So, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and you have a fridge full of leftovers. Don’t throw it out! Luckily, a lot of cooking magazines and lifestyle websites have taken action against pitching Thanksgiving’s tastiest dishes. They’ve come up with a multitude of clever and delicious recipes for your leftovers, so you can finish off your whole feast, pocket some spending money, and save from wasting perfectly good food.
Here are some of our favorite ways to reuse your Thanksgiving meal leftovers.
Even Neighbor Food’s photo has us drooling over this dish! (Photo via Neighbor Food)
It’s savory. It’s sweet. It uses everything from Thanksgiving and then some! Turkey sandwiches are a post-Thanksgiving given, but slapping a couple turkey slices onto a piece of sandwich bread can feel boring. Instead, slap those turkey slices on a waffled bed of cranberry sauce, cream cheese, and crispy greens. There is nothing boring about this turkey sandwich!
Bon Appetit’s Turkey and Mushroom Risotto
Reinvent your turkey with this rich risotto recipe from Bon Appetit. (Photo via Bon Appetit)
Do you still have a lot of turkey left even after making waffle sandwiches? Shred it and use it in Bon Appetit’s Turkey and Mushroom Risotto recipe. The dish’s gravy is filled with the delicious flavors of mushrooms, onions, parmesan cheese, and parsley. It’s a warming winner for a cold weather dinner.
Country Living’s Sweet Potato Spoon Breads
Leftover sweet potatoes? Turn them into spoon breads! (Photo via Country Living)
It might even be worth cooking more sweet potatoes than needed if it means making this sweet single-serve dish after the big day is over. Country Living’s Sweet Potato Spoon Bread with Caramel-Pecan Topping is our favorite way to treat yourself after hosting the holiday at your 1st Lake home. You deserve to celebrate a successful Thanksgiving Day with the help of cinnamon, sugar, caramel, and pecans. Trust us.
Food Network’s Turkey Waldorf Salad
A healthy option for those Thanksgiving leftovers. (Photo via Food Network)
We had to toss in one healthy option, and this one is nothing short of delicious! The Food Network’s Turkey Waldorf Salad is a flavorful and refreshing way to reinvite your Thanksgiving leftovers. We all know Thanksgiving meals can make you feel stuffed (literally), so instead of carb-heavy sandwiches, try making a chopped salad instead. Crispy and crunchy celery, grapes, and apples? Sweet and wholesome roasted pecans and honey? Savory shredded turkey? Sign us up!
Have your own favorite way of using Thanksgiving leftovers? Tell us on social! Share your favorite recipes and quick meal tips on our Facebook page. You might inspire another 1st Lake resident with your ideas!
With football season underway and the weather cooling down, fall is truly the perfect time to tailgate in New Orleans. If you’re in need of some football tailgate recipe inspo, take a look at these fun and easy recipes perfect for a crowd.
Charleston Cheese Dip. (Photo via FoodNetwork.com)
Charleston Cheese Dip
Sure, we live in New Orleans, but we can enjoy a little love from the Low Country with this creamy, cheesy dip recipe from Food Network. Serve it with tortilla chips and crudité like carrots or celery.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon.
Roasted jalapeno poppers. (Photo via FoodNetwork.com)
Roasted Jalapeno Poppers
These aren’t exactly healthy, but roasting is a better alternative than typical breaded, fried poppers while adding deep, complex flavor.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut 1/3 of each pepper off lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet. If peppers do not sit flat on the baking sheet, slice a thin piece off the bottom of the pepper so it will not roll around.
Mash the feta, cream cheese, shredded cheese, cilantro, and onion together and stuff the peppers with the mixture. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is brown at the edges and bubbly.
PB&J Chocolate Bars. (Photo via FoodNetwork.com)
PB&J Chocolate Bars
Finish on a salty-sweet note with these delectable dessert bars!
For the base
For the filling and glaze
Make the base: Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending it over the sides. Put the butter in a medium heatproof bowl; position the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water). Once the butter melts, stir in the sugar and cocoa. Whisk in the egg; cook, whisking, until the mixture is warm and the consistency of hot fudge, 6 minutes. Remove from the heat; mix in the saltine crumbs and peanuts. Press the crust into the pan. Set aside the saucepan of water.
Make the filling: Spread the jelly over the crust in the pan; place in the freezer for a few minutes. Beat 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter, the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until light. Spread over the jelly layer; return to the freezer while you make the glaze.
Place the chocolate and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl; set over the pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat; stir until smooth. When cool but still runny, spread the glaze over the chilled peanut butter layer. Freeze for another 30 minutes.
Use the foil flaps to remove the bars from the pan; cut into squares while still cold. Serve cold and keep leftovers refrigerated.
When asked the age-old question “trick or treat?” we definitely stand with team treat. Check out five easy, last-minute recipes to help you get in the spooky spirit, from “poison” candy apples to a crowd-pleasing dessert dip. Bone appetit!
Photo via Pinterest.
Quick and Easy Halloween Dessert Recipes
Poison Candy Apples
Channel your inner Snow White with this sweet recipe.
12 small Granny Smith apples
12 dowels or wooden candy apple sticks (available at craft stores)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. black gel paste food coloring
Note: you’ll also need a candy thermometer
Wash and dry the apples thoroughly. Place them on a baking sheet and insert the dowels. Using a second baking sheet, line with buttered parchment paper and set aside.
Place a candy thermometer in a saucepan. Add sugar, 3/4 cup water, and corn syrup, and place over medium heat. Whisk sugar until it’s dissolved.
Let the temperature rise without stirring until the mixture reaches 310 degrees. Remove pan from heat, and carefully remove the thermometer.
Add the food coloring and swirl to mix the color completely.
Swirl each apple through the candy, allowing any excess to drip off. Place on buttered baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining apples.
Owl sugar cookies. (Photo via CountryLiving.com.)
Owl Sugar Cookies
Simple and sweet! You can make basic sugar cookies using this recipe, or go the easy route and purchase a pre-made slice-and-bake option.
One package slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough (such as Pillsbury or Nestle)
Small package of sliced almonds
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp. shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup whole almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or whatever temperature is stated on the back of your packaged dough)
Set all but one cookie round onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use the remaining unbaked cookie to make small balls that will become each owl’s eyes. Lightly press two balls onto the top of each cookie, then place a whole almond on its side in between the two eyes for the beak. Add a chocolate chip on top of each dough ball to create the pupil. Use six sunflower seeds (three on each side) to make the owl’s feet. Finally, overlap three sliced almonds on each side to create wings.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the edge of the cookies are lightly golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheet, then transfer onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
Graveyard dip. (Photo via BuzzFeed.)
Perfect for a crowd of hungry ghosts and goblins.
For the dip —
Shallow, wide dish
1 package room temperature cream cheese (8 ounces)
1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
Crushed Oreo cookies (enough to cover the top of the dish)
For decorating —
Black decorating icing
Candy corn pumpkins
For serving —
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and milk. Beat on low speed until incorporated, then increase to high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Transfer to desired serving dish and smooth with a spatula.
Spread the crushed Oreos over the top of the dip to form “dirt.” Use decorating icing to write tombstone messages on the Milano cookies, then stand them upright to create the tombstones. Scatter with candy corn pumpkins and gummy worms to decorate.
Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, and sliced apples.
These “mummies” are made using frozen bananas. (Photo via Woman’s Day)
It’s fruit, so it’s healthy… right?
4 ripe bananas
1 pound plus 4 ounces white chocolate
4 ounces milk chocolate chips (optional)
8 lollipop sticks (available at craft stores)
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Skewer each banana half with a lollipop stick and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
In a large, microwave-safe measuring cup, melt 1 pound white chocolate in the microwave according to package directions. One at a time, dip the bananas into the chocolate to coat, allowing excess to drip. Return to the baking sheet and immediately place two M&M candies near the top for eyes.
Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave according to package directions and fill a small piping bag fitted with a small, round nozzle tip (a Ziploc plastic bag with the corner cut off will also work!). Pipe zigzags over the banana to form bandages. Repeat this step with the milk chocolate, if using. Chill or freeze until ready to serve.
Salty-sweet haystack creatures. (Photo via Woman’s Day)
Can’t decide if you prefer your treat salty or sweet? These haystacks feature both flavors!
One 5-ounce can thin chow mein noodles (such as La Choy)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup vanilla frosting, tinted desired colors
Candy eyes or jelly beans
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in microwave according to package directions.
Place chow mein noodles in a large bowl, pour melted chocolate over top and gently toss until noodles are evenly coated
Drop 10 heaping spoonful’s (about 1/4 cup each) onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer frosting to a resealable plastic bag(s). Snip off a tiny corner and use as glue to stick the eyes on creatures, then pipe on an additional pupil.
Outdoor dining and summer just go hand in hand. Plus, since many of our 1st Lake Properties feature outdoor grilling and patio areas, it’s easy to host an al fresco event for friends and family. Get cooking with this easy summer cookout recipe menu: start with Vietnamese-inspired grilled wings, then pick from two sides and two desserts (or make ’em all!).
Grilled chicken wings with plenty of sides and sweets. (Photo via Pexels)
Summer Cookout Recipes
The Main Event
Saigon Chicken Wings
These wings from Food & Wine pay homage to Vietnamese cuisine (ever-popular in New Orleans!)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, tender white inner bulbs only, chopped
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for basting
12 whole chicken wings (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
In a mortar, pound the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger and sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lemon juice and the 1 tablespoon of oil. Alternatively, puree the ingredients in a mini-processor. Transfer to a large bowl.
Make 3 deep slashes in the meat part of each chicken wing. Add the wings to the bowl, stir to coat and marinate for 4 hours at room temperature, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
Light a grill. Thread the chicken wings on bamboo skewers, splaying each wing as widely as possible; reserve the marinade. Brush the wings with vegetable oil and grill over a medium-hot fire for 6 to 8 minutes per side, basting them once or twice with the reserved marinade, until crusty. Do not baste during the last 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken wings to a platter and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve at once.
Potato Salad with Celery and Herbs
Ingredients like fresh dill, parsley, and dijon mustard add a bit of elegance to this classic recipe from Country Living. Bonus points for being able to be served warm, cold, or at room temperature!
3 lb. red new potatoes
¼ c. olive oil
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 stalk celery
¼ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ c. chopped fresh dill
2 hard-boiled eggs
Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut the potatoes in half or quarter if large.
Meanwhile, grate 2 teaspoon lemon zest into a large bowl, then squeeze in the juice (you should have about 3 tablespoons juice total). Whisk in the oil, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Add the potatoes and celery to the bowl and gently toss to coat. Fold in the parsley and dill and top with the eggs, if desired.
Barbecue Ranch Pasta Salad
The Spicy Southern Kitchen blog serves up a smoky take on pasta salad that’s sure to be a hit with grownups and kids alike.
1poundpasta (such as cavatappi) cooked al dente
1cupHidden Valley Honey BBQ Dressing
1can black beans,rinsed and drained
1/2red bell pepper,diced
1/2small red onion,finely diced
1 1/2cupsdiced cooked chicken
1cupshredded cheddar cheese
2tablespoonschopped fresh cilantro
Place cooked pasta in a large bowl.
Stir together Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Dressing and sour cream and pour over pasta. Toss to mix.
Add all remaining ingredients, except corn chips, and stir to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to serve and sprinkle corn chips on top just before serving.
Stone Fruit Pouches
Alton Brown’s recipe for stone fruit pouches is practically made for the grill.
Creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream for serving
Heat coals of grill or fire pit. Cut 8 (18 by 18-inch) squares of aluminum foil. Lay down double thickness of foil and divide gingersnaps evenly among the 4 squares. Divide fruit evenly and place on top of gingersnaps. Dot with butter.
In small bowl mix sugar, salt, and lime zest. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over fruit, drizzle with juice and brandy and seal packets. Once coals are ash covered, lay packets over them and cover with lid of grill. If cooking in a fire pit carefully try to partially bury packets in hot coals.
Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and open carefully, as steam inside packet is very hot. Serve on plates as is or spoon into shallow bowls and top with creme fraiche or ice cream.
This recipe from Woman’s Day features the jewels of summertime: bright, juicy berries. We like that it can be served cool or at room temperature, making it easy for outdoor dining.
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 c. refrigerated whipped topping (Cool Whip works well)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and dust a piece of parchment paper lightly with flour. Shape the cookie dough into a circle, then roll out smoothly on the parchment into a 12″ circle or three 1⁄4″-thick circles. Place the parchment and dough onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the cookie (still on parchment) to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
As the cookie dough bakes, whisk together the jam and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the berries and toss to coat. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the whipped topping and beat to combine.
Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled cookie, leaving a 1⁄2″ border. Top with the berry mixture.
We love having warm weather year round… except maybe during summer, when it gets really warm. Whether you choose to chill in one of our pools or maybe just crank up your air conditioner, you might want to add these easy, no-bake summer recipes to your arsenal of cool-down tricks.
Panzanella. (Photo via The New York Times)
No-Bake Summer Recipes to Beat the Heat
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail — A spin on the traditional shrimp cocktail, this version calls for creamy, cool avocado and Cholula hot sauce (though we bet you could substitute with Crystal). It also happens to pair perfectly with frozen margaritas!
10 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and steamed
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Cholula hot sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
2 cilantro sprigs
tortilla chips to serve
Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, ketchup, and hot sauce.
Add salt, pepper, pico de gallo, avocado, and shrimp. Stir gently to combine.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.
Italian Panzanella — This no-cook salad is full of texture and pairs well with a variety of main dishes. You can serve it at room temperature or chilled.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cubed country bread
1 pound plum tomatoes cut into small pieces
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces provolone cheese, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Whisk together oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
Add all ingredients except basil and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (but no more than 8 hours).
Stir in fresh basil just before serving.
Cantaloupe, Lime & Chili Soup — Complex flavors and a gorgeous color make this the most elegant dish on your summer menu. Plus, it only takes four ingredients!
3/4 teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian chili paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Cut cantaloupe flesh into large chunks and puree with sambal oelek, lime juice, and salt until smooth.
Refrigerate at least one hour until thoroughly chilled. Serve in a chilled bowl with more sambal oelek, to taste.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies — The recipe pretty much says it all. Yum!
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Nutella
3 cups quick oats
Over medium heat, cook sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Boil one minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter, Nutella and oats. Stir until combined. Drop by teaspoon on wax paper and cool. Refrigerate until chilled, and enjoy.
Ice Cream with Honey-Poached Apricots — Fruity and refreshing.
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 strips peeled lemon zest
4 apricots, pitted and quartered
1/4 cup toasted coconut
Bring water, honey, and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add apricots and poach until fork tender, about 2-5 minutes.
Drain apricots, reserving the syrup (remove lemon peels)
Serve apricots with vanilla ice cream and top with syrup.
No-Bake Strawberry Tart — This elegant dessert is deceptively easy to make.
32 Oreo cookies
1/2 stick melted butter
7 ounces milk chocolate
3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
7 ounces heavy cream
10 ounces fresh strawberries
Chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, etc), optional, for serving
Place Oreo cookies into the bowl of a food processor and blend until crumbs form. Add melted butter and pour over the crushed cookies. Process until evenly moistened. Press cookie mixture with the back of the spoon or fingers into the bottom and edges of a rectangular 5×14 inch tart pan. Freeze until you prepare the filling, just for few minutes.
In a small saucepan, place cream over medium-low heat for a few minutes to get hot. No boiling or simmering needed. Remove from heat, pour over chopped chocolate and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir until dissolved.
Pour chocolate filling over Oreo crust, and top with fresh strawberries.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.