Monday, October 22, 2012

Using Up Leftovers {The good and not so good}

  One thing that I really dislike is wastefulness. Among the wastefulness that I don't like is wasting food. In my normal cooking usually we are able to keep up with food pretty well by eating leftovers for lunch and I am a fairly creative cook (that might be putting it mildly in Ken's estimation- he loves to tease me about my creativity but he seems to generally enjoy my cooking anyway) so if there are little bits I can usually figure out something to do with them. If I have large amounts of leftover food I will often freeze it so we can then enjoy it at a later time and it will make an easy meal when we are busy.

  Lately we have had a lot of extra food on our hands. When we had our fall party we made a lot of food and then others also brought food to share (and many of them left it here afterwards) so we needed to figure out how to use things up without wasting. Also a couple of evenings after that we were involved with helping with a Republican event which we brought food along with others. Again there was a lot of extra food and so not only did we bring home a lot of our own but others also sent some of their stuff with us as we were the family with kids who of course can eat a lot (the rest are older couples or singles).

I thought I would share some of the ways that I used up leftovers lately besides of course just eating it or freezing it as is.

~After our party we were left with a couple of loaves of bread (one with raisins and the other with sunflowers seeds and other nuts) that were very dry. I found two very yummy ways to use them up:
  • French Toast. That is of course a pretty normal way to use bread but with extra dry raisin bread it was even yummier!
  • An Appetizer for our event on Monday. The one on the right in the picture above. I followed this basic recipe and it was very yummy! (By the way the other appetizer pictured was a cream puff that I made basically following this recipe- it worked well too.)
~ After our party we also had a lot of chili and rather dry cornbread left over. Here is what I did with some of them:
  • I made a hotdish by putting a layer of chili down, putting chunks of cornbread on next and then putting shredded cheese over that. Then I put it in the oven until all was warm and the cheese melted. It was pretty successful.
  • I used the rest of the old cornbread to make chicken dressing/stuffing. It actually turned out fine but I discovered that Ken wasn't the only one in our household that doesn't like dressing (I made it on purpose for a time he was gone), most of the kids don't like it either. The girls thought it was okay but the boys really didn't care for it.
~On Monday I brought home from our even some dip that somebody had left behind that had horseradish and some cheeses in it. It tasted good and I thought it would be good on fish. I decided to bake a fish that I stuffed with it. Unfortunately that was not successful - nobody really care for that.

~Since the fish wasn't really appreciate the first time around I had a bunch to use up some other way. Tonight I carefully deboned it and used it in a "Tuna" noodle hotdish- the fish was much more appreciated that way.

Using up leftovers can be an interesting challenge but I think it can be rather fun. I also love the fact that we are avoiding wasting food!

  How do you use up leftovers in your household?

I am linking this to the Homestead Barn Hop at Homestead Revival.


All in a Day said...

I normally don't have too many leftovers though we do have a "clean-out-the-fridge" day where I pull all the leftovers out for a meal where each person eats his/her choice. What doesn't go goes to the dog or other outside animals. (a waste, I'm sure, but at least someone/thing is eating it) :)

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

Hi Abbi! I found you through the Homestead Barn hop and would like to invite you to link up with us at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!
I hope to see you there!
The Chicken Chick

Becky R said...

We usually do not have too many left overs because my budget is so tight when I make a meal it usually is exactly enough (like for dinner I make only 3 hamburgers, because their are only 3 of us.) Sometimes my boys are still hungry after a meal, so then they can have a bowl of cereal or slice of bread.
If I do have leftovers for dinner we just eat them for lunch the next day (since we homeschool.)

Natalia said...

I have children with various needs for lunch the next day: one works, 3 go to school, and 3 are home schooled. I purchased lunch size inexpensive containers, and also some glass with lids, and the children or I can put the leftovers from each night into them for lunches the next day. Sometimes I have frozen them like that so that there's some lunch variety to choose from. I also refashion leftovers like you do, but not as often as just re-serving them. :)


Abbi said...

Thanks everybody for joining in on the conversation.

Shelly, sometimes some of our food does also not get consumed by people but I do try to send scraps over to my parents dogs (especially bones) and we put stuff in the compost. Though it might not be as good as us consuming it, at least it is used in some way. We do not throw food in the trash anymore.


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