Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thrifty Thursday: Use What You are Given

I don't know about you but I try to make the most of everything that I have whether I purchased it or was given it. My big mission is to not only try to make sure that nothing goes to waste but that I use everything in creative ways.  I have had a few new challenges so I thought that I would share.

 My boss had two oranges that she wasn't going to eat so she gave them to me.  I zested the oranges to use the zest in something later.  I juiced the oranges and mixed it with a little orange juice that I had in the fridge to make a marinade.  I had a few packages of Weber seasoning in the cupboard so I split this into two different baggies and added the orange juice to marinate some chicken.

My boss also gave me a few apples.  My husband ate one of them but the other three got mushy so I cut them all off the core and blended them with applesauce so that I could add more fresh flavor and use the wonderful apples.  I made them into applesauce bread which was yummy!!

I blended the remaining dressing in the blender from the apples and it was amazing!!  I think that my apricot dressing could use a little apple every once in awhile.  I enjoyed it over greens that my mother left with my homemade croutons and blue cheese for a yummy lunch.  I also added the leftover iceburg lettuce from tacos a few days before to use up everything in the fridge.

Then I had another challenge to make something with carrots that my parents bought for me.  My mom said she wasn't sure why but my dad bought them and said they were for me- 2 lbs of them.  It was a huge bag so I didn't want them to go to waste but I normally only eat baby carrots.  I used one in my husband's fried rice but he wasn't really excited by that because he doesn't really like cooked carrots.  I decided that I needed to figure something else out so I asked if he would eat a carrot cake and my husband said that he didn't like the texture of carrots in the cake.  Well, way to make this more challenging.  I peeled and grated the carrots and put them in the blender with the extra apple sauce.  It smelled like fresh apples but looked like pumpkin almost.  I used the regular applesauce bread recipe and it was yummy!!  My husband and son decided that they both liked it!!  I will be making a second loaf soon.

I made some more croutons and when they were nice and hot, I served them with my olive oil pasta to add a little more yummy crunch.  Funny this was that I forgot to take a picture until I ate lots of it so you got a picture when I remembered!!  I put the rest of the croutons in a container to eat later.... they were also the ones that I used on my yummy salad discussed above.

I had a little milk past the date (again) because my son is the only one that drinks milk and it often goes to waste.  I decided to make a batch of rolls.  I made some for my husband's lunch last week and he really enjoyed them.  I tried to make them as hot dog rolls but some of them weren't really long enough so I used them for his sandwiches which was good because the sandwich bread last week was dry which lead to it being used for garlic bread instead of sandwiches.

I was excited to use my molasses that my mother bought with these wonderful gingerbread scones for a special weekend treat that we hadn't had in ages.  Since my son who used to love scones, decided that he no longer likes them, this was a treat specifically for my husband and myself.  I didn't realize until they were headed to the oven that I also had caramel bits which would be amazing so those will go in next time if they last that long!!!

Do you mind throwing out food??  It drives me crazy to waste anything so I try my best not to.  Sadly, the cinnamon pear scones weren't a hit and we didn't eat the whole double batch of chocolate chip cookies that I made during the snow storm so those went into the trash (almost breaking my heart) but hoping that I don't have anything else to waste.

What do you do when you have things that you don't have on the meal plan or things that you don't normally use??  This was my best attempt to not waste anymore but would love any more tips that you use!!


  1. What an excellent use of food that was given to you. Baking up leftovers into muffins (sweet or savoury) is always good. I use my freezer a lot. If something isn't being eaten up quickly, it can be thrown into the freezer as easily as the garbage, and will make an appearance later when it is "new" again, or I have come up with a plan to use it up. Sometimes I will cube those leftover bread slices or buns and freeze in pre-measured bags, so the work is already done when I want to make bread pudding, meat stuffing, fritatas, or croutons. I have been known to grate and puree veggies to add to my ground meat in casseroles or meat loaf. *wink*

    1. My husband keeps eyeing the bread because of the carrots but he keeps eating it. I told him that it wouldn't kill him but just add more vitamin C. I think that he would kill me for adding the rest of the carrots to the meat but maybe I need to make some spaghetti sauce and put it in there while he isn't home because I still have a bunch left.

  2. You did a fantastic job using up what you had, Alison! High Five to you!!
    I was giggling while reading your post because you mentioned baking bread twice. I find that is my usual 'go-to' way of using things up. I use one basic recipe and have made many versions of it: banana bread, applesauce bread, zucchini bread, oatmeal bread, cucumber bread, butternut squash bread, carrot bread, etc.- you name it, I've probably incorporated it into bread at some point. :)

    1. Never made or tried cucumber bread but I have the others for sure. I did the applesauce recipe although I added carrots and apples which I blended enough for two loaves but didn't want to make them at once. The mixture lost a little moisture in the fridge so I even threw the end of the apple cider in the bread which I got from a work party!! Love using everything to make the tastiest treats at no cost!! I am interested in the oatmeal bread because that sounds yummy to me!!

    2. The oatmeal bread was derived from a tasteless batch of apple cinnamon oatmeal that I put on the crock pot one night using steel cut oats. The next morning it smelled wonderful but we thought it tasted kind of awful, still not sure why it dudnt turn out good. I had a whole crock pot full of this oatmeal and was heartbroken at the thought of throwing it out and all that waste. So I used my trusted bread recipe and added some raisins and Tah-Dah! Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Bread was created and enjoyed in our house for many weeks. :)
      The cucumber bread was created because a neighbor had given us dozens of cucumbers from his garden, and after eating them in salads, sliced up, etc. for weeks I wanted to do something else with them before they all went bad. I shredded them and again used my trusted bread recipe and it ended up as a nice moist bread that actually was comparable to zucchini bread. :)
      I am all about using things up too.

    3. Awesome!! I like zucchini bread but I don't like cucumbers so I might be little hesitant on that one but I love using the oatmeal up that way. When my son doesn't finish his oatmeal, I always say I am going to save it and make it into bread but he brings home so many germs that it seems healthiest for all of us to pass on those but awesome use of the stuff that no one liked to make it into bread!! That sounds really good. I might be interested in trying that sometime :) Thanks for the idea :) Adding spices and raisins probably made all the difference.


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