Sunday, December 28, 2014

Creative Leftovers

Greetings! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! If I was a good, diligent blogger I would have done a Christmas post, but I forgot to set up an automatic post for Christmas and just didn't want to when I remembered on Christmas day! ;) So, Merry Christmas 3 days late. And now we move on to the New Year...

Which is kinda what inspired today's post about leftovers. I've gotten very focused with my finances over the past few months and have been observing areas in which I can improve. One HUGE area that I have struggled with since I've been married is spending too much on groceries... and then forgetting about certain things in the refrigerator until they've turned into a smelly-make-me-gag-science- experiment-gone-wrong. That frequently happened because I cooked way more food than any 2 normal people could eat in a week, yet I'd be back at the grocery store again at the start of the next week! Soooo, one of my plans for 2015 is to be more responsible with my grocery budget and more aware of what we already have in the fridge/freezer/pantry. I've already gone ahead and started on doing that and am blown away by how much our grocery bill has gone down and how creative we can get with leftovers to make sure they don't go to waste!

Recently I made a copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup for supper. While I'm not the biggest fan of anything broccoli related, I did want to try it and my husband was really excited about it! ;) It ended up okay, but seriously lacking in cheese and very broccoli-ish. (blah!) So we ate it that night and then it sat in the fridge for 3 days. It wasn't that good, but I was determined not to let it go to waste!! So, I decided to add some Orzo I had in the pantry. Then I decided to cook it in a casserole dish and add a few breadcrumbs in addition to the Orzo to make it thicker.

 Then I came across some leftover ham from a Christmas dinner and threw it in there.

 Finally, I decided to make the top more appealing by browning some Panko breadcrumbs in butter and olive oil and sprinkling them over top.

  The finished product was a broccoli-orzo casserole that didn't taste half-bad! And, I was able to use up the leftover soup rather than tossing it. Yay! Just a few simple ingredients that I already had on hand and the 'meh' soup was rescued from the deep, dark, cold dungeons of the fridge. Success!

What do you have in your pantry that you would have used to give this leftover some pizzazz? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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