Protect the Pantry Series: Introduction

I have a bad habit that I’m sure many of you have as well… I’m a sucker for a GREAT DEAL or and AMAZING FIND. I’ll just call it what it is, I’m an impulse buyer. This is is true for me when it comes to clothing shopping and even grocery shopping. I love finding cool pantry items at Trader Joes and Aldi… the issue is that I end up with a pantry full of food items that I probably wont use or might expire before I get to try them.

I don’t think anyone is to blame.

American’s are blessed to have access to food, water, restaurants, and the best grocery stores. We love buffets, order the full portion and leave half to be dumped instead of ordering the half portion, shop at warehouse stores, and freeze extra food that we know we’ll never eat. We’ve got to do better. I’ve got to do better.

The National Resources Defense Council states that, “Store promotions leading to bulk purchases or purchases of unusual products often result in consumers buying foods outside their typical meal planning, which then gets discarded.” I’m guilty of this and I’ve got to do better.

According to feedingamerica.org, “An estimated 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed” and even worse is that “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste.”

I’ll be the first to admit that historically, I don’t do such a great job trying to avoid food waste. I cook a lot and because I’m a “food blogger” I try out lots of different foods and recipes and sometimes it’s more than my husband and I can enjoy together.

My hope is to create a “series” of posts that encourage you to use food items you might have sitting in your pantry or to avoid buying more than you need. Some of these posts might be my own recipes or I might share some foods I made using recipes from other bloggers. Other ideas might encourage recycling leftovers into lunches and other dinner meals or providing suggestions for better portions.

Hopefully this will be ongoing. I’ll do my best to share my thoughts and attempts to protect my pantry and the food I order and/or bring into my home.

Join in on the conversation with me. How do you protect your pantry and avoid food waste?

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #ProtectThePantry and @PinchPlateParty

SOURCES:

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/how-we-work/securing-meals/reducing-food-waste.html

Santa Monica Breakfast: Bru’s Wiffle

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I love breakfast foods. I can’t say that I eat breakfast everyday (because I don’t), but I do take every opportunity to include breakfast ingredients in my day to day meals. Add a sunny side up egg to a rice bowl. Include crispy or candied bacon on a burger, and oh man, have you ever have savory waffles? They’re delicious.

This year William and I traveled to Santa Monica and the highlight of many of our trips is always the food we eat. One restaurant that’s stuck with me is Bru’s Wiffle. A great waffle joint located a few blocks away from the pier.

Restaurant: Bru’s Wiffle

Location: Santa Monica – 2408 Wilshire Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90403

Food Type: Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch

Bru’s Wiffle is a waffle joint that has 2 southern California locations: Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. They use fresh ingredients and everything’s made from scratch. The restaurant serves cute little waffles that are great for kids and they even have gluten free options.

We got to the restaurant just when they opened and were greeted by such nice employees. We sat down and immediately ordered the hash browns stuffed with mozzarella cheese. Although it sounds simple it was absolutely delicious… I’m still trying to figure out how they did it.

William ordered the meat lovers omelette. This ultra filling omelette is made with turkey sausage, pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella cheese & avocado and topped with a blazing sauce. He also ordered a standard waffle as a side. The waffle was delicious but probably not something you would want as a “side item” because it’s just as filling as the omelette.

I’ve saved the best for last. I ordered the Golden Goat waffle. Holy cow, it’s 4 of my favorite food items combined into one breakfast entree. It’s a waffle topped with fried chicken, honey, and goat cheese. I’ll be honest, it’s probably one of the best waffles I’ve ever had!

My hope is to come up with a recipe so that you can recreate this entree at home… It’s not like everyone can just zip over to Santa Monica for breakfast!

If you are ever in the LA area, make sure you check out Bru’s Wiffle. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

 

Biscuits the size of a Cat’s Head: Eating Asheville – Biscuit Head

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Is there any meal that’s better than breakfast? I mean, come on. It’s the first meal you eat, it sets your pace for the day, and it’s the perfect paring of hearty, sweet, and savory.

Restaurant: Biscuit Head, Biltmore Avenue

Location: 417 Biltmore Ave, Ste 4F Asheville, NC 28801

Price Range: $$ ($11 – $30)

Website: http://www.biscuitheads.com

Click HERE to view the Menu

While in Asheville we were on the hunt for a delicious and simple breakfast spot. After getting some suggestions from friends, and searching around yelp, all we could find were spots downtown that had really long wait times. I did a little searching online and came across a fun article by Bon Appetit Magazine and decided to give one of their suggestions a try. After a lot of searching, pondering, and debating, we ended up putting Biscuit Head in our GPS and ended up at their unassuming Biltmore Avenue location.

After pulling up to the restaurant we were a little skeptical to give this restaurant a try. It was raining out, it was a little chilly, and there was a VERY long line coming out of the door. I don’t like lines, I’m not a huge fan or rain, and because we were traveling in the end of April I was hoping for higher temperatures. I complained a little, sent my husband to get in line, and I parked the car. I decided that I needed to figure out why people felt the need to commit to eating at this restaurant.

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My oh my… I’m so glad we decided to eat here. The restaurant is designed to have a line. The space inside is pretty small so by time you get to the front of the line and pay for your food, someone else is leaving space at an empty table (kind of like the lines at Chipotle). We made it inside pretty quickly and were greeted by so many happy faces!

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At the door entrance there was a chalkboard that read cat head biscuits. I had no idea what that meant until I was served my food.

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The biscuits here are HUGE and super filling. I ordered the Mimosa Fried Chicken Biscuit with a double shot of espresso. William ordered the Fried Catfish Biscuit and a regular coffee.

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After ordering we were given our number and were directed to take a seat anywhere we liked. We ended up sitting a the communal table. William sat on the side with chairs and I sat on the side with the bench. I’ll admit it was a little difficult to get in and out of my seat so William was in charge of getting any jelly, water, or coffee refills.

… Speaking of Jelly. They have an amazing jelly bar for you to try out. Customers can purchase jelly, sauces, and biscuit mix to use at home.

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Our food was prepared and out to our seats in less than 10 minutes. Like I said before, the biscuits are huge and very filling. Both biscuits were absolutely amazing. I liked William’s catfist biscuit the best (even though I’m not a fan of catfish). The poached eggs that topped our biscuits were cooked perfectly as well.

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If you’re in Asheville and are looking for a delicious, carb loaded breakfast spot, please check out Biscuit Head! It’s worth the (short) wait and I promise you will not leave hungry.

Enjoy!