Make Pumpkin Bowls for Soups

Serving autumn soups in pumpkin bowls will add a nice element to an autumn feast, or a regular dinner or lunch. Great for Thanksgiving or any day.

How to Make Pumpkin Bowls:

1 small-sized pumpkin per person

food scoop

sharp knife

  1. Wash the pumpkins and allow the outsides to dry thoroughly.
  2. Cut the top off each pumpkin, just like you were going to carve it. Take the pumpkin strands and seeds off.
  3. Reserve the top to use as a cover for the bowl.
  4. Reserve the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.
  5. Scoop some of the pumpkin out to use in soups, but leave enough so the bowl will be sturdy while the soup is in it. Leave the pumpkin outside intact with no areas that are too thin.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkins to save money.
  • Use your spoon to scoop pumpkin from the insides as you eat the soup. This is still edible.
  • Roast those pumpkin seeds!

Serving Suggestions

  • Soups are healthy, and adding a side salad will give more of a nutritional punch.

What types of soups can be put into these Pumpkin Bowls? Any type of vegetable based soup will do. Look around this blog and see what interests you.

Shannon

Freezer: Using up the Winter Stocks

Since it is the time of the year when we spring clean, I thought it would be nice if we all considered our freezers for a few minutes. Do you have any leftover produce in the freezer? I know that I still have some frozen smoothie packs and berries in the freezer that need to be used. Here are some pointers for using up your winter stores:

* The eggs you purchased on sale and froze will need to be used. Since the yolks had to be broken to freeze, you cannot make boiled or fried eggs with them. You could make other things, though:

  • scrambled eggs
  • french toast with a hearty paleo bread
  • use them when baking

These can be frozen in snack size baggies, then put all the baggies into a quart or gallon size freezer baggie until needed. Freeze them one egg to a snack size baggie, or use bigger bags and freeze more than one  in each.  Take the eggs out of the night before  you need them.

* Use grated zucchini  to make:

  • muffins
  • breads
  • omelets
  • cookies
  • brownies
  • cakes

* Diced apples are great for breads and muffins, brownies, cookies and cakes.

* Sliced apples make great crisps, pies, sauces, and cobblers.

* You can make a great soup from (saved) leftover vegetables, meats, and liquids from cooking the veggies.

* Make smoothies using the smoothie packs you froze during the winter.

Happy eating!

Shannon

Use Those Odds and Ends

Odds and ends are not necessarily considered leftovers. They are those foods that you find at the bottom of a pan, or left on a platter when everything else has been eaten. They may be a tablespoon of some type of vegetable, or a few pieces of meat. Perhaps there is a quarter-of-a-cup of rice. Small amounts of food that will add up over time.

If you plan to keep up with it, place everything in one container in the refrigerator. Allow food items to accumulate in this container over the course of a few days, then use everything in omelets or in some other recipe. Freezing is another method of storing bits of food, and will give you more to work with at once. This method does take longer, if you want enough for an entire meal.

There are many food items that may be made with the odds and ends you will save. Choose to make things your family will enjoy. Here are a few options for your consideration.

Salads

These can be made with uncooked fruits and vegetables, as well as cold bits of cooked meat. Pre-cooked sweet potato is great for an autumn salad. You can warm the meat through before adding it to your salad, but this is not necessary. Use the odds and ends first, then go through your refrigerator and pantry to see what else you may add in order to make a full meal.

Soups and Stews

Put all of the odds and ends into the pot as you normally would, then add other ingredients. Vegetables, meats, and more can be used in a soup. Adding some homemade broth or stock will add more flavor to the dish.

Casseroles

Here’s an easy one. Place cooked meat in the bottom of a baking dish, and pour a few tablespoons of water or stock over the meat. Use one or two cups of vegetable odds and ends to spread over the meat, then add a layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with herbs. Use a mixture of meat odds and ends if you want, rather than new meat.

Using odds and ends will allow you to save money on your grocery bill. What methods do you incorporate for using up odds and ends?

Shannon

 

The Art of Leftover Wizardry

On page 133 of  the Amy Dycyzynz book The Complete Tightwad Gazette, she discusses the art of leftover wizardry. This is an important concept when trying to live frugally.

She mentions things like:

  • Using leftovers for lunches.
  • Keeping a soup container in the freezer.
  • Pot luck nights.

When freezing leftovers, I tend to do three things:

  1. Freeze leftover vegetables in 1 container.
  2. Freeze leftover meats in another container.
  3. Freeze vegetable, meat and pasta juice in another container.

With these three containers of food, I can make a variety of foods:

  1. Casseroles
  2. Sauces
  3. Cat Stew (for our kitties)
  4. Soups/stews
  5. Mini meatloaf

What ideas can you come up with?

Shannon

Herb Profile: Chives

Popular among Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, chives are easily grown in any garden, or even where there is no garden.  They are part of the lily family, like onions and other types of herbs. Chives originated from Asia and Europe, coming to the United States later. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible.

Chives are noted for having certain health benefits, such as those needed for

  • Digestion
  • Circulation
  • Respiration

Note: Consult a doctor if you are being treated for any illnesses before using any type of food for its’ health benefits.

My nephews enjoy eating the leaves fresh from the garden.

Chives make great additions to many recipes, including

  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Salads
  • Potato Recipes

Here are some ways you can use chives

  • Top baked potato with chopped leaves.
  • Add to soups and stews after cooking.
  • Chop leaves and add to omelets.
  • Use the flowers in salads.

What uses do you have for chives?

Shannon