Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Leftover Ideas

Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers. We skipped the traditional turkey sandwiches this year, which my kids really don't like anyway, and ate really well for days!

Turkey Hash
The morning after Thanksgiving, I made this easy turkey hash for a hardy breakfast before we went skiing. The hash, made from diced potatoes, red onion, grated carrots, and leftover dark meat, made a tasty side dish to scrambled eggs.

Rustic Oven-Baked Apple Pancake
Leftover apples that didn't fit into the tart on Thanksgiving were the main ingredient in this simple rustic oven-baked apple pancake for breakfast another morning. Use your favorite recipe. I found this recipe in a cookbook I have in New Hampshire.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
For dinner one night, we had this delicious turkey shepherd's pie with some of the leftover turkey, green beans with leeks, and mashed potatoes. I added hamburg and corn to make my kids happy! There wasn't enough mashed potatoes leftover to complete the pie, so I just made another batch and blended them together. To keep the turkey from drying out, I added a little chicken broth to the bottom of the casserole dish.


Four-Grain Pancakes
For another breakfast, we had these four-grain pancakes (whole-wheat flour, rye flour, oat flour, and cornmeal) made with extra pumpkin puree.

Sausage, Broccoli, And Stuffing
The leftover stuffing made a nice addition to this simple sausage and broccoli dinner one night. The sausage also came from the farm where I bought our fresh turkey.

Turkey Soup
I immediately made a lovely stock on Thanksgiving eve from the bones and meat of the turkey. From that stock, I made this comforting turkey soup with bok choy, one of the fresh greens I purchased at the local farm when I picked up my turkey. I kept it simple by cooking the chopped vegetables right in the stock. The turkey was added last, once the vegetables were tender. The pasta was cooked separately and added to each individual bowl just before serving.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Turkey Hash
Leftover turkey hash was made with the leftover turkey. We ate it with leftover brussels sprouts from another meal. It made a very nice light lunch one day.

Cranberry Salsa
A great snack that my family really loves this time of year is this festive cranberry corn salsa. I make it every year and sometimes from the leftover cranberry sauce. When I started my blog last December, I posted the basic recipe here. I'll be posting my new fresh version of the recipe this weekend.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Quiet Thanksgiving ~ Just The Four Of Us And Good Food

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving kept the family busy such that we hardly saw each other so it was a blessing to get away, just the four of us. 

The Pemigewasset River

We headed to New Hampshire after hearing about all the snow the White Mountains were getting.

Even though I've made Thanksgiving dinner there for the past couple of years, I always forget what it's like since I make the meal only once a year. The pantry is pretty basic so it forces me to cook simply. We brought up all the food I had purchased back at home, including the fresh turkey that came from a local farm (story here). In the end, the simplicity worked in our favor and I made a very fresh and flavorful meal. 

The Meal

It started with drying cubes of multi-grain bread, one loaf, overnight which turned into the delicious and flavorful stuffing, or dressing, the next day. Below, the stuffing was made from fresh bread crumbs, fresh sage, chopped celery, onion, chestnuts (jarred), apples, and low-sodium chicken broth.

Cranberry Sauce
Making the fresh cranberry sauce was next with local cranberries I found at the grocery store (there are many beautiful bogs in nearby Cape Cod), oranges, and sugar. The aromas developing were amazing! It raised our holiday spirits.

I love serving cranberry sauce in a glass dish. It looks so pretty and sparkly.

Roasted Butternut Squash With Parsnips And Apples
This is a simple side dish of coarsely chopped squash and apples (of equal size), chopped parsnips (of smaller size), butter, and freshly grated nutmeg. I roast them in the oven until tender in this cast iron pan, but they roast nicely in a baking sheet also. I like to give them a rustic mash.

If we were home, this dish would have looked as pretty as the picture below. Below is the same side dish idea, without the parsnips, and with roasted butternut squash seeds that I made in late August for a kidney nutrition newsletter.

Roasted Green Beans And Leeks
Next, and my favorite new dish creation, was this side dish made by simply roasting green beans with leeks and extra virgin olive oil at 400 degrees for just a few minutes. In the past, I've made roasted green beans with almonds. But this was more savory. A great healthy alternative to the processed canned green bean casserole - which I've never made but have eaten a few times growing up and really never liked.

Mashed Potatoes And Gravy
Mashed potatoes and gravy were the last to be made. I never got a chance to photograph the gravy because that's when it got a little crazy and the entire meal was put together. The gravy was simple, slowly whisking a little flour with strained pan drippings and adding low-sodium chicken broth as needed. 

The fresh turkey had been roasting in the oven.

And the kids played.

White Friday
We skipped Black Friday and skied. I never really liked Black Friday anyway. I prefer to rest or decorate for the holidays.

Feeling exhilarated by the snow, the mountain, and gorgeous scenery, I kept calling the Friday after Thanksgiving our White Friday.

Cannon Mountain

View of Franconia Ridge