Veggie Corn Chowder, Cereal Snacks, & Expanding thoughts

Yesterday I looked into the refrigerator and saw a quart of potato soup I had made last Saturday and thought it would be a great base for a vegetable and corn chowder. That was what I made for supper and Brian, my husband loved it. When I told him it was a re purposing of potato soup from a few days ago he was really pleased. I tend not to be wasteful and am somewhat frugal so Brian suggested I share some of the things I do on the blog. 

I always have 2 or 3 things in mind for diner. This is easy for me because I keep a well stocked pantry which I view as a money saving thing to do because I very rarely have to make an unplanned run to the grocery for anything. I purposefully avoid these runs because you ALWAYS spend more then you intend to. I freeze leftovers with an intended purpose for them. I buy sales but I only buy what I intend. By that I do not impulse buy or purchase something just because I have a good coupon. If I would not have bought it in the first place, I don't buy it at all.

I like specific ingredients for specific things and buy them on sale and store them. A good example is King Arther Flours, I buy several varieties when they are on sale and store them in the freezer. This is a two fold bonus as you don't ever develop weevils or other pests when you store items in the freezer! and some items like coffee retain their freshness better in the deep freeze than in the pantry.
So here is the way I developed the chowder and what I used:

1 quart homemade potato soup
6-7 slices platter bacon, diced and fried in the bottom of the soup kettle
1 large onion diced
3 ribs of celery diced
1 carrot diced
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn drained
2 T. butter
1 C. half and half or milk

When the bacon is half way cooked to brown and crisp add the diced vegetables and stir as you reduce the heat and continue to cook them altogether. I like the vegetables to start to caramelise a little and the bacon to finish browning. Add the potato soup and both corns, milk , butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until heated to piping hot and serve. Yield 6 servings.

Some other things I do is to prepare and freeze things ahead. For example in the freezer right now is an unbaked meatloaf that only needs to be slipped into a hot oven and baked.

Today when I finish this post I am going to freeze the last of a Swiss steak and its gravy from earlier in the week. This re purposes beautifully into the basis of vegetable beef soup. I have already frozen the peas left from that meal for soup. Green beans I plan for next week will join them if there are any of them left. 

Tonight for supper I had thought we could have either strip steaks I purchased Wednesday at the butcher on sale, or salmon patties with a side, or chili cheese dogs and french fries. I am thinking we will go with the chili cheese dogs and re purpose the leftover chili from Tuesday night!!! Brian has been hankering for chili cheese dogs and mentioned them a couple of times lately. He encouraged me to write down my thoughts about menu planning. (I usually have all this in my head.) So I am going to try to write my next weeks thoughts and menus sometimes between Thursdays and Monday mornings. My goal is to post this on Friday mornings but I am going to leave it loose as that is just my preference. After working for 40 years I do not want to lock myself down into a tight commitment now.

Here are my thoughts for next weeks diner menus:

Sunday: Butterflied boneless pork chops, either grilled or pan seared and finished in the oven for 6 (family diner). Seasoned green beans, home style hash browned potatoes, Cole slaw, and thawed peaches I froze in the summer with homemade cookies.
If there are any chops left over they can be used in stir fry or a quick batch of BBQ for sandwiches.
The slaw stores and keeps well for a day or two.
Monday: Salmon patties, baked beans, and Cole slaw with rice crispy treats. I have gotten way to many marshmallows at this time and need to use them up.
Tuesday: Meatloaf. (already made up in the freezer) macaroni and cheese, lettuce wedges.
We love meatloaf sandwiches hot or cold so these will either reappear for lunch or supper!!
Wednesday: Fried fish 'n french fries and apple salad.
Thursday: Bean soup, corn bread, cottage cheese, celery and carrot sticks. This we will share with Mike and his family as he loves bean soup.
Note* I have chicken 'n dumplings banging around in my head also so it might just appear in place of what I have supposed as may anything else!!!
Friday: Many Fridays we have carry out or we go out. If we stay home I may make beef curry. If not on Friday I will probably make it for Sunday diner. I will try to post most of these recipes as I go if they are not already in this blog.
I also mixed up my own version of cereal treats out of left over odds and ends this week. I microwaved in a small bowl until melted 1/2 C. butter and stirred into it 2 rounded T. Lawry's seasoned salt, 2 T. Worcestershire sauce, 2 rounded t. onion salt, 2 rounded t. garlic powder, and a few shakes of hot red pepper.
In a large glass bowl I measured about 14 C. of assorted dry toasted and not sweetened cereals, nuts, pretzels, and snack crackers. I poured the seasoned butter over the cereal and stirred until everything was well coated. Microwave in high 2 minutes and stir. do this 3 times until the total of microwave minutes is 6 and you have stirred 3 times. Dump out onto paper towels and allow to sit until cold. Store in an airtight container.

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