Recycling R Us

April 19, 2017

Deviled eggs in the process of being recycled.

What does one do when one has five left-over deviled egg halves from Easter?

One pops one in one’s mouth as a cook’s treat, and one proceeds to smush up the other four, add a few more ingredients, and have tuna salad.

I was thinking, for some reason, of tuna salad. It just sounded good, and I thought, well, I’ll just boil a couple of eggs and make some.

Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! I HAD boiled eggs, albeit they’d already been deviled, using essentially the same ingredients I’d be using in tuna salad, anyway. (The eggs had a bit of Dijon mustard and a splash of cider vinegar that wouldn’t normally go in tuna salad, but what the heck.)

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Ahhhhhh, yes. Farmers' market season has begun. Hallelujah!

Ahhhhhh, yes. Farmers’ market season has begun. Hallelujah!

It’s a day to spend in the kitchen. Just because I can.

By the time the clock struck noon today, I’d made a quart of yogurt (well, it’s still incubating, but I had it started), a pound and a half of ricotta cheese, some tuna-and-tortellini salad with the leftover cheese tortellini from last night, some tuna noodle salad with the traditional mayonnaise dressing for Child A, and I had the dough rising for a big batch of rolls. Plus I’d been to the first Farmers Market of the season, and to the grocery.

I feel plumb virtuous.

Also on today’s agenda is to cook some beans for baked beans (they’re soaking now); make a marinated vegetable salad with carrots, cauliflower and cucumber; make another salad with asparagus, green peas and hearts of palm; bake the rolls, some as slider buns to go with country ham, as it is Derby Day and one just ought to; some as rolls for dinner tomorrow, some as po-boy buns for the freezer; and make some potato salad for lunch tomorrow. The pork loin is already sous vided (and if that’s not a verb it ought to be), and the plan is to get everything else ready so I don’t have much to do on Mothers Day except enjoy the 2/3 of my children who’ll be here.

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A "what's-on-hand" dinner.

A “what’s-on-hand” dinner.

Today’s dinner brought to you by the freezer and pantry.

That was the case for maybe 80 percent of the meals when I was growing up, but much less so today, thanks to Kroger being barely more than a mile down the street and a proliferation of all manner of places to eat within, almost, rock-throwing distance.

But yesterday, I had a taste for chicken and dressing, and fortuitously, I had a dish of same in the freezer, left over from the recent Chicken Challenge. (You may recall that I had the last of my leftover chicken, and made broth. I also had a half-a-pan of leftover cornbread in the freezer. Voila, chicken and dressing.) While I was out in the storage room getting that out of the freezer, I decided it’d go well with squash casserole, so I grabbed a bag of yellow crookneck squash I’d blanched and frozen last summer. I figured I needed a green thing, so I added a jar of green beans I’d canned last summer to my batch of what I was carrying in.

And that was dinner.

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Quiche. A quite lovely quiche, at that. Ham, broccoli, Emmenthaler.

Quiche. A quite lovely quiche, at that. Ham, broccoli, Emmenthaler.

In the interest of getting rid of the bulk of the Christmas leftovers in the same year in which they were prepared, I repurposed the broccoli and some more of the ham for a quiche yesterday.

I was in egg mode. (I do love me a farm egg, and there’s a gracious plenty of sources for ’em in and around J’boro). So I settled on a quiche, which I’d not made in a while. Truthfully, a long while, as I’d been making mostly frittatas, which are almost all egg and little dairy, and I decided this time I wanted a more traditional quiche, which is heavier on the dairy with fewer eggs.

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Beans 'n ham, here we come. With many thanks to the Thai, Chinese and Indian places, all of whom use the same takeout containers, which reuse wonderfully.

Beans ‘n ham, here we come. With many thanks to the Thai, Chinese and Indian places, all of whom use the same takeout containers, which reuse wonderfully.

The meal has not been cooked whose remnants cannot be used to make soup.

Witness Christmas dinner.

  1. The ham got cut off and packaged into a couple of packages of slices, and the bone cooked in an Instant Pot full of water for 45 minutes to make ham stock, which will in turn go into the freezer and make beans and/or bean soup later.
  2. Half the turkey got diced up and tossed into a pot with corn, chicken broth, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, garlic and onion to make Chinese chicken and corn soup.
  3. I could use the broccoli and asparagus to make a cream soup, but I have something else in mind for them, tomorrow.

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Christmas leftovers, Part II

December 29, 2015

Savory, hammy, cheesy goodness, right here.

Savory, hammy, cheesy goodness, right here.

Wherein we take the ham and cheese sandwich to a different level.

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen a couple of dozen posts over the past weeks for the “Best Ever Ham and Cheese Sandwiches,” consisting of sliced ham and Swiss cheese, layered on some kind of bread, topped with a sweet-savory sauce and baked.

The only one that caught my attention was one that was on a prepared pizza crust from the dairy case, rolled up and sliced, and then baked. And I woke up Self and said, “Self? We need to try that after Christmas.” Self agreed that would be fine, and went back to sleep.

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Christmas leftovers, Part I

December 27, 2015

Stuffed French toast? I believe I will.

Stuffed French toast? I believe I will.

Because even though I didn’t cook a big Christmas dinner, I cooked a lot of what I cooked. If that makes sense.

So I’m busily working my way through leftovers.

I’d sworn not to turn on the stove yesterday, and I almost didn’t, but Child C, who had spent the night Christmas night, woke up wondering what was for breakfast. I had not made up waffle batter the night before — though I thought about it — and about that time, I was reading a friend’s Facebook post about stuffed French toast, and I thought, OK, we’ll go there.

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