If there is anything I have learned about Thanksgiving, it's that bigger is not always better. I am referring to the turkey -- I always rush out to buy to the biggest turkey the grocery store has, no matter if I am serving 5 or 15. This year I am stuck with a lot of leftover turkey. It is taking up the space in my refrigerator and I have to admit, it's only Saturday, I am kind of sick of it.
Being a person who tries not to waste anything, I have found some tasty ways to eat the turkey without it really tasting like roast turkey. Camouflaged turkey or turkey in disguise, these leftover ideas will help you finish those leftovers before they go bad. Here are my plans:
1. Turkey Pita Sandwiches with lots of hummus or garlic sauce.
5. Turkey Cobbler (Not cobbler in the traditional sense of the word)
What are you doing with your turkey leftovers? Send some inspiration my way! Leave your ideas in the comments section below!
I have just become familiar with salt dough and it's perpetual list of possibilities. My daughter asked if we could make ornaments with cookie cutters and salt dough. I have to be honest, I had no clue what she was talking about. Today, we found a recipe for salt dough and using cookie cutters, made tree ornaments with them. They are still baking, but the plan is to paint them and throw a coat of polyurethane on them when they are done. Salt Dough Recipe
A few things I didn't realize about salt dough: 1.) It takes forever to cook. Don't expect it to bake like any other dough. The recipe I used said to bake until hardened. Well, 2 hours later mine aren't fully hardened. Fair warning would have been nice! 2.) Salt dough in the oven can smell like bread baking in the oven, ultimately disappointing people in your house who didn't know what you were up to. 3.) This stuff is pretty cool. I have the urge to make other shapes, but am at a loss. Any suggestions, dear readers?
Are you craving tabbouleh -- just like you get at your favorite Middle Eastern recipe? I bet you didn't know that it's just as easy to make tabbouleh as it is to order it. A few herbs, spices, veggies, and bulghur wheat is pretty much all you need to make this super delicious salad in your very own kitchen. Easy Tabbouleh Recipe
There are dozens of different tabbouleh recipes as there are spellings of the salad (tabouli, tabouleh, tabbouleh...). This recipe is simple but has the essential ingredients to make it perfect. If you have any trouble finding bulghur wheat, look by the rice or the pasta aisle of your grocery store. If you can't find it locally, Amazon.com does sell bags of it. <p>
I like to eat tabbouleh with wedges of warm pita bread. What's your favorite way to eat it?
Steamed squash is easier than you may think! Actually steaming any vegetable is super simple, but steaming squash seems to intimidate for some reason! No reason to fear squash! It's a simple vegetable to cook with, but you just need to know the basics! I am thinking of adding steamed squash to my Thanksgiving table this year. I know I am veering from the norm of green bean casserole and such, but variety is the spice of the holidays, right? Here is my recipe for steamed squash. It's easy, but absolutely delicious! Try it today or for your Thanksgiving spread.
What is your favorite steamed vegetable? Will you be serving a steamed vegetable for Thanksgiving?
Want an easy Thanksgiving appetizer recipe that won't take up any stovetop space on Thanksgiving Day? Your answer is pumpkin hummus. This hummus variety is delicious and has all of the traditional fall flavors. Not only is it delicious, it is super easy -- dare I say foolproof! Simply take a few ingredients and throw them in a blender or food processor and voila, you are finished. Yes, its that easy. Learn how to make pumpkin hummus for Thanksgiving.
Quick tip: Serve pumpkin hummus in a hollowed small pumpkin! It adds ambiance and your guests will love it!
Falafel is one of the most easily recognizable Middle Eastern foods. If you have never had falafel, it is chickpeas that are formed into a ball or patty and fried to perfection. There are some baked falafel recipes, too. Traditionally, it is fried though. Falafel is the ultimate fast food or street food and I know of few who can resist its flavor.
Falafel mixes can be bought and while some are good, nothing beats fresh falafel made at home. You can make it the traditional way by soaking chickpeas, but there are recipes that used canned chickpeas for convenience. How to Make Falafel at Home
One of my favorite types of pastry to make is ma'amoul , a cookie like, nut filled pastry. It can be filled with a variety of nuts, but is best made with walnuts, pistachios, or almonds. This recipe is not only easy, but delicious!This time of year also means I will be whipping up a batch of turkish delight, which you may remember from the film, The Chronicles of Narnia. Many people compare turkish delight to the inside of a jelly bean. You will find this recipe to be a bit long, but most authentic! No holiday season would be the same without baklava! Baklava takes a lot of time to make. It's sticky and gooey. You will get messy - thats a given. But it is worth it. Baklava is such a dessert of passion. The passion it takes to make it, enjoying the sweet taste with each bite, makes it a dessert that is one of a kind.
Thanksgiving may not be celebrated in the Middle East, but it's very much part of my family's traditions here and it's one I look forward to every year. This year is especially special because my oldest son will be coming home from college and I know he is in desperate need of a meal that hasn't been ordered through a drive-thru or made in a microwave. We are planning to make all the traditional holiday fare, plus some Middle Eastern favorites. Check out my list of Middle Eastern inspired Thanksgiving side dishes -- you won't be disappointed!
What Thanksgiving side dishes will you be serving this year?
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I have already been planning what I am going to serve that day. It's an exhaustive event for me that takes a lot of planning, even more cooking, and a ridiculous amount of friends and family eating the fare. Sadly, it over in about 30 minutes, but well worth the effort.
Just like every year, I plan to brine my turkeys (yes, plural...long story, long guest list). A few years ago, I decided to brine our Thanksgiving Turkey. I was a little hesitant, wondering just how much of a difference it would make to soak the bird in some salt water with a few herbs and other ingredients. Well, at first bite, I was blown away! My guests couldn't stop talking about how "amazing" my turkey was and needless to say, there was no leftover turkey.
Since brining my turkey a few year ago, it's become a tradition in my house. The kids help make the brine, adding in the salt and sugar. It makes them feel included and it's actually a lot of fun!
Here is my recipe for turkey brine. I hope you enjoy! The recipe is for a 12-14 pound turkey, so be sure to double if you need to! Or triple,or in my case, quadruple.
Pasta salad is one of those dishes that you can find anywhere. They always seem to be at pot lucks, buffets, and even at my son's school cafeteria. But, you probably won't find my recipe for pasta salad at any of those places. Imagine al dente pasta with a little bit of feta, black olives, and a tangy garlic sauce mixed in? Yes, it's amazing. Try this pasta salad recipe today!
Speaking of pasta salad, what are your favorite non-traditional salads? Share below!