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Eat until it’s empty: Recipes that make the bottom of the jar look so good

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MILWAUKEE -- Did you know 30 to 40 percent of the entire us food supply is wasted? In an effort to reduce waste, Alisa Malavenda, joins Real Milwaukee with some recipes to repurpose the last little bit of food in your fridge.


Mommy’s Chocolate Milk Martini

  • The last bit of syrup in the bottom of the can
  • ½ oz Vodka
  • 1.5 oz Kahlua
  • 4 -5 oz Heavy Cream

Remove the tin lid off the can and save the plastic lid. Fill the can with ice and add remaining ingredients. Replace plastic lid and shake well. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.



  • Add 2 oz of your favorite spirit right into the leftover jam jar –
  • Shake until all the jam is mixed in with the liquor
  • Add 1 oz of your favorite mixer of juice
  • Strain over ice and top with a splash of club soda
  • Nice pairings examples:
  • Strawberry Jam – vodka and lemonade
  • Fig Jam, Bourbon and apple juice
  • Blackberry Jam, Gin and Limeade

Bottom of the Jar Quick Bread

Mix up your favorite batch of quick bread, muffin mix, corn bread or pound cake.

Butter or Spray with pam  the insides of the jam jar that has the left over bit of jam.

Place the jars on a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill the jars only about half to ¾ full and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes depending on mix. Put a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes.

Place a lid/ring on the jar immediately after removing the bread jars from the oven and resting the 5 minutes so they will seal. (sealing will allow the bread to keep for an extra week inside the fridge.) You will here the button on top ping and then you know they will seal.

Allow bread jars to cool completely before transferring them to the refrigerator.

This bread will last remain moist and last in the fridge for a few weeks.

When ready to serve . Unseal by popping off the lid and then run your knife around the side and the bread will slip out of the jar.

Recipe for a basic : Quick Bread /Muffin Mix

  • 1 ½ C All purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¾ C milk or buttermilk
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 t extract, vanilla, lemon or other
  • 1 C nuts if desired.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; set aside.

Combine milk, sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla in another bowl; stir 20-30 seconds. Add flour mixture, one-third at a time, stirring after each addition just until smooth. (There may be a few small lumps in batter)Do Not Overmix.

Note: you can also use this recipe for a savory bread by cutting the sugar and vanilla.

Bottom of the jam jar whipped cream.

Leave the last little bit of jam in a well-chilled jar .

Add very cold heavy whipping cream only about a third of the way up the jar , a little powdered sugar and pinch of salt.

Make sure the lid is on tight and shake it like you mean it for a few minutes , unscrew lid and enjoy.


Bottom of the Jar Glaze for Chicken

Have a little orange marmalade or other preserve or a little Italian dressing left.

Combine 1 part marmalade to 2  parts Italian Dressing

So for every tablespoon of marmalade or preserves you would use 2 T. Italian dressing and visa-versa. Add some garlic, herbs or spices.

Pour over chicken breast, thighs or wings . Bake until cooked through.


Taco Salad To Go This easy recipe is a quick lunch and you can customize to what you have leftover like chicken breast, sliced steak.

That small bit of salsa in the jar starts the layering .


  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Drained and rinsed black beans or refried beans
  • Seasoned Taco Meat or other leftover meat from another meal.
  • Corn
  • Top with any kind of cheese you have left over , shredded and all those last bits of broken tortilla or Fritos on the bottom of the bag.
  • Screw on the lid and you have a great lunch for the next day.
  • Thin out some sour cream or yogurt with a little milk and you have a nice topping.


These two can be combined to make a lovely glaze for salmon or a vinaigrette for a salad.

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

  • 1 Filet of Salmon ( 1#)
  • 1 T in the bottom of a mustard Jar
  • 1 T of honey
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove

Clean and bone salmon and place on a deep dish.

In the bottom of the mustard or honey jar , add  all the remaining ingredients .

Replace the lid on the jar and shake well to mix all the ingredients.

Pour over the salmon and let marinate for about 45-60 min.

Remove the Salmon from marinade and Broil or Grill fish , basting with the marinade

Until Cooked to your desired temperature . about 10-15 minutes.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  • The almost empty jar of spicy mustard.
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 oz  red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 oz Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs if you desire.

Add all ingredients to the empty jar or bottle and shake well.

Note, if you have a half a lemon left over you can use it in place of the vinegar.


Cold  Cucumber Sauce

Take that leftover half a cucumber and grate it , same with a little onion if you have it.

right into the last of the yogurt or sour cream container. Add a little lemon juice , salt and pepper and just enough milk to get the consistency you desire. If you have some dill or parsley chop that and add to mixture.

This is a nice compliment to grilled meat and fish. Drizzle on salad or dip for pita bread.


Chances are you had an abundance of basil this summer and made tons of pesto

When you reach the bottom of the jar. How about some …

Pesto Monkey Bread

Bottom of the jar of pesto.

Homemade bread dough or store bought dough or biscuits.

¼ C melted butter

( you can add mozzarella cheese or even cut up chicken and pine nuts , sundried tomatoes )- Whatever you have leftover

Preheat oven to 350

Butter or spray the jar that has leftover pesto or add to a mason jar or pan.

Cut biscuits or dough into 1 inch pieces.

Roll the biscuit pieces in the butter , and herbs if you are using. Fill the jar and layer with other ingredients if you are using.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the biscuits are cooked completely and unmold . serve with a little marinara sauce.


Pickle Juice Quick Pickled Veggies

After the pickles are gone…

All the juice leftover from a jar of pickles

Use cucumbers, radishes, carrots, red peppers, brussel sprouts , green beans or any

other veggie you have on hand. Wash your veggies and slice them to the same thickness.

Pack them into the pickle jar and add a

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and cider vinegar to make sure they are completely covered. Make sure there is room on the top . Leave them in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 days and up to 2 weeks.


Overnight Oats for breakfast

  • Add ½ C fashion Oats to the last of a peanut butter or Nutella  container.
  • Add ½ Cup 2% milk
  • Layer with fruit , nuts, chai seeds, left over jam or yogurt.
  • Screw the lid back on and leave in the refrigerator over night.
  • Enjoy the next morning cold or heat in microwave.

You are only limited by your own imagination- open your mind to your oatmeal fantasy!

If a healthy oatmeal doesn’t appeal to you. You can thin out the leftover peanut butter with ingredients for a peanut thai dipping sauce for spring rolls or over Ramen noodles

For the Peanut butter :

  • Almost empty peanut butter jar
  • 2 T. low sodium  soy sauce
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2  lime squeezed into the jar
  • 1 small piece of ginger root, grated right into the jar
  • 1 t sambal or other hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  •  Enough warm water adding 1 T at a time to get it to the consistency you desire
  • For the Nutella : add warm cream, mix and pour over ice cream

Or heat up some milk with a little unsweetened  cocoa add to Nutella jar and

Stir, pour into mug and top with marshmallows

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