Leftover Turkey Recipes + Weekend Recap

Normally on Monday mornings I like to post something deep, heartfelt, or inspirational to start our weeks off right. But let’s be real, we’re all in a Thanksgiving coma right now, so today I’m going with a good ole’ traditional weekend recap + low maintenance delicious ideas for that leftover turkey in your fridge.

Friendsgiving 

low maintenance turkey recipes

Thanksgiving for us began on Tuesday evening. Mr. M and I combined our respective small groups that regularly  meet on Tuesday night for a Friendsgiving extravaganza. I started roasting the turkey that afternoon, only after realizing I had to let the turkey “temper” from the fridge. I, of course, documented the whole ordeal on my Instastory, probably making my vegan friends unfollow me with grotesque images of raw turkey flesh.

But! Alls well that ends well. The turkey was delicious, and fellowshipping with friends was even better.

Thanksgiving 

weekend recap

On Thursday, Mr. M and I traveled to my hometown to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Since Mr. M’s family doesn’t have a set Thanksgiving routine, they’ve joined us the last two years for Thanksgiving. If we’re all being honest, none of us remember much from Thanksgiving last year since we were all in wedding mode, so it was nice to have a more relaxed atmosphere this year. I made green bean casserole halfway from scratch (when I realized I ran out of cream of mushroom soup) and now it’s my designated dish. The key to good green bean casserole? Buckets of fried crispy onions.

Holiday Traditions

low maintenance turkey recipes

Growing up, my mom always rolled out buckeyes around Christmastime. Now when we come home for Thanksgiving break, I like to sit down with my mom and make buckeyes. It’s an office favorite, and I love carrying on traditions from my mom into my sphere.

Blogger Meet Up

weekend recap

Last year,  I noticed that Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog lived in my hometown, so when I came in town, we met up for a little coffee blate. It was so fun to hear more about each other’s lives, turning our online friendship into IRL friendship! She even brought me a little gift, which absolutely warmed my heart. She picked up a bangle from her sister’s wedding and a cute little Christmas scarf! She and her husband Ankur love to take weekend trips, so we’re hoping they’ll come check out our town for a visit!

weekend recap

Professional Tree Decking

weekend recap

Sunday afternoon after Mr. M and I got back, I helped his sister decorate their family Christmas tree; I’m considering making this a profession. If you are feeling joyless but want your house seasonally decorated, call your girl. Mr. M and I spent the evening snuggled up on the couch watching The Holiday and drinking hot tea. It feels as if the Christmas season has finally begun <3

Leftover Turkey Recipes

Delicious Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Last night while Mr. M was playing FIFA 18, I was scrolling through Facebook and happened upon a yummy looking leftover turkey recipe, so I thought I would share some yummy recipe ideas with you all so you don’t have to make that dreaded grocery store run this week!

For Breakfast: 

Waffled Leftover Thanksgiving Brunch 

Turkey for breakfast? Yes please! This spin on chicken and waffles sounds EVEN better. I’m thinking I can make our turkey last until Saturday so Mr. M and I can enjoy a nice little brunch.

Lunch 

Turkey Caesar Sandwich

This turkey caesar sandwich makes for a great lunch or a light dinner. I made this for Mr. M and I last night with a bow of chili on the side. It was quick and easy to whip up, and left our bellies feeling full and satisfied.

Dinner 

Caramelized Onion & Cream Cheese Turkey Enchiladas 

Ready to move away from comfort food? These caramelized onion & cream cheese turkey enchiladas sound delicious and low maintenance.

How was your Thanksgiving holiday? 

Intentional Gratitude + Friendsgiving Guides

Intentional Gratitude + Friendsgiving Guides

Over the past three weeks, I’ve been writing out something I’m grateful for each day. As it turns out, most of the things I’m thankful for are food related and/or coffee related. Tomorrow night Mr. M and I are pre-gaming for Thanksgiving with a Friendsgiving Extravaganza with our small groups. I bought a 20 pound turkey and cheated and bought 2 packages of pre-smoked ham for extra meat, and am going to try to conquer roasting a turkey again. I roasted a turkey a couple of years ago and it started with me getting REAL intimate with a turkey, sobbing while running water through the body’s cavity, and ended with friendship and zero food poisoning.

Perhaps my subconscious is stressed, because I was up for a solid hour at 5am thinking our Friendsgiving was Tuesday and our Christmas party was Friday. When I woke up fully, I realized our Christmas party is, in fact, 3 weeks and I’m going to be okay.

So if you happen to be throwing a Friendsgiving party and need some guidance, these bloggers have great how – to guides you should check out:

Hosting a Stress-Free Friendsgiving from The Millennial Sprinkle

How to Host Thanksgiving 101 from Coming Up Roses

The 10 Commandments of Friendsgiving from Kitchn

Maybe this time next year you’ll see a little how-to guide from yours truly. But for now, we’re going to rely on the expertise of others and I’m going to start emotionally and mentally preparing myself to sick my hand up a turkey’s butt tomorrow morning.

Intentional Gratitude + Friendsgiving GuidesAdd heading

Practicing Intentional Gratitude 

Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving are my favorite holidays, and not just for the food – although that is preetttty important in my book. I see Thanksgiving as the tailgate to the Christmas season. We’re gathered around, there’s lots of food, and there’s a feeling of festivity in the air. This is a time of year to catch up with people we don’t see very often, and to extend our gratitude towards each other and the Lord. It’s always like a reset of thankfulness for me. While I practice gratitude and thankfulness throughout the month of November, I should practice it year round.

So how do we take Thanksgiving out of November and practice a thankful heart in the bitter cold days of January?

By being intentional.

Intentional gratitude is recognizing in each moment that this is a gift. This can be your life, your job that you hate, your relationships, your teeny apartment, etc. When you practice intentional gratitude, you live your life on purpose.

So count your blessings this Thanksgiving, and then do it again and again and again until your life is overwhelmed with gratitude.

Intentional Gratitude + Friendsgiving GuidesAdd heading

When that (Butterball) Hotine Bling

Butterball

This weekend I did the most adult thing I’ve ever done besides work full-time and pay rent. I roasted a turkey and hosted Friendsgiving.

I did so much research all last week leading up to Saturday that I was positive this was going to go without hitch.

And then I pulled the turkey out of the refrigerator at noon with the packaging still on. In all of my researching, I never noted that you’re supposed to thaw the turkey unpackaged. First of all – why? Secondly – ew. I opened the turkey package to find a still frozen turkey. Naturally, I called my mom. For the most part I kept my cool. But when she said I might have to buy a thawed turkey or an already cooked turkey I got off the phone and cried. Not the soft, silent tears. Oh no. The tears that stream down your face and say, “I let a week of stress pile up into one catastrophic moment.” Some say I’m dramatic.

Mom directed me to the butterball hotline. Ah yes, the hotline for all desperate people like me trying to do nice things for people. I imagine that the butterball hotline is a call center full of grey haired grandmas with gravelly voices and Southern accents they use to call people pet names.

I wonder how many turkeys you have to cook to answer the butterball hotline. . .

And I wonder how many people call the butterball hotline sobbing. . .

The lady that answered my call sounded more like a nasally Sarah Palin and she didn’t call me, “Honey,” which disappointed me, but she did tell me to run water through the turkey cavity, which I tried.

So there I was with a tear-streaked face, running water through a dead bird in my sink and the inability to shake the thought: “This used to be alive. This used to run around.”

This lasted about twenty minutes. I’m thankful water is included in my rent.

Halfway through the watering of the bird, my Grandad – the man who knows everything about cooking turkeys and makes two turkeys each Thanksgiving – called me and walked me through removing the giblets. I was really hoping Pai would be here for this. But he wasn’t. And even though I called him 18 times, he never answered.

I had to do this by myself.

I woke up Saturday morning a strong, independent woman, and I ended Saturday evening a stronger, more independent woman who stuck her hand up a turkey’s butt to pull out his organs.

Running the water through the bird must have softened it up, because four hours later, a cooked turkey was carved and served. My house was filled with 12 adults, 2 toddlers and an infant, lots of warmth, food, and love.

And then everyone left and Pai and I just laid on the floor, pooped.

Did you host a Friendsgiving this season? How did it go?!