What Leftovers?! HA!

Mastering the art of leftovers… sounds boring but it is actually fascinating. Really.

So, I made pizza one night for Sara as our husbands were playing down in Texas. A couple nights later, I used one of the leftover dough balls to make a flat bread with some spices and Reggiano sprinkled on top to accompany a salad (with leftover green beans on it, by the way)…

Then, I had all those pizza toppings left in the fridge so I pulled them all out and it looked something like this:

It was around this time that I noticed that doggers LOVE slices of raw zucchini!

I sauteed all the veggies- onion, peppers, garlic, and sliced zucchini- and then added some chopped olives and leftover canned tomatoes. (I always buy whole canned tomatoes, I think they save the best ones for the whole canned tomatoes and use the not-so-great ones for diced canned tomatoes! It makes sense, right?) I think I used a little oregano, brown sugar and maybe a few chili pepper flakes.

In another pan, I sauteed the leftover prosciutto and then threw in some spinach. I added a little balsamic vinegar.

Then I got some noodles ready. I used my favorite capellini.

Finally, I layered all the components like this and added a dollop of ricotta cheese on top:

And then topped it all off with some finely shredded Parmesan Reggiano… Viola! Deluxe Leftovers!

This was yummy served with some simple Italian red wine. Leftovers no more!


A Little of This and A Little of That…

Thank God my husband plays music because I haven’t been to see much live music the last two weeks except for his. At least there was that. He’s had lots of Lower Broadway gigs with some good folks and a couple gigs with Derek Hoke. If you don’t know who Derek Hoke is, you really should. Here’s his latest video, filmed at our friend Allison’s house, in which Grant has a cameo. Enjoy.

Derek Hoke “Sweet Pea”

We’ve also had some amazing new music to listen to as I got Grant a little box set of The Browns for his Birthday. One of my favorite songs lately is this one…

The Browns “The Three Bells”

And then there is this one (Their harmonies are soooo good!) …
The Browns “I Heard The Blue Bird Sing”

Speaking of Grant, “Big Smokey”, Johnson, he smoked a delicious turkey this week with SW spices. We served it up with a classic sweet and sour cole slaw and the most delicious green chili sharp cheddar mashed potatoes ever (whose leftovers made the BEST topping to a SW Shepherd’s Pie later in the week! After growing up with a single Mom who was incapable of cooking for two and together loathing leftovers, I have finally grasped the concept of turning leftovers into something quite wonderful! More on that later.)

The rest of the week consisted of many culinary experiments. Some turned out really good, like my roasted beet hummus. My friend Nikki mentioned the idea and I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I did some internet research for recipes and then came up with this one of my own.

Roasted Beet Hummus

Throw in a blender:

can garbonzo beans
2 roasted beets (clean, place in dish with 1″ water, cover dish with foil and roast in over at 400)
few glugs olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 garlic cloves
ground cumin, salt, pepper
big handful of roasted pecans (I hate buiying Tahini because I never
use much, I figured roasted sesame seeds could be substituted by
roasted nuts and olive oil.)

THEN, for the finale… I topped it with a little crumbled Maytag blue

I tried my hand at homemade pizza dough this week, too, inspired by the current Saveur all about LA cuisine with the squash blossom pizza on the cover. It was a super easy and really good recipe and my first two pizzas turned out great. I froze the other two dough balls for later in the week. The second time around, I forgot a crucial step- placing the dough on parchment before topping them and then moving into the oven. Thus, the raw pizzas were stuck to my dough board. I laughed and then moved them onto the cookie sheet (have to buy a pizza stone this week!) as best I could and they cooked up into what I called an open-faced calzone! It was a mess but with all those yummy ingredients, it tasted just fine.

Right now I have some banana bread in the oven. My new favorite way to make it is with coconut milk- so delicious and moist! Here is a recipe I modified:

Banana Bread With Coconut Milk

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3-4 mashed bananas
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp fresh ginger (I keep my fresh ginger in freezer- it makes it so easy to grate!)
1 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour loaf pan
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt
3. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar until combined. Add bananas, coconut milk, butter, coconut, ginger and vanilla.
4. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined.
5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Hopefully I will have more amazing music and interesting cooking adventures to report on soon!