Christmas · leftovers · Meal planning

Dealing With Christmas Leftovers

Wow, Christmas ham or turkey goes a lot farther than that one dinner, doesn’t it? You feed eight people and there’s enough ham left over for a week of meals, but who wants to eat repeats of that dinner over and over?

No one.

What to do? Here are a few suggestions for dealing with that leftover food in your fridge:

  • Ham
  • Place slices in small freezer bags and freeze to use for another supper meal in a couple weeks.
  • Make scalloped potatoes and ham.
  • Chop up ham and use in omelets
  • Mix cubed ham with shredded cheese. Place inside a rolled out canned biscuit. Fold over like a turnover and seal. Bake. Serve with honey for a delicious breakfast.
  • Turkey –
  • Make a cream gravy and add turkey. Serve over warm biscuits for supper
  • Turkey salad – Use this recipe for Chicken salad, substituting turkey. Here’s a version of Hot Chicken Salad that you could also use substitute with turkey.
  • Make a Turkey pot pie.

If you have leftover Green Bean Casserole or your creamed corn, you can freeze it! Place the vegetable in small Freezer bags, press flat and freeze as a flat package. It is easier to store in the freezer and also thaws quicker.

Leftover rolls – Use for a baked egg casserole, breakfast sandwich, filled with ham and an egg. They can also be frozen for a week or so.

Leftover cookies, cake or pie – Most all of these can be frozen beautifully, if packaged well. I place mine in tins, covering the inside with syran wrap. You could put ice cream between two sugar cookies and make it a specialty ice cream sandwich! Crumble cake layers for a Trifle. You could even mix pie pieces into plain ice cream for an awesome holiday flavor!

Refreshment treat
Use your leftover sprinkles as toppings for the sides of the Ice cream sandwich!

Cranberry – Make a salad dressing with it. This is Cranberry Vinaigrette is my favorite!

Make your own Frozen Dinner! Place the individual servings of the meat, potatoes, and veggies in a small disposable tin. Cover well with foil. Freeze. Pop into the oven for the best kind of “frozen dinner” ever!

You spent lots of time and money on that meal; utilize it; don’t toss it!

How do you make wise use of Christmas leftovers?

Refresh those leftovers by “reinventing them into something delicious!

Crock Pot · Dinner · freezer

Making Frozen Leftovers Tonight’s Supper – The Easy Way!

Leftover collage

What, oh what would I do without my freezer?  I’ve said it before, but my freezer is my best friend…well, you know what I mean.

It’s there for me!

It has supper waiting!

It has gifts inside, both for me and many other friends!

Isn’t that a great friend?!

I’ve always put leftovers in my freezer, but I’ve not always stored them in the best way, or in a way that was easy to reheat them.  But I have two new tricks using frozen leftovers that have worked for me and I want to pass them along to you!

  1. Slow-Cook leftovers from a frozen state.
    Last Sunday I went to the freezer before heading to church and I pulled out a container with a yummy casserole, Countryside Chicken Bake, full of great things, aside from the chicken, like Cream of Mushroom Soup, sour cream, rice, and carrots (or peas, if you prefer).  I had marked the container saying, Countryside Chicken Bake, Two Servings.  Knowing that would be perfect for our Sunday dinner, I took it in its frozen state and put it directly into my slow cooker, adding about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to keep it moist .  I put the crock pot on High for one hour, low for 3 hours.  I think going slow and making sure there is plenty of liquid is the best way to reheat so you’ll have a good outcome.
    When we came home from church, it was hot, juicy, tender and ready to eat!  That is a freezer win!!

    Countryside Chicken bake
    Does this look like leftovers to you?  I don’t think so!!

    countryside chicken bake 2.jpg

  2. Put small amounts of chili, soups or stew into muffins tins for individual servings.
    I love this so much!  You know how the last half of the chili doesn’t look too appealing after eating it two days in a row?  This makes it a cinch to store and reheat for dinner another day when you’ll be glad to see it again!

    I had leftover Taco Soup last week with just a little left over.  I used the large muffin tins, but regular sized one will work, too.  Fill them up, cover with syran wrap and freeze for a couple hours or overnight until frozen solid.
    Then run warm water on the bottom of the tin and then pop them onto a tray.
    Store the frozen soup “pucks” in freezer bags, labeled with the soup name.
    soup collage.jpg
    When you need lunch or supper, pop the frozen soup into a microwave container and warm it up!  You could do one serving or six, depending on your needs (and the amount of leftovers, of course!). At one time this winter I had three different soups in the freezer.  It made for a really easy lunch, which seems to be the hardest meal for me!
    Image result for taco soup
    Leftovers don’t have to have a bad name!  They can be reused at a later time and used in a way that will make a busy day much less stressful if you store and reheat properly.

    If you try these tips I bet your freezer will become your best friend, too!

One more thing that I love about my freezer is freezing breads that are ready to bake, like these rolls or these muffins!  They’re super good and so handy to have on hand!

Happy freezing!

Denise Signature 150 px

Cooking · Dinner · main dish · Main entree

Perfect Pork Tostadas

I love to take the leftovers from a great entree and turn them into something completely different – you know hide the fact that we’re eating leftovers!

I found a great way to use pork tenderloin this week that was so delicious and so different from the way it was originally served, that there’s almost no way someone would have know that Sunday dinner was being revisited (isn’t that better than saying, “leftovers?!”).

Enter the Pork Tostada!  I ask you – does this look like boring leftovers?

pork tostadas.jpg

Grilled Pork Tostadas

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Cups Chopped Pork Tenderloin, cooked
1 cup peppers, multi-colored, chopped
1/2 Cup Red onion, chopped
1 1/2 Cup Mexican cheese
Toppings – lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedges, avocado

Combine oil, cumin and salt.  Pour half of mixture over vegetables to coat.  Pour  the other half over the meat, stir to coat.
Cook vegetables in small amount of oil until tender.  Add meat, cook until meat is warmed.
Brush tortillas with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Toast tortillas in 400 degree oven until crisp.  Top with vegetables, meat, cheese and return to oven and allow cheese to melt.

Serve immediately.  Serve with added toppings.

I served this with Spanish rice and fresh fruit and it was sooo good!!

pork tostadas2.jpg

Roast a tenderloin and grab the remains so you can make these!

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dinner in 30 minutes · main dish

Dressing Up Leftovers

Pork Sandwich 2a.jpg

When you have meat leftover at the end of a meal, if you’re like me, there’s a temptation to reheat it the next night and serve it in the same way you did the first time – same salad, same side dish.   Maybe there’s just a difficulty in getting creative with that meat!

Last week I had both pork tenderloin and grilled sirloin steak leftover.  I took those meats and made two completely different entree’s with them.  With a disguise like that, I wonder if my husband even knew he was eating leftovers…okay, he did, but they were so good, I know he didn’t mind!  Here’s what I made:

With my Brown sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork tenderloin, I made Toasted Pork Sandwiches.  I added the pork and the glaze to a pan and heated it.  Then I toasted the bun – this makes it sooo good!  Spray the bread with cooking spray, then toast in a skillet until lightly browned.  It gives the bread great crunchy texture.

Pork Sandwich 1

Then I piled meat, red onion and avocado slices on the bun.

Pork Sandwich 2b

It was so good!

The next leftover was the sirloin.  With it I made a Blue Sirloin Salad.  

STeak Salad a.jpg


First I made up Pioneer Woman’s Blue Cheese Dressing.  Here’s my lightened up version:

Blue Cheese Dressing

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup lilght sour cream
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
Salt and pepper

To a bowl add the mayo, milk, sour cream and Worcestershire, and stir until combined. Stir in the blue cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

On a plate I piled up Spring Mix greens, red onion, yellow peppers and tomatoes.  After warming the leftover sirloin, I sliced it and place it on top of the salad, then I topped the salad with the Blue Cheese Dressing.

Voila!  Dinner was served!

Steak Salad 1.jpg

How good does that look?  It was refreshing and on the table in about 10 minutes!

How’s that for a makeover?  I wish I could get a personal one that quickly!

How do you makeover your meat leftovers?

With love from my country kitchen,

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Make Soup with Leftover Mashed Potatoes!

potato Soup.jpg

They say that “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and such was the case with the Potato Soup I made last week!  I had a LOT of leftover mashed potatoes that I wanted to use up, and the first thing that came to my mind was soup!  I have a  couple of Potato soup recipes that we love, but when you have red-skinned potatoes that are perfectly  cooked, mashed and ready for use, it’s a sure-fire ingredient for a delicious soup and also a 30-Minute meal!  Here’s how I made it:

3 Cups Leftover mashed potatoes (I used red-skinned potatoes with the skins on)
1/2 C Onion, diced
2 Tbl Butter
2 Cups Chicken broth
1/4 Cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup Grated cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup light Sour cream
Crumbled Bacon bits
Chopped Green onions

In saucepan, melt butter.  Saute’ onions until soft.  Add chicken stock and milk. Blend in mashed potatoes and stir until smooth.  If it seems too thick, add more broth.  If it’s too thin, add more potatoes. Add seasonings.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Remove from heat, add sour cream and stir until blended.  Heat on stove just until warmed.

Spoon into bowls and top with bacon bits and green onions.

potato Soup

I don’t know about you, but I often get stumped about what to fix for lunch.  This was a great entree for noon, and really took only a little more time than stirring water into a can of soup!  I’m certain it was far better!  

The next time you have extra mashed potatoes, don’t toss them – try this recipe instead!  It’s so creamy and delicious you’ll want to make again again!

With love from my country kitchen,