I realize this next "question" wasn't really a question but rather a comment made on my first meal planning post on 8/24....it comes to us from Karin (Thanks Karin!!) who follows my Leftovers ramblings. :)
Karin said something very interesting that got me thinking: "At best, I'll plan one meal, buy all the ingredients, make that one meal and then whatever was leftover from the ingredients will go bad in my fridge. I think that's one of the biggest challenges of meal planning - making sure that if you buy a perishable food item, it all gets used before it goes bad but yet still keeping your meals varied."
Lucky for Karin, and thanks to the Landlocked Bride--Brit, I found a solution! Brit suggested http://www.supercook.com/ and I am instantly in love with this website! Can't wait to check it out soon! Like Karin, I often end up tossing out perishable items I find at the back of my crisper drawer (who knows what's back there right now) or tucked in a corner of the fridge behind the salad dressing. Now, with supercook.com you can enter in as many things as you want to that are currently in your refrigerator or pantry and they can come up with a recipe for you to use them in!
Here's an example:
I entered chicken breast, butter, flour, and eggs and it came up with 199 recipes! The nice thing is it starts with recipes that you have ALL ingredients for, then moves to recipes that would require one more ingredient, then two more, and so on. The possibilities seem endless! There is also a box below where you enter your available ingredients that acts as a sort of word cloud and suggests other ingredients that you might have that would give you even MORE recipes! There are even tabs to help you sort recipes into starters, entrees, and desserts. All this is available to you without signing up for an account! There is an account option but I haven't even begun to explore what that all adds to the experience so there is surely more to come on this topic. :)
Another site like this I discovered is http://www.myfridgefood.com/. It's deceptive at first! Make sure you click "use detailed kitchen" to get a much more extensive list than what initially appears on the main page. This gives you tons of options that might help spark your memory as to what's in your fridge or pantry. Simply check off ingredients you know you have and it will suggest recipes. When I typed in the same ingredients into this website (chicken, eggs, flour, butter) I unfortunately did not get any recipes that I had 100% of the ingredients for. No worries, it tells me how many I am missing, along with how long it takes to make it and the calories in the dish! WOW! All this in the quick view before even clicking into the recipes...love it!
Do you have any other tricks to using up perishable items in your fridge?