My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Pork Chops Reborn or Vietnamese Pan Fried Pork Chops, Part Two

This is blog has a food storage emphasis, so why am I including so many recipes?  I never intended for this to be a recipe blog.  Yet, the more I post, the more I realize that cooking is an important part of food storage.  At least for me, learning to use my resources wisely is a key part of building and maintaining food storage.  Avoiding waste saves money which can be used elsewhere.  In my case, when I save money, I use the excess funds in my grocery budget to stock up on a food item, or I buy a gadget that will help me save money in the future (like my pressure canner, which I showed you here and here).

 

Yummy Pork Chops re-born as fried rice!

Yummy Pork Chops re-born as fried rice!

 

This recipe was born of my desire to use my resources wisely.  My boys love the pork chops pictured above, but they don’t like to eat them for more than one meal.  They do not “do” leftovers.  In exasperation one day, I threw them into fried rice and a tradition was born.  Pork chops one day; fried rice the next.  They like it so much that they request I make these knowing they get two great meals out of them.

 

If you want to make fried rice at home, you can use almost any leftover meat and/or veggies you want.  You can also cook fresh meat and veggies.  Just keep in mind that you will need to add more seasoning if your protein is not already seasoned.

 

Without further ado, here is my photo step-by-step.

 

I made jasmine rice in my rice cooker.

I made jasmine rice in my rice cooker.

 

Assembled the ingredients:  veggies, salt, soy sauce (I prefer La Choy), granulated onion, and pepper.

I assembled the ingredients: veggies, salt, soy sauce (I prefer La Choy), granulated onion, and pepper.

 

I usually use frozen broccoli florets, but I didn't have any today, so I used carrots (which I'm blanching in this pic)...

I usually use frozen broccoli florets, but I didn’t have any today, so I used carrots (which I’m blanching in this pic)…

 

And I used frozen peas.

And I used frozen peas.

 

I had 2 1/2 pork chops left, so I chopped them up.  And I was ready to start!

I had 2 1/2 pork chops left, so I chopped them up. And I was ready to begin!

 

I preheated some oil on the stove.  To keep the rice from sticking, you will need more oil than you're used to using.  Then, I added the pork to the pan and cooked it for a minute.  Next, I added the peas and let them heat through.

I preheated some oil on the stove over medium-high heat. To keep the rice from sticking, you will need more oil than you’re used to using. Then, I added the pork to the pan and cooked it for a minute. Next, I added the peas and let them heat through.

 

I added the drained, blanched carrots and let the ingredients cook for a minute or two.  I added salt (a few shakes of a shaker), some pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon), and several shakes of soy sauce.  This is a subjective thing.  Don't add too much now, because you will need to adjust the seasoning later.

I added the drained, blanched carrots and let the ingredients cook for a minute or two. I added salt (a few shakes of a shaker), some pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon), 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, and several shakes of soy sauce. If I was using unseasoned meat, I would also add garlic salt.  This is a subjective thing. Don’t add too much now, because you will add more seasoning later.

Next, add the rice to the meat/veggie mixture. Stir gently to combine. Add more soy sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste.  Then create a well in the middle of the pan and add the eggs (well beaten).  Let the eggs cook for a minute or so, then begin to stir and incorporate the egg into the rice.  If it is not cooked all the way, don't worry.  Keep stirring with the heat on medium.  The egg will cook.

Next, add the rice to the meat/veggie mixture. Stir gently to combine. Add more soy sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper, to taste. Once you’re happy with the seasoning, create a well in the middle of the pan by pushing the rice to the edges of the pan.  Add some well beaten eggs and let them cook for a minute or so.  Then begin to stir and incorporate the egg into the rice. If it is not cooked all the way, don’t worry. Keep stirring with the heat on medium. The egg will cook.

 

Next, add the rice to the meat/veggie mixture.  Stir gently to combine.  Add more soy sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Stir the rice, so the egg is evenly distributed.  And when the egg is cooked, it’s ready to serve!

 

It's ready!  Enjoy!

Looks yummy, huh? Enjoy!

 

How do you re-purpose leftovers? 

What basic skills do you think are important in building and maintaining food storage?

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Everything But The Kitchen Sink… Brownies?

Brownies, my preferred method of chocolate consumption.  And these are brownies one better, because they come with a surprise!  A HEAVENLY, SALTY, CRUNCHY SURPRISE!  Everything but the kitchen sink brownies were born out of my desire to save money and to prevent food waste, but I keep making them, because I LOVE them!

I tell myself that not only is it okay to make these, but I *MUST* make these brownies, because when I throw away food, it’s like throwing away money, right? I wouldn’t purposely throw away a $5 bill, would I?  Of course not!  So, really, I’m just being fiscally responsible and eco-friendly.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Brownies

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Brownies

Honestly, I cannot remember how many times I’ve thrown away little bits of leftover food, but it’s more often than I would like.  Either I didn’t know what to do with it, or the item was getting old, stale, etc.  These brownies may not solve all your food waste issues, but this helpful, SCRUMPTIOUS way of using those little bits of leftover food certainly helps. It’s not hard to do, and it’s only limited by your imagination and the leftover items in your pantry.

DSCN5791

I started with my most favorite brownie mix of all time, Ghiradelli. I buy it at Costco where it is just under $11 for 6 batches of brownies.

My friend, Karen, said that my brownies are the best brownies she’s ever had.  I don’t know if I’d go that far, but this mix is really good.  She bought the mix and made them, but she said hers didn’t taste the same.  Then I realized I did not tell her about one adjustment I’ve made in the recipe.  I use Olive Oil.  It’s better for my cholesterol, and it makes these taste extra yum!

Now, for the “how to.”  I started with these ingredients:

Olive oil makes all the difference!

Olive oil makes all the difference!

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Ghiradelli Brownie Mix, Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips, and Pretzels

I mixed a double batch of brownies according to the instructions on the box (eggs, olive oil, and water), then I put one-half of the mixture in a pan.  (My son, Michael, wanted regular brownies.)  Next, I gently folded some crushed some mini pretzel rods and chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Halloween leftovers) into the mix.

Just some mini pretzel rods.

Put your mini pretzel rods (or potato chips, or anything else that suits your fancy) into a small bag.

Slightly crushed with a can.

Slightly crush them with a can, then fold them into your brownie mix (or cookie dough or muffin batter).

I spread the yummy “everything but the kitchen sink” brownie mix in a pan and topped it with my other Ghiradelli favorite, 60% cacao chocolate chips.  Talk about decadent!  They went into the oven for 45 minutes at 300 degrees (on convect) and came out in all their warm, gooey glory.

Regular Brownies

Regular Brownies for Michael

My friend and guest blogger, Brooke, will be getting some of these later today as a “Thank You!”  Although I’m tempted to keep them all, that would be very bad, because I would eat only brownies for the next two days.  So, to preserve my waistline and to show a little friend-love, Brooke will be enjoying these at her home.  And she doesn’t have to share them unless she wants to!

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Brownies

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Brownies for Brooke and me!

Can brownies solve the food waste problem in America?  Probably not, but it’s a start!

What do you do to help prevent food waste?


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10 Things To Do With Stale Bread

I thought this would fit in well with my post on Chile Relleno Casserole. This blogger has included a great infographic showing 10 uses for stale bread. Enjoy!

Love Infographics

Stale bread — we’ve all been there. You know you’ve munched on a doughy, delicious new loaf, but somehow in the excitement you accidentally left the bread out, unsealed and on the counter overnight. The next morning it’s as hard as a rock. It’s warm doughy goodness may now be a distant memory, but don’t throw it out yet! Today’s infographic informs us that you can re-purpose and even rejuvenate your stale bread.

Read more @ http://dailyinfographic.com/10-things-to-do-with-stale-bread-infographic

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