LEFTOVER HOLIDAY HAM, TURKEY OR MASHED POTATOES?
What in the world to do with them?? And how I’ve learned to approach them by…
Growing up, leftovers were not common in my home.
I think because there were 6 of us to cook for (my parents, my sister & brothers). So if there were any extras on the table you can bet the men in my home polished them off.
Leftovers were a challenge to me after I got married. I honestly didn’t know what to do with them.
I think leftovers just frustrated me, because I only saw them as eating the same meal over & over again.
Why would I eat the same thing for several days?
Since eating leftovers was not something I did often, I guess I avoided them.
Which makes me cringe for all the times I’d end up throwing out food because I wouldn’t eat it.
EEK!!! I feel awful admitting that.
Have you done this before, too? I am sure I’m not the only that’s done that.
I’m not always looking to reinvent leftovers, unless the leftovers are a plenty.
Enter in: The leftover holiday ham, leftover holiday turkey and leftover mashed potatoes.
I was throwing away leftovers because my approach was all WRONG
Not knowing what to do, I would have a hodge-podge of leftovers one night a week. Eating the same thing for lunch or dinner until we ran out.
Or just throwing them out because they went bad. But that had to stop!
It really bothers me to throw food away especially if it is leftovers I let go bad.
I needed to make a change and fast.
And that’s when it dawned on me I was approaching leftovers all wrong.
I had to take something already made and just make a new Big Eats for another time.
I needed to reinvent my leftovers and give them new meaning
Reinventing them also meant whatever I am cooking can usually come together super fast. And this means a BIG time saver for those busy week nights.
What about you-do you typically have a free for all leftover night at home?
Or do you reinvent leftovers?
I’d love to know what you do with your leftovers. Will you share that with me?
Something Old into Something New…
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I’ve made several large meals which means lots of food to work with that just can’t go to waste.
I am so excited to share some ‘Reinvented Leftovers’ with you here.
I hope you will give one or all of these recipes a shot whenever you find yourself with leftovers.
I got introduced to Erin Chase at $5 dollar dinners this year from a fellow blogger. Maybe you’ve seen or heard of Erin before?
Maybe you follow her blog, too?
She creates all kinds of budget friendly & complete real meals for her entire family that are $5 per dinner.
You should check her out!
I jumped right into researching Erin and the recipes she post.
And I’ve made a couple of her recipes which I’ve really enjoyed.
Recipes like Erin’s are what I call Food-Spiriation. New recipes that keep me from making the same Eats and inspire me.
Erin has given me permission to share her recipe with you here on Little Kitchen Big Eats.
Leftover ham now got turned into Erin’s Ham & Cheese muffins.
And these muffins are DELICIOUS and easy to make!
This recipe is great for breakfast (especially if you are on the go) or perfect for a light lunch with a salad.
I hope you check out Erin’s recipe and give it a try. If you do, let us both know!
By the way, I will take the ham bone if I have one and any scraps to make soup. But it is good for me to step out of the norm and try something different. These muffins were the ticket!
Tex-Mex Pot Pie with Leftover Turkey or Leftover Chicken
Don’t have leftover chicken or turkey but want to make these? Grab a rotisserie chicken, or roast small turkey breast and start there with my Tex-Mex recipe.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes became French Onion Dip Potato Pancakes
This one is a new family favorite recipe!
I don’t make mashed potatoes often but when I do I make extra just so I can reinvent them into potato pancakes.
TIP to share: when I make baked potatoes I bake a couple extra depending on the size just so I can whip up a quick hash for breakfast during the busy week.
French Onion Dip
This recipe came together when I was planning to make potato pancakes. Reaching for those leftover potatoes I needed to move the tub of leftover French onion potato chip dip out-of-the-way,
WAIT!!! I came right back to it that tub of dip.
Who doesn’t like French onion dip with potato chips-right? It had to go well with mashed potatoes somehow.
I had to try out this recipe a couple of times, but each time it came out DELICIOUS!
I do have to fight the hands that try to sneak off with them as I cook them.
Variables you should know about:
I want to give you a heads up-there are variable you to be aware of:
It really comes down to how you made your original batch of mashed potatoes.
If your potatoes were runny (or gummy) to begin with, you need to add flour and an extra egg to your mixture to bind your pancake mixture.
Or if your potatoes were dry, you may need to add a little water or milk to loosen up the potatoes.
My potatoes pictured were dry. I just added liquid a little at a time to get it to loosen up.
You wouldn’t know it was dry after it was reinvented!
You need to judge when you get the right consistency since I won’t be with you when you cook these. Look at my picture for the consistency I achieved.
Any questions about moving forward? Just ask me in the comments below.
This is what I look for: not runny or gummy and not a dry tight lump of mash. And if I am able to stir cold mashed potatoes without breaking my wrist or the spoon, that’s a good place to start.
If you aren’t sure about your pancake, make a small test pancake. This test will show if it falls apart you need to add more flour or cheese to help bind the pancake.
When it looks right to you (see my mixture below to help guide) then you can rock out this recipe.
I hope you do because it is delicious!
I hope that I can inspire you to reinvent your holiday or any day leftovers!
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Happy Holidays & Seasons Greetings!