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Monday, April 23, 2018


We’re always happy to have author Judy Alter stop by for a visit. Judy writes three different mystery series as well as historical fiction based on the lives of women in the nineteenth century American West. Today she’s here to talk about leftovers. Learn more about Judy and her books at her website

Leftovers—Save Them or Pitch Them?

My mother was a child of the Depression, and consequently she saved things all her life—bits of string, small pieces of aluminum foil, and leftovers. Oh my, did she save leftovers. When we had to clean out her fridge, my brother and I were astounded at the tiny jars of unidentifiable stuff on the back of shelves—some of it growing mold.

Once I had my own kitchen and family of four kids, Mom thought I was wasteful. She’d ask me what to do with a small dab of leftovers and, before I could answer, she’d say sarcastically, “I know, pitch it.” Truth was, that a small dab of something did little good when you’re feeding six or seven (unless you throw it in the soup pot).

Nowadays, living alone, I try to be more frugal. Recently, a chunk of boneless chicken breast stared at me when I opened the fridge, challenging me to use it. So I invented a quick way of doing chicken stroganoff. Here’s my rough approximation of how I made what I thought was enough for one and turned out to be two meals.

Make a cup of beef bouillon or use a cup of refrigerated broth. Pre-cook some pasta,, about a cup of whatever you have on hand. I used rigatoni because that’s what I had. Rinse it with cold water so it doesn’t stick and swish a little butter into it. Set it aside.

Sauté a generous cup of cubed chicken in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Dump in baby green peas to taste—or omit. When chicken is heated and beginning to brown, stir in one T. flour. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the broth in about two batches, waiting until it thickens enough to make a sauce. Add pasta. At the last minute, dump in a T. of sour cream. Stir and serve.

Your instinct may be to use chicken broth, but trust me, the beef gives it a more robust flavor. I liked this so much I ate it three nights in a row. Hope Mom was watching and smiling.

Murder at the Bus Stop
A Blue Plate Café Mystery

Dallas developer Silas Fletcher sees endless real estate opportunities in Wheeler, Texas if only he can “grow” the town. Blue Plate Café owner Kate Chambers likes her hometown just the way it is, thank you very much, without big box and chain stores. When Fletcher tries to capitalize on a thirty-year-old unsolved murder, Kate knows she must fight for her town, and she uses historic preservation of the old bus depot as one of her weapons. A suspicious death and a new murder make her also fight for her own life.

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