What do you do with all of the leftovers?

I hope everyone had a wonderful time ringing in the new year and arrived home safely. Now that the holidays are over, many people are overwhelmed by leftover food of various kinds. I can’t stand to throw anything away unless there’s absolutely no use for it. Here’s how I handled some of my leftovers.
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My husband received a wonderful honey glazed ham from his employer for Christmas. He brought it home on Christmas Eve, which was after our family celebration. I baked it on Christmas Day for the two of us. We feasted on it Christmas Day and the day after. I took ham sandwiches to work for the rest of the week. I sauteed leftover broccoli, peppers, and celery from our veggie tray with ham strips, topped it with cheddar cheese, and used that as filling for amazing omelets. I made ham scrambles by scrambling eggs, ham, butter, and milk together for a tasty breakfast.

I made banana bread with leftover bananas and fruit salad with the grapes, pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe from our fruit tray. I topped it with whipped topping left from Christmas pies. Leftover deviled eggs make fabulous egg salad sandwiches, but I didn’t have any of those left this time. Mashed potatoes make wonderful waffles, as well.

I made hearty suppers of ham & beans, ham & black-eyed peas, and ham roll ups. I cooked baby carrots from a veggie tray with new potatoes, black-eyed peas, and ham in the crock pot to make some really yummy New Years Soup.

I use dry pinto beans and dry black-eyed peas. They are really easy to use, and less expensive than their canned counterparts. The thing to remember while using dried legumes is that it’s best to soak them in water for several hours before you begin the cooking process. You can do a quick soak method by bringing them to a rapid boil for one minute, remove from heat, cover, and let them sit for one hour. My experience is better with soaking my beans/black-eyed peas overnight.

We had sourdough bread instead of hot rolls this year. I made French Toast with the leftover bread. Sourdough French Toast should be its own food group. I use cinnamon and pure vanilla to give it a little kick. My favorite part of this dish is I can pop the leftover French Toast in the toaster and eat it while driving to work – sans the syrup, of course.

I froze the leftover ham & beans and black-eyed pea soup in individual servings. These frozen meals will be perfect for me to take to work on cold days when I don’t want to leave the office. I usually take my lunch to work with me. I save hundreds of dollars a month by brown bagging lunch rather than eating out. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I run out for a juicy burger, but not often. My homemade food is tastier and far better for me than anything I can get from a drive-thru. It’s far better for my budget, too.

Even though the holidays are over for a while, the Superbowl is coming up soon. We’re bound to have some extra food from those festive football parties. I encourage you to be creative with your party leftovers, and never throw out good food. There’s always a way to jazz it up a little or freeze it until you’re in the mood to enjoy it again.

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