Thanksgiving Quesadillas

Thanksgiving quesadillas feature

 

The leftovers. What to do with all the leftovers.

Look no further than my Thanksgiving Quesadillas!

I don’t know about your house but in my house anything tex-mex night rules. Taco night is a favorite dinner night along with anything else Mexican.

The wife is known by some of our friends for her quesadillas –  mostly the friends kids. She can do all sorts of fillings that are amazing…but what do the kids want?

Chicken and cheese. But they really love them because they’re so crispy on the outside…the wife has a secret for that.

So it was her idea to take our Thanksgiving leftovers and turn them into quesadillas – a leftover dinner that the whole family will love. 

The wife’s secret to her crispy quesadillas? Mayonnaise. Instead of using olive oil or butter she spreads thin layers of mayonnaise on the outside of the tortillas. They are so full of flavor and crisp, I think that’s why the kids love them so much.

All you have to do is grab some leftover turkey, stuffing and cheese. We make our sausage stuffing every year but any stuffing you have will work out fine.

First have all of your ingredients ready. Then spread some mayo on one tortilla, lay it down in a dry pan and then start adding your toppings.

Cover with another tortilla and press down with a dinner plate.

When the bottom is brown, flip (carefully, I should have posted a video of me trying to flip these..still learning) If you don’t have mad quesadilla flipping skills like the wife, you can transfer it to a plate, flip the plate over and then slide it back into the skillet.

That’s what I ended up doing. Mad flipping skills still to come…

Once the other side is brown, slide it out to a cutting board and repeat with your other tortillas.

If  you have any leftover gravy it makes the perfect dipping sauce for these quesadillas. If you don’t, grab a pack of McCormick® Turkey Gravy at the store, it takes about a minute to put together and sometimes I think the kids even like it better!

Cranberry sauce sitting in the fridge? Layer that in the quesadillas or use it for dipping too. 

Everyone ended up loving these so much, we might have to make them all year round!

Kind of like we do with my favorite sausage stuffing…

 Thanksgiving Quesadillas type

Thanksgiving Quesadillas
Serves 4
There's a secret to getting the quesadillas extra crispy!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 large whole wheat tortillas
  2. 2 cups shredded turkey
  3. 2 cups stuffing, chopped
  4. 1 8 oz. bag shredded mozzarella or white cheddar cheese
  5. mayonnaise
  6. leftover gravy
  7. leftover cranberry sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Spread a very thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of a tortilla and place in the hot skillet.
  3. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on another tortilla and have it ready on your board.
  4. Take one cup of the shredded turkey and spread in an even layer on the tortilla.
  5. Now, take one cup of the chopped up stuffing and spread that evenly over the turkey.
  6. Add half of the bag of shredded cheese, spread out evenly, then top with the other tortilla, mayonnaise side up.
  7. Press down with a dinner plate and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Check the bottom with a spatula to see if it's brown, careful not to let it burn.
  9. ONce the bottom is browned, take the plate off the top and carefully flip the quesadilla over with a large spatula.
  10. Or, you can slide the quesadilla out onto a board, then top with a dinner plate and flip over to carefully slide back into the skillet.
  11. Cook for another 2-3 minutes on the second side, pressing down with the dinner plate on top.
  12. Remove to a board and repeat with the other quesadilla.
  13. Cut each quesadilla into quarters and serve with warmed up gravy for dipping and leftover cranberry sauce on the side.
Notes
  1. You can make these even if you don't have leftovers. Use sliced turkey from the deli or buy a rotisserie chicken and a boxed stuffing mix. You can dress it up with mushrooms, sausage or whatever you put in your regular stuffing. When we don't have homemade gravy, we use McCormick gravy packets. We always have them on hand for a gravy fix!
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Avocado Margarita

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Having a Tex-Mex night at home? Then you have to try these Avocado Margaritas!

This Avocado Margarita recipe was created from actually having too many ripe avocados in my house. Because that almost never happens, Right? Having too many ripe avocados…at least in my house it doesn’t.

It seems that they’re always hard as a rock when you want to whip up some guacamole or they’ve gotten over-ripe or rotten and I end up throwing them away. It’s pretty rare when I actually have a perfect avocado and also the need to use it.

But then I had 6.

6 perfectly ripe avocados and I wasn’t going to throw them away this time! So I made some guacamole which always gets eaten. But I still had two left. Then I started thinking cocktails.

And what goes better with Tex-Mex food than a margarita? Besides an ice cold beer, not much.

These margaritas were simple to make just using my go-to margarita recipe and adding an avocado and some ice. Normally when we make margaritas we drink them on the rocks, but these Avocado Margaritas that I created for Food Fanatic definitely called for the creamy, frozen kind.

Even if your avocados are a little over-ripe or even a little under-ripe this is the perfect way to use them up and make yourself a delicious drink while you’re at it!

All you have to do is add some tequila, triple sec, lime juice and agave syrup to a blender. Then put in your avocado and some crushed ice – blend until smooth and frothy and you have avocado margaritas!

These Avocado Margaritas will be the perfect addition to your Tex-Mex party or Taco Tuesday night. Try making this Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice or have some fun with this Dorito Taco Casserole!

Just don’t forget to save some of those avocados for the guacamole!

 

avocado margarita vertical

 

 

Homemade Turkey Soup

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Don’t get rid of those turkey bones after your Thanksgiving dinner…make Homemade Turkey Soup!

OK, so here’s another one of those stories about how I didn’t like something and now I do. Soup. Hated it. The wife tried to get me on board with homemade soup for 10 years. It just wasn’t my thing, unless it was a thick clam chowder or broccoli cheese.

I’m not even sure what the turning point was but it was long before I started Mantitlement.

I’m pretty sure one day she just made homemade chicken soup and said that’s what was for dinner. Eat it or don’t it’s up to you. I guess if it works on the kids…it works on adults too.

So I did. I ate the soup for dinner and now it’s probably one of my most favorite things to eat. Funny how stuff like that happens.

Every year we take turns going to the wife’s family or mine on Thanksgiving and every time we got to my mom’s house we take a big pot with us. She doesn’t make homemade turkey soup with her turkey bones…so we grab them and take them home with us.

Crazy, right? Not that she doesn’t make soup, but crazy that we bring pots with us for leftover turkey bones.

A lot of people that I talk to don’t make homemade soup, either. I think maybe people just don’t know how or they think it’s too much trouble.

We did cook a turkey this year, big but basic, here it is – 

 

turkey done

 

OK, now skip to the next day after everyone’s devoured the bird…

This is all you’re going to need to make this soup – and some water.

 

turkey soup ingredients2

 

Start by removing the rest of the turkey meat from the carcass and setting it aside.

Break down the carcass if you need to to fit it into your soup pot. We have a pretty big soup pot so our 21 pound turkey fit.

Throw in a couple of onions cut into big pieces, some celery and carrots.

Add in a few bay leaves, a bunch of salt and peppercorns and crank up the heat.

 

turkey soup ingredients

 

Let the pot come to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer.

Depending on how big your turkey was will depend on how long you need to simmer the broth, but I’d say a good average is 2-3 hours. Our bird was huge so I did about 3 1/2.

Once the stock is done, strain it into another large pot, let it cool and stick it in the fridge. You’ll want it to chill for a few hours so you can strain off whatever fat rises to the top.

Now all that’s left to do is make the soup!

If you don’t want to make soup with all of your turkey stock just take out what you need and transfer it to a smaller stock pot. We usually make the whole thing but we eat a lot of soup in my house.

Add in some chopped carrots and celery, pieces of turkey leftover from your bird and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. You can cook whatever noodles your using right in the soup, no need to boil them separately.

If you weren’t a soup junkie before you will be after eating this Homemade Turkey Soup.

 

homemade turkey soup1

 

Homemade Turkey Soup
Homemade turkey soup made from your leftover Thanksgiving turkey! It's so delicious and comforting - and a healthy meal after all the indulging!
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For the stock
  1. 1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat and large pieces of skin and fat
  2. 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  3. 2 large onions, peeled and cut in fourths
  4. 5 celery stalks, including the leafy tops, cut into large pieces
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. 1/4 c. salt
  7. 1 T. peppercorns
  8. water
For the soup
  1. I batch of turkey stock
  2. 4-5 carrots, peeled and diced
  3. 4 celery stalks, diced
  4. 2 cups leftover turkey meat
  5. 1 bag (12 oz) egg noodles
  6. fresh thyme for garnish
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the turkey carcass to a large stock pot.
  2. Add in the onions, bay leaves, carrots, celery, salt and peppercorns.
  3. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the turkey.
  4. Set the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a good simmer and let cook for 2-3 hours.
  6. Drain the stock into another smaller stock pot and let cool.
  7. Once cooled for about an hour on the counter, put in the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or even overnight until you can see the fat start to separate to the top.
  8. Skim the fat off the top as much as you can and place your pot back on the stove.
  9. Add in the diced carrots, celery and salt and pepper to taste and cook 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  10. Add in your pasta and turkey pieces and cook until the pasta is done, another 10 minutes.
  11. Test for seasonings again and serve.
Notes
  1. Everyone cooks and seasons their turkey differently so the salt and pepper are to taste depending on how salty the stock is when it's done.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Cranberry Negroni

 

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This Cranberry Negroni is the perfect cocktail to serve at your holiday party!

Mix up these festive Cranberry Negroni’s up for Thanksgiving or Christmas or any holiday that you’re celebrating. They not only look amazing but they taste it too.

I used my Negroni cocktail from a while back and kicked it up with the flavor of cranberry. Lots of cranberry…

The ice cubes are even made from cranberries! I took fresh cranberries and threw them in my blender with some water. They turned out even better than I thought they would – it looks like there’s actually cranberry juice in there but there’s not. It’s just fresh cranberries and water.

So when these cranberry ice cubes melt your drink gets infused with more cranberry flavor. 

Negroni’s have that classic bitters flavor from the Campari and, well, the bitters. I used Dillon’s Cranberry Bitters for this Cranberry Negroni recipe. One of the wife’s friends got her a sampling of their bitters and we’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with them. They have some crazy flavors of bitters, pear, rhubarb, ginsing and lime just to name a few.

Also, if you’re not a huge bitters fan, or campari fan, you’re still going to like this drink. The cranberry flavor definitely mellows out the “bitter” bitters taste making it a great cocktail for sipping.

 And you’re gonna want to sip…this Cranberry Negroni looks pretty but it’ll sneak up on you. One or two of these will definitely carry you through the night.

 

 

cranberry negroni

 

Cranberry Negroni
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 oz. dry gin
  2. 3/4 oz. Campari
  3. 3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
  4. 4 dashes cranberry bitters (you can sub orange or regular bitters)
  5. 1 oz. cranberry juice
For the ice cubes
  1. 1 cup fresh cranberries
  2. 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. To make the ice cubes, add the cranberries and water to a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into ice cube molds and freeze overnight.
  3. Add all the cocktail ingredients to a shaker and shake well.
  4. Pour into a glass filled with the cranberry ice cubes and serve.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

 

Turkey Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Alfredo

turkey lasagna rolls top small

 

Turkey Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Alfredo.

Big name – big flavors.

Don’t feel like cooking a big turkey? Or you’re only having a small crowd? This Turkey Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Alfredo recipe could definitely sub-in as your Thanksgiving meal.

These lasagna rolls are stuffed with ground turkey, spinach and ricotta cheese and covered in a pumpkin alfredo sauce. That’s enough Thanksgiving flavors for you, right?

Growing up there was always some sort of pasta on our Thanksgiving table, even though there was a 22 pound turkey. The Italians love their pasta and not many meals are complete without it.

A lasagna was always pretty traditional too. Either that or baked ziti and I’ll always vote lasagna over baked ziti.

I know these lasagna rolls look like a meal in itself, and as I said they totally can be, but don’t worry about using them for a side dish either. The ground turkey and spinach filling is actually pretty light…you could make these instead of a potato dish too. Switch things up a bit.

Or make it all like my family does. There’s always double proteins, double carbs, double vegetables and usually triple the desserts.

But that’s what Thanksgiving is about right? The inability to move after the meal.

All you have to do for the filling is brown up the turkey with some onions, garlic and the spinach.

Once it’s cooled, mix it with ricotta cheese and and egg and your filling’s done.

The pumpkin alfredo sauce might sound complicated but it’s really easy to put together, it’s a basically an alfredo sauce with some pumpkin puree stirred in. Not too tricky.

You’re going to need 12 cooked lasagna noodles, but cook up the whole package. Sometimes they break and you need an extra.

The rest get broken up and stirred with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese for the kids dinner. 2 meals in one!

Take your cooked noodles and lay them out on a cutting board, then spoon some of the filling onto each noodle.

I like to divide it all out ahead of time so I know I have an even amount of filling for each roll up.

Spread the filling out evenly over each noodle and roll them up.

Pour about a cup and a half of your pumpkin alfredo in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish and then start placing your roll ups on top of the sauce.

 

tukey lasagna rolls in pan

 

Spoon the pumpkin alfredo sauce over the tops of the rolls with more sauce and then mozzarella cheese.

You can set these in the fridge now to cook later – or cover them with foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Take the foil off and finish cooking for anther 10 so they get nice and bubbly.

 

turkey lasagna rolls with pumpkin alfredo2

 

How good do these look? And they taste as good as they look, I promise you!

Turkey Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Alfredo
Serves 6
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For the Pumpkin Alfredo
  1. 3 T. butter
  2. 4 c. 2% milk
  3. 1/2 c. heavy cream
  4. 1 t. salt
  5. 1 t. pepper
  6. 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  7. 1 c. pumpkin puree
  8. 1 T. sage, chopped
For the Filling
  1. 2 T. olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  3. 1 t. salt
  4. 1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
  5. 1 small onion, diced
  6. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 1/2 t. garlic powder
  8. 1 1/2 c. frozen chopped spinach
  9. 2 c. ricotta cheese
  10. 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  11. 12 lasagna noodles, cooked and placed flat on a cutting board
Instructions
  1. Start by making the sauce.
  2. Add the butter to a large saucepan and let melt.
  3. add the garlic and let cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the milk and the cream and stir.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk carefully until all combined.
  6. Serve with extra sauce alongside.
  7. Stir in the salt and pepper and the chopped sage.
  8. Simmer over low heat and let reduce for 15 minutes.
  9. Heat up the 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet and add the ground turkey to brown.
  10. Season with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  11. Once the turkey is browned, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Stir in the chopped spinach and transfer to a bowl to cool.
  13. Once cooled add the ricotta cheese and stir to combine.
  14. Place 1 1/2 c. of the pumpkin alfredo to the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish.
  15. Divide the filling evenly between the 12 lasagna sheets that have been cooked and spread out evenly to cover the noodle.
  16. Roll up each noodle and place in the baking dish on it's side.
  17. Repeat with the other 11 lasagna noodles.
  18. Spoon the pumpkin alfredo over the tops of the rolls and cover with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  19. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes until bubbling.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/