What’s for dinner – pandemic edition

Trying to be thoughtful planning meals these days so that nothing goes to waste, and sometimes have to use ingredients that I wouldn’t usually. It is easier to get grocery delivery now, although there were a LOT of substitutions on my last order, and a couple of things they just didn’t have. I really would like to get some chicken thighs, but no luck. Got chicken legs instead.

I found a mix on Amazon from Bear Creek called Creamy Wild Rice Soup, and thought it would be a good pantry item to have, so I bought a few.

Used it the second time to make soup on Saturday, browned up 8 oz. of mushrooms with some of the cooked chicken breast I got from Costco (their rotisserie chicken meat that they sell in 40 oz. packages) along with a teaspoon of powdered porcini mushrooms, 8 cups of water, the soup mix packet, and finished with a little half and half. It is really good, and will last for quite a few meals. Is it healthy? Not as healthy as home made, I’m sure. I could have added more vegetables too with the mushrooms. Maybe next time!

Mine would look like this if I added some carrots and peas!

I snagged some bell peppers from Costco, so I think I’ll make some stuffed peppers, and use some toasted tricolor couscous that I bought from Amazon along with ground beef, onions and tomatoes.

This recipe looks tasty. Glen from Toronto (Glen & Friends Cooking) has been posting a new video every day and has some good ideas for meals from the pantry.

I’ve been baking bread too, and even made a cobbler using frozen mixed berries (it was good!) What have you been cooking lately?

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43 Responses to What’s for dinner – pandemic edition

  1. Menagerie says:

    We love Bear Creek soups. My husband’s aunt, who was in her 80s, first told me about it. The potato soup is good too. I use bags of it as seasoning and bases for casseroles and, as you did, other soups.

    I cooked a ham this weekend, also made some baked beans. To use the ham, and the big can of beans. I plan to use some cans of shoepeg corn and make a corn and tomato salad.

    Liked by 5 people

    • stella says:

      It all sounds great! I scored a 2# bag of frozen corn this week, and a 5# bag of frozen peas last week (the latter was obviously from Costco!)

      Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      I got the powdered porcini mushrooms by accident – I ordered dried whole mushrooms, and Spice House sent the powdered to me instead (they sent the right item to me when I pointed it out to them, and let me keep the incorrect one.) It’s a really nice boost in savory recipes. I’ll add it to pot roast gravy the next time I make it. I only added a teaspoon of the powder to my soup.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Tundra PA says:

      I know I’ve said it before, but Menagerie, Stella, and Czar–I sure do envy y’all’s families! In our house, cooking is a chore, not an art form.

      Liked by 3 people

      • stella says:

        My mother didn’t like cooking. She used to say that if she ever took up drinking it would be at 5:00 pm when faced with dinner preparation.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Menagerie says:

        Right now it is all chore for me too. I don’t know why, I don’t think I have had to cook more than before the virus hit. I guess it is a combination of things, culminating in a bad attitude on my part.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. stella says:

    Note on the soup. The mushroom powder and half and half were additions from the first time I made the soup. I didn’t add very much, but it made a huge difference in the richness of flavor. I will definitely add more vegetables next time.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. auscitizenmom says:

    I found a recipe for zuchinni and yellow squash. It is a casserole that cooks in the crockpot. I cut the recipe down a lot and I think I got the proportions a little off. I believe I didn’t put in enough squash because, even though it tasted really good, it was a little too rich for me. More squash would probably have fixed that.

    https://momswithcrockpots.com/crock-pot-zucchini-squash-casserole/#wprm-recipe-container-4675

    Liked by 5 people

  4. jeans2nd says:

    Really enjoy these posts. Such good ideas and variety from which to choose.
    Not much to offer anymore, just cooking for myself, but you all always have such good contributions. Thank you all for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stella says:

      I’m usually cooking for one most of the time too. Good thing I like leftovers!

      Liked by 2 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        If I were cooking for one I’d be eating out of cans and boxes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • stella says:

          I’ll bet you wouldn’t. You might start out that way, but get tired of it pretty quickly.

          Liked by 1 person

          • czarowniczy says:

            I did it on and off for years. I don’t COOK unless there’s an audience as it’s too much trouble without the reception.

            On military deployments my meals were mess hall or, if I were on ‘seperate rations’ it raw veggies and fruit out of the commissary to supplement the BK and Popeye’s.

            Liked by 1 person

          • czarina33 says:

            He said cooked Hamburger Helper alot before he met me; we have never had it in the house. When I met him he had a deer roast and a bottle of vodka in his freezer, just condiments in the fridge. He and his first wife fought over who cooked and how. I just sit back and dine…even the leftovers are great.

            Liked by 2 people

  5. czarina33 says:

    Beautiful food pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. czarowniczy says:

    Dug around in the fridge for dinner and found some leftover boiled shrimp. Hmmmmm…Czarina’s been on a ‘cream of shrimp soup smells like the Miami municipal dump’ rant since I’ve known her so it was time to edit her narrative.

    I had an onion, some celery, a yellow bell pepper, a 2# jar of garlic, butter, flour, Cajun seasoning, cream and whole milk. A can of cream corn and a partial bag of frozen corn rounded it out, some boxed seafood stock, all from the hurricane stock. The veggies are staples in our fridge, these in particular account for a good deal of what we eat. The dairy is staple too though I try to limit the cream as we would drink it straight given the chance. The Cajun seasoning, either commercial, is a staple spice mix that even our GGS is using in his soup.

    It all went together to make a cream of shrimp soup that was tasty and, were it known I’d made it, would have cardiologists and food Nazi dieticians marching outside in protest. Phytosterol capsules are also a staple here.,

    In a buying panic I’d bought a large container of fresh spinach so I sauteed it down in bacon grease, onion and GARLIC…lotsa garlic. Now you see why I buy 2# jars. Some fresh real French bread Czarina fortuitously found in the grocery and it was dinner.

    Between the hurricane stock and stuff we buy on the spur in the store we come out OK. Luckily dairy’s not been an issue as to availability, there’s no shortage of imprisoned and oppressed cows, and we gots lotsa phytosterol pills.

    Czarina’s got a full week of patients so the least I can do is keep the dinners interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stella says:

      I have to use up spinach and greens soon. Thanks for the reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        Oh, when I discovered sauteeing spinach down with onions, garlic and bacon grease I fell in love all over again. Should work with any strong green, kale and cabbage too.

        I usually cook the bacon, remove and degrease it, cook the onion and garlic then throw the spinach in. I crumble the bacon and mix it in before serving.

        Czarina and I used to visit NOLA restaurants and I’d try to figure out how to make what we were served. The spinach came from a boutique restaurant by her old hospital. It tastes so good and is so easy.

        BTW, I put in small amounts of chicken broth to prevent burning and help steam it down and I cook it covered.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. JTR says:

    We had a Turkey meatoaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, with some sauteed zucchini. It was pretty good!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sharon says:

    I got hungry for some GOOD hot dogs awhile back and picked some up….and got a small jar of sauerkraut as well. So today I have dragged out the little charcoal burner in the back yard and am preparing to get the coals under way and prepare 2-3 of those for the next couple of days. I’m like you, Stella, in that I don’t mind leftovers, so once I get something made, it’s what’s for dinner for the next couple of days.

    I have the big propane BBQ but that’s too much to deal with – I’m happy just to use the charcoal.

    One thing I keep on hand all the time for sandwiches or to go with any hot meals – is what we always called “refrigerator pickles” – simple cucumber slices prepared with sliced onions and vinegar and some sugar and salt. They are yummy.

    Eric brought me two generous slabs of salmon from the great fish he caught a few weeks back, and that may be next on the horizon – in a couple of days. I don’t want to feel short of tie when I prepare that – haven’t done much with salmon myself and considering the value of it (!$!) I sure don’t want to screw it up or overbake it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • czarina33 says:

      I cook single serving sized pieces in Corning ware in the microwave. Spray the pan with cooking spray, put the fish skin down, fold oveer the thinner pieces to make them more like the thickest parts. Cook for a minute or two at a time, checking after each if the thickest part is flaky.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sharon says:

        What seasonings do you use? If any….

        Like

        • czarina33 says:

          Dill and butter, and a little salt, put on at the table. Salmon is sooooo good it doesn’t need anything to distract from it.

          Liked by 2 people

          • stella says:

            Dill is nice. I like tarragon, too, and usually saute my seasoned salmon in olive oil, then add a little white wine to the pan, cover, and steam to finish cooking. Then I take the salmon out of the pan and reduce the liquid to make a pan sauce.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Menagerie says:

          Sharon, this stuff makes the best salmon I’ve ever had. I used to prepare salmon several different ways, and we just love this so much that I’ve quit doing it any other way. You can get this stuff on Amazon or Walmart online. I’ve seen it in grocery stores here, so it might be that you could even find it out there.

          I rub the salmon with olive oil, then rub this on, then I let it sit for five minutes or so, just kind of letting the rub become pasty, it seems to stick a little better. Easy way to cook it is in the oven, but I like it best cooked in a pan in some oil so that the rub forms a crust. I sauté it skin side down first, then flip and get the rub side. It is messier but delicious, and I can more easily judge whether it is done.

          My husband’s boss takes him up to British Columbia on fishing trips. The resort they used to go to used this stuff and his boss liked it so much he bought some and gave a jar to my husband. We were hooked.

          If you have any left over add some cream cheese and a little more of this rub and enjoy with good crackers or even veggies. That is just delicious, almost better than the salmon freshly cooked.

          https://store.tomdouglas.com/Rub-with-Love/Rubs/Salmon-Rub/

          Liked by 1 person

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