In The Kitchen - Thanksgiving Leftovers

This is where turkey leftovers and a plan come in handy.  You can only left overs so many times before you start contemplating throwing it out.  Instead prep a few great meals while packing up your Thanksgiving leftovers.  

Turkey Reuben

Grab 4 slices of rye bread and speed them with Dijon mustard.  Spread an additional four pieces with russian dressing.  Add eight slices turkey to the bread with russian dressing. On the remaining bread add swiss and sauerkraut.  Bake in 350° oven for 5 minutes flipping halfway through.  Then pan fry in butter to give the bread a golden crisp.

Turkey Samosas

Cut refrigerated pie crust sheets into 8  large triangles.  Mix 1 cup of shredded roasted turkey with a ¼ cup of cranberry sauce.  To the mixture with stuffing and/or mashed potatoes.  Brush the edges with a water and pinch together.  Brush the top with an egg wash and bake for 25 to 25 minutes at 375°.   Serve with a side of gravy for dipping.

Tukery Quesadilla Pie

Turkey Quesadilla Pie

Butter the edges of a 10” pie dish.  Place one tortilla in pie dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the tortilla. Now for the fun part grab filling ingredients of your choice (cilantro, salsa, green onions, corn,  red pepper. black beans, turkey, tomatoes, jalapeños), and layering the tortillas. Just make sure each layer has a generous sprinkling of cheese, the cheese acts a the glue.  Top off your layers with one last flour tortilla. Spread a little butter over the surface of this tortilla. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes in a 350°. Increase the temp to 400°, top the pie with cheese and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Let your pie stand for about 10 minutes and then serve with a side of guacamole and sour cream.

Home For The Holidays: Thanksgiving Worksheet

Thanksgiving is only 10 days away.  Let me say that again Thanksgiving is only 10 days away.  If you are hosting Thanksgiving you have a lot of work ahead of you.  Below is a breakdown of what you need to do, for Thanksgiving Day survival.  

Recipe Box Figure out which recipes you want to make.  Look for recipes with similar cook temperatures and times.  It will make the oven shuffle that much easier.

Test Bake If it’s something you’ve never tried before and you are worried about how it will turn out, do a test bake.  If you don’t have the time to do a test bake, make sure you have a backup plan ready.  Example: If you are trying to make rolls for the first time, have a store bought option in the freezer just in case things don’t go as planned.

Read Over: Even if it something you’ve made a thousand times before, stop and read the recipe again.  See if there is anything you can do in advance and add all items needed to the grocery list.

Talk Turkey If you are hosting Thanksgiving Dinner it’s time to talk turkey.  Spend the next few days getting your head count for dinner locked down.  Once you have a good idea of who is coming do a little Turkey Math and place your order.  Hint: 1.5 pounds of uncooked turkey for each person coming to dinner.  Don’t worry you will have plenty of leftovers.

Order Your Turkey Ordering a turkey from the grocery store is great, because those are often not frozen.  It will save you space since you won’t be slowly defrosting a turkey for days on end in your refrigerator.   Hint: If you are buying a large bird, make sure it fits in your stove and fridge.  If not opt for two smaller birds.

Take an inventory  Make sure you have enough  dishes, silverware, bake ware, and serving items for the big day.  If you don’t see if you can borrow from guests that are eating at your place.  If you don’t have enough check out stores like Ikea.  They often let you buy individual items instead of having to get a large set.

Make Multiple Shopping Lists Certain stores have certain things, which means you might need to hit up a few places to get everything you need for Thanksgiving.  So, start with one long list, and break it into sections based on store.  This way you don’t have to spend one day running around the city, you can do the shopping in stages.

*Bonus Tip  For those of you who just realized hosting duties means you might need to upgrade your dining room check out Havertys.  My personal favorite dining room set its the Whitney.  The Whitney features a balance of white marble, mahogany in an espresso finish and dark brown upholstery sets a flawless scene. Felt–lined drawers and wine bottle storage make the server or bar a convenient addition to any dining room. Drawers are constructed with English dovetails.  The Whitney collection even features a Bar, so you can drink your way through the awkward family moments.  

Now that you have your to do list print a out copy of the Thanksgiving Survival Cheat Sheet get to work.   If you’re looking for our original Holiday Prep Worksheet print out your copy here.  For those of you who want to add a little fun to Thanksgiving Dinner check out Home For The Holiday Days Thanksgiving Edition of Survivor.  

Whether you are looking for the perfect couch or an accent piece to tie the whole room together, Havertys has everything you need to prepare your home for guests this holiday season!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

Home For The Holidays: Holiday Worksheet 2013

 It’s time to get in full tilt for the holiday season.  To make things go a little smoother this time around, I’ve come with a handy checklist to get you from Thanksgiving all the way to the New Year.  Hopefully, with your sanity in check.  Like last year we will feature different checklists to help with all your holiday plans, from getting a last minute Thanksgiving dinner on the table, the perfect hostess gift, to how to avoid packing on a few extra holiday pounds.  


Salon Appointments

Schedule all upcoming salon appointments.  Most Salons have their appointment book open for two months in advanced, in some cases they will let you plan three months out.  This means your holiday parties, New Years Eve and even Valentine’s Day can be scheduled now.  


If you are hosting Thanksgiving Dinner it’s time to talk turkey.  Spend this week getting your head count for dinner locked down.  Once you have a good idea of who is coming do a little Turkey Math and place your order.  Hint: 1.5 pounds of uncooked turkey for each person coming to dinner.  Don’t worry you will have plenty of leftovers.


Holiday Lights

For those of you using lights to help decorate for the holiday season, get them out of storage now.  If they are a big messy ball take the time to untangle them.  Once you’ve got your lights in order check to see if they actually work.  Try replacing bulbs if need be, or make a plan to buy more lights.  The past few years lights have left the shelves pretty quick so if you want your tree or front porch to sparkle don’t wait.  

Sweater Weather

Depending on where you live it may not be sweater weather yet.  But it’s coming so turn on your furnace and make sure all is well.  This way when the temperature really drops you won’t be left out in the cold.   For those of you with a wood burning fireplace, this is a great time to make an appointment with your local Chimney Sweep.

Winter Wear

Speaking of cold.  It’s time to gather all of your winter wear.  Make sure you gloves have a mate, hats and scarves don’t have holes, jackets are missing a button and sweaters still fit.  Take a quick inventory of what you have and what you need.  This will help you budget for the upcoming winter season.  For things that you are planning on getting rid of set them aside, because later on today I’ve got a plan to help you make good use of them.

Snow & Ice

I’m from Minnesota and snow is a major part of winter.  Which means snow removal and ice watch is a daily thing.  If you got a snow blower check it to see if the engine turns on and the tires are okay.  Speaking of tires, make a plan to get your Snow tires put on your car soon.  You don’t want to be caught off guard by a big snowfall.  If you’ve got a service that shovels your driveway and walkway, get on the phone with them now.  Make sure they know you would like their services again and discuss payment.  Last but not least, buy your salt now. Once the snow starts falling and freezing, salt will start flying off the shelves.  

Presents, Cards & Your Budget

Presents, Cards and Budgets, oh my!  Make a list and check it twice to see who is getting a holiday card and/or a present.  Figure out now what you want to get them and start scouting the internet for the best prices.  This will help with Black Friday and your budget.  If you know what you need, you can plan on how to save and when to spend.

Dinner Parties

Dinner Plans. Chances are every year you and friends, coworkers or neighbors go out to dinner and celebrate.  This year lock those plans down early and make your reservation.  To be on the safe side make reservations at two locations, just remember to cancel one of your reservations at least 7 days before.  When making your reservation, be honest about how many will be in your party.  If you think you are only going to have 10 people go with 12.  It will give you a little wiggle room for last minute RSVPs.  If you have a major shift in attendance, plus or minus, contact the restaurant right away, and be prepared to possibly have to adjust your reservation time.  When making the reservation, ask if there are any special rules or guidelines for large parties, and remember children occupy a seat, make sure you keep them in your head count.  If you have any special requests make them when you make your reservation.  Once your reservation is booked let everyone in your party know and send them a copy of the menu.  This will not only save you time in the long run but it will help the restaurant better accommodate your party.  

Now that you have your to do list print a out copy of the Holiday Cheat Sheet Worksheet and get to work.  Happy Holidays!  


Haunted Halloween Cookies #HauteHalloween

 Decorating Sugar Cookies is one of my favorite things to do.  I find it oddly relaxing.  Now I’m no Sweet Sugar Belle, her cookies are little sweet works of art.  This Halloween I thought I would try my hand at an array of cookies, each inspired by something I’ve seen on PInterest, Tumblr and in a few of my favorite bakeries.

Tips, Hints and Tricks

  • Use salted butter and skip adding salt all together.  
  • Do not sift your flour.  For some reason sifted flour leaves the cookie dough difficult to work with.
  • If you don’t want you dough to get to dark, make sure your 2-3 tsp of flavoring is clear.  
  • Feel free to omit the pumpkin pie spice.
  • Go slow when adding flour.  The dough should stick together, but not stick to you.
  • Watch the cookies closely the first time you bake them. The moment they start to turn brown, you’ve officially over baked them.  
  • This dough keeps for about 7 days, and does not need to go in the refrigerator.
  • I like to the put dough in a cool place and let it rest for about 30 minutes before rolling it out.
  • Don’t decorate the cookies the same day.
  • Have plenty of Wax Paper on hand for decorating. 
  • Do not bake more than two cookie sheets at a time.
  • Bake cookies on center rack for best results. 
  • Both recipes can easily be doubled or cut in half.
  • Royal Icing keeps for 30 days in the refrigerator.
  • To turn the Royal Icing into flood icing, add a few drops of water.  You want it follow the Sweet Sugar Belle’s 20 second rule


 Total Time: 1 hr 10 min | Prep: 10 min | Cook: 7 min per batch | Makes: Depends on the cookie cutter size | click for printable copy | adapted Sweet Sugar Belle


  • 2 Sticks of Butter
  • 1 ½ c. Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 3 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 ½ - 3 c. All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and butter, and beat with paddle attachment until fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla, and continue beating until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  6. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  7. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. 
  8. Cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. 

Total Time: 10 min | Prep: 10 min | Makes: Depends on how heavy handed you are | click for printable copy | from Sweet Sugar Belle


  • 4lbs confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 c. meringue powder
  • 1 1/3-1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2-4 tbsp. oil-free extract or flavoring


  1. Add the dry ingredients first. Use your mixer’s whisk attachment to incorporate the sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Add the extract to the water and slowly add it to the dry ingredients while mixing. At first the icing will be very liquid-like.
  3. Continue to mix it at medium-high speed until it is fluffy and stiff peaks form, about 7-10 minutes. Mixing times are approximate, keep your eye it icing and stop mixing as soon as it becomes stiff. Over mixing and oil-containing extracts can keep the icing from setting up, so keep this in mind as you work.

There is no printable copy of these recipes on Project Gadabout.  If you would like to print a copy please follow the links  to Sweet Sugar.

For more ideas and tips on making the perfect cookies check out:

Juicy Halloween Burgers #HauteHalloween

 Halloween is in full tilt at my house.  Inbetween decorating about a million cookies, I tried my hand a Pretzel Buns stuffed with Juicy Halloween Burgers.  The key to my Juicy Halloween Burgers is using a high quality beef (80% ground brisket is my favorite),  thick vermont cheese, and some fake shake shack sauce!

 Total Time: 1 hr 45 min | Prep: 15 min | Inactive Prep: 60 min | Cook: 30 min | Makes: 1 Loaf | click for printable copy | adapted from CHOW and All Recipes


  • 1-½ cup Warm Water (110°F)
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 4-½ cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ¼ cups Baking Soda
  • 1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and the yeast and let rest 5 minutes until foamy.

  2. Add the sugar, flour, salt, and butter; mix with the dough hook until thoroughly combined. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

  3. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

  4. Cut the dough into 18 pieces (2 ounces each). To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.

  5. Place the ball on the baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.

  6. Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.

  7. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

  8. With a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the lightly beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely. With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll.

  9. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

 Total Time: 15 min | Prep: 10 min | Cook: 5 min | Makes: 1 Loaf | click for printable copy


  • 18 ounces ground beef 80% lean
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 thick slices good quality Vermont cheddar cheese
  • 2 hamburger pretzel buns
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Halloween Cookie Cutter


  1. Combine the ground beef with the olive oil, salt, and plenty of black pepper.

  2. Divide the meat into two 9-ounce patties and refrigerate until the grill is ready.

  3. Heat the grill to high. Take the hamburgers out of the refrigerator 5 to 7 minutes before you are ready to grill them.

  4. Place the burgers on the preheated grill and cook 1-1/2 minutes (for rare). Give the burgers a quarter-turn to "mark" them, and cook 1-1/2 more minutes.

  5. Flip the burgers over and cook 1-1/2 minutes. Rotate a quarter-turn to "mark" and cook 1-1/2 more minutes.

  6. Cut cheese with halloween cookie cutter.

  7. Transfer the burgers to the grill's top shelf or to a cooler section of the grill and cover each one with a slice of cheese. Turn the grill off and shut the lid.

  8. Place burger on bed of desired toppings and serve while hot.

Total Time: 10 min | Prep: 10 min | click for printable copy | from Serious Eats


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard (Cleveland Stadium Mustard)
  • 4 slices kosher dill pickle
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary. Makes about 3/4 cup sauce.