Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day Two + One Month......

Okay, so it has taken me forever to post my followup(s) from the dinner experiment. I want everyone to know: I DID DO IT. But, life got in the way and dinner for day 3 became dinner for day 4. I also have to admit, I suck at digital photos, so the pork dish I made with a cream sauce looked like a plate of vomit so I'm only posting the pic for the LOOP experiment.

For the LOOP (Left Overs on Purpose), I made a roasted chicken and used leftover chicken to make potpies. The recipe calls for a phyllo crust, but Pillsbury's biscuits rolled out were perfect for the individual pies without the hassle.

Original Roasted Chicken Dinner:

Chicken Potpie Made with Leftover Chicken:

I must admit, creating a menu plan and planning meals using leftovers really does help reduce costs and food waste (which is huge for me since I volunteer my time and often blog for them on various topics Community Plates).

I did try to write down my brussel sprout recipe for my friend, but didn't realize how hard it is to write a recipe when you do it purely by sight. I have a rough idea, but need to tweak it some. Of course, last time I made the sprouts was in January, but will try again soon so I can finally finish the recipe and keep my promise I made to my friend 2 years ago.

I also wanted to share with you some of my favorite kitchen tools/appliances I can't live without. One is new to the list, and until I became a Pampered Chef consultant (Pampered Chef is a company that sells kitchen tools, dishes and pantry items to make one's life easier in the kitchen -- I'll be writing a post about this because I'm going out of my comfort zone becoming a PC consultant), I never would have added it to my list. Here's my list for favorite tools for cooking:

- A good knife. Splurge on one and splurge on a honing tool (it sharpens the blade of the knife). I can't stress enough how easy your life becomes if you use the proper tool. I recently went to a friend's house who had a beautiful block of knives, but when I went to use one to cut bread, I almost lost my mind. I ended up using my hands to cut the bread into pieces because the knife made no impact. This person doesn't believe she can really cook and I'd understand why if I couldn't get passed the first step.

- A great cutting board - one that doesn't skid around on your table when cutting, and one you can throw in the dishwasher.

- A Pampered Chef Food Chopper (Food Chopper). Not only does this cut down on the time it takes to chop veggies, it also lets you get out your frustrations if you're having a bad day. You put veggies down on board, place food chopper over veggies and press hard and fast on the handle to fine dice.

- Emulsion Blender - great for blending hot soups without having to laddle hot liquids into a blender to puree soups.

- Kitchen Shears - Oh. My. God. I use these to cut up bacon/pancetta slices when a recipe calls for it -- OR -- great for handling boneless chicken breast that haven't been cleaned of fat and you want to cut into bite size pieces.

- A shot glass that has measuring lines on it for metric and US measurements. It's handy for cocktails, but also measuring out the right amount of oil if really try to stay good on your diet.

I use a lot of different items when I cook, but these are the ones I use most everyday and really appreciate.

About the book, a male friend of mine asked if the book would beneficial to a man who cooks. At first, I thought him a bit crazy for asking this question until he explained the information I shared on my last post from the book's description. I openly admit, I posted this information and did not really give it a second glance. I imagine Kathi's target audience are women, but I know many men are the primary cooks in their homes and would benefit from her tips and recipes.

I will be sending a copy of this book to one reader who is interested. I'll select the winner using next Friday (March 9th) and comments from my Day One post and this one will be used to select the winner.

One last note...about the Brussel Sprouts, when the recipe is finally complete, I'll post on this blog. I've turned Brussel Sprout haters into lovers because of this recipe.


Brian Miller said...

hehe a shot glass in the kitchen...sure....smiles...just kidding...hey i def would be down with pot pie...

Bonnie said...

I like the thought of using the biscuits for the top of the chicken pot pie. I might actually make pot pie now! Thanks for the idea.