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When the feast is over ... what then?

Chef Laureen's helpful tips on what to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers

You have been planning your Thanksgiving hosting adventure for weeks, maybe months. The menu, the shopping, the table décor and more importantly, how will you ever keep all your guests fed and entertained once the feast is over?

By Friday you are exhausted and cannot imagine another moment in the kitchen, let alone trying to please all your guests. But don't let those leftovers go to waste. Instead, have some fun and let the feasting continue by creating flavorful leftover food that is quick, simple and delicious.

It can be a major task hosting Thanksgiving festivities, and possibly today many of you are doing for the first time. There's the excitement, the energy and the fear of the unknown that often lead us to purchase and prepare more food than needed.

Hence, a part of this traditional holiday banquet is the leftovers, and often us cooks find ourselves with an overabundance of such. Sure, nothing beats a great turkey sandwich, but with a little bit of creativity you can take your leftovers to a whole new crowd-pleasing level.

Let's talk turkey. Take that beautiful bird, and with a bit love, shred the meat and create turkey and white bean chili with diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili powder and cayenne pepper. And you might as well toss in the leftover corn.

Potatoes aren't just for dinner. Use mashed potatoes and create delicious potato pancakes for breakfast with crispy chopped bacon, green onions and cheddar cheese. Sauté them up with butter and your day is off to a great start.

You're stuffed. Take that extra stuffing and create a simple and delicious stuffed meatloaf. Prepare your favorite meatloaf recipe and place half of the meatloaf mix in a baking dish. Add your stuffing and top it off with the remaining meatloaf mix and your leftover gravy.

Pie oh my. With a bit of sweet-tooth magic, create rich and flavorful pumpkin pie parfaits with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce topped off with whipped cream and cranberry sauce. Yum!

And if you find yourself asking what to do with that leftover wine and beer … well, that's a whole other adventure we can explore together another time.

Peace Love Food!

Follow my adventures on Twitter - @yellowbandchef

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