The Leftovers

After weeks of planning, days of shopping, and hours of prepping, pureeing, chopping, sautéing, roasting, boiling, basting, mashing, stirring, whisking, and swearing, the big day has come and gone. I’m happy to report Thanksgiving 2014 was a success!

A few things I learned for next time:

  1. Don’t stress about the turkey- It was sooooooooooooooo easy. For the most part you put it in the oven and it takes care of itself. Just make sure to have someone on your guest list who is a master carver and can handle that part for you. Thanks Keith!
  2. Make half the amount of food -Since it was our first time hosting we got a little ambitious. Next time I will go for smaller quantities and have more vegetables instead of so much mashed stuff. Sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes, completely redundant.
  3. Use paper plates – For more than eight people paper plates is the way to go. And those fancy plastic forks, they practically look real so I’m definitely buying those next time.
  4. Try not to flood the basement at the end of the night – And if you do make sure to have a WetVac so your husband can swiftly take care of it while everyone is happily eating their apple pie à la mode.

Remember those sweet potatoes we made last week. Well, they became pancakes for breakfast. The extra mashed potatoes are going to morph into gnocchi. And the plan for leftover turkey is a green curry salad that can be used for lunch tomorrow. And maybe the day after that too…

SWEET POTATO PANCAKES

Ingredients

1 cup leftover sweet potato (with crumb topping)

1 ½ – 1 ¾ cups whole milk (or 2%)

2 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp baking powder

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Butter for pan

Directions

Combine sweet potatoes, milk, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. In a separate large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just enough to combine. If the batter is too thick add a little more milk.

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Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon onto griddle or pan. Wait until bubbles appear on surface of pancake and then flip to brown opposite side.

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Extras can be frozen and popped into toaster to reheat. Cool completely before freezing.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “These are the best”

Liam (age 5): “I’ll take ten of these”

Dylan (age 5): “Just terrific”

***

SIMPLE GNOCCHI

Ingredients

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

About 1 ½ cups of flour

1 egg

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of olive oil

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

Directions

Place mashed potatoes in a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Sprinkle one cup of the flour onto the potatoes and mix together with your hands until the flour is incorporated. Make a well in the center and add the egg. Combine the egg with the potato mixture until a smooth dough forms. Keep adding flour and gently kneading until the dough is no longer sticky.

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Break the dough into about six pieces and roll out into snakes the width of your finger. Cut the dough into 1” pieces. Place on a large baking sheet and score the gnocchi with a fork.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi to the boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon a minute or two after they rise to the surface. Drain well and toss with olive oil, sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with the fresh sage.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “I really like this”

Dylan (age 5): “I love it”

Liam (age 5): “There’s a wild flavor in here”

***

GREEN CURRY TURKEY SALAD Mini Sandwich

Ingredients

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 ½ tsp green curry paste

1 ½ cups leftover turkey, chopped

Cranberry sauce, leftover

3-4 small rolls or croissants

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise and green curry paste. Add chopped turkey and mix until combined. Spread a small amount of cranberry sauce on the bottom side of croissant or roll. Add a heap of the turkey mixture. Enjoy!

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “A little too sweet with the cranberries”

Liam (age 5): “Uh, no”

Dylan (age 5): “Don’t like that red stuff”

What did you make with your leftovers???

Back to School

It’s almost time to start packing up those lunch-boxes. Wow, the summer goes fast…

Looking for some inspiration for school lunches?

See our latest post on Kidville Voices! from the Ville – Strategic Lunch Makeover

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ABC’s of BLT’s

Even though we live in close proximity to Manhattan, our little village has a small town feel. Nestled among the backstreets is a little café that screams small town and that is why we love going there. It is the type of place that makes you think of that song from Cheers, (Where everybody knows your name…). It was here that the boys found nirvana. Sitting at the counter, they tasted their first piece of bacon, and fell in love. Henceforth, whenever we walk in they scream BACON! And it doesn’t hurt that there is a wall of candy to peruse while their food is cooking. Personally, I go for the ice coffee (my addiction).

Bacon is a rarity in our household; so when it is on the menu, the boys practically knock each other down trying to get to the kitchen table.  I am not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner but I realized a BLT might be a great segue into getting them to eat “salad.” I fully anticipate that they will dissect the sandwich and just eat the bacon but maybe, just maybe they will eat it the LT part too….

There is not much you can do to make a classic BLT any better than the original but I gave it a shot. The bacon is dusted with brown sugar and the mayonnaise has a hint of cayenne pepper (totally optional – my kids like spicy sometimes). I also removed all the crust of the bread using a round cookie cutter. This created a perfect platform for the tomato and made the sandwich small enough for little fingers. It was a BLT work of art!

Brown Sugar BLT

Ingredients:

8 slices thick-cut bacon

1/4-cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

8 slices whole wheat or white bread

4 slices of tomato, 1/4” thick

Handful of lettuce leaves, (arugula is what we used but iceberg is the traditional choice)

Salt & Pepper

 

Directions:

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a cooling rack inside the pan and set aside.

Place the brown sugar on a plate and dredge the bacon slices, shaking off excess sugar.

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Arrange the bacon on the rack (do not overlap). Place in cold oven and set to 375 degrees. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes. Keep in mind the bacon will crisp as it cools.

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Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and cayenne pepper. Set aside until bacon has cooled.

Toast the bread.

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To assemble: Spread the cayenne mayonnaise on both top and bottom of toast. Cut two bacon slices in 1/2 and place on the bottom toast round. Top with lettuce and then tomato. Season the tomato with salt and pepper.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 5): It is hard to eat a round sandwich; not sure I like this ULA

Liam (age 3): I like the bacon (big surprise!)

Dylan (age 3): This bacon tastes funny, I only like the bread!

It must have been a full moon because this BLT was sooooooooooooo goooooooood!

East Ave. Cafe

East Ave. Cafe

Hanging with the locals

Hanging with the locals