Monday, March 9, 2009

Eating Down the Fridge Challenge: Day 1 (Sunday)

Cheese from nuns

So Sunday officially began the Eating Down the Fridge Challenge, a week-long adventure where I will refrain from going to the grocery store and instead cook meals solely out of what I have stored up in my refrigerator and cupboards. CCO thinks this isn't really a challenge, but then again he thinks I keep too much stuff in the cabinets anyway.

So at one point last week, we happened to have 9 lbs of cheese from Cistercian nuns in our fridge. Yeah... Back in November, I was trying to find someone local to get some good quality cheese from, the idea being I could give half of it away as gifts and use the rest for my Christmas baking. Someone suggested the Our Lady of Angels Monastery down in Crozet. The monastery is run by Cistercian nuns (CCO tells me that its called a monastery rather than a convent because of their order). It had some good reviews and I figured I was supporting a good cause by giving money to nuns. So I ordered a bunch in mid-November. Their form said that as long as you ordered before Thanksgiving, you would be ok for delivery before Christmas. Not actually true. In their defense, it was a bad year (higher costs for stuff due to the crazy prices during the summer) so I got a postcard from them mid-December that I would not be receving my cheese until February or March. I was a little bummed, but figured I could at least give it away as Valentine's Day cheese... and in the meantime the nuns have been keeping me up-to-date on their goings-on. They sent me pictures of their visit to the Vatican earlier last year and frequently send me letters about how they are praying for me. They look like such nice nuns in the pictures that I haven't had the heart to throw away their newsletters and keep them on the fridge. (I freaked someone out a couple months back because one had a large picture of the Pope and the person began to worry that I was secretly devout) Anyway, the cheese arrived last week, all 9-lbs of glorious smoked gouda. I obviously can't eat 9-lbs on my own, so I took a wheel in to my office where it was promptly devoured by swarms of hungry reporters. The cheese is super good, a really light gouda flavour. This whole long story has really been to convince you to buy their cheese. Just make sure to leave plenty of time for delivery...

Grilled cheese

For lunch, we made grilled cheese sandwiches with the nun cheese and ate them with leftover carrot-ginger soup.


Leah's birthday meatloaf

For my birthday dinner, I really wanted meatloaf. Except my birthday falls on a Monday, which would violate Meatless Mondays. Instead I insisted on eating meatloaf on Sunday. The Pat Nixon meatloaf was good, but I was feeling lazy and didn't want to wait the hour it has to sit in the fridge. Instead I made up a barbecue meatloaf recipe.

1 lb ground bison (beef will do as a substitute)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3-4 tbsp barbecue sauce (LN: I used a Hickory-smoked blend)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Spray 9x9 inch square pan with cooking spray. Shape meat into loaf in pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until meat is browned throughout. Serve with extra barbecue sauce.

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