Everyone has their favorite way to eat up their leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I’d guess that a good old turkey sandwich would be the hands-down winner for most of us. I like my sandwich one way and one way only – on white bread that is slathered in Miracle Whip with sliced turkey breast only. I don’t eat any of the leftover sides, I just relish that sandwich and I am as happy as can be. If I haven’t remembered to purchase a jar of Miracle Whip before Thanksgiving so that it is ready to be cracked open on the Friday after… well, someone (someone who is not me!) is going to the store to get me my Miracle Whip! Mayo will not do! I buy the smallest jar because this is the only thing I ever use it for, leftover turkey sandwiches.
Connor, on the other hand, makes a sandwich that looks like this…
He’s got the required white bread, but tops it with turkey (white or dark), then spoons on the gravy and the stuffing, tops that with the other slice of bread and heats it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Interesting, but not to my taste. Marissa also must have the breast only and tops her’s with cranberry sauce and eats some stuffing and maybe some gravy on the side. Finally there is Dave, he will eat it all and will eat it any and every way, sandwich or a full redo of the Thanksgiving plate.
After a couple or three sandwiches, I am through with the turkey, then it is time to remake it into an entirely different meal, such as this lasagna. Now this is how you get rid of leftover turkey!
November 27, 2011 No Comments
Turkey!?! Is it too early to begin worrying and wondering what you’re going to do with your leftover turkey? Since Thanksgiving is one week from today, I don’t think so. After turkey sandwiches, I think leftover turkey works best treated with a Mexican or a Western flair, so that’s what I’ve provided for you today.
November 17, 2011 1 Comment
I had a load of marshmallows left from last Friday night’s “S’Mores Party” TV shoot. It was just Dave, Marissa, Tram, and me around the fire-pit so not too many of the 60 homemade marshmallows were eaten! I don’t want them to go to waste, they are too good for that. So I’ve made fudge, which will in turn be given as hostess and Christmas gifts next month. It is possible to freeze fudge – it must be tightly and well wrapped, actually double wrapped is best, and then placed in an air-tight container before placing in the freezer. When ready to defrost, place directly in the refrigerator (without opening or unwrapping) for 24 hours before eating or packaging for gifts.
Speaking of that TV shoot, it will air on Monday, November 29th, at 3:30 on Channel 12 Valley Dish. And speaking of holidays, I need to remind you that last year I posted a Complete Thanksgiving Planning Guide and Timeline. And since the big feast is only 9 days away, today would be the perfect day to check it out. I’ll keep putting up reminders for the next few days… be sure to get there soon!
November 16, 2010 3 Comments
Today at 5:00 PM, I will draw a name from a hat for a winner from all the comments given on Tuesday’s post – my own Ode to Trader Joe’s – and that winner will be announced on tomorrow’s post. I’m using up the last of those Trader Joe ingredients, left from the sandwich, for this pasta. I spent $20.58 last Sunday (weekend shopping – yuck!) and made 3 full meals for a total of 14 servings. Even if you add in the few things I already had on hand; couple tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup white wine, parmesan, spaghetti… that still comes to less than $2 per serving! Plus, all three dishes fit into the “Easy-Breezy” category – that cannot be beat!
February 4, 2010 2 Comments
My darling daughter, Marissa, requested I post some yummy and easy sides. How about an outline – sort of a guide on how to make quick improvisational sides anytime you want? I made this dish with what I had on hand in my produce drawers. You begin by gathering your hard vegetables together; such as onion, carrots, celery, bell peppers, fennel, parsnips, squash, etc. Clean and chop.
Next pull out your soft vegetables; things like spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, leftover cooked potatoes, etc. and prep them. Sauté the hard vegetables together until soft, add in the soft veggies and season, that’s all there is to it! You can add in other items too, such as canned drained beans, chickpeas, frozen corn, chopped olives or artichoke hearts…getting the idea?
Once you have the vegetables cooked, use them in pastas, salads, quesadillas, wraps, or on their own as a nutritious, colorful side dish. I like to keep a small bowl on hand to add into scrambled eggs for a quick, satisfying, and ”no-brainer” breakfast. (because who wants to think too hard in the morning?)
Here, I am adding them to some brown rice as a side. Instead of the rice, mix it up by serving on top of couscous or quinoa. Also pictured at the bottom, I’ve chilled the rice and veggie mixture, formed it into a patties (mix in a tablespoon or two of sour cream, mayonnaise, beaten egg, crème fraîche, or soft cream cheese to help bind the mixture, if needed). Bread the patty with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and panko, chill the breaded rice cakes for a couple hours, then cook in a little olive oil, to brown and crisp them, and serve on their own or with a little bit of hot marinara sauce. Versatile, right?
January 24, 2010 3 Comments
Say the word “casserole” and you will generally get one of two typical responses… a huge smile filled with excitment from the person who knows that something hearty, filling, and tasty is about to come their way… or a turned up nose and rolling eyes from the person who envisions a sticky, gooey, mess of food about to be forced upon them.
Because of that second reaction, I was tempted to call this dish a “Bake” instead of a “Casserole”. I even searched through online thesauruses looking for an alternate name, but call it what you may, it’s a casserole. And exactly what is that? A casserole is an ovenproof dish sometimes with a tightly fitting lid, made from earthenware, glass or metal. The word ‘casserole’ also refers to the mixture of food itself which is prepared in the oven in this dish. The word is derived from the Old French word casse and the Latin word cattia meaning a “frying pan or saucepan.” As often happens, the name of the cooking utensil was used for the name of the dish.
So, if the word if derived from a French word, then how does it end up sounding so pedestrian? Maybe it is because, when some of us were growing up, the contents in the casserole dish were often called “surprise”, as in Turkey Surprise, or even worse, Spam Surprise; almost a guarantee that this would not be a happy or delicious “surprise” at all!
As with many casseroles, this one is made using leftover meat, pork from Christmas dinner, to be exact. Feel free to use another leftover meat, such as chicken or beef in place of the pork. Additional vegetables can be used as well; bell peppers, green beans, kidney beans, or whatever you have on hand or dream up. I used a mix of three different “green” salsas to get my 3 cups needed, do the same if you have a mix of jars in your refrigerator. I hope the only surprise you receive upon making and tasting this casserole, is that it makes your taste-buds sing!
[Read more →]
December 30, 2009 No Comments
For Christmas I make one big dinner on Christmas Eve for my mother and our family and then another big dinner on Christmas day for my dad and our family – yes, my parents are divorced, so multiple big dinners are a must. Like many of you, there are many different “family” dinners that take place over the season. Thankfully, (at least for this time of year) my in-laws don’t live in town (Illinois) so we don’t have to go from one house to another to another for all that family time! All those big dinners produce a lot of leftovers. One of those nights, I generally serve a crown pork roast, which leaves plenty of leftovers. But if you serve, turkey, or beef, or ham, whatever; use that cooked leftover meat for this dish! After all the traditional Christmas recipes, Asian stir-fry is a perfect change of pace for any palate!
Here it is December 15th and my garden is still producing herbs and cherry tomatoes. We’ve had a couple nights of freeze, but the garden is still holding on, gotta love Arizona!
I also love using broccoli in stir-fry, but not only the florets. The stems are wonderful too, don’t discard them! Cut off the florets, then peel the stems and cut into matchsticks. The stems are crispy and delicious!
When stir-frying, be sure to prep all the various components and set them right next to the stove. Stir-frying happens quickly and having everything ready and at hand is more than important, it is a necessity!
December 15, 2009 No Comments
At last the day has arrived – whatever leftovers haven’t been eaten, given away, or frozen; are going in the trash. Marissa and Connor head back to their respective universities this evening. Care packages are going with them and then I will have my refrigerator back!
This recipe is a perfect example of when to use light sour cream and cream cheese. There are so many other prominent flavors going on here, that you’ll never taste the difference. When the sour cream or cream cheese is the main flavor, then I prefer to use the real thing, because you can truly taste the difference. As for the fat-free versions – not a good choice – they don’t bake up as well. When a recipe calls for canned green chilies, always go for the whole chilies and dice them yourself. They are better quality than the “already diced”, and it takes only seconds to cut them up. ”Good-bye turkey, see you next November!”
November 29, 2009 8 Comments
So here are my feelings about Thanksgiving leftovers – I love having mass amounts of white meat leftover for turkey sandwiches, and it wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving without all the fabulous turkey stock I make from the carcasses, but the rest of it… not so much! To that end, I always make two turkeys, one is roasted the traditional way, the second is always grilled or smoked. This year I wound up with 36 cups of stock, happy day!
To use up all that dark turkey meat, I just make our family favorites and add in the turkey. Our all-time favorite salad is another of Barbara Pool Fenzl’s recipes. It comes from her 1994 Southwest The Beautiful Cookbook. I’ve made very few changes to the recipe over the years… instead of whisking by hand, I use a food processor for the dressing. Since the original recipe makes about 1 1/3 cups of dressing, I double all the other fixings so that all that amazing dressing can be utilized, it would be shameful to waste even one drop! Also in the original, the tortilla strips are dusted with chili powder prior to frying. Instead I salt and dust them immediately after removing from the hot oil so the seasoning really sticks to the strips. And with all this turkey on hand, it quickly becomes a perfect main course salad for a busy weeknight family dinner.
[Read more →]
November 28, 2009 1 Comment
Today is my friend Kim’s birthday. Kim is the daytime assistant at Les Gourmettes Cooking School (I assist for nighttime classes). She is a talented chef, yoga instructor, wife, mother to four, and a wonderful friend - Happy Birthday, Kim!
Above is a picture of our Thanksgiving dessert table; the apple tart, pumpkin pie, plus pilgrim hat and turkey sugar cookies. Hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful mix of family, friends, and good food! Here is a recipe to use up some of your leftover turkey and mashed potatoes. It is equally good with leftover stuffing as the bottom layer or mashed sweet potatoes.
November 27, 2009 No Comments