Ina once said, the difference between making money in the food business and losing money is the ability to transform leftovers into something fabulous.  While I no longer run a food business, I do run a household and I hate the idea of being wasteful with our time and money.  I run out of dinner making/grocery store steam mid-week, so I'd like to start incorporating an easy, no trip to the grocery store dinner.

This Leftovers Idea was actually delicious - and we plan on incorporating it into our rotation on a regular basis.  Emma loves soup, Mike loves bacon and I love melted cheese.  Everyone was happy.  I started with some tomato sauce leftover from Sunday's dinner, then added a bit of chicken stock, cream and fresh basil.  Easy. 

For the panini, I used leftover garlic bread, sliced grilled chicken from another dinner (I often throw it in the freezer when we grill out), bacon (leftover from BLTs) and a variety of cheese from the cheese drawer.  I don't have a panini press, so I used the heavy weight of a couple of pots and pans - worked great. 

This is how I determined what would go on the sandwich... whatever I could find!  I sliced the baguette into thin slices to make it easier to grill. 

Adding cream to the soup - about 1/4 cup to about 4 cups of soup.

Buttered and...


Look how flat and panini-like.

Really satisfying and so simple. 

You can see, I made Emma mini grilled cheese dippers and chunks of chicken instead of putting it on the sandwich to make it easier to eat.  Of course, she spotted our bacon and needed some of that, too.

What are your favorite dinners that came from being creative with leftovers?