Do you eat leftovers? I have only known one or two people in my life who didn’t. Well, I just don’t “get that”. When I was growing up, we ate everything until it was gone. Food meant money, or hard work from the garden. We just couldn’t throw money away.
Doesn’t everyone know that some things are **better** the next day?? Lasagna, gumbo and French onion dip are better after they set a while and my Mr. Patient thinks that my Chicago-Style Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza is better the next day. Some items are even anticipated as leftovers.
Then there are those items that just S I T there in the fridge. In their present state no one seems to want to grab the lonely leftovers. That’s when creativity must enter the culinary picture. I suppose years of kitchen experience and what amounts to months of reading cookbooks like novels has taught me a thing or three about using up what’s on hand.
Recent questions from a young mom regarding this very topic prompted my thoughts and actions. One Saturday I gathered many items that were hanging around, laid them out and started to create–for the fun of it, really. (My idea of fun could possibly be different from yours lol.)
You may know that we are planning to sell our home pretty soon and hit the roads of America to see the beauty in her land and her people. There are so many Heritage Stories to hear and Heritage Sites to see! And… there is SO much to do before we can leave. One of those chores is to use the food we have stored. (Remember, I just can’t bring myself to toss food out.)
Well, I have a full pantry…full, I say. As a matter of fact, you can tour the pantry here.
So on another day I pulled out a few ingredients that were begging to be combined into some sort of sweet creation.
This is what I did and it made my family very happy.
In a crockery pot, I tossed several kinds of chocolate. I believe I had dark chocolate bark, white chocolate chips and varieties of chocolate baking bars that were leftover from holiday baking. Adding all of these chocolates and a lot (maybe a couple of cups?) of chopped peanuts to the pot, I turned it on low until it was melted. This didn’t take but a couple of hours and I did stir 4 or so times while it was melting. I have had this to burn because I neglected it, so watch out!
On two baking sheets my Little Miss Homemaker covered the bottom with parchment paper and then a layer of Chex cereal. I’ll be you could use different cereal–be creative–but I will say that we agreed the Chex gave it a crunch that we liked. (Remember the Puppy Chow recipe that was all the rage a few years back?)
I poured the melted chocolate over the cereal….then sprinkled with some crushed peppermint from the pantry. I let it set then called it done! We thought it was a hit.
Be encouraged to use leftovers. Use what’s in your pantry, larder, refrigerator or freezer. Let me know in the comments about your latest and greatest leftover creation.
Love the wooden platter in the featured photo? Our friends David and Denise Robinson from Robinson Design Studio made the beautiful piece. They can be found on Instagram and Etsy.