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Often after a weekend of cooking and entertaining, there are ingredients left over from the recipes I prepared. I recently spent almost a week finding creative ways to use up the excess found in the refrigerator and pantry – always a fun challenge, and as interesting as coming up with a menu for a dinner party, lunch with friends or after school gathering.


2 cucumbers
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 1/3 cups dill pickles, quartered and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons pickling brine
1/3 cup sour cream
black pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumbers lengthwise so they look striped. Quarter cucumbers lengthwise and slice into 1/2 inch pieces.
Mix cucumbers with onions and salt. Transfer to a colander set over a bowl, to drain. Set aside for 30 minutes. Pat dry.
In a bowl, combine cucumbers and onions with pickles and dill. Mix in brine and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from The Wall Street Journal, July 2012


2 1/2 to 3 pounds of potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Place in a large bowl and cover with water, refrigerate until cold.
Melt butter in a 9 by 13 baking dish. Place flour, cheese, salt and pepper in a plastic bag and shake to mix.
Once potatoes are coated in cheese mixture, place them in the buttered dish. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour in a 375F oven, or until potatoes are tender, stirring once during cooking.

Recipe adapted from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 2003


4 to 5 pound pork shoulder
16 ounce bottle of Italian dressing

Put pork and Italian dressing in the crock-pot. Cook on high for 8 hours.

Recipe adapted from Jewels in the Kitchen, December 2008


2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced fresh strawberries

Heat oven to 400F.
Combine flour and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl, make a well in center of mixture.
Stir together yogurt, butter, lime zest, juice and eggs. Gently fold strawberries into batter. Spoon batter into lightly greased 12 cup muffin pans, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 1 minute, remove from pans to wire rack and cool 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, April 2012
www.southernliving.com › Food › Recipes