Ah, the holiday season! Is there anything more fun than having family and friends around and cooking entirely too much food and gorging yourself? Probably, but I can’t think of it right now. One of the few things about the season that frustrates me is the amount of food that often goes to waste. I think it’s in our nature to prepare too much food with the intent of having extra for leftovers. But how often do you actually use all of your leftovers? We here at SPF find that we rarely use them all. This is wasteful, and it really angers Crystal. So, we thought we would provide a few fun and unique ideas for ways to use your leftovers. As always, one of the best ways to make sure that you are using all your food is to create a weekly menu that makes use of your leftovers. So, with that in mind, here are a few new ideas that you can add to your menu.
1. Bread Pudding
Use leftover bread slices or dinner rolls to make a bread pudding. If you have milk, eggs, cinnamon, and leftover bread, you basically have all you need for this dish. Throw in some raisins or currants for an authentic feel.
2. Ham and Cheese Omelets or Scrambles
Do you have leftover ham? Cut it up into cubes and mix with eggs and green onions to make an omelet or a scramble.
3. French Dip Sliders
Did you have roast beef or prime rib for Christmas dinner? Slice up the beef very thin, warm it up in a pot of au jus and serve on leftover dinner rolls with au jus.
4. Stuffing and Turkey Casserole
Throw your leftover stuffing into a greased baking dish. Add cubed or shredded turkey, leftover gravy, cranberry sauce, and enough chicken stock to lightly moisten the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until hot, and serve.
5. Freeze Leftover Cookies
This one is easy. Add all leftover cookies to a plastic bag. Cover with tin foil to prevent freezer burn. Pull out a couple cookies when you have company coming over, or eat when you have a craving you can’t shake.
6. Re-purpose candies and cookies
Chop up extra Hershey’s kisses or dove chocolates to use in cookies. Crush up cookies for a fun ice cream garnish, or use whole cookies to make ice cream sandwiches.
7. Potato Pancakes
Do you have leftover potatoes or sweet potatoes? Make potato pancakes! You’ll need potatoes, eggs, veggie oil, flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper.
8. Grilled Cheese
Have leftover cheese from a Holiday Cheese tray? Slap a couple of those babies on a slice of bread, and you have a kick-ass grilled cheese, especially if you have some leftover sourdough. For an added twist, grill your sandwich in a Panini press.
9. Freeze Orange Juice
Juice leftover oranges and drink fresh or freeze and store in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
10. Make a Ginger Snap Crust for A Tart
Crush up leftover ginger snaps with a food processor or rolling pin, and use in place of graham crackers for a ginger snap tart or pie crust. What’s your favorite way to use Holiday leftovers? Please let us know in the comments section!
Crystal is the founder of Simply Playful Fare. She has been in the kitchen for as long as she can remember. She has a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing.