Making Leftover Turkey Yummy Again

Here’s a great recipe from my great friend Donna Alward, with a fun suggestion for leftovers! I’m putting this on my list for the week’s dinners!

She also has a wonderful, heartwarming book out this month, just in time for Christmas! If you’re looking for a book that will give you a little extra dose of holiday spirit, pick up A Cadence Creek Christmas! And now, without further ado, Donna’s recipe for leftover turkey!

9780373742660_LPIt’s always a conundrum in our house. How much turkey can you eat until you’re sick of it? This time of year in particular, there’s Thanksgiving Turkey soon to be followed by Christmas Turkey. (Incidentally, I love that Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, so we have a bigger gap between those holidays. I’m not too proud to shop at your Black Friday specials, though!)

We have the traditional turkey dinner, and then there are  Hot Turkey Sandwiches the next day. Then there might be Turkey Fried Rice and spring rolls, or Turkey Pot Pie. One of our favorite recipes, though is even easier and really tasty. And my husband, who normally SHUNS anything that is a casserole (except lasagna or scalloped potatoes), admits it’s one of his favorites too. The great thing is you can use whatever vegetables your family likes.



That’s right. I said Mr. Noodle.

1 tbsp olive oil

2 pkgs Chicken flavor Mr. Noodle

3 cups chopped turkey

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 cans water

½ diced onion, ½ cup diced celery, 1 cup sliced mushrooms (all three optional)

2 cups frozen veg – peas, mixed veg, whatever your preference


2 cups chopped broccoli

1 cup breadcrumbs with ½ cup parmesan cheese (you can sub bread crumbs for your preferred crunchy topping)

Directions: Saute onion, celery and mushrooms in olive oil until softened. Add turkey to heat through. Stir in cream of chicken soup, water, bouillon from the Mr. Noodle packets, and vegetables. Once it’s heated through, break up your noodles and add to the mixture, stirring to coat noodles with sauce.

Once the noodles are a bit softened, turn the mixture into a casserole sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with the bread crumbs and cheese and bake at 375 for 35-40 min.

The recipe goes together so fast you should still have time to pick up my latest book and see what’s happening in Cadence Creek – mainly a wedding, a week before Christmas. Here’s the blurb:

 It’s Christmas in Donna Alward’s Cadence Creek…

Taylor Shepard has come to Cadence Creek to organize her brother’s Christmas wedding. Organizing such a special event might be a little bit stressful – but she can’t deny she’s swept away by the town’s holiday charm…and by brooding rancher Rhys Bullock. 

Loner Rhys has been burned far too many times in the past. He’s sure he has city girl Taylor all figured out -she’ll be hightailing it straight back to the city in a few days! But as the snow starts to fall, Rhys and Taylor embark on a tentative winter romance. Could Taylor be the Christmas present Rhys never even knew he wanted?

Donna’s website

Twitter: @DonnaAlward

ReRun: The Thanksgiving Plan

I post this one each year, because it pretty much covers how I do Thanksgiving. Why mess with what works? I won’t be making quite this much food this year, since it’ll just be my family, but you can easily adapt this to fit what you want. Also, look for a great post on using those leftovers from author Donna Alward later this week!

>>This has been my Thanksgiving plan for four years in a row, so I thought I’d rerun the tips. I have changed this slightly–in that I bought the brining bags at the store instead of using a pail (Farberware makes them and they were in the aisle with the roasters and kitchen twine, etc.). I have had success every time I use this recipe. Buying a fresh bird makes life ten times easier, but I have in a pinch defrosted a frozen bird and then brined it.

(and as an aside, for those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, on Monday I posted a link to my blog and a friend who is a professional chef shared his tips for brining, so check that out!)

Thanksgiving was a HUGE success in my house. Brining the bird was DA BOMB and I highly recommend it. I mean, HIGHLY recommend it. I have never had a juicier, more delicious turkey–it was beyond simple to cook, and twelve people devoured nearly an entire 21-pound bird. Lots of going back for seconds and thirds that day!

Take notes if you want for next year, because here’s how I did it (and managed to have a LOT of relaxation time on the big day, too):

Wednesday Night: Brine the Bird (in the fridge by 8pm)
Equipment needed: 5-gallon pail from Lowe’s or Home Depot
My version of Alton Brown’s recipe for Brining from I’m Just Here for the Food
(which involves essentially cooking some water, brown sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and kosher salt, then cooling and adding to the bucket).
Plus: 3 gallons ice water and 1 1/2 cups kosher salt

Thursday Timeline:
7:00 a.m.: Remove bird from Brining Liquid
Preheat oven
Dry bird, stuff with an onion, celery sticks. Brush whole bird with melted butter, then tent with foil, stick a meat thermometer in it, then put the bird in the oven.

8:00 a.m.: Cook sausage for stuffing, chop vegetables for stuffing (celery, carrots and onions), then cook when sausage is done. Add dried cranberries, leave to cool and set aside

8:15 a.m.: Peel 8 pounds of potatoes and start boiling them for mashed potatoes

8:45 a.m.: Start simple syrup for kids’ Floating Island Punch
Put Frozen raspberries, pink lemonade and sugar in bowl to thaw for Poinsettia Punch for grownups :-)

9:30 a.m.: Mash potatoes and put in crock-pot–done till 11:15 a.m. (take a nap, read the ads for Black Friday shopping…I do all my house cleaning on Wednesday, so I’m chilling for these two hours)

11:30 a.m.: remove foil tent from turkey, baste with more butter and turn oven temp up to 425 degrees
Start green beans (I made a healthy version, which I can post later)
Start Citrus-Glazed Carrots

12:15 p.m.: Assemble stuffing

12:30 p.m.: Remove turkey from oven and let set
Put rolls in oven
Put stuffing in oven
Make gravy

1:00 p.m.: Serve and eat 😉

My MIL made the pies, and I had baked cookies on Wednesday night, so all the rest was done ahead of time. I usually make the pies a day or two ahead of time, but this time someone else did them, so I was saved that chore. This turkey was SO SO good, though. I just can’t even tell you 😉

How was your Thanksgiving? Was it a huge success? I do dishes as I go, and run the dishwasher about halfway through so that everyone can eat on real plates. Clean-up is still a lot of work, but it’s not AS bad as it could be.

And if you want to read about my Black Friday adventures, I posted on RTB today about them!


PS: I’m running a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. Why? So I can eat more pie, LOL.

I totally forgot to take a picture of tonight’s dinner but it was delicious (and spicy!). I might be regretting the spice later when I run a midnight 10k. :-)

Spicy Turkey Burgers

1 pound ground turkey meat

1/4 cup diced jarred jalapenos

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together, adding enough cheese to make the burgers hold together. Grill or pan fry until dnew shoes2one. That’s it! Easy as it gets! I served it with green beans and watermelon. Healthy!

Tonight, I’m running a midnight 10k, along the beach, up to Honeymoon Island and back. I’m doing it for two reasons–okay, three–the entire path is lit by luminaries (how cool is that!), a friend of mine is running with me and there’s pancakes at IHOP afterwards. I’ll run about anywhere for a stack of pancakes 😉

I also have new running shoes I’m dying to break in. I’ve got sturdier ones for long runs, and then ones that are a cross between minimal and regular that are for shorter speed runs. I’m wearing the long run ones tonight, though the speed run ones are pretty snazzy and are my favorites ;-).


photo 1

Here’s a picture from last week of me and my husband. I know I have that weird eye thing going on. I think people should let me preview all photos to look for weird eye things, LOL. It was his military reunion and it was a TON of fun. The DJ played two songs (by request) from our wedding 23 years ago, and we realized the last time we’d danced to them was on our wedding. A nice romantic touch to the weekend!

Are you running any races this Fourth of July?

Get any new shoes (high heels or sneaks) you want to brag about?

Do you have a favorite song you and your special person must dance to every time you hear it?

Have a great Fourth!