Make A Plan For Holiday Leftovers Before You Plan The Feast

So you have some great ideas for your holiday leftovers. That is all well and good, but by the time you get to the leftover part, the leftovers you planned may not have worked out quite right.  How are you going to make an amazing lunch the next day if you don’t have enough leftovers to work your magic?  Let’s take a look at how to master leftover magic with just a few ingredients.

Start With the End in Mind

Leftovers are never a problem, except when you plan to use them for something else. All of a sudden, they become a hot commodity and there are never enough left to use in your next recipe. In order to combat this Murphy’s Law of cooking, you must start with the end in mind. When making all of your initial feast dishes, think about what you will need to have leftover for your next dish. Once you have those amounts in mind, then prepare to make what you will need as extra.

For instance, if you needed four cups of stuffing to make egg mountains the next morning for breakfast, prepare your initial recipe and add two or three cups more. This is a good estimate of what will actually be leftover for the next morning while still giving everyone plenty of food to eat the first night. Once you are sure you have enough food left over to use for your next meal, it is time to begin assembling your ingredients.

Plan the Beginning

With every good recipe, a plan is needed in order to make everything work out. Now that you know you have your main leftover ingredient, it is time to pick your other ingredients in order to complete your recipe.

If you’re planning on baking a ham, the leftover ham with pineapple, bell pepper, onion and tomatoes would be make great kabobs for the grill.  Leftover turkey with cheese, mushrooms, eggs and cranberry sauce will make beautiful omelets. Once you are sure you have enough leftovers, it is easy to get creative and develop a new favorite recipe with only a few leftovers.

Enjoy the Middle

At this point, all of the hard work is done other than actually cooking the new dish. You have ensured the amount of leftovers you need and planned out the rest of your meal. As you fire up the stove, grill or oven, now comes the time to enjoy this process. Not only are you using up your leftovers, but you are also creating a new dish.

As you cook, you can further your leftover reduction plan by turning the leftovers you have into snacks during the day.  Just make sure you leave enough of your primary ingredients to finish making the meal.  Once you are done cooking, you have mastered the leftover meal challenge.

So, all you need to do in order to master leftover magic with just a few ingredients is to plan the end, the beginning, and enjoy the preparation.  You won’t be stuck staring into a refrigerator jammed with leftovers, scratching your head.  You won’t be so overwhelmed that you just keep reheating the same plates over and over. If you plan for your leftover dishes before you even start your holiday meal, and set the stage for your repeat performances, your leftovers will will come off without a hitch!

p.s.  What happens when you end up with leftovers nobody wants?  Click on this link to learn more:  The Leftovers Nobody Wants

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