Saturday, March 19, 2011

Serial Leftovers and other interesting stuff

Making the most of leftovers is a frugal strategy to stretch your food dollars so nothing goes to waste.  This week I did it with a green salad which was first served on Thursday with our main dish of Porcupines, those yummy meatballs made with rice and cooked in a rich tomato sauce.  Friday I served Layered Burritos and used the leftover salad, chopped smalled, to add to the burritos.  Again, very yummy.  Today, Saturday, I chopped the final leftovers very fine and added them to tuna for an easy tuna salad for our sandwiches.  Voila!  The green salad is used up before going gooey; two other meals were enhanced with readily available ingredients and I look like a genius.  Not bad for a few minutes thought and work.

I've been reading a book called Sneaky Chef.  One of our sons, Mr. Music, refuses to eat most fruits and vegetables so I'm looking for ways to get them into him without him knowing it.  The book is well written and fun.  I gleaned some great ideas from it to use now, until I get the wonderful 3 cup KitchenAide food processor that the author recommends for disguising the foods.  My first attempt was adding carrot puree to the tomato sauce on the Porcupines.  I steamed the carrot chunks soft, then pureed them in my blender, added a can of whole tomatoes to puree and then poured it all in the pot over the meatballs to cook.  It turned out so delicious and no one even noticed a difference.  Today, I added a couple of small spoonfuls of brown rice to the tuna mix for the sandwiches.  I tested it on my husband and daughter, Noble.  I thought it was terrific.  Noble didnt' notice the rice, and I haven't heard from my husband who is still at work. (He came home and grabbed his lunch and went back to the school.)  I feel successful and am eager to try other sneaky tricks to get healthful food into my family.

I talked to TopDad (my husband) about building me a "square-foot garden" so I could grow some fresh veggies this summer.  He said he could do that.  Over the winter I've been reading about Square Foot Gardening and am eager to get going on it.  I love fresh veggies, the Prophets have counseled us to grow a garden, and with the prices of food going up, it has become a necessity.  There are farmer's markets around here too that I will check out as they begin their season. 

Noble and I chose our patterns and materials for our Easter dresses.  I have literally boxes of patterns to choose from; and a dozen plastic tubs of fabric.  Some years ago I promised myself that I wouldn't buy anymore until I've used what I have.  Now that I home without children during the day I've gotten out my sewing machine and will get back to one of my first loves--sewing!

Had a busy and productive day today.  Made lunch items for next week: boiled eggs, and jello cups; mixed a batch of cookies to freeze in rolls for baking; ground wheat and baked bread; have done four loads of laundry (towels and sheets).  Just part of the never ending routine of keeping a house running smoothly.