I’ve always got to try new things, most often new recipes. As a result, my kitchen resembles a small grocery store. As long as it’s not too exotic, whatever the recipe ingredient, I’ve probably got it in one form or another. Come to think of it, most of our grocery expense is incurred by my habit of frequently purchasing a large variety of fresh produce, and that’s a good thing. I try to grow what I can in the summer, and buy what is available at the farmer’s market, but in February those sources aren’t an option, even in Alabama. The grocery store’s produce department is really cashing in on my habit, but utilizing a wide variety of produce makes such a difference in the complexity of my dishes. We try to have a House Salad before dinner as many nights as possible, and plenty of veggies on the side, as well.
If you follow The Sticky Menu Plan you may have noticed that I rarely prepare the same recipe twice, but almost always have a plan for the leftovers. Epicurious magazine calls these “nextovers”, and I think that is a wonderful, fitting name for planning what’s next. Baked Ham makes for a glorious traditional Sunday dinner, but without a plan, that seven pound ham quickly goes to waste, especially in a small household like ours. So what’s next? Ham and cheese sandwiches get old fast and plain ham doesn’t freeze well at all. That’s when I go exploring. At last count, I had around 30 recipes featuring ham in my data base, and those are just the ones I have personally prepared, many are my own creation. Can you imagine how many different ingredients are in all those recipes? Creativity and a low threshold of boredom can get expensive! That’s when my freezer inventory becomes important. Often, folks package foods for the freezer with the best of intentions, but somehow those meals just fall into a black hole, never to be seen again, but I guess that’s another subject.
Last week’s Baked Ham certainly didn’t go to waste at all. It did serve as the traditional Sunday dinner, as well as evening sandwiches after we took Emily out for a birthday lunch on Monday. However, that ham’s other scheduled meals for the week, Asparagus and Ham Lasagna and Ham Tetrazzini, skipped the dinner table and went straight to the freezer along with a fair quantity of Fat-free Ham Broth and some Southern Style Pinto Beans.
We celebrated Valentines Day quietly at home. One of my gifts to Michael was his traditional gift dinner of sautéd chicken livers. If you know us, you know this dinner is a gift because of my extreme dislike of all things liver. Michael surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of red roses!
Wednesday I rescued some chicken from the fridge before it went out of date and turned it into a Chicken Cobbler. This version of chicken pot pie is always the perfect balance of filling and crust, at least for our taste. The leftovers reheated well on Thursday, too.
Friday’s Seafood Enchiladas were a bit of a disappointment. For some reason the filling was a bit dry and lacked flavor. I must have over cooked it. That can happen quickly, especially if you let yourself get distracted by a Friday evening glass of wine!
Speaking of Friday, it’s already Friday afternoon, again, and I’m a week behind, again! Well, it’s not because I’ve been sitting around doing nothing! I’ll be back soon.
Be thankful for what life gives you.