Jessica Casebolt: Holiday leftovers, the gift that keeps giving

By Jessica Casebolt

holiday-leftoversMy favorite part of the holidays is that good cooking I couldn’t possibly pull off on my own. Shout out to my mom for being the head chef of the five star restaurant that is the Casebolt family holidays. You know if you’re in college and working with the luxurious amenities of dorm room appliances and kitchen supplies, this home-cooked goodness is pretty special.

Unfortunately, we all know that familiar turkey fatigue. How often can you keep reheating the same holiday food? It’s like when someone asks you “if you could only eat one thing forever, what would it be?” but the decision has already been made for you and the dressing/mashed potatoes/ turkey combo is what’s up.

I’m all about repurposing. In this case, I think we can all agree that you most definitely can have too much of a good thing. Finding creative ways to re-do the primo home food makes leftovers less like leftovers and more like something brand new and more awesome. And speaking of awesome, these recipe re-do’s I have for you are just that.

Let’s start with breakfast, my personal favorite. Let’s also start with leftover sweets, my other even bigger favorite. I always end up bringing loads of cookies, fudge, cake, pie, candy, (you name it) back to school with me after the holidays. This spells sugar coma. A great way to reinvent these goodies is to make them into a breakfast parfait. You’ve seen the yogurt parfaits that are topped with granola or fruit – this is the same idea but with crumbled up cookies, bits of cake, pie filling… you get the picture. Pick up your favorite yogurt – I usually go with a vanilla because it goes well with the other flavors – and layer your sweets between layers of yogurt.

next-logoAlso in the breakfast category: fruit smoothies. You can even use that vanilla yogurt for this recipe too. If your family does fruit salad, this is the easiest and tastiest way to change up something you might already be feeling burnout toward. The good thing about a smoothie, too, is that if the fruit isn’t looking really great, a smoothie covers that up and gives you some more mileage out of your leftovers. Throw fruit salad, yogurt, ice, and/or some protein powder, whatever you like, in your blender, and you’re on your way!

Another fun way to get more out of your leftovers is to make sliders! Everyone loves sliders. Maybe it’s because they’re tiny and that’s just fun, but sliders are super versatile and easy. I like making meatloaf sliders with a little extra ketchup. You could also do turkey sliders topped with stuffing and cranberries. Ham is another holiday favorite. Try that on a slider with cheese and a little Dijon mustard or mayo. Now, it’s a totally different meal!

I hope your holidays were wonderful and full of fantastic food. As you go back to school, don’t let the goodness go to waste!


Jessica Casebolt, the former Miss Kentucky, is a correspondent for the The Lane Report. You can reach her at [email protected]

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