Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the day after there are usually so many leftovers that you don’t know what to do with them. The Turkey is easy – it makes great sandwiches and even the Potatoes are not too difficult. They go with anything. But what happens to that Cranberry? Cranberries unlike most Berries are not sweet – they are usually tart and sugar must be added to them to make them palatable. But Cranberries do make a wonderful sauce that complements the Turkey and even the Ham.
So, what if you have Cranberry Sauce left over and no one wants to eat it anymore? Help is around the corner or literally just up above in the recipe section of this blog. You can make Cranberry Sauce Cornbread or Biscuits.
What if you just have Cranberries that haven’t been used. Many people are probably like me and buy the big bag just because it is more practical. I buy the big bag because Cranberries are not usually available all year long and I like to have them on hand, so I keep the excess in the Freezer. One dish, using whole Cranberries is one that my whole loves. It is Cranberry Chicken – Chicken made with the whole Cranberry and then there is Cranberry/Pineapple Chicken. Whichever you decide to make, they are both delicious. But right now, let’s get back to the leftover Cranberry Sauce.
First on the Agenda is the Cranberry Corn Bread- so just up above to the recipe section and click on baked goods and then click on breads and then on the Cranberry Cornbread. In that same section is the Cranberry Sauce Biscuit Recipe (only all that reads in the index is Cranberry Sauce) – just click on that and it will take you to the Biscuit Recipe.
Cranberry Cornbread –cranberry-cornbread
Cranberry Sauce Biscuits – cranberry-sauce-biscuits
Cranberries can also be used for Fruit Muffins or Bread breads/fruit-muffins
Thanksgiving is one of those Holidays that we celebrate with food and usually with an abundance of food – more food at the table than can possibly be eaten. Ah- but those leftovers are probably some of the best leftovers of the year. Just think:
Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry Sauce and maybe Hot Gravy.
Mashed Potatoes – are good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. For Breakfast yo can turn those Mashed Potatoes into Pancakes or Waffles. For Lunch just eat them with the leftover Turkey and Gravy and for Dinner turn them into Potato Bread or more Turkey Sandwiches.
Cranberry Sauce – Use to make Fruit Bread or Biscuits or eat them with your Mashed Potato Pancakes or Waffles.
Sweet Potatoes – Eat as is or again make Pancakes or Waffles. Sweet Potato Waffles for Dinner with Creamed Gravy on top. Yummy!
Use your imagination and come up with your own ideas to use those Thanksgiving leftovers or try my recipes below:
Turkey Frittata: turkey-frittata
Turkey Croquettes: turkey-croquettes
Turkey Pot Pie: dinner/turkey-pot-pie
Cranberry Biscuits: cranberry-sauce-biscuits
Potato Bread: breads/potato-bread/
Cranberry Cornbread: cranberry-cornbread/
Time for another ‘Make-over’. When cooking for two people, it is often difficult to cook just the right amount of food. Especially when making Fried Chicken! Whoever heard of frying just half a Chicken? And who gets what? So, I always make a whole one and use the leftovers for lunches, salads, sandwiches and even a dinner.
This time I made Fettucinni with the Fried Chicken leftovers and Garden Fresh Vegetables. Yes, from our backyard Garden. The Vegetables that came from our yard were Tomatoes, Japanese Eggplant and Basil. The rest of the Vegetables that I used were Onions, Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper and Garlic.
Start with the Chicken by boning and removing most of the skin. Next slice the Chicken against the grain into bite-sized pieces. Set the Chicken aside and prepare your Vegetables. Wash and dry all the Vegetables before prepping them. Peel and crush or mince the Garlic. Dice the Onion and clean and slice the Mushrooms. Mince the fresh Basil and set aside. The Eggplant I used was Japanese Eggplant and they are slender to begin with so I just sliced them into 1/4″ slices. (Thicker if you prefer) Dice the Tomatoes and Bell Pepper and set aside.
Cook the Pasta in Boiling Salted Water per package directions. (DO NOT OVERCOOK!) Drain in a colander and set aside.
In a saute pan, heat a small amount of Olive Oil and start sauteing the diced Onion, minced Garlic, sliced Mushrooms and sliced Eggplant.
Once the Vegetables have softened add the Chicken Pieces along with the prepared Tomato. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
Just before serving combine the Cooked Vegetable/Chicken Mixture with the Cooked Pasta. Add the diced Red Bell Pepper and Basil. Serve immediately.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Stir Fry is one of my favorite dishes to cook and to eat. You can literally clean out your refrigerator and almost always come up with enough items to make a delicious Stir Fry Dinner. Beef, Pork Chicken or Fish or even Tofu will serve as the Protein. Vegetables such as Cabbage, Celery, Carrots, Onion, Spinach or Broccoli will complement your protein items. Asian Condiments such as Soy Sauce, Bean Sauce, Hoison Sauce and even Oyster Sauce will add the flavor enhancements. A Stir Fry Dish can be served with either Rice or Noodles.
The Noodles that I prefer with Asian Stir Fry are Rice Noodles which only need to be cooked or soaked for a short time. (This will depend on the manufacturer and the directions on the package they come in)
This particular night we had decided that we wanted Stir Fry Shrimp. While I had the Shrimp in the freezer I did have to go out and purchase a few of the Vegetable items for the Stir Fry. The Vegetables that I did have on hand were:
Broccoli Stalks – I love the crunchiness of the stalks – peel the stalks and then slice thinly.
Green Cabbage –
Orange Carrots – Carrots can be had in a variety of colors these days – Red, Yellow, White or even Purple.
Garlic – an absolute necessity when it comes to Stir Fry
Eight Ball Zuchinni – an interesting shape – this is a round zuchinni just about the size of a pool table ball ‘8’ ball.
Ginger Root – adds amazing flavor – a little zing! Cut off the amount you need (usually a piece about the size of a quarter) and peel. This can be done with a teaspoon as the skin has a contrasting texture to the Ginger itself. Then mince before using.
Maitaki Mushrooms – these are also known as Beech Mushrooms which also come in a white variety. They grow together in a cluster which you can cut apart at the base leaving tiny mushrooms on a slender stem.
The Vegetables that I purchased for this dish were:
Bean Sprouts – I usually use Mung Bean Sprouts – just add them at the very end – these also need very little or no cooking
Chinese Pea Pods – wash and remove the strings – they need very little or no cooking
You will want to marinate whatever Meat you are using in your Stir Fry; Shrimp or any other Seafood should not be marinated for more than about 20 minutes. Chicken, Beef Pork or Lam on the other hand can be marinated for several hours or even overnight. For our Stir Fry this night I did use Shrimp. For the Marinade I used:
Hoison Sauce – 1-2 Tbsps.
Black Bean Sauce – 1- 2 Tbsps.
Fish Sauce – 1 Tbsp.
Peanut Oil – 2 Tbsps.
To make your Stir Fry start with the Onion; sauté in a wok or large sauté pan just to soften and then add the Garlic. Next add the Vegetables that would need the most cooking, starting with the Cabbage and then the Carrots and lastly the Zuchinni which needs very little cooking.
Once these Vegetable are almost done (about 2-3 minutes) remove them to a covered dish and then Stir Fry the Shrimp. Stir Fry the Shrimp in the same vessel as the Vegetables were cooked in – Shrimp should take 3-4 minutes to cook. Add the Noodles (if the Noodles have stuck together, just rinse them with some warm water) and combine with the Shrimp Mixture.
Once the Noodles have warmed and been coated with the Sauce, add the cooked Vegetables along with the Pea Pods, Bean Sprouts and the Bell Pepper.
Once everything is combined and hot serve immediately. This is a great one-dish meal or can be served as a second course after a soup or salad starter.
OKAY! Last month I said that I never make New Year’s Resolutions, because I don’t keep them. And here is the reason why: I made myself a promise that I will pay more attention to this blog and try to write something, if not daily then at least twice weekly. And guess what? It has been more than a month since I wrote the last one. That is hardly once a week, let alone twice a week. Let’s see if I can redeem myself and start keeping that promise now. ‘One Dish Meals’ was my theme last month and I am going to continue it this month. And maybe I can get myself to do something every day. If it becomes a habit then it will work.
Since it is still Winter in most parts of the Western Hemisphere (not So. Calif. though) hearty soups are great to make and eat. You can make a big pot for a family or a small one for just two people. I used to make those great big ones since I had 5 boys to feed, but now that it is just my husband and I (except when the kids drop in) I usually try to make a smaller one. Quite honestly, even though my children have been grown for several decades now, I still find it difficult to cook in small batches; therefore, whenever someone comes over, there is almost certainly something (leftover or otherwise) in the refrigerator for them to eat.
All that aside, here is the process for the Vegetable Barley Soup. Bear in mind that you can use any kind of vegetable that you may have on hand. This is a wonderful way to clean out the refrigerator and make way for future shopping trips. Since we live in Southern California, the Farmer’s Markets operate all year round and the nearby farmer’s stands are open also. In addition, our Super Markets do carry locally grown produce.
MAKING THE SOUP:
Start with the Barley by cooking it either in Chicken, Beef or Vegetable Stock or even Water. Follow the cooking directions and time on the package the Barley comes in. Be sure and cook it until it becomes tender enough to eat – this will probably take about an hour or more.
While the Barley is cooking, search the Vegetable Bin in your refrigerator and/or your freezer for Bags of Frozen Vegetables. This is a good way to use up those open bags that have been partially used. Wash, peel (if necessary) and dice or slice your Vegetables. The method of cutting will depend on the Vegetables you are using and also your personal preferences. Be sure and use an Onion which will give tremendous flavor to your soup.
Heat your Soup Pot over low heat while the Vegetables are being prepared. Once all the Vegetables are ready, you can start by sautéing the diced Onion in a small amount of Olive Oil or Butter, if you prefer. Olive Oil is the healthy way to go and has great flavor. Sauté the Onion until it begins to brown – the longer it browns the more flavor that will be imparted. Just don’t cook to the point where it starts burning or the flavor will be ‘burn’. Onions have a lot of natural sugar so that when you sauté them, the Sugar helps to caramelize the Onion – a light color will give a light flavor and a darker color will give a heavier flavor. In the photo below left, Onions and Mushrooms are being sautéed. In this case, I used only Mushrooms Stems as I had used the caps for another dish.
Other Vegetables that are good to sauté before adding the liquid is Celery, Mushrooms, Leeks and Garlic if you want Garlic in your soup. Just go easy with it so that it doesn’t overpower everything else.
In the photo above, Carrots and shredded cabbage was added along with peas and frozen corn. If using frozen vegetables along with the fresh, add the frozen Vegetables at the end of the cooking period – do not let them cook more than 5 minutes. Again, use whatever you have on hand. Once the Vegetables are sautéed and the Barley is fully cooked combine the two mixtures. For seasoning Basil, Bay Leaves Salt and Pepper may be added. Add the Bay Leaves to the Barley while it is cooking and if you use fresh Basil, add it at the end, just before serving. If using dried Basil, then it may be added once you add the Cooked Barley and Broth to the Vegetables. Season according to your own tastes. In the soup pictured, Vegetable Juice was added for more flavor. Tomato Juice may also be used.
This is a good hearty winter soup that if served with fresh bread can actually be your complete meal. If meat is desired, sliced Chicken Breast or any leftover meat may be used. If desired, ground Beef may be sautéed along with the Vegetables. If you are a Vegan or Vegetarian, cook the Barley in Vegetable Broth or Tomato Juice or just plain Water. If desired, tiny Pasty may also be added.
Try this dish tonight! It is easy to make, delicious to eat and nourishing!
Last Night’s Dinner was Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with sautéed Spinach with Mushrooms and Onions. I had been busy most of the afternoon baking Gingerbread House Parts so my husband Ev, went to the store for me to pick up the Pork Tenderloin and a Vegetable. I had asked him to get whatever Leafy Vegetable he preferred and it could be fresh or frozen. He picked out frozen chopped Spinach. Now, I love Spinach, but chopped is another story. Anyways, I sautéed it with diced Onions and sliced Mushrooms. It came out pretty good, but the whole leaf would have been better. Anyways, I always cook too much for two people and there was a good size portion of the Spinach leftover. When we discussed what we would like to have for Dinner tonight, Ev wanted Pasta. I said okay but didn’t tell him what kind of Pasta we were going to have. Here is where the Makeover comes in. Listed below are the leftovers that I incorporated into the meal along with the additional ingredients that I had to purchase:
ON HAND PURCHASED
Lasagna Noodles Ricotta Cheese
Mushroom/Spinach Sauté Canned Diced Tomatoes
Egg & Cream Ground Veal (optional)
Fresh Basil & Garlic
Dried Oregano & Bay Leaves
Salt & Pepper
This was probably one of the easiest meals I have prepared in a long time. Below is the order in which I prepared this dish:
I – Making the Tomato Sauce
- Sautéing the Veal in a small amount of Olive Oil
- Crushing the Garlic and adding it to the Veal
- Add the Crushed Tomatoes along with the Dried Oregano & Bay Leaf
- Add half can (3 oz.) Tomato Paste along with Salt and Pepper to taste
- Allow to simmer until the Sauce is of the desired consistency
- At the end, add about 1/4 cup minced Basil
II – Spinach/Ricotta Mixture
- In small bowl I mixed 1 cup of Ricotta with 1 beaten Egg and then added about 1/4 cup of Cream.
- Stir in the Mushroom/Spinach Mixture
III – Assembly
- Place a very small amount of Olive Oil at the bottom of the baking dish and spread it with a paper towel to cover the entire bottom surface.
- Arrange a layer of Noodles on the bottom
- Add a layer of the Spinach/Ricotta mixture
- Add a layer of shredded Mozzarella
- Add another layer of Pasta and top with another layer of the Spinach/Ricotta mixture
- Sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on this layer
- Add another layer of Pasta and top with another layer of the Spinach/Ricotta mixture
- Add Mozzarella Cheese
- Half hour before serving bake at 350 degrees until the Cheese is melted and slightly browned and the dish is hot all the way through – (about half hour)
IV – Serving
- Let the Lasagna rest for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving it.
- Serve with the Veal/Tomato Sauce and additional Parmesan Cheese as desired
Funny that November is recognized as the following Food Month –
- Georgia Pecan Month
- Good Nutrition Month
- National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
- National Pepper Month
- National Pomegranate Month
- Raisin Bread Month
- Vegan Month
Honoring many types of food, but not of all things the Turkey. Why not? November is Thanksgiving and Turkey is the main highlight of most families dinners on Thanksgiving. So like October which I have declared ‘The Month of the Pumpkin’ I am now declaring November as Turkey Month. Everywhere you go, there are turkeys for sale, Frozen Turkeys, Fresh Turkeys, Heritage Turkeys, already prepared Turkey Dinners, etc.
Before we go any further does anyone know why the Turkey is called the Turkey? What did the Indians call the Wild Turkey that was prevalent when the first Pilgrims came over? Does anyone know? And why did the Europeans call Turkeys, Turkeys? Well it seems that the Europeans thought the Turkeys were related to Guinea Fowl which were transported to Europe via Turkey. Therefore, they called the Wild Bird they found in the New World, Turkeys. That name has stuck to this day.
Benjamin Franklin thought that the Turkey should be the National Bird but the Bald Eagle has and probably always will be the Bird Symbol for the United States. However, three States including Massachusetts have adopted the Turkey as their State Bird.
Most of us will be making or Eating Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner. There are many ways to cook Turkey; Smoking, Frying, Barbecuing but the traditional and most ways to cook Turkey is still to roast it fully packed with Stuffing. But preparing Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner is not the problem. It’s what to do with the leftovers that presents challenges. The best and probably favorite way is the ‘Turkey Sandwich’. My preference is with Mayonnaise, Pickles and Lettuce. Some like to put Stuffing and Cranberries on their Sandwiches, but whichever way you make it, I would venture to say that the Sandwich is the favorite way to use Turkey Leftovers.
Another use, though probably not usually thought by most people is a Turkey Frittata turkey-frittata/. The Frittata can be made for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and is a good way to use up those little pieces of Turkey that fall off the bone or crumble from the slices. The Frittata is an omelet with Meat, (Turkey) Vegetables and usually some kind of Cheese. The Frittata is very tasty and a great use for leftover anything, including Turkey.
Another good use for Turkey leftovers are Turkey Croquettes. /turkey-croquettes/ Great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner the Croquette can be varied to suit your individual taste palette. Either good old American, Italian, Mexican or even Asian. With just one or two additional ingredients the flavors can be easily varied.
One more use for leftover Turkey is the Turkey Pot Pie. turkey-pot-pie/ Delicious and warming in the cooler weather of Fall!
The above are just a few of the things that can be done with Turkey Leftovers. You can probably come up with more ideas on your own.
And don’t forget! November is ‘Turkey Month’!!
Categories: Asian, Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Italian, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, Mexican, National Food Days Tags: Appetizers, family dinner, holiday recipes, Leftovers, National Food Days, turkey, Turkey Leftovers, Vegetables
Almost everyone loves Asparagus – at least I think so! But the tip and upper half of the stalk is the most tender and flavorful parts, so we tend to cut off the bottoms. What a shame if those bottoms are thrown out. There is still flavor and nutrition in the lower half of the Asparagus even though it may be a little tougher on the bottom. There are things you can do with those tough bottoms that will render them palatable and quite delicious! Here Goes!!!
- Cut off 1 inch from the bottoms of each stem (stalk)
- Wash the remaining stems and then cut into 1inch pieces.
- Place in a saucepan or pot that will allow you to cover the pieces with at least 2 inches of liquid.
- Add a chopped Onion or Shallots.
- Add Chicken Stock, Vegetable Bouillon or Water to cover. (In the photo below, there are Carrots and Green Onions along with the Asparagus. The Chicken Stock is frozen and will defrost as the heat melts it. – you can add whatever other Vegetables you may have on hand)
- Bring to a boil and then simmer until the pieces are fork tender.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place the Asparagus pieces along with some of the liquid into your food processor or blender and run until smooth. This may also be done with an immersion blender.
- For a perfectly smooth puree pass the mixture through a strainer; for a little texture leave as is.
The resulting puree above may be used for Soup, Pasta or Pasta Sauce. To make Cream of Asparagus Soup follow the instructions below.
2 cups Vegetable Puree 1 cup Heavy Cream or Milk
3 Shallots or 1 small Onion, chopped
4 oz. Mushrooms (optional)
¼ cup unsalted Butter
4 Tbsps. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground Pepper
- Melt 4 Tbsps. of Butter; add half cup of chopped Onion or Shallots and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the 4 Tbsps. Flour until it is well combined with the Butter and Onions.
- Add the Asparagus Puree and stir well. Add enough Cream or Milk to make the desired consistency.
- Add 1 tsp. Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper; taste and adjust seasonings.
Yield: Approx. 4 Servings
October is ‘Vegetarian Awareness Month’ and I figured I better take advantage of it before the month is over in 2 days. Green is the thing – businesses are going green to save energy – but Green Food in the form of Vegetables is great too. So here are a few ways to use Cauliflower – not the common white variety but, yes Green Cauliflower.
Not only does Cauliflower appear in Green Form but there is also a Golden/Orange Variety and a Purple. While Purple is not too appetizing a color to eat, the Golden/Orange Variety is beautiful. As to taste, all the Cauliflowers taste the same, but if visual appeal influences your taste buds then the Green and the Gold are certainly more appetizing than the plain old white or the purple.
I am going to present two appetizing ways to use the Green Cauliflower, but quite honestly this preparation will apply to either color. One nice thing about these recipes is that if you have trouble getting your family to eat their greens or Cauliflower in particular, these preparations will be more enticing to them. For instance, my husband eats very small portions of Vegetables when I prepare them, but he couldn’t get enough of these Cauliflower preparations. He even ate the leftovers for lunch, and eating Vegetable Leftovers is something he very seldom does! So here we go – Green Cauliflower prepared 2 ways!
First of all you are going to start with the full head of Cauliflower. Wash it well and then place it in shallow dish such as a glass or ceramic pie plate. Next prepare your Cheese Sauce. There are two ways to do this. One is the easy way and especially good if you are fond of Mayonnaise and aren’t afraid of the Calories! The second way is to prepare a cooked Cheese Sauce which is also very good for other things such as Macaroni and Cheese, etc.
Mayo Cheese Sauce – 1 cup of Mayonnaise mixed with 1 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cooked Cheese Sauce:
2 Tbsps. Flour
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 cup Half and Half or Milk
4 oz. shredded Cheddar
1½ tsps. Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. ground White Pepper
- In a 2 Qt. Saucepan, melt the Butter and Stir in the Flour and cook until a paste forms.
- Slowly stir in the Half and Half and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
- Add the shredded Cheddar Cheese and stir constantly until the Cheese melts and the Sauce is smooth.
- Add the Worcestershire, Salt and Pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning.
COOKING THE CAULIFLOWER:
Right before dinner, place the Cauliflower in the Microwave, uncovered. If you have a Vegetable setting cook it on that but you will have to do at least two times. Without the Vegetable setting try cooking the Cauliflower for 5 minutes. When done it should be fork tender. If not, put it back in for another minutes or so.
Next spread the Cheese Sauce on top and return to the Microwave for another minute or until the Cheese is thoroughly hot – in the case of the May/Cheese Sauce, you want the Cheese to be almost melted.
Bring to the table and serve by cutting the Broccoli into several sections.
RECIPE II: – Cauliflower Casserole
If you are only two people as we are or if you have Cauliflower leftover from your meal here is another method for preparing it and serving it. If before cooking it the first time you know you are going to have leftovers, double the Cheese Sauce (cooked one) and only use half of it.
- Roughly chop the leftover Cauliflower, completely removing the florets from the stalk. Discard the stalk.
- Place the chopped Cauliflower in a buttered Casserole dish; add additional Cheese Sauce as needed and mix gently to completely cover the Cauliflower.
- If desired, top with Buttered Bread Crumbs and then bake in a 350 degree oven until hot. (About 15-20 minutes) Or cook again in the Microwave.
- Voila. You have another Cauliflower dish similar to the first one but completely different looking.
This is an excellent way to get the kids to eat their Green! Try it also with Broccoli.