Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Too Much Turkey

A lot is going one right now, right?  Thanksgiving, Black Friday, etc.  In a couple of days, it will all be over and we can concentrate on other things…..like Christmas.  But in the meantime, we are all going to have a large amount of Thanksgiving leftovers.  This year, let’s do something different with them.  Let’s do more than the usual sandwich, soup or tetrazzini.  Let’s do this together.  Wow, that was quite a pep talk, right?

Today I have two recipes using Turkey Day leftovers to show you, and although they are both “breakfast” recipes, they really are amazing at any time of day.  My first recipe is a “Thanksgiving Benedict”.  I have actually made this for years.  I use leftover mashed potatoes to make potato cakes that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  I top the cakes with “frizzled” (I’ll explain later) turkey, a fried egg and leftover gravy.  Even if you think you ate too much for Thanksgiving, you will totally be able to make room for this the next day.

My next recipe uses leftover sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce.  I use the casserole to make sweet and delicious pancakes, and the cranberry sauce mixes with maple syrup and orange zest to make the perfect topper for the pancakes.  Sounds good right?

My mashed potato cakes are super easy.  I throw a couple cups of leftover mashed potatoes into my standing mixer with a couple of eggs and some flour.  You can use a hand mixer if you don’t have a standing mixer.  I blend until smooth, and then the cakes get fried in a butter/oil combo.  My family loves these almost more than the mashed potatoes.

Remember when I said “frizzled” turkey?  I really just mean that I fry the turkey just long enough to get brown around the edges and warmed through.  Not quite fried….more of a quick sizzle, so frizzled.  The fried egg and leftover gravy is pretty self-explanatory, yes?

This Thanksgiving Benedict is my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  Yes, I know it’s the day after that I get to eat it, but whatever.  I lump all the deliciousness together.

Does your family make the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and maybe some nuts thrown in?  Well, that makes for amazing pancakes!  Similar to pumpkin pancakes, but even better…because who doesn’t love marshmallows in their pancakes?

I mix leftover casserole into my regular pancake recipe using baking mix.  I also substitute leftover apple cider for milk.  I cook the pancakes until they are golden brown and perfect. 

While the pancakes cook, I heat leftover cranberry sauce with maple syrup and a little bit of orange zest.  Now, I can only recommend this recipe if your cranberry sauce is a sweet version.  Versions using horseradish or mustard might not go over so well.

I top the pancakes with butter and a ton of cranberry maple syrup.  We’ll diet after the holidays, Ok?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Enjoy your day….and your leftovers the next day!


Thanksgiving Benedict

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

2 eggs

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups leftover turkey, shredded

4 eggs

1 cup leftover gravy, reheated


Melt butter in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Mix together leftover mashed potatoes, eggs and flour until smooth.  Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, drop scoops of the potato mixture into skillet.  Flatten slightly with a spatula.  Fry for 5 minutes each side or until golden brown on each side.  Work in batches if needed.  Place on paper towels to drain.  Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Add turkey to melted butter and oil remaining in pan.  Fry, slightly, until turkey is brown around the edges and reheated.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Fry eggs in remaining butter and oil, about 1 minute each side depending on how you like your egg cooked.

To assemble:

Place two mashed potato patties on a plate.  Top with about ¼ cup fried turkey.  Top turkey with a fried egg.  Drizzle about ¼ cup gravy over the top of each Benedict.

Serves 4


Sweet Potato Casserole Pancakes with Maple Cranberry Syrup

2 cups baking mix

2 eggs

1 cup leftover apple cider, or milk

¾ cup Leftover Sweet Potato Casserole

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons butter

Maple Cranberry Syrup:

½ cup leftover cranberry sauce

½ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon orange zest


Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.  Melt butter on griddle.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together baking mix, eggs, apple cider, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.  Let batter sit for 5 minutes.

Scoop batter onto griddle with a ¼ cup measuring cup.  Cook pancakes until the tops start to bubble and the edges brown, about 3 minutes.  Flip pancakes and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve with butter and maple cranberry syrup.

For syrup:

In a small sauce pan, whisk together cranberry sauce, syrup and zest.  Cook, over low heat, until warmed through.

Serves 4-6



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Well, kids….it’s that time of year already.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  This year, let’s plan ahead.  This year, let’s be the ones who have our menus planned and ready to go way ahead of time.  Who’s with me?

Is anyone still there?  Ok, good.  Today, let’s talk side dishes.   I think that veggies never really get their due on Thanksgiving, unless you are counting a potato.  I’m not.  Mashed potatoes are a great part of Thanksgiving, but everyone has a recipe for that.  Today I want to talk about real veggies.  Like carrots, squash and Brussels sprouts.

I have a recipe for Roasted Autumn Veggies that everyone will love.  Even non-veggie eaters (like me!).  When veggies are roasted, they get sweet and caramelized.  The taste totally changes.  I combine halved Brussels sprouts, baby carrots, cubed butternut squash and red onion with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper and a smidge of sugar.  When these veggies are done roasting, they are super sweet and tender.  To make ‘em even better, I top them with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries and candied pecans.  I never knew vegetables could be so delicious until I had these.

To start, I preheat my oven to 400 degrees, pretty hot really.  Then, I put about three cups of each of the vegetables that I am using into a large bowl.  You can really choose any hearty autumn veggie for this….parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, etc.  Just make sure that your veggies are all relatively the same size.  I chopped my onion and halved my Brussels sprouts.  I cheated and opened a bag of already cubed butternut squash and left my baby carrots whole.  If everything is pretty much the same size, it will all cook evenly.

To the bowl, I add about a quarter cup of olive oil, two teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper.  I also sprinkle on about a tablespoon of sugar.  Yes, I know I said these veggies get sweet when they are roasted, but the sugar helps a bit too.  Sprouts can be bitter, so the sugar really brings out that hidden sweetness.

Next, I stir together a half of a cup balsamic vinegar with a quarter cup of soy sauce.  I pour a quarter cup of this mixture directly on the veggies.  Once the veggies are mixed, I pour them on a baking sheet and let them roast for about forty minutes.

While the veggies cook, I let the soy/balsamic mixture reduce to a thick syrup.  All I do is let it cook in a small sauce pan over medium high heat for about ten minutes.  If it is at a full boil, it will reduce pretty quickly to a thick delicious syrup.

When the veggies are done roasting they will be a beautiful golden brown and super tender.  I top the veggies with crumbles or gorgonzola, dried cranberries, candied pecans, and then I drizzle on the balsamic syrup.  Perfection. Thanksgiving perfection.


If you have any veggies left over, you can make my Harvest salad.  I top greens with the leftover veggies (cold), chopped leftover turkey and a chopped green apple.  Then, I top the salad with my cranberry vinaigrette made with leftover cranberry sauce.  This is the perfect lunch the day after Thanksgiving.  Doesn’t a salad sound good when you are still a little bit full from the day before?

Roasted Autumn Veggies

3 cups Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved

3 cups baby carrots

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

3 cups red onion, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

1/3 cup candied pecans

1/3 cup dried cranberries

¼ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place veggies in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar.  Mix well.

Stir together soy sauce and vinegar.  Add ¼ a cup of this mixture to veggies.  Mix well.

Pour veggies onto a sheet pan.  Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

While veggies cook, pour remaining soy/balsamic mixture into a small sauce pan.  Boil over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, or until mixture is reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Transfer veggies onto serving platter.  Top with candied pecans, dried cranberries and gorgonzola cheese.  Drizzle with balsamic syrup.

Serves 8-10

Cranberry Vinaigrette

¼ cup cranberry sauce

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until well blended.

Makes about 1 cup.