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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Making Every Morsel – and Memory – Count For the Holidays

If you have the time to read this food column, perhaps it’s in between the last-minute Thanksgiving prep, or maybe it’s even after the main meal has been devoured and you’re finally taking a breather while wondering what to do with the left-overs.

At my house, we usually find ways to “repurpose” the food from Thanksgiving, whether through turkey and dressing sandwiches for a couple of days, (which are really good with a little mustard, mayo and even a spoonful of cranberry sauce in the middle), or by chopping up the turkey and adding it to a pot of broth with prepared rice, minced carrots, onions and celery for a warm soup, or . . . well you get the idea.

By Saturday, we’ve usually had our “fill” of the traditional meal and the leftovers, and are probably already thinking about something with less of a holiday feel, at least for a day or two.

So, let’s take a look at a few possibilities to get us through this coming week — before we kick in with lots of Christmas goodies that will surely follow. 

Here’s hoping you have( or have had) a blessed Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love and who love you. And let’s not forget those who are missing someone for the first  — or 31st — year. 

Thanksgiving — and all special occasions — are hard for many of us. 

My family will never celebrate it quite the same since my Dad died on Thanksgiving Day in 1992. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Every single detail. My “feelings” were hurt because he chose to eat a grapefruit instead of turkey. He said he had no appetite. Little did I know that he wasn’t being his usual stubborn self, or that just a couple hours later he would be taking his last breath.

So, let’s decide today not to take a single minute — or person — for granted. Make the most of every day and make every day count.

Mini Turkey Pot Pies

    1 can unbaked buttermilk (or regular) biscuits, 10 count

    1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

    1 ½ cup cooked turkey, cubed

    1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

    ½  cup mushrooms, diced

    ½  cup onion, diced

    ½  cup frozen peas

    Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400º F and lightly grease 2 large muffin pans. For even smaller pot pies, you can use regular muffin pans. Remove biscuits from can and cut the tops off, leaving 3/4 for the bottom of the pot pie.

 Roll out each of the smaller pieces so that they’re ¼ -inch thick

 Take the larger pieces of biscuits and mold them into the bottoms and up the sides of the muffin cups.

 In a large bowl, mix together turkey, soup, ¾ cup cheddar cheese, mushrooms, onions and peas, and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture into muffin cups, then top with remaining biscuit tops. Crimp the edges of the dough to seal the pot pie together. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over the tops of the muffins.

Place pan in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes, then serve immediately. 

Ham and Cheese Brunch Cups

2¼ cup Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk

3 eggs (beaten)

1 cup diced ham

1 cup diced bacon

1 cup shredded cheese of choice

Spray 2 muffin pans with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 450.

Make Bisquick drop biscuits according to Bisquick box.

Drop about one tablespoon of biscuit mix into the bottom of each muffin cup. Combine eggs, ham, bacon and half of the cheese in a bowl.

Pour egg mixture over each biscuit in muffin pans. Sprinkle each with leftover cheese.

Bake approximately 10 – 13 minutes or until cheese begins to lightly brown.

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup

1 (30 oz.) bag frozen hash-brown potatoes

2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth

1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

½ cup chopped onion

1/3 tsp. ground black pepper

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (softened)

Garnish: minced green onion

In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, and pepper.

Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.

Stir in cream cheese, cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined. Garnish with green onion.

Pineapple-Pecan Chicken Salad

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 green onions, sliced (about 3 Tbs.)

2 Tbs. finely chopped green pepper

1 tsp. salt

Dash of black pepper

½  cup mayonnaise

½ cup chopped pecans

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained

2 Tbs. lemon juice

Combine chicken, celery, green onion, green pepper, salt, black pepper and mayonnaise in a bowl; mix well. Stir in pecans, pineapple and lemon juice.

Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.

Lazy Day Cake Mix Bars

1 box of yellow or white cake mix

2 eggs beaten

1 stick melted butter

2 cups chocolate chips

May need to add a little water or milk if dough is too stiff. 

Mix together and bake in 9 x 13-inch pan at 350 for 20 min. (Spray pan with cooking spray for easy cutting and clean up.) 

When cooled, cut into squares *Any flavor of cake mix can be used here, with nuts, coconut, etc. added as desired. And the dough can also be “dropped” for cookies onto greased cookie sheet.