Monday, September 28, 2009

The Leftover Queen

Yes the Leftover Queen is a name I love to call myself – and love even more hearing it from those I feed. I get the biggest kick out of taking leftovers and re-creating them into something tasty and frugal. My Pantry Challenge Menu this week takes advantage of a few of these leftovers. Our BBQ Pork on Tuesday is using up the Garlic Thyme Pork Roast leftovers in the freezer from last week. I will serve it sliced thin heated with sautéed onions and BBQ sauce. The ‘meat’ in Wednesday night’s Spaghetti and Meat Sauce is actually cubed leftover Meat Loaf frozen from the week before last.

One of my family’s favorites re-created from leftovers is quesadillas or wraps. I sauté whatever leftover meat I have along with onions, peppers, leftover veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, squash, potato, sweet potato, etc) and either roll them into a flour tortilla or put the mixture between two tortillas with cheese and fry lightly until the cheese is melted. The quesadillas work great as either a sandwich for one or cut into smaller triangles as an appetizer.

Leftover rice, veggies and meat often become Fried Rice, Soup or Pot Pie . Leftover potatoes are re-created into potato pancakes or hash browns on the weekend.

How do you make use of leftovers? Do you plan your menu to create leftovers and then re-create them? I’d love to hear your recipe ideas for creating meals out of leftovers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Pantry Challenge

It's Sunday and I'm planning my menu for the week. I can't grocery shop until DH gets paid on the 1st so I'm trying to stretch what we have in the pantry and freezer.

Here's our list of Dinners for the week:

Sunday - Breakfast for Supper - Scrambled Eggs and Toast with Grape Jelly
Monday - Honey Mustard Chicken, Rice, Brocoli
Tuesday - BBQ Pork Sandwiches, HotDogs, Baked Beans, Carrot/Celery Sticks
Wednesday- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce & Homemade Bread
Thursday - Crockpot Cubed Steak and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Friday - London Broil, Roasted Potatoes, Salad
Saturday - Leftover Buffet or Takeout (We are having a tag sale this day)

Lunches will be turkey, chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad sandwiches or leftovers. I made waffles this morning for the freezer and the kids and I are making peanut butter cookies this afternoon. I'd also like to make this Bisquick Quiche for DH to bring to work for breakfasts as well as some banana mini muffins. I have all the ingredients I need either in the fridge, freezer or pantry.

Check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie for more great menu ideas.

Bisquick Quiche

Here's my variation of Bisquick Quiche:

1 1/4 Cups Bisquick Mix
1/4 Cup butter or margarine, softened
2 Tablespoons boiling water
2/3 Cup Chopped Ham
1 Cup shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4 Cup chopped onion
1/2 Cup chopped brocoli
12 ounce can Evaporated milk
3 Large Eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate. Stir Bisquick and butter until blended. Add boiling water and stir until soft dough forms. Press dough into bottom and up sides of greased pie plate.

Sprinkle ham, cheese, onion and brocoli over crust. Beat eggs, evaporated milk, salt and pepper until blended. Pour into crust.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until edge is golden brown and center is set.

The recipe is derived from the Betty Crocker Bisquick site. I substitute Evaporated milk for Half and Half as I can keep the cans on hand in the pantry. I always use swiss cheese but I will experiment with other meats like sausage or bacon and other veggies. DH seems to really like the brocoli best.

After the quiche has cooled I cut it into large pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for DH to bring in his lunch box. If he has microwave access I will leave it frozen - if not I'll let it thaw in the fridge and he lets it sit out of his lunchbox until he's ready to eat it.

Settling Back into Routine

Fall always seems to signify a settling back into the normal routine of life after all the fun and chaos of summer. It seems even more like that now that DD is in first grade. Summer was fun but it was the most un-frugal and often the most overwhelming two months of the year. Now that we are into our 4th week of school, dance lessons have started, DD has joined Daisy's, managing homework is becoming a norm and I'm happy to have more structure and slow down a bit.

My goals for the fall include:

1. Declutter and selling off that clutter (we are doing a tag sale next weekend and I have a couple things up on Craigslist right now)
2. Work more on my Blog
3. Reduce our Expenses
4. Increase our Income

Today is a rainy Sunday and it seems like the perfect time to sit down and make a plan for achieving my goals.