While cleaning out the pantry, fridge and freezer, I noticed several items that needed to be used. Just in case you have the same things languishing in deep, dark places, here’s how I took care of them.

Buffalo Sauce – This was leftover from some frozen chicken wings when we didn’t use the entire packet of included sauce. I didn’t feel like making my own Buffalo Chicken Wings, which would have been the logical solution. However, this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas was perfect. Wayne loved his “dressed up” quesadilla, and it wasn’t even beyond my spiciness level, so I enjoyed mine as well. Basically combine 1 cup of cooked chicken with 1/4 cup wing sauce and 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing. Toss in some grated cheese, spoon onto a flour tortilla and cook on a grill or griddle. Serve with sour cream.

Homemade (Soybean Oil Free) Mayonnaise – We mixed some of this up when David was visiting, so that he could enjoy an egg salad sandwich without suffering an allergic reaction. He didn’t eat it all, and since I’d rather use Miracle Whip on my sandwiches, I turned his leftovers into a delicious Thousand Island salad dressing.

Ditalini – It will take more than one meal to use up this pasta, but our first foray was a success – Creamy Salmon Pasta. For four servings, cook 3/4 cup dry pasta in boiling water until al dente. Make a cheese sauce (mine was 2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons Wondra flour, 1 cup milk, about 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and salt and pepper to taste). Saute some vegetables – mushrooms, red pepper, onions and garlic. Add a can of salmon, then combine everything and serve. Wayne said we can have it again. Since zucchini was also on the menu for today, I considered Lemon Pasta Stuffed Zucchini, but that’s a side dish, and I needed a casserole today. I also want to try a version of Pasta e Fagioli and maybe a pasta salad of some sort to use up the rest.

Alphabet Pasta – Autumn is approaching (well, it was when I started this post), and this year I’ll need to make some Vegetable Beef Soup using the alphabet pasta. Maybe I’ll try some Chicken Noodle Soup as well, subbing the little letters for the noodles. And here’s something new to try – Alphaghetti. I’ve never heard of it before, but it looks like a variation of Spaghetti-O’s, something I haven’t had in decades!

Leftover French Fries and Frozen Spinach – A variation of Tater Tot Casserole. Combine wheat/meat (or cooked, ground beef), thawed spinach, and french fries (amounts are adjustable). Stir in a can of cream of mushroom soup, a large dollop of sour cream, and salt/pepper/parsley/onion powder/garlic powder/etc. to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes; top with cheese and bake 5-10 minutes longer.

My previous “Using Things Up” post highlighted some phyllo dough in the freezer. I’m sure there will be another similar post in the future, so stay tuned!