Friday, January 21, 2011

Frugal Gal Friday

What happens when a couple loses an entire income? Well, belts must be tightened, creativity must flow, and one needs to make do, and sometimes do without, to beat the shortage, and still enjoy life.  I'm in the mood for a rich, satisfying and hearty lunch today, and the cold and snow only make that craving stronger. So, what did I find in the newly-cleaned refrigerator today?  Well, these items......

Along with the rest of a can of tomato paste, and some leftover orzo from last nights' supper. What should a thrifty, but hungry lady do? STUFF THAT BAD BOY! Yep....time to get my thinking cap on.  So - I put the ground beef in the bowl with some freshly grated Parmesan, the leftover orzo, salt, pepper, dried oregano, fresh chopped parsley and freshly chopped rosemary. This is what it looked like before mixing.

I took this...........

And mixed it with water, salt, pepper, a pressed clove of garlic and some of the same Italian seasonings I used in the mixture, to make a sauce for both the stuffing and to top the pepper. Here's what it looked like after I added water, and the seasonings....

I spooned a little of the sauce into the meat and orzo mixture, and then stuffed the pepper with it.

Then, into a bowl with a little olive oil for baking, and top with the sauce mixture. Like so.....

And, clearly....a little more freshly grated Parmesan cheese is not going to hurt one tiny bit! Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for forty five minutes. The results?

Can I tell you how richly rewarded I was? The lovely Italian flavor, the sauce, meat and orzo combined in the most delightful way, and the pepper was tender but not mushy.  Are you ready for the close-up?

When you pair a desire to live simply, with some wizard cooking skills, you get a treat like this. And yes, that is my good china and a lovely green place mat that I used.....just for me.....just for lunch. Why? Because! Because life is too short to only use the "good" dishes once every blue moon! Because who invented the rule that we have to punish ourselves and not truly enjoy beauty, creativity and taste at EVERY meal?

Ok, philosophical moment over. What did Kitchen Angel think? Well, I must have put her in the mood for Italian food, because when I looked up from my delicious lunch, she was tearing off with some of my garlic and parsley!  Strange gal......

Eat well my friends, and stay tuned for my next Italian adventure - potato gnocchi....from scratch!! To celebrate the one year anniversary of the blog, of course!   Now, where did that Angel go with my stuff?  Love and kindness to all,


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