Monday, November 16, 2009

Leftover Tips - Potatoes and Gravy

We're roundin' the corner to the holiday season. And it's time for a reminder to make good use of those leftovers. I just pulled together a quick Shepherds Pie with some goodies out of my freezer. After the holiday's you'll be grateful for any quick fixes you can scrounge from your freezer.

Multi-step dishes become a lot simpler when you simply defrost some of the steps. Save all your gravy, no matter how little you think you have. Even a small amount will make a good base for more gravy or sauces.

Any mashed root veggies freeze well and you can use them as toppers for casseroles.

For my Shepherd's Pie I used some leftover Chicken and Turkey Gravy. I wanted to empty out some of the leftovers out of my freezer before I start piling in new leftovers from the upcoming holiday meals. Even though I'm using ground beef, these gravies will still work. I added a bit of Worcestershire sauce and the leftover gravy into the pan where I had browned the onions and beef. I heated it until it bubbled and thickened a bit more. I would have mixed some cornstarch with a bit of water if it was too thin but today that wasn't necessary.

I used leftover mashed potatoes, potato scooped out to make double stuffed potatoes and leftover potato parsnip mash for the topping for my pie. Defrost and mix them together. I used a frozen mix of veggies; broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas and corn for the middle. So the only real work I had at prep time was to dice the onion and brown it with the ground beef.

You could also use any leftover beef bits you have instead of ground. That's how the dish was originally made. Sometimes you get tired of eating the leftovers. That's when it's time to freeze what's left. You can do this pie with beef or even your leftover chicken, turkey or pork. I'm telling you now, come those cold January nights you'll be glad to have these comfort foods to throw together a casserole. And if you cook like I do, you'll have make one to eat now and one to put in the freezer for another night!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Horseradish Dipping Sauce

Last night I had sweet potato fries with my steak. I made a little dip for the fries and it ended up being great with the grilled steak too.

Horseradish Dipping Sauce - Serves 1 -2
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tbsp horseradish
  • 1/2 tbsp ketchup
Mix, adding more horseradish if you want a bigger kick.

This is a nice way to bump up a meal a bit! Yum!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick and Easy Harvest Pork Chops with Potato Parsnip Mash

Here is a quick recipe that tastes like fall on your plate! The instructions list for the pork chops looks long but it's quick.

Easy Harvest Pork Chops - Serves 4

  • olive oil and/or butter
  • 4 center loin pork chops
  • 2 apples (I used Gala but whatever tickles your fancy will work), cored and cut each into 8 to 12 wedges.
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  1. Heat oil and/or butter in a skillet that you have a lid for. (I used both olive oil and butter)
  2. Cut slits in each pork chop so you can stuff apple slices inside.
  3. Heat apple slices until golden on both sides. Remove from heat and let cool a bit so you can handle them
  4. Stuff each pork chop with as many apple wedges as you can. Don't worry if they are mushed in tight. You'll use any remaining wedges.
  5. Return the pan to the heat.
  6. Saute the pork chops on both sides until browned.
  7. Add apple juice and sprinkle with rosemary, throw in any remaining apple wedges.
  8. Turn heat down to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until the pork chops are cooked through. Check occasionally to ensure the liquid has not completely evaporated. If it has, add more.
  9. Take out the pork chops and cover with foil on a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  10. While the pork chops are resting, reduce the juice in the pan if it is not already thickened, by simmering it over medium-low heat.

Serve with the potato parsnip mash and drizzle the pan juice over it all

Potato Parsnip Mash - Serves 4


  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 medium parsnip
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic and onion powder.


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes and parsnip.
  2. Put in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender.
  3. Mash potatoes and parsnip with remaining ingredients.

Salt and Pepper both dishes as necessary.

Sorry there are no pictures but it was so simple I didn't think I'd blog about it until after I ate it. It was super tasty!!