Tag Archives: leftovers

Thanksgiving, Just Late

This year Nate and I wanted to try to host Thanksgiving at our house. We also ambitiously decided to make the meal ourselves. What were we thinking?!

It ended up going really well, with only a few hiccups. Ever the procrastinators (how did we end up together?) we started everything the morning of… cleaning, the turkey, prepping, etc. Everything. I guess we both work best under pressure. We were lucky to have grocery assistance from both sets of parents plus my sister, and my sister came early to help entertain the boys and prep food. We had one casualty… one of our favorite kitchen tools, our Deep Covered Baker, broke in all the hustle and bustle. But, lucky us, we just got a bunch of free and discounted Pampered Chef stuff, including the RockCrok and a mini Deep Covered Baker, so I think we’ll survive.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal, and we were lucky to have all five boys together at once, a rarity these days. Everyone stayed afterward and relaxed, napped, played video games, laughed, and just enjoyed our time together. It was a great day!

One thing I always struggle with is using leftovers creatively. I don’t mind reheating things myself for lunches and for dinners when Nate isn’t home to cook for me, but sometimes having the same meal more than three times in a row gets really boring. I asked around my friends and moms groups about using Thanksgiving leftovers, and found some great ideas. A friend a fellow blogger shares a ton of great ideas here, and she inspired me to try a few things myself.

Everyone knows I can’t cook… I’m not joking.

ruined pancakes... my specialty
Here are some pancakes I worked really hard to ruin a few weeks ago

So the first thing I did was totally easy because, ya know, it has to be for me even attempt it. I have been totally digging this Stoneware Microwave Egg Cooker I got from Pampered Chef recently. I’ve used it to cook actually decent pancakes and have been using it to cook scrambled eggs in nice neat patties for Atticus and I. Friday I made eggs with leftover ham and green pepper, and we both loved them.

Last night Nate and I made cheesy turkey and ham pockets and they were fabulous!

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We used:

  • some chopped turkey and ham
  • 2 packs of crescent rolls
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • some shredded cheese
  • some chopped onion and green pepper
  • some melted butter
  • seasonings

It made 8 pockets.

We divided the cream cheese in half, melted it a little in the microwave, then added turkey to half and ham to the other half. Then we added a handful of shredded cheese and a handful of chopped onions and green pepper and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

We separated the crescent rolls into rectangles of two crescents attached together. Then, we scooped a few forkfuls of the mixture into each rectangle and folded the ends of the dough over to make pockets. I melted some butter and sprinkled some garlic powder into it, then brushed the butter over the pockets. We baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

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Delicious! What didn’t get eaten was wrapped up so I can take them for lunches and freeze some for later meals.

How did your Thanksgiving holiday go? Did you spend good times with family or friends? Any leftovers?

Technology & Beauty. No, I’m Not Calling Technology Beautiful.

Technology still hates me today. What gives, comprooders? I finished setting up a brand new sparkly Asus Transformer Book for the library director today that we’ve been waiting to receive for over 3 months. I love checking things off my to-do list. However, I had a computer begin showing signs of petering out yesterday. I need to replace it with a ‘recycled’ machine (one that’s recently been replaced with something newer and better) pronto, but I’m stuck. I have both a Dell Vostro and an HP Compaq dc5750 that I can’t seem to restore to factory settings. I’ve tried F8, F9, F10, and F11 and I keep not getting them to do what I need. I’ve done this on other computers a handful of times at this point so I don’t understand what the issue is. I feel like these boxes are just laughing at me. 

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Thank goodness my thoughtful predecessor left me this handy kit. 

I recently had an interesting discussion about beauty with a few friends who are beauties themselves. We talked about people we knew in high school that everyone seemed to consider beautiful and we marveled at how our standards have changed and continue to change. There are people I know from my past who seem to have passed their prime, so to speak. Sometimes I see myself as past that prime time, too. But really it seems like I can see more beauty in everyone now. I don’t care for just one particular type of features or look. I’m fascinated by how different everyone can appear and by what others see as physically attractive. 

For example, the older my mother gets the more beautiful she becomes to me in so many ways. She rarely wears makeup, or at least not much and doesn’t seem to go to tons of trouble in terms of her appearance. Her hair is a nice soft blonde-ish grey mix and her skin is always a summery brown. My mom has a natural and gentle beauty that is hard to come by. 

Anyway. As for the success of the croutons: I took a snack baggie to work today and my coworkers really liked them. I promised to bring more tomorrow but I’m going to have to break that promise. 

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:-/ suspected culprit: Lucy. 

The dogs expressed interest in last night’s expired leftovers endeavor. They had a few slices before the croutons began and they liked it. When the croutons came out of the oven they were again extremely interested. I couldn’t find the leftover croutons this evening after Nate and I said hello and goodbye. But I did find the above pictures shredded bag in someone’s crate. 

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Innocent little creature, huh?

The sealed bag was set far back in the counter when I left them last night. Hmm. Trixie trickster.

Stale Bread & Soap Nuts

Well, today turned out to be a technology-hates-Laura kind of day. My predecessor, who thankfully walked me through some troubleshooting for approximately 53 minutes today, warned me that some days are like that. By the time I got home to switch off parenting/working duties with Nate, I was ready for bed. But alas, my boys needed cuddles and hell, I did too.

Atticus, my 12 month old, is toddling around everywhere all smiles, all the time. While I scarfed down a delicious snack of pizza rolls and Frank’s he pulled some beer off the drink shelf from the pantry. I thought about adding a picture here but feel it may be too soon to show what a bad humorous parent I am. Anyway, he also grabbed an unused pack of cocktail rye bread that “expired” 4 days ago. I don’t do expired here. I may not do that whole cooking dinner thing, but I hate throwing things away, so I make expired bread work. I had a stick of butter and spices, so… Everyone loves croutons!

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I lay the bread slices out on the counter and got out a stick of butter and the seasonings I planned to use. Giving the boys a bath and nursing Atty to sleep was the perfect amount of time to let the bread stiffen up and the butter soften. Didn’t plan on Trent getting out of bed twice and Atty waking up once during my little baking sesh, but hey…

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Once the boys were in bed I preheated the oven to 325 degrees, lined a baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with canola oil, then sliced the bread into bite-sized chunks. I use a super-sharp Rada knife I got from Lehman’s (um, possibly my favorite store) so that I could stack the slices up and cut them 4 or 5 at a time.

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I melted the butter in the microwave while I piled the bread squares into a bowl and sprinkled them with some of the herbs and spices. I used garlic, thyme, and parsley this time but have also used oregano, Italian seasoning, rosemary, and others. Before adding the butter I shook the bowl and added more seasonings a few times.

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Next I added the butter little by little, tossing the bread gently with my hand. I’ve made the mistake of pouring too much butter in at once and it ends up leaving some of the croutons dry and others soaked. Yuck. After the butter is added I shake more seasonings in. It’s hard to have too much flavor on croutons, I feel.

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I spread the croutons on the baking sheet and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper, then bake for 15 minutes. I took them out, tossed them around and tasted tested their crunch factor, then baked for 10 more minutes. Once they’re sufficiently crunchy I let them cool.

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Then I eat a handful. So yummy. So glad my mom taught me that little trick. These make an awesome snack.

~~~

While the boys’ bath was running I decided to wash some clothes and wouldn’t ya know it… I’m out of detergent. Thankfully I have a bag of soap nuts (also from Lehman’s!) that I keeps around mostly for washing my woven wraps. I grabbed a few, threw them in a cloth bag, and dropped them into the washer. Done! I love these things. 3-4 nuts can be used about 5 times before they’re no good anymore.

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Ehh, soap nuts? Yes, soap nuts. They’re not really nuts, they’re actually the dried and de-seeded fruit of the sapindus mukorossi tree. They’re natural and biodegradable, which is awesome, and they’re unscented. And they work, believe it or not. Plus, they’re one of the preferred washing methods for woven wraps, so they’re a must in this house 🙂

Here is the packaging information for the soap nuts I purchased from Lehman’s in August. The bag was just under $10.

soap nuts