Archive for November, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner Remix

Editor’s note: We welcome  Chef A’Donna Fuller to our blog today as she writes about how to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers.

Let’s face it, some foods just taste better the next day. Foods like pasta, soups, and meaty stews taste better after the flavors have a chance to develop.

But what about those Thanksgiving Day leftovers? I am not sure about you, but my family ALWAYS cooks way too much and there are always tons of leftovers. If you are like me and get tired of just warming up Thanksgiving dinner all week ‘as-is’ – OR – what about those boring turkey sandwiches year after year?

I am going to show you some quick and easy ideas to liven up those Thanksgiving leftovers, including desserts! I think these are especially perfect if you are hosting family/friends for a few days after Thanksgiving and you don’t want to serve them the same thing day after day. Above all, you know what the best news is? You probably have most of the items in your pantry already to pull it altogether!

First let’s look at a traditional Thanksgiving menu:

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Roasted Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sauteed Green Beans
  • Collard Greens
  • Macaroni & Cheese – Chef’s note * try the recipe for the mac and cheese in the Cooking Matters curriculum. It’s low in fat and yet still cheesy and creamy
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Dressing
  • Corn
  •  Cranberry Sauce
  • Pumpkin Pie/Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pound Cake

Thanksgiving Dinner Remastered –  You can do a web search for these recipes or use some of your favorites!

  • Roasted Turkey – Turkey Stromboli and Tortilla Soup
  • Mashed Potatoes –Potato Cakes
  • Sautéed French Green Beans – Baked Green Bean Fries *its important to note, this recipe will only work with sautéed or steamed green beans that still have some ‘snap’ to them. Here is a good visual – if you can ‘smash’ them with little to no pressure in between your fingers, they won’t work for this recipe
  • Collard Greens – Collard Pesto
  • Macaroni & Cheese – Broccoli & Cheese Bake
  • Dressing/Stuffing – Stuffed Chicken Breast w/ Caramelized Onions
  • Corn – Corn Fritters
  • Cranberry Sauce-Cranberry Aioli
  • Pound Cake/Sweet Potato Pie or Pumpkin Pie – Pumpkin Cake Pops

Bonus Recipe*

Pumpkin Cake Pops

  • 1 cup of pound cake  (prepared)
  • 1 cup of pumpkin pie OR sweet potato pie w/ or w/o the crust (prepared)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)
  • 2 cups of white chocolate (melted)

Mix all ingredients until it is the consistency of soft cookie dough – adding more pumpkin pie filling as needed.  Form round balls about 1½ inches in diameter and place on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer until they are firm enough to work with (about 30 minutes).Dip the firm round balls in the white chocolate to completely cover.  Use a fork to rotate and release the excess chocolate.

Place dipped cake balls on a cookie sheet lined w/ parchment paper and set in the refrigerator until the chocolate gets hard.

Optional: Once you dip the cake balls in chocolate, garnish w/ a pecan or a sprinkle of brown sugar

Don’t worry if you don’t get to all the recipes in one week. Simply freeze the leftovers and repurpose them at another time with these imaginative ideas

Of course, these are just my ideas – let your imagination run wild and give new life to those leftovers.

 Happy Thanksgiving!


November 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Live Twitter Chats: #CMMchat

2 weeks ago Cooking Matters hosted our second live twitter chat with one of our bloggers, Colleen Berendt, AKA Miss Petite Sweets

Never heard of a live twitter chat before?  This is how it works: a “host” (in this case, Colleen)  logs into their twitter account (@misspetitesweets) at a prearranged time interval (usually 1 hour) and tweets tips and answers questions on a given topic (in this case, healthy baking).  Each tweet includes the hashtag #CMMchat, along with other personalized tags specific to that topic (#healthybaking).  CM’s then “retweets” our host, in order to reach the host and CM’s followers simultaneously.  CM will also pose questions for followers to encourage conversation(Q1, Q2, etc.).  Over this time slot, followers “live chat,” meaning they can ask for advice or provide their own tips on the subject (A1, A2, etc.).

To promote these chats, we will now be offering prizes to followers that participate by answering/asking questions live on twitter.  Don’t worry, there are no “right” answers, we are just looking for good, honest discourse!

Our next live chat is this Monday, November 19th  from noon to 1pm.  Chef A’Donna, AKA @UrPrivateChef is hosting a chat about Thanksgiving menu planning, reusing Thanksgiving leftovers, and saving money in the process.

To participate in this chat:

  • log on to your account and follow @CMdetroit (we also encourage you to follow @UrPrivateChef)
  • To join in the conversation, use the hashtag #CMMchat
  • To win prizes, answer questions.  Make sure to denote which question you are answering (for example, if answering Q1 include “A1” in your tweet)

If you’re not familiar with twitter or its lingo, this may seem confusing, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to catch on. Creating a twitter account is fast and easy.  I dare you to give it a shot if you haven’t hopped on the bandwaggon yet.  Before you know it you’ll be following Cooking Matters and hosting a live chat of your own!

If you are interested in hosting a chat or want to learn more about utilizing our social media platforms (including facebook and the blog), please contact me at  We are always looking for guest bloggers, twitter chat hosts and finding different ways to share your strengths!

November 16, 2012 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

Volunteers Needed Throughout the Holidays

We at Cooking Matters know how busy our volunteers are, especially around the holidays.  We understand that obligations to your loved ones, in addition to your professional obligations,  fill up a majority of your time.  Still, Cooking Matters continues to conduct classes throughout the November and December months.  Most likely due to our volunteers’ increasingly busy schedules at this time, we are in somewhat desperate need of your time.

We urge you to look at the upcoming class schedule, and although consistency is our priority, please contact Rebecca even if you know you will miss one, or even a few of the classes.

We value your time and effort.  If you can fit it in your busy schedule, please find the time to give back this holiday season in any way you can!

November 1, 2012 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

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USDA Statement

This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH. Space-Limited USDA/DHS/MNN Credit Statement This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.