Simple advice for a better life.

Birthday Party AppetizersWhether you are cooking at home, dining out, or ordering take out, there are almost always some leftovers to deal with after the fact.

There is nothing wrong with having leftovers.   After all, you spent time and money on this food, so you deserve to enjoy it to the last morsel.

Some prepared dishes are not suitable for later use as a leftover…they lose their taste and texture, so it is best to just part with them right there and then.

Numerous others, on the other hand, are still great for at least one or two meals, or even to be frozen for that rainy day when you have no time or desire to cook.

Some people do not like leftovers, and never keep them.  However, if you are like me, you don’t mind them, and feel that you get your money’s worth if you use them.

Most Europeans don’t believe in leftovers….maybe because they hardly ever have any.

They serve their meals already preportioned per plate, and make just enough to feed the crowd they accounted for.  The portions are large enough to satisfy the consumer, so there is no need, or room, for seconds.  Therefore, there are no leftovers.  Any remaining food on each plate, which hardly ever happens, is discarded.  It is almost impolite to ask for a “Doggie Bag”.

Here in the USA we have no problem asking the waiter/waitress to pack up our leftovers to take home with us.

It is very important to keep track of your leftover food in your fridge, which is one of my pet peeves.  I almost feel like I am a fridge police, whether it is at home or at work.

There is nothing worse than seeing “old” food sitting in the fridge way past its safe consumable time.

My personal time line for using up leftovers in up to 3 days…4 being the absolute max.

Now I will share my best way of using up leftovers, and keeping your fridge fresh, and ready for restocking.

Since most of us work full-time, and don’t have much time for cooking during the week, we prepare extra food on weekend, to hold us over for couple of days.  Then by mid-week, it’s time for some take out.  By Thursday we have leftovers to use, or lose.

I consider Thursday  a “Leftover Smorgasbord Dinner Day”.  We pull out all the leftovers from the past few days, and add something new if needed, and call it a day.

Everyone is to create their own plate of food from the smorgasbord spread available.  We also use disposable dishes and utensils that day, to save time on clean up effort.  Whatever food is remaining after this dinner, gets discarded for good.

This is the BEST way to free your fridge of leftover food, and to prevent any food from hiding in there for too long.

Since we have no dishes to wash on this day, we devote our time to cleaning up the fridge, and getting it ready for fresh food from Friday or Saturday shopping.

It works very well every time, and it also is fun, economical, and stress free.

I suggest you try it too, and share your comments.

Have fun!

While doing my grocery shopping today, I noticed fresh AMERICAN shrimp in the seafood department (if you pay attention to labels, you will notice that majority of the shrimp you find is from China, India, Indonesia…. something that I will not purchase.  Click on these links to read more about it.

To sweeten the deal further, it was on SALE…so I purchased 2 lbs., which was too much for the two of us for one meal, hence another recipe today.

This recipe is full of flavor, with an added “kick” from red pepper.

I would be interested in hearing your opinion, which of these two posted shrimp recipes you like better, or please share your favorite shrimp recipe with us.

Pinterest picture of this recipe looked so delicious, which prompted me to give it a try.  If you notice the shrimp in my picture have their tails removed (I do not care to see the tails in my prepared dish…just a personal preference, as I am not much of a seafood admirer).

I am listing the ingredients, since I made some changes to the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbs. sweet paprika, ground
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice (used 2 lemons)
  • 2 Tbs. dry white wine ( I used California Collection by Beringer – Souvignon Blanc)
  • Salt and Black Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped (Italian Flat Leaf Parsley is my favorite

Directions:

  1.  In a medium frying pan, set on medium heat, gently saute the minced garlic in olive oil, about 1 min.
  2. Mix in the paprika and red pepper, stir well to incorporate with the garlic and oil.
  3. Mix the wine with the lemon juice. Set aside.
  4. Add the shrimp to the paprika/garlic mixture.
  5. Pour the wine and lemon juice over the shrimp.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, turn them over and cook  1 minute longer.
  7. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

I am not much of a seafood foodie, but since fish should be part of our diet, I try to find recipes that suit my palate.

I do like some fish, but it has to be mild in flavor, and totally free of bones.

Today I baked fresh shrimp with herbs, lemon, and butter.  It was fairly simple to prepare (except for the cleaning and deveining), and fine tasting, however shrimp scampi, and Broiled Salmon , are still my favorite seafood recipes thus far.

I have another shrimp recipe to try, and definitely will share my comments with you.

The picture of this dish was posted on Pinterest, including some quick ingredients and directions, so I will include my version, for your convenience.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined (I buy American brand)
  • 8 Tbs. butter (1 stick), melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (my addition)
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian all natural seasoning
  • 1  1/2 lemon, sliced into discs (circles)
  • 1 Tbs. dried parsley leaves (my addition)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, ground (my addition)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the melted butter with minced garlic, and pour into a rectangular glass casserole dish, spreading it all over the bottom of the dish.
  3. Arrange the lemon slices on top of butter, forming a single layer.
  4. Arrange the cleaned and deveined shrimp on top of the lemon slices.
  5. Sprinkle the Italian Seasoning over the shrimp.
  6. Sprinkle the parsley flakes and pepper on top of that.
  7. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Enjoy.

 

TIP:  You can serve this shrimp as an appetizer, or a main course over pasta, or just plain with a side dish of veggies and wild rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I checked the calendar to see when The Great Lent begins, and it just sneaked up on me this year….as it started today for the Byzantine Rite Catholics, at least at the church that my family and I attend.

For Roman Catholics it does not start until Ash Wednesday, so they have two more days to party, even though they already indulged in all the good food last week on Fat Thursday.

During The Great Lent one needs to reflect on their spiritual life, their role in the society, as well as some food restrictions, such as excluding consumption of meat on Fridays,  and especially on Good Friday, as well as very strict fast on Holy Saturday.

I personally like to prepare meatless meals on Wednesdays and Fridays for the duration of the Great Lent, as well the whole Holy Week, which is the week before Easter Sunday.

It actually is healthy to give our system a break from all that meat we eat daily, and introduce some vegetarian or seafood dishes.

Last year I prepared a list of 25 meatless meals  (click here it view it) for your convenience, and linked them to my recipes, to help you out with meatless meal planning.

Today I will include additional ones, which I prepared this year, and you can add to your list.

Wow, now you have over 30 meatless meals, which is more than you need to cover at least Fridays, for the duration of lent. Actually you have a full month of meatless meals.  Who would have thought it could be so easy!

I will work on some new ones, if you still want to try something different, so please stay tuned.

 

Some of my friends observe Passover, so I am sharing few of the recipes I tried, and there will be  new ones coming up.

I would really love to hear from all of you, about the meatless dishes you enjoy to prepare. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Edible vegetable TreeThe Great Lent has began, thus many of you are preparing more meatless meals, during this time, than any other time of the year, and searching for new recipes.

If you are not used to meatless cooking, it could be quite challenging to figure out what to cook.

I used to be in that predicament in my early cooking years, but by now I would easily become a vegetarian, if only the rest of my family developed the same taste for meatless dishes.

To simplify your search for the meatless recipes I have posted so far, please click on the provided links below, or search my “Meatless Dishes” category.

Homemade Varenyky/Pierogi – Recipe & Technique

Whole Wheat Varenyky(Pierogi) – Recipe

Potato Dumplings (Palushky)

Sweet Potato (Palushky) Gnocchi – Recipe

Steamed Fruit Dumplings – Recipe and Technique

Halushky (Ha-loosh-ky) – Vegetarian Recipe

Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms and Sauce – Quick and Inexpensive Meal

Pasta With Stir-Fry Veggies – Vegetarian Recipe

Cabbage Rolls – Vegetarian Recipe & Technique

Fruit Filled Crepes

Pan Apple Fritters (Ratsushki)- Recipe

Tuna Melts – Recipe

Broiled/Grilled Salmon – Recipe

Veggie Burger – Recipe

Tomato Soup – Recipe

Ukrainian Christmas Borscht with Vushka – Recipe

This should give you an easy access to these recipes, and a good start for meatless cooking.

If you are not following the Great Lent, but love meatless dishes, enjoy these recipes.

Please share your comments.


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