Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone! Things got away from me in this past week or two. Everything at work and school is starting to gear up. We have three weeks until our performances and I have three/four weeks until my finals for my classes this semester. Both of which include papers, on top of one final exam and one oral presentation. I am desperately trying to make serious headway on both papers during my free time this weekend, but it will also be my only chance to decorate for Christmas and prep my food gifts (no telling what those will be, yet!). I’m planning to make the dough for three different Christmas cookies tomorrow, which I will shape into cookies and pop in the freezer. I know all three freeze beautifully and this will make things so much easier as the month goes on! I might even make up a batch of my Cranberry Chutney, which is the ultimate sign that the Christmas season is here!
We powered through our fundraiser for work last weekend, which went splendidly! However, I felt my throat get a little sore throughout the day and by Monday I was knocked flat with some kind of winter muck. A scratchy, painful throat that made my whole mouth hurt, some crazy body aches, super fatigued. Ugh. Thankfully, an afternoon of sleep, lots of soup, and a few eucalyptus & epsom salt baths got me back up on my feet to finish out this week and still get through my prep for Thanksgiving. I still don’t know what it was, but I am hoping I avoided catching my coworker’s bronchitis and, instead, just picked up a bug off one of our students. My asthma and allergies make me very prone to bronchitis and pneumonia, but this hasn’t really moved down into my chest as bronchitis normally would, so I do think I got lucky and it’s just a bad cold!
Anyways, on to more pleasant topics! Thanksgiving at M’s mum’s house ended up having 18 people and was, all-in-all, stress-free. We had a few sticky moments when politics and other controversies came up (it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it, huh?) and trying to get the massive 21 lb turkey in the oven in time, but otherwise, it was lovely. About half of those 18 people had already sign-up to bring a dish, so I focused on desserts (pumpkin pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, cranberry curd tarts, and a praline sauce) and ended up putting together the green bean casserole since M ran out of prep time. But everything else was taken care of! It was nice to loosen the reins a little bit! Shockingly, with all of those people and all of that food, there wasn’t too much in way of leftover. I managed to snag a few slices of dessert, cranberry sauce, and a solid 3 cups of turkey–some of which went into this quiche and the rest will go into a double batch of Turkey Pot Pie Soup tomorrow night. I’m not too sad about our lack of leftovers. We have a ton of veggies in the fridge from our Produce Delivery box, so I’m planning to do a lot of simple, plant-based meals to reset ourselves after this weekends indulgences. Plus my crisper box is completely overflowing and this is the only way to deal with it!
This quiche is, hands-down, my favorite quiche that I have ever eaten. My mother made it often when we were younger, but I was only reintroduced to it after I graduated and we tried making it gluten-free. I love quiche because it take so few ingredients to make a solid dish with many servings (with just M and I in the house, this will last us a few days worth in lunches, too). But I usually don’t go through the fuss of making pie crust (often, I just thinly slice potatoes, layer them in a greased pan, and cook them until brown and crispy before adding in the quiche filling). So this lovely mix of turkey, cheese, bacon, and broccoli, all wrapped up in a flaky, buttery crust, is extra special. That last bite with more crust from the side as well as the bottom is just total bliss. Every time I make this, I wish I had grabbed even more turkey leftovers, so I could stash them in the freezer. I never seem to remember, so I will just have to do my best to enjoy this quiche now, before waiting another whole year to make it again!
Turkey Broccoli Quiche
- – 1 gluten-free pie crust
- – 3/4 c. chopped broccoli
- – 1 c. chopped, cooked turkey
- – 1/2 c. shredded baby swiss cheese
- – 1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped
- – 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- – 1 Tbsp. butter
- – 3 extra-large eggs
- – 1 1/4 c. half-and-half (or: 1/2 c. heavy cream + 3/4 c. milk)
- – 1 tsp groud thyme
- – salt & pepper to taste
Roll out the pie crust and spread into a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges and place the pan in the fridge while you preheat the oven and prep the filling. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the broccoli and onion and sauté until tender, when the broccoli is bright green and the onion has softened. Sprinkle turkey, bacon, and half of the cheese into pie crust. Pour vegetables over top, spread evenly. Top with the remainder of the cheese. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, and spices in bowl until thoroughly mixed. Pour eggs over other ingredients in pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until a knife inserted at the center comes out clean.
In the midst of these last few crazy weeks (2 days until final paper is due, 2 weeks until performance weekend), I wanted to jot down the recipes I’ve made in order to use up our Thanksgiving leftovers. We had a very relaxed Thanksgiving, with most of my family coming over to M’s mum’s house. Naps occurred, and plenty of food was eaten! I brought pecan pie, apple pie, maple custard pie, and a dish of my Gluten Free Knock Off Pepperidge Farm’s Cornbread Stuffing. And the necessary pre-dinner pickles and olives. It’s a family tradition!
We came home with a huge amount of pie (surprise, surprise), a lunch’s worth of vegetables, and enough turkey and stuffing to stretch for a couple of meals. I also made sure to bring home some of the bones from the turkey, so that I could make some broth for this soup! I boiled the bones a second time after making the soup. I’ll make a gravy from that tonight to go with sausages and Yorkshire Pudding and greens. Tomorrow, I’m planning to use up the last of our turkey in Turkey and Broccoli Quiche to give us plenty of leftovers for lunches this week.
The soup is a nice mixture of leftovers and fresh foods (mostly the remaining fresh veg left over from preparing other thanksgiving dishes), and makes a hearty dish from a fairly small amount of food. It has all of the flavors of pot pie, without the fuss. I served my soup with pie crust points. One of the crusts that I made the day before, while prepping desserts, shrank too much during it’s par bake. I made another crust, but I saved the first and finished baking it laid flat. This added the perfect crunchy bite to accompany my soup! This soup is very forgiving. Use whatever meat and vegetables that you have on hand and need to use up: chicken, potatoes, green beans, and peas would all be splendid!
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Soup
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 tsp. butter
- 4-5 button mushrooms, diced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 small sweet potato, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 c. shredded, cooked turkey**
- 3 c. turkey (or chicken) broth*
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 c. milk
- 1-2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1-2 Tbsp. cold water
- salt & pepper
- fresh thyme, for serving
*To use up more leftovers and save some money, make your broth from the bones of your turkey/chicken! I roasted the bones at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, placed the bones in a pot with 1 quart of water and boiled, covered, for 20-30 minutes. I then cracked the lid and let the broth reduce by about a quarter, just so that the flavor was more concentrated.
**I used white meat in this recipe, knowing that the dryness of the meat would, obviously, not be a problem in this soup.
Once all of the vegetables are chopped, melt the butter in a soup pot and add the diced sweet potato. Stir to cover the vegetables in the butter and place the lid back on. Allow the vegetables to sweat for a minute. Repeat this process by adding, first, the carrots, then the onion and celery, and finally, the mushrooms and garlic. When the vegetable mixture is soft and the onions are translucent, add the broth. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer, covered with the lid, for 10 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and milk. In a small dish, mix the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, then add to the simmering soup. Cook for another minute or two, until the soup has thickened. Taste the soup, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
Hashes are all over the web and are one of those dishes that don’t really have (or need) a proper recipe. It is a quick, easy, delicious dish(that I favor as breakfast, but could be made for any meal) that uses up copious leftovers. It was a no brainer for me, as I love hash with eggs. And, while I did forget to make the sweet potato souffle for Thanksgiving, I had already separated the six eggs I would need. So I had to use up a lot of eggs on top of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and the rest. If you still have some bits of dishes hanging around, try a hash for a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Hash is easy. Choose the ingredients you want to include in your hash. Meat and potatoes are traditional, but from there, the sky is the limit. I choose some brussel sprouts and some sausage stuffing from Thanksgiving, a bit of onion and some tomatoes. Chop all your ingredients into equal-sized pieces (shoot for smaller than bite-sized, so you can have a bit of each ingredient in each bite). Heat some oil or butter in a saute pan, and, when hot, added your ingredients, cooking until heated through and the potatoes have a good crisp crust. If you want to add some spices or cheese, right before removing from heat, feel free.
Scrape hash onto plates or find a new pan to make your eggs in. Make your eggs however you like, and slide on top of the hash. I had some cranberry relish alongside because I can’t get enough of the stuff.
Good luck with the last of your leftovers. M’s mum made turkey pasta salad last night so I think (*crosses fingers*) we’ve almost gotten through all of our leftovers. Last thing left to do is try my hand at homemade stock!
Well, perhaps I’m a little behind in blogosphere standards, but its better late than never to round-up my plans for Thanksgiving! And since today is Prep Day #1, this update can help me build up my game plan for the next 48 hours. Look at that multi-tasking skill!
This year, my family is doing Thanksgiving on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. My mother works Thursday night, I have a shift at a major American retail store early (so early!) Friday morning, and my sister is coming home with a friend on Wednesday then switching to her friend’s house for Thursday then back to our home for the weekend. Plus, with Monday and Tuesday as my days off, I would have plenty of time to prep the food. All in all, Wednesday was a better day to celebrate.
We’re sticking to a fairly traditional menu, but this is my first Thanksgiving tackling gluten-free traditions. I’ll admit, last year, only 4 weeks after going “off” gluten and at the home of an old family friend, I cheated. Considerably. (Confession: I am a stuffing addict). I wasn’t ready to tackle the huge task of de-glutifying traditional foods, and I wasn’t so adjusted to making the fuss necessary to keep myself safe and healthy. I didn’t want to impose.
This year, I’m closer. At the very least, I will be entirely gluten-free. My mother is still making a batch of her from-the-bag store-bought stuffing mix that I was raised on. I’ll be following along with the mix-in recipe on the back of the packaging, starting with a base of old-fashioned, flour-free cornbread. Other than that sticking point, all of our rolls, our pie crusts, our gravies will be wheat- and gluten-free. I’d say that is several steps forward.
The clock is counting down on my prep time, so, here is our
- Turkey (21 lbs, no brine or anything snazzy. Just my mother’s tried & true roasting. I’ll keep an eye out for any family secrets–we’ve never had dry turkey, and we’ve never had to brine for that moisture)
- Gravy isn’t too hard for us, as we’ve always made gravy with cornstarch, even before I stopped eating gluten. An extra minute to double-check that our broth was gluten-free was all the prep we needed.
- Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing for my mom, sister, & guests with the traditional celery/onion/herb add in listed on the bag.
- GF Cornbread Stuffing made with Nicole Hunn’s Old Fashioned Cornbread, a recipe using only corn meal. I made the batter last Friday, and spread it into a greased jelly roll pan (the wide, flat cookie sheets with a low lip all around) and baked the bread at the same temperature for 10-15 minutes. The bread came out moist and thin, so that every crouton will have the crispy crust. With this stuffing, I will be trying to imitate the recipe on the Pepperidge farm bag (and maybe win over the critics for an entirely GF Thanksgiving for next year). Look out for onions, herbs, celery, broth, etc adding to the mix!
- Potatoes (I’ll be the first to admit: we’re going a little overboard on potatoes this year. Ah well, ’tis the season to indulge!)
- Mashed Potatoes mixed until smooth with onion and chive cream cheese, cream, and butter. Any extra will be mixed up for potato pancakes to go with our eggs and turkey hash the next morning.
- Roasted Red Potatoes With Balsamic Dressing was one of two dishes my sister specifically requested she make. I’m a sucker for balsamic vinegar, so a second potato dish joins our table.
- Sweet Soul ‘Taters from Ree at The Pioneer Woman. I made this recipe once, on a whim for no more special an occasion than a Tuesday night. It was gone by the next morning–my mother and I polished it off for breakfast. Sweet and crunchy, this will be the bridge dish between dinner and dessert.
- Green Beans won’t get too fussy, although I was sorely tempted to try adding bacon and shallots for a casserole. But this year, we stick to the classic: sauté’d with butter, letting the fresh green taste keep center stage.
- Popovers will be gluten-free, mostly because my GF recipe starts in a hot oven, and my mother’s needs to start cold. I used a recipe modified from Living Without‘s October issue
- – 1 c. milk
- -4 eggs
- -1/3 c. tapioca starch/flour
- -2/3 c. white rice flour
- -Dash salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 12 cup muffin tin in the oven to preheat. Keep the tin warm until you are ready to pour in the batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well blended. Add tapioca starch/flour, white rice flour, and salt. Whisk until combined and smooth. Carefully remove hot baking tin from oven. Lightly grease with cooking spray. Pour in batter, filling cup s 3/4 full. Place popovers in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees for the final 15 minutes. It may be my old, finicky oven, or knowing my mother’s tried-and-true recipe also necessitates a temperature change, but this is the trick that works best for me.
- Cranberry Sauce is the second recipe my sister claimed. All I know is that it will contain oranges as well. We also have plenty of that lovely American staple: canned, jellied cranberry sauce. We will serve it in the perfect can shape and all. Some traditions cannot be broken.
- Pumpkin Pie using my riff on Bette Hagman’s Dream Pastry Pie Crust and the filling recipe on the back of the Libby’s can of pureed pumpkin. Again, a classic.
And we have our family’s tradition of pickles (sweet and dill) and olives (traditionally black, though we’re stirring things up and adding feta-stuffed green olives to the mix) and nuts to tide over the nibblers in the last hour, when all the smells drag everyone to the kitchen, milling apprehensively as we wait for popovers to rise, for the turkey to set, as we mash the potatoes.
The pre-dinner nibbles are a bit of a mystery. I’m not sure who first set out the dish of pickles and olives on that first Thanksgiving…most who hear this tradition look at me like I’m a little crazy. Finally, last year, my friend from New England backed up my insistence, as her family does the same. Maybe its a northern thing? My dad is from New England. Either way, I’ll have a dish out for all of my Thanksgivings. It keeps fingers from picking at the turkey wings.
I keep going back and forth as to whether I should make another vegetable dish (or another dessert) but time will be that deciding factor. Today (Prep Day #1) I’ll be baking the sweet potatoes, mixing the wet and dry for Sweet Soul ‘Taters but storing the two parts separately. I’ll be mixing the pie crust dough and let that refrigerate overnight. My cornbread has been going stale on the counter all weekend. Tomorrow, I’ll chop all the veggies, bake the pie, and set up mise en place. The turkey will have to go in quite early Wednesday morning, so that we can eat by 1pm or 2pm, and having everything set up in a clean kitchen will let us have a little longer to sleep.
Thanksgiving dinner. Here we go!