creative Thanksgiving leftovers

Thanksgiving and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship.  At least since Andrew and I began staying home and celebrating it with his parents, as I’ve started a local 5k race on Thanksgiving morning.  I plan to stay home from here on out (sorry Mom!), and have accepted that if I want my Thanksgiving meal to be anything like what I grew up with, I’m going to have to make all. the. sides.  (This is no one’s fault; Andrew’s family simply ate different things on Thanksgiving than I did.)

So, per my usual, I made a handful of my favorite side dishes to bring along.  In years past, I’ve made upwards of five or six!  I’ve tried to perfect my combination to only those dishes that I would miss if they weren’t there, and that others will eat as well.  (They’re a bit of a picky bunch.)  Over the years, these dishes have included a friend from college’s stuffing recipe (the only one Andrew will eat), brussels sprouts and an orange-ginger cranberry relish, as well as the three mentioned below.

That combination for me includes sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and corn custard.  These are all delicious, reminiscent of my childhood Thanksgiving dinners, and tend to be eaten by at least one other person at the table.  It wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving without them.

I also bring a cheese log and either an apple or maple syrup pie.  This year it was a Dutch apple pie!

Unfortunately, this year I ended up with more leftover sweet potatoes than expected, and a decent amount of corn custard.  After seeing them sit for a day or two, I decided to give them new life in other recipes!  A quick Google search yielded some ideas, and I chose Cooking Light’s recipe for leftover Sweet Potato Tater Tots and Jalapeno-Garlic Ranch Dressing (shown below).   (My apologies for the photos; I was in a hurry.)

It was delicious, if not a little tedious.  The recipe, strangely, calls for cooking the sweet potatoes, so I simply scooped spoonfuls out of my casserole, avoiding the marshmallow topping. I dipped them in egg whites and coated them in the flour-panko breading before baking.  I added a little onion powder to the breading, and the ranch sauce really did a lot to balance out the sweetness of the original casserole.

For the corn custard, I simply mixed in some chopped green onions, black olives and flour, then griddled them like pancakes.  Shredded cheese would have been another nice mix-in.  I ate them with the ranch sauce as well (pictured above), but am going to try adding taco meat and guacamole at dinner tonight!

The last recipe I tried was for sweet potato waffles.  I winged this one as well, simply adding flour and milk until I reached what I thought was the consistency of pancake batter. In retrospect, I should has stuck with the griddle, as the waffles didn’t have enough structure for the iron.  They did cook, but remained almost too soft to get out of the waffle iron!  I ate one this morning (above) with almond butter and blackberries, and it tasted fine.

I have plenty of tater tots and corn fritters left, so I’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving for a few days more!

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