Cooking with Suz – Round 2 – Using leftovers

wastenotLeftovers.  A fact of life.  First let me say that I really do hate throwing out food…. it was ingrained in me as a child that to be wasteful is practically a sin!  “Waste not, want not” the old adage goes, so I really do try not to throw stuff out – although sometimes I’ll admit that it just can’t be helped. Anyway, in today’s “Cooking with Suz” I’m going to show you how I recently used up some leftovers and turned them in to something really tasty.  Of course, you can always simply reheat whatever is leftover, but in this case, I had small bits of “this and that” and decided to make it into a Frittata! Not only was this easy, it was quick and really delicious.

The night before, we’d had filet of sole, orzo with spinach and feta, {oh DO click on that link for a very tasty side dish recipe!} and broccoli.  With a cat in the house, you can bet there was no fish leftover {not sure the cat actually got any… it was so good! I bread it with this stuff}, but we did have leftover broccoli and orzo. The next morning I decided to try a frittata with my leftovers.  What’s awesome about a frittata is that you can pretty much use anything (within reason) that you have leftover and turn it into something wonderful.  I used what I had – the beauty of frittatas 🙂 – and so can you.  So, here’s how it went:

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First off – (highly important) choose an oven proof skillet!!  I have a set of  perfectly awesome Dacor Hot Dots cookware, given to me a few years ago by my dear friend and neighbor, Susan Banton. What a fabulous gift that I’ve used over and over and will no doubt last literally the rest of my life!!  Thank you, Susan!  So, one could use an all steel skillet like mine, or cast iron would also do.  Whatever you do, do NOT use a skillet with a plastic handle of any kind! Yikes.  All right, enough of that. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Melt a tablespoon (or so) of butter in the bottom of your pan, then add whatever leftovers you may have.  I added the orzo with spinach & feta as well as the broccoli. Sauteeing some onion would also be good…. leftover potatoes – cut up; diced ham or other meat; oh shoot, the possibilities are endless. You want these leftover ingredients good and warm before adding the eggs.

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Many frittata recipes suggest using 8-12 eggs. Unless you are feeding an army, that’s totally unnecessary! I beat 3 eggs well, added a bit of salt and pepper, and a couple of Tablespoons of milk or half & half, mixing everything well. Over medium heat, pour your egg mixture as evenly as possible over your heated leftovers!

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So, it’s not perfect, but there are eggs everywhere so I was happy.  Allow the mixture to begin to cook on the stovetop for about 3 minutes.  Then sprinkle on some grated cheese (I used cheddar and possibly some parmesan) and place the whole thing uncovered into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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Here’s the finished product!!!  It cut into pie-shaped servings easily and tasted awesome!  Try a frittata soon, you won’t be sorry AND you’ll probably use up something you may have even ended up throwing out!  YUM!

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Transitioning from ’07 to ’08

New Year’s Eve, Seattle’s Space Needle

This is the time of year I like to look back to my previous “end of year” blog entry and see if any of my goals (hopes, dreams, aspirations) were indeed acheived.   Ok, so after checking last year’s entry it seems that my one big plan was to get my butt into the doctor’s office for the “annual” exam — that I hadn’t had in years!  Well, I am happy to announce that it did happen, that my cholesterol wasn’t through the roof like I’d feared, and that all was essentially fine. 

I’ve got some new and different ideas for 2008 which I will get to in a bit.  First, some  reflection on the year that is nearly gone, 2007.  I’ve tried to dream up a word that might describe the year in general and all I can really come up with is satisfying.  There were no disasters in our family, no one died (thank the Lord), and all the trees surrounding our home managed to remain standing.  We were able to connect regularly with friends and family – which is wonderful.  Both hubby and I are quite pleased with our jobs (despite my long commute) and so thankful that we have them.  Just this month, the doctors seem to have figured out what was causing hubby all his joint and muscle discomfort (click here to learn more about “Polymyalgia”) and have prescribed medication that is really helping him feel SO much better.  We were able to take several trips, one long and several short.  As a complete lover of travel, I’m always happy when we can get away now and again… especially to somewhere NEW.  God has provided us with all we need and more.  He has showered us with His Grace every day.  One of the songs I downloaded for my iPod this year was “Great is Thy Faithfulness” – I especially love the chorus –“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”  It’s so important for me to never forget that each day, eventful or not, Jesus is watching over me.  To remember to always be thankful for His mercies, whether large or small.

Some of my favorites from this year:

Books:  I read a lot.  I always have one or two books going, as well as an audio book to listen to on my way to/from work.  One of the books that really reached out and grabbed me this year was Never Change by Elizabeth Berg.  I’d never even heard of Elizabeth Berg until reading a blog earlier in the year that mentioned her.  I’ve now read 4 or 5 of her books, with more on my “wish list” at the library.  They haven’t all been great, but they are good for the most part, and this one was exceptional – in my humble opinion.  Another book that both my daughter in law and I loved was When the Heart Cries, a story set in modern day in the Amish world.  I’ve read a few other Amish stories that I thought were somewhat unrealistic and well, downright hokey.  This one is neither.  I used to have a wonderful Amish penpal, and through knowing her, I learned that the Amish community is not always totally wonderful.  That’s why I liked this book so much.  It’s realistic. 

Music:  I love music.  I will admit that I have very “eclectic” taste, enjoying lots of different styles from smooth jazz to classic country to oldies and more.  People might be surprised at the variety of stuff I have downloaded on my iPod.  This year (through a friend at work) I discovered a new “group” that I absolutely love – Secret Garden.  You can have a listen if you click the link.  They are calm, soothing, & a bit Celtic (which I LOVE).

Movie: Ok, we don’t go to the movies much, but we did go see American Gangster (hubby picked it out) and I was pleasantly surprised at what a good movie it was – I was riveted to the screen!  And impressed to think that it was based on a true story.   On Netflix I almost always rent old black and white movies exclusively.  I especially LOVE movies from the 1940’s.  In fact, I would love a chance to go back and live through those war years — but that’s a different subject, isn’t it!  Watched a great movie just before Christmas made in 1948 called “Holiday Affair“.  Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

Meal:  Allright, let it be known that I love to cook – if I’m of a mind.  I made a dinner back in March that blew my own socks off.  It was so good I took a picture of it!  I also think that for the most part it was quite healthy!  It was Asian Salmon Patties with dill-cucumber-yogurt sauce; Orzo with spinach and feta; carrot cumin slaw; crumb topped baked plum tomatoes; foccacia bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce.  Have a look!  YUM. 

Yummy dinner!

Onward to next year… 

***I am determined to improve my health further by 1. Taking all the good supplements/vitamins that I know I should  (Vitamin  D is a biggie)     2. Walk on our treadmill regularly    3. Buy more and more Organics  (I am of the thought that we simply do not need extra pesticides and chemicals in our already polluted bodies!)   4. Eat good food but for heaven’s sake — REDUCE PORTION SIZE.  I have a problem with eating too much of a good thing.   5. Maybe and I reiterate… maybe I’ll go have that colonoscopy that we are all supposed to have after reaching the magic age of 50. 

***Just for fun I want to keep track of all the books I read in a year.  I may even do that here on the blog. 

***Complete the cross stitch wedding sampler for my son and daughter in law.  My gosh, they have been married now for three years!  Shame on me!

Here’s wishing everyone who may happen to read my blog, a wonderful New Year 2008, filled with God’s mercies 🙂