My New Favorite Ingredient is…

(drum roll please)  Frozen Dinner Roll Dough! I started playing with this super star ingredient after Michael tried the chicken pot pie at a local restaurant. They used a similar product as their top crust and it worked very well; not too heavy as with many biscuit tops, and more substantial than a simple pie crust. When you’re cooking for two, frozen dinner roll dough is just the ticket. Take out what you need and keep the rest in the freezer. That’s exactly what I did to top our Two Chicken Pot Pies a couple of nights after our restaurant meal.

Experiment number two: The frozen roll dough worked well as a top crust, so let’s see how it does on the bottom.
The guinea pig here was a batch of Bacon Quiche Tarts . Success! The original bacon tart recipe that I referenced from my archives used canned biscuit dough. The frozen rolls, thawed in the fridge over night, produced a more substantial breakfast tart that reheated beautifully in the microwave the next day. I have a bag of these zap-and-go breakfasts in my freezer right now. What’s next? Mini Calzones? Well, maybe!

And speaking of breakfast, how about a Hash Brown Breakfast Pie? This breakfast pie is so versatile… use any kind of breakfast meat, bacon, ham or sausage, or keep it vegetarian with a few chopped veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms, even spinach. I cut my standard recipe in half and used a 6 inch pie pan to create the perfect weekend breakfast for two, but how about Breakfast Pie for dinner? Why not?

Meatless Mondays are often a struggle in this household. We are so ingrained in our carnivore habits. One convenience item that recently jumped into my shopping cart is shelf stable potato gnocchi. The nutritional virtues of gnocchi is debatable, but as a textural stand in for meat it has earned a place at our table. Try this recipe for Gnocchi with White Beans. The mild cannellini beans up the protein levels in this low fat offering, but if you are watching your carbs, this may not be the dish for you.

I recently received a request for more electric pressure cooker recipes.  I’m still experimenting and don’t have many recipes, most of them still works in progress, and most of them still could use some tweaking!  Here’s one that has seemed to work out well; Pressure Cooker Cuban Pork Tenderloin. One pressure cooker advantage to this one pot entree is the texture of the rice. Brown rice can be tricky to cook. Stove top, I’ve had it turn out scorched on the bottom, undercooked and crunchy, or just plain mushy. Very rarely does stove top plain brown rice turn out just right on its own. That’s why I use converted brown rice when I want plain brown rice. Enough about the rice. Cuban Pork Tenderloin is packed with layers of succulent flavor!

We have a new graduate in the family. Preschool graduation is the first of many. “Oh, the places you’ll go!”   Congratulations, Xander!

Be thankful for what life gives you.

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