What To Do With Party Leftovers

Published on July 25, 2007

When the party's over and the guests have left, you're left with stacks of plates to wash, scores of glasses and utensils to clean and a ton of bottles and cans to throw away. But hey, some of those plates might still have some food piled up on it. 

Why sweep everything into the garbage disposal when there's a war going on, and the price of oil is going through the roof? What you can do with the delectable stuff left over from your soirée, is recycle.

Leftover wine – You can guzzle what's left while you're cleaning up of course. But if your head's still reeling from the alcohol you've already consumed, why not put that leftover Bordeaux in an ice cube tray and freeze it? Then you can pop those wine cubes in the casserole dish next time you're whipping up some stew or sauce.

Leftover ham – What's a family gathering without a big hock of ham hogging the spotlight in the middle of the table? Well, after the feeding frenzy and the family jokes at your expense, you've still probably got enough cured pork to feed yourself for a week. 

That's great, because this party leftover can be mixed in with almost anything you're cooking. You can use it in your omelets, au gratin potatoes, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, pizzas, tortillas, and of course sandwiches.

Leftover turkey – This Thanksgiving staple is also a day-after-Thanksgiving staple. And like ham, there's a lot of things you can do with this sucker. But the best recipes to try out with this dry bird use it in soups, casseroles, and rice dishes. 

Leftover party snacks – Now these are a bit tougher to find some use for. But there are still things that can be done with those chips and nuts that were left at the bottom of the bowl when the pizza arrived. You can make a personalized trail mix with both chips and nuts by mixing it in with some healthier stuff like rolled oats and whole-wheat cereal. 

With just the nuts, there are lots of recipes that can be perked up. Chopped nuts can go on top of salads, or used in a goat cheese appetizer, or baked with cookies. You can even go the extra mile and try out a gourmet recipe with the nuts and some herbs as crust for a chicken breast or pork chop.

Leftover pizza – Hey, this is easy. Just nuke it in your microwave. But the better way to reheat leftover pizza is in a toaster oven, or even a skillet.

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