10 ways to polish off those holiday leftovers

Christina Fossum/Staff

Here at the Clog, we spend our holidays relaxing with our dog and our Netflix subscription after a stressful semester. We find ourselves growing uncomfortable with our inadequate ability to properly field the family’s questions regarding our “future plans.” We find ourselves sweating in our SoCal hood or snowed in at Grandma’s northern Minnesota cottage, missing the weather of Berkeley. We even find ourselves making up for a semester of meal points and ramen … by cooking! However, when making food for a town’s worth of obscure family members, there’s inevitably a plethora of leftovers. Whether they’re actually useful for further food comas, or you just want to try out a ridiculously repulsive new recipe, here’s how to use them up:

1. Smorgasbord breakfast burritos

What better way to use up all those pesky leftovers than to sauté them up with some eggs and slap ’em in a tortilla? The best part is that Aunt Sally really doesn’t need to know if we put the extra dinner rolls in her burrito or not … so long as we smother it in enough hot sauce.

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Christina Fossum/Staff

2. Cranberry pancakes

For whatever reason, cranberry sauce always seems to be the last remnant of holiday dinners to go. We always tell ourselves not to make two WHOLE pots full … and yet, here we stand. Another holiday season has left us with altogether TOO MUCH cranberry sauce! But never fear! We are a cranberry connoisseur, after all. And as such a seasoned sauce-o-holic, nowadays we bake our excess cranberry sauce into pancakes! Mmm, saucy.

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Christina Fossum/Staff

3. Fruitcake french fries

To be honest, we’ve never actually been the recipient of a holiday fruitcake, although we are sure plenty of people have. All we can advise to the poor few stuck with loaves of this rock hard “holiday favorite” is that they do what any sane person does with leftover loaves of any rock-hard food: deep fry it! In fact, you can maximize surface area exposed to piping hot grease by chopping it up into fries!

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Christina Fossum/Staff

4. Sweet potato cookies

Not that there’s EVER any leftover sweet potatoes, but just in case there are, why not whip them into some crazy good cookies? Here’s a recipe to do just that!

Ingredients:

– 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

– 3/4 cup brown sugar

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1 egg

– 3/4 cup softened butter

– 1 & 3/4 cup flour

– 1 tsp baking powder

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 1/4 tsp nutmeg

– 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions: 

1. Set oven for 350 degrees, and set out two ungreased cookie sheets

2. Mix butter and sugar together, add egg and sweet potato

3. Sift in dry ingredients and fold in pecans

4. Drop dough in rounded teaspoonfuls on cookie sheets, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

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Christina Fossum/Staff

5. Stuffing smoothies

We understand the struggle of getting rid of leftover stuffing! It just never quite tastes the same as it did fresh out of the turkey’s belly. Nothing can be bad, however, when it’s blended up with some OJ in a smoothie!

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Christina Fossum/Staff

6. Gravy Jell-O

Don’t even get us started on gravy. Put the stuff in the fridge for a few minutes and it comes out a gelatinous glob of solidified meat juice. Even when we toss it in the microwave, leftover gravy remains virtually inedible. So, we’ve decided to play to gravy’s globular nature and form it into actual Jell-O! This is a perfect way to make use of those tiny turkey cake molds we all have buried at the bottom of our baking drawer!

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Christina Fossum/Staff

7. ROLL ON YOU … rolls

In the wake of the heart-bending defeat of our ferocious Bears by Stanfurd’s tiny trees, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to set the record straight … with rolls! What better way to make use of leftover dinner rolls than to chuck them at trees! Just don’t forget to pick them back up at the conclusion of your shenanigans.

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Christina Fossum/Staff

8. Pumpkin pie paninis

This one’s a bit unlikely. We can’t remember the last time pumpkin pie has made it past day one of holiday feasting. But, should you find yourself with an excess of pie and plum out of family and friends with whom you can share it, spread the glutinous filling over a couple crusty slices of sourdough and stick this holiday sammie in the panini press for a delectable pie panini.

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Christina Fossum/Staff

9. Mashed potato hats

Mashed potatoes are too delish to ruin by making them into something else. We just like to plop a blob on our heads, take a couple cute “leftover selfies” and then feast!

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Christina Fossum/Staff

10. Sandwich competitions 

Finally, the one surefire way to use up EVERYTHING is to host intense sandwich stacking competitions with your family. Layer on colorful dollops of cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, a slice of turkey, a piece of pie, etc. Reward the winner with the opportunity to challenge somebody else!

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Christina Fossum/Staff

Contact Christina Fossum at [email protected].