Janet's Notebook
Thanksgiving 2.0, Reinventing Leftovers

Cran-Apple BBQ Pulled Turkey Sandwich

The table has been set, friends and family have gathered and the Thanksgiving meal has been enjoyed. Now comes one of my favorite things - leftovers! Subconsciously, I wonder if I make so much food just so I have extras. Leftovers allow me to create some meals for the week!

Marsha Gardner takes leftover turkey and potatoes and turns it into an amazing Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Casserole. This recipe has all the comfort of a traditional shepherd's pie with the vibrant flavors of Thanksgiving dinner. After spending so much time in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving, I love an easy one-pot meal. Carrots, onions, mushroom and celery combine with turkey and mashed potatoes for one creative casserole. This is one of my favorite ways to spread the joy of the holiday meal into the entire week. And, to be honest, this is great ANY time of the year!

"I try not to waste anything, so this is a different sandwich I came up with using cranberry sauce, apple sauce, turkey and gravy," says Lisa Nicometi Garrow. "Even leftover dinner rolls can be used to make sliders." I can't wait to make Lisa's Cran-Apple BBQ Pulled Turkey Sandwich again. When you bite into this sandwich, you'd never guess you're eating leftovers. It's great way to revamp your Thanksgiving dinner. And, it's really easy - which I love.

Cranberry sauce is the star ingredient in Mama Robin's Leftover's Sauce. "This sauce is very versatile and can be used with turkey, chicken or pork," says Mama Robin. "A very exciting and flavorful way to use leftovers!" Cranberry and orange are a great flavor combination. Add the onion soup mix and you get an almost sweet and sour type of sauce. We had some extra turkey in the Test Kitchen and made one delicious sandwich!

One dish I always seem to make too much of is mashed potatoes. Thankfully, there are so many fun ways to reinvent this traditional side.

Ellen Curry's Cheesy Mashed Potato Bake has all the great flavors of traditional potato pancakes. "I did this instead of making individual potato cakes and frying them," explains Ellen. "You can add any combination of cheeses you like." The Mexican cheese gives these a little zip. I bet these will disappear from your table. This recipe is simple as simple can be, but oh-so tasty!

Rose Rauhauser's Potato Scones are an unusual - and delicious - take on scones. "Potatoes and scones just went together for my husband, so I put it in a recipe," shares Rose. These would be great served alongside a salad or some turkey noodle soup on a cold night. Fall comfort food at its best.

"This recipe is great if you have left over mashed potatoes," says Heather Isom about her Mashed Potato Doughnuts. "It seems odd, but it tastes great!" Who would have thought to turn those potatoes into doughnuts? I was really impressed by this easy recipe. The doughnuts were remarkably light and really tasty... a nice breakfast treat. From now on, I'm going to make sure I make extra mashed potatoes just so I have extra.

Thanksgiving is a time to share stories, laughs and, of course, great food! What fun ways do you turn ho-hum leftovers into something special?

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Brad Nichols - Nov 22, 2014
If you prefer to keep it simple - here's a classic Turkey Noodle Soup recipe that goes over great at our house! Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Turkey Noodle Soup
Melanie B - Nov 21, 2014
This stuff is so darned good spread on waffles or toast. It isn't "just" for Thanksgiving. Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce
Melanie B - Nov 19, 2014
Have leftover cranberry sauce? This is a fantastic recipe any time of the year with any pie filling too.
Fruity Cream Cheese Bars
Melanie B - Nov 19, 2014
This is a great recipe to use left over turkey, dressing and green bean casserole.
Stovetop Stuffing Chicken Bake
Sharla Arter - Nov 18, 2014
What's a leftover?LOL Seems every one and their cat shows up for turkey time.Love a crowd.
Cheryl Fisher - Nov 18, 2014
I have another question. My kids' Great-Grandmother gave me a recipes for an apple pie that was more like a cake. You make it in a pie tin, bake and serve. Well over the years it has disappeared. Wondering if anyone has ran across anything like this and would be willing to share it with me. Thanks
Cheryl Fisher - Nov 18, 2014
I make potato pancakes out of the left over mashed potatoes. Stuffing, I freeze and then I can have it anytime. I make really, really good stuffing.
Cheryl Fisher - Nov 18, 2014
I am looking for GOOD pesto recipes. Thanks for the help.
Jackie Hammond - Nov 18, 2014
These all sound delicious and something very unique to do with the left overs. Happy Thanksgiving to all!