Tuesday, March 24, 2020

MORE Fun Food and Useful Tips

I think everyone is looking for ways to stretch that budget and  pantry.  Once people have sheltered in place for an extent of time, they will be getting the blues and will need something to brighten the day.  Having children at home can be tough - they get bored easily.  I have a couple ideas for some treats with things on hand.
Enjoy and hope these help someone!

NO CRACKERS
Soups and chili call for crackers - at least at my house.  So what happens if you run out?  You can make crackers pretty easily (Tightwad Gazette has an easy recipe) - but if you aren't in the mood, here are some other things to think about.
Any kind of crackers can be used - including snack crackers of all sorts.  Triscuits, wheat thins, cheesy crackers, corn chips (my chili fav), homemade croutons, potato chips (any flavor), cornbread, tortillas, flatbread, French's fried onions ...…..  So many choices!
You can also place little bunches of shredded cheese on a baking pan and bake until crisp.  Cheese crisps are the bomb!
Also remember - you can use most of the things listed above to use as a coating when frying meat or on top of a casserole.

SALSA
Salsa can be so versatile.  If you are running low on tomatoes or tomato sauce - think about using salsa.  I add it to chili, soups, and casseroles.  It is great to use in dips (with cheese or beans).  You can add it to pizza instead of pizza sauce.  It is even good with fried potatoes instead of catsup.
TOMATO SAUCE
Use in soups, chili, or casseroles.  Add seasonings and use as spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce.  ALL tomato products are so inter-changeable.  Just get creative - you may come up with a fun new recipe that is loved!

FRUITY BROWNIE PIZZA
1 box brownie mix - prepared as instructed on box
***********
1  - 8 oz. pack of cream cheese (softened)
1/3 C sugar
***********
Fruit - whatever you want and chocolate sauce if desired
***********
Prepare brownie mix and spread onto a greased 12 in. pizza pan.  Bake at 375 for 15 - 20 minutes.  Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and sugar.  Spread over cooled brownie
Slice up fresh fruit or canned fruit.  Drain all fruit completely if using canned.  Spread over the cream filling.  If desired, drizzle with chocolate syrup.
YUMMO!!!!!  What a treat and easy as well.




PUDDING-WICHES
1 1/2 C Cold milk
1 package (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix ( or any type that goes with peanut butter)
1/4 - 1/2 C peanut butter
15 whole graham crackers
In a mixing bowl, mix up milk, pudding mix and peanut butter.  Beat on low speed for about 2 minutes.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.
Break crackers in half and spread half of them with pudding mix.  Top with other cracker.  Wrap and freeze until firm.  Can freeze for up to a month.
IF you don't have graham cracker - get creative!!!!!!!  Use what you have.  I think this would be great with cookies (store bought or homemade).
Have fun and make a tasty and easy treat.



UNCONVENTIONAL PIZZA
Pizza is a fun food.  It is an easy food.  Pizza is a filling food.  It can be an ANYTHING YOU HAVE food!
Play with it.
Make a conventional pizza crust.  Use bagel halves.  Use English muffins (halved).  Use hamburger or hotdog buns (halved).  Use French bread (this is my favorite pizza of all time!!!!)  Bread can even be used (I lightly toast first and use just a tad bit of sauce OVER cheese)

Sauce - if all you have is tomato sauce or plain tomatoes - blend with some seasoning.  Use spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce.  Salsa is great for a Mexican pizza.  Alfredo sauce.
Use whatever you have for toppings - leftover meats (any type), pepperoni if you have it, veggies - fresh or cooked (make a veggie pizza if no meat).  Shredded ham or turkey - or thinly sliced lunch meat.  What ever type of cheese you have - a little will do (or use leftover mac n cheese!)



PASTA
Use what you have.  Elbow macaroni, spirals, penne, spaghetti, linguine, lasagna noodles, etc.  they are all interchangeable.  You can break them up and use.  They basically all taste the same and have the same ingredients - use them for whatever you need.  If all you have is spaghetti or lasagna noodles - bread up and use in soup, chili, or casseroles.
Mix pasta into chicken, tuna or ham salad to extend into a more servings.
Add veggies.  I always add frozen peas to my tuna salad!  My Momma always did and so do I.  Fresh peppers, diced carrots, radish, onion, zucchini, fresh asparagus, frozen peas, cheese, etc. can be added.
Pasta salad can be made with all kinds of things - meats, veggies, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, Italian dressing, French dressing, sour cream or dip...…………… add leftovers.


Times are coming when we may need to get super creative.  THERE ARE NO RULES!!!!!!  Put things together and experiment.  Have fun with food.
Come up with solutions.  Don't over analyze.  JUST HAVE FUN AND BE CREATIVE!!!!!!!!

It truly can brighten a day.
Be blessed my friends.


DISCOVER
Discover what invigorates you physically,
Restores you spiritually,
Balances you mentally,
And relaxes you emotionally.
An Amish saying


59 comments:

  1. These are some great ideas, Cheryl. I have a feeling we will all be stretching our creative muscles before this thing is over. And I love the little verse at the end; food for thought. Be safe, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carol. I am trying to look at this as a learning experience and a growing experience. People are learning new ways to do all kinds of things. Families are interacting more.
      We might as well go into it with an open mind and good heart.
      I hope you find something you can use.

      I love that little verse as well!
      Stay safe.

      Delete
    2. That is one of the things I love most about your blog. You always have an open heart and positive attitude.

      Delete
  2. Here I thought I was going to lose those last few pounds this spring and you had to go and post about Cheese Crisps! LOL!
    I have cut back the amount of meat I am using to 1/2 lb. of ground beef per 6-serving casserole. I use the crock pot to make a meal for the two of us for three nights in the week. This week is what I call Mediterranean Stew: 1/2 lb. browned ground beef, medium onion chopped, chopped green pepper (piece left over from another dinner), can of seasoned diced tomatoes, can of garbanzo beans (any kind would work), about 1/4 cup sliced black olives, can of mushrooms, small can of tomato sauce. Cook in crockpot on low for about 5 hours. Yummy and filling. I've substituted a number of things in this recipe depending on what I have on hand.
    Love that Amish saying. I took a 3.4 mile walk on the trail this morning. That ticks all the boxes for me.
    Slightly off topic, but I found an old queen-sized flannel sheet in my rag bin and will be making handkerchiefs this afternoon. Gotta think outside the (tissue) box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - well, crazy times call for yummy food!!!!! RIGHT?
      Oh my goodness your stew sounds so good. I think I will be making something like that real soon. Has everything I like in it.
      Yep, we need to think outside 'every' box and get creative. I have some more old t-shirts that I plan on cutting this week.
      Have a blessed day and week.

      Delete
  3. There are some really good ideas here, Cheryl. I've made the pudding sandwiches before, those are good. I've been puttering around in my kitchen cleaning, straightening and organizing. I love doing it and the kitchen is so nice and clean. I love that. Anything to keep busy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing how clean things are going to be after this is all done! Everybody I know is cleaning, organizing, and de-cluttering!!!!
      Keeping busy is good for us all.
      Stay safe dear.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the tips.
    I made your mini pot pies with leftover hamburger for lunch today, and they were yummy. I have ideas for suppers but I've been struggling to think of lunches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds good. Leftovers was always hit here for lunch.
      You are welcome!

      Delete
  5. I'm already worried about gaining weight as I'm spending so much the in the kitchen! :-)
    Oh - and ground up pork rinds make a great, tasty coating for chicken - and its even Keto approved. There's enough oil that you don't need anything else for the coating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot about that. They are also good in meatloaf - I have done that before.
      I think we all may be gaining weight soon - at least soon we will be able to work outside!

      Delete
  6. You, your posts (and your readers comments) always lift my spirits and energize me, thank you all.
    Pam in Texas.x

    ReplyDelete
  7. You've given some great ideas. I used to make homemade chocolate frosting and put it on graham crackers for a snack.
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Mmmmm that sounds yummy. No calories I am sure!!!!!
      Blessings

      Delete
  8. A few of my substitutions yesterday (March 28): No tomato sauce, so I used petite diced tomatoes and blitzed them with the immersion blender. Worked great in pizza sauce.
    Lemon zest: My lemons are getting dried out so not too "zesty" next time I will add a bit of the juice to the muffins.
    Had to make my own mayo to make tuna salad. Instead of using the stalk of celery that Farmer WILL eat, I had been saving the leafy parts (that he WON'T) and chopped those in.
    Making lots of smoothies as you can use up fruit easily that way.
    We will not eat frosting with grahams. Too much sugar. So will need to find another way to use that butter-sugar-milk-vanilla creamed together mixture. I"m thinking the base for some kind of cookie? Just need to figure out the formula. Or I could just make a cake or more cinnamon rolls. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. A few of my substitutions yesterday (March 28): No tomato sauce, so I used petite diced tomatoes and blitzed them with the immersion blender. Worked great in pizza sauce.
    Lemon zest: My lemons are getting dried out so not too "zesty" next time I will add a bit of the juice to the muffins.
    Had to make my own mayo to make tuna salad. Instead of using the stalk of celery that Farmer WILL eat, I had been saving the leafy parts (that he WON'T) and chopped those in.
    Making lots of smoothies as you can use up fruit easily that way.
    We will not eat frosting with grahams. Too much sugar. So will need to find another way to use that butter-sugar-milk-vanilla creamed together mixture. I"m thinking the base for some kind of cookie? Just need to figure out the formula. Or I could just make a cake or more cinnamon rolls. :)

    ReplyDelete
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