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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

I don’t make this stuff up, people. There are folks out there who are so resourceful that they reuse the pickle juice left when all of the dills are gone. I would have never thought about repurposing pickle juice, but a loyal reader wrote in asking, “I hate to just dump out the leftover, flavorful pickle juice — so now I have four jars worth of pickle juice (sans pickles) in my fridge. Any ideas?” Personally, no — I had no clue! But here are a few ideas that I dug up.

 

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Photo by ayalehs.

 

Re-pickle. They won’t be exactly the same as before, but you can put fresh or blanched veggies in pickle juice to soak up some of the flavor. Be sure to refrigerate. You can also pickle hard-boiled eggs in the leftover juice.

 

Liven up homemade bread, potato salad, bbq sauce, hummus and more! Add a dash (or more) of pickle juice to some of your favorite recipes… go ahead, be bold and experiment! You might just like it better than the original.

 

Marinade or salad dressing. Add pickle juice to a marinade recipe or use it on its own — same goes for salad dressing. Although I think you might want to add a little oil to it for salad dressing. Just a thought.

 

Chime in! Have you reused leftover pickle juice? Leave a comment and let us know how!

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Never in a million years would I have thought that marshmallows could serve any other purpose besides the gooey guts of a s’more, or of course, the topping on sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. But in the world of repurposeful living, marshmallows can do so much more.

 

marsh

 

Keep brown sugar soft. Pop a marshmallow into your bag of brown sugar and it will keep it from becoming rock-hard.

 
Make s’mores cookies, no campfire needed. This recipe looks dangerously delectable.

 

Keep birthday candles from dripping onto cake. Before inserting birthday candles on a cake, stick a marshmallow on the bottom of each candle. That way, the wax will drip onto the marshmallows, not the cake.

 

Make a marshmallow gun/shooter. I imagine that one day, I’ll come home to find my husband creating something like this — you know, “for the kids.”  

 

Prevent ice cream drips in sugar or waffle cones. I love a pointy sugar cone as much as the next person, but there are times when the bottom hole drips out ice cream, which is a) annoying and b) it wastes my precious ice cream! But, if you stuff a mini marshmallow in the bottom before filling the cone, you’ll have no more drips.

 

Impromptu cupcake icing. A minute before your cupcakes are done, pull them out of the oven and place a large marshmallow on top (or several minis), place the cupcakes back in the oven for a minute and ta-da, instant icing! No spreading necessary!

 

 

Photo by John-Morgan.

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What do you do with bread heels?

The plight of the poor bread heels is a sad one. Everyone avoids them. No one wants them. Sometimes they even get thrown away, destined to live a life rotting away at the bottom of the trash (or compost heap).

 

But there is hope! repurposeful is starting a Save Our Bread Heels (SOBH) campaign so that bread heels across the globe can once again find purpose and lead a more fulfilling (albeit short) life. Won’t you join me? Leave a comment with your best ideas for using bread heels. Let’s show the world (or perhaps, just my readers) that bread heels don’t have to be needlessly thrown out!

 cheese

Photo by Make & Takes.

Here, I’ll get us started. Inspired by a post I saw at Make & Takes, I use my heels turned inside out (so no one knows the difference) for a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Before I learned that little trick, the heels were used for last resort toast. Anything toasted and smothered with jam tastes just fine!

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It’s Seis de Mayo and if you’re anything like me, you bought one too many bags of tortilla chips (I always overestimate the chips). Sure, you and your family can spend the next few days munching on leftover chips… or you could find new ways to repurpose leftover tortilla chips into yummy new recipes.

 

chips

Tortilla chip recipes

 

Tortilla Chip Chicken – I’ve tried a similar version of this recipe and it’s awesome and very kid-friendly.

 

Tortilla Chip Soup – Mmmm… irresistable. Crushed tortilla chips are a tasty accompaniment to any soup.

 

Tortilla Chip Casserole – Again, I’ve made a version of this (can’t find the link, otherwise I’d post it) and it’s so good. And easy. And cheap.

 

 

Photo by faeryboots.

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One Small Step: Leftover Soup

It’s the end of the week and chances are, your refrigerator is filled with a mishmash of leftovers from thoughout the week. Rice from Monday’s burritos, Tuesday’s green beans, a couple slices of pork loin from Wednesday and onion slices from last night’s hamburgers. Enough food to fill your refrigerator, but not enough food to complete a meal for your family. Or is it?

 

Here’s a recipe for a soup starter that works with almost any smattering of ingredients. Simply start with the soup base, throw in your leftovers, simmer for a while and ta-da, Leftover Soup is served! (Of course, there’s no need to tell anyone that it’s Leftover Soup; call it your “secret recipe” soup.)

 

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Leftover Soup Starter Recipe

 

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

 

If using any raw vegetable ingredients (diced onions, chopped carrots, etc.), heat the oil in a large soup pot and saute the vegetables on medium-high heat for approximately 4 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook, while stirring, for one minute. Add the chicken stock and water. (If you want to add uncooked pasta or grains to the soup, this is where you would do it. Add your pasta or grains, bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer until tender. Add leftover ingredients after the pasta/grains are cooked through.)

 

Now for the fun part — add your leftovers! Keeping the pot at medium-high heat, add leftover ingredients to the mix. Rice, pork, ground beef or turkey, cubed chicken, pasta, vegetables, spinach, beans, red potatoes… get creative! You can’t go too wrong, although I would probably avoid adding fruit. After adding your leftovers, bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes. If adding fresh spinach or leafy greens, stir them into the soup 5 minutes before serving.

 

Yummy soup and a clean fridge. Enjoy!

 

 

Photo by Mickelodeon.

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1 whole chicken = 3 meals

2863312282_1f147b770dLooking for a quick and easy way to save time and money on family meals? When it’s on sale, whole chicken can stretch your dollar into three meals. (Kroger has whole chicken on sale this week for $0.99/lb.) Here’s how to repurpose your chicken:

Meal 1

Roasted chicken. Simple Mom shares a tried, true and easy recipe for roasted chicken.

Meal 2

Turn leftover chicken into chicken salad for sandwiches. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but here’s a link to The Best Chicken Salad Ever from Allrecipes.

Meal 3

Soup stock. Put the chicken carcass (there must be a better word for carcass) into a large pot, cover with water and add seasonings to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 4 hours. Simply Recipes gives more detailed instructions for soup stock. I’ve been making an excellent modified version of Real Simple’s Farro Soup with Chorizo, which uses chicken stock as its base. Since I can’t find farro at my regular grocery store, I substitute barley. And I use spinach in place of swiss chard, and ham or pork loin in place of chorizo. We eat this soup weekly.

 

Photo by JazarellaMozarella.

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One of my favorite moments from the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle was when Lois served her weekly “leftover parfait,” which consists of a week’s worth of leftovers in the form of a casserole. That particular week, she changed up the recipe. As Malcolm tells the audience, “It finally happened! The bottom layer is last week’s leftover parfait!”

While I am in-no-way advocating that you repurpose food for a leftover-leftover parfait (but kudos to you if you can do it without making anyone in your family ill), there are more appetizing ways to repurpose ingredients into new recipes. Take, for example, this quick, healthy and cheap recipe from Squawkfox that serves hummus (traditionally used for veggie & cracker dip) over pasta:

Rotini with Veggies and Hummus Sauce

Recipe Ingredients:

Photo by Squawkfox.

Photo by Squawkfox.

  • 3 cups (750 mL) whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 2 cups (500 mL) homemade authentic or low fat hummus
  •  1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried basil
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Total Cost: $5.03

Preparation:

  1. Cook rotini in rapidly boiling water until al dente, then drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add the zucchini and saute over low heat, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, basil, and cayenne. Saute over low heat, 1 minute.
  4. Add homemade hummus and water. Simmer very gently over low heat, 2 minutes.
  5. Serve hummus sauce over hot pasta.

Embellish It: Sprinkle served pasta with a dash of parmesan cheese.

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