Monday, February 3, 2014

I Think I'm Getting the Hang of This....

Okay, so do you remember the chicken stew I made?
Well, after having it for a couple meals, I turned it into this....
A chicken pot pie!
I love it when a meal stretches into a few more meals, don't you?
After having enough of the stew, I decided to thicken it up and make a chicken pot pie.
After making one pot pie, I still had a great deal of filling left and also some pie crust that needed to be used, so I made a few mini chicken pies to throw into the freezer for a yummy lunch later on.
Would you believe I still had some filling left over after that? I used all the pie crust up, so instead of making more, I just froze the rest of the filling for another day.
It's amazing how many meals you can get when you plan just right.
I love to stretch a dollar!
My husband and I have been thinking of ways to cut waste here in our home. If you really stop and think about it, we do waste a lot of food. Well, maybe not you, but I have found some areas of waste here in our home.
 Look around your kitchen...
Are you wasting anything?
For instance....
When the last 2 or 3 slices of bread become too stale to eat, I simple throw them out or put them out for the birds.
Well, instead of doing that again, my husband and I made homemade croutons.
Garlic and Parmesan Croutons...YUM!
These were very easy to make. We just put about 3 Tblsp. of olive oil and 3 Tblsp. of melted butter in a bowl. Added, (in amounts of your choice), some garlic powder, parmesan cheese and parsley. Whisk it all until well blended. Then add cut up bread pieces to the mix and toss until well coated. I think we added about 8 slices of bread.
Spread coated bread out on a large cookie pan and bake in a 300* oven for about 15 min. Oven temps do vary, so keep an eye on them, as they will burn quickly.
You can change up the ingredients to make whatever kind you like. We added the parsley for color, not for taste.
We also cleaned out the refrigerator, looking for some fruit that was starting to get a bit soft, or maybe some fresh veges that needed to be used up.
Voila! Found an orange and a couple grapefruit. They were just too soft for eating, so I sliced them up into 1/4" slices and into the dehydrator they went!
I like to place these into a simmering pot of water with some other nice smelling things...whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, dried apple slices, and a bay leaf, for a really great smelling room freshener.
I also like to use them for crafts.
This week has been full of fun in the kitchen! Did I mention that we cooked our pot pie and croutons in the wood cook stove?
Yes! I think I'm getting the hang of this.
We've been cooking all of our meals in the cook stove this week. They taste so much better. Maybe it's the wood?
We haven't used our conventional stove/oven all week. This is a huge savings on our gas bill!
Yesterday I made a peach pie.
Check out the gorgeous color! I don't think I could have gotten that in our regular oven.
With the leftover pie crust, I also made some homemade poptarts. Have you ever made these?
I just rolled out the leftover crust, cut them into small rectangles, and filled each one with some filling. For fillings I used homemade strawberry/rhubarb jam, raspberry jam, and some Nutella. You can use whatever filling you like.
Just be sure to stay about a half an inch away from the edges with the filling.
Once filled, wet the edges by dipping your finger in a little cold water and then place another rectangular piece of pie crust on top. Press the edges with a fork until sealed.
Bake these in a 375* oven until lightly golden.
Once completely cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or frost them to your liking.
I kept some of them out to have for breakfast this week, and put the rest in the freezer. 
Here's what they look like after they're done....
I hope you try some of these recipes/ideas. In today's world the economy is especially fragile. Stretching your dollar has become more important than ever.
What do you do to stretch your dollar?
Maybe you have some tips you can share?
I'd love to hear all about it!
I think I need to go make something with the bananas in my pantry....


  1. Boy do those pot pies look good! I put my stale bread in the food processor and make bread crumbs. The color on your peach pie is wonderful! Did you do an egg wash on top or is that just from the wood stove? Your entry sure made me hungry!

    1. Thank you, Liz! I love the bread crumb idea. I hadn't thought of that, and I ALWAYS use bread crumbs. Just gonna jot that one down on my list!
      Yes, I did put an egg wash on my pie. I just love the color. I have never gotten color like that from any of my pies, with or without an egg wash. I just think it has something to do with cooking with wood.
      I just pulled a banana bread out of the oven. Smells delicious!
      Wish we lived closer!

  2. Julie your so smart. I think we need homemade poptarts for the keepers meeting

    1. You read my mind! I already put it down on our list of things to do.

  3. I think that we need to have you cook a compete meal of all the stuff you made for the keepers meeting. Oh-Boy I'm hungry.

    1. OR...maybe we could all get in on the action and set up stations. Many hands make light work!

      Love you!


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