Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I have been on a mission for at least the last 12 months trying to find the perfect whole wheat bread recipe. I've found a few that are okay... but it seems to get a really good, moist and fluffy bread I always have to add at least some white flour. I can't tell you how frustrating it's been! I knew there was the perfect recipe out there somewhere.. I've bought 100% whole wheat bread from bakeries that has tasted fine- why couldn't I recreate it at home? I even researched the science of bread to try to understand what I was doing wrong.

Somewhere along my plight, my good friend Tina was probably chuckling to herself because all along she was in possession of such sought after recipe. It had been handed down from her mother who had always made homemade bread. Tina is the mother of eight and has carried on her mother's tradition of never buying store-bought "air bread". I've known for years that she always makes whole wheat bread and I've often wondered how in the heck she has time to make enough bread every week to satisfy her large family (and more importantly how she twisted their arms and forced them to eat such bread..) Well, finally Tina finished her chuckle fest and took pity on my plight. She gave me her recipe. I made this the other day and was delighted by how easy it was. I was practically jumping up and down in excitement when I sliced into it and it was not only good but delicious. Even my husband liked it!!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

In a very large bowl, mix together:
5 1/2 cups warm water
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp Saf-Instant yeast
2/3 cup oil
2/3 c. liquid honey*
Allow to rest 10-30 minutes until dough is bubbly and yeast has completely dissolved.
Add 8 more cups whole wheat flour and mix until thoroughly combined. Grease loaf pans. Form into 4 large loaves (or 6 small). Cover with a lightly damp breathable kitchen cloth and let rise 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes. (I baked mine for 33 minutes and it was perfect.)
 Allow loaves to cool before slicing.
You can freeze this with good results- even pre-assemble your kids' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for school lunches like Tina does for easy grab and go on a busy morning. (Which I assume is every morning with eight kiddos!)
*If honey has crystalized simply microwave it until it is liquid again. (about 30 seconds)

P.S.- Some events may have been changed for the entertainment value of the audience. IE-Tina never purposely withheld her recipe. Thanks for sharing Tina!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Last week I came across some chicken thighs marked down to $.79/lb. Though I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I couldn't pass up savings like that! I used some mushrooms from my Bountiful Basket for this easy dinner:

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
2 slices bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin (or remove skin completely)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
6 oz brown mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered or sliced
3 cups hot chicken broth, or enough to cover chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chopped parsley, for garnish

Microwave bacon on high (100% power) 1 minute. Chop and transfer to a 4 1/2 qt. slow cooker. Add olive oil and spread evenly on bottom. Place chicken in slow cooker, skin side down. Add remaining ingredients in order given except parsley. Cover, cook on LOW 4-5 hours or until rice is tender. Uncover and let stand 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper if desired. Remove skin from chicken before serving, if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley.

**I ended up cooking about 5 lbs of chicken so I added some to the top of all the ingredients as well. I chopped the extra cooked chicken and plan on using it throughout this week in other meals.

****You can make this as an EASY freezer meal!****

For best results use boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1-inch pieces. Microwave bacon on high (100% power) 1 minute. Transfer to Gallon sized freezer bag. Add olive oil and spread evenly on bottom. Place chicken in bag. Add remaining ingredients in order given, except parsley. Freeze up to 3 months.
To serve: defrost in refrigerator overnight and cook as above or run bag under hot water to loosen contents into slow cooker. Cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours, or until rice is tender.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deciding on a Grocery Budget: Step Six

Step Six, Planning your TIME

All of the previous steps are nothing compared to planning your time and sticking to your menu. Here are some tips to help make it easier. Hopefully this will help you start seeing a difference in your budget. Take it one step at a time and remember even a little bit helps. There's a lot to be said about a little bit of planning and I promise you it will help not only your wallet but your health too!

Menu Tips for Week 1:

Shopping day- try to buy everything on your list that you will need for the month with the exception of your more perishable items. Less trips to the store = less money spent.
Properly store your groceries to maximize freshness- tips for each item can be found on Master Grocery List.
When roasting chicken, roast 2 at once. De-bone, shred & freeze 2nd chicken for use later in the month. Divide equally into 2-4 freezer bags.
Save broth & leftover chicken for soup later this week.
Leftover corned beef & vegetables makes excellent hash for breakfast.
When making spaghetti sauce, make double (or even more- it freezes well!) so you have enough to make your lasagna later this week.
If there is enough leftover chicken from Sunday’s meal, use it to make chicken salad sandwiches. Otherwise you can use canned tuna.
When making bread keep in mind the coming week’s menu. This can all be made from one batch of bread dough:  2 loaves French bread (spaghetti & lasagna), 1 dozen rolls (chicken noodle soup), 1 loaf bread (for chicken salad sandwiches)
Bread can be frozen to preserve freshness.  Even if using later the same week, store it in the freezer so it still tastes fresh baked when you use it.
Be sure to freeze any leftover dinner portions that haven’t been eaten. These make great lunches in the future.

Menu Tips for Week 2:

Be sure your roast is big enough to use leftover beef for stroganoff (a 3-4 lb roast is enough for Sunday’s meal with plenty leftover for lunches & enough for another meal)
Make double the potatoes that your family will eat on Sunday- You will use the leftovers for tomorrow’s meal.
If you have extra cabbage and ground beef, go ahead & cook it all. It freezes well & can be used in later meals.
Double your soup recipe; then divide before adding the noodles. You’ll use the portion with no noodles as the filling for your pot pie later this week.
Use frozen pre-cooked chicken in your soup if you have it.
This week’s bread batch: Runza bread pockets, Rolls (for soup), your choice for remaining two “loaves.” I like to have a couple loaves sliced for sandwiches for easy lunches.

Menu Tips for Week 3:

Wash & cut extra broccoli for Tuesday’s meal
Make enough sauce for both chicken parmesan & noodles in one pot. If you have enough frozen sauce, use that to save time. For a richer sauce add 16 oz cream cheese or even a can of cream of chicken soup.
Start chili in slow-cooker first thing in the morning. The longer it cooks (on low), the better the flavor.
This week’s bread batch:  Stuffed bread loaf, Sandwich Bread, Rolls, and your choice.
Use leftover pulled pork for Navajo taco filling. You can also use ground beef or chopped chicken or leave the meat out altogether. Also leftover chili can be delicious on a Navajo Taco.
Use leftover chili for pastafazool. Add 8-16 oz tomato sauce & 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning.
If you have leftover roast in your freezer, use that for vegetable soup. Otherwise use ground beef. You can also omit the meat & make vegetable soup instead.

Menu Tips for Week 4:

Again, be sure your roast is big enough to use leftover beef for stroganoff (a 3-4 lb roast is enough for Sunday’s meal with plenty leftover for lunches & enough for another meal).
Make double the potatoes that your family will eat on Sunday- You will use the leftovers for Tuesday’s meal.
When clearing the table on Sunday, “put away” food into a casserole dish- assembling Tuesday’s Shepherd Pie. Cut beef into bite size pieces- add leftover corn or other vegetables (if you don’t have enough, open a can of corn and green beans and add those). Cover everything with leftover gravy then top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover dish and refrigerate. Tuesday’s dinner is DONE!
If you have extra ground beef mix in freezer from Runzas, use 1-2 lbs of that for an easy Company Casserole. Otherwise follow recipe. It’s still a quick meal!
Use pre-cooked chicken for enchiladas, Chicken & Stuffing, and Tortilla Soup. If you don’t have enough chicken, you can make beef enchiladas (leftover roast is great if you have it! Otherwise ground beef) If you have leftover pork from last week in your freezer- you can use that or even just cheese enchiladas. For the tortilla soup, you can use beef as well or omit meat altogether.
This week’s bread batch:  2 dozen rolls, 1 loaf bread for sandwiches, 1 extra (your choice). I like to have a few extra pizza crusts in the freezer for quick meals

Week 5 Menu Tips:

Save leftover chicken on Sunday for stir-fry. You can also use leftover broth  to cook rice for more flavor.
Cook 3-4 extra potatoes for quick potato wedges on Wednesday.
Save extra pintos to make refried beans
Make enough extra sauce for your spaghetti to use on Pizza the next day
This week’s bread batch:  Hamburger buns (for sloppy Joes), French bread, Pizza crusts

Monday, May 16, 2011

Deciding on a Grocery Budget: Step Five

Wow! It's been so long since I've worked on this section of my blog that I decided to make a whole new menu (for illustrative purposes). So some of the information in this step may be repetitive from the previous steps. Bear with me- I'm a work in progress here! 

Step Five- Making a shopping list

Read through your menu and make a list of everything that you will need to make it happen. Then go through the list and cross of any items that you already have or don't want and add any extras that you may need. If you are careful and shop the sales, you can buy everything needed for this menu for about $200.

3 whole chickens                     (freeze at least one right away for later in the month)
2, 3-4 pound beef roasts [whatever is cheapest]      (transfer to freezer bags & freeze)
1 small pork roast (1 ½ - 2 lb)            (transfer to freezer bag & freeze)
10-12 lbs hamburger                 (freeze in 1 lb packages)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts         (transfer to freezer bags & freeze)

Produce- (Here are some of the things that we like best but we usually get most our produce from Bountiful Baskets. This allows us to spend as little as $16/week in produce. I usually just change my menu to fit what I get in my baskets. It's not hard if I already have a basic idea of what I want to make- usually just means changing a side dish.)
5 lb         Apples       
4 lb         Bananas   
2 lb         Berries       
2-4 lb         Broccoli   
2 heads        Cabbage   
3-5 lb        Carrots      
2 bunches    Celery       
6 lb        Corn      
1-3 lb        Grapes       
4 lb         Green beans   
1 bunch        Green onions   
2-3 heads    Lettuce       
1-2 lb        Mushrooms   
5 lb        Onions       
5 lb        Oranges       
5-10 lb        Potatoes [Russet]]
10 lb        Potatoes [red] (or just add more Russet potatoes)  
5-6 large        Tomatoes   

Any other fruit or vegetable you desire such as:
    Avocado,    Sprouts,    Spinach,    Lemon,    Lime,    Snap Peas,    Asparagus,    Peaches,    Pears,  Melon,    Winter Squash,    Summer Squash,    Cilantro,    Garlic
Canned - I treat almost everything on this list as optional. I've found that it's so much cheaper and healthier to just use fresh fruits and vegetables, especially with Bountiful Baskets, and make other things from scratch such as cream soups. This will, however, help you to make all the recipes on this menu in a pinch as well as give you some extra side and/or breakfast options.

Mandarin Oranges            10 cans (8 oz)
Pineapple tidbits                3 cans (15 oz)
Mushroom stems & pieces            8-10 cans (8 oz)
Cream of Chicken soup             9 cans (10 oz)
(try using this recipe instead)
Salsa                    32 ounces
Beans (kidney)                 4 (15 oz) cans
Beans (black)                4 (15 oz) cans
Beans (chili)                 2 (15oz) cans
  or small red beans if using dry  (1 lb)
Mayonnaise                 16 oz
Mustard                    1 bottle
Hot sauce                1 bottle
Tomato Sauce                28 (8oz) cans
Tomato soup                 2 cans
Diced Tomatoes                10 cans (15 oz)
Green beans (if not using fresh/frozen)    3 cans (15 oz)
Corn    (if not using fresh/frozen)        7 cans (15 oz)
Spaghetti Noodles            3 lb
Macaroni Noodles             1 lb
Egg Noodles                2 lb
Lasagna Noodles (or use this recipe)      1 lb
Flavored Gelatin                 5 small boxes
Small Red Beans     (if not using canned)    1 lb
Black Beans (if not using canned)        2 lb
Kidney Beans (if not using canned)        2 lb
Dry bread crumbs or Stuffing Mix
Tortilla chips
Ranch dressing mix (click here for recipe)

3-4 (16oz)        Sour cream      
1-4 (16oz)        Cottage cheese      
4-6 gal            Milk          
4 lb (according to taste)    Cheese [cheddar]      
1 lb             Cheese [Parmesan]  
1.5 lb             Cheese [ Mozzarella]  
2 16 oz blocks        Cream Cheese (optional)  
2 lb            Butter          
64 oz            Plain Yogurt      

Staples You shouldn't have to buy all of these every month. Most of these items are much cheaper to buy in bulk. Plan to buy one or two of these bulk items from this list each month to keep your pantry stocked.
Yeast                  (Usually cheapest to buy in 1 lb compressed block)
Bread Flour              
Brown Sugar
Corn meal
Baking powder
Baking soda
Pinto Beans                 2 lb      
Rice (white or brown)            2 lb
Oil (olive, or vegetable)
Dry Milk
Chicken Bouillon or soup base
Corn starch


Dairy-free Creamy Broccoli Soup

I am slightly lactose-intolerant and have a daughter who had milk allergies up until about 6 months ago so I try to limit our dairy as much as possible. The only problem is that I love cheese and cream and just about anything else dairy. It just makes things taste good! I love this soup because the cauliflower really gives it that creamy texture and it's simple and delicious to boot. It doesn't feel like I'm missing out on anything when I eat this and even my husband didn't notice there was no actual cream in this soup! He even went so far as to call it "tasty" which is high marks coming from him. Don't get me wrong, he is not particularly "picky"and will eat just about anything that I give him, but his preference is definitely rich and creamy.
I made a giant pot of this soup a few weeks ago when we received both broccoli and cauliflower in our Bountiful Basket. I packed the "leftovers" into freezer bags, labeled and froze it for later. It's a cold and windy Monday, so we will be having this for dinner tonight. I also started a batch of this easy bread to serve with it. Yum!

Dairy-free Creamy Broccoli Soup

1 head cauliflower
1 bunch broccoli (florets and stems)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small onion (about 1 cup, chopped)
1 large carrot
1 stalk celery
1 Tbsp chicken bouillon
1 1/2 tsp dried basil or 2 Tbsp fresh
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Roughly chop broccoli and cauliflower and add to a 5qt stockpot. Add potatoes, onion, carrot and celery. Fill pot with water about 3/4 way to top of vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is soft. Transfer all but about 2 cups vegetables to your Vita-mix or blender and blend until smooth. Add reserved broccoli mixture and pulse until desired consistency. (You can add all at once to blender if you don't want any chunks in your soup.) Add pepper and basil and pulse until combined. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hummus and Jicama

 Hummus. Tasty, good for you and most importantly- really, really easy to make! I, of course, used my Vita-mix. If you don't have one, I'd recommend using a food processor over a traditional blender as this will be too thick to blend properly. You can always add water to thin... but then it just doesn't taste as good. 
We served this with our jicama that we got from our Bountiful Basket this last Saturday. Just peel and slice however you like. We cut everything into sticks around here. Everything tastes better to my kids if it's in the shape of a stick. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, even fish sticks!
  • 2 cups garbanzo beans (I soaked and cooked my own, you can also use canned)
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh parsley)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt, paprika, parsley, cumin, cayenne, oil and garlic into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Serve with bread, pita or bagel chips or use as a vegetable dip. Tastes GREAT with jicama!

Friday, May 06, 2011

On The GO "meals"

What do you think of when you think of dinner? Here are the things that come to my mind:

A properly set table complete with a fork spoon, knife and napkin.
A main course with at least two sides.
At least an hour of “slaving” in a hot kitchen…

Okay- so you got me. I like to cook so it’s never “slaving” for me, but I admit that I often spend an hour or more on a single meal. So what if I don’t have that kind of time? I anticipate this month being super busy for me. It’s the last month of school and there are plenty of class parties and activities to organize. Add that to beautiful Spring weather and a large garden to tend this year, not to mention home-schooling my oldest; and I don’t know if we will have even one slaved-over meal this month… 
I plan on using the crock-pot a lot and utilizing some of my pre-made meals from the freezer, but if those options fail me then I will just try to keep things simple. Dinner doesn’t have to be fancy, or traditional for that matter. As long as I’m covering the basics then I’m feeling pretty good.
So what are the basics?  Protein + starch + fruits and/or vegetables = dinner!
And really… if I’m being completely honest than if I cover even 2 of the 3 basics with each meal then I’m not beating myself up about it! Here are some things that I’ve found make some very quick “meals” when I’ve neglected to plan ahead with the crock-pot. These can also be very portable so you can easily grab and go if needed.

Hard boiled eggs. I usually even peel a few of them and keep them in an airtight container for ultimate convenience.
Thin-sliced lunch meats and pre-cooked bacon. I’m talking about real meat, not that ultra-processed kinda-resembles-sorta-tastes-like meat that you buy in those little plastic packages. eew!
Peanut/almond butter
Lowfat cheese like mozzarella and cottage cheese.
Sliced and shredded cheese
Pre-cooked various beans (we use black beans, refried and kidney the most)
Yogurt, plain
Canned (or pouched) chicken and/or tuna
Protein  powder

Whole wheat tortillas
Whole grain bread
Cooked brown rice (I usually throw some in my rice cooker at least once a week and keep it in the refrigerator for those crazy days)
Cooked pasta (Whenever we have a pasta dish I try to cook an extra couple cups of plain pasta to use as needed throughout the week.)
Whole grain crackers
Rolls, pita bread, muffins, biscuits, pizza crusts (All of these can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer until needed.)
Granola, high fiber cereal
Whole grain chips

Washed and peeled vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces such as: Carrots (or even buy the pre-washed baby carrots for more convenience), Celery, Peppers, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Snow peas, asparagus
Also keep lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, and sprouts if desired
Cut-up fruit chunks such as: Pineapple, Melons, apples, oranges (mix the cut apples and oranges together to keep the apples from going brown)
Also keep on hand whole fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, berries and grapes


Hummus, Ranch and Italian dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, tomato sauce, seasonings, barbecue sauce, salsa, milk

At the end of the week mix all your pre-cut fruit together that didn’t get eaten yet and make a nice fruit salad. You can also mix the pre-cut veggies and cook them into a soup- or just blanch them and put them into the freezer for an easy soup, stew or crock-pot addition later.

Now what to do with all of this? Here are some ideas using the above ingredients for easy “meals” on the go.  Remember, just because you don’t have to sit down with a fork and plate to eat these, doesn’t mean it won’t fill you up.

Less than a minute:

    * Bag of carrots, tub of hummus, crackers
    * Brown rice and cheese (like string cheese) with asparagus and snow peas (raw)
    * Whole grain crackers and sliced lunch meat, your choice veggie
    * cottage cheese and berries with a muffin
    * Almonds and an apple and/or orange
    * Sliced apples with peanut butter
    * Tuna pouch and pita bread
    * Hard boiled eggs, veggies

A minute or so:

    * Cereal or granola and milk
    * Cooked rice, berries, honey and milk
    * Spread natural peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla.  Place a banana in the middle.  Roll it it all up together.
    * Wash a handful of grapes and berries. Put them in a container. Pour yogurt on top with a teaspoon of honey and some granola (or keep it separate).
    * Make a sandwich with whole grain bread and whatever lean meat, low-fat cheese you have. Squirt some mustard on the bread, and add lettuce and a sliced tomato in there too if you can.
    * Put whole grain tortilla chips in a microwave-save container; sprinkle low-fat cheese on top; microwave for 30 seconds; top with salsa. Don't forget a napkin!
    * Blend together 1 ½ cup milk, a scoop of whey or soy protein powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a banana or handful of blueberries in a blender; pour in a portable mug.
    *Spread refried beans over  pizza crust. Top with shredded lettuce, tomato chunks and salsa. Add cheese if desired.
    *Combine cooked noodles or rice with a can of chicken and some barbecue sauce
    *Combine cooked noodles with chopped vegetables, Italian dressing and chopped mozzarella for a pasta salad. Add  some canned tuna or chicken if desired.
    *Combine lettuce, spinach, berries, and nuts with some Rasberry vinaigrette if you have some or just drizzle some lemon juice or add nothing but extra berries (that’s what I do!)
    * Egg, Tuna or Chicken Salad sandwiches- combine boiled eggs or meat with some mayonnaise (or substitute with plain yogurt) and mustard and serve on rolls or whole grain bread with lettuce and cheese
   * Combine brown rice, salsa and black beans with some taco seasoning and cheese. Serve on tortillas or just eat with a spoon.
Here are some other things that help:
    * Freeze serving-sized meals for use on hectic days.  Just microwave the meal in its container and go!
    * Have a portable cooler or decent-sized lunch bag on call at all times.
    * Keep a stash of napkins and plastic ware in your car, backpack, briefcase, or purse.
    * Pack your grab and go meal the day before when you know you'll be busy the next day.
    * Have transportable yet healthy foods handy, like some of the options mentioned in the above lists.

Sometimes our on-the-go destination is only our back yard.. Or even our kitchen table! But even then it’s SO nice to be able to have something quick, easy, and nutritious at our fingertips. The boys in my house would go completely bonkers if we ate this way all the time but when it’s necessary at least I can go to bed guilt-free that night.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Loaded Baked Potatoes

It's been almost one year since I started blogging. I've learned a lot over the past year and it's been fun- but looking through all my old posts I've realized I've also come a ways from what I started this for. It wasn't meant to be merely another recipe blog, but a way to share my thoughts and tips on cooking with a tight budget. I have to admit I haven't even been paying that much attention to my budget let alone blogging about it! Funny how necessity brings on those great habits, right? And you can so easily forget your frugal ways when it's not quite so important anymore...
But the thing is.. it's always important. Life can turn on a dime and you never know what may be in store for you and your family. Sure I feel like I'm prepared- my food storage is in order and more importantly I know how to use it. We have savings and we have survival skills if it came down to it but there's always something more that we can do. Food storage and frugal spending are not things you can ever really check off your list as being done. It's something that you need to constantly work at and improve upon and when I stop practicing for a few months I really start to feel it. It's always a little painful to get back into the routine.
Some of the things I've noticed that slip when I get away from my frugal habits are things you'd expect like less money into savings and food that's not as healthy but the other thing-more alarming- that suffers is quality family time together.
Like a lot of families, we tend to all have different things going on all day long. Meetings and sports, music lessons, school and work. When we all get together and forget about everything else on our "plate" is at mealtimes- specifically dinner. So of course, if dinner is leftovers (again) or some random pre-packaged thing from the freezer then we just don't spend as much time together. Dinner is what brings us all together!
So this last week I've been working very hard at bringing back all my old habits. My goal is to save enough from our grocery budget these next few months to help pay for Disneyland tickets at the end of the Summer. This means more home-cooked meals, healthier snacks, and better meal planning.
To kick things off this week, I've already made a menu and added 3 meals to my freezer (which had been empty of pre-made home-made meals for some time). [I've added lasagna, complete with home-made noodles, macaroni and cheese, and home-made pizza.] So far, so good... but it's only Wednesday!
One thing that I constantly struggle with is LEFTOVERS. We hate leftovers around here- it's a fact. Unless I can use them creatively and turn them into a new meal then they just take up room in my refrigerator until I finally throw them away. Which is sad... I hate to waste food! But I'm just as bad, or worse, as the rest of the family about eating them... I've found that if I plan a menu ahead of time it's a lot easier to think of ways to use our leftovers.
Last night I was finally successful with using some of the leftovers lurking in the fridge instead of throwing them out. We had loaded baked potatoes. I washed and baked several potatoes. We used leftover broccoli, leftover chili, leftover cheese sauce (from home-made macaroni and cheese), and even a few pieces of leftover bacon from breakfast. Add to that some sour cream, salt and pepper and more cheese and even my boys left the table satisfied!