Waste Not, Want Not

Now this is what this blog is all about.  Sharing ideas to maximize the food items in your kitchen to work for you!  Specifically, turning a pound and a half of ground turkey (purchased a few days ago for meatballs) into a delicious meatloaf and turkey/quinoa stuffed peppers – with everything (and anything) I already had in the house!

Turkey MeatloafTurkey-Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I received 3 “gypsy” bell peppers a few days ago in the home-delivery organic produce box I signed up for this past weekend at a street fair.  Very disappointed because many of the items that were to be included were not there, and the “gypsy” peppers were nothing more than green bell peppers – not my favorite.  Anyway, not to waste anything, I thought about what I should do with the turkey that needed to be used – plus use the peppers for something.  I didn’t want to run out for anything extra, so I basically used last little bits of everything in my refrigerator and ended up with at least 4 meals!

Using about a pound of the turkey, the meatloaf had feta cheese, a few pepperoncini peppers, a handful of sun-dried tomatoes (chopped), some toasted sunflower seeds that I previously made to top salads, a sprinkle or two of allepo chili peppers (for spice), a couple of eggs and a handful of bread crumbs.

Remember the Spinach-Quinoa from the other day?  That got mixed with the rest of the cooked up turkey, a sprinkle of allepo chili peppers, a few sun-dried tomatoes, and half a container (a few ounces) of mascarpone cheese to make the most delicious stuffed peppers.  Turned those green bell peppers into something to write home about (or blog about, in this case!)

I never waste food and always try to turn ordinary into extraordinary!  (Most times it works!)  See what you’ve got in the fridge that you can put to work for a satisfying meal – or two!  Buon Appetito!


Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

By request – here you go, Marybeth.  I had lunch with my friend Marybeth today and she said she searched and searched the blog for the Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms recipe that I had written on a chalkboard a few posts back when I brought this blog back to life.  I guess I had never posted the recipe, so here it is.  This is one I take no credit for as it’s all my girl, Ina.  When it comes to Ina, there’s rarely a need for any modifications.  The following link will take you to the Food Network webpage where you’ll find the recipe and a video of Ina!  How bad could that be?


Baked Jalapeno Poppers – Emeril

I’ve been making these Baked Jalapeno Poppers for so long, I was sure they were already on this blog.  After being asked for the recipe (thanks, Lynne,) I realized it wasn’t there.  Here you go.  This recipe is right off the Food Network website, compliments of Emeril Lagasse (with a few tips of my own written below.)  He’s not my go-to chef for inspiration or ideas, but this one’s a winner – enjoy!

The following picture is of the prepared poppers before baking.  Since I had about 36 jalapenos, I tripled the recipe.  (It’s a bit labor intensive, so if you’re going to go for it, make it worth your time.)  My (hopefully helpful) tips follow the picture and recipe.

Image(I see a few words got cut off the recipe:  spread “1” tablespoon of cream cheese mixture in each half jalapeno, place poppers “cut” side up on baking sheet, and the sugar content is 1 gm.)Image

After filling about 1/3 of the jalapenos with cream cheese mixture, place them on a tray and pop them in the freezer for a few minutes.  This will help them stay firm while you’re tossing them through flour, egg, and bread crumb mixtures.  (As one bunch is in the freezer, you can start filling another bunch – then switch out and move on.)

Once prepared, I freeze them in bags of about 10 each – the perfect amount for 2 (or 3) people to enjoy as an appetizer.  Before baking, drizzle a little bit of olive oil on each – very little.  Just helps with the extra crispy factor.  (After all, isn’t always about the crunch?)  Naturally, you can skip the “drizzle” if you want.

Finally, I make the “Essence” on a regular basis and keep it on hand to add to a variety of breaded foods.  When making, do yourself another favor by doubling or tripling the recipe.  Store in an airtight container (I use a glass mason jar) and you’ll find many uses for it.

Until next time, Buon Appetito!


Vegetarian by request…..here you go, Lynne!  Healthy, delicious, nutritious!  This dish is a great side or plentiful enough for a main entree.


3/4 cup Quinoa

3 TBLS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 TBLS Raw Sunflower Seeds

2 Garlic Cloves – Chopped

1 Bag Baby Spinach Leaves

Half Lemon

Shredded Cheese

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add 3/4 cup quinoa and gently boil for about 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add sunflower seeds.  Toss around until lightly browned (5 minutes.)   Add chopped garlic and saute for one minute more.  Add the cooled quinoa and the spinach leaves to the skillet.  (It will seem like a lot of spinach leaves, but they cook down quickly.)  Using a pair of tongs, mix all ingredients in the pan as spinach leaves wilt and the sunflower seeds and quinoa are mixed in throughout.  Once well combined, squeeze half the lemon atop the mixture, give it one last toss, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Season with salt/pepper to taste.

There are no mistakes with this recipe as you can make adjustments to this recipe to suit your individual likes.  More cheese?  Less Spinach?  It’s up to you.  This is how I prepare this dish and it’s fast, easy, and delicious!  Let me know what you think!

Until next time, Buon Appetito!

and the cooking continues……

Hello Everyone!  It’s been a long time, but I’m still here and I’m still cooking!  I hope you are all doing well and finding time to mix it up in the kitchen!  The expression, “time flies,” has never been truer when it comes to my blog.  I know its been a while since my last post, but almost a year and a half!  That doesn’t seem possible.  I didn’t stop cooking and loving it, I guess the daily doings of life swept me up and time flew away!  Anyway, back to my blog, here’s an excerpt from my first blog post – describing my intent and purpose:

My hope is that this blog will become a place for friends and family to contribute favorite recipes, cooking ideas, shopping tips, and anything food-related.  I hope we’ll learn from each other and inspire one another to try something new.  Please use this blog as your place to ask questions and find answers to build your capacity in and around the kitchen!  I’ll contribute on (hopefully) a regular basis – and I hope you do, too!

I’m on board and I hope you are, too.  I’ll post interesting (and delicious) dishes from my kitchen and I hope we get to interact around food.  Ask questions, share recipes, whatever.  If it’s around food and cooking – you’re in the right place. 

Until next time, Buon appetito.