leftovers

4 Creative Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you’re looking for some post-Black Friday fuel but can’t imagine fitting one more thing in your fridge, we’ve got a solution for you: Transform your Turkey Day leftovers into something extraordinary! From sweet potato casserole, to leftover turkey and green beans–to even the pumpkin pie!– there’s always a solution to remaking Thanksgiving dinner without repeating it. Try out some of these delicious recipes this weekend!

 

For a late breakfast or brunch: Sweet Potato Waffles with Turkey and Spicy Maple Syrup

 
 

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What to Cook This Weekend: Kebabs

Since we couldn’t choose just one grilling recipe for you to make this weekend, we’ll stick to one category: kebabs! Kebabs are the perfect weekend activity – they’re quick-cooking, fun, get the whole family involved AND make for great leftovers. Here are some of our favorite kebab recipes, PLUS, how to use up your leftovers.

 

Throw the extras from Grilled Chicken Tikki Skewers into Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas.

Make a killer Creamy Potato Salad with any leftover potatoes from Steak & Potato Kebabs.

Grilled Balsamic Pork Kebabs would be a great addition to Cuban Pork & Pineapple Tacos.

Throw any extra meatballs from Turkey Kebabs into a Turkey Meatball Frittata.

Related Links

What to Make this Weekend: Graham Cracker-Crusted Chicken

What to Make this Weekend: Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Wacky Grilling Ideas

Technique Tuesday: Thaw It Out

Don’t waste those leftovers from holiday get-togethers! Freezing your food is a great way to make the most of your meals, but only if you can properly thaw them later in the year. Here are the best ways to take your food from frozen solid to family dinner:

 

1. The best way: IN THE FRIDGE

Set frozen food in its wrapper on a plate to catch drips. Food thawed in the fridge will last for 2 or 3 more days than those thawed using other methods.

2. The shortcut: IN COLD WATER

Place food in an airtight bag and submerge in cold water; change water every 30 minutes. Using hot water is a no-no: It encourages bacteria.

3. The cheat: IN THE MICROWAVE

Unwrap foods and thaw using the defrost or low setting. If meats start to brown, remove and cool before continuing. Cook immediately.

4. For baked goods: ON THE COUNTER TOP

Bread and other frozen baked good sare safe to thaw on the counter. Keep them loosely covered with their wrapping from the freezer and place on a wire rack to prevent condensation and sogginess.

DID YOU KNOW?

5 Unexpected Things You Can Freeze:

Milk Pour into freezer bags and freeze flat. You’ll never run to the store when baking again!

Egg Whites Freeze each egg white separately in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, store them in freezer bags.

Butter Buy it on sale with no fear of it spoiling. Store sticks in their paper wrap in a freezer bag.

Avocado Save ripe avocados by mashing them with a bit of lemon juice and packing in airtight containers.

Nuts and Grains Store in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent them from going rancid at room temperature.

 

Related Links

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

Technique Tuesday: Amazing Braising!

 

Pack Your Freezer Like a Pro

During the holidays, nothing is more guaranteed than leftovers. Don’t let these goodies go to waste! There are plenty of items you can freeze and store for later in the year, but only if you pack them properly. Here are our best freezing techniques and tips to keep freezer burn at bay.

 

 

Use Heavy Duty Foil

To wrap foods already wrapped in plastic or parchment to add extra protection. Why? It’s less porous and much thicker than regular foil, and less prone to snagging and tears.

 

Use Freezer Paper

To prevent air exposure and moisture loss. The goal is to wrap tightly to keep air out. Why? The paper is thick and durable and has an air-resistant coating on one side that keeps food from drying out.

 

Use Freezer Bags

But make sure to leave an inch free at the top so you can press out the air when sealing. Why? Resealable plastic freezer bags are thicker and often have sturdier seals than regular storage bags.

 

Layer Up

Separate individual portions of foods like burgers, sausage or fish fillets with parchment paper before freezing so you can remove and thaw only what you need.

 

No More UFO’s

Ban Unidentified Frozen Objects by noting the contents and freeze date on labels or tape with a permanent marker.

 

Written by Cheryl Slocum

 

Related Links

Top 20 Freezable Recipes

Budget Recipes: Freezer Meals

Meatless Monday: Leftovers

3 Ways to Liven Up Your Leftovers

Roast chicken, cooked pasta, and lettuce are foods we always have in our fridge. The unfortunate problem: These leftovers won’t last forever. So, in effort to waste less food, save money and try new recipes, here are a three dishes that will breathe new life into last night’s dinner.

 

 

For leftover roast chicken try Rachael Ray’s “Thai It” Chicken Noodles 30-Minute Meal. It’s Rach’s version of takeout, but from home! But saves you money and calories. Win, win!

 

 

Spruce up your leftover plain pasta with this easy Pasta Bake. Throw it in the oven for only 12 minutes and you no longer need to spend your night cooking. And don’t think we sacrificed flavor for time–this dish is tasty!

 

 

 Lettuce take you on a journey from salad to succulent soup! With this Lettuce Soup you will finally use up that head of romaine you have sitting in your fridge.

Related Links:

15 Pasta Sauce Recipes 

Leftover Recipes

Chicken Soup Recipes