Home Hack

Kitchen Gadgets Worth Owning

OUR BEST KITCHEN FINDS!

Over the years we have bought or have been gifted our fair share of kitchen gadgets. In truth, 80% of them are nonsense space hogs. You know the ones, they either didn’t work as advertised, or sit on the counter or in a cabinet taking up space for YEARS with no use. However, today we are sharing our absolute FAVORITE kitchen gadgets that were well worth the money for how often we use them and how great of quality they are! The best part: we found all of them are available on Amazon! Three cheers for one-stop shopping!

The Prepdeck

prepdeck meal prep

This is a life saver if you cook a lot, and especially handy if you have a meal service or follow written recipes. This self-storing stylish cubby is a cutting board, ingredient sorter, tool hub, and even holds the the stems and ends you cut off from your produce, so you’re not combating the trash while you cook. You can even add on an attachment to hold an ipad for your recipes if that’s how you roll. It’s pricey but comes with a bunch of tools, bins, and a magnetic removable cutting board. The whole thing stores away in a sleek and minimalist manner, so it will look cute on the counter too!

Cuisinart “ICE” line of ice cream makers

CuisinArt ice cream and frozen yogurt maker

This is THE BEST ice cream maker we have ever used. If you are venturing into home made ice cream, this one is a must! Don’t get fancy or be fooled by bells and whistles, the “ICE” line is a simple machine and is the absolute best at churning out delicious ice cream /frozen yogurt/ sorbet. (Ours is a Cuisinart ICE-20.) It’s worth noting: This machine even won in a crowd and chef-based test among several competitor brands and more expensive models on The American Test Kitchen!

pizza peelAluminum Pizza Peels

If you make pizza often, frozen, fresh, or from scratch – a pizza peel is a must! A thin (but sturdy) metal peel transfers items to and from the oven with ease. We use it for pizza, calzones, breads, and anything else that bakes straight on the rack. We even use a peel to retrieve cooked pies.

PRO TIP: Make sure you pick one with a solid handle, none of those collapsing, folding, and/or bolting handles – pizzas can get heavy so you want one solid wood piece for the handle.

Pizza Stones

pizza stone

Do you make your own pizza? A REAL (thick) pizza stone will make it bake evenly every time. No more mystery moistness in the under crust. It will be crisp and perfect.

Teak and Wooden Spoons

wooden kitchen utensils

We are firm believers in the power of baking and cooking with wooden utensils. It magically makes things feel more special and they look great arranged in a vase on the counter.

make veggie noodlesZucchini Spiralizer

If you have ever thought of cutting back on your traditional pasta intake, or wanted to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, a vegetable spiralizer is the way to go! They make fancy expensive ones, attachments for Kitchenaid mixers, but my go-to is the “as seen on tv” “Veggetti” version. It takes up hardly any space, is inexpensive, and allows me to make “zoodles” at a moment’s notice, with no prep at all. One end makes thin noodles and the other makes thicker. You just stick the vegetable in one side and turn it like you’re sharpening a pencil.

Pyrex Bakeware and Storage Sets

pyrex

It can be pricey for a good set, but you will buy it once and use it for YEARS! Our Pyrex is 20 years old and still going strong! These glass dishes are great for storing left overs, cooking in, and serving too. It’s also an environmentally friendly storage option because it’s reusable and made from glass. NOTE: If you ever happen upon the vented lid versions – those lids have all lasted the 20 years and are still going strong. The plain lids bit the dust after 10 years or so – but that’s still a good run for the money!

PRO TIP: Tomato sauces and plastic lids (or bowls) are not friends. Keep lids stain-free by simply spraying the lids with cooking spray before you cover any tomato-based dishes and it will resist staining.

And now for a whole section of KitchenAid. My motto is when in doubt, choose the KitchenAid! It’s never let me down.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

kitchenaid mixer

There’s a reason you see these everywhere. They really work, and work well. They look cute on the counter too!

KitchenAid Blender

kitchenaid blender

I was torn between this and another top brand, and I am SO glad I chose this one. It blends consistently, is reliable, and doesn’t have a million blades to clean.

KitchenAid Mini Food Processor

kitchenaid mini

This thing is great for making small-batch dressings, dips, or mincing vegetables, I’ve even used it for chopping nuts!

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets? Let us know your kitchen and cooking related must-haves in the comments on our social media:

@DeAnnaAndCompany on Instagram and Facebook

Home Hack

Spring Clean: Organize the Refrigerator

Ease into Spring cleaning by starting with the fridge. Begin by emptying anything perishable into coolers and work fast to wipe down the shelves, drawers, and doors. To deep clean drawers or shelves, a little regular dish soap and water works great. Food prep surface wipes have also been our favorite tool for cleaning up in a flash. The wipes were even durable enough to work on a full bottle of barbecue sauce that had somehow exploded in the night. Just make sure the wipes you are using are “food safe” and not a bunch of harsh chemicals that will linger in your fridge and possibly contaminate your open fruits and vegetables.

What storage is best for what groceries?

clear storage for fridge

Clear containers are the BEST way to organize the refrigerator. They come in refrigerator-safe carousels, mini drawers, pint boxes, stackable boxes, beverage dispensers and more. These clear bins are very trendy right now, so they can be pricy. Shop around for the best deals/bundles and buy ones that will work for your grocery habits. Start by taking an assessment of what groceries you repeatedly purchase, then purchase storage best suited for those specific items. We found all of the options shown in this article on Amazon.

clear storage for fridge

Stackable boxes are great for fruits and vegetables. Narrow open boxes are great for snacks or other items you buy in bulk like individual yogurt, fruit cups, cheeses, etc.

PRO TIP: When storing leafy greens, pop a few paper towels in with it to help keep them fresher for longer. Works in bagged or clamshell container lettuce and spinach too.

clear fridge drawers stackable

Mini drawers are great for dividing up larger open shelves with go-to items. Try dedicating a whole drawer to things that you like to access a lot, or are bulky, or roll around. (This would be grapes, tangerines, and apples for us.)

condiment carousel

 

Carousels are perfect for high-traffic condiments, dressings, and jarred items.

Create your “store.”

fridge storage map

 

Organize your fridge for how you actually live. Place perishable items in places you see straight away so you don’t forget about them. Stock like items together to make things easier to find. For example, dedicate a drawer, bin, or space to vegetables, meats, fruits, dairy, snacks, beverages, etc.

When it comes to jars, separate the sweet things from the savory things. (Jams on one side, pickles on another.) Categorize the condiments so all the dressings are together, all the sandwich making things are together, all of your most-used sauces are together, etc.

Labels the bins, ditch the tins.

decorative food labels

Labels are great for keeping things in their assigned places. Labels can be especially helpful with little ones or adults that get confused about what goes where.

Toss bulky packaging on items that you can use a labeled open bin for. For example, my husband’s Reeses cups get stacked into a narrow open container instead of staying in bags. Makes them easier to grab and go and easier to refill too.

No bins? Use a bag!

reusable food bags

Freezer bags are a great way to start organizing on a budget. Take-out condiment packets, snack assortments for individuals, meats, cheeses, meal prep… all fit perfectly into gallon bags and keep loose items from slipping and sliding around.

Don’t get overwhelmed – ANY level of organization is progress. Start small if you need to.

Home Hack

How Can You Secure a Home in the Hot Real Estate Market?

Yes, the market is tough for Buyers right now. Inventory is low but demand is high. It is not uncommon for homes to sell for well over asking price. Buyers often find themselves in bidding wars and competing against all-cash offers.

How can you secure a home in the hot real estate market? You’ll need a great strategy and a lot of LUCK! Here are our best tips:

FIND A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT

Finding the right real estate team can be a huge advantage in a competitive market. You want someone who knows your local area and will alert you to listings as soon as they hit the market, if not before. A good buyer’s agent will know how to make your offer stand out. Interview more than one agent and ask for references from recent clients. A good fit is key.

CHOOSE A LENDER WITH LOCAL RELATIONSHIPS

A local loan officer can help you win a bidding war. Real estate agents know local loan officers and will remember prior transactions with them that went smoothly.  A local lender will provide a dedicated loan officer that will be accessible and guide you through the process. A local lender will have contacts with inspectors, title agents and appraisers that know your market.   A national lender may not prioritize your application and may not understand the unique needs of lending in your area.

CONSIDER THESE SUGGESTIONS:

  • Focus only on homes that meet your criteria. Don’t put in offers on every home just because you haven’t gotten an offer accepted.
  • Provide a strong conditional approval. Having a fully documented and underwritten loan approval shows you’re a serious buyer and allows for a speedy closing.
  • Consider waiving contingencies. Fewer contingencies can make your offer more competitive. Consider removing financing, appraisal, or inspection contingencies.
  • Include an escalation clause.  An escalation clause says that you will offer “X” amount over any higher offers that are presented.  This allows you to always present your “highest and best” offer.  Be sure to put a cap on your escalation.
  • Offer a higher earnest money deposit.  An earnest money deposit (EMD) shows the seller you’re a good faith buyer, a higher EMD shows your serious about their home.
  • Accommodate the seller’s closing time.  Some sellers already have another home they are purchasing or a job transfer and require a fast closing.  Other sellers may be waiting for a new home build or to finish a school year.  Being flexible with your closing time can give you an edge.
  • Ask your agent or lender to reach out to the listing agent.  Establishing rapport and a strong relationship can put your offer on top.
  • Write a love letter to the seller.  Let the seller know what you love about their home and why you’re making an offer.  This may be controversial but puts a face to the offer and can make a difference to the current homeowner.

Keep LUCK on your side of the table!

We’re here to help. Give us a call.

Home Hack

Meal Subscription Review: EveryPlate

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making fresh meals at home can be a hard task to accomplish. However, it’s made MUCH easier with a meal delivery service!

This month we are reviewing EveryPlate.

Based on our experience, we would give EveryPlate 4.5/5 stars. EP customer service has always been FANTASTIC, the price point is the lowest we have found without sacrificing quality, and we have accumulated a LOT of favorite “meal kit” recipes over the course of our subscription.

Over the last 5 months we have had 77 meals from EveryPlate and we tracked our feelings about them all! 57 of those meals we LOVED and would (and do) order them again. Only 20 of them we would not.

The meals we loved: tasted delicious, were filling, and had varying levels of difficulty to make. (Though none of the EveryPlate meal kits are very hard to make. Some are just more time consuming than others.)

The meals we didn’t: were mainly soups or bowls we just didn’t find filling or found the flavors to be something we didn’t want again. However, ZERO of those meals were “bad,” they just weren’t our vibe.

The good news is, you choose which meals you get from a select menu that varies every week.

PRO TIP: Keep track of the recipes you like and dislike so you know what to reorder and what to avoid when they appear in the rotation again.

Our can’t-go-wrong meal kit recommendation: ANY of the EveryPlate pasta dishes or flat breads! They have all been great!

How it works: Every week you get to choose at least 3 meals from a select menu that varies every week. We find this subscription extremely flexible. You can pause weeks, add more than three meals to your box or add on premium meals a la carte, and select meals for your future boxes up to three weeks in advance. We usually create our boxes for three weeks at a time – all at once on their easy-to-use website. They have meat-based and vegetarian options. 90% of the meals we choose are the vegetarian recipes. A basic box of 3 meals starts at around $50, and you can cancel anytime.

What you get: We find EveryPlate to be like a Farmer’s Market approach to meal delivery subscriptions. Everything is delivered weekly like clockwork, in a cute little box with all the large, easy-to-read recipe cards and meal ingredients mixed together inside. (Versus a subscription like Hello Fresh, where each meal comes individually bagged for easier storage and recipe deciphering.) Every week we open a happy little box to find a cardboard crate full of fresh veggies, spice packets, meats, and dry goods. Just imagine you rode down to the farmer’s market and filled your bike basket with all the fresh ingredients for your meals that week. It’s like that! Or at least, that’s how we like to imagine it!

PRO TIP: Consider dedicating a drawer in your fridge to your Every Plate (or other subscription) it makes things so much easier to find and nothing ever goes missing.

What’s not included: Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Butter, Milk, Egg. You’ll need the first four all the time, and the last two only occasionally. The 8.5″ x 11″ recipe cards will always tell you what you need on the front, including the items above and the directions are on the back.

PRO TIP: Get a large bottle of good olive oil and a pepper mill, you’ll use those for nearly every meal.

Is it healthy?: Ingredients are delivered FRESH and prepared by you in your kitchen. So right there you will be better than most any prepared, frozen, fast food, or restaurant-served meal. You can also adjust the “unhealthier” things yourself. For example, we now use half the butter, and are conservative with the oil and salt for most meals with minimal impact to flavor. They also offer a lot of vegetarian meal kits that make having a plant-based diet easier to accomplish without getting bored. There are many chicken-sausage, chicken breast, and pork meat options too.

Portion sizes: We would not consider ourselves to be “light eaters,” and have found the portion sizes to be perfect. Meaning, we are full at the end of the meal and there is never anything left over. 

Who it’s great for: Couples or families of four. If you are a single who loves meal prepping with leftovers, or have a hungry trio, it might work for you too – just know you will be ordering meal quantities in even numbers.

PRO TIP: If you’re a couple or family, consider making one person the prep person to wash/cut/gather ingredients and another the “chef.” It’s fun to make the meals together and it feels so much easier than trying to do it all alone. (But the recipes can absolutely be made by one person alone too.)

What’s unique to Every Plate: The cost. As stated above, a basic box of 3 meals starts at around $50, and you can cancel anytime. This was the lowest cost meal service we found that didn’t sacrifice quality. EveryPlate is a sister company to Hello Fresh (which we will be reviewing in the near future!) Which means many of the vegetables, meats, and spices are the same quality at value pricing.

Cons: We find some of the soup and bowl offerings like the risotto to be more of a side than a main meal. There’s also not as many fun upgrades as Hello Fresh offers. For example, Hello Fresh had meal options for celebrating the Super Bowl “BIG GAME” last year – but we will talk about that in our Hello Fresh review! Another con would be always having to order portions in twos. Sometimes my husband would want to add on just one for himself, or our friend’s family of three wanted three portions instead of four, but there’s no ordering or adding portions in odd numbers.

We started EveryPlate as a way to feel like we were dining out during the pandemic. It’s fun to try something that was not in any of our natural cooking instincts, go-to, or everyday rotations. We’ve also become better cooks in the process because we’ve applied techniques we learned in the various EveryPlate recipes to make dishes of our own creation. If you’re looking to venture into a meal subscription, we think EveryPlate is a great service at a great value!

If you’d like to see one of the EveryPlate meal kits we made, it’s our Recipe of the Month! (Click the link to see the recipe Roasted Zucchini, Bell Pepper, and Tomato Penne by EveryPlate.)

*This is not a paid advertisement. We actually have an unsolicited EveryPlate subscription and this is our honest assessment of our personal experience with this service.*

Home Hack

Is A Home Gym Really Worth It?

exercise equipment

Always consult with your doctor before starting a new workout regimen or modifying your diet.

The new year is here which traditionally means everyone is scrambling to buy all the latest gym equipment in effort to turn their homes into a haven of health. But is it worth it?

Probably not. For the vast majority of us, we will fall back to our pre new-years-resolution-health-kick habits by February. In our experience, that means the bedroom stationary bike is more likely to become a new place to hold the dry cleaning more than it’s ever going to be used for exercising.

It’s not entirely sheer will power that keeps us exercising at home. After purchasing (and getting rid of) several gym pieces over the years (multiple bikes, stair climbers, ab machinery, ellipticals, countless weights, DVD’s, and accessories…) The truth is, you will rarely find any big box type of home-gym equipment worth owning that is under $1000.00 retail (new). If you’re anything like us, you may not mind (maybe even like?) using an exercise bike at the gym – and that’s because at the gym it is a several-thousand-dollar piece of equipment, which is reflected in your user experience. This lead me to think “Hey! I love exercise bikes!” SO I purchased a $300 bike for the house only to discover I hate using the bike at home! The user experience and quality between the two is so different, it’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm to workout consistently at home.

exercising in the bedroom

When it comes to creating a “home gym” there are two rules that ring true to us: 1. Create a dedicated space. 2. Invest in gym-quality gear.

If you can’t invest in high quality machines, a traditional gym may be your best bet for long-term commitment. If you don’t have a dedicated space, know that bedroom bikes and laundry room treadmills seldom make for inspiring environments to keep the motivation.

Fear not! There are other ways you can create healthy habits without investing in big machines.

Go Old School

Create a low profile in-home gym environment with a few great DVD’s, a yoga mat, and a simple pair of light dumbbells. We have these DVD’s from back in the day that we still love:

PRO TIP: Just like Netflix, there are a ton of streaming-based exercise options out there if DVD’s aren’t your thing.

Step Up

Walk a little every day. Take a small walk on your lunch break or a stroll after dinner. Try to make it a little further than you did the day before.

Drink More Water

If you don’t drink water, this is an easy way to get healthier. Try to opt for water first when you want a beverage, then go to those sugary or even “diet” drinks second. Before you know it, you’ll be hydrating like a pro!

PRO TIP: If you hate drinking water, it’s probably the quality of water you are drinking. Instead of the tap or fridge spout, buy a gallon of “Spring Water” from the store. We find it’s so much easier to drink!

Eat More Veggies

It is easy to venture into the world of plant based food now. Fine dining and fast food restaurants are offering more and more vegetarian options. For example, Taco Bell can make almost everything on their menu with with black beans instead of beef or chicken.

  • At home, try roasting vegetables like brussels sprouts, bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots in the oven with a small drizzle of olive oil and a little fresh cracked black pepper. They taste so much better than in the microwave!
  • Try substituting zucchini noodles for regular pasta.

PRO TIP: The frozen store-bought quick meal options below are an easy way to venture into vegetarianism through tasty comfort food.

  • MorningStar Meatless Corn Dogs
  • MorningStar Original Chik Patties (they have a spicy Buffalo version too!)
  • MorningStar Chik’N Nuggets
  • Amy’s Mexican Casserole Bowl

Go LOW

  • Reduce how much salt you usually use, or skip the extra salt where you can. Mrs. Dash carries an array of flavorful salt alternatives.
  • Try to use half the butter you normally use as topping, spreads, or to cook with.
  • Get the lower fat version of things you love, like ice cream, diary, etc.
  • Try to reduce your bad carb intake by eating half of something you’d normally eat all of. For example, eat half the bagel or baked potato, or stick to one serving of potato chips according to the nutrition label, rather than a whole bag or random handful.

PRO TIP: Measuring and recording your food in a journal is a great method for staying on track.

Find Healthier Fats

Olive oils provide healthier fats than lard or cheap oils. Reduce fried foods by baking things like frozen french fries at home in the oven. We also know several people who swear by their air fryers.

Cheers to a healthier you in 2022!

We’re trying to do just one thing better for our health at a time. What ways are you planning to get healthier in the New Year? Share your tips and finds with us in the comment section of our social media posts this month.

Home Hack

I’m Dreaming of a… Holiday Tablescape!

Perhaps a big Christmas tree isn’t your thing – or maybe you like to deck every hall, nook, and cranny. Either way, creating a fun tablescape is sure to make your meals feel even more magical! We will be showing you ways to build your table decor using Amazon below, but there are deals and finds everywhere – including The Dollar Tree and your local Goodwill! Keep an eye out! You can also build your tablescape over time to save money. Collecting something new for your tablescape every year can be a fun way to start celebrating the season.

holiday tablescape ideas

Choose your decor theme. An old Christmas village can become an instant tablescape. Assessing decorations you already have on hand is a great way to save money, and reuse things you may have forgotten about or couldn’t find a good fit for in the past. However, for our example, we are creating a “winter wonder woodland” – so think pine trees, woodland creatures, snow, twinkle lights, etc.

Thrill, Spill, Fill.

Those are the three keywords for creating a great tablescape. THRILL: These are items that are thrilling to see – your show stopper features – which would include your main centerpiece, and even your dinnerware. SPILL: These items add depth and movement to your design. Think things that “spill” over the edges and along the lengths of your table. Table runners, garland, and twinkle lights are good examples of “spill.” FILL: These are the decorations that “fill-in” your design. For example; ornaments, little knick knacks or figurines, LED candles, tiny trees, pine cones, etc.

Where do I start?

SPILL: I’d start with a runner. It should be long enough to drape over the edges. Ideally, it would be fluffy or flowy to simulate snow, if you are using a Christmas Village. Garlands and lights are a good next step. Lighting should be easy to access and small, like these battery operated smaller-than-mini LED twinkle lights. They’re just the right amount of sparkle for the table, and even have versions with remotes. Opt for led candles that flicker and have a remote control so you can turn them on and off easily, without any threat of fire or melting wax.

table runner ideas

LED candle bulbsPRO TIP: Swap your current Christmas Village light bulbs and candlestick bulbs out for the LED versions. LED bulbs come in all different styles (including the candle style and nightlight type bulbs) and give off little to no heat so you rarely have to worry about them getting too hot. LED bulbs cost less to run, come in warm and cool tones, and usually last longer too!

 

Next, THRILL: Choose a place setting. You could do this with solid color dishes in the holiday color theme of your choosing, or with dedicated holiday dinnerware. If you want to use your regular everyday plates, consider purchasing festive chargers and complimenting napkins to keep the design cohesive. Napkins and placemats should be subtle (more plain) especially if you have a lot going on in your tablescape. Try to coordinate the colors in your decorations to the plates, chargers, and napkins.

SAVINGS TIP: We found gold, green, and silver plastic chargers at The Dollar Tree that worked perfectly! Can’t beat $1.00!

holiday table setting ideas

Then choose coordinating elements to create a centerpiece.

centerpiece ideas

PRO TIP: Consider adding a name card to the plate settings. It’s a magical little touch, as everyone loves seeing their own name nestled into such a pretty setting. It can be as simple as a folded card or as fancy as write-on ceramic figurines like the ones below.

name card ideas

FILL: How many decorations should I buy to fill in my design?

decoration fill ideas

PRO TIP: Those random snow globes you keep receiving as gifts over the years make a great “fill” item!

When in doubt of how many you should get of a particular item, we like to stick to odd numbers. Typically one, three, or five items of each kind. One “thrill”, for example, and three or five “fills.” If you’re creating groups of items, try it in ones and threes. This is also true of breaking up your display – either have one main focus (centerpiece) or three focus areas with the middle being just a little fancier than the ends.

cloche and cake plates

PRO TIP: A cloche or hurricane glasses and cake plates are great for creating little miniature scenes or protecting items.

May all of your meals be Merry and Bright! Share your holiday tablescape photos, ideas, and tips in the comments of our social media!

Home Hack

Next Level Leftovers

Thanksgiving can often mean lots of leftovers. We’ve got a few ideas for reinventing the reheat in this month’s Home Hack.

SIMPLE AND FAST OPTIONS

“Thanksgiving Sandwich Style” Using: Toast, Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry, Mayonnaise, Gravy

Make it: This one is our favorite. Select a bread that toasts well, like small ciabatta loaves or Texas-style slices. Spread mayonnaise on one side of the bread. On the other side of the bread, spread cranberry sauce. Layer in leftover turkey, and top with stuffing. Toast in oven, panini press, or pan. Serve with a small side of gravy for dipping or topping.

Pro Tip: If using a pan to toast a sliced bread sandwich, use a minimal spread of mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich instead of butter. It spreads evenly so easily and toasts the bread perfectly!

“Turkey Salad Style” Using: Turkey, Mayonnaise, Celery, Honey, Red Grapes

Make it: This is a sweet turkey salad. Cube or loosely shred leftover turkey. Half red grapes and dice celery. Combine everything with light mayonnaise. Add in honey, salt, and pepper to taste. Gently mix in the red grape halves. Garnish with a small dash of poppy seeds and/or dried minced onions, if desired. Serve with crackers, on a bed of lettuce, or make into sandwiches.

“Turkey Taco Style” Using: Turkey, cheese, toppings…

Make it: Shred or slice leftover turkey into small strips and cook with taco seasoning packet. Make tacos or nachos!

OPTIONS THAT TAKE A LITTLE MORE TIME

“Burst Pasta Style” Using: Linguini, Cherry Tomatoes, Vegetables, Broth, Parmesan

Make it: Cook fresh linguini (or boxed pasta if preferred), reserve the pasta water after cooking. At the same time, in a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil with a few cloves of fresh minced garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add a 1/2 pint of halved cherrie tomatoes, cook for additional minute. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, OR reserved pasta water if you don’t have broth. Cook tomatoes until “burst,” which looks wilted. You can stop there, or add in other leftover veggies like kale, spinach, mushrooms, etc. Add bite-sized pieces of leftover turkey heat until the turkey is properly reheated. Add in some reserved pasta water as desired to loosen mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss  cooked pasta in with the mixture and a pad of butter. Top with parmesan.

Pro Tip: Mix in a tablespoon or two of cream cheese in the liquid of the cooked vegetable mixture to make it a creamier sauce.

“Skewers Style” Using: Turkey, Vegetables

Make it: Compose skewers with chunks of leftover turkey and vegetables. Most vegetables work; cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini, potatoes, and carrots, all work and are often plentiful leftovers on relish trays. Roast skewers in oven or on grill for a few minutes. Serve plain skewers with gravy on the side for dipping OR brush cooked skewers with Italian dressing for a different flavor profile.

“Soup Style” Using: Turkey, Vegetables, Broth

Make it: In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a few cloves of fresh minced garlic. Heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in a few cups of broth (make your own if you like) and vegetables. We like carrots, celery, diced onions, potatoes, and shredded turkey. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a few sprigs of leftover spices from the stuffing like fresh thyme and/or rosemary sprigs. Cook on med-low until cooked through. Remove thyme and rosemary sprigs and serve.

“Turkey Cowboy Skillet Style” Using: Turkey, Carrots, Peas, Mushrooms, Gravy, Canned Biscuits, Cream of Mushroom Soup

Make it: Heat a drizzle of olive oil in pan with some fresh minced garlic until fragrant, about one minute. If using raw onions and carrots; chop, add, and cook until softened. Add shredded turkey, peas, mushroom, even green beans, and cook until warmed up. Mix in gravy (OR cream of mushroom soup), adding small amounts of leftover broth or water to loosen the mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and leftover fresh spices like thyme or rosemary to taste. Transfer mixture to an oven-save dish. Top mixture with biscuits, keeping the biscuits away from the edge of the dish. Cook in oven until biscuits are golden. Brush melted butter (or melted butter with minced garlic if you prefer) over the biscuits and serve in bowls.

How do you like your Thanksgiving leftovers? We want to know! Share with us in the comments of our posts for this Home Hack on Facebook or Instagram.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!