Cooking Craze!


I’m in one of those Chopped cooking show moods. For those of you unfamiliar with this Food Network hit, contestants get a basket of random food items and must make an appetizer, main course, and dessert with the selected foods plus items they choose from the Chopped pantry. Well, my pantry and fridge are overflowing with ingredients that need to be used so I pulled a semi-Kondo* closet move and here’s what I ended up with on my kitchen island.

view from one side of my island
view from one end of my island

a bag of lentils, the last of my garden potatoes, leftover chopped broccoli, a block of cheddar cheese, homemade turkey broth, leftover chives, a cup of quinoa, millet, random spices, cans of garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, and a bag of uncooked black beans . . .

And then there’s the other side of the island~

Einkorn flour, sour cream, ginger, ripe bananas, brie, oatmeal, ginger snaps, unsweetened chocolate, assorted flours, rolled oats, zucchinis, agave syrup . . .

Some items didn’t make it out of the pantry, but I enjoyed using the ones that have been hanging around for a while now.

I wonder if I’m the only crazy person that does something like this and thinks it’s fun.

Here’s what I decided to make after surveying this mess of ingredients:

Cheesy Potato Soup with Broccoli topped with Chives and Sour Cream~ homemade stock and real cream make the difference



Chocolate Banana Zucchini Bread~ throw in some oats and dot with chocolate chips



Bartlett Pear Flatbread with Brie and Carmellized Onions~ my copycat recipe of our local wine bar offering; Jim’s favorite from The Happy Grape



Pumpkin Muffins with Einkorn Flour~ substituting einkorn for whole wheat makes for extra moist and light muffins



Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole~ so easy since you don’t have to pre-cook the rice or lentils



Tex-Mex Garbanzo and Black Bean Soup~prepare an extra batch of black beans for your next soup



Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili~ sweet and spicy


Not pictured: turkey noodle bake and ginger pear tart.

Recipes coming soon!  I certainly didn’t get through all of the ingredients scattered on my island, but got a few recipes accomplished. I suggest starting with a large batch of homemade stock. It’s a good staple to have available since you can use it in so many dishes such as the soups, chili, and casserole pictured here.    

In the meantime, what’s in your pantry?

*Marie Kondo wrote the popular best seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She suggests you pull everything out of your closet before  making decisions on what to put back and what to discard. If an item brings you joy, then you keep it.






3 thoughts on “Cooking Craze!

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