Showing posts with label Holiday leftovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday leftovers. Show all posts

Friday, July 5, 2013

Quick and Easy 4th of July Cleanup

The fireworks were spectacular and the food was delicious, but now the 4th of July festivities are over. While house cleanup can seem like a daunting task after a spectacular July 4th, turn it into a group activity, follow a few simple guidelines and wonderful 4th of July memories will be all that linger long after the day is over.

Cleanup and Disposal:

  • Determine if any decorations can be salvaged or reused. For instance, unused sparklers make fun additions to cakes for upcoming birthdays and other special occasions. Other red, white and blue-themed items may be used throughout the summer months. 
  • Separate items that are regular trash from those that require recycling. This is a great task for children and young adults to assist with; make it a fun challenge by color-coding bags or bins for quick collection.
  • According to The Balloon Council, latex balloons re biodegradable and may simply be disposed of in the trash without threat to the environment. However, Mylar balloons, those with a shiny silver finish, are not biodegradable. Yet, these types of balloons can easily be recycled and used for craft projects or as mementos to keep them out of landfills.
  • If sparklers or any kind of fireworks have been used for 4th of July, soak items in a bucket of water before disposing of them. Children should not perform this task unless supervised by an adult. Visit for additional information.
  • Allow charcoals used for barbecuing to burn completely and wait 48 hours before throwing out the ashes. Wrap cold ashes in aluminum foil and place in a non-combustible container for safe and easy cleanup, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. This particular chore is best let to adults.
  • Remember, an American flag should never be destroyed unless it is beyond repair. In that case, the flag should be disposed of in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. Visit for more guidelines.

Handling leftover food:

  • Any uncooked dairy- or egg-based foods, such as salads made with mayonnaise and desserts topped with whipped cream, should never be left out in the heat. Since bacteria starts to form quickly in hot temperatures, these dishes should be refrigerated or kept on ice during the course of a party. It's safest to discard any questionable food items after a 4th of July celebration to prevent possible food poisoning, according to the ServSafe guidelines of the National Restaurant Association.
  • Grilled meats such as leftover pork or cooked chicken can make healthy meals by utilizing simple recipes. Always refrigerate meats after thoroughly cooking to ensure their safety in leftover recipes.
  • Leftover pork or cooked chicken can be sliced and added to salad greens to create a delicious, healthy summer salad. Other simple recipes using leftover BBQ or grill recipes include wraps, tacos or simply serving grilled meats over rice or pasta, either warm or cold. Check out the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Website, for additional healthy meal ideas.

Incorporate these guidelines for house cleanup after your 4th of July celebration and enjoy many more safe summer celebrations this season!

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leftovers - A Holiday Gift That Keeps on Giving

With the Holidays quickly approaching everyone is gearing up for some good home cooked meals. Sometimes the second night is better than the first when leftovers are involved. Who doesn't love a turkey sandwich the next day after the big Thanksgiving meal?

In our family we break out the turkey sandwiches that night, after our Thanksgiving dinner because we can't wait for the next day! Holiday leftovers are the best by themselves or used to make up another everyday meal for our family. Nothing goes to waste in our household during the holidays and every one's jeans seem to fit a little bit tighter by the New Year. Here are a few soul warming food recipes and some leftover ideas for your family that will keep their mouths watering through the cold winter months.

Leftover Recipes

Here are my favorite leftover recipes that I love from Thanksgiving and Christmas food leftovers. I hope you will at least like one of them or maybe all of them and try something new this year.

Thanksgiving dinner
Turkey leftovers that make you go Yummmmm.
Turkey Leftovers -- Turkey Pasta Salad

Cubed turkey leftovers
1 box of (14.5oz) uncooked rotini pasta
2 cups of fresh broccoli florets
1 cup of raw zucchini, chopped
1 medium stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 cup of almonds 

Use 1 1/2 cups of your favorite dressing or whatever you happen to have in the fridge or cupboard. I have used Ranch, Cesar, Poppy Seed or Italian Cheese Dressing in the past and they have all turned out great.  

Cook pasta as directed on the package, omitting salt for a healthier salad, and add broccoli for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Next drain the pasta and broccoli, rinse with cold water to cool, and then drain it again.
In a large bowl mix the turkey, pasta, broccoli, zucchini, and celery. Next add your favorite dressing and top with almonds. Now enjoy an easy pasta leftover turkey meal.

Yam Leftovers -- Candied Yam Muffins

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked yams
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

All ingredients should be at room temperature. Cream butter, sugar and yams until smooth. Add eggs. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add milk slowly while stirring. Fold in nuts. Fill muffin tins, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Ham/Scalloped Potatoes/Corn leftovers -- Ham Casserole 

This is the easiest leftover of them all and it tastes so good. My Mom usually has this about the 4th day after Christmas when everything else has been picked through. All you do is take all your leftover Ham, scalloped potatoes, and corn and mix it in a deep dish pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. You can even add a cup of shredded cheese for some extra pizazz.  

Mashed Potato Leftovers -- Mashed Potato Patties

4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
1 onion, diced
1 egg
1 cup of cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Combine mashed potatoes, onion, egg, and cheese. Shape into large size balls. Roll in flour and flatten into patties. Melt butter in frying pan and brown about 5 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper to taste.

Here are some helpful websites that also have great leftover ideas that you might like.  
All Recipes
Left Over Chef
Top 10 Best Leftover Recipes
Rethinking Thanksgiving Leftovers 
Closet Cooking Top 10 Recipes

I think what makes leftovers better year after year is simply using your imagination. You can't go wrong with what is in your fridge; you already ate it once and liked it the first time, so it's sure to be a winner once you jazz it up! Who knows, maybe you will come up with a meal that makes it to the first night instead of the second. Share your favorite leftover recipes in our comments section!

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer