I love good leftover challenge. I peek into the refrigerator and swing open the pantry doors. I hear Ted Allen from Chopped announce my arrival and think what leftover basket items would I use tonight. Would it be gooey duck and squid ink or beef tongue and spam? I pick refrigerator bowl number 3, refrigerator bag number 4 and glass container number 1. I accept the challenge.

As I place the containers on the smooth kitchen counter, I'm imagining right about now that Alex Guarnaschelli is thinking I'm the culinary at-home-dad superman. She sees me with my knives and cape and can't wait to taste what I bring her on my over sized triangular art plate with bamboo asymmetrical edging and American Western Nouveau Asian fusion styling.

I fire up the stove, combine containers number 3 and 4 in carefully measured equal amounts and simmer gently. I lose total track of time and Ted says I have almost no time left. I quickly plate up my culinary delight and sprinkle it with what was in bag number 4. I season the dish as Mr. Allen calls time and throw my hands up into the air. I'm so proud of myself. I look at the others. They've got nothing. I wipe off my knives and think Alex is gonna love me tonight.
Here's my winning recipe from the leftover basket:


  • Cooked White Rice
  • Beef Tomato Chili Soup or Chili
  • A Few Ounces Of Shredded Cheese
  • Dried Parsley
  • Black Pepper

  1. Heat equal amounts of the first two ingredients in a sauce pan over medium low until bubbling.
  2. Plate.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and pepper.


Usually 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of soup together make a serving.

Approximately 325 calories.

© Russell W Peterson | DayParentDad.com | 9.17.14

Nearing Mother's Day my mother would usually inquire as to the plan for the day. My dad would reply, "You're not my mother." His point being that the day was to celebrate one's mother, not one's spouse. My mother was forgiving so the same never went for Father's Day. In that spirit the Trophy Wife made this wonderful breakfast dish for me this year. Even though I am not her father.
  • 18-20 Stale Dinner Rolls Torn Up
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Ripe Bananas

Topping Ingredients
  • 1 Stick Softened Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oats

Preheated 350 degrees F

  1. Mix and toss all ingredients except topping ingredients and bananas  with torn up buns.  Let sit about 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and oats.
  3. Slice two ripe bananas into ½ inch pieces.
  4. Pour ½ the mixture into a spray oiled lasagna pan.  
  5. Sprinkle that first layer with cut bananas.
  6. Added remaining bread mixture.
  7. Drop topping mixture in small chunks all over pan. 
  8. Bake 45 minutes until light brown on top.
  9. Let cool slightly and serve over warm maple syrup.

Add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to the topping mixture if you wish.

Did you see the heavy cream and butter? Don't ask.

Inspired by a recipe from Paula Dean.
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The first time the Trophy Wife took the kids swimming on her own, I played a little trick on her. I let her do all the prep work herself. The minute the kids were out of the pool, they were starving. She had no food along and wasn't prepared to get any either. So she learned the first law of Boy Scouts:
  • Be prepared. 
She also learned the first law of at home parenting:
  • Children are always starving. 

So be prepared with this great after school snack, because I can guarantee you the kids will be starving the minute they walk in the door.

  • 4 Large Slices Of Good Crusty Stale Bread Cubed (See my bread in a pot recipe.)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla

  1. Spray oil  4 ramekins.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into ramekins.
  3. Bake 350 degress F for 30 minutes.

About 350 calories per ramekin. 

  • These are large ramekins. You could probably use 6 smaller ramekins and cut the cooking time down to 25 minutes.
  • The puddings will raise a bit during cooking so don't over fill them.
I hate fruit roll ups. There I've said it. I prefer my fruit to at least somewhat resemble it's origins. These are so easy to make and they keep well refrigerated. They are great cold or hot. Just make a bunch and see how long they last.

375 degrees F

  • 1 point blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • a little salt shake
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • a couple of salt shakes
  • spray oil

  1. Spray four oven safe ramekins with oil.
  2. Mix first four ingredients in a bowl and then evenly divide into ramekins.
  3. Mix next five ingredients with a fork until crumbly.
  4. Top the blueberry mixture with the crumble and bake for 20 minutes.

4 servings
340 calories per serving

  • Recipe can be easily doubled.
  • You could eliminate the sugar and flour in the blueberries for step 2 and just rely on the topping sweetness for a lower calorie crumble.
I can count on one hand the number of times I had seafood growing up. (Canned tuna doesn't count.) My father really didn't like seafood. I'm not sure if it was because he had to endure lutefisk or if it was because my mother couldn't cook seafood or that seafood wasn't really plentiful in the 60's and 70's on the prairie, essentially the geographical center of North America and a long way away from either coast or the gulf. I didn't start having seafood on a regular basis until I met the Trophy Wife who hails from Door County, Wisconsin. (Yes, God's Country! I know. I've heard it a million times.) With two large bodies of water on either side, they were practically swimming in seafood. Well, at least really large lake food. So I have learned to both eat and cook seafood. I try not to overcook it and I try to serve it in a light way just like it came from the ocean or swam in the really large lake or was inspired by the light blue summer sky of the North Dakota grasslands. The prairie never knew what it was missing.
  • 10 Medium Sized Carrots Sliced
  • 30 Brussels Sprouts Cut In Half
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Fennel
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 2 Pounds Tail On Shrimp (You Could Use Prawns)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 10 Tbs Butter
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Juice Of Two Lemons
  • 1 Cup White Wine (Pinot Grigio If You Have It)
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Melt the butter with olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or pot.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts cut in half with the cut side down so they brown a bit.
  3. Use a mandolin to slice the carrots consistently. Add them once the sprouts are cooked about half way. Maybe 5 minutes into the cooking. Add the garlic, fennel, and onion. Season.
  4. Cook until the carrots just start to get soft, about 5 -8 minutes.
  5. Add the drained and rinsed shrimp, lemon juice and the White Wine. Season.
  6. Toss and cook about 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. They should be pink. You may need to cover the last few minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Serve over whipped potatoes. I prefer whipped to mashed in this dish because I like the smooth summer texture. You could also serve alone or with rice or pasta.

8 servings

About 375 calories per serving without the potatoes or starch.

For a low carb alternative serve this without a starch.
You could cut the butter out and reduce calories, but trust me, it isn't worth it.

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