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Monday Musings: 01.23.2012 Edition January 23, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in Musings, random stuff.
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This was a stock weekend.

All year, when I roast a chicken or when I bone fresh chicken, I stash the bones in the freezer.  Then, once the weather gets cold enough to stick the stockpot outside overnight, I make stock.  I use a couple of bags of chicken, um, parts, any stray vegetables I may have stashed with them, a couple of onions, celery ribs, and carrots.

That simmers for the better part of the day, then I strain it (you would not BELIEVE how much the dog loves those chicken-y carrots!), cool it overnight, and skim any remaining fat in the morning.

Once you start making homemade chicken broth, you’ll never go back to store-bought!

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One of Sunday’s chores is to clear stuff out of the refrigerator – to make room for the coming week’s stuff, I guess.  Often, that means a creative breakfast – lunch – for Peeps and me.

Like. . . how about a breakfast Mongolian quesadilla?

Yeah, I know know what to call it.  I took a tortilla, sprayed it with Pam, and browned one side in a large skillet. Then I flipped it over, spread some leftover Mongolian beef on top of it, poured a couple of scrambled eggs over that, then dotted it with a bit of cream cheese.  Cover the pan and let it cook on very low heat until the eggs are set and the fillings are hot.

It was . . . interesting.  Not so sure about using Chinese takeout again, but we were happy with the tortilla-filling-egg idea.

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While the pup’s away, the kitty will play!

Literally the MINUTE the door closes behind Peeps and The Jar when they go for their Sunday afternoon walk, the kitty comes and starts pestering me.

Now I know it’s too early for her dinner (though I’m not sure if she knows that I know), so I often get out either a little ball, another toy, or the laser pointer.  She likes the laser pointer.

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Though when she’s done, she’s done.  Then she just sort of hangs around waiting for the dog to get home.

Oh, don’t worry, though – she always makes sure she can make a quick getaway as soon as she hears the pitter-patter of giant doggy feet on the porch!

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I knew, when I started stock Saturday, that we’d have lots.  After all, I had added about 9 quarts of water to the pot, along with all the frozen bird parts and veggies!

So we hauled out a case of quart jars went to work washing and sterilizing them.

Seven jars for the canner.

A couple more jars for leftover stock.

And one Jar to rule them all.

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And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  And we are STILL sorting through the freezers – it’s hard to believe how much stuff just . . . migrates to the bottom of a chest freezer, you know?  In addition, we have a list of “winter foods” we want to enjoy before the weather gets warm – braised and roasted meats, things that are warm and comforting.

Monday – One of our must-have winter dinners is this slow-roasted pork shoulder.  Peeps is home Monday (except when he takes his Mom to her doctor’s appointment) so he’ll be able to shove it in the oven and let it, well, roast slowly.  There are just the two (or three) of us, and yes, there will be lots of leftovers, but honestly?  You can use leftover pork the same way you’d use leftover chicken or turkey – pretty much anywhere.

Tuesday – Our most recent issue of Cook’s Country featured, in its 30-Minute Supper feature, a recipe of Spanish Chicken Cutlets with Yogurt Sauce.  We have chicken cutlets and we always have yogurt, so this certainly sounded good!  I’ve never been disappointed by Cook’s Country yet.  We’ll serve with some rice and a tossed salad.

Wednesday – Wednesday has become, for whatever reason, soup night.  This week, we had plenty of chicken stock and some leftover roasted butternut squash (that’s what happens when you buy a 6-pound squash!), so we put together a squash soup, seasoned with fennel and cinnamon.  It’ll be fantastic with fresh bread.  Really.

Thursday – We made Boeuf à la Bourguignonne a few weeks ago, and half of it got frozen.  That’s what happens when there are only two (or three) of you – you make a lovely dinner, and you have to decide between eating it as leftovers for the next week or enjoying it again later on.  We opted to enjoy it again.  With the Boeuf, we’ll toss a salad and Peeps is going to make Potatoes Hashed in Cream, also from this current issue of Cook’s Country.  (You really should just go pick up this issue – it’s got a LOT of good stuff in it!)

Friday – Again, it’s pizza night – I don’t know quite what I’ll use on my pie this week – maybe some of Monday’s leftover pork, or maybe I’ll just be plain-Jane and go with plain old cheese.  Not that there’s anything wrong with plain old cheese. . .

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.

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Comments

1. Gaby @ Tmuffin - January 23, 2012

Yum! I have stock going in my crock pot right now. You know, if you add a splash of apple cider vinegar to get all the good, healing benefits out of the bones. Also, I no longer use new veggies to add to my stocks. I just put all the scraps from carrots, squash, onions, and celery when I use them for other recipes in a ziploc freezer bag and keep them in the freezer until I make stock. Then I just dump them all in. You wouldn’t believe how quickly you can gather veggie scraps!

(visiting from Menu Plan Monday)…

Gaby, I know how quickly the veg scraps can accumulate! I do like to use a couple of whole carrots, though – the dog SO loves them as treats. One of my favorites scraps to add, though, is the tops from leeks. Whenever I can get a good deal on them at the market, I buy a bunch (or a few bunches!) and the tops always get slightly chopped and tossed into the freezer for stock. My composter missed them, but. . . 😉

2. judy - January 24, 2012

Late comment but I really enjoyed this one even though I don’t do the stock thing I can see why you do.

AND my Kitty, my Kitty looking so good and full of evil and Jar looking sleek and well fed too. The cat will always win when push comes to shove. Cats rule, yes with wile and sneakiness but they do what they need to do. hugs and scratches for them and treats!

I love your “little kids” and thanks as always for the pictures. Happy eating this week. Smelling pretty good from your kitchen to mine. Hi to the Boy too and of course mr. PEEPS.

Hi Judy! Kitty’s doing very well – she’s getting her share of the chicken leftover from stock-making. In fact, she practically climbs into my lap with the dog RIGHT THERE to get at it! You’d be so proud of her! 😆

3. sjbraun - January 24, 2012

I wish we lived nearby … well, mainly so I could mooch off of all your good food 🙂 I can practically smell all that yummy stock, and Jar guarding the jars – too cute! Kitty is sweet as well. I love your idea of sorting through the freezers. I should do that, before garden season gears up again.

You know I’d be more than happy to share! And about clearing out the freezers before garden season – yes, exactly! And strawberries and blueberries and peaches. . . Yikes!


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