About a day after American Thanksgiving I found myself staring at the fridge full of leftovers. And for whatever reason I felt a surge of creativity. Maybe it was the small gathering and zoom meeting hangover? So I pulled all the bits and bobs of Thanksgiving and started creating.
I decided on a “pot pie” like construction. I used the extra crust leftover from the 2-pack I got for pumpkin pie. I filled the pie pan and then in a separate bowl I mixed green bean casserole, a dollop of mashed potatoes, a little bit of turkey gravy and a healthy dose of diced smoked turkey.
I baked that for about 20 minutes and then pulled it out of the oven to crumble the last little bit of stuffing we had and cooked for another 15 or 20 minutes. It came out gorgeous looking!
Oh my lawwwwdddd….. and it was delicious too. It was creamy and hearty and tasted like the parts of your thanksgiving plate where your different foods touch. I threw in some leftover hot rolls with jelly and had the best dinner ever. And best yet? I literally finished off three whole containers of leftovers instead of letting them sit and get thrown out!
I am considering keeping more pie crusts on hand throughout the year. I feel like there is a whole world of untapped potential for leftovers cooked in this manner. I could do quiche with leftover roasted veg or even spicy taco pot pie with bean, meat and cheese. As long as my family indulges me…this might be staple “recipe” for us!
Fall has hit me full force. I pulled out my good Swedish Lutheran roots and cooked up a full midwestern chili dinner. And no chili dinner can’t be complete without cinnamon rolls!
I slipped some of my husband’s smoked brisket from the freezer into the chili for a bit of a smoky twist. It turned out delicious and carbtastic.
I have no idea why my family of four (two of which are small children) needed a full pot of chili and an entire pan of cinnamon rolls. But hey, it got us all in the fall mood and we have leftovers for the whole week.
My culinary adventures are continuing with Home Chef this week. This week included Steak Au Poive.
I over roasted the mushrooms and didn’t quite get the onions caramelized. But the sirloin was cooked to perfect medium rare and the sauce was on POINT.
This one had very few leftovers and got a huge thumbs up from the hubby and one child. The second child was tired and crabby so I’m not counting that vote. I really like that these recipes tell me how long I can procrastinate with them in the fridge. Super helpful for a working mom!
This last week was our last hurrah with Green Chef. We liked their environmentally friendly business models and it was super easy to make all the recipes. But they just didn’t knock our socks off on a regular basis flavor wise. And for what they ended up costing it just turned out to not bet a good fit for our family. The kids basically hated all of the dishes except for the burgers.
We gave it one last hurrah with the Japanese Fritters with veggies and rice. Basically rice with edamame and ginger, seasoned broccoli and cabbage fritters with siracha aoili.
I will have to say, this was a definite hit. It was savory and spicy but still fresh tasting. Both the hubby and I said we would most definitely do this again. For a meatless dinner it was very filling. And it looked very good plated up.
Next up in our food adventures is Home Chef. The recipes appear to be more kid friendly and more affordable. Our first week includes Spicy Crispy Boom Boom Shrimp….my mouth is watering!!
As I usually am, I’m late to the quarantine meal deliver service party. I just got a wild hair to spice up our dinner time meals and on a whim I signed up for Green Chef when someone passed me their coupon code. I do a pretty good job mixing up the recipes I cook on a regular basis but I find myself wanting to try new things more now than ever.
Our first meal was rosemary roasted chicken with a kale, potato and fig “salad”. It was tasty but even more fun to stretch my culinary brain a bit. My husband and I both agreed the salad was a hit and would definitely make again. Maybe just not with figs.
I even did my best to plate the food in an appealing manner. I think it ended up pretty darn cute. The salad was even better the next day after the potatoes had absorbed the vinaigrette flavor. I think we may stick this out for a couple of months to see if we can put some new flavors and techniques into our routine.
The dough came together nicely. I managed to make more reasonably sized dinner rolls that were almost all the same size. The batch made 15 rolls and they raised nicely. I think I need to space them a little better during their second proofing.
The rolls taste and texture were a VAST improvement form my first try. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I printed it and put it inside my bread machine cookbook. My family quickly gobbled these with a bit of butter and peach jam.
I have continued my carbohydrate craze this week and tried something new….pizza dough in my bread machine. And y’all…I should have done this sooner!
My mom got me this great book on bread machine bread. Its really comprehensive and has helped me make really successful bread. But that is all I have ever made.
Jellybean and I needed a project this week so we decided to make homemade pizza. I pulled out the book and used the machine to make one batch of regular crust and on batch of whole wheat crust. It was SOOO EASY. The machine does all the hard work and when it’s done you can cook it right away, store in the fridge for 24 hours or store in the freezer for 3 months.
As a working mom who handles most of the cooking I feel like this has opened up a whole new world for dinner options. My family gets home between 5 and 5:30 and everyone is hungry, especially the kids. I can’t take an hour to cook dinner or there will be meltdowns. It’s just how it is with our littles right now and I know it will change when they get older. But as it stand now, during the week I have to plan meals that can come together quickly.
So holy cow, I can make up dough the night before and put fresh rolls, homemade pizza or whatever else I can think of in the oven for a few minutes when I get home. This has kind of fired up my cooking mojo and maybe I can shake up our recipe rut a little this spring.
What is your favorite (and quick) thing to do with basic dough?
I have my planner and my go to crock pot cookbook….I’m ready to take on this busy week. I am really liking the meal planner insert and I’m using the pages to keep of what I accomplish instead of what I have to get done. It’s been empowering in a time of high stress. I am really enjoying my planner and color coding so far in 2020.
Tonight’s recipe is meatloaf and mashed potatoes magically all cooked in my instant pot and waiting for me when the family gets home tonight. It takes some prep time the night before but really the Instant Pot does all the heavy lifting. And bonus, if I call it “Meatloaf Cake” then my kids gobble it up.
Now I need to plan out the rest of the week! Happy Cooking!!
No finished object this Friday. Just a mom battling a cold and trying to feed her family. I’m over germs and I’m ready for spring air and open windows. Today is brought to you by Hamburger helper and knitting while I “cook”. After a full day at work, blowing my nose 1,100 times this was the best I could muster. And Jellybean declared it “THE BEST DINNER EVER” because it takes like macaroni and cheese.
P.S. This is my mini solutions scarf. I’ll try to do a better blog post next week if I can manage. I’m on the fifth color and you guys really need to see this. It’s amazeballs!!
I decided to use up some stew beef that had been kicking around my fridge this weekend.
I googled a simple Beef Ragu recipe from the web that was designed to work in my instant pot. I didn’t have all the ingredients exactly so I winged it. It was pretty tasty looking going in…Then upon arrival home I found a steamy pot of deliciousness waiting for me. ~ Side note…A LOT of beef fat had floated to the top. I skimmed it off before shredding the meat you see below~ We didn’t have the right shape of pasta but penne seemed to do nicely.
All in all, it was tasty. The beef was rich, soft and shredded nicely. My toddler turned up his nose but the hubby liked it just fine. I found that it would have been spectacular with something salty to balance the sweet carrots and beef. Maybe some nice shaved parm?? Next time….