Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saving by increments...

Some days I save big; other days only miniscule amounts, but surely it all adds up in the end. My kitchen scale is one of my favorite ways to be a conscientious consumer. When the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of butter, I can measure precisely 2 ounces of butter. Sometimes I think, 'Oh, a little extra butter won't hurt,' and it wouldn't; however, using exactly the amount called for leaves more butter for another day, another recipe. Further, buying butter packaged by the pound instead of the stick is another way to cut down on packaging waste.
Another way I try to be conscientous is by not throwing compostable organic waste into the trash. While I'm cooking, I keep a container nearby to fill up with the scraps. Coffee grounds and the filter and eggs also get tossed in. We don't have a compost bin (YET), so for now the scraps get thrown onto the garden. Our dog licks out the eggs, so there's no worry about the eggs attracting other critters. I look forward to the day when hubby will make me some barrel composters. Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Make over: Leftover spaghetti magic

Feeling a little proud of myself! I transformed leftover vegetarian spaghetti into vegetable soup for lunch and then a veggie lasagna for dinner. VEGETABLE SOUP: For the soup, I cooked some diced onion and potato, then added leftovers from a restaurant veggie plate: butternut squash and spinach, plus roasted long green beans, and finally, added some of my leftover spaghetti. Seasoned the whole by adding red pepper, white pepper, basil, cumin, sherry vinegar, chicken base seasoning & freshly ground pepper. VEGGIE LASAGNA: Inspired by a vegetarian lasagna recipe found on, I mixed an egg into the remaining 3 cups or so of my leftover marina spaghetti, then layered this with a bechamel (white) sauce chunky with cooked diced onion and green pepper, about 6 sundried tomatoes (oil packed) and a little bit of cottage cheese. Placed some fresh mozzerella on top and baked it 'til bubbly. We both really liked it, but I wished I had left the sundried tomatoes a little bigger, as they were the most interesting surprise ingredient.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Scratch cooking: Pizza sauce

I found a pizza sauce recipe that I'm making:

1/2 an onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15oz) cans of diced tomatoes
1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
2 tsp Italian herbs, a store blend
a pinch of salt
Saute onion & garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients; cook simmering on low for an hour, stirring peridiocally & breaking up the tomatoes. (Found on
I didn't have a store blend of Italian herbs, so I used 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried thyme, plus a little sprinkling of dried rosemary leaves. Didn't mean to use that much thyme, but I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. Anxious to see how it turns out.

Sadly, I broke my garlic press while putting the recipe together. I had used the press frequently, as it is so much quicker than mincing garlic (how lazy is that!). Hoping Hubby can fix this for me, but if not, I will be doing without. Sooo much want to become less of a consumer. The less I buy, the less will end up in a landfill, right? 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Make over: Sausage apple strata

Okay, it doesn't get any better than finding and adapting a recipe to fit your foods on hand. For tonight, I made a strata, which was layered into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish as follows:

  • 2 large pieces of stale country bread, cubed
  • 1 cooked smoked sausage patty, cut into small pieces, scattered evenly over the bread cubes
  • 1/2 peeled, cored apple, cut into cubes, scattered evenly over sausage and bread
  • several cubes of cheese leftover from a party (had on hand cubes of havarti with dill & gruyere), scatter evenly over above ingredients
  • 3 eggs, beaten, 1/2 cup cream, 1/4 cup milk, big pinch of dried sage, salt to taste...once mixed, poured over the above items, then sprinkle with freshly ground pepper

bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until set.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...