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Q: I always wind up with leftover ingredients. How can I use them?

"Small bits can be so annoying," admits blogger Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, out this month. "If you had two cups of leftover potatoes, you'd serve them the next day for dinner. But half a cup?" Don't bother trying to stretch ingredients into a lackluster repeat performance of the original meal, she says. Think creatively to make that single serving of pasta or broccoli the start of a completely different dish. Rather than let an open bottle of red wine languish on the refrigerator shelf, Perelman uses it in place of the usual food coloring in a red velvet cake. The result—a rich, fudgy marriage of chocolate and wine—will leave you hopeful for more leftover Pinot Noir in the near future. Get the Red-Wine Velvet Cake Recipe

Next: 3 creative ways to use up last night's leftovers
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