Thanksgiving Leftover + Recipe Ideas!

YESSSS! We finally made it to Thanksgiving week. I, for one, am extremely excited, not just because of the four day weekend (eeee!), but also because my Thanksgiving shopping is done AND we managed to put up all the holiday decorations this weekend. Yes, even the tree. Though we’ve lived together for a long time, this was the first year we’ve ever decorated a tree. J was super sweet and helped me decorate it with beads and ornaments and even vacuumed the living room afterwards to pick up all the pine needles. What a guy.

So this year, like almost every other year since we’ve been living in SF, we’ll be having our non-traditional but uber-delicious Thanksgiving meal of baked spinach and artichoke dip and macaroni and cheese. We also bought two types of holiday beers (Anchor Steam Christmas Ale and Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Winter Solstice), along with half a case of Rebellious Red. We’re ready to hunker down come Thursday and do nothing but stuff our faces and watch movies.

Seriously, I love this holiday.

But for all yous guys out there who are going the more normal route of turkey and the traditional trimmings, I’m happy to share a round up of ideas on what to do with your leftovers. Some of these recipes certainly take a bit more time than others (note: give these a try if you DIDN’T play host on Thanksgiving but somehow ended up with half the bird!), but all are a fantastic way to keep your leftovers from going to waste.

+ Thai Green Curry with Turkey (just replace the chicken in this recipe with whatever turkey meat you have on hand. You can do this with virtually any recipe that uses poultry!)

+ Turkey Pot Pie

+ Turkey Stock (use the exact same techniques as you would when chicken stock!)

+ Turkey Tetrazinni

Turkey Avgolemono

+ Turkey Enchiladas with Chipotle Sauce

+ Turkey Hash (great breakfast!)

Quick recipes and ideas:

+ Mix store bought pesto with shredded white meat turkey for instant pesto turkey salad. I love this on sandwiches — it’s a great alternative to the plain turkey sandwich.

+ Use shredded turkey meat to make turkey quesadillas or a cold turkey wrap sandwich with avocado or whatever fixins’ you have on hand.

+ Simmer diced onions, carrots, celery and shredded turkey in chicken (or turkey) stock, then add in egg noodles and season to taste for a super fast turkey noodle soup.

+ Potato gnocchi (try it with butternut squash and fried sage or even sweet potato too!)

+ Shepherd’s Pie

+ Salade Niçoise

+ Cranberry smoothie (Try these two recipes.)

+ Savory Bread Pudding

Quick recipes and ideas:

+ If your cranberry sauce is already very sweet, puree it in a blender and strain it through a chinois (or any fine mesh strainer). Discard the solids, then heat up the resulting puree for a yummy warm fruit topping over ice cream. If you think your sauce is still a bit tart for ice cream, add in orange juice and and more granulated sugar until it strikes the right balance, then blend and strain.

+ Pipe leftover mashed potatoes into rounds (like so) onto a tray lined with parchment paper, brush with beaten egg and bake at 400° until the tops are golden brown. Voila! Duchess potatoes, aka super fancy side dish for grilled steaks or roasted chicken.


Got leftover pumpkin puree?

+ Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

+ Pumpkin cookies

+ Pumpkin ice cream

+ Candied pecans (delicious on salads)

+ Bread pudding (YUM!). This is a great way to use up any leftover baguette or other loaves of bread (Note: There are a TON of bread pudding recipes out there, but here are two good places to start.)

+ Too much leftover whipping cream? Make some homemade sweet cream butter.

+ Let’s be clear: Keep the good wine for yourself! But if you find yourself stranded with a few bottles of crappy red, try using it to poach some pears, or make coq au vin or even braised short ribs.


Happy Monday, everyone!

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