Tag Archives: recipe

Week 95: Rice Pudding from Leftovers!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Leftovers sometimes are not really exciting to eat.  Rice can be one of those things.  You can stick it into burritos or make fried rice, but you do need other ingredients to go along with those dishes.  An easy use of leftover rice is rice pudding – if you happen to like rice pudding.

Rice Pudding

  • 2 c. leftover rice
  • 2 c. milk (or a combination of whole milk, half and half, and so on)
  • 3 T – 4 T white sugar

Combine above ingredients in a sauce pan; bring to simmer and cook until thick.  Watch and stir – easy for the pudding to boil over or scorch.  I brought mine to a boil and then dropped it to the lowest heat.  It took about 20 minutes for the pudding to thicken.

Extras for Pudding

You can flavor your pudding as you like.  I added the following after the pudding was done:

  • 1 tsp. fresh cardamom, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. raisins

Others might like to add chopped almonds, chopped apricots, and so on.   Sour cherries are also good.  Some might like candied fruit and rosewater, or a beaten egg.  Cinnamon is also a classic flavoring.  Your call!  Serve warm or cold.

Leftovers need to be eaten!  Americans waste approximately 50% of the food produced.  Here, food is relatively cheap, and so we are wasteful.

As a family, the 182s are not immune to wasting food – sometimes it spoils before being used because of poor packaging, sometimes life gets in the way, such as work or being ill.  Still, we try to focus on eating up our food before it goes, and generally do a good job.  I try to shop only once a week, but have no problem with running to the market if we need something.  As we cook mostly from scratch, we might be out of this or that.

Being conscientious about food helps us focus on a major part of our daily life, and that, in turns, reminds us to be conscientious on our larger life goals as well.



Monday 108: Economical Eats

Monday, 12 June 2017

We love to cook around here, and we love to eat good, flavorful food.  Sometimes keeping in budget and eating what is on hand becomes a bit of a challenge, and that is where the internet comes in hand, or a good cookbook.  Frankly, a lot of cookbooks are attractive, but in reality, I don’t find that I want to use that many of the recipes.  Sometimes the ingredients are unrealistic or too specialized, but when I see a recipe I like, there is one thing that can be done:  adapt!

Today’s recipe is not an adaptation; rather, it is a Mediterranean dish that has its variants throughout all the borders – north, east, south.  It’s made of eggs and tomatoes and peppers and onions.  What could go wrong with that combination?  Some people add cheese to it, such as goat cheese or feta.  You could add small blobs of mozzarella or whatever.  I added some blobs of ricotta.

So . . . let me present today’s dish!  We had it for dinner last night, and this morning for breakfast, with fresh eggs added as the tomato stew warmed up over the stove top.  It’s really good by itself, or with a nice piece of chunky, crusty Italian bread.


  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 bell peppers (green, orange, or yellow contrast nicely to the tomatoes)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed, or 2-3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin
  • 1-2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1-2 tsp. turmeric
  • powdered chile or flakes – add to your own taste for heat
  • 1 28-oz can of Cento San Marzano plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, or 6 large garden tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. In an ovenproof pan, add olive oil, heat it up.  Add onions and peppers; saute until tender – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, chili, and turmeric; continue to stir about a minute to let the flavors out and it becomes fragrant.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, cover, and let reduce – about 10-15 minutes.  Check it periodically to make sure that the mixture is not sticking to your pan.  Check your seasoning for heat.  Add salt and pepper, stir in, and remove from heat once the sauce is to your desired thickness.
  5. Make wells for each egg in the pan.  Break whole eggs into the wells. If you are using any cheese in your dish, this is when you add it.  Place small pieces around the eggs in the tomato sauce.
  6. Place in oven and bake about 10-12 minutes, until eggs set to desired degree – from runny yolks to solid, depending on your choice.
  7. Pour into bowls to serve, allowing 1-2 eggs per person.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.


Recipe: Kitchen Sink Soup


Toward the end of the month, and with $0.02 left in the food budget, we have to get creative.  I don’t think you can even buy a gumball for that price.  Yeah, we could go shopping, but the point of the Uber Frugal Month Challenge is to re-think frugality.  Hence, Kitchen Sink Soup!

During the week, Mr. 182 makes dinner for sure on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  These are the nights I don’t get home until 7 p.m.  He likes to cook, and in all the time he has been doing this, he has only made one meal I didn’t like too much – it had boiled brussel sprouts, which are just gross.  When I have time, I like to cook, too.

Yesterday, in the spirit of uber-frugalling, I rummaged around the house and the internet to come up with a variation of minestrone soup.

In the freezer, I found a cut-up chicken. I put it in a stew pot, added water, celery, onion, tomato slices, bay leaves, peppercorns, a carrot, and some herbs. I brought it to a boil, turned it down to a low simmer, covered, and cooked the chicken. I pulled out the chicken, and set it aside for a pot pie or something else for tomorrow (after all the soup is gone). I ran the broth through a sieve, set it aside, discarded the cooked veggies (put them into your compost if you have it), and washed out the kettle. From there, I did this:

Kitchen Sink Soup

2-3 T. olive oil
1 andouille or other sausage or leftover meat (or none), chopped
4-6 cloves grated garlic
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced,
1 zucchini, diced
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes (I used Cento’s San Marzano Plum Tomatoes)
1 15-oz can Great Northern Beans
1/2 c. pasta (I used orecchiette)
broth from the chicken I just stewed (you can use regular broth, about 6-8 cups)
salt, pepper, etc.
Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat stew pot, add olive oil. Place chopped onion in pan, saute over low heat until clear and golden. Add meat (if using) and saute a bit. Stir in grated garlic. Add remaining diced vegetables, saute until cooked. Once the vegetables are at the desired degree of being done, pour in the can of tomatoes. Mash up the tomatoes (I used my potato masher), and cook a bit more. Put in the chicken broth or whatever stock you are using. Bring to a boil, add pasta and beans. Drop to a simmer and cover pot. Watch to make sure the pot does not boil over from the cooking pasta. Check pasta for al dente. Ready to serve!

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle grated cheese on top, and eat with good bread. (We used our homemade sourdough.)