Feeling over whelmed with all of your leftovers and wondering what to do with all that food? Use these helpful tips to make the most of your holiday abundance.
First, be sure to buy proper storing containers and zip top baggies. These will be helpful for your own storing purposes and also for packing up leftovers for your guests to take home.
Freeze, freeze, and freeze! Freezing food is a perfect way to preserve your holiday leftovers. And , you will be so happy on a busy day down the road when you remember you have a ready to go meal in the freezer. Use these tips for keeping your frozen foods safe and fresh:
1. Be sure to freeze in airtight container or wrapping to prevent freezer burn. Zip top freezer bags are the best, and are sure to get as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing.
2. Cool food completely before freezing. Begin the cooling processes on the counter, and then finish it in the refrigerator before freezing. Do not leave food at room temp longer than 2 hours.
3. Freeze in small portions for quick defrost.
4. Freeze within 3 days of cooking.
5. Don’t keep frozen meats or gravy longer than 4 months
6. Re-heat frozen pie in a 350 degree oven while still frozen for about 20-25 minutes
7. Defrost food in the refrigerator, microwave or cold-water bath (in a sealed zip top bag). If using cold water bath change water every 30 minutes to keep it cold.
Make soups and stocks. Leftover turkey carcasses and vegetables make wonderful homemade stocks, which freeze well for a rainy day. Try one of these delicious soups to use up your leftover ham or turkey:
Yellow Squash and Ham Soup
Senate Bean Soup
Butter Bean Soup
Sweet Potato Date Soup
Make breakfast or lunch for all of your house guests. Everyone knows the leftover thanksgiving sandwich is almost better than the meal itself! Fill your friends and family up with one of these next-day recipes:
Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo
Gobbler Cobbler Pie
Smashed Potato Pancakes
Hungry Brothers Biscuits
Donate! And lastly, remember those less fortunate in your community. Donate leftover canned food and non-perishable items to a food pantry in your area. Or, make up a plate of food and deliver it to an elderly person in your neighborhood.
Dear, Paula Deen
Well I think you are the most amazing person, you are my role model if they took you off from the set I would of died inside your the best cook and I can't waite to see you again
Alexis Conner in Summer Salad Days on December 04, 2013 at 4:59 pm
Paula, I used to watch your show on Food Network a lot when I still had the TV and cable many year ago. You weren't even that big a star back then. I always love watching you cook on Youtube after I ditched my TV and cable and read your recipes on Food Network Magazines. I hope one day you can return to Food Network and the Food Network Magazine. I stop buying the magazine since you were gone.
Orindary Jane in Love at Last on December 04, 2013 at 2:32 am
Great blog Cindy!!!! I always enjoy reading your post. This Thanksgiving centerpiece is absolutely beautiful and so easy to make.
Ann in A Perfectly Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece on December 03, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Paula, made your Zucchini Custard Casserole for Thanksgiving and it was Fantastic!!! Thank you so much! Love you & your family. Happy holidays!
Pat Walker in Love at Last on December 02, 2013 at 8:45 pm