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Friday, July 6, 2012


We have all been there- you buy the 3 lbs of garlic bulbs because it's on sale, you planned using it for a variety of dishes BUT you just didn't quite get around to making, or for whatever reason you are left with garlic on it's last day & you have nearly ALL 3 POUNDS OF IT!! Or those bags of limes that looked so awesome in the grocery store but now they are on their last leg and you just don't feel like making Lime-Aide...

What to do?

Well, I was there today with quite a few odds and ends ready to expire:
  • 3 lbs of yellow onions 
  • 3 Lbs of whole garlic cloves
  • 2Lbs each of lemons and limes
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • left over rice 
  • mashed potatoes
  • potato water from a previous meal
I already address usage of potato water in this previous post, after reading that post you can see why I save the water from boiling potatoes, I did freeze most of the left over water, yet I had some on the 3rd day and for me most left overs have a 3-day limit for freshness in my fridge after that it's eat it now,  freezer, or trash!

Potato Water & Mashed Potatoes:
I decided to make Pierogie dough with the left over potato cooking water and fill the peirogies with the left over garlic crock pot cooked mashed potatoes.

This recipe makes so much I divided it in half and froze the extra portion for extra meals, I dislike making meals that don't offer repeats- so this is gratifying to me. It is a soft dough, so refrigeration is a must, I think I added to much potato water b/c it was tough to roll, I didn't eat any I made today so I hope it is not a chewy tough dough. {Just learned my cutting and re-rolling were the culprit of my tough to roll dough, the next batch I will roll into balls then smooth out to make pierogies. My favorite way to eat pierogies is to boil them slighty then sauté them caramelized onions, bacon, & ghee sprinkled w/smoked paprika & served with a dollop of drained homemade yogurt so it is the consistency of sour cream and topped off with a sprinkling of sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and parsley...YUMMY!!

Pierogie Dough
        6 cups flour
        1/2 cup margarine, room temperature
        2 eggs, room temperature
        1/4 cup sour cream
        1 1/4 cups potato water- room temp 
(save from making mashed potatoes)
        2 t of kosher salt


    1.    Mix flour and salt in large bowl.
    2.    In a second bowl, mix together the potato water, sour cream, and eggs-beat slightly.
    3.    Cut Margarine into the flour then add rest of ingredients to flour
    4.    Mix liquids into flour mixture & wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 min.
    6.    Prepare perogies with filling of choice.

To cook:
Drop perogies in boiling salted water. Cover. When water has almost boiled over pot, lift cover 3 times (This is from the original recipe, not sure why and what is "magic" is about 3 X's?) remove perogies from pot & sauté with chopped onions, in butter, margarine, ghee, or bacon renderings {this extra step of sautéing  really "makes the pierogies" otherwise they are "slimy" in my opinion} and add this to the roast pan. . Shake well to ensure mixture coats all perogies or layer pan with perogies, chopped bacon can also be added, and sautéed onions as you fill roaster pan for carry-in dinners or serve immediately.

If you are going to freeze perogies, place them on a cookie sheet uncooked and in the freezer. Once frozen, they can be removed and placed in freezer bags.
Notes: You can save potato water from potatoes you boil for your meal the night before. The water can be refrigerated and used the next day. Best to have at room temperature, though. You can use some of the dough right away and freeze the rest for a later date. Works well that way.
I always double this recipe if I want to fill up my roaster to the brim. If the eggs are not room temp, I increase the heat of the water. The favorite filling of the house is mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese. Second is mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and ground beef."

I have addressed the garlic clove issue in this post, What to Do With Extra Garlic?, I made a garlic infused extra virgin olive oil, that you can use for specialty flavorings for bread dippings, drizzled over salads with some red wine vinegar, or drizzled over seared steak or chicken, pasta with grated fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, even use to for ear infections ( I have addressed this usage in this post: "When it's time to say, WHEN!") or to make a garlic poultice for congestion also addressed in the same post.

I took the cooked garlic mashed with a potato masher and froze for future use, will be great to give me a head start on nearly all my dishes I froze flat so I will break of what I need, could also freeze in ice cube tray, but I don't want the solid 1oz cubes, easier to break apart...

Carmelized Crock Pot Onions-this creates such a wonderful aroma as the onions slowly carmelize in the slow cooker. I typically will do this with vadilia onions but since nearly the entire 3 lbs of onions were on the last day of freshness I had to use them up quickly and I didn't want to use them in one fell swoop especially since I JUST bought the bag, really irritating.....I guess that tirade will have to wait for another post...

3 Lbs Onions, sliced (Awesome for vadilia onions, any onion will do) or Peel onions and cut off some of the top and bottom
1/2 C EVOO
1/2 palmful of kosher salt and few grinds of fresh cracked pepper

In a 4-6 quart crockpot, place peeled whole onions and top with olive oil. Cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours: 7-8 hours if you have a newer, hotter cooking crockpot.

The onions will literally fall apart, get a deep golden brown color, with sweet caramelized flavor. Use them as omelet fillings, in sandwiches, soups, casseroles, as an appetizer with softened cream cheese or ricotta cheese, in spaghetti sauce, as a condiment with any grilled meat, or any recipe that calls for onions.

I used to throw the oil out, silly me, now I pour the onions over a sieve and drain the oil to place in a jar and refrigerate for nearly same uses as garlic oil.

Lemons & Limes:
I have addressed the citrus usages in this post: which by all means I could have used the rind for that, but I typically use oranges and grapefruit for those uses. Lemons and Lime juice and zest I really love to use in my water, make lemon or lime aide or other lemony-lime beverage, & to add to fish and chicken dishes....

So what I did, half I zested for future meals and juiced great recipes for zest & juice- I placed both in a small ziplock baggies for easier portioning. The other half I sliced and placed into muffin pans so I would be able to enjoy my lemon-lime slices later plus have ice cubes.

Head of Cabbage and Left Over Rice:
The cabbage I got for 39 cents so I bought way too many, I have made many recipes with the cabbage I thought the family would revolt, so I sorta forgot about the one in the veggie bin all alone left behind and definitely ready to expire within the next 24 hours. The rice I have had for 3 days, that is the limit for starches, the sugar breaks down quickly so 3 days is the max, I was planning on making rice pudding with this batch of left overs, but I added onions so that simply wouldn't work...enter
Cabbage Rolls!

I boiled the head of cabbage for 6 min until bright green and peeled the outer leaves, not sure if it was because the cabbage was on the older side, but I only got 9 rolls from that head before the leaves just wouldn't peel away nicely. So I sliced the remainder and froze in a gallon freezer bag for future meals that call for cabbage, such as my Romanian Cabbage and Noodles, veggie soup, Bubbles and Squeak...

I have linked this up to "Growing Home"

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