Ten Kid-Friendly Foods Using Leftovers

You’re a good cook when you can make a delicious dish from fresh ingredients. But creating something new based on leftovers is especially satisfying. Those of us who value frugality and conservation are proudest when our unique leftover-inspired creation are enjoyed by everyone in the family.

Every home cook has to manage leftovers one way or another. Serving leftovers as they are is the easiest and often the tastiest. But when they aren’t enough for a whole meal, or you suspect there won’t be takers, leftovers can enhance your next cooking project.

Never try to recycle food that is starting to spoil. Spoiled food cannot be salvaged. You will ruin the entire dish and risk getting everyone sick. Always examine food carefully, and heat leftovers thoroughly before serving.

Need help with organizing your leftovers? See Thirteen Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers

Follow the links for more detailed recipes.

12 Tips for Getting Kids Used to Healthy Food

em>Hannah, how do you start to cook healthy for kids who are used to home-cooked fast food (pasta, burgers, shnitzel/potatoes)?

It’s discouraging because sometimes the “meals* are the least eaten.
By best meals I mean the ones I plan. The well-rounded, healthiest, most diverse ingredients. These are the meals that are most likely to be mostly thrown out. It’s very discouraging as my available time for cooking is very short.

Tanya, I can sympathize. My kids used to eat a lot of those things. They still eat some of them. Here are some ideas for making gradual changes.

  1. Pick the least healthy food that you serve. If it’s processed and expensive, even better. Then stop buying it. You can’t control what your kids eat, but you can control what food is available.

Make Pot Roast to Tenderize Cheaper Cuts of Beef

A recipe for tenderizing less expensive cuts on the meat by pot roasting it with vegetables, wine and tomato sauce.

The Best Techniques for Knowing When Food is Cooked

In my post, The Secret to Great Home Cooking, I explained that the key to good food is to cook it until it’s done, and no longer. But this isn’t always easy. Cooking times in recipes are only a guide. For instance, older beans and vegetables take longer to cook than fresher ones. Cuts of meat are different sizes, and our cooking equipment and even the weather affect a recipe. But once you can accurately tell when food is done without consulting a cookbook, your cooking skill has reached a new level.
So how do you know when food is ready to serve?

Ten Questions to Ask Before Going to the Store

I’m starting a short series on grocery shopping, with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Today I’m giving you questions to ask yourself when planning a shopping trip. Go here for more on menu-planning.

1. What food do you have in the house? Check what you need to use up. Look in your refrigerator to see what fresh and cooked produce is spoiled or leftover. Why didn’t it get used up? Keep receipts to compare from trip to trip.

The Potato Cake Mystery

Potato cakes are a food I remember fondly from my childhood. My mother made these crispy treats often, for two reasons: First, the main ingredient was leftover potatoes, and second, they cooked in the broiler.

Sofrito and Shepherd’s Pie: Interview with Yonit:

Please welcome reader Yonit van de Metz of Collecting Hats for today’s interview.
Name, location, family: Yonit de Metz, Philadelphia, wife and work-at-home mom to two toddlers and lots of houseplants.

What do you remember about family meals when you were growing up? What was your mother’s cooking style?
I have realized recently how diverse my mom’s cooking style is. Besides the traditional Jewish foods she brought from her own family she learned to cook Puerto Rican food from my grandmother and aunt. She also made Italian, Chinese, American, Mexican, and all kinds of different things. We have been known to have Thanksgiving meals with kugel, matzo ball soup, arroz y gondules, Turkey, enchiladas, and flan next to the traditional pumpkin & apple pies.

Reader Interview: Fern Richardson

Please welcome reader Fern Richardson, author of the excellent urban gardening blog Life on the Balcony. Name, location, family: Fern Richardson; Fullerton, California; Husband & four cats What was your mother’s cooking style? My family very rarely ate meals at home, and when we did it was one of a handful of meals (fish sticks, […]

Gefilte Fish Recipe and Interview with Reader Chana Rogow-Futch

Please welcome Chana, also known as Cecelia Futch, the second in a series of interviews with readers of Cooking Manager. She’s a friend of Tikva, who was interviewed last week.

Three Reasons We Throw Away Food

Is there one thing that you always seem to throw away? For my mother, it was cooked rice. She liked to have it on hand, but every few months she found a forgotten jar.

I have gone through stages of throwing out different things. The short answer to, “Why do we throw out food?” is that the food is spoiled. But it didn’t start out that way. Everytime we throw something away, it tells us something about our style of shopping, eating and cooking.