Monthly Archives: November 2011

18 Things to Do With Leftover Turkey

Smokehouse Turkey

Photo Credit to Figi's Gifts in Good Taste

Now that Thanksgiving is over, what is there to do with all the leftovers?  If your families are anything like ours, there are always plenty of unfinished dishes after the big meal and there is always plenty of turkey left for what seems like a week’s worth of lunches and dinners. Here are 18 ideas to help you get you started with your meal planning!


  1. After- Thanksgiving Turkey Soup – via Taste of Home
  2. Turkey Chili – via Epicurious
  3. Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings – via Food Network


  1. Turkey Meatballs – via Rachel Ray
  2. Teriyaki Turkey Kabobs – via Butterball


  1. Turkey Primavera – via Butterball
  2. Turkey Tetrazzini – via Taste of Home
  3. Pesto Turkey and Paste – via Betty Crocker


  1. Barbecue Pulled-Turkey Sandwich – via Epicurious
  2. Bistro Turkey Sandwich – via Taste of Home
  3. Crunchy Turkey Salad Sandwich– via Food Network
  4. Chipotle Turkey Salad Sandwich – via Simply Recipes
  5. Turkey Burgers – via Epicurious

Main Courses

  1. Autumn Acorn Squash – via Taste of Home
  2. Turkey Tortilla Lasagna – via Butterball
  3. Turkey Pot Pie – via Food Network
  4. Turkey Noodle Casserole – via Food Network
  5. Turkey Enchiladas – via Simply Recipes

There must be more creative uses for leftover turkey, how do you use your Thanksgiving leftovers?

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6 Ways to Prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner TODAY

If you’ve hosted a holiday meal at your home in the past, you know preparing for guests can be a big job.  Whether it’s the cleaning, planning or cooking, preparing for a holiday celebration can be stressful and overwhelming.  While you aren’t able to cook the turkey today and save it until next week, there are other ways you can prepare yourself today.

    1. Coordinate entrees with family

Just because you are hosting the dinner does not mean you have to be responsible for the entire meal.  Ask for help from relatives.  Have each family bring a side dish to pass.  Communicate ahead of time so there will be no surprises, i.e. three green bean casseroles.

    2. Take inventory of your pantry

Plan your shopping trip.  See what you currently have on-hand and create your master list of what you still need.  This way you will avoid multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the next week.

Don’t forget about the spice rack, especially if you’re not a regular baker.

    3. Get your knives sharpened

A sharp knife is the safest knife for carving a turkey.  If you haven’t had your knives sharpened in over a year, now may be the time.

    4. Clean out your refrigerator

If you missed the most recent post about Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, you’ll want to go read it now.  Toss out all the expired food and make room for all of those delicious dishes.

    5. Get crafty with dinnerware

The majority of us probably do not have 30 matching bowls.   Instead of going out and buying a new set of dinnerware, Real Simple suggests you find a new use for an old thing.  Use coffee filters as the perfect-sized snack servers.

    6. Decorate your table with inexpensive centerpieces

Centerpieces bring life to holiday tables, but why not use what you already have?  Good Housekeeping proposes gathering up all of your glass containers, placing candles inside and filling them with items such as cranberries, hazel nuts or autumn leaves.  Get creative with your own ideas.

Although we all look forward to the upcoming holidays, it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed.  Hopefully, a little planning ahead can help relieve that feeling.  How do you prepare yourself for the big Thanksgiving feast?

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Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

While some things get better with age like red wine and Figi’s Aged Cheddar, the majority of foods do not.  According to the Mayo Clinic, refrigerated leftovers older than four days carry the risk of food poisoning.

Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day could not come at a better time.  With Thanksgiving only 9 days away, you will need all the fridge space you can get.  Grab your gloves and let’s get started.

Begin by unloading all of the food in your refrigerator.  Throw everything expired away.   Organize all of the like foods and try to be quick to avoid food spoilage.

Next, remove all the shelves and drawers to be cleaned.  Mrs. Clean recommends using a baking soda cleaning solution to clean and deodorize.  Combine ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water.  Thoroughly scrub and dry completely.

Wipe the inside of the refrigerator with a clean, damp cloth.  Don’t forget the walls and door.

Finally, replace the shelves and drawers.  Before returning food to its rightful position, wipe the bottoms of the containers.  And you are done!

When Thanksgiving comes along, you’ll be thankful for a clean fridge and the extra storage space.

Cleaning out the refrigerator is no one’s favorite job, but it should be made a priority.  Your home will stay fresher and you will not need to worry about accidental food illness.

How do you get through those yucky household chores?  We’d love to hear your tips and tricks!


Filed under Figi's, Holiday

The First Veterans Day Celebration

On this day, November 11, 2011, we say “thank you” to our veterans.  Veterans Day should not to be confused with Memorial Day that is celebrated at the end of May when we honor the veterans who gave their lives for our freedom.  Today, we honor all veterans, both living and dead.  Visit our own heroes at Figi’s as we salute those who have served.

As you may know, Veterans Day first began on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour in 1919 after the signing of the Armistice, the official end of World War I.  But what you may not know is how it was first celebrated.

President Woodrow Wilson wanted to personally thank the returning soldiers.  He knew they would be longing for a home-cooked meal so he honored 2000 soldiers with a ravioli dinner at the White House.

Why ravioli?  At the time, our country was in the middle of a food shortage.  Many Americans were rationing and depending heavily on canned food.

If you want to recreate your own Veterans Day dinner, the Culinary Savant can help get you started.

Homemade Beef Ravioli

Pasta                                                                                  Filling
2 cups of all-purpose flour                                         ½ pound of ground beef
2 large eggs                                                                     ¼ of onion
1 teaspoon of vegetable (or olive) oil                    2-3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tablespoons of water                                           Oregano
1 pinch of salt                                                                  Parsley
1 egg

  1. Beat eggs, vegetable oil and water a large measuring cup.  Set aside.
  2. Place the flour on a smooth work surface and create a well in the center.
  3. Pour in about half of the egg into the well.  Begin forming dough by blending the flour into the mixture.  Add the remaining mixture once the dough starts forming.
  4. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes or until smooth.  Add more flour as needed.
  5. Form dough into ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Let dough “rest” in the refrigerator for approximately one hour.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the filling by browning ground beef in frying pan.
  7. Chop and mince garlic and onion.  Add to ground beef.
  8. Drain ground beef, garlic and onion in colander.
  9. Chop oregano and parsley.  Add to browned ground beef, garlic and onion.
  10. Beat an egg and stir into mixture.  Set aside.
  11. After removing the dough from the refrigerator, cut into two pieces.  Roll out dough into thin strips about the thickness of a nickel.
  12. Fill with ravioli filling, brush edges with egg wash, then close and seal.  Make sure no air is trapped inside.  Sprinkle with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
  13. Cook the ravioli in boiling water until they float to the top.  Drain well and serve with tomato sauce of choice.

How do you celebrate Veterans Day?  Share your stories and traditions with us; we’d like to hear from you.

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What Does Your Favorite Candy Say About You?

Halloween was only last week, but that candy pile is probably a lot smaller than it was Monday night and quickly diminishing. By now, your favorite candy is probably all gone and you are now moving on to the candy you would never buy for yourself.

Figi's Sugarfree Hershey's & Reeses Mini Assortment

Photo Credit to Figi's Gifts in Good Taste

But did you know a person’s favorite sweet says a lot about his or her character?

According to Psychologist Sigmund Schwartz, “your favorite candy reveals

important insights into your personality.”

If You Love Chocolate Candy Bars
You see the big picture in life and like to make long term plans.  You have a passion for order and detail which assures you will achieve whatever goals you set.

If You Love Malted Milk Balls
You are especially curious and enjoy finding explanations for unanswered questions.  You are an adventurous soul in search of the ultimate life experience that will affect all of your senses.

If You Love Cream Filled Chocolates
You are the patient, peaceful person others turn to for advice and loving support.  Sweet natured and sincere, even strangers are likely to trust you completely upon first meeting.

If You Love Caramels
You are a natural born charmer.  You have the gift of gab and can effortlessly get yourself out of most difficult situations.  You are sometimes forgetful and don’t always follow through on your promises, but people still yearn for your company.

If You Love Jelly Beans
You are a perfectionist.  By choosing which color you eat, you are satisfying your need for order.  However, you also appreciate the value of variety in your ideas and pursuits.

Is Dr. Schwartz right on the money or a few cents short?  You tell us!


Filed under Figi's, Fun

Recycle Your Halloween Jack O’ Lantern

It’s hard to believe, but another Halloween has come and gone.  Now it’s time to figure out what do with those beautiful orange masterpieces on the front steps.

Although there is evidence that says it is safe to eat your jack o’ lantern after carving and displaying, you may not want to.  Believe it or not, there are actually two different categories of pumpkins: jack o’ lantern pumpkins and pie pumpkins.  If you are looking for a pumpkin to cook, you may want to choose a smaller pumpkin weighing between 4-8 pounds.  These pumpkins have a smoother flavor and higher sugar content.

But now that brings us back to our first question: do you really have to throw your hard work away?  Absolutely not!  There are alternatives to dumping your well-crafted jack o’ lanterns.

  • Bury your pumpkin

Have a flower or vegetable garden?  You can bury your pumpkin whole or break it up into smaller pieces.  To enrich the soil, bury it about a foot deep underground.  If you’re interested in growing your own pumpkins for next Halloween, bury it in a more shallow area.

  • Start a compost

Composting is not only a gardening activity; it can also be used for landscaping and farming.  If you don’t already have a compost pile, now might be the best time to get started.  Rather than leaving your fallen autumn leaves and rotten pumpkins for garbage day, throw them all in your compost pile for next spring’s yard clean up.  Learn how to get your compost started here.

  • Create your own wildlife feeder

You may not want to eat your jack o’ lantern, but other animals might.  Old pumpkins are a great treat for deer.  You can also add seeds or nuts for birds and squirrels.

Live in the city?  Call your local zoo or wildlife reserve to see if your pumpkins would be a good snack for any of the animals.  Make your trip worthwhile by delivering several jack o’ lanterns from family and friends.

These are not the only jack o’ lantern recycling opportunities out there.  How does your family use leftover pumpkins after Halloween?

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