut the potato into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to boil and boil for 15 minutes, until tender.

3. While the beet is roasting, also hard boil your egg. To hard boil an egg, place egg in a pot. Fill the pot with water so it just covers the egg. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Peel the egg and then dice.

4. Once your beets, potatoes, and eggs are cooked, combine in a large bowl. Add the onion and celery as well and toss together.

5. In a small dish combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and yogurt. Whisk together well.

6. Add the dressing to the vegetables. Toss together.

7. Refrigerate until well chilled.

* serves 2
* 268 calories per serving
* Besides No Croutons Required, this is being shared with Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, & Food Of The Month Club – Salad Theme

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese

Chili + Noodles


This chili was actually supposed to be a homemade version of Cincinnati chili. However, as I was making the chili I realized I was all out of ground cumin! I use cumin a lot, so I just assumed I had some. I also didn’t have an onion. How does this happen? However, I was committed to having chili for dinner so I made some substitutes that changed this Cincinnati chili into some other delicious style chili. Maybe I’ll call it Elizabeth Chili. That’s easy enough. 🙂

I’m hoping that I eventually get paired up with a foodie pen pal in Cincinnati. Before I went to law school my dad and I drove cross-country to Ohio to help my cousin move into college. While we were there we packed the car with our favorite foods: goetta, bratwurst, barbecue sauce, Big Boy sauce, and a flat of cans of Skyline Chili. The chili almost made it through my 3 years of law school. But now that I’m out.. I need more. And it costs way too much to have it shipped from Skyline. If you’re reading this and you’re a foodie pen pal of mine, please send me Skyline Chili.

If you’re reading this and you’re going to be a foodie pen pal of mine and you don’t live in Cincinnati, you can also send me chili that’s local to you if there’s some special kind. The one thing is I can’t eat beans. I mean, I love beans. But I can’t eat them.

Now, if a future foodie pen pal of mine reads this or not, I’ll never know.
I just need to remember to tell March’s Foodie Pen Pal to send me chili.
I’m super excited for my next box though for February. I’m expecting it to be great.

In the mean time, I should keep experimenting with chilis. And hopefully I can eventually make this version with the correct ingredients. Though.. I clearly liked my version enough to share with you. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese
(the base recipe)

1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch cumin seeds
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz uncooked spaghetti noodles
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Brown the ground beef and garlic together in a deep pot. Drain the grease and add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, chili powder, tomato sauce, curry powder, cumin seeds, allspice, cocoa powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for about a half hour, though the longer you simmer the better.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drained.

4. Serve the chili on top of the noodles. Cover with cheese.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking