Nothing peeves me more than throwing produce or meat away because it went bad. I hate wasting food. It is a waste of money. Not to mention there are hungry people in this world… I even say a little silent prayer when I have to get rid of something. It’s gotten to the point where I measure and weigh EXACTLY what I need at the food store. It’s time consuming and annoys my husband, but at least we’re only using what we need!
Over the years, I’ve challenged myself to use as much of my leftovers as possible. Truth be told, it hasn’t been difficult so far, since I’ve never hosted any holiday and my husband and I only cook for ourselves. But this year was different, we hosted Thanksgiving!
We’re also those people who decorate for Christmas in mid-November
I’ve only hosted one holiday, and that was Christmas breakfast a few years back. And, we don’t exactly have the biggest kitchen in the world, so we kept the menu pretty simple:
1. Turkey with lemons and herbs
2. Mashed garlic potatoes
3. Green beans
4. Butter roles
5. Cheese platter with meats
6. Dessert (which guests were bringing cause I’m not a baker…)
Dinner was awesome! My husband and I are professional “hosters” now. There’s just one problem, WE HAVE ALL THE LEFTOVERS.
Needless to say, I said “Challenge accepted!” And got to work.
We ate all the green beans, dinner roles, and dessert at Thanksgiving dinner. However, that still left me with the turkey, potatoes, and cheese platter.
Turkey was easy because we also had leftover carrots, celery, and onions for the stuffing. I already had some noodles and stock in the fridge, so I made soup for my lunches next week:
The most difficult part was keeping Romey away from the food…
Last night, we invited our friends over and put the cheese platter back out. We made a dent, but there’s still a lot left.
I love cheese. I consider myself a cheese enthusiast. I can literally eat it with anything and make it work, that’s how much I love cheese. However, cheese plates are hard to work with because they’re not fresh and already cut into awkward little blocks. If it was shredded or still whole, it’d be easier. But, here’s a list of what I’ve done so far:
1. Omelets: or any egg breakfast really. Egg sandwiches, scrambled cheesy eggs, quiche, or in a frittata. Best part, since it comes with a variety, you can use more than one kind for a more gourmet taste.
2. Salads: throw some of the Swiss cheese blocks in a salad for a bit of fun and added texture.
3. Grilled Cheese: goes without saying.
4. Pasta: easy mac n’ cheesy pasta! Again, use more than one cheese for added flavor. Serve warm or cold.
5. Bribes: Bella would literally do anything for a piece of cheese. And they are already cut into small, bite size pieces for convenience.
6. Cheese Crisps: so good! Put a few pieces on a plate and microwave until crispy. Cheesy, crunchy goodness…
7. “Pizza:” bread with melted cheese and add your own toppings. Kinda goes along the lines of a grilled cheese, but think open-faced.
8. Cocktail Hour: my grandparents always had a cheese platter with wine around 4:30/5pm… Invite friends over, or enjoy with a loved one! (Or by yourself, I’m not judging)
9. Nachos: layer them up!
10. Potato Pancakes: use the leftover potatoes for this one too!
Cheese, done! Now the mashed potatoes…
I’m actually not a huge potato person. I just don’t think they’re worth the calories. But I did manage to indulge and made some pretty bomb crispy potato pancakes.
And we’re still working on polishing them off! Anyone want to come over for dinner? Lunch? Wine?
Now off to the gym to lose those pounds… Sigh.