Show your leftovers some love!

Four great things to make with leftover holiday food!

Almost everyone loves eating leftovers; it’s like revisiting a favourite meal, without all the work. But after two days of eating the same thing, sometimes it’s nice to shake things up a little and transform your leftover meal components into new and exciting dishes. Here’s a roundup of four great ideas that are perfect ways to use up some of the leftovers commonly associated with Christmas dinner (click on the titles to jump to the recipes):

Fast and flavourful turkey enchilada dip 

Fully loaded mashed potato flatbreads

Stuffing pancakes with poached eggs and gravy

Banana splits with eggnog ice cream

 

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Stuffing pancakes with poached eggs and gravy

A tasty way to enjoy leftover poultry stuffing!

In our house, leftover stuffing NEVER goes to waste. It’s been tucked into sandwiches, added to salads, transformed into waffles and enjoyed countless other ways over the years. Recently, I thought of a new way to enjoy leftover stuffing (or dressing, if you’re from the Maritimes) which will likely be our go-to forevermore. We loved it topped with gravy, but I’m certain Hollandaise sauce would be just as delicious. If you don’t happen to have any leftover stuffing, don’t despair! I’ve included directions below for how to make it solo.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) (approximately) leftover, cooked stuffing
  • water or chicken broth, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) (approximately) leftover gravy, heated
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) (approximately) cranberry sauce (optional but delicious)

Method

  • Add liquid (water or chicken broth) to stuffing if it is dry. It needs to be dampened just enough to hold together when formed into a pancake.
  • With your hands, shape the damp stuffing into a ball, then flatten into a disc. Set aside.
  • To poach the egg, bring water to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan.
  • While water heats, place a small frying pan over medium heat; add oil.
  • Crack the egg into a poaching cup (I like silicone Poachpods, one of my 2019 foodie gift suggestions) and gently place in the pot with the boiling water.  Cover and reduce heat slightly, then cook for to the desired degree of doneness (I like 4.5 minutes with a PoachPod, for a runny yolk but fully set white).
  • While egg cooks, place the disc of stuffing in the frying pan and cook, about 2 minutes per side, until heated through and slightly crispy on the outside. Transfer to a plate if not serving directly in the frying pan.
  • Slide the cooked egg on top of the stuffing pancake and drizzle hot gravy over top. Serve with cranberry sauce if desired.

Serves 1; recipe can easily be multiplied.

No-bird stuffing

  • Tear up stale bread into crumbs, enough to make 4 cups (1 L) – you can multiply this recipe as needed.
  • Add to breadcrumbs 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each of ground sage, dried savoury; 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each of thyme and pepper.
  • In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter and add 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped onions.  Sauté onions till tender.  Mix butter & onions with breadcrumbs.
  • Pour the mixture onto a large sheet of tin foil and drizzle with approximately 1/3 cup (90 mL) canned chicken broth. Fold the foil up into a packet (sealing the edges by folding) and then bake at 350F for about 30 mins.
  • Cooked stuffing should be eaten within 2 days; you can freeze leftovers.

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Banana split with eggnog ice cream

Don’t let your leftover eggnog go to waste!

I am most definitely a fan of eating ice cream year round, rather than only during the hot weather. As a child, I used to get so excited when I saw my mom making her rich, decadent homemade chocolate sauce, because it usually meant homemade ice cream and sundaes or banana splits, were sure to follow. Eggnog is an ideal base for frozen treats because it contains all the essential ingredients of the custard typically used to make ice cream. For chocolate sauce, I use the one in this cream puff recipe (thinned with a little more cream) but store-bought sauce is great too. Feel free to embellish your banana split with all your favourite toppings! If you’re a fan of eggnog, you might also enjoy this yummy eggnog loaf or these delicious mini eggnog cheesecakes. And if you’ve never tried making eggnog before, here’s my favourite recipe for a classic version – it’s so easy and so tasty!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) eggnog (or more)
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chocolate sauce, heated
  • To garnish: skor bits, chopped nuts and/or sprinkles, whipped cream

Method

  • Pour the leftover eggnog into a container with a tight lid. Place in the freezer and stir every hour or so until it’s frozen solid (this will take 3 – 6 hours depending on the quantity of eggnog and the temperature of your freezer).
  • When ready to assemble, remove the egg nog ice cream from the freezer. If it’s really hard, microwave on medium power for about 30 seconds to soften.
  • Using an ice cream scoop that’s been resting in hot water, scoop out the desired amount of ice cream and place it in your serving dish.
  • Top with banana slices and a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce, then garnish as desired.

Makes 1 banana split; recipe can easily be multiplied.

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Spiced baked fruit breakfast topping

A fun way to spruce up waffles, oatmeal and more!

This not-too-sweet baked fruit is so delicious and a great way to add a lot more flavour and nutrition to many meals. We love it on waffles, pancakes, granola and porridge; it’s also delicious eaten on its own or with yogurt. You could even use it as a topping for ice cream! If you want to prepare this dish the night before so it’s ready to bake first thing in the morning, toss the fruit and lemon juice together then place in a large, non-metallic baking dish, cover and refrigerate. Mix the sugar and spices in another bowl and then in the morning, you’ll be ready to proceed with the rest of the assembly while the oven heats. Alternatively, you can bake the fruit the night before and refrigerate; in the morning, reheat for 10 – 15 minutes at 325F.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 mL) peeled, diced apples (about a 1/2 inch or 1.25 cm dice)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) peeled, sliced pears or peaches (same sized dice as apples
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) fresh blueberries (use the larger cultivated ones if you can find them)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) maple or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25) powdered nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional but delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter, melted (use vegan butter or coconut oil if preferred)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Combine the diced apples and pears in a large bowl. Sprinkle the lemon juice over top and toss to coat evenly. Add cranberries and blueberries and toss gently.
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar and spices, then sprinkle over fruit; toss gently to coat evenly then transfer to a 9 x 12 inch (22.5 x 30 cm) non-metallic baking dish (or a metallic one lined with parchment). Spread out so the fruit is in an even layer.
  • Toss the nuts in the bowl that held the fruit, then sprinkle the coated nuts over the fruit, using a spatula to clean out the bowl.
  • Drizzle melted butter evenly over the fruit and nuts.
  • Cover with a lid or foil and bake 30 minutes; remove lid and bake 10 minutes more.
  • Serve warm.
  • Leftover baked fruit can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Makes approximately 6 cups (1.5 L) of topping.

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Fully loaded mashed potato flatbread

An ideal use for leftover mashed potatoes!

This dish would make a fun ‘assemble-your-own’ station at a party. The flatbreads are super easy to prepare and take just moments to cook. They’re easiest to make if your mashed potatoes are smooth and not too stiff; beat a little milk or water into the potatoes to thin them out just a little, if necessary. It’s easy to make this dish vegetarian by omitting the bacon (or substituting with coconut bacon); you can also switch up the grated cheese and sour cream for vegan version if you wish. Flatbreads are available in the bread section of most large grocery stores; you can use naan, pita bread or even pizza rounds if you prefer. If you enjoy this recipe, you might also like my baked potato chowder.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) (approximately) leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 appetizer-sized flatbread (about 12 x 6 inches or 30 x 15 cm)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated cheddar (or vegan shredded cheese)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled bacon bits (or vegan bacon bits)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) finely sliced green onion
  • sour cream or leftover hot gravy, to garnish

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Place the flatbread on the baking tray. Spread the mashed potatoes over top, coming to within 1/3 inch (1 cm) of the edge. You want an even layer that’s about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over top, followed by the bacon bits and green onions.
  • Flatbreads can be assembled to this point and refrigerated for up to 12 hours
  • Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 – 12 minutes (a few minutes longer if they’ve been resting in the fridge).
  • Remove from oven, garnish with sour cream or gravy (if using), then slice and serve hot.

Makes one flatbread; recipe can easily be multiplied.

 

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French onion soup root vegetable gratin

Humble vegetables get all dressed up!

Confession time: I’ve never been a big fan of rutabagas (the proper name for yellow-fleshed turnips). I love the little white turnips but haven’t found too many ways to use rutabagas…until now. Working with a bountiful crop of root vegetables in my recent Farmhouse Food Harvest Box inspired me to think about some new ways to enjoy local late fall and winter produce; this recipe is a result of some concerted brainstorming. I’ve often made vegetable gratins with a cream sauce, but this French onion soup version is so much more flavourful. I loved the looks of surprise and delight on my guests’ faces when they took their first bites. If you like this dish, you may also enjoy my French onion soup pasta casserole.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups / 1 L of sliced onion)
  • 3 tablespoons (10 mL) flour
  • 3 cups (750 mL) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) brandy or white wine
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups thinly peeled and thinly sliced root vegetables (I used 1/2 a rutabaga, 2 white beets, 2 medium sized potatoes and 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated Tomme or Swiss cheese, divided
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) panko or other dry bread crumbs

Method

  • In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and pinch of salt.
  • Cover pan and sauté until onions are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. To caramelize the onions, remove the pan’s lid and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring often, until onions take on a golden brown hue without burning (an additional 10 – 15 minutes).
  • While onions are cooking, peel, slice and par-cook the root vegetables. Put them all in a large pot of water and add 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain immediately.
  • Turn oven on to 350F to preheat.
  • Once onions are caramelized, add flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  • Add beef broth, brandy or wine, mustard and thyme. Stir to blend well then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the Tomme or Swiss cheese.
  • Combine remaining Tomme or Swiss cheese, mozzarella and panko in a small bowl.
  • Coat the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch (22.5 x 30 cm) casserole dish with a few spoonsful of the French onion soup mixture. Add half the parboiled vegetables, spreading out in an even layer.
  • Top with half of the remaining French onion soup mixture, followed by the rest of the vegetables in an even layer and the remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle cheese and panko mixture evenly over top.
  • Note: the dish can be prepared ahead of time to this point; if not cooking within the hour, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown on top. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

 

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No-bake sweet treats

Quick and delicious goodies the whole family will love!

I come from a long line of talented bakers, on both my parents’ sides of the family. I am the queen of ‘procrastibaking’ and it’s not unusual to find me kneading bread dough as early as 5 am. But, having said all that, I understand that not everyone has the time or inclination to bake homemade treats. The good news is, there are loads of delicious no-bake goodies you can whip up in mere moments, for desserts, bake sales, hostess gifts and more. Here is a roundup of some of my favourites:

No-bake lemon coconut squares

Salted caramel and chocolate covered pretzels 

Banoffee Pie Parfaits

Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods

Spicy dark chocolate and granola bark

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