Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Return of the Leftover Makeover :)

OK let's try this again! I want to reiterate my terrible recipe posting- most of the time I don't measure so everything is TOTALLY approximate. I have already explained how different types of soup are perfect leftover uses. In fact, I keep a freezer bag of odds and ends in the freezer- a spoonful of corn or peas leftover for dinner- that last serving of rice or pasta that doesn't get eaten or the unused portion of a can of diced tomatoes are perfect for composing a "freezer" soup when you get enough ingredients.

Another great use of leftovers is pasta. One of my leftover creations is a personal favorite of my husbands. If you are familar with pasta con broccoli, this is my leftover take on it.

First, the meals I made to collect leftovers for the pasta were as follows:
Baked, breaded chicken strips (served with home fries and salad)
Cheese soup- I make mine with a chicken broth base, cheddar cheese, butter, lots of broccoli, some onion and a carrot puree added in for richness and color. There are many recipes for cheese soup so you can use your favorite.

Cube the leftover chicken strips and add to whole wheat penne that has been cooked al dente. To the mixture, add enough leftover cheese soup to coat, leaving the mixture slightly runny. Add diced tomato in your preferred quantity and a generous scoop of parmesan cheese and stir. Pour into a baking dish and top with shredded mozarella. Bake on 325 degrees until the pasta is warmed through and the cheese is bubbly on top. Enjoy with a green salad.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

WOW i am really behind already on the leftover makeovers. I will start again next Wednesday and have lots of ideas!! For the time being let me say that if you just trust your random cooking instincts you might just surprise yourself. For example, last night, my husband had to coach a late basketball game so it was just my kids and I. I didn't feel like cooking or ordering on so I combined leftover lentil soup that I had frozen with some Amish noodles and it was almost like a bolognese but with an extra protein punch.... yay me.

I did not write the lentil soup recipe down, but it in itself was a way to use just a little ground beef that I had. Lentils are great! Ingredients I used were, of course, lentils and ground beef, as well as beef broth, carrots, celery, onions, tomato sauce, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper topped with fresh parmesan. Try some lentils!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftover Makeover

Week 2 Makeover!!
In this second version of the makeover challenge, we tackle the inevitable Thanksgiving. My challenge to you is to utilize the leftovers in a manner that looks nothing like the turkey day menu, though there is nothing wrong with a mile-high turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sandwich :)
A few quick ideas:
Mashed potatoes/Veggies- Perfect for a yummy Shepard's Pie. Brown some ground turkey or ground beef with chopped onions, carrots, and celery and a bit of butter. To the mix, add some stock (maybe home-made from the turkey carcass), worchestershire sauce, italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Once combined and partially reduced, smooth mashed potatoes across the top and top with shredded cheese. Brown off the cheese in the broiler and enjoy- DELICIOUS!
Turkey- I love a savory turkey tetrazzini with cooked spaghetti noodles and cubed turkey, mixed with sauteed onions and your favorite bechamel sauce. If you top with parmesan and/or some bread crumbs and bake it off, it will make a lovely crust. Serve with a green salad.
Cranberries/Bread- Depending on the type, you can make a reduction with some water and sugar and use as a sauce over french toast. I make mine out of brioche if available and soak a slice for 30 seconds in a custard of a few eggs, cream or milk and honey. I have even used yogurt as well- french toast is super versatile. It is wonderful with some home whipped cream and vanilla extract and the cranberry sauce.
Be creative and enjoy :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I am addicted to iced coffee drinks.... seriously just seeing the tiny picture of me on this blog holding one of the yummy creamy treats makes me want to fire up the coffee pot this late in the evening. I have also discovered that it is WAY cheaper to make them myself at home and also way lower in calories and caffeine levels. Here is my morning cup--- fill a resuable to-go cup/straw contraption with ice. Fill it just over a third full with regular brewed coffee (I use what is left in my husband's AM pot). The I add a generous glug of french vanilla creamer and fill almost to the top with 2% milk- you can adjust for your own taste. Simply delicious! Plus I am actually getting a solid two servings of dairy for breakfast if I don't have time to eat anything else...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hump Day Leftover Makeover

I think there is no better use for leftovers than GUMBO! Truly a little of this and a little of that in a gorgeous brown roux with just enough heat to warm the tongue and you can have a brand new dinner with no (or next to no) more money on the grocery bill. Simple simple- I used half of a turkey kielbasa, a handful of frozen shrimp and some chicken and tossed it in with green peppers, onions, celery, canned diced tomatoes with juice, chicken stock (home-made) and some spices. Simmered long enough to concentrate the flavor and dumped it over some brown rice. The dinners that I had leftovers from were as follows:
Sausage, kraut, mashed potatoes and corn (i also used the leftover kraut to make some Reubens later in the week)
Roasted chicken (i used the carcass for stock and the meat as, well, meat) with green beans and sweet potatoes
So I am not any better at posting an actual recipe but I thought this was a good idea to share and went with it. I think I will make it my usual Wednesday post- how to recreate your leftovers so you don't feel like you are eating the same thing all week :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How I got my name

We were in the pediatrician's office for my son's annual checkup. She asked him if he knew that his mommy was a doctor too. He replied "No she's not! She's a mommy!" I like to think I draw experience from both, hence doctor momma :)

And off we go......

Let me preface any posting with my disclaimer:
I am a terrible recipe poster!! I tend to cook by feel and taste and so I never measure (incidentally i am not a great baker) plus I switch things up... alot. I rarely make a dish the same exact way, mostly because I am against going to the store for very specific things while the food i have at home goes to waste. I have learned to cook around key ingredients that need to be used and I have also been known to add random purees of healthy stuff to a dish to bump up the nutrient punch. Disclaimer over. I am what I am and the next food network star will probably not be me :)
BUT part of my reason for starting this blog in particular is to get better at putting my culinary creations on paper. I think I can ~~I think I can~~