It’s the same problem every year — the big dinner is over, but the leftovers are still with you. Your fridge is overflowing with half-filled storage containers of scraps you just can’t bring yourself to throw out. What to do with all of that food? Rather than putting your microwave through its paces, bring new life to your holiday favorites with these leftover recipes from local chefs.
This fritter recipe from Spout Momma uses leftover Brussels sprouts and cooked greens. Packed with cheese, garlic and spices, they have a magical way of making you forget that you’re actually eating vegetables.
Sprout Momma – Green Veggie Fritters
1 cup leftover cooked Brussels sprouts
2 handfuls of leftover cooked greens
1/2 clove garlic
A few sprigs of dill
1/4 cup leftover cheese
3 large free-range eggs
Oil, for frying
Directions  Shred the leftover cooked sprouts and greens. Peel and finely chop the garlic, and finely grate the lemon zest. Pick and finely chop the dill.  Put the shredded sprouts and greens into a bowl. Crumble in the cheese and add the garlic, dill and lemon zest. Add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then mix well.  Crack in the eggs and mix to combine.  Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a generous lug of oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully lower in heaped tablespoons of the mixture and flatten them out into little patties.  Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the egg is beginning to set, then carefully flip and fry on the other side for 2 more minutes, until the egg is completely cooked.  Halve and serve the lemon on the side for squeezing over.
— Recipe by Kim Tavino
Go cold turkey
Make a whole new meal with this leftover turkey recipe from Lenny Giarratano. This easy-to-make pecan-cranberry turkey salad is great for sandwiches, putting on crackers or simply served over a bed of lettuce.
Moss Creek – Pecan-Cranberry Turkey Salad
1 1/2 pounds leftover roasted turkey, cubed
1 1/2 cups cranberries, dried
3/4 cup roasted pecans, rough chopped
2 cups mayonnaise, more or less to taste
1/4 cup honey
3 stalks celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
Directions Mix all ingredients and chill well before serving.
— Recipe by Lenny Giarratano, executive chef at Moss Creek
Simple uses for leftover cranberry sauce
- Mix it with your favorite plain yogurt
- Warm it up as a sauce for sweets
- Mix it with whipped cream as dessert topping
- Use it as a glaze for poultry and meats
- Add it to your favorite barbecue sauce
- Make cranberry oatmeal bars
- Serve on top of fine cheeses
- Mix with mustard for a unique pretzel dip
- Cranberry sauce smoothies
Something for Santa and his reindeer
Many of us remember to leave a little something special for the big guy to snack on. But what about those poor reindeer patiently waiting on the roof? Make it a Merry Christmas for all by having the little ones make snacks for the four-legged animals while you focus on the cookies.
Ants on a Log
While Ants on a Log can be made using a variety of recipes, one of the most common ones involves celery sticks, peanut butter and raisins. This is such an easy recipe that even young children can help with the preparations. If someone has a peanut allergy, the recipe can be modified using cream cheese or marshmallow cream in place of the peanut butter. You can also substitute dried cranberries for the raisins for the tasty bugs on your logs if you prefer.
Peanut butter, rasins
 After the celery is washed, cut each stalk into 3-inch pieces.  Fill each celery piece with peanut butter and top with raisins.
8 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shelled salted peanuts
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
 Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a baking sheet.  In a bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until the mixture is light. Add the vanilla extract and egg. Beat well. Add the flour, baking powder, and peanuts. Blend well.  Drop rounded tablespoons of batter, 2 inches apart, onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown. Cool. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cooled cookies. Store in a cool, dry place.