Emptying the Pantry for Summer

We spend a fair amount of time away from home in the summer.  There are youth camps, missions trips, family visits, and a beach vacation to name a few.  Because we are often gone so much, I like to empty as much of the pantry and refrigerator as I can so nothing goes to waste or pests are tempted to invade in our absence.

It was with this intent that I made a little pineapple zucchini cake.  You can easily guess from its titled which components I was trying to use up.


The zucchini would have gone bad for sure, but you may be wondering about the other two.  The date on the pineapple chunks was actually for closer to the end of the year, but I really like zucchini and pineapple together.  The cake mix had actually expired in January. I’m not really sure what that means, but I wasn’t all that concerned.

Never having put these three teams together before, I wasn’t sure this would be a success.  I was sure that if I looked it up online, I could probably find someone who had done it before.  However, I was feeling lucky and decided just to wing it.

I started by grating the zucchini.

IMG_2842You may have noticed a odd things about the above photo.  First of all, I semi-peeled the zucchini.  I like all the green flecks, but I have a picky eater who is a little less interested in seeing the green.  The second thing you may have noticed is the healing injury on my thumb.  I’m not going to lie, grating the zucchini brought back some pretty painful reminders of the unfortunate cheese grating incident I had a few weeks ago.

I let the zucchini drain while I chopped up the pineapple in the food processor.


I had already drained about a cup of juice from them before chopping them up.  I decided I’d replace the cup of water that goes in the cake mix with some if not all the pineapple liquid.

Here’s how I put it all together:

I mixed three eggs with 1/3 c of canola oil.

Next I added the box mix.  I wanted to wait to add any further liquid until the end.

I incorporated a cup of zucchini and a cup of the now shredded pineapple.

I decided to add 2/3 c of the pineapple juice because it was already a pretty loose batter.

I finished by added a tsp of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg.

I put the batter in two loaf pans and baked them at 350 degrees for 35ish minutes (somehow I missed the oven timer ringing while I was upstairs gathering laundry).

The result was rather impressive since I had no recipe.


The two younger guys got home and we tested a corner.  Delicious – not as sweet as I thought it would be though.  I checked the refrigerator and found a stick of cream cheese that had already been opened.  I already had a few sticks of unsalted butter on the counter, so making a little cream cheese frosting to put on top was a no- brainer!




About macfishreed

I'm a former country girl living in the suburbs with my four guys. I enjoy re-using, re-inventing and re-imagining just about anything!
This entry was posted in Baking, Family, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Emptying the Pantry for Summer

  1. overholt8 says:

    Ummmm How can you say you have a picky eater but they eat zucchini and pineapple. I have a kid who would throw up when you pass cooked carrots in front of his face. Now we don’t pass the cooked carrots by him anymore!
    But it looks yummy, and we have lovely beaches near us if you want to come down here for a bit of vacation!


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