Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

Posts Tagged ‘turkey’

Christmas Leftovers

Posted by samatwitch on December 25, 2014

It’s Christmas Eve – well, technically Christmas Day but excluding my nap in the chair, I haven’t been to bed yet, so … 🙂  Christmas is a favourite time for leftover food – turkey, vegetables, cookies, tarts, etc.  I also like to think of Christmas as a time to reflect on the past year, enjoy the company of family and friends, and clear up all your leftover emotions, decisions and thoughts so that you can start the New Year feeling fresh, creative and fully charged.  My wish for everyone this season is to have a joyous, loving time – time to relax and enjoy your favourite past-time, the company of loved ones and peace within yourself.  For some, I know, this is a difficult time of the year, especially for those who have lost loved ones this year and are facing Christmas without them for the first time – or the 27th time, in the case of me and my sister. It gets easier but the hole never goes away.

A couple of my friends asked for a recipe I mentioned on Facebook and so I thought I would put my three favourite leftover recipes here.  I love leftovers after a turkey dinner.  When I’m cooking, I always buy a larger turkey, if I can, and make several vegetable side dishes, lots of stuffing, gravy, etc., so I can heat up a plate of leftovers for several meals.  Then if there is a lot of turkey left, I make Turkey Enchilada Casserole, Tex-Mex Turkey Soup and of course, turkey broth for the freezer.  I don’t really have a recipe for the latter – I just boil the turkey bones with diced onions and some mild seasonings, just in case I need the broth if I have a cold or flu.  The other food that sometimes has leftovers is eggnog and I have several recipes for that, but my favourite is Holiday Puffed Eggnog Pancake.

The turkey recipes can be made at any time, of course – Thanksgiving, Easter, whenever you have cooked a turkey – and can be made with chicken as well.  The eggnog recipe is pretty much seasonal but is a great Christmas morning or Boxing Day morning recipe.  You could even use it as a dessert.

TURKEY ENCHILADA CASSEROLE – Makes 6 – 8 servings

Preheat oven to 375F / 190C

6 – 10 inch tortillas or wraps                                     3 – 4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cubed

1 large onion, chopped                                            1 red or green pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, diced                                          3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cumin                                                           1/4 tsp chili powder

dash Tabasco or other hot sauce                            2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 pkg Old El Paso Hot’n’Spicy Taco Seasoning      2 – 3 cups Tex-Mex blend shredded cheese

1 jar enchilada sauce                                              1 cup Nalley Roasted Garlic or Ranch dip

1 cup salsa

Saute onion, peppers and garlic over medium heat until tender.  Add cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, taco seasoning and cilantro. Stir for 1 minute, remove from heat.  Mix in medium bowl with cubed chicken and salsa.

Spread half of the jar of enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan.  Place two tortillas on top, overlapping.  Spread half the chicken & vegetable mixture, then all the garlic dip and 1 cup of cheese.  Spoon remainder of enchilada sauce over, layer two more tortillas, the rest of the chicken mixture and another cup of cheese. Finish with the last two tortillas.

Cover with foil.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.  Remove foil  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 5 – 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

NOTES:  My favourite seasoning is Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic and Chili which is a puree of the three and gives a kick to any dish with just a little bit – eg I would probably use about 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe, replacing the chili powder and cumin and part of the garlic.  You can adjust the seasonings: use hot, medium or mild salsa, regular taco seasoning, etc.  You could probably even make this with leftover roast beef.  I have also added grated carrots to the sauted mixture.

TEX-MEX TURKEY SOUP   Makes 6 – 8 servings

1 Tbsp olive or cooking oil                                         1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced                                               2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin  (can substitue 1-2 tsp Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic & Chili for seasonings – see note above)

4 cups low-salt chicken broth                                     1 can condensed tomato soup

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes                                     2 cups salsa

4 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey                  1 (19 oz)  can black beans, rinsed & drained

2 cans niblet corn                                                       1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, about four minutes.  Add seasonings and cook, stirring, for about one minute.

Stir in chicken broth, tomato soup, diced tomatoes, salsa, turkey, black beans, corn and cilantro.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onion, shredded cheese, cilantro or any other toppings you wish.

Excellent soup to freeze, thaw and reheat.  This soup is good even without the turkey or chicken added.

HOLIDAY PUFFED EGGNOG PANCAKE   Makes 6 servings.  Recipe from Safeway Select eggnog

6 eggs                                                                         1 1/3 cups commercial eggnog

1 cup flour                                                                   3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter or margarine                                        1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F / 220C.

Mix eggs in large bowl with electric beaters until frothy.  Add eggnog, flour and nutmeg. Mix until well-blended but still slightly lumpy.

Place butter in 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Place in oven until melted (sizzling but not brown, so watch closely).

Remove from oven and immediately pour batter into pan.  Sprinkle top with almonds, if using.

Bake in middle or lower part of oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately with syrup, jam, icing sugar or cinnamon sugar.

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SHORT STORY: A BUCKET OF BOLTS

Posted by samatwitch on December 24, 2011

This is the last of my past group challenges (we have one coming up in January). It was for Christmas and had to contain the words turkey, cinnamon and spaceship.  As usual, I put them all in the first paragraph. 😉

A BUCKET OF BOLTS

“You turkey!” Cinnamon slammed her hand on the table next to Sage.  “In the name of the goddess, why would you buy a spaceship?  It’s not as if we can leave this planet.”

Sage waited for Cinnamon’s anger to abate.  She could erupt like one of the volcanoes on Absinthe, but she calmed down a lot faster – and with much less damage – usually.

“It’s just a small one, Cinnamon.  It was in the used ‘ship lot I pass on my way to work.  It hadn’t sold for so long, they marked it down really low.”

“It’s red!”

“Well, that way it can be seen in any weather and other ‘ships will avoid it.”

“Oh, I’m sure the other ‘ships will avoid it, alright.  It looks as if it will fall right out of the sky in front of them.”

“Nonsense, it has a great engine in it.  It’s only ‘ships with Capissen 38 engines that do that.”

“You hope.”  Cinnamon sounded resigned.  Good, that meant she was starting to come around.  “I guess we might as well keep it; I’m sure the dealers have taken your money and run by now anyway.  Face it, Sage, they saw you coming a light year away!  That ‘ship is nothing but a bucket of bolts.  Does it even fly at all?”

“It will,” Sage replied, “I just need to tinker with it a bit.  I don’t think anyone’s looked after it for years.”

Cinnamon shook her head, but she was smiling.  You had to love a man who was confident in his ability to fix anything.  And his confidence was not misplaced.  Sage had yet to meet a machine he couldn’t improve.

“Let me know when it’s ready for a test run,” she said with resignation.

“Of course.”  Sage smiled at her knowingly.  “I wouldn’t go up without my favourite test pilot.  The trouble with you is you’re so used to those big spaceliners that you fly, that you don’t appreciate the little ‘ships anymore.”

“I appreciate anything that actually flies,”  Cinnamon stated, “and I haven’t see this one do that yet.”

“It will,” Sage promised, “I’ll have it in the air before the Christmas celebrations.”

Christmas was one of those quaint customs that had come to the outer planets with the original settlers, but its roots were lost in the light years and centuries of the past.  Nobody Sage knew remembered little more than just before the end of the year there was a celebration with lights and lots of food.  Legend had it that an old fat man in a red suit flew around the planet delivering presents to children, all in one night.  Since they had both been brought up on Coriander, he and Cinnamon had never experienced such a tradition, but Sage was a realist, as well as a mechanic and he knew there was no possible way that any spacecraft could accomplish such a feat.  True, Pegasus wasn’t a very big planet, but facts were facts: to visit every child on the planet would have taken many more hours than were available in a single night.

Sage spent every spare moment he had on his little red spaceship, tinkering, tuning and replacing parts.  One of the perks of being the city’s (and, truth be told, planet’s) best spaceship mechanics was that he was able to get parts at a discount, sometimes even free.  He always knew when a ‘ship was being sold for scrap but still had parts that were salvageable.  His affinity to make a ‘ship fly when everyone else had given up on it was legendary.

Finally, he was ready.  Sage called Cinnamon out to the shipport to go for a test flight.

“You cut that close,” she grinned.

“I said I’d have it ready before the Christmas celebrations and I do,” Sage protested.

“The afternoon before.”

“Do you want to go for a ride or not?” he asked.

“Of course.  Are you flying or am I?”

“I’ll do the test run.” Sage decided.  “Hop in.”

Off they went, soaring up in the low clouds.  Cinnamon had to hand it to Sage once again.  Her husband sure knew how to make a spaceship fly as it probably had never flown before.   It handled well, seeming to avoid obstacles even before Sage was aware of them – and he was a good pilot.  Not as good as Cinnamon, of course, but who was?

After having put the ship through all the tests he could think of, Sage turned to go home and was astounded to realize how far they had traveled in such a short time.  He and Cinnamon had been so absorbed in putting the ship through its paces, they hadn’t paid much attention to the distance they’d covered.

Now they realized they were on the other side of the planet, heading home at a great rate.

“Wow,” said Cinnamon, impressed, “you really got some speed out of the old bucket of bolts.”

They returned home without incident, parking the shiny red spaceship in the yard next to all the other ‘ships Sage was working on.

Before they could enter their house, they were interrupted by their neighbour.  They’d never seen Sandy looking so excited and anxious.  Of course, they hadn’t known him that long and they had hardly seen him at all over the last month, but he had always seemed very happy and calm.

“Where did you get that spaceship?” he demanded without even waiting for a ‘hello’.

“In the used ‘ship lot on the other side of town,” replied Sage, puzzled.

“I’ve been looking all over for him,” Sandy exclaimed.  “He was stolen last year right after Christmas and I looked everywhere.  I finally thought I would have to manage without him this year but I didn’t think I could, especially with this fog rolling in.”

Sage looked out and sure enough, a thick fog was starting to blanket the city.

“What are you talking about, Sandy?” he asked.  “I bought the ‘ship legally.  I have the papers…”

“I don’t care about the papers.”  Sandy brushed that aside.  “I just need Rudy for tonight.”

Sage was getting a little impatient.  Maybe his neighbour wasn’t quite as stable as they had thought.

Cinnamon joined the conversation.  “Who’s Rudy and what do you want with our spaceship.”

“Rudy is my red spaceship and I need him to help me deliver presents to children all over the world tonight.  I must leave now or I won’t get to all the children.  I’ll have him back by morning.”

Sage and Cinnamon exchanged looks.  “What are you talking about?”

“It’s the night before Christmas.  I’m Sandy Close and I deliver presents to all the children on the planet before sunrise.  Rudy is my guiding ship.  He can see through fog and rain and has the speed that I need to guide my sleigh.”

Cinnamon and Sage looked at their neighbour, astounded.

“You really do that?”  wondered Sage.

“Yes, yes,” Sandy answered impatiently, “but I need to leave right away.  May I borrow Rudy tonight?  I promise I’ll bring him back tomorrow and you can ask me any questions you want.”

Sage looked at Cinnamon.  “We did find it strange that the ‘ship went as far and as fast as it did on our test run.”

“I know, but what he’s saying just isn’t possible scientifically.”

“Of course, it isn’t,” Sandy agreed.  “It’s not science, it’s magic.  But even magic has rules and I only have so many hours to fulfill my duty.”

“Fine,” shrugged Cinnamon.  “But if that ‘ship isn’t back in our yard by tomorrow morning, we will be calling the authorities.”

“Thank you, thank you, good neighbours.”  Sandy shook their hands enthusiastically.  “I’ll see you in the morning.”

With that, he let out a piercing whistle and bounded across the street to where a strange contraption awaited.  It was big enough for Sandy and a huge red sack that perched on the back and had eight four-legged creatures with horns attached to it.  In answer to the whistle, Sage’s newest acquisition had flown across the street and now hovered in front of the animals.  With another whistle, it took off, followed by the animals and the open spacecraft, which were now flying through the air.  Circling his astounded neighbours, Sandy Close yelled down to them, “Merry Christmas, Cinnamon and Sage, and have a good night.”

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