It’s been a long and busy weekend for us, peoples. Friday, we headed to Tyler to pick up a used bass guitar for my beloved (he wants to teach himself how to play bass). We also had plans to kick off the weekend with a nice supper out, but a broken belt and stripped bearing on the car just as we reached Tyler nixed the supper plans — ‘though hubby was able to get his bass.
Saturday, a return trip to Tyler to get the repaired vehicle from the garage, then on to the Lake Country Playhouse in Mineola to see the matinée showing of “Water for Elephants.” (Alas, inflation has finally struck — starting next week, the matinée will increase from $3 to $4 — still a bargain, I know, but the 30 percent increase will make going to the movies a bit more challenging for retirees and others on a fixed income.)
Sunday, we channeled Willie Nelson and got “On the Road Again” when we drove to D/FW and back (about 2 hours each way) to see the kids’ new house (they just purchased their first home and moved in on Saturday). I must admit that I played with my beautiful and perfect little granddaughter more than I helped with any unpacking 😉 , but hubby offered up quite a bit of assistance.
And then yesterday marked our 15th anniversary! (Go on, take a 100 seconds out of your life and watch it — you know you want to!)
The 15th wedding anniversary is traditionally crystal — the modern take is a watch — but we sailed right past that and made it a bass anniversary. 😉 (Thank you, Wendy, my friend, for the “Bass Anniversary” idea. 🙂 )
To mark the occasion, my beloved asked if I wanted us to go out to eat (I was terribly disappointed that our evening out on Friday didn’t work out as we’d planned, and he was wanting to make it up to me, bless him), but I declined.
Why ever would I turn down a meal out? Well, for one thing, we’ve been having some lovely weather recently (my apologies to those of you who have not), so why would I want to spend 45 minutes or more — one way! — driving to a nice restaurant for a special meal, and then spend an hour or so sitting inside the restaurant, when we could enjoy our currently pleasant weather on our front and back decks, as well as enjoy the companionship of our three dear critters? Then, of course, there is the fact that eating at home is more economical (especially the money and time we save by not having to drive to and from a restaurant) as well as healthier (less salt, less fat, and leaner cooking methods and ingredients).
Because it was our anniversary, our focus was on keeping things festive but easy — and on spending time together. Yes, yes, we’re self-employed and spend each and every day together, but we’re generally working on our own assignments. For our anniversary, we spent time doing things together — when hubby and I weren’t working together on preparing or cooking the meal, we were sitting together on the deck, reminiscing about the past 15 years, expressing hopes and daydreams for our future years, and playing a rousing game of Mexican Train Dominoes (hubby trounced me, by the way 😉 ).
All of these factors, from the glorious weather to the special occasion of the day, led me to develop this menu, which makes good use of our grill (and vegetarians, don’t worry — while there is shrimp cocktail and steak on the menu, the rest of the menu is comprised of foods you would enjoy):
- Appetizer: Shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce
- New York Strip steak (grilled — and marinated in Montreal Steak marinade made with red wine instead of vinegar)
- Grilled Cheesy Potatoes
- Mélange of Grilled Veggies (I just love saying “mélange” — what can I say, I’m easily entertained)
- Homemade yeast rolls (I shaped and baked these as mini loaves — one of hubby’s fave way to eat them)
- Dessert: Homemade sugar-free cream puffs
While I’ll share the recipes in future posts, in this post, I wanted to focus on what I do with leftovers for these dishes — because often, when we grill out, I intentionally make sure we have leftovers of many of the items, when feasible, because the leftovers are so tasty and so versatile!
Leftover shrimp cocktail, of course, makes for a light, tasty, protein-packed snack — and the shrimp will keep in the ‘fridge for a couple of days.
Leftover steak: Well, while we didn’t have any leftover New York strip (which is leaner, even, than sirloin steak), leftover steak can be reheated gently in the microwave or oven and can be transformed into a number of tasty dishes, just a few of which are listed below:
- Steak and eggs for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or supper
- Sliced and served on a bun for a steak sandwich (I like to add in some grilled or sautéed bell pepper and onion, as well, and sometimes some cheese)
- Sliced and served with salad greens for a steak salad
- Sliced and used as the filling for a steak omelet
- Sliced and used as the filling in a tortilla (once again, I like to add in grilled or sautéed bell pepper and onion, as well, and sometimes some cheese)
- Added to a soup or stew
- Chopped and cooked in with potatoes and onion for a steak “hash”
Grilled Cheesy Potatoes: These reheat nicely in a microwave or the oven. Depending upon how much you have left, you can make a meal of them when accompanied along with a tossed green salad, or they can be a tasty side for another main dish.
Grilled Veggies: We just love, love, LOVE grilled veggies! And like steak, the leftovers are utterly delicious and versatile, with just a few of the uses that come to mind listed below:
- As a side for another main course
- Toss with pasta noodles and a sprinkling of Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
- Use as a filling for an omelet
- Top a baked potato with some grilled veggies
- Use as a filling for a tortilla
- Add to a casserole, soup, or stew
Leftover Rolls: Of course, leftover rolls — especially mini loaves — reheat nicely to accompany another meal. Hubby enjoys eating them with peanut butter, and you can also make little sandwiches out of them by splitting them and filling them with cheese and/or your favorite sandwich filling. Should the rolls become a bit stale, they make excellent bread crumbs for such things as meat loaf, meat balls, et al — and there is always trusty bread pudding. 😉 And the roll dough itself is quite versatile, as you’ll come to see in future blog posts.
Cream puffs make a dozen and keep well in the ‘fridge for three days or so — we’ll be happily munching on these over the next few days.
And every single bit of it smelled YUMMY! And it tasted absolutely delicious, too. 🙂