If you’re like we are, you and the kids cook more than you eat–It’s a great problem to have, and everyone loves it. And, since we all know Thanksgiving food isn’t just about food for ‘the Meal’, why not use those Thanksgiving leftovers as an excuse to spend some time in the kitchen with the kids and whip up some ‘extra’ treats to share?
Alex and Soph will be with their dad this year for the holiday, but luckily, with all of my recipe testing, we’ve have plenty of these traditional leftovers on hand to work with 😀
Despite that fact that very few of us eat them, a cranberry dish of some sort is always present at our holiday table. Since I hate throwing out food, I end up eating most of them myself, which isn’t horrible, but can get a bit old. A couple weeks ago, though, as I was watching the Food Network, Melissa D’Arabian’s Cranberry Salsa recipe inspired me. This year, my leftover cranberries will become one of the following:
- Cranberry Barbecue Sauce – I thought of the idea of cranberry barbecue sauce all by myself, but realized that someone else probably had first. Of course I was right; so, I picked out one I thought sounded delicious and tried it…I made this recipe: Spice-Rubbed Turkey with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce, using a whole chicken instead of Turkey, but the sauce is tasty on its own. I think it’d be good with pork, too. I also think that even though the recipe calls for whole cranberries (and that is what I used in my test), it would be fine with that cranberry gelatin stuff—if that’s what your family has on hand. 😀
- Cranberry Salsa – This is the recipe that inspired me to do more with my cranberry sauce than just eat it all myself. I haven’t tried it yet, but will be soon…it sounds good and the reviews on the Food Network site look promising.
I love mashed potatoes. Because of this I tend to think that we need many more pounds of them than is actually necessary to feed the guests that are dining with us. Perhaps a subconscious attempt to ensure leftovers? In any case, in addition to just heating them up and eating their potatoey deliciousness themselves, here are a couple ways the Two Kids family deals with over-abundant mashed pototatoes:
- Fried Mashed Potatoes – Oh yeah! Melt some butter and throw in the potatoes. Let ‘em brown and then flip ‘em to brown on the other side. Depending on the moisture level of the potatoes, this can take a while, but they are sooo good with eggs and toast for breakfast. You could do ‘em up patty style too, my kids love making food into patties.
- Perogies – Alex and Soph are half Polish and perogies are a holiday tradition. Although we don’t always make them on Thanksgiving, leftover mashed potatoes almost ensure they will be made within a few days after. You can check out our recipe for perogies or, watch just how we do it on Two Kids Cooking TV: Perogies.
I know squash isn’t on ever family’s Thanksgiving day table, but as I’ve said in my other squash obsessed posts of late, Alex and I love it, so it is always there for us. Here’s a couple of ways we enjoy it that would work well with leftovers:
- Squash Soup – This simple recipe highlights the squash in a light, yet still creamy soup that’s great on a cold fall evening.
- Squash Cakes – Squash is related to pumpkins and these cakes bring the family resemblance home. They’re like pumpkin pie in a neat little cake—drool inducing if I don’t say so myself 😀
Due to the presences of the aforementioned squash, sweet potatoes do not make an appearance on our Thanksgiving table, BUT, because I know they do for many, I was curious. I did some searches and now I think I’m going to try sweet potatoes just for this bread:
Although I am not a huge bread fan myself, Alex and Soph both like it. Plus, you’ve gotta have bread of some sort on a traditional Thanksgiving spread, right? Anyway, if you have some leftover, or just want to buy extra to make this recipe, we strongly recommend it:
- Bread Pudding – You can see just how we make our favorite bread pudding on Two Kids Cooking TV: Bread Pudding. The recipe is from the Joy of Cooking, and if you don’t own this edition, the book is worth it just for this recipe.
Alex, Sophia and I wish all of you a food and fun-filled family Thanksgiving. After the rush of ‘the meal’ is over, we hope you take some time in the days that follow to spend together, cooking up some left-overs.
Happy Family Cooking Everyone!
Alex, Sophia and Mom