1217 Leftovers & Recommendations

There’s no polite way to put it: we both slammed leftovers for dinner. Shane’s excuse was that he was starving – mine was a run in 25F weather. It wasn’t pretty.

Rather than elaborate on our voracious eating, let me share a few more blog recommendations with you.

I’ve just started reading Sasasunakku, but her food photography is fantastic, and I have either bookmarked or drooled over everything she’s posted recently. I also really like that she mentions cooking to fight the onset of Hangrrr, the anger that arises from being too hungry.

Pete Bakes hasn’t posted anything in forEVER, which I consider a real travesty. His site is helpfully organized by type of baked good and features great process photos. I’ve had recent success with his English muffins, and look forward to trying a number of other breads in the near future.

Sprouted Kitchen is consistently lovely, and I often wish that our MI seasons were more in line with theirs in CA. Lots of vegetarian-friendly recipes and beautiful baked goods. I just skimmed through a few posts and I’m drooling already!

A Year of Slow Cooking can be hit or miss. On the one hand, there is absolutely no need to ever look elsewhere for a slow cooker or crock pot recipe. On the other hand, the recipes tend to rely on processed foods – individually frozen chicken breasts, etc – and/or are things I’m just not inclined to make. I consider A Year of Slow Cooking a good reference site, but not necessarily a regularly required read.

I would love it if this little nudge were enough to get the Gastronomical 3 posting again. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the kitchen with two of the three in the last year, and their perspectives on and enjoyment of food are downright wonderful.


1121 Leftover Galettes

A quiet and laid-back day today. We slept in, then went to Comet for cappuccinos and a shared raspberry-almond pastry. Shane took advantage of the nice weather and unstructured time to do assorted moped errands and projects. I ran, then spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch with knitting and MI-5.

Neither of us were particularly hungry for most of the day – a side effect of last night’s dinner – so instead of making something new for dinner, we made the most of fantastic leftovers by using them to fill buckwheat galettes. I wanted to try this recipe months ago, but while I got around to buying the buckwheat flour, I didn’t get to making the galettes until today. The main reason? You have to make the batter an hour or two in advance. That’s really not a good reason, but it’s the best excuse I’ve got. Regardless, they turned out to be an excellent vehicle for such luxurious leftovers as thin slices of Broadbent ham with minced stuffed mushrooms or pumpkin risotto. I’m not sold on the galette recipe – I think I’d prefer a little less buckwheat – but I am sold on this dinner.

Breton galette and cider
Photo by Anina2007

Buckwheat Galettes from Simmer Down!

0927 Sick Kids

I was fine when I left for work this morning, but by the time I walked home this evening, I was sick.  Sick sick sick with whatever Shane brought home from Vienna – and NOT Manner wafers, though if Manner wafers were an illness, I don’t think I’d want to be cured.  We sat on the couch and groaned like zombies and ate whatever sounded palatable whenever the zombie haze parted enough for us to be hungry.  I think we both had leftover corn chowder and leftover cornbread, but I couldn’t swear by that.  I also can’t guarantee that I was able to taste whatever I did eat, though it probably tasted somewhat like corn.

0718 Leftover Lunch, Snack Dinner

Snack Dinner

While we usually save leftovers for weekday lunches, the Tupperware and take-out boxes were piling up in the fridge, so instead of making new meals, we opted for side dishes or snacks to go along with reused meals.  Breakfast was leftover Dimo’s french toast for Shane and yogurt with tart cherries for me.  For lunch I had the remaining half of Jeremy’s french dip from Knight’s, while Shane had a leftover burger.  As a side, I made Parmesan-roasted broccoli, which looked prettier than it tasted (too much lemon).  Dinner was supposed to be albóndigas in a tomato sauce with sauteed greens – instead we had a tin of fancy tuna, vermouth onions, cornichons, asiago vecchio, asiago rolls (yes indeed, a funny pairing), and baby crimini mushrooms sauteed with butter and garlic.

The boxes are nicely cleared out, which means it’s time to start cooking real meals again.  Maybe tomorrow.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts from Ezra Pound Cake

0708 Leftovers

I don’t know what was happening with our meals today.  I really don’t.  We were both starving after work, and I had good intentions of running after SELMA prep, so Shane ate the last of the stir fry, and I made up a couple of tacos.  By the time dinner rolled around at SELMA, Shane was starving, so he snacked on bread and cheese and Lisa’s delicious slaw while I made the batter for a  tart cherry clafoutis.  We came home early so that Shane could watch the LeBron debacle, and by the time that wrapped up, I was hungry again – meaning a late-night snack of homemade granola and also no run for me.  Alas.

0315 Mediterranean Chicken Stew

I actually made this stew for dinner last night, but I think I’d rather talk about its incarnation as tonight’s leftovers.

Leftovers are an important part of our weekly meal planning.  We both brown-bag most days, and leftovers make up most of those lunches.  It’s never really made a lot of sense to me to buy separate food for lunches, apart from extras like string cheese, granola bars, small pieces of fruit, and the occasional treat, especially when we’re putting so much effort into main dishes in the evening.  So instead of sandwiches, Hot Pockets, or Lean Cuisines, all of which have previously made up substantial parts of our lunches, we take jars of soup or thick slices of meatloaf with fresh bread, with small containers of grapes, crackers, or other snacks to eat throughout the day.  As a result of this, meals often make multiple appearances in our house.  Soup made over the weekend may show up in 3-4 additional lunches, as will be the case this week.

This stew, made for last night’s dinner with our friend Marla, was supposed to produce 4 portions, but instead resulted in at least 6.  We enjoyed the stew with warm polenta last night, the bitter escarole nicely balancing the sweetness of the polenta and the savory chicken.  Like Saturday’s soup, it was hearty and warm, but not so hearty that we fell stuffed after.  But when I had a portion for dinner tonight, I felt decidedly ambivalent.  The chicken was boring and a little chewy.  The greens were limp and unpleasantly bitter.  The broth was watery.  I had no desire to finish my bowl, much less the 2-3 portions still in the fridge.

So what to do?  I hate throwing away food, but I also hate wasting calories on things I really don’t enjoy.  What do you do to rescue meals (or leftovers) you no longer want to eat?

Mediterranean Chicken Stew from Whole Living

0223 On Leftovers

When we lived in Virginia, Shane frequently went out for lunch with his coworkers, so when a meal produced leftovers, I’d be stuck eating it for a few days.  Since we’ve moved to A2, we’ve been diligent about planning for leftovers and brown-bagging our lunches.  I don’t know what Shane’s lunch spending was like, but I’m confident that we’re saving both time and money, while also probably eating better lunches than previously (though GMU had a pretty spectacular cafeteria).

All of this is to say that tonight we had a dinner plan, but then I was tired and Shane was hungry, and it was just easier to warm up bowls of last night’s soup with a few slices of bread.  The soup was even better the second day, as is often the case with leftovers.

0118 Pita pizzas with an assortment of leftovers

In the early fall, we got into a bit of a rut with roasting chickens. I’d roast a chicken and make some veg Sunday night, we’d have the leftovers on Monday, and then by Tuesday neither of us would want to eat any more chicken. Anticipating this same problem, I planned to use up most of the leftovers in tonight’s dinner – simple individual pizzas made with shredded chicken and whatever else we had on hand.

After preheating the oven to 425, we topped halved pitas with chicken, spinach, red onions softened in a bit of butter, roasted garlic, and herbed goat cheese.  Into the oven they went for about 5 minutes, then we drizzled on a bit of the balsamic syrup, folded the pizzas up New York style, and wolfed them down while the second batch baked.  Shane was so pleased that he was moved to swear over his pizzas, proclaiming them a damned satisfying meal.  I couldn’t agree more.

0101 Leftover Indian

We were both sick in the days leading up to New Years – also our anniversary – so instead of trying to be overly festive, we made a list of things we like to do together and tried to do as many of them as we could in 24-48 hours. For dinner, we got takeout from Madras Masala, a totally serviceable Indian restaurant near campus.  By the time we got home, we were both ravenous, and tucked in to fragrant plates of mattar paneer, savory garlic naan, and crunchier-than-expected paneer kulcha.  While we both enjoy preparing meals, there’s something decadent about takeout on a night when you aren’t rushed, when cooking at home is a realistic option but not the one you’ve chosen.

Tonight Shane is in Ohio and I am solo for dinner, so I warmed up the leftovers in a favorite bowl and ate them while working on a crossword.