Tag Archives: holidays

29 Ways to Use Up Holiday Leftovers

When you host holiday dinners, you have more than leftover turkey to deal with, and if you’re like me, you hate to waste cranberry sauce, vegetables, pie, and other festive food. Here are 29 ways to use up holiday leftovers and prevent food waste.

How to Use Up Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce in white bowl

Use cranberry sauce in place of jelly in a peanut butter sandwich, and add to turkey sandwiches as a spread.

• Stir cranberry sauce into warm oatmeal that’s been microwaved with milk (milk for extra protein, calcium, and other minerals, and vitamins). Top with chopped walnuts or pecans.

• Add a tablespoon or two of cranberry sauce to fruit smoothies and eliminate sugar or other sweeteners.

• Combine cranberry sauce with plain Greek yogurt and make a parfait with whole grain ready-to-eat cereal.

• Warm 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce in the microwave for 10 seconds and put it on top of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

• Top French toast, waffles, and pancakes with warm cranberry sauce instead of maple syrup.


Reduce food waste, save money, and help the environment! 


How to Use Leftover Stuffing and Dressing

• Prepare stuffing “pancakes” and top with a fried egg.

• Stir stuffing or dressing into turkey soup.

• Use as a topping on turkey pot pie.

What to Make with Leftover Holiday Vegetables

quiche-2067686_1920

Prepare a vegetable strata from leftover bread, chopped vegetables, eggs, and cheese, or make a quiche.

• Puree cooked broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots and add milk or cream to make soup.

pumpkin-soup-2886322_1920

Mix butternut squash and sweet potato together for soup, and add coconut milk.

• Add cooked sweet potato or beets to smoothies.

• Stir plain pumpkin or mashed or sweet potatoes into turkey soup for a thicker, more flavorful soup.

• Stuff a cooked baked sweet or white potato with 1/4 cup cooked diced turkey or 1/4 cup black beans, and top with cranberry sauce or salsa.

• Top turkey pot pie with mashed sweet or white potatoes instead of pastry crust.

• Smash (gently!) whole cooked small potatoes, roast in 400˚F oven for 10 minutes, and top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and fresh chives.

• Chop cooked veggies and add to omelettes along with leftover cheese or use on top of pizza.

• Puree cooked cauliflower and mix with milk or cream and grated Parmesan cheese to the desired consistency for a side dish.

• Whip up potato pancakes with white or sweet potatoes.

What to Make with Leftover Bread and Rolls

• Prepare French toast or pancakes with leftover cream or eggnog.

• Make croutons from cornbread, rolls, or other leftover bread. Cut into large pieces and roast in oven at 300˚F until dry, about 20 minutes.

Pancakes with powdered sugar, and fresh raspberries

Use leftover eggnog to whip up a quick batch of pancakes.

Simple Ways to Use Up Leftover Turkey

• Prepare turkey pot pie with leftover sweet potato, white potato, or stuffing for the topping.

• Make a white bean and turkey chili and include leftover vegetables.

• Prepare quick quesadillas using whole wheat tortillas, leftover cheese, and sliced turkey. Serve with cranberry sauce for dipping.

• Add chopped turkey to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.

Simple Recipes for Leftover Eggnog

• Use eggnog in place of milk when you prepare French toast, vanilla cake from a mix pancakes, waffles, and bread pudding.

• Combine eggnog and fruit for a delicious smoothie.

Pumpkin smoothie with whipped cream.

Scoop pumpkin pie out of the crust and combine with plain Greek yogurt for a creamy pudding, or add some milk and make a smoothie.

What to Do with Leftover Wine

• Freeze red wine in ice cube trays to use later in stews.


What are your favorite ways to use up holiday leftovers?


 

29 ways to use up holiday leftovers

Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette

I attended a meeting last September where I’m sure I ate my weight in fresh and dried California figs. This recipe for Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette is a result of my fig enthusiasm, and it will be on the table this year at Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season!

Note: I worked with California Figs on this paid post.

fig, apple, and goat cheese galette

Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette is perfect for any meal.

Fun Facts About Figs

Clearly, I have a thing for figs, mostly because they are delicious. But I have come to appreciate figs for other reasons, too.

• Figs are flowers. Yes, you read that right. The flowers from fig trees are actually found inside the pear-shaped bloom they produce. The flowers develop into the delicious, sweet fruit.

• Figs grow best where it’s warm, dry, and sunny, so it makes sense that, in the U.S., California grows all the dried figs and 98% of the fresh figs for commercial use. The San Joaquin Valley is the perfect place to grow the sweetest, most plump figs. Yay for California!

• Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and partially dry while they are still hanging on the trees. When they are fully dried, they can last six to eight months in air-tight containers.

• California Dried Golden Figs is the generic term for several lighter-colored varieties that all tend to have a slightly nutty and buttery flavor. Mission Figs, which are grown only in California, have a dark purple skin and a deep, earthy flavor.

Piece of dried fig, goat cheese, and apple galette.

Dried figs pair well with goat cheese, apples, and a buttery crust.

Why Dried Figs are Healthy

Figs are tasty, and they are good for you, too. Figs are naturally sweet and contain no added sugar. They also pack fiber to boost eating satisfaction.

Here’s something you may not know. Figs supply bone-building nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Plus, their negligible sodium levels and their relatively high potassium content help to keep blood pressure in check as part of a balanced eating plan.


Read this for simple ways to cut back on sugar intake.


Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette

Don’t be put off by the fancy French name. “Galette” translates into “free-form pie that doesn’t have to look perfect.” That’s not entirely accurate, of course, but this is true: galettes are for people like me who hate to fuss in kitchen and want to make a dish that’s slightly out of the box. If you want to know more about the real differences between galettes, tarts, and pies, check out this article.

Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette is a mixture of sweet and savory, which is a tasty combination for any holiday meal. The crust is to die for, and it’s simple to make.

The galette is a special dish that your friends and family will surely appreciate. You can make it a day ahead and gently heat in the oven at 300˚F just before serving. Here are some other ideas for make-ahead holiday dishes.

I hope you enjoy this galette as much as we do in our house!

Whole dried fig, goat cheese, apple galette topped with fresh rosemary.

Galettes don’t need to look perfect to taste delicious!

Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette

This sweet and savory fig tart is perfect for your holiday table!
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: apple, California figs, dried figs, galette, goat cheese, holiday food, Thanksgiving
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 10 California Dried Golden Figs
  • 2 medium baking apples, such as Cortland
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fig jam
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 small or medium egg
  • 1 tablespoon ice water

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt to a large food processor. Pulse to blend. 
  • Add the butter and pulse until the dough forms small crumbs about the size of peas. 
  • Add the water/vinegar mixture and pulse until it forms larger crumbs, being careful to not overmix. The dough should not come together as a ball. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 
  • Thirty minutes before removing the dough, preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  
  • In the meantime, cut the stem off of the figs and slice figs into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • Peel and core the apples, cut into ¼-inch slices and place in a medium mixing bowl with the lemon juice. Coat the fruit completely with the lemon juice.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar and the flour.  Add the sugar mixture to the apples and toss to coat. 
  • When one hour is up, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12-inch round, which doesn’t have to be perfectly round! Carefully transfer the dough to the baking sheet. 
  • Spread the fig jam on the dough, leaving a 2-inch border (you will be folding this part of the crust up).  Sprinkle the goat cheese on top of the jam.  Sprinkle the thyme on top of the cheese. Arrange the apple mixture any way you like on top of the jam, and top the apples with the sliced figs. 
  • Pleat the dough every two inches until all sides are folded and the galette has formed. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water.  Using a pastry brush, dab the top of the crust with the egg mixture. (Don’t use all of the mixture or the dough will get soggy.)  Sprinkle the crust with 1 tablespoon of sugar. 
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling. 
    Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

California Figs Cookbook

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough figs, check out the latest California Figs Cookbook. It contains 62 recipes and gorgeous photos that will make your mouth water. The book makes a wonderful gift, and you can buy it at http://www.CaliforniaFigs.com.

California figs cookbook
dried fig, goat cheese, and apple galette pinterest

 

Better-for-You Chocolate Holiday Treats

I love combining chocolate with dried fruit, or nuts, or both! My friends and family seem to like the idea, too.  They’re always so appreciative when I present them with these super simple, healthier and better-for-you chocolate holiday treats, which make great gifts.

bags of holiday candy wrapped with ribbon

How to make healthier holiday treats

There’s no formal recipe for my healthier holiday treats. For each batch, melt 10 ounces of dark chocolate (I use dark chocolate chips)  in a double boiler. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave. Use a large glass bowl to make room for other ingredients.

chocolate chips, almonds, raisins, dried apricots

When the chocolate has melted, add 2 cups whole or chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, or a combination directly to the double boiler, mix thoroughly, and drop by large tablespoons onto waxed paper.

double boiler filled with melted chocolate, whole almonds, coconut

Top with festive sprinkles, if desired!

chocolate nut clusters

My latest obsession is macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, and white chocolate. Yum!

white chocolate, macadamia cranberry clusters

I prepare several batches of treats with a variety of ingredients.

cross section of chocolate almond cluster

When I need to be mindful of nut allergy, I make the dried fruit treats first and package them up so that they don’t come into contact with nuts. These are a raisin and coconut combo:

chocolate covered raisin clusters topped with coconut

Dip the apricots halfway in the melted chocolate.

bowl of melted chocolate with hand dipping in a dried apricot

Allow the treats to set for about 2 to 3 hours before packaging.

chocolate covered dried apricots

Would it be better to forgo the chocolate and eat plain nuts and dried fruit? Yes, that would be perfect, but not nearly as much fun.  I think my friends and family would be disappointed, and so would I!

Happy holidays!

 

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