Bringing Home Baby: Pantry Stock Up

Pantry Stock Up Before Baby

Nesting is absolutely in full force with this mama, and with only a month until baby sister makes her grand entrance into the world, I realized it was time to get everything in gear to make the transition as stress-free as possible. Our move from New England to the South took place within 3 weeks of our first born’s arrival, so we really didn’t even have the chance to prepare for what was coming. There was no nursery and our tiny freezer couldn’t have held more than a single freezer meal. This time around I have been determined to have things prepared in advance as much as possible.

I’ve already been working on freezer meals for a few weeks now and my mom is also planning to bring up a few more frozen dinners and sides from my favorite Texas grocery store when they come up for the birth. Currently, our freezer is stocked with Lasagna Roll-ups, Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole, Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, and Beef Stroganoff along with an assortment of frozen veggies, waffles, and pancakes. I might just go ahead and do a separate post covering my freezer stock-up plan, Thank goodness I love making lists so much!

Aside from the freezer meals, I knew that we would need to make sure that our pantry would need to be stocked with all of our favorite basic cooking staples before baby. And even more important, we’re going to need lots of grab-and-go treats, convenience foods that we don’t buy quite as regularly and a ton of snacks to keep a certain toddler big brother happy. I’m hoping that all of this planning and effort pays off. I have a feeling that I’ll be so thankful to not have to put on real clothes and run to the store because we’re out of mac n cheese or have seemingly nothing to make for dinner because the shopping hasn’t happened in those first few weeks with our newborn.

So without further ado, here’s the list of all of the things I hope to have on hand in the pantry when baby girl arrives:

Snacks & Grab & Go 

  • a variety of granola bars, breakfast cookies, etc.
  • crackers
  • peanut butter filled pretzels
  • tortilla chips
  • popcorn
  • nuts

For the Toddler

  • juice
  • applesauce & Go-Go style pouches
  • granola bars
  • fruit snacks
  • raisins, dried fruit
  • crackers
  • potato chips
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • simply good jell-o (not sponsored, but I’ve felt much better about this new line of products vs. their original counterparts)
  • simply good pudding mix
  • pop tarts (probably will only have one box on hand for an emergency treat on an extra rough morning)

Cooking Staples

  • pasta
  • jar sauces (typically, we make our own marinara, etc. but it will be nice to have a faster option in those newborn days)
  • bbq sauce (to make our fav crockpot bbq chicken)
  • italian dressing (for a quick chicken marinade)
  • box mac & cheese
  • rice: white, brown, spanish
  • canned black beans
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • canned whole tomatoes (for homemade salsa)
  • rotel or diced tomatoes & green chiles (for homemade salsa)
  • canned crushed tomatoes (for homemade marinara)
  • tomato paste

Baking Supplies

  • flour
  • sugar: white, brown
  • chocolate chips — I never want to live in a house without chocolate chips
  • yeast
  • bisquick  (for pancakes, waffles, drop biscuits, etc.)
  • cornbread mixes (great for throwing together quickly to go with soup)

Extras

  • s’mores supplies: graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate

Meal Planning Monday :: October 3 – October 9

Meal Planning Monday October 3

And so another week begins…last week was jam-packed with University stuff for the hubby, doctors appointments, errands that absolutely had to be run and so much more. We’re really looking forward to a bit of a recovery week this week.

We scored some beautiful squash (zucchini, yellow squash, and butternut…Oh My!) this weekend at the farmers market downtown, so this week’s meal plan is all about enjoying comfort foods while incorporating lots of veggies.

  • Monday: Eggplant Parmesan Stacks w/Broccoli
  • Tuesday: Taco Zucchini Boats
  • Wednesday: Pesto Alfredo Gnocchi w/Roasted Zucchini & Yellow Squash
  • Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken w/Veggie Stir-fry
  • Friday: Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Pumpkin Pancakes (1st of the season!), Hot Dogs, Butternut Pasta
  • Sunday: Leftover Pancakes, Lemon Garlic Chicken w/Grilled Veggies
  • For the freezer: Beef Stroganoff Casserole
    • We bought a stand-up freezer for the garage after moving into our new house a couple months ago. I’ve made it my little mission to make the most out of that purchase and decided that it would be a good idea to always keep 2 or 3 emergency meals in the freezer for those extra crazy weeknights when nothing is going right, the toddler tantrums are in full swing and all you want to do is just give up and order an overpriced, mediocre pizza. Does anyone else have those nights?
    • Anyway…we had some extra ground beef on our hands after making our taco soup recently, so I decided to go with making a simple beef stroganoff casserole for the freezer this week.

What’s on your menu this week? I’d love to know, so leave a comment below!

Meal Planning Monday – July 11-17

I’ve been sharing our weekly meal plans from time to time on the Moore Cookin’ Instagram, but it finally dawned on me that I should be sharing them on here too. I’ve been inspired by too many other food bloggers meal plans to not share. You never know when your little old meal plan of family favorites could save someone from their very own dinner rut.

I used to think that meal planning looked like too much work and that it would take all of the fun out of cooking if I had a plan laid out. Over months of meal planning for a couple of weeks and then falling off the wagon — off and on and off and on again, I can definitively say that I love meal planning!

The work you put into it is totally worth it and I love not having to rack my brain to figure out something to make for dinner when it’s a half hour before we’re supposed to be eating, I’m exhausted after a full day’s work and my almost 2 year old is throwing a tantrum or trying to climb the kitchen table again. In those moments I just want to give up and say “That’s it! Chicken nuggets for all!”. Meal planning makes for far fewer of those nights and I am all for that!

Even if you don’t stick to making each meal the night that you planned, at the very least you have 5-7 options for dinner and all of the groceries to make those dishes sitting in your pantry and fridge. You won’t be left staring at fridge or pantry of randomness with no clue what you could possibly make.

If you’re worried about things getting boring, leave a day open without a meal and mind. A meal plan has to be flexible. I often leave Saturday open so that I can pick up whatever we decide to make at the store that day. It’s also nice to not have to worry about leftovers, so Saturday nights tend to work best for us. Just do what works best for you.

And finally, on to this week’s meal plan…

Meal Planning Monday 7.11.16

  • Monday: Grilled chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans
  • Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
    • Planning to make our own take on this 30-minute chicken tortilla soup recipe and hopefully post here on the blog this week
  • Wednesday: Eggplant Pizzas with spinach salad
    • Inspired by this baked eggplant recipe
  • Thursday: Tacos with Spanish rice
  • Friday: Going out to dinner at Chuy’s Tex-Mex to celebrate closing on the new house! YAY!!
  • Saturday: Bruschetta Pasta
    • Making our own creation for this one. Stay tuned to see if it makes it on the blog!
  • Sunday: Homemade Corn Dogs
    • Inspired by these from Farmhouse Rules

 

Happy Meal Planning everyone! What’s on your menu this week? I’d love to hear what you have planned or what meal planning resources you can’t live without. Leave a comment below!