Archive for the ‘leftovers’ Category

At our house, we frequently have leftover coffee in the pot long after everyone is done wanting hot coffee.  Usually the pot gets turned off and the leftovers sit there until they get dumped out just prior to my making a new pot of coffee.  The only exception to this process is when my husband is traveling and I make coffee to take with me in a travel mug to work.  Since I have to make a minimum of a 4 cup batch in my coffeemaker to get decent coffee, I will pour what I want into my travel mug, turn off the coffee maker and pour the remainder into a regular mug that can be microwaved, cover it with Glad Press and Seal, and put it in the fridge.  Since it is fresh coffee promptly refrigerated, the next day I can reheat it in the microwave, pour it into my travel mug and add my cream and sugar and not have to make coffee on the second day.  The second day’s coffee may not be quite as fresh as the first day’s, but it tastes fine and I feel better about saving time and money.

But on to iced coffee. I have tried in the past to make iced coffee at home with varying degrees of success.  Yesterday I did a web search and found several sites offering advice.  Here is a slim page with some of the links I found most helpful (this blog post is included as one of the links).


This morning, I made a larger than usual pot of coffee so that I would have leftovers.  After everyone had coffee, there was still about 3 ½ cups left in the pot.  I poured the hot coffee into a glass pitcher (Yes!  Finally a use for an antique pitcher I didn’t know what to do with) that I had warmed with tap water first (didn’t want to risk it cracking).    One site recommended adding the sugar to the hot coffee so that it dissolves well.  That’s always been one of my problems with iced coffee.  I doubled the amount of sugar I use in hot coffee, so I added 6 teaspoons of sugar to the 3 ½ cups of coffee in the pitcher, stirred well, covered with Press and Seal ( I love Press and Seal!) and put it in the fridge.

At lunch, I filled a glass with ice, poured in the cool coffee (it was in the fridge for only a couple hours and hadn’t fully chilled yet) to fill the glass just over halfway.  I then added about the amount of half and half I would use in a cup of coffee and filled the rest of the glass with 1% milk.

Turned out great!  I still have half a pitcher of coffee in the fridge so we’ll see how well it keeps if the kids don’t figure out how to make their own and use it all up this afternoon.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

Best regards,



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After last night’s dinner, I have to insist that I am QUEEN OF LEFTOVERS!  I made what must have been my best meal using leftovers ever.  If you are a regular reader, you may recall that I posted on Sunday about prepping two batches of Cooking Light’s Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin.   I froze one batch and we grilled the other batch Monday for dinner.  Here is the link to my article about prepping the tenderloins.  It includes the link to the original recipe:


My son ended up having dinner at a friend’s and my husband wasn’t feeling well and didn’t eat much, so we had most of the tenderloin left over.  I find that a lot of grilled meats are hard to reuse at leftovers unless you do something really different with them.  I have been rereading some old Cooking Light magazines lately and in the July 2005 issue came across a recipe for a nice summer sandwich.  I realized that I could alter the recipe and use up my leftover pork tenderloin and also improve it by making my own focaccia bread when the recipe called for store bought.  Aside from making the bread, which is actually pretty easy as long as you leave enough time, this recipe was quick and easy to throw together.  I am going to include the sandwich recipe first, then my recipe for easy bread machine focaccia.

Focaccia Sandwiches with Grilled Meat Leftovers and Balsamic Glazed Veggies

1 colored bell pepper (I used red), cored, halved, and sliced into thin slices

1 medium to large onion, halved, then sliced

Olive oil


¼ c. balsamic vinegar

About 1 lb. of leftover grilled meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.), sliced into pieces roughly about 3 inch by 3 inch by about 1/2 inch thick (you do not have to be real accurate here, just don’t leave it in huge pieces)

¼ c. water

1 loaf of store-bought focaccia bread or one batch homemade (see recipe below)

Heat a large fry pan over medium to medium high heat.  I like to use a cast iron pan for searing veggies.  Add about 1-2 T. olive oil to pan.  I saved an old squirt bottle and keep it filled with olive oil so it is easy to just put a couple squirts into the pan.  When oil is hot, dump in all the peppers and onions.  Stir and fry for 7 to 8 minutes until veggies are soft and a bit browned.    Sprinkle a bit of salt on veggies and add balsamic vinegar.  I did not actually measure this, just gave the bottle a few good shakes over the pan.  Continue cooking for a minute or two until vinegar turns to a light glaze.  Turn off heat and transfer veggies to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

Give the frying pan a quick swipe with a paper towel to get any loose junk cleaned up.    Heat pan again to medium heat and add a little olive oil.  Add meat and heat for a few minutes on each side until heated through and a little brown.  Pour the water into pan and stir with meat to deglaze and create a tiny bit of sauce.  Turn off heat and transfer meat to serving dish, covering with foil.

Slice the focaccia into bun sized pieces if desired (you can also make one giant sandwich and then cut into servings if you like) and then slice horizontally.

For each sandwich, layer on some meat, add some glazed veggies on top, then add any other garnishes you like – we had fresh garden lettuce leaves on ours and thought some mayo might be good next time.

These were really terrific.  It should make 4-6 servings depending on how big of eaters you are serving.

Here is the recipe for focaccia, adapted from Bread Machine, by Jennie Shapter.

Easy Bread Machine Focaccia

Scant 1 c. water

1 T. olive oil

3 c. bread flour

½ t. salt

1 t. sugar

1 t. yeast (I HIGHLY recommend SAF yeast in bulk – I buy it at Gordon Food Service, a Midwest chain)

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Place the first 6 ingredients (everything up to and including the yeast) in your bread machine according to its instructions and run on a standard dough cycle.

When the dough cycle is finished, grease an 11 inch cast iron pan or other 11 inch round baking dish with olive oil.  For the sandwiches, I wanted a thinner, rectangular loaf, and used an 8.5×12.5 inch glass baking dish.  For everyday focaccia, if you don’t have an 11 inch round pan, an 8 x 12 inch baking pan should give you about the same surface area (I am an engineer and so of course I actually did the calculations to check!).  You can usually just shape the dough with your hands and press in the pan to fit, or you can roll on a floured surface and place into the pan.  Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F.  This bread also bakes nicely in a convection oven – see your manual for any temperature conversions necessary for convection.

After the first rise, uncover the dough and take two fingers and poke them down into the dough (you don’t have to be too gentle here – I push down until I can feel the bottom of the pan without tearing the dough – it puffs back a little) about every inch or so.  If the dough is rising unevenly, I use this process to push the dough around a little to sort of even out its distribution.  Cover again and let rise another 10-15 minutes.

Uncover the dough and squirt or pour or spread about 2-3 T. of olive oil on top.  I will sometimes tilt the pan back and forth a little to try to make it spread over the entire top, or you can gently spread with a pastry brush or paper towel.  Sprinkle with a little salt (sea salt is preferable if you’ve got it – I like to use gourmet salt in a grinder) and pepper (fresh ground is preferable).

Bake in 400 F oven for 20-25 minutes (I always check after 20 minutes – it’s usually done by then in my oven).  It will be very nicely browned on top and may have a little olive oil sitting in the depressions – that’s fine.  Let cool in a pan for maybe 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool for another 10 minutes or so before cutting.  I can usually lift the loaf out of the pan using a spatula under one side.


Best regards,


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