Monday Menus: a few recipes for leftovers

There are a few things that it seems like I always have leftovers of, especially this time of year. One of those things is cranberries. For some reason I always seem to end up with an extra bag of fresh cranberries. I think I buy them because they look so pretty, but I never end up making fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Probably because I subconsciously want it to sit in my fridge and remind me to make this treasure that we stumbled upon one year at a Christmas party.  I’ve seen it circulate around the blog circuit and pinterest lately, so you may have seen it, but it is definitely worth another mention.

Cranberry Salsa Dip with Cream Cheese


Rather than post the entire recipe, I think I will just post the link because the original recipe has a beautiful photo, and the instructions are really clear. Just make sure you refrigerate it at least 4 hours before eating it, because it tastes a little nasty right after you make it!

Another thing I often have leftovers of is bananas. Now you can always use them for banana bread, but my mother in law makes the best cake that she calls “Banana Bars” that you can use those leftovers for if you want something more like a sweet dessert. Here is the recipe.

Banana Bars

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Buttercream or cream cheese frosting (or see instructions below)

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, sour cream, bananas and vanilla and mix. Add dry ingredients and stir in. Bake in 10×15 cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (but I don’t have one, so I bake it in a 9×13 pan.

Make frosting by combining 2 c powdered sugar, 1/2 c softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and 3 oz softened cream cheese (or make your favorite buttercream or cream cheese frosting). Frost cake when cool.

Lastly, here is a recipe I got from my cousin that you could either use holiday ham leftovers for, or the lunchmeat variety of ham.

Ham and Cheese Pasta Salad

16-20 oz. dry pasta (rotini or another bite size variety works best), cooked al dente
1 1/2 c sweet onion vinaigrette dressing
1-2 c ranch dressing (I use the home-prepared Hidden Valley variety)
12 oz sliced ham, cubed (approx.)
8 oz cheddar cheese, cubed in bite size pieces (I buy cheese sticks and cut them up)
1 med. tomato, diced very small
2-4 oz. chopped or sliced black olives
2 c small broccoli florets
Any combination of other vegetables chopped into bite size, such as zucchini, cauliflower, celery, cucumnber, red or green peppers, etc.

Set ranch dressing aside. Combine pasta in onion vinaigrette dressing and marinate while you make the rest of the salad. Combine all the rest of the ingredients with the pasta, and add ranch dressing to taste and desired consistency. Refrigerate 4 hours. Add more ranch dressing prior to serving if desired.

I hope you all enjoy the last week of 2011!

Lori Trauntvein

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One Response to “Monday Menus: a few recipes for leftovers”

  1. portsmouthwardwomen Says:

    Yum! Good ideas! Thanks Lori!!!!! 🙂

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