Ingredient Search Feature--My New Best Friend!
Aug. 17, 2010 11:16 am
Updated: Aug. 20, 2010 2:11 pm
Because I usually buy what's on sale at the grocery store and plan my menus after the shopping is done, I often find myself purchasing meat, produce etc. with no ideas about what I'm going to do with it. I LOVE AR's ingredient search feature. This is
also especially helpful when the pantry is starting to look a little overloaded, and I need to find something to do with the staples that I've stockpiled. August has been a "purge" month, when we've been using up our stockpiled (aka hoarded) pantry goods
and freezer proteins. Do you ever find yourself in a cooking rut? Your family likes certain things, so you make the same meals over and over again until none of your favorites look good anymore? I do! Several years ago I went on a salmon kick. To this
day, my poor husband can't even look at a piece of salmon. With three kids running around, and time in short supply, I often lack imagination when it comes to cooking. Some days I look at the clock and uh-oh, it's 4:30 and I still haven't taken meat out
of the freezer. It's also a cr@p shoot when I make a new recipe on whether or not the kids will even touch it, so I depend on the ol' reliable recipes that I know they'll eat. I have been known to make the same thing two days in a row---shhhhhh..... I know,
I'm a terrible homemaker.
Last week I went to Costco. I shouldn't have done it, but I bought a pack of 100 corn tortillas. It was only $2.79 for A HUNDRED tortillas! What kind of cheapskate could pass up a deal like that??? I wouldn't be doing my civic duty as a penny pincher to
walk away from that kind of deal. But what to do with that many corn tortillas? My family loves soft tacos, but that's what, like two tortillas per person? I needed recipes! I found this recipe
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-Tortilla-Bake/Detail.aspx< and I admit I was dubious. Tortillas with cream soup and chicken? But even my picky little one likes chicken and cream
soup, so I gave it a shot. I was all set to hate it, but it smelled soooo good in the oven. It was a little salty, but Hubs loved it, and the kids ate it up too. I served it with a little sour cream and chopped tomato and cilantro to cut the salty taste,
and I'll totally make it again but use the lower sodium soups next time. The best part is that I used up not only some of my tortillas, but my "hoarded" cream soups, green chilis, and pinto beans from the pantry to make refried beans for a side. I love it
when I find a recipe and already have all of the ingredients on hand. It's like winning the lottery.
If you're ever in my boat with too many corn tortillas, try this recipe:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chilaquiles-II/Detail.aspx < Chilaquiles are my all time favorite comfort food, and P.S. also a great hangover cure, so I'm told. They're traditionally made for breakfast, but I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner
(and I HAVE!) Between the tortilla bake, chilaquiles, and the steak tacos I'll be making tonight with the huge package of steaks that I picked up this morning on super-sale, we're rapidly working our way through my giant bag of tortillas. If all else fails,
I'll just cut them up and fry the remainders and make a big bowl of pico de gallo. I admit, I've had much bigger problems.
So back to my original thought; I really like this feature. Really, really like this feature. It's worked out great when it's time to clean out the fridge, and I found a baked pasta recently that used up all of my half used tubs of dairy products which my
husband proclaimed was so good that "If I had known this was coming, I would have starved myself for the whole day so I could eat more of it".
I'm curious: How many other people use the ingredient search? Do you have a recipe that you'd like to share? We've found some of our favorite new meals this way; things that I never would have though to even look up. It's a great way to expand your recipe