Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Pigs in a Blanket

Look at how old this recipe is for Pigs in a Blanket! Remember making these back in the day? My sister wrote this out when she was pretty young! I think she and I must have both gotten this recipe in 7th grade Home Ec class! There were a LOT of great recipes that came from that Home Ec class, and this is definitely one of them. That’s why this one’s going in the Retro Oddities category! I’ve been making this recipe for my kids since they were very small. It’s an inexpensive dinner that looks like you’ve really made something special – and my kids loved it – especially the name! This is another recipe that’s total comfort food for this family, and with shorter days and less daylight coming now this time of year, it’s time to pull out some of our favorite comfort food recipes, warm up the oven, and make some cozy, comfy dinners.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pigs in a Blanket

Unroll:

1 roll of refrigerator crescent rolls

Separate into triangles.

Remove from package:

1 package of hot dogs (I used my husband’s favorite kind, but we normally use Oscar Meyer Wieners)

Cut slit almost to bottom and not quite to the end of hot dog.

For cheese:

Velveeta cheese cut into 1/4″ slices, and cut those into 1/4″ strips.

Insert cheese into slit in hot dogs.

Wrap hot dog in crescent rolls, starting with the wide edge of roll under hot dog.

Roll up and pinch point end under hot dog to seal.

Place on baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes.

Because I didn’t use the usual Oscar Meyer Wieners, I put the hot dogs on a paper towel to dry them off a bit – these were juicy, but they’re my husband’s favorite.

Unroll the tube of crescent rolls, separate them, and have them ready for rolling.

This is it – 3 basic ingredients – all ready to go.

Cut a slit in the hot dog and insert the stick of cheese.

Roll the crescent roll dough around the hot dog. I found that starting with the wide end on the bottom let you end up with the pointed end underneath so it doesn’t come apart when baking – it stays nice and tight that way.

Tuck the pointed end of the crescent roll dough underneath and it stays put. Easy peasy.

Here they are – ready for the oven!

The hot dogs cook, the cheese melts, and the crescent roll dough gets brown and delicious.

These make a nice weekend lunch or quick weeknight dinner. Serve them with ketchup AND mustard, and you’re good to go.

Oh yum. I haven’t made these for a few years, and I had forgotten just how tasty they are! Your kids and grandkids will love them, and they’ll love helping you make them. It’s time to bring back these tasty favorites. Turn on the oven, get retro, and make up a nice, cozy, comfy dinner tonight with your new favorite comfort food – Pigs in a Blanket!

 

 

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Country Pie

I found this recipe for Country Pie in one of Grandma’s old cookbooks – it was submitted by one of Grandma’s sisters, who originally got it from her daughter – who just happens to be my mom’s cousin and my godmother. This cousin is the one who grew up so close – close in age, close in proximity, and close in relationship. They always say they were more like sisters than cousins, even though my mom is a year older. This is a photo of the two of them dressed alike. I love how their parents always used a nice backdrop for their photos! Ha! They have the same dresses, and hair bows, and even their hair is styled the same!

They were great friends – still are! They were just so stinkin’ cute – still are!

As for the recipe – it was submitted to the church cookbook, but I also found the handwritten copy of the same recipe from Grandma’s sister. I love those old recipes, so I put the recipe card in here instead of the recipe from the cookbook. This was a great dish I made when our daughter was over for lunch on a Sunday before a Minnesota Vikings game, but it would be an nice week-night meal, too – easy to do and delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Country Pie

For the crust:

1 pound lean ground beef – not cooked or browned – yes, raw

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used panko crumbs)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (I went crazy and added 1/4 teaspoon – I could have used more than that)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 of a small green pepper, chopped

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup Minute Rice

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used a 15 oz can of tomato sauce total – close enough)

1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all together (except 1/4 cup cheese for top).

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Uncover, top with remaining cheese, and bake another 15 minutes (after uncovering, I baked it an additional 20 minutes – to make sure beef was fully cooked – before putting cheese on top).

I know it sounds a little strange to use uncooked ground beef, and I thought so, too, but it works! This is the crust, so I just patted it into the pie pan as if it was a pie crust. It’s more like a meatloaf crust layer.

Next, I poured in the filling – and yes! It all goes in!

I forgot to show that I covered the pie with foil. Luckily – and I DO mean luckily – I had just cleaned my oven!

After the baking it covered, I didn’t feel comfortable with how the beef still looked a bit pink, so I left it in for another 20 minutes or so.

Then, on went the shredded cheese and back into the oven it goes! I may have used more than 1/4 cup of cheese on the top – I like it cheesy.

It came out all bubbly and cheesy and delicious! My daughter and I were brainstorming about this recipe – you’ll probably see more variations of this one down the road!

That meatloaf type crust and the rice filled filling – yum! I would let this sit for 10-15 minutes before serving next time. There was a bit of liquid that wasn’t absorbed into the pie when I cut it for the first slice, but when we went back for seconds, it had.

This was an amazingly delicious lunch, but I just can’t help think it would be a great weeknight dinner – it’s pretty fast to pull together! I served it with a bit of sour cream and some chives from my garden, but ketsup and green onions would be good, too. I think this may just become a staple in this household – I hope you’ll try this Country Pie and make it a staple in your household, too!

 

 

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Scandinavian Egg Sandwich

Ok guys – we’re making a Scandinavian Egg Sandwich today! Yes – you heard me! This sandwich can be made almost entirely from leftovers (for our family, anyway). It’s the perfect holiday breakfast, lunch, or snack, and it’s amazingly delicious! Our family made up this sandwich over the years, but it really came to be finalized in 2016 when my sister, her family, and my mom came to be with us for the whole Christmas holiday. Everybody loved it because it uses a lot of our favorite holiday foods. We usually have the ingredients (that are leftovers) at some point during the holiday season, so it really was a no-brainer. My family loves egg sandwiches. In fact, all of our kids HAVE to have their dad’s egg sandwiches at some point almost every time they come to stay with us for any length of time. They grew up on them with his making them before and/or after every sports event, drama event, or music event – and there were A LOT of those. There isn’t really a recipe, just a tutorial, and we’ll explore that for dad’s egg sandwiches at some point later. For now, I’ll just tell you how we made these particular egg sandwiches.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Scandinavian Egg Sandwich

I’m showing how to make this sandwich Scandinavian here, but it’s very easy to change this and make it just how YOU like it!

Step 1-

Slice and/or toast 2 slices from a Julekaga, loaf of bread (or panettone or regular sliced bread), and put one slice on a plate. This is your platform for the rest of the sandwich. I don’t like mine toasted and that’s why I didn’t toast the bread here. My daughter was in Chicago this fall and brought home a panettone from her visit to Eatily, so I didn’t make Julekaga this year. Normally I would use Julekaga, but this year I used the panettone for the sandwiches instead.

Step 2 –

Dollop on a spoonful of your favorite jam. We used lingonberry jam to fulfill our Scandinavian theme, but any jam like strawberry or raspberry would also be delicious.

Step 3 –

Layer on slices of brown fudge cheese (Gjetost) or your favorite cheese. We always have brown cheese for the holidays. If you haven’t tried it – I HIGHLY recommend it (it seriously does taste like fudge)! If you don’t want to try the most delicious cheese in the world, then use whatever cheese you like.

Step 4 –

Next comes a slice of Christmas ham. We have fried the ham at times in the past, but this ham was very flavorful and I didn’t feel like it needed to be fried. If you like it hot, go ahead and fry it first. You could also use turkey, so this would be good for a thanksgiving treat, too. Just use cranberry sauce and turkey instead of jam and ham.

Step 5 –

Last, but not least, a fried egg goes on top. I like a fried egg on mine, and I like it a bit drippy, but you can put on whatever kind of egg you like. My husband likes to break the yolks of his eggs when making an egg sandwich, because he likes to “mess” with stuff while he’s “cooking”. He just folds it up into a square of cooked eggs and puts that on top.

Step 6 –

Top it with the second slice of bread and cut it in half. Eat it like a sandwich, or use a knife and fork – whatever works. It’s so delicious – you’re just not going to believe it! You can tell it’s good by the way the egg yolk and jam somehow drip their way down your fingers and hands. Go ahead and lick your fingers – you won’t want to waste a bit of it!

This sandwich has everything you’d want in an egg sandwich: tender, fruity bread, sweet jam, salty ham, the delicious, drippy egg. What more could you want?!! It’s the perfect after holiday breakfast or snack, as far as I’m concerned. You’re using up some leftovers and it’s ridiculously delicious to boot! I know you’re going to love it. Bring out your inner Viking and try this Scandinavian Egg Sandwich!

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Baked Cabbage

I know, I know – Baked Cabbage doesn’t sound that great. O.M.G. This is a recipe I found when going through my mom’s recipes and it is so good. I don’t know where she got this recipe – maybe from a co-worker? It might have been the year we grew cabbage in our garden and we had a LOT or cabbage to use. Anyway, I don’t ever remember my mom making this – and I would have remembered – but I’m glad she kept the recipe. We love cabbage anyway in our family, but this recipe takes the humble cabbage to new heights. When you say the recipe is called Baked Cabbage – that just makes my laugh. It sounds like it would be a dish that’s not so great. Who would have thought that cabbage could be this good! I’m not kidding! This might be one of the best vegetable dishes I’ve EVER had! It’s delicious!

This would be a great dish to make in March after St. Patrick’s Day when cabbage is cheap or when you hit the Farmer’s Market and buy local!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Baked Cabbage

Coarsely cut up:

1 medium head of cabbage

Boil in water until partially done – about 5 minutes.

Drain and put cabbage into a casserole.

Mix together:

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

a little milk

Add this to cabbage and mix.

Add enough milk to just cover the cabbage (I used about 1/2 cup in all).

Add buttered bread crumbs or croutons on top (I used croutons).

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Cut the core out of the cabbage before chopping.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients, . . .

. . . which makes this fairly inexpensive to make.

Boil the cabbage and then . . .

. . . drain it before putting it into the casserole dish.

You can see that I didn’t really add a lot of milk, just enough to barely cover the cabbage.

While I’m sure the buttered bread crumbs would be delicious, I used some croutons I had in my cupboard. I did crush them a bit.

The egg mixture makes it almost like a custard.

We had this cabbage dish for dinner, and we ate almost the whole thing! It really hit the spot for some reason. It mixes the wonderful taste of the cabbage with the sweet custard, and it’s really good! Next time you’re at the Farmer’s Market, pick up a cabbage and try this Baked Cabbage.

 

 

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Easter Ham

Oh, how we love a good Easter Ham in our family. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that we’re big on traditions in our family. Maybe my kids get it from me, because I think I’ve always been that way. They’re the worst when it comes to tradition – we have to do the same things EVERY year for holidays. They’ve always been that way, too. One tradition that stays the same is the movies we watch for each holiday, and the other main traditional thing that stays the same is food. Each holiday has its own decorations, movies, and food and there is no exception. Additions are rare, and deletions are even more rare, and Easter is no exception. This photo show just where the tradition thing originally comes from. This is Grandma, me (at about 6 years old), my mom, and Grandma’s oldest sister at Easter.

These women were heavy into tradition, and frankly, I’m very grateful for that. We all need traditions – that’s what makes a holiday, a holiday.

My family demands the same food – every year – for every holiday and occasion. I make this Easter Ham every year for our Easter dinner, but the exact recipe for the glaze does change from time to time. Sometimes I use honey or orange marmalade or crushed pineapple. Sometimes I use regular yellow mustard, but this is the basic glaze recipe that I use almost every year. This is also a money-saving meal because you can save the ham bone to make Split Pea Soup later.

Here is the recipe as I made it (this time):

Easter Ham

Glaze:

1 cup real maple syrup

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons grainy mustard

4 ounces pineapple juice (1 of the small individual cans you can buy in a 6-pack)

Ham:

Pre-cooked, smoked 16.5 pound ham. (We get ours double-smoked from a local store that does their own meats and smoking.)

Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes per pound.

I put the ham in a 9″ x 13″ pan, added 2 cups water, and covered with foil for first hour.

Then it’s time to uncover, baste with glaze and bake another hour. Baste with the glaze again until done. Let  it sit for 10 minutes or so before carving.

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I put the pineapple juice in mixing up the ingredients and I knew that I would need a bit more glaze. Double it or make another half batch if you need more for the basting.

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This is the ham after the first hour – and after the basting and second hour of baking.

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When cutting this ham, try to get a little of the deliciously basted outside crust on every piece.

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This has a nice caramelized crust and it’s moist and tender on the inside. Tender isn’t quite the word for it – I think I’d say it melts in your mouth.

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Easter Ham is one of those “must have” and traditional food items at Easter dinner. Don’t forget to save the ham bone for a batch of Split Pea Soup! Try this glaze and ham it up! Ha! Ok, ok. I know – that’s enough. What are some of your Easter food traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

 

 

 

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Lemon Pasta with Shrimp

The recipe for today is one continuing our sun-shiny lemon recipes, but today we’re not making dessert – we’re making a pasta dish.

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Lemon Pasta with Shrimp is a main dish that’s also going under the heading of Money-Saving Meals. If you find a good deal on shrimp (frozen in this case), this is a very economical meal. This one is loosely based on Ina Garten’s recipe for Lemon Pasta with Roasted Shrimp, but as usual, I had to put my own spin on it. It’s easy, it’s lemony, and it’s delicious – sounds like it fits all the criteria for letting the sun shine in.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lemon Pasta with Shrimp

Thaw:

2 pounds frozen cooked shrimp (you can roast raw shrimp, like Ina does, but this was what I had on hand)

If using cooked shrimp, remove tails once the shrimp is thawed.

Meanwhile, cook according to package instructions:

1 pound thin spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or other pasta – whatever you like

Drain pasta and reserve a cup or so of the pasta water to add to the sauce, if needed.

Melt in a large skillet:

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

zest and juice of 2 lemons

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 green onions, greens only, thinly sliced

Add the shrimp just long enough to warm through.

Add cooked pasta to the sauce in the skillet.

Combine.

Add some reserved pasta water, if needed.

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It helps to zest your lemon rind and juice the lemon before starting.

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I had cooked frozen shrimp on hand, so that’s what I used.

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My skillet isn’t big enough to put the pasta into, so I combined the pasta and the sauce right in the bowl.

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I made a mistake and didn’t notice before starting, that the recipe calls for 2 pounds of shrimp and 1 pound of pasta. I only had 1 pound of shrimp and should have used only 1/2 pound of pasta. I used the whole pound, but because of the amount of juice in the lemons from California (they were incredibly juicy), the amount of sauce was just fine.

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This is a delicious and lemony pasta dish, and you’re going to love it! Make this one tonight! It’s faster to make than fast food!

 

 

 

 

 

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Cabbage Salad

I was incredibly lucky to have 2 sets of amazing and very loving grandparents. My Gramp was the first to leave us, but not until I was in college, so I was able to enjoy all of my grandparents most of my growing up years. This photo is of my other grandparents and me when I was about 3 months old. We lived next door to them until we moved to the lake when I was 8, and I was at their house almost every day.

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The recipe for today is from this grandma. She made Cabbage Salad every time the whole family was all at their house for dinner. There were 12-16 of us when all of my aunts and uncles and cousins were there, and I’m sure this was just an economical thing. Also, this salad goes with absolutely everything. There isn’t really a card for this – I watched and helped her make this my whole life, so I just always knew how to do it. I’m going to try and write down what I do, but I have to admit that this changes a little bit from time to time, depending on what I have on hand and how I’m feeling on the day I make it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cabbage Salad

Shred :

1 head of cabbage.

Dressing:

(All of these measurements are approximate depending on how big the head of cabbage is. Feel free to taste and adjust the sugar and vinegar to your liking.)

1 cup mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Blend.

Add to the shredded cabbage and combine.

Add:

2 sliced bananas

or

pineapple chunks.

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You can use a food processor to shred the cabbage, or hone your shredding skills with a knife.

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I used bananas for this salad, but grandma did occasionally use pineapple. Pineapple was probably for really special occasions.

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This is definitely an unusual flavor combination. Not everyone in my family liked this made with bananas.

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This salad is economical, it’s tasty, and it goes with any main dish. It brings back a lot of memories for me of dinners at Gramp and Grandma’s with the family around the dining room table laughing, telling stories, and being together. It was so much fun. Those are memories I’ll always cherish.

 

 

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Tater Tot Hotdish

The recipe for today is an old stand-by in our family. Believe it or not, it’s another one that came from my 7th grade Home Ec class!! It’s such an easy thing to start with when you’re first learning to cook. Maybe that has something to do with it being everyone’s favorite. Tater Tot Hotdish is a recipe that everyone HAS to have, and I’m sure most people do, but I just had to share this one for this oh so important comfort food. I don’t know how people can get by without it. It’s tasty, it’s comforting, it’s easy to do, it’s just the BEST!!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Tater Tot Hotdish

Brown in skillet:

1 pound ground beef or turkey

1 small onion, chopped

Add:

1 can of cream soup (mushroom or celery)

Place in bottom of casserole dish:

1 can vegetables (corn, beans, mixed – I sometimes like to add a 1/2 cup of frozen peas)

Place on top of that:

ground beef mixture

Top with:

2-3 cups Tater Tots

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

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This recipe is all about layering starting with the ground beef, onion, and soup mixture. Oops! I put the meat in first on this one! Any way you layer it, it will still be delicious!

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Next is the can of vegetables. I just HAVE to add frozen peas – it’s all about the color for me.

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Last, but definitely not least, the tots – baked until they’re golden brown and crispy.

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OMG. Now that’s a thing of beauty.

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Everybody just HAS to have this recipe, so I just HAD to have it on the blog. You just can’t beat those old Home Ec recipes – they’re just so good. This is one of my all time favorites and I just love it, whether I need comforting or not. What’s your favorite comfort food?

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken-Noodle Soup with Vegetables

The recipe for today is from my old Betty Crocker Cookbook, copyright 1978, and is one of the stand-by recipes that I have used many times over the years. It’s amazing that something with such simple ingredients can be so darn tasty. My husband was recently sick with what sure sounded like pneumonia to me (although the Dr. didn’t say so), and it was time to try out the scientifically proven fact that chicken soup can, indeed, help you feel better when you’re sick.

Before I finish my story, I have to share this adorable photo of my adorable husband who is already running to get his golf ball after whacking it with that club! He looks like he’s about 2 years old here – what a cutie!

Paul running with golf club

Love the fuzzy hair and the baby buggy in the background! It looks like whoever took the photo was interrupting his game, and that’s a no-no (as we all we all well know from playing games with him now)! Ok – back to the chicken soup story . . .

While sitting across the room from my husband when he was sick, I was able to hear what sounded like a very loud crackle coming from him when he breathed. He was miserable and had already been on 3 medications for a couple of days, but this didn’t sound good to me and it was time to take action. Off to the kitchen to make a pot of this Chicken-Noodle Soup with Vegetables. He needed all the help he could get!

Here is recipe as I made it:

Chicken-Noodle  Soup with Vegetables

2 1/2 pound broiler-fryer chicken, cut up (for this batch I used 3 chicken breasts)

1 quart water

4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 2 cups)

4 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 2 cups)

1 small onion, sliced (this isn’t in the original recipe, but I always put it in, along with, sometimes, 1/2 cup of frozen peas)

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon monosodium glutamate, optional (I never use this)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 chicken bouillon cubes (if using these, omit the above mentioned 1 Tablespoon of salt – it is plenty salty)

2 cups uncooked thin egg noodles (I couldn’t find thin noodles, so I used medium)

Heat all ingredients except noodles to boiling in a 4 quart Dutch oven; reduce heat.

Cover and simmer until chicken is done about 45 minutes.

Skim fat if necessary.

Cook noodles as directed (I don’t cook the noodles first – I just put them into the broth when the chicken is removed).

Remove chicken from broth and cool slightly.

Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.

Add chicken and noodles to broth; heat until hot, about 5 minutes.

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Here are the very simple ingredients.

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Here’s the chicken – into the pot – and out of the pot and cut up.

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This soup is incredibly easy and incredibly good!

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It worked! It helped! My husband is finally on the mend and I’m going to take credit for it. Never mind that he had to take those 3 medications. My prescription for colds, flu, pneumonia, and any other ailments (physical or mental) – a big pot of this soup. It will make you feel so much better, in so many ways.

 

 

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Garbage Can Frittata

I know this isn’t the most appetizing name for a dish, but that’s what the boys in my house (my husband and my son) have named it. They usually take care of any leftovers we have by taking it the next day for their lunches, but once in a while, things accumulate in the refrigerator and I get a chance to do this. I made a Garbage Can Frittata a few weeks ago, and the boys went so crazy over it, they made me do it again to be able to post about it. That frittata included pepperoni, cream cheese left from another recipe, spaghetti left from dinner a few nights earlier, peppers and onions leftover from fajitas, and frozen peas. For some reason, they just thought it was so good and we decided that maybe we should start making this every Saturday for lunch! Now this is NOT for those things that are beyond hope and have “gone bad”, as they say. This is using things that you’ve had and accumulated during the current week. I bet both of my grandmas would love this one (they both survived the Great Depression) since it uses up leftovers and is VERY economical. There really isn’t a recipe – you just use what you have in the frig.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Garbage Can Frittata

Put in pie plate or Quiche dish that is sprayed with non-stick spray:

Anything leftover in your refrigerator, such as:

Cooked potatoes or pasta

Cooked veggies and/or sliced onions (you could cook the onions in the pie plate a few minutes before putting the other ingredients in)

A cooked meat of some kind

Any type of cheese, shredded or cubed, about a half cup or so

Add:

6-8 eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper and/or herbs if desired

Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until set.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I used 6 eggs for this one, but if you have a lot of ingredients, you could add 1 or 2 more. Then bake it 5-10 minutes longer.

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This one has shredded chicken, onions, and peppers from fajitas, sliced black olives, last nights sliced chicken sausage, a bit of shredded cheddar, and frozen peas. Remember – this is whatever you have leftover from dinner this week.

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It ended up being a pretty colorful frittata. The eggs don’t seem to cover everything, but they do in the end.

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After baking, it’s golden and puffed and beautiful – all from leftovers.

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This makes a great lunch or dinner  – maybe with a green salad.

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These frittatas change every time I make them, and yours will, too. It’s a delicious way to use up those leftovers and change them up. If  you’re sneaky about it, no one will ever know!

 

 

 

 

 

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The New Vintage Kitchen

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