Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

With my dinner tonight, I made mashed potatoes. Instead of butter, I used a couple of ounces of cream cheese that were left from alfredo sauce I made yesterday, so they were especially creamy. There aren't many of them left as my kids LOVED them, but here are some things that could be done with leftover mashed potatoes:

Mashed potato burritos (these are soooooooooo good!!!) - To make them, warm a flour tortilla (to make it more flexible), then place mashed potatoes slightly to the side of the center. Top with shredded cheddar (or your favorite) cheese, then fold up burrito-style. Place burritos one or two at a time in a skillet sprayed with vegetable oil spray (or do more on a large griddle) and cook over medium heat until slightly browned on both sides. This is a unique and FUN side dish, or a nice meatless entree.

Potato soup - The simplest way to do this is just add more milk to your existing potatoes, adding a little garlic and nutmeg, or your preferred seasonings. Toss in some pureed cooked carrots for color and nutrition, and/or some shredded cheese. Heat in saucepan until cheese is melted and soup is warm. This is great with a sandwich on a chilly day.

Potato bread - This is a favorite use of leftover mashed potatoes! If you have a bread machine, it's super-easy, and the bread is spectacular. In fact, I'm very likely to make some potato rolls for our dinner tomorrow. I'm sure there are lots of recipes online for potato bread, or if you would like my easy bread machine recipe, just let me know! It only takes about a half-cup for wonderful bread.

Shepherd's pie - If you have meat and gravy (another great leftover item), you can toss in some vegetables (even the frozen mixed ones) and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top with the leftover mashed potatoes (using a pastry bag or decorator makes it more attractive) and bake uncovered until the mixture is hot and the potatoes nicely browned.

Potato pancakes - The amount of potatoes will affect the amount of other ingredients, but make a nice batter with an egg (or two if you have a lot) and some flour (start with 1/3 to 1/2 cup), some shredded cheese and crumbled bacon if you like, and fry on a hot griddle. These would be amazing topped with some leftover gravy or a drizzle of butter or some sour cream.

Hopefully this will give you some great ideas for utilizing your remaining mashed potatoes. You can plan an entire meal around this otherwise "leftover junk." If you have other ideas for using the potatoes, please leave me a comment - I'm always looking for new creative ideas!!!

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello to anyone who happens to be stopping by to visit! The idea for this blog was born today when I was contemplating the various ways that I use up my leftovers. I'm always offering suggestions to my friends on how they can turn boring leftovers into new and interesting meals, so I thought I would start a blog to detail my kitchen adventures. I don't consider what's left from dinner "leftovers" - I look at it as the template for a new meal.

I know that many people are trying to stretch their dollars in the current economy, and not wasting food will certainly help to save on the monthly grocery bill. I hope that my tips and suggestions are able to help you stretch your food just a little further, while still pleasing the picky eaters (and often leftover-hatin' hubbies) in your home.

This is just the introduction, but I hope to post frequently with ideas, so please check back soon and often! For now, enjoy the beginning of 2009!!!