In my previous post I mentioned that I was going to try and use up all the food in my freezer and/or refrigerator. I have made pretty good progress but have not got around to posting it. This post will be sort of fun because as the title suggests, it is a ‘trickle-down’ recycle or in other words, recycling the recycled. Now, it is not really like it sounds. The main ingredients are recycled only once and the twice recycled is just sort of using the leftovers as you will see when you read the rest of the post.
My husband Everett, loves Mac and Cheese. I sometimes make it but he wants it so often, that I tried resorting to purchasing small portions of it from Trader Joe’s and/or Bob Evans Mac and Cheese from the local market. While these are fairly good products, the Mac and Cheese that I make is so much better that I decided to make a large portion of it – having it for dinner one night and then packaging the rest in lunch size container and freezing it for use when needed. I made so much sauce that there was actually some leftover. You can put a lot of Cheese Sauce in the Macaroni but only so much!
So, the first recycled product was Cauliflower made with the leftover Cheese Sauce. Cauliflower is good for you but taste wise, just so so. But I couldn’t resist the pretty heads that had at our local Farmer’s Market so of course I purchased one.
Before I continue with the recycling portion of this post listed below are the nutritional benefits of cauliflower.
Calories per serving 25
Fiber 3 grams
Vitamin C 77% of the RDI
Vitamin K 20% of the RDI
Vitaming B6 11%
Pantothenic Acid 7%
So, as you can see whether or not you specifically love or don’t love cauliflower, it is beneficial to eat it. So, with this in mind I did cook the Cauliflower by separating the segments and washing it thoroughly and then cooking it in the microwave. Vegetables are about the only thing that I will cook in the microwave and cauliflower cooks up in a manner of a few minutes. When we were ready to eat dinner, I just put the covered dish of cauliflower into the microwave for about 2-3 minutes depending on the quantity and your microwave. Then I removed it from the microwave and topped it with the leftover Cheese Sauce from the Mac and Cheese. Voila! Cauliflower with a Cheesy Sauce tastes quite good.
But we are only two people who can eat just so much cauliflower at one time and since I don’t like using leftovers without doing something to change them I did do something quite unusual to recycle the Cheesy Cauliflower and this was to make Hamburger Buns! Yes! Hamburger Buns made from Cauliflower. Now, these are not Buns for people who want gluten-free bread products as there is definitely wheat flour in these buns.
Here is the procedure for making the Buns! (Or go to recipes (bread) for more concise directions.
- I had approximately 1 cup of Cheesy Cauliflower segments left over which I pulverized in the Food Processor.
- I added 1 cup of warm water to the pulverized Cheesy Cauliflower along with 1 tablespoon of Active Dry Yeast and 1 Tbsp. of Sugar.
- Next I added 2 cups All-Purpose Flour to the mixture and ran the processor just long enough to mix the ingredients together.
- Once the foregoing ingredients were well-blended I changed the chopping blade to the dough blade and added more Flour to the mixture as needed. I ended up adding an additional 2 cups of flour so that there 4 cups used altogether.
- I ran all the ingredients together for one minute and then transferred the dough to a greased and floured bowl and covered it with plastic wrap.
- Once the Dough had doubled in size (approximately 1 hour depending on the warmth of the room) I punched the Dough down and formed it into buns.
- I shaped the buns two different ways:
- a. I rolled out the Dough and cut circle with a large round cutter.
- b. I then kneaded the scraps together and divided them into segments which I rolled into balls and then flattened them.
- c. The second method yielded small buns which would be ideal for children or those with small appetites.. For those with large appetites, the first method would be more appropriate.
- The shaped buns were placed on greased baking sheets which had been sprinkled with cornmeal and then covered. Once the buns had risen to double their size, I placed them in a cold oven and turned the heat on to 375 degrees. Placing the buns in a cold oven gives them a little more raising time and gives a lighter product.
- Baking time was approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely browned on top and on the bottom as well. You can lift one up with a metal spatula to check the bottom.
We used the buns for Burgers and had quite a few leftover for other sandwiches as well. We used the larger buns for Steak and Mushroom Sandwiches the following night. Nope – not leftover Steak although there was some leftover from this dinner for lunch the following day.
One way to use up some of your Apples (if you have too many) is to make Apple Kuchen. Kuchen is a great breakfast item or dressed up with whipped cream or Ice Cream, it makes a great dessert for any meal. Kuchen is simple to make and delicious to eat. You will find the recipe by using the link above. Just click on Apple Kuchen and you will be taken to the recipe. Continue here and you will see some step by step photos to help you with your baking.
The Dough is simple to make and can easily be made by hand in a medium-size mixing bowl. When making the Kuchen divide the Dough in half and either roll out half (on floured surface – as the recipe says) or just press half the Dough into your greased baking dish. (8 x 8 or 9 x 9 is best)
Peel and slice your Apples (don’t worry if they start to turn a little brown – this will disappear when baked)
You can either toss the Apples with the Cinnamon and Sugar in a separate bowl or just arrange the Apples on the Dough and then sprinkle with the Cinnamon and Sugar. Either way will work.
Cinnamon and Sugar Added
Next, either roll out the remaining Dough or just scoop dabs and place on top of the Apples. ( didn’t have quite enough dough to roll out so I scooped the Dough with a #60 Scoop or you can just used a spoon) I lightly pressed the dabs of dough onto the Apples. This method worked quite fine.
Bake for the time stated in the recipe at 350 degrees. Kuchen is best served warm and is quite good with Vanilla Sauce as stated in the recipe. I reheated the Kuchen the next morning with some Cheddar on top and we ate it for breakfast. Kuchen can also be served with whipped Cream and/or Vanilla Ice Cream.
Either way you serve it, it will be delicious!
Here we are in November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you haven’t planned your complete Thanksgiving Dinner Menu yet here are some suggestions. For the Stuffing, your Side Dishes, Desserts and leftovers for the days following Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and many families will be busy preparing food and enjoying it with their loved ones. If you love to cook and even if you don’t but are going to be cooking listed below are the links to some delicious recipes that you may enjoy for your Thanksgiving Meal. Take a look at them and then try out one or two or three or all. When you do, please let me know how you, your family and friends enjoyed them.
CURRIED FRUIT STUFFING – a little different twist on Thanksgiving Stuffing – the Curry and Fruit give your stuffing additional flavor in a delicious way. This recipe uses Traditional Stuffing Ingredients with the addition of Apple, Apricots and Golden Raisins or whatever you wish to use plus Curry Powder. It is delicious and quite tasty with the addition of the fruit.
GOLDEN SQUASH JUBILEE – is a simple Vegetable Dish made with only 4 ingredients:
2 lbs. Banana Squash – shredded
1 cup dried Apricots – chopped
½ Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
¼ cup Butter
This dish can be cooked in the Microwave or baked in the Oven.
CREAMED SPINACH – Spinach is one of my favorite Vegetables and this version is delicious, even for non-Spinach lovers. It is also versatile and can be turned into a Creamed Spinach Soup just by adding some Vegetable Stock and a little more Cream or Milk. A great recipe for Thanksgiving and the days beyond.
MASHED POTATOES – be sure to use Russet Potatoes, the baking variety. (you need to use a Potato that will crumble when baked so that they will mash easily) DO NOT USE WAXY POTATOES as they will not mash properly.
TURKEY FRITTATA – this is a great dish to use with most any kind of leftover – it is an omelet made with Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Cheese as well as the leftover Turkey. A Frittata is good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
TURKEY CROQUETTES – these are made with leftover Turkey, Onions and a smattering of other Vegetables – they are breaded and then fried and served with Remoulade Sauce.
TURKEY POT PIE – made with leftover Turkey, Vegetables and a Rough Puff Pastry or purchased Puff Pastry if you prefer. Great for leftover Turkey, Chicken or whatever else you have. Serve with a Salad and you have a complete meal.
So, here we have a variety of recipes, some of which you can use for your Thanksgiving Dinner and beyond with the leftovers.
What would be a better beverage for Halloween than a Pumpkin Milkshake! Add the Adjective, Phantom to make it the absolute perfect beverage for a Halloween Party or even a Halloween Birthday Party. There certainly are people who have been born on Halloween. This Milkshake is easy to prepare, even with the Pumpkin. Just used canned Pumpkin and Vanilla Ice Cream. Better yet, if Pumpkin Ice Cream is available at your Supermarket or Ice Cream use that or use both for double the flavor. You can use Pumpkin Pie Spice or a Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves in a combination that fits your taste buds.
The recipe is below: Try it and see for yourself how much like Pumpkin Pie it tastes!
1 Pint Pumpkin Ice Cream Ice Cream Scoop
2 cups Milk Liquid Measuring Cup
½ cup Orange Juice* Blender
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Whipped Cream Large Cups
Black Licorice Sticks for Straws or just Stirrers
- Scoop the Ice Cream into blender jar.
- Measure the Milk, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Orange Juice and add to Ice Cream in blender jar.
- Put the cover on the blender jar, making sure it fits snugly; turn blender on to HIGH SPEED and run until the Ice Cream, and Orange Juice are blended together with the Milk.
- Pour into cups, top with Whipped Cream, sprinkle with Nutmeg and serve with Licorice Straws.
YIELD – 4 Servings
Today’s Pumpkin Recipe is for Muffins. The Recipe I have posted uses Cranberries as the additional fruit. However, the photo I have posted is for Pumpkin Muffins with diced fresh Peaches and Golden Raisins. The Pumpkin/Cranberry Muffin is perfect for Thanksgiving whereas the Pumpkin/Raisin Muffin is ideal for Halloween or anytime of the year as well. I used canned Pumpkin for the Muffins but whenever I make Pumpkin Pie, I much prefer to use a fresh Pumpkin. Granted, using fresh Pumpkins is kind of a pain in the neck but well worth it. When I post the Pumpkin Pie segment I will show the procedure for cleaning and baking a fresh pumpkin. You cannot use the same pumpkins as used for Jack O’ Lanterns but instead use a Pie Pumpkin. They are small, more meaty and more tasty and easier to work with.
The Pumpkin Muffins are great for Breakfast or for a Snack. For a little enhancement top with a Cream Cheese Frosting. Probably the ‘healthiest’ type of frosting in that it contains Cream Cheese – a milk product. Of course, it also contains Butter but if you are worried about the fat content you can always use less butter than the recipe calls for.
October seems like the perfect month to talk about Pumpkins: Cooking and Baking with Pumpkins and of course, Carving Pumpkins for Halloween. If you don’t like Pumpkin, try substituting Butternut Squash instead. What I am going to do here is present a different Pumpkin Recipe for as many days as I can muster up.
Here is a list of my Pumpkin Recipes and unless I hear from folks about what kind of Pumpkin Recipes they would like to have, I shall choose one for each day until I run out.
Pumpkin Pancakes & Waffles
Pumpkin Yeast Bread
The recipes that are starred are already on this blog – just use the link to take you to them
i love growing Tomatoes and contrary to the rule of thumb that you only need one plant per person in the household, I like to have many more. First of all, I like variety and second of all, not all plants will produce as they should. This year I planted 6 Tomato Plants and have two left over from last year. Unfortunately, the ones from last year are not producing too well. Probably because they are not in full sun – we only have so much garden space that will get sun.
Even though my larger Beefsteak type Tomatoes produce more and larger fruit, my favorites this year are the Green Zebra and the Lucky Tiger. I don’t think my Lucky Tigers are growing to the size that they should but they are fun – they are shaped like the Romas, but thinner and are green with orange/red stripes that are supposed to be dark purple according to the tag that was on the plant when I bought it. In spite of that, I still love the tomatoes. They are fun to grow and delicious to eat. They have a slightly tangy taste to them in contrast to the red tomatoes which are very sweet.
All this being said, what do you do with Tomatoes when you have an abundance of them? You can only make some many salads and eat so much salsa. In past years I have made Chili Sauce and will probably do that again this year if the plants keep producing like they have. For this batch though, I decided to make a Tomato Basil Soup. This is a tasty soup that can be eaten hot, warm or cold so it is perfect for summer or any time of year. The recipe actually calls for Roma Tomatoes, but not having Roma Tomatoes, I just used what I have growing and that is mostly red round tomatoes. Even though I put the tags that came with the plants in front of the plants, they somehow get lost or covered up so except for a couple of the plants, I’m not really sure what kind they are. Just round, red, sweet and delicious!
The Soup can be served as a first course or as a Vegetable Dish along with a meal – that is what I did last night. We had Meat Loaf, Baked Potatoes and the Tomato Basil Soup which I actually served first, but we had seconds along with the meal. I serve this soup in small bowls but it can be served in larger ones. Another way I like to serve it is in demitasse as a ‘stand-up appetizer’ for company meals.
The recipe calls for 2 lbs. of Tomatoes, 1/2 cup of diced Onion, Chicken Stock (I had Beet Water leftover from cooking Beets so I used that instead thereby making the soup good for the Vegan or Vegetarian Crowd. Of course you also need Basil which I also have growing in the yard. I used the Italian Sweet Basil for the Soup and Purple Basil for the Garnish along with the Lucky Tiger Tomatoes.
After the Tomatoes are washed and cored, chop, quarter or dice them. (It doesn’t really matter too much as they are going to be pureed after cooking)
Saute the diced Onions in 2 Tbsps. of Olive Oil until they are soft – from the photo below, you will notice that mine are slightly caramelized. This add additional flavor as long as you don’t let them burn. If they do burn, discard and start over – the burn taste will ruin the soup.
Once the Onions are sufficiently cooked, add the prepared Tomatoes and Basil and cook until the Tomatoes release their water. Mix as they cook. When the tomatoes are sufficiently cooked, transfer to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender or a food mill.
Run the processor or blender until the Tomatoes are completely pureed and then return to the pot. Add the remaining seasonings -taste and add additional salt or Vinegar, if so desired.
Serve Hot with tiny Meatballs or at Room Temperature or Cold as an Appetizer. Garnish with additional Basil and diced Tomatoes, if desired. I used the Purple Basil and Lucky Tiger Tomatoes which only need to be sliced vertically down the middle. For additional zest add a splash of your favorite style ‘Old Boney Mountain Hot Sauce’.