Friday, August 31, 2007

Use it Up Fridays

I think I might just make this a weekly thing here at Natural Nerds. It seems every Friday finds me hip deep in the Frigidaire or the freezer, working my way through a handful of leftover odds and ends. Usually two or three oddments that aren’t enough to turn into a meal, another miscellaneous container of, well, I can still mostly tell what it is, so I hate to throw it out. The usual line up of offenders - heels of bread, a lone carrot, the nearly forgotten cup of chicken stock, too good to waste. And, as this is a website devoted to our attempt to live the slightly greener life, I might as well begin the reduce, reuse, recycle regime in our refrigerator.

On the docket for today? Seems like I got overzealous last week during the shopping and picked up one package too many of whole-wheat tortillas. We made our way through half the package last night – getting us in under the “use by” date by several hours – when, after a rather disastrous first attempt at dinner : Let’s just say that in the three years I have done the cooking for the Prime Geek and myself, only one meal came up in memory as worse. That particular meal is only referred to in this house by the title “The Testicle Dumpling Disaster”. Don’t ask. Really. Also, don’t use cottage cheese in dumplings. Trust me. Seriously. We threw the pan away that time : we went for a quick tortilla grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. That still left me with half a package of quickly stiffening tortillas to use up.

A quick rummage coupled with about 5 minutes of work, and I now sit in my office with the wonderful aroma of cinnamon wafting up the stairs. If you happen to find yourself wanting to use up some leftover tortillas (corn or wheat works fine), why not make yourself a batch of baked cinnamon chips?

Natural Nerd NoshesBy now, you should all know I simply can’t help alliterating.

Brown Sugar
Butter (or margarine)

Now, by this point in the blog, you should be aware that I don’t deal with exact measurements too well. So, grab a little courage and wing this, okay? Remember, these are leftovers we are dealing with here. Worse comes to worst, they end up in the trash – and isn’t that the first instinct with leftovers anyway?

To begin, mix up a small batch of cinnamon sugar. About ¾ cup of brown sugar (I prefer the really dark stuff, but whatever you have is fine. There is to be no running out for groceries for this.) with 1 Tbsp of cinnamon. Mix it up well with a fork and set aside. Place 1/3 stick of butter in the microwave and melt it thoroughly. While your butter is liquefying, cut your tortillas into triangles. Try and aim for 8 triangles with each tortilla.

The messy/good part – Set a cookie sheet on the counter and starts dipping each triangle into the butter. Lay the lubed lovelies onto the sheet in a single layer. Once all the triangles have been dipped, sprinkle over the top of them all the cinnamon sugar. Use a light hand here, you only want a thin layer over the tops. Any left over cinnamon sugar? Sweeten your tea with it, put it on your toast, toss it into some applesauce. It's frankly useful stuff to have in the kitchen.

Pop in a 350’ oven until crispy and enjoy with a big glass of ice cold apple juice. (Hot apple toddies in the winter are also acceptable.)

Now that my breadbox is bare, think I should start the grocery list for next week?


Mark said...

This one just got printed. I think I know what we're having tomorrow with dinner :) thank you..

Overeducated Twit said...

How-tos, recipes, recycling, and unabashed nerd-dom? I think I'll stick around :).