Touch of Nectar











I had leftover pork tenderloin. And leftover rice.  And there is always a variety of veggies in the fridge and freezer.  Not liking to have the same meal twice in one week, I tend to get creative…

Bring on the fried rice!  Easy.

Here’s what I did.

I sauteed 1/2 an onion and 2 carrots in some vegetable oil until tender. Then I added the rice. Make sure your (nonstick!) skillet is nice and hot.  When the rice started to brown, I adde the leftover pork tenderloin (diced) and some peas from the freezer.

When the whole thing was heated through, I added soy sauce.  Meanwhile, while everything was cooking, I beat 2 eggs with a little bit of water. I stirred this in, trying to get chunks of scrambled egg throughout the rice.

I served this with some steamed broccoli. Delicious! And easy.



{January 20, 2012}   That’s Nuts!

I made these for Project 365.  It is one of those super simple recipes that I am going to make over and over again.  It’s not even really a recipe.

Buy a can of spanish peanuts. You know, the red skinned ones that are uber salty… Now chop up an equal amount of candied ginger. I happened to find some on sale, but the bulk bins are your friend. 

Now mix the two together and put in an airtight container.  Eat by the handfuls.  This is salty, sweet and has a nice little bit of kickin spice from the ginger. Lovely.



{January 19, 2012}   Some for now. Some for later.

Sometimes it is nice to channel your roots. My family’s history can be traced back to Poland. I’m the 4th or 5th generation to be born in the US. I don’t even really consider myself Polish. I’m a mutt. 

This is one of those recipes that should have been handed down from my grandmother or great grandmother… Total comfort food.

If you are going to make them to freeze. Freeze them individually on a tray or baking sheet before boiling them. Then package them in zip lock bags. Don’t forget to lable and date the bags.  You can drop them into the boiling water right from the freezer. No need to thaw. I love that.

I always seem to have WAY more filling so I double the amount of dough. Freeze half and eat the other half for dinner. Delicious!

Potato Cheese Pierogies

3 1/2 quarts water
2 cups chopped unpeeled potatoes (I peel mine)
1 cup ricotta cheese (Jack works too)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I use more)
1 teaspoon dill (I used more here too)
1 dash black pepper
1 1/2 cups white flour (do NOT try and use whole wheat.  It won’t work. Ask me how I know.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg  (use more if you like this flavor – I love it)
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs , beaten
butter
sour cream
paprika

Bring water to boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and mash in a medium bowl.

Add the cheeses and lemon juice, mustard, dill and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Combine flour, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour until well blended.

Add eggs and knead until smooth. Divide into 16 balls. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil.

Roll out each ball into a circle. Place 1 ½ tablespoons filling on one side, leaving a ¼ “ border.

Fold in half and press edges with a fork to seal. Cook in the boiling water until they rise to the top. Serve with sour cream, butter and paprika.



Meatballs are one staple thing I keep in the freezer. I often add shredded zucchini or yellow squash to them in an attempt to healthy them up.

Then I was sent this sample.

Mostly made of soy. One of the suggestions on the label said it could be mixed with ground beef for a healthier burger.  Well now. Ground turkey was on sale this week for buy one get one free and I intended to make meatballs anyway… Perfect.

It certainly doesn’t look like much right out of the package.

I added two pounds of ground turkey and one egg. It made lots of meatballs!  I put 5 packages of 10 each in the freezer. Yay me!

The meatballs turned out very nicely. You can’t tell I added anything to them and they have a nice dense texture.



So I stumbled on this idea on pinterest (yeah yeah. I know) and knew immediately that I had to try it.

Cinnamon rolls on the grocery list. STAT!

These are the ones that come with orange frosting, which I love.  I was pleasantly surprised how well this worked!  The kidling is already asking for me to make them again.

Just stick the cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker, close the lid, and the machine does the rest.  And it is faster and easier than waiting for the oven to preheat. Brilliant!

Hubby had his drizzled with real maple syrup. The kidling and I had ours with the ooey gooey frosting.

YUM!



{January 14, 2012}   You’re Doing it Wrong!

Yeah. That’s me talking to myself.

Isn’t there some sort of rule? Don’t go to the grocery store hungry.  Don’t go to the grocery store without a list. Don’t go to the grocery store before you’ve written up the menu for the week.

Yeah, well… I’m a rule breaker. Apparently. Oops.

I needed a couple of things. Just a couple I swear. Then I got to thinking… Why go to the grocery store twice in one week if I don’t really have to. And that’s where the trouble began.  I have most of a menu written up for the week (see below) and had a list. It just wasn’t with me.  I did manage to get everything on the list. And then some.  I picked up a couple of things for the One Pan Wonders blog as well.

It’s a good thing I’m wicked good at freezer tetris.  Pork tenderloin was on sale (finally!!) and ground turkey was buy one get one free. Neither were on my (ahem, incomplete!) menu, but they are now.  The pork will be three dinners worth with ample leftovers, so it will carry over to future weeks. I made a simple teriyaki marinade and froze two portions. The third portion we ate last night with amble leftovers. I’m thinking pork fried rice should be on the menu soon.

The ground turkey will be meatballs. Lots and LOTS of meatballs.  Good timing too, since I just used up the last ziplock stash of freezer meatballs.  I have some fake meat stuff that I was sent to try awhile ago and one of the suggestions is to mix it with ground meat to make burgers/meatballs healthier. I think I’ll try that this time around. I’ll try and remember to blog about the results.

Surprisingly enough, I still stayed under budget. JUST under budget.  $95.41.

Now here’s the (slightly incomplete) menu for the week:

Mon: Turkey Meatballs – Maybe some sort of Sweedish Meatball dish with egg noodles?

Tue: Lemon Lime Tilapia (food.com #281121), rice, broccoli

Wed: BBQ chicken sandwiches, slaw, french fries

Thur: Pierogis, cabbage, leftover pork

Fri: CORN/Leftovers

Sat: Pork fried rice, salad, (are there dumplings or egg rolls in the freezer?)

Sun: undecided

Lunches: Cheesy Quinoa Bites (pinterest – quinoa in the freezer), some sort of kale/bean salad?

Other: kidling wants blueberry waffles. Easy enough.



{January 13, 2012}   What’s in your fridge?

So there’s this thread over on the backpacking forums that I visit about what is in your fridge. I love seeing what people have. 

Mine usually isn’t this bare, but we are in the process of re-stocking after getting the new fridge. The freezer’s crammed full though!

Lots and lots of condiments, yeast, salad dressing, pickles…

Top shelf has a tray with syrups and jelly (no more sticky fridge!), milk, creamer, some bento supplies.  Second shelf has CAKE and salad. Bottom shelf has meats. Drawers contain veggies and cheese.

And the freezer… I need a new system. :/  Anyone got some good suggestions for organizing a small freezer? 

Bottom trays have veggies. The ziplocks are ready-to-eat meals, soups and cooked turkey/chicken. In the tupperware is meats in marinade and twice baked potatoes (waiting for their 2nd baking).

And in the door… more frozen veggies, bananas, bento stash, ginger.



{January 12, 2012}   Dinner and a Leftovers Idea

I found this recipe on Pinterest (shut up. I do not have a problem.) the other day and realized I had most of the ingredients to make it. I omitted the pastry sheet didn’t really follow the recipe at all. The idea is a good one though, and there are lots of different things you could put in the mix.

Chicken stuffed with Cream Cheese, Bacon and Green Onions.  YUM!!!!

 

I served it with Hasselback Taters and a green salad. For the taters I just used olive oil and Johnny’s Seasoning salt.

There’s leftover chicken.  I think it will be awesome cut up and tossed with some hot pasta for dinner tonight. The gooey cheese will make a nice sauce.  I also had a little extra of the cheese mix that didn’t fit into the chicken breasts. I am saving this to serve on bruschetta.

I am now out of bacon.  Sad, right?



{January 11, 2012}   Revamped Leftovers. SOUP!

I had made a delicious sausage-onion-sundried tomato pizza the other night and had a bit of sausage and onion leftover (there’s only so much sausage you can cram on a pizza).  Then yesterday, I was reading up on all the bento blogs I follow and found the perfect recipe to revamp my leftovers.

Zuppa Toscana from Bentobloggy. 

I didn’t follow her recipe exactly, since I was starting with already cooked meat, but here’s what I did…

Sauteed one onion, two carrots and two celery sticks in olive oil. I added about 1/4 (maybe a little less?) pound of bacon, chopped coarsely. When the bacon was almost done, I added the leftover sausage, 2 russet potatoes (peeled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes) and a can of chicken broth and some water.  I let this simmer until the potatoes were tender and the broth had reduced down to a thick soup.  I omitted the greens since I didn’t have any handy. I was winging the recipe afterall, doncha know.  I also didn’t have the heavy cream she calls for in her recipe, so I used 2% milk. It worked just fine.

Dinner took about 40 minutes, start to finish. I served the hearty soup with cheesey breadsticks and a mixed green salad. Nom nom nom!  Perfect comfort food for cold winter days.

Sorry, I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo!



{January 10, 2012}   Back to the Bentos. And Budget.

Okay, the new fridge has arrived!  I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon restocking and reorganizing. The new fridge has a slightly different set up than the old one, so I need to come up with some new ideas. My shelf racks won’t work in the freezer any more.  Suggestions welcome!  I am, however, still using my deli trays for jams and jellys.  A little sad because this fridge doesn’t have the extra small drawer that I used to stash cheese in.  Tupperware, maybe? 

I also went grocery shopping!  I’m at $95.57 for this week, with a couple more things (quails eggs, won ton wrappers…) left to buy. I may JUST squeek in under the $100 mark. Yikes.  On the other hand, I’d like to make some room in the freezer, so I think next week’s menu will be based heavily on that.

Anyway… back to the bentos!   I made a delicious salad last night. Barley and Lentil from my “Beyond the Moon” cookbook. I had lentils cooked and ready to go in the freezer (and not everything fit when putting stuff in the new one!) so this came together in no time.


For my bento today, I paired it with some grape tomatoes and a green salad.  And a tiny slice of cake, which I also made last night. Nom!  I’ll post that recipe later.



et cetera
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