How To Revive Leftovers

Do you sometimes look in your refrigerator at meal time and all you find are bits of things left from other meals?

Maybe you find a cup of spinach, four mushrooms, and the end of a block of cheese. What would you do with these?

This is the point where my creative juices begin flowing. I love to take random ingredients, even actual leftovers and turn these into a meal.

A few nights ago, I did find those ingredients listed above languishing in the bottom drawer of our refrigerator while I was trying to decide what to fix for supper. (Yes, it’s supper in this part of Illinois.) My synapses began to fire.

I typically keep homemade pie crust in the freezer portioned in single pie crust size. It will thaw in one minute on 40% power in the microwave. Eggs and milk are staples in this house so I had all the ingredients for a quiche.

Here’s the basic quiche recipe, including pie crust from my book “Simply Delicious”. For even more recipes like this, get your copy here.

For a 9 inch quiche

  • 1 pie crust (can either be home made or store bought)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 to 2 cups of vegetables, meat and/or cheese, finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pie crust is simply made by mixing 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1/3 cup shortening. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball cleaning the sides of the bowl. Handle as little as possible, kneading only 2 or 3 times to make a smooth ball. Roll into a circle larger than the pie pan and transfer the crust into the pan. Prick the crust or use pie weights to keep the crust from puffing and pre-bake for 10 minutes in 375º oven.

Evenly distribute vegetables, meat and cheese over bottom of crust using a maximum of 2 cups of filling. Mix eggs, half and half, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the fillings being careful not to overflow the crust. Bake at 375º for 30 to 40 minutes until the eggs are set. Let cool slightly and slice into wedges for serving.

What’s in your fridge?

If you have random bits of leftovers in your refrigerator or pantry and would like to know what I would create, just email, message or tweet and I’ll give you some ideas.

Until next time…

A Twist on Eggs Benedict

Wondering what to do with the last of your Thanksgiving leftovers? Tired of just reheating the same old thing? Try a twist on Eggs Benedict.

It’s that time of year again. The Thanksgiving leftovers never seem to end. If you are looking for something new, read on. Below is an excerpt from the inaugural book of Five Feline Farm Press: Simply Delicious by Julia Miller.

One year I stood in front of the refrigerator door. My mission: find something different to eat after 2 days of re-heated Thanksgiving leftovers. Frankly I just couldn’t stomach even one more plate of my favorite noodles. I shifted from one foot to the other. Thinking, wishing for something else in the refrigerator. Close the fridge and head to the pantry. Nope. Nothing there sets off the salivary glands. Back to the fridge.

After a relentless loop of trips between the fridge and the pantry, I started dragging out all the leftover containers. I might as well clean out the fridge while I’m at it. A corner of dressing, a few slices of ham, a scoop of mashed potatoes start my synapses firing. I wonder if that dressing could be cut with a round cookie cutter? What about a riff on Eggs Benedict? The following recipe was born.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Benedict

Serves 4

2 cups leftover sage dressing

2 cups mashed potatoes

4 pieces of turkey or ham

4 eggs

1/2 cup hollandaise sauce

Cut leftover dressing into rounds with a biscuit cutter. Toast in a 425º oven until warmed through and lightly browned. Meanwhile, pat out mashed potatoes into a half inch layer and cut with biscuit cutter. Coat both sides of potato cakes with cornmeal and fry in a blend of olive oil and butter. Add ham or turkey slices to the pan while cooking the potato cakes to warm the meat. For each “leftover Benedict” layer a slice of meat and a potato cake on each of the dressing rounds. Top with a poached or scrambled egg and hollandaise sauce.

There are many more recipes in Simply Delicious plus stories about how the food at Five Feline Farm is created. Simply Delicious is available in both print and digital formats at or in our online Mercantile. You can also see more food creations on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.