Archive for the 'Leftovers' Category

Recipe: It’s Ash Wednesday – already

|February 22, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It's hard to believe that it is already Ash Wednesday.  It seems like this new year is going to fly by quite fast!  It's a no-meat day – actually – it's a day of fasting.  Then it's the Wednesday and Friday no meat days.  At least that is how it has been in my family.

It's still tax season – and yes, I do taxes – although I have cut it way down and I only do a few close friends now.  I don't want the headaches and I don't want to do taxes past April 15th.  I did taxes for so many years – and I am ready to retire from it completely – except for a handful of close friends.

I'm still trying to use up as much yarn as possible to get rid of it.  And it's that time of the year when my babies' school has their Chinese auction and theme baskets.

Princess is in 7th grade now and they no longer expect the 7th and 8th graders to participate.  Instead they use them the night of the auction to run around the gynmasium delivering the baskets that parents have won.  Some of those "baskets" weigh a ton!  I have seen some pretty large laundry baskets overflowing with goodies!

They even auction off a bike, Sabres jerseys, Buffalo Bills items, etc. and they do make a bundle on it each year.

Last year the kids classes both did "baking" baskets.  Well I wrote and donated a baking book which really was quite popular!  Everyone wanted it.  I did email copies to those that wanted it – and I am thinking of sending out to my members if they want it.

This year the little guy's class theme is MOVIE NIGHT.  So I am presently working on a Movie Munchies cookbook.  And I have decided that I will also make a movie basket of goodies, add another cookbook to it, and have him donate that as well to the school.  It will make him feel extra special. 

That sent me "dumpster diving" at WalMart.  You know – those wire bins they toss movies in for $5 each.  I'm going with classics – I found 20 Alfred Hitchcock movies in one DVD case, and 25 John Wayne movies in another case, and 200 classic cartoons (from the good ol' days) in another case.  I want to go back to pick up several more DVD's and possibly a DVD player as well as popcorn, popcorn salt, etc.  If the DVD players are a bit too pricy – then it's going to be a popcorn machine.  We'll see.  But I need to get it all together within the next week or so!

No pics – but some goodies I have made –

I made a scalloped cabbage dish to go with pork steaks – really easy and good!

Just chop your cabbage into 1-inch peices and par-boil for about 10 minutes; drain well.  Toss in your casserole with some medium/thick white sauce and a bit of ground black pepper.  I also added steamed sliced carrots.  Really perked up the flavor.  Topped with some plain bread crumbs and dotted with butter – 350* F. to heat through.  Additional white sauce drizzle over the pork steaks which I just skillet fried in olive oil, seasoned with the basics – Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder, parsley.

Quite easy to make – and a hit!


Since I had cabbage left over, a few days later I made some lazy cabbage rolls.  Couldn't make regular cabbage rolls because I had cut up the head of cabbage in such a way I couldn't.  but where there is a will there's a way –

While I was cooking my ground beef in the skillet (the basic seasonings and in olive oil), I was chopping and par-boiling my cabbage.  Before my meat was cooked, I added some grated onion and finely minced red bell pepper – not alot – just enough.   I also cheated because I had leftover rice from the night before from a different meal and I used that.  I drained my meat mixture and cabbage, added the rice and tossed in tomato soup (partially diluted) and transferred to my casserole.  Once again – 350* F. until heated through.  Fresh hot rye rolls and a salad of greens topped it off.

It's been such a mild winter but it's been a comfort food one as well.

I hope you give the recipes a try – just eyeball it all – you'll do just fine!

Stay warm!



Recipe: Sometimes I am my own worse enemy!

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

You know – there are days and then there are days.

Well today was one of those days.

I know that Thanksgiving isnot that far off – but I have been craving turkey for the past month! I love turkey and I always have a couple in the freezer for my turkey cravings. So this morning I pulled the last of the turkeys (now I can stock up on them again – time to watch for the sales) out of the chest freezer and stuck ol' Tom in a sink of cold water.

Changing the cold water every 15 minutes and wrestling with his body parts took me from 8 this morning till almost 1 this afternoon when I finally got his butt in the oven! Well – not his butt – that got hacked off as soon as I could do it. No butts in my house – turkey or chicken – off with the butts immediately! Several of my friends would kill for the butts – not in my house – those things are disgusting!

Those damn wires they use for holding the legs in position! Cripe – thank heaven I have a kitchen pliers for the job. Everyone should have a good set of pliers in there utensil drawer just for this type of job. FINALLY I got him thawed completely (my hands are frozen from it) and gave him a nice bath in the sink. Cut off some of the neck fat, pulled out his innards – saved the neck and tossed the rest. Got him well "powdered" (don't you use powder after a bath???) with salt, pepper, fresh parsley and fresh garlic – inside and out. A touch of oil in the pan and into the oven he went. Washed and seasoned the neck the same way and laid it on top. Covered him with foil and in he went at 350* F. I let him cook for a good 2 hours before I turned him over and put the neck on his back. Covered again and bake in the oven. It's now 4:30 and I removed the foil to brown him. Then I will turn him over and brown him some more.

I can't wait to enjoy the neck! I've got to make the gravy, the potatoes are boiling for mashed potatoes, buttered corn and my stove top dressing – homemade. I broke my homemade bread (homemade bread makes the best stuffing/dressing) in-between wrestling with Tom while trying to thaw him.

Cooked my veggies in my stainless steel bowl (one of those big ones – great for making stuffing!), added my bread and broth and transferred to a baking dish. Popped in the oven a while ago to heat through.

I figure dinner will be on the table and ready to enjoy by 5:30. Not bad for what I went through.

After dinner I'll strip the turkey down to the bones and place the bones and skin, and the wings in the stock pot with onions, carrots, celery and seasonings to make a large pot of stock. It won't take too long because the turkey is a cooked product. Then I'll strain it and ladle into quart jars so that I have stock in the freezer. Place the jars in the refrigerator overnight, cap them tomorrow and place in the freezer. From the looks of it – this is a tender turkey and I will get a really good stock from it. I'll save some and make a pot of soup for tomorrow with veggies and macaroni. Served with turkey panini on Italian bread and I've got another excellent meal.

I know I will have leftover turkey – some I will portion and freeze to have with BBQ sauce. Some I will freeze in gravy for another meal or open-faced sammmies.

As far as the stuffing/dressing goes – we will devour that between today and tomorrow. I love dressing. I don't make stuffing. Too great of a chance of bacteria setting in – besides – it tastes so much better when it is not in the bird. I make dressing quite often. It goes great with turkey, chicken or pork. For the life of me, I don't understand why people only make it once a year for Thanksgiving. And why do they use those boxed stuffing mixes? YUCKY! Do you really need all the MSG?

Waste not, want not.

Save all the heels from your bread and those last couple slices, save your rolls, etc. and place in a bread bag in the freezer. When you get enough – make dressing. White bread, rye bread, wheat bread – it all goes so well together. Including potato bread and egg bread. Even seeded rolls! Sweet breads should be saved in a separate bread bag in the freezer for making bread puddings. Betcha never thought of that one.

Well it's time for me to finish my dinner so I can start my soup.

And of course – I'll have my "turkey coma" later – and I have worked hard for it – I deserve it!

Recipe: and speaking of meatballs – Chinese Meatballs

|June 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen


I come from a meatball loving family.  Like I have said before – many think that meatballs are just balls of ground beef in spaghetti sauce and served with spaghetti.  This is so far from the truth!

Meatballs can be made in many different sizes – from the tiny ones you find in Italian Wedding Soup to the baseball-or bigger-sized ones I make for a nice dish of homemade macaroni (that is pasta to many of you – to the Italians – it's MACARONI!)

And I do enjoy some Chinese dishes as well.  The unfortunate thing with eating Chinese food – if I don't make it myself – I can't eat it.

Take me to a Chinese restaurant and before I am half through with my meal I will begin to "grow" large red welts all over my entire face and body.  They itch terribly and they hurt like hell.  I walk in normal and walk out looking like a monster.  Not good for business either.

So I DIM – do-it-myself.

Being in the mood for rice and veggies, I decided to make some of my "Chinese" meatballs to go with it.  I started making these over 50 years ago – and everyone likes them.

I began with a bit over a pound of ground chuck.  To this I added Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, parsley, ground ginger, and several splashes of low-sodium soy sauce.  I added about 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage and about 1/2 cup shredded onion as well.  Mixed well and formed into meatballs – I happened to get 9 good-sized ones. 

I fried them in my garlic-flavored olive oil until done.

Just before they were done I made my rice – the choice at that time was simple Minute Rice which I used beef bouillon to cook it in instead of plain water, still added the bit of butter and a bit of salt – but not too much salt because I gave it a splash or two of the soy sauce.  This is also a great way to use up leftover rice and veggies!

In a separate pan, I cooked my frozen veggie mix of snap peas, broccoli, etc. and I added frozen green peas and since I had leftover steamed carrots from the day before – I added those as well.

Combined my cooked veggies and hot rice; served with my "Chinese" meatballs.

I also added a nice thick slice of onion bread – which I absolutely love.  Why not?

Slice a thick slice of Italian or French bread and slather on your onion butter –

Softened butter (no substitutes)

sprinkle of minced garlic – not much

pinch of Kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

fresh grated onion

fresh minced parsley

Place in preheated 350* F. oven (or until broiler or in toaster oven) until done.  Can't beat it!


Give it a try and let me know how you like them!

Recipe: Never Waste!!!

|June 10, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

One thing about the old-timers – especially those that went through the Great Depression back in the 1930's – you waste nothing! You find something to do with it and you can make another meal or stretch a meal further to feed your family.

This is an easy lunch – (we didn't snack years ago – you ate your meals and that was it!)

Cut homemade bread in thick slices – about 1/2-inch or so thick. Soak briefly in milk. You can cut the crusts off and save to use for making homemade bread crumbs or you can leave the crusts on – your preference. From milk, dip in beaten egg, coating both sides.

Heat oil (we used lard back then) in heavy skillet. Add bread slices, frying until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels (brown bags were used in the old days). Top with fresh grated cheese or very thinly sliced cheese so that it melts. Serve hot.

If the pot of sauce is on the stove – DIP!

Recipe: Using leftover chicken for a casserole –

|February 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

We've all enjoyed leftovers – face it.  Many of us were raised not to waste anything.  Generation buddies – remember your mom and gram always telling you to eat what was on your plate – "there are children all over the world that are starving" – and that was that. 

But leftovers can really be something to look forward to, 

I roasted a bird (chicken) – almost 3 pounds and served with sour cream mashed potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob, steamed carrots, and homemade biscuits.

Having chicken leftover, I just placed it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, I felt like some comfort food – just gearing up for the pleasant months coming.

I removed the meat from the bones, cleaning well and removing any "yuck" and skin. Dice. Meanwhile – preheat oven to 350* F.

Using a family-size can of cream of chicken soup – I placed half the can in my casserole dish and placed my diced chicken on top, and topped that with a can (14 -15 oz.) mixed vegetables. At the same time I was cooking my egg noodles.

When the noodles were done – added to my baking dish with the remaining condensed soup and less than a half can of milk; mixed well. Topped with dry bread crumbs and drizzled with melted butter.
350* F. for 20 to 25 minutes to heat through –

Served with a basic salad of lettuce and tomatoes with homemade croutons. Easy to make – since the oven was already on I cut thick slices of Italian bread and placed in a single layer on a baking sheet; placed in the oven for about 15 minutes to toast lightly, turning twice.

This is so simple to make, and you can use leftover veggies of choice.  Also –  try leftover turkey, ham, sausage, pork, beef, fish or seafood,  and any cream soup, white sauce or cheese sauce!