6 March 2012

Leftover lovelies - this week's meal plan plus news of a competition!

Can't .. be .. bothered .. to get up!
Well, last week's plans couldn't have gone any more awry if they tried.  I put it down to a large cloud of ennui (also known as "I can't be bothered") that seemed to settle over the entire place.  I think we must be suffering from the end-of-winter-blues, or something fairly catastrophic, as we're not normally this lackadaisical about our menu!

I won't go into the details of what we didn't cook and what we did cook instead - suffice to say that three meals stayed the same, the remaining four got thrown up in the air and came down in a totally different order, with different ingredients and very differing results.

So, this week we're going to have another go at it and hope to do better.

Here's what's on the menu :

Tues : Maple pear, bacon & blue cheese tart with walnut salad
Weds : Chicken enchiladas with salad
Thurs : Bockwurst and bean pasties with potato wedges
Fri : Turkey pesto meatballs in tomato sauce, with mashed potatoes, carrots & peas
Sat : Chickerone soup with cheesy pitta breads
Sun : Steak & kidney pie with carrots, swede & broccoli
Mon : Fish fingers and potato wedges.

Now, the theme that pulls every dish (excepting Sunday's pie) together is that they each contain something that has been left over from a dish we thought we'd make, but didn't.

So, to kick us off, we've got one of my great loves - a tart.  This is using up a leftover piece of puff pastry that's been roosting in the freezer, looking for a home.  I'm quite excited about this recipe - which we dreamed up in successive car trips.  It involves caramelising some sliced pear in bacon fat and a drizzle of maple syrup.  The tart filling will comprise the sliced pear, cooked bacon and crumbled stilton - all served with a mixed salad that's dressed in a walnut vinaigrette.

The next leftover to be used up is a bag containing two chicken breasts.  Our butcher sells 5 chicken breasts for £5, so we often wind up with two leftover.  So to make the two stretch around three people, I thought I'd include them in an Enchilada recipe.  This recipe was supposed to have been cooked a couple of weeks ago - so we still have the corn wraps and chilli beans in the cupboard.  Add to that the salsa that we bought for the chicken kebabs (that didn't happen) and we're all set for Enchiladas.

Thursday has a variation on a Bockwurst theme.  We bought quite a few jars of these (once we found them) and so I indulged in a glorious lunch of Bockwurst with baked beans.  This sparked off hubby's imagination and between us, we dreamed up a recipe for the Bockwurst & Bean Pasties.  It remains to be seen how they turn out - but I'm hoping that as it contains Bockwurst, it can't be bad!  Oh, and do pasties qualify for Pie Week?  Maybe?  If you close one eye and concentrate on the pastry?

Yay!  You knew we couldn't get through a week without a meatball recipe, now didn't you?  Well, you were right.  This time, I'm using up the turkey mince that we bought for the Enchilada recipe, plus three quarters of a jar of pesto.  I'm also soothing son & heir's terrible mashed potato drought, which I hope will take his mind off of the carrots and peas that will accompany it.

Sort of like this ...
Saturday is another "created at home" recipe, which is a main course soup based upon a Minestrone recipe.  In this one, I'm using up another bag of two chicken breasts that we found lurking in the freezer - hence Chickerone.  I'll also be using up a bag of pitta breads that we bought as part of the chicken kebab idea that didn't happen.  I'll split them into triangles, cover with grated cheese and bake in the oven until melted and crispy.  Mmmmn, gorgeously perfect dipping material!

For all that the Steak & Kidney Pie is booked in for Sunday, I'll actually cook the steak & kidney on the Saturday, using the slow cooker.  I find that the flavours develop overnight and, with a similar pastry to the Kate & Wills Wedding Pie, it should be a cracking pie to honour British Pie Week.

Good old Monday hoves into view and we're slumming it.  I always think of Monday as being a "catch your breath after the week" day, when we want a super-easy meal that (preferably) uses up something that's leftover from the week prior.  Well, we'll have leftover potato wedges and we've two boxes of Fish Fingers that we picked up because they were on special offer.  I might even butter some bread and have a fish finger & wedge sandwich - ooooooh, the decadence!

So that's the planned meals.  Where extra cooking projects are concerned, I've just bought a whole shedload of peanuts with which to make my own peanut butter.  The recipe is incredibly simple and promises that if you can master the plain peanut butter, then the recipe for chocolate peanut butter will be a natural progression.  Sounds good to me!

I still haven't made the Dorset Apple Cake.  ~hangs head in shame~  I know, I don't deserve to exist.  There's six lovely Bramley apples waiting to have something done with them in our kitchen and I.Really.Must.Bake!

You could win one of these - although I doubt it will be full!
As for what's planned for Rhubarb & Ginger here, well, exciting news!  I'll be hosting a competition which will launch in the next few days, sponsored by Crock Pot U.K., in which the first prize will be a beautiful new Crock Pot (or slow cooker).  You must keep an eye out for further details, because if I didn't already have an almost brand-new slow cooker, I'd be busting to enter!

Oh, and just before I go, two items of lovely news which made my respective days - firstly, I won £25-worth of Takeaway curry from our local curry house - the Heart of India.  With hubby's birthday coming up - 14th March, if you want to send him congratulations - I know when we'll be using our vouchers!

Secondly, I won the Family Friendly Fridays competition on Ren Behan's gorgeous "Fabulicious Food" blog.  I entered my Turkey & Chorizo Meatballs on Pesto Spaghetti recipe and was absolutely chuffed to little tiny pieces to win.  Thanks Ren!



  1. Fish finger sandwiches cure many ills! :)

    1. You're not wrong there Jane! I can remember, waaay back in the dim and distant past when my second job was working as a Groom in a riding stable. For lunch, we would have either tinned ravioli or fish fingers, mashed potato and peas. Without fail, I'd make a fish finger, mashed potato and pea sandwich. I'd do it again, given half the chance. :)


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