Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Between helping Ben through this morning’s fender bender, making more estimate appointments and being productive at work I managed to work in some time to research this idea for dinner. Chicken and dumplings. It’s another recipe to add to the seemingly unending list of ways to transform leftover chicken into dishes that are similar to but not quite chicken pot pie. Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
That’s my motto most of the time. I’m on a big campaign to curb the amount of food that gets wasted around here. It most often happens because I prefer to have a hot lunch of leftovers at work rather than a sandwich or other typical lunch foods. Which is fine except I only work part time which means that more than half of the week I have to make enough leftovers for a second meal or suffer the consequences of the food going potentially uneaten. The whole thing is complicated by the fact that Ben’s views on lunch are the exact opposite of mine (although lately his view is shifting).
As a side note, my other big problem is my failure to plan meals ahead. I just can’t seem to get it done reliably. It’s a big problem because it means that if I’m feeling too tired or harried that we end up eating out (like we did on Monday) or ordering in. I like going out as much as the next person but it’s a treat I don’t like using it as a crutch.
Which all leads me to tonight’s dinner. Around 3 I started complaining to Erin that I had again forgotten to plan our dinner in advance. I complained a little more and then I thought and thought and thought about it. I ended up having to stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some reinforcements but I did manage to turn one and a half leftover pork chops into three servings and have it on the table in 20(ok, maybe 25) minutes. A quick stroganoff is one of my go tos for using up leftover meat. It makes for a quick and satisfying meal. Maybe one day I’ll write down a recipe but for now I’ll just tell you how it goes. Maybe you’ll try it one day when you’re scrambling for dinner ideas.
First I sliced a medium onion into half moons and browned them in a little olive oil over medium or medium high heat. Next I cranked the heat to high and added a package of button mushrooms sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper. While the mushrooms and onions were cooking I sliced the meat and tossed it into the pan to heat through. Then I added a few dashes of worcestershire and a good tablespoonful of dijon mustard and stirred that in. Next goes in about 1/4 cup of chicken broth. I let the mixture bubble for a minute or two until I’m happy with the amount of sauce that’s left in the pan. Turn of the heat, stir in a good dollop of sour cream and serve over egg noodles or rice.
I defy you to take a picture of this dish that leaves your mouth watering but all the same it was hot and homemade and pretty dang tasty if I do say so myself. What do you do with your leftovers?
Saturday, October 4th, 2008
The original title of this post was mini meatloafs but that sounds weird doesn’t it. Meatloaf must be one of those words that doesn’t get an s in the plural form. I’m off the menu planning wagon again. Probably because I didn’t work this week. Hopefully I’ll be back on track as of tomorrow night but that means that around 4pm this afternoon I was totally clueless about dinner. I started with a pound of ground beef and started thinking. We had Sweedish meatballs last night so anything too similar was out. I checked the index of a couple of old standard cookbooks for ideas for ground beef and landed on meatloaf in the joy of cooking. They suggested putting a layer of stuffing between two layers of meat which got me thinking about the leftover mashed potatoes from last night’s dinner.
I also adopted the addition of a tablespoon of butter to the mix from Joy, used a lot less bread crumbs than I usually do and omitted the egg altogether. It tasted so very different than what I usually make but good and hearty and satisfying too. My intention was to stuff the potatoes into the middle but the muffin cups were too small for that so i just topped with the mashed (which I guess technically makes this a shepherd’s or cottage pie) and drew little ketchup faces on cause I thought it was cute and that it might make Chase want to eat it.
She didn’t eat it. Well I guess she had a bite and she did express that it looked cute and yummy for whatever that’s worth. She did eat some spinach salad though so I was sufficiently pleased. We were out all day at a birthday party next door. She napped for about an hour between 3:30 and 4:30 and when she woke up she was miserable but I didn’t encourage her to go back to sleep because it was so late. At any rate, she never eats when she’s really tired so I’m going to serve it to her again. This is absolutely the type of meal that she likes to eat. But the real beauty of the individual servings is that they fit perfectly into a small storage container and I’ll be able to pull one out on one of those nights where I just can’t get dinner on the table for all of us in time. A pound of meat would probably only make 4 whole muffin sized servings but topped with potatoes it made 6 muffin sized servings.