Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday's Make Over Madness: Leftover Christmas Dinner

Last week's Frugal Feasting Friday post included my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins made from leftover pumpkin used to make Christmas pies.  Today's make over madness will include the other  five recipes made from various aspects of our leftover Christmas dinner.  By eating ALL the Christmas dinner leftovers and incorporating some make overs, I fed six people, three meals a day for a week at of cost of less than $25!

In my first recipe I discovered I was out of baking powder, so, I substituted egg whites.  (Living as far from town as we do, being knowledgeable about substitutions is important.)  I also had some fresh milk that had turned so I used soured milk.  Everyone agreed that we preferred the finished product with these substitutions.  Therefore, this method is my new "go to" recipe for these savory breakfast ham & cheese muffins.  (If you don't have any soured milk, just add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to sweet milk and allow to stand at room temperature for a half hour.)

Ham & Cheese Muffins

2 egg whites + 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter, beaten into stiff peeks
3/4 c. sour milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 whole egg, slightly beaten
2 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. leftover ham, diced small
1 c. grated cheese, any flavor you prefer

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease 12 muffin cups.
Sift together flour, sugar and salt.
In another bowl mix milk, vegetable oil and whole egg until combined well.
Add milk mixture to sifted dry ingredients and stir until almost combined.
Add diced ham and grated cheese, stir until combined but still slightly lumpy.
Gently fold in egg whites, until combined.
Use a scoop to evenly divide batter into 12 greased muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees, 18-20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

Another breakfast favorite made from leftover Christmas dinner was our Sweet Potato Pancakes made from leftover sweet potato casserole.  I was still out of baking powder, so, I again, substituted egg whites. (Be sure to save your egg yolks for other uses - like adding them to scrambled eggs).  I also used up the remaining soured milk in this recipe.  The pancakes taste just as good as ones made with sweet milk.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

2 egg whites + 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter, beaten into stiff peeks
2 whole eggs
2 1/4 c. sour milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. leftover sweet potato casserole OR mashed sweet potatoes
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Sift all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl.
Combine whole eggs, sour milk, vegetable oil and sweet potatoes; add to dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Gently fold in beaten egg whites until just combined.
Spoon out on a hot buttered griddle and cook until bottom side is browned.
Flip and continue to cook until other side is browned.
Serve hot with butter and pancake syrup.

Makes about 12 6 in. pancakes

My Pork Lo Mein is a super fast, one dish meal that not only feeds a crowd but makes evening kitchen clean-up a snap.  Rice noodles are cost prohibitive for our budget, so I substitute spaghetti noodles.  I used leftover broccoli and Christmas ham in this delicious dish.

Pork Lo Mein

3/4 lb. spaghetti noodles, cooked al'dente
2 c. cooked ham, cut into 1 in. cubes
1 - 1 1/2 c. cold leftover broccoli, diced
1 lg. onion, diced large
2 stalks celery, diced large
2 carrots, diced large
1 bell pepper, diced large
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In a large cast iron skillet or wok, heat vegetable oil until very hot, being careful not to burn it.  Add onion, celery, carrots, and bell pepper.  Stir fry 3-4 minutes, just until the onion begins to turn translucent.  Add ham, continue to stir fry another 2-3 minutes until heated through.  Add broccoli, soy sauce and brown sugar.  Stir until everything is coated with the sauce.  Add red pepper flakes; stir until combined well.  Add noodles and toss until well combined.  Serve hot.

Makes 6 very generous servings

Instead of the usual ham and mac casserole, this year I made a Creamy Ham and Potato casserole.  It was a huge hit with my family.

Creamy Ham and Potato Casserole

3 c. cream of broccoli soup; made with remaining leftover broccoli and my homemade Cream of Anything Soup Mix
6 small potatoes, thinly sliced
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 c. leftover ham, diced
2 c. shredded cheese, divided

Grease an 11 x 13 casserole and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Ladle 1/2 cup soup into bottom of casserole.
Spread 1/2 the sliced potatoes over the soup.
Top with 1/2 the sliced onions.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of the diced ham.
Pour 1/2 of the remaining soup over the diced ham.
Top with 1 c. of the shredded cheese.
Repeat layers ending with the last of the soup.
Reserve the remaining 1 c. cheese
Cover and bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until hot bubbly and potatoes are fork tender.
Remove cover, add remaining shredded cheese and return to oven for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Serves 8

My final Christmas dinner make over meal is a New Year's Day southern tradition.  This recipe is why so many southern families prepare ham for Christmas dinner instead of turkey.  Southerners consume Black Eyed Peas every New Years Day for blessings and Cabbage for prosperity in the up coming year.  These wonderful dishes are, of course, traditionally served with a large slab of cornbread.

New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas

1 meaty ham bone
Reserved broth from baked ham (in the south, we drain and reserve ham broth for tons of flavor when cooking beans, peas or lentils)
1 lb. dried black eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, quartered
1 jalapeno, whole
Salt & pepper to taste (added just before serving)

Place all ingredients into a large stock pot.
Cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to simmer and cover with pot lid askew so steam can escape and broth won't boil over.
Simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding additional hot water if necessary.
Continue to cook another 1 -2 hours until black eyed peas are tender and broth begins to thicken.
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.


  1. Thankyou for your cream of anything soup mix, this will save me money in winter when I am always making casseroles. Did not realise it could be that easy. Spending the night going through your archives to pick up other tips as I am doing a "buy nothing new year 2016" .
    Love your recipes.
    Ruth - Australia.

    1. Hello Ruth,

      It is nice to "meet" you. Thank you for reading my blog. Most of my posted recipes are very frugal and it is easy to incorporate substitutions which, may be of help with your "buy nothing new year 2016". Wishing you much luck with your new year's goals.


  2. These are great recipes you shared Mrs. B. I have saved them for another time as I didn't have leftovers this year as Christmas was held at our daughters home.


    1. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you and yours enjoy these recipes as much as my family has. One of the best aspects of being a "guest" when others host Christmas is being a guest; but the downside to that - being a guest,which translates to no leftovers. LOL!


  3. Dear Mrs. B,
    Thank you for sharing all those recipes! I currently have a ham bone with some meat still on it simmering away in the crockpot with the makings for split pea soup. :)

    Be blessed!

    1. Mmmmm, Debbie, split peas soup is a family favorite around here. My only regret in posting all these recipes is that I did not plan ahead well, thus, I didn't take any photos of them to add to this post. If you and your family try them, I hope they are enjoyed by you and yours as much as my family enjoyed them.


  4. Yourcream of anything soup sounds awesome. I am so proud of you. Love Aunt Pat

    1. Hello Aunt Pat,

      Thank you for leaving such a kind comment on my blog.



Thank you for taking time to read my blog and leave a comment. I try my best to respond to each one. God Bless You, Mrs.B