Using up leftover sauce- Eggs Diablo

If you have been following my blog at all, you know I love a nice runny eggs, especially on top of leftovers. I have made this on the blog a while back. If you ever have any leftover sauce, like marinara, meat sauce, or Ragu, you can make this easy recipe.
I made some sausage and ground beef sauce for lasagna the other day.

Mushroom and Meat Sauce:
This makes 3 batches for our family of 5.
First diced up 1 onion and 1/2 head of garlic. Cook that for a few minutes in a bit of butter and olive oil mix. Then add an entire 16 oz. container of mushrooms to your dutch oven. Cook that down for a bit. Add plenty of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram). Then add 1 28 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 28 oz. can of crushed plum tomatoes, 4 squirts of tomato paste, 1/3 bottle of red wine, and 4 tablespoons of Worcestershire, 2 pats of butter, and about 3 tablespoons sugar. The wine and Worcestershire just give it an extra layer of flavor, especially since you are making mushroom and meat (beef)in it. The butter and the sugar help to add a bit of sweetness to the sauce and mellow the acidity of the tomato a bit. Cook for 2-4 hours. The longer the better. Add in browned ground beef and sausage and cook another 1/2 hour or so.

For your Eggs Diablo:
Put your leftover sauce in a cast iron skillet (add some hot sauce to make it extra spicy) and place a few eggs gently on top. Cook in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes until your eggs are cooked- whites are cooked, but yolks are still runny. Serve with more hot sauce and some crusty bread for dipping.


Leftover Moussaka


A couple of days ago, I ordered some Moussaka from our favorite Greek Place. Moussaka is kind of like a greek lasagna, but instead of pasta, the meat sauce is layered with potatoes and eggplant. It was quite yummy, but very filling, so I brought home leftovers. I opened up the container and immediately thought to put a nice runny egg on top. It was scrumptious! I find adding an egg on top of or in a leftover somehow makes the dish fresh and new. Oh, ya…don’t forget a splash of hot sauce!


Pantry Raid: Chicken and Mushrooms with Yellow Rice

Do you ever wonder, “What the hell are we going to have for dinner? I really don’t want to go to the store again this week! We can’t do take-out or the drive-thru again!!!! Ahhhh! Why are they always hungry???”

I have a simple answer. Eat what you already have.

Duh! That sounds easy enough, but life gets busy. You get stuck in traffic. You have some hungry kids in your car. They start whining and you see a meltdown in your future. You are just plain tired and don’t want to have to think about making dinner.

I am starting a new category called Pantry Raid to help you out with finding some easy pull together recipes that won’t take a long time. I have a few ways to help you out with this predicament.

1. Have lots of healthy snacks! Cheese, crackers, cereal bars, pretzels, hummus or peanut butter,chips and salsa… Always carry snacks in your purse/car until you can get home to prevent another night of Chicken Nuggets. Don’t get me wrong! I have no problem with the occasional Jimmy John’s/Zaxby’s etc. run when you have soccer/gymnastics/karate class once a week or so. It gets old fast! Even if you have to eat a little later, it is better to feed your kiddos a snack than cave in to fast food and restaurants all the time. Just think of your snacks as appetizers to your meal!

2. When you go to the store, always add a few staples in your cart—Here are some of my go-tos—-
Pantry- beans, green chilies, black olives, tomato sauce, rice, pasta, bread crumbs, stock in a box,potatoes, red wine, jar pesto
Fridge- onions, carrots, celery, a couple of herbs, mushrooms, tomato paste, soy sauce, hot sauce, white wine, cheese, heavy cream, cream cheese, favorite jar of pasta sauce, tofu
Freezer- meat, homemade stock, leftover homemade sauces, frozen veggies- peas and corn are our faves

3. Sit down on the weekend before you go to the store and meal plan. Here is where I wrote more about this earlier in the year

4. Make some make ahead meals or casseroles on the weekend and have them ready for the week ahead.

5. I have read this many times before…If you can only make it until Wed, you are golden! Plan for Sun-Wed- 4 meals. This means you can have a leftover/clean out the fridge night, family night out, and date night planned in there somewhere as well. You might not be able to complete your entire meal plan, but that is OK! Look on the bright side; Now you have that meal/ingredients for another time!

Here is how I do pantry raid nights (not to be confused with panty raids)-

1. Start with your protein. I had some chicken thighs in the freezer that I defrosted overnight in the fridge. If they need a head start or not quite finished thawing, put them under cold running water. NEVER leave meat out on the counter even for a few hours.
2. See what veggies or herbs you already have that needs to be used up. I had a container of mushrooms, an onion, thyme, and some parsley in the fridge. I had some corn in the freezer.
3. What is your grain? I had a container of yellow rice in the cabinet.

Chicken and Mushrooms with Yellow Rice
I browned my meat and took it off the heat. Then I added my chopped onion, 2 cloves of grated garlic, and a container of mushrooms. I deglazed the pan with some leftover stock I had in the fridge and 2 tablespoons of butter. I added my chicken back in and cooked the yellow rice. When the rice was done, the chicken was done. My corn was a Steam fresh bag that cooks in less than 5 minutes. Add some crusty bread, and you have dinner in about 30 minutes.

For the new year, I hope you are inspired to make a few more family meals to share around the dinner table. 002


Pork Ragu and Cheesy Polenta

Christmas Eve Dinner was pretty delicious, if I do say so myself! I made pork ragu with a nice big pork butt. I also made Giada’s cheesy polenta recipe. It was pretty spectacular! I had some again for dinner tonight, and I think it would be amazing for breakfast with a runny egg on top, naturally!

I have made the Ragu a few times. Here is one of the recipes I used from before… I used a pork rib instead of a butt last time. This time I also added a few carrots, celery, and dried herbs to the mix (thyme, marjoram, and oregano). Since I also used a whole bone in butt, I let it cook for a good 6 1/2 hours. This is fool-proof. You can add whatever veggies and combinations of spices and let this baby slow cook all day long. Slow braising meat is one of the easiest and delicious secrets of chefs and home cooks out there!

Here is the Giada’s recipe I used for the Cheesy Polenta
9 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, plus extra for seasoning
2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal or polenta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy pot. Add the salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the cheese, milk, butter, and parsley. Stir until the butter and cheese have melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve.

If you have never had polenta, it is made from a yellow cornmeal. It is very similar to grits, which are a southern United States dish made of white cornmeal and served with lots of butter and salt at breakfast or as a “shrimp and grits.” In my recipe, I left out the parsley, so my middle girl would eat them. I called them polenta, but also said yellow grits, and she ate them right away. If it had parsley, she probably would be more wary. Grits never have anything green in them.

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Greek Food Fun- OPA!

Friday night, we were going to surprise the girls with going to one of our family’s favorite places to eat; a greek place named OPA! They have delicious Greek and Persian food.The girls were feeling a bit under the weather, so we didn’t end up going. Today they started acting more like themselves. This am we woke up and went to Waffle House.

So tonight we decided to go to OPA, and it was so delicious! We had Falafel as a starter -no pictures- everyone dug in before I could take a picture. My husband had a gyro wrap, and I had a tilapia sandwich. The girls ordered spaghetti and meatballs. Of course we had to order baklava! We all loved our dinners!







Clean Out the Fridge Soup 12/18/13

So tonight I decided we needed to have a clean out the fridge night. Everyone ended up having leftover Chinese. I wanted soup. More specifically, I wanted a healthy veggie soup; well, I was in luck. I had 1/2 of an onion, 1/2 of a poblano pepper, 1/2 of a jalapeno, a container of mushrooms, 3 carrots, a bunch of spinach, and some leftover Chinese fried rice and broccoli in the fridge. In the pantry, I had a container of chicken stock (you can use veggie to make this vegetarian), a can of corn, and a can of chopped green chilies. I added salt, pepper, and a dash of red pepper flakes. I added a dash of hot sauce at the end for an added kick. I am glad I made enough for leftovers. You may not hear from me for a few meals. YUM!006