Introduction to Food Storage Containers

Part II: Tips for Choosing the Best Shape for Freshness and Convenience Part III: Best Ways to Organize Your Food Storage Containers My kids like to take leftover casseroles to school. So last night I made a large batch of lasagna with spinach, homemade noodles and marinara sauce. This took a couple of days of […]

Barriers to Home Cooking

If you ask people why they resort to convenience foods and restaurants, they’ll tell you they don’t have time to cook from scratch. Cooking does take time, especially if you want to include vegetables and whole grains or legumes. We all have the same 24 hours, but we have many commitments. Often, finding more time […]

Ten Quick Tips for Cutting Your Produce Bill

The extreme heat in my part of the world has led to high prices in the markets, especially for vegetables. Here are some tips to help you cut down on your produce bill no matter where you live: Buy vegetables in season. Instead of buying according to your recipe, choose your menu according to the […]

Recipe: Leftover Lentil Soup

Wednesday is Recipe Day at Cooking Manager. Sometimes leftovers get under your skin. I made lentils on Tuesday and used some of them in dinner. Then I forgot about them.  On Friday I thought about putting them in a salad. But I had other salads, and didn’t feel like draining the lentils from the liquid.  […]

Easy Recipes Using Leftover Chicken

On the Cooking Manager Facebook page (have you “liked” it yet?) I asked readers to share ideas for leftover chicken in response to Aviva Hadas’  comment on 13 Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers. Leftover chicken, especially white meat (the kind that is usually left behind in my house), requires special care. Because white meat […]

Thirteen Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers

Every home cook has to deal with leftovers. In a small household, fewer people help eat them and one person’s change in schedule throws everything off. In a larger household, bigger quantities are harder to manage.

As always, advance planning will save you time and money. I’ve collected these tips to help you get a handle on your leftover food.

1. Change your attitude. If the idea of leftovers depresses you, call it cooking in advance. Cooked food in the fridge is a blessing, not a trial.

How to Make Patties from Anything and Everything

I read an article by a woman trying to get a recipe for the patties her European-born grandmother would make. The grandmother started by removing a covered plate of cooked zucchini from the refrigerator. The granddaughter tried to get down exact quantities with no success. The granddaughter just knew that the dish was delicious. She didn’t know that there was no set recipe and they were different each time.

Here is my guide to making patties. You can use fresh ingredients or pre-cooked. The basics are eggs, a filler like flour, breadcrumbs or oats, and flavorful meat, fish, vegetables, milk or cheese. The patties need to hold together.

Nine Tips to Help Food Last Longer

Acquiring good habits and keeping track of what’s in your refrigerator will save you money on your food bill.

Below I share tips to avoid cross-contamination: Don’t inadvertently mix up foods with different “eat-by” dates.

For more information see my chart on storing leftovers, Is This Food Safe to Eat?

1. New package, new spoon. When you open a new container of cottage cheese, use a fresh spoon too. The bits of older food on the original spoon will contaminate the fresh package.

Prepare and Store Leftover Meat Drippings

Commenter Ariela asked how to use the meat juices and sauces—drippings—from cooking meat. I called these drippings  “a cook’s secret weapon,” because they are a cheap and easy way of adding meat flavor and protein to food without fat. Technically they are not gravy, which is made by mixing meat juices with flour to make […]

Foods for Putting Quick Meals Together

In Pre-Leftovers and Rotating Food I described how I often cook something new and combine it with something on hand, putting a series of meals together like a train.

Below are cooked foods I like to have on hand for putting together quick meals: