Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ingredient improv

December 19, 2012

Each meal was a success today. My son asked if I could make him a snowman sandwich to take for lunch today. Perfect day for that seeing as tomorrow is grocery shopping day and these sandwiches use up 5 slices of bread. My daughter made a regular sandwich and used up some of the last of the lemon pepper chicken lunch meat. They both packed some fruit and fruit snacks.

Yesterday I realized that I had not made my hubby tacos this week. What's wrong with me?! I corrected myself by making tacos today. However, when I started working on the toppings he decided to just have taco salad with me because as he said "we need to use up the lettuce, right?". Oh man, he is doing so good at this. Haha. I had half of a tomato (we used the other half on nachos last night) but I asked if it was ok to save that for my plan for dinner and to just put homemade salsa on the taco salad instead. Yep. Uh oh, out of mexican cheese. Cheddar came to the party instead.

I baked teriyaki pork tenderloin and served it with some of the leftover sauce that I made for the lamb earlier this week. I looked through the fridge to see what veggies we needed to use up tonight. Yellow squash and zucchini were it. We normally make a mixture of onions, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. I looked online to see if I could find a different recipe. I saw one that had the squash and zucchini as a topping for pasta. Uhmagaud. Considering the incredible love that I have for angel hair pasta, why had I not thought of this? I sauteed onion (no mushrooms though because I'm out) and crushed garlic. I added in the yellow squash and zucchini and cooked them with a little white wine.  Next I added the chopped half of tomato. I put in a ton of spices. Salt, pepper, adobo, garlic powder, basil, oregano, italian, and thyme from my garden. Basil is the real star though. I'm not sure why but basil is the best seasoning to put on zucchini and squash. I tossed the cooked angel hair pasta into the sautee mixture. It didn't look quite right. It needed something to make it more saucy. I looked in the fridge and just happened to have half a jar of homemade canned tomatoes. Yay! Into the pan it went. I topped it off with a little freshly grated romano cheese.

I noticed that there was a tiny bit of grapes left. I figured that if I asked the kids to finish them up, it wouldn't be appealing. I mean, who wants to eat the very end of the bag when some of them are getting soft spots. I plucked the good ones off of the stems and cut them in half. I put them in the container with the rest of the leftover cantelope. Voila, call it fruit salad and it's like a "new" fruit. Of course it was served with more of the strawberry cream cheese dip. For dessert, I made apple crisp. The apples were the end of what we bought from the local apple cider mill before they closed for the season. They were getting pretty wrinkly and soft. They should still be fine to put into apple crisp right? I had one last container of the apple crisp topping. Wohoo! It was so good. I think we ate all but one corner of the pan!

Today's lesson: recipes are guides. Use what you have. Don't get stuck in a rut where you think ingredients aren't interchangeable. Do you need tomatoes to make taco salad? Nope. Do you need a specific cheese? Nope. When apples are overripe should you throw them out? Nope, bake them! Tomorrow will be interesting. I'm going grocery shopping and taking my hubby with me! We are horrible splurgers when we shop together. Let's hope we can have a good shopping week.

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