Thankful for Leftovers!

Rosemary Pie
It's the day after Thanksgiving. It's the biggest shopping day of the year and you're at home staring into your fridge full of Thanksgiving Day leftovers. Whether you're going out to take advantage of all the sales today or not, you have to eat. In all of the food available to you for reheating, nothing looks interesting, and the last thing you want to do is stand over a stove again for hours on end. You, my friend, are in luck. There are so many recipes available now that you can effortlessly make a new meal out of your leftovers in just minutes.

A traditional Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and sometimes much more. For starters, a lot can be done with turkey. Turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey salad (like chicken salad), turkey on your salad, turkey added to macaroni and cheese (a children's favorite); the possibilities are endless! Turkey is very versatile and can be used in place of chicken in nearly any recipe. Turkey can also replace beef and pork in many recipes.

Who remembers Shepherd's Pie? They served it in our elementary school cafeteria and it is such a yummy (but simple to make) comfort food. It is made up of ground beef, mashed potatoes and cheese. The beef can easily be switched to turkey, and you can even throw in a vegetable if you have left over corn or green beans. You just mix together your meat, cheese and potatoes (and veggies if you like) and heat in the oven in a casserole dish. Voila! Lunch (or dinner) is served.

A favorite of mine is "Crispy Rosemary Potato Cakes." This recipe uses up 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes and is absolutely delicious.

3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 1/2 cup(s) chopped onion
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped rosemary
3 cup(s) leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup(s) panko bread crumbs

In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until onion is soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread panko in a shallow dish. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Using a 1/3 cup measure, form potato mixture into 12 cakes. Gently press panko on both sides of each cake. Cook cakes in batches (adding more oil as needed), turning once, until golden brown and heated t

Turkey tetrazzini is a creamy pasta dish made with turkey and your choice of vegetables. There are many variations of this dish. I like this one.

8 ounces spaghetti, ready cut
1 lb white mushroom, sliced
1/3 cup butter
3 cups chopped cooked turkey or 3 cups cooked chicken
2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
salt and pepper
chopped parsley (optional)

Cook and drain pasta. In large skillet, saute mushrooms in butter. Add the turkey, sour cream and soup. Cook just till heated and combined. Fold in noodles. Season with salt and pepper. Put in buttered casserole. Top with parsley if desired. Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes or until heated through.

No matter the selection in your fridge, a quick internet search can bring endless possibilities your way. There are also cookbooks available specifically for using up leftovers. Get creative and enjoy...again!

Walnut “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” Bread #DiamondNuts

   Diamond of California Walnut Bread      

Nuts, baking, and making memories

What is it about a smell that is so evocative of childhood? It’s been said that an odor has the ability to conjure up memories more quickly than any other sensory input.

My great-grandmother – known to us as “Granny” (original, right?) – was perhaps the greatest baker in all creation, and the aromas in her kitchen testified to that. During the holidays, she spent hours baking. What she turned out was the stuff of legends.

Those were simpler days, when stay-at-home moms – or grandmothers, or great-grandmothers – could invest time and love in preparing goodies for their families. These days, time is at a premium for multitasking moms, but love is not in short supply. How can a busy, ambitious mom create memories for her family much as Granny did, and do it in the time she has available to her?

In the spirit of not reinventing the wheel, Mom can rely on time-honored and hallowed family recipes. I’d like to share an old family recipe, handed down for generations, which uses Diamond of California nuts. Diamond of California nuts, producer of premium quality nuts since 1912, is by far the most popular brand of nuts for year-round meal preparation, baking and natural snacking.

Here is your opportunity to make memories, just as Granny did. With the kitchen being the heart of any home, imagine what it would be like this holiday season when your baking prowess, using this time-tested recipe, pulls your family together for some sweet good times. Granted, this is an old recipe, but it hasn’t been around as long as Diamond of California nuts. There is something about tradition that holds families together, and here is your opportunity to be one link in that long line of gifted bakers. Keep tradition alive! And before you balk at being considered “gifted,” understand that this recipe is simple enough to make you come across as a kitchen genius, a domestic goddess. Not bad for a morning’s work!

The key, of course, is the quality of the ingredients, and Diamond of California nuts are essential. After all, if it was the only nut good enough for your mom’s mom’s recipes, it is the only one that should be in yours. After one hundred years – remember these have been acknowledged as the best-recognized premium quality nuts since 1912 – we have a product that has stood the test of time.

Families gather for holidays, and tradition dictates that everyone should expect the same familiar dishes they’ve experienced since they were kids. I would never tempt fate during such an important time of the year. So, we are not going to tinker with this recipe. We are going to keep it the same, using Diamond of California nuts, easily found in the baking aisle.

It’s called Walnut “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” Bread. The name says it all. One whiff of what’s happening in the oven and even the most sluggish kid will follow his or her nose. It’s a magnet effect. Enjoy!


Walnut “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” Bread



1 1/3 cups chopped Diamond of California walnuts, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe banana


Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Combine egg, milk, oil and vanilla; blend well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup mashed ripe banana. Spoon into greased pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup walnuts.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Diamond of California