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Recipes: Holiday Leftovers

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

As I’ve reported here before, I’m kind of a nut about leftovers; it’s nearly my hobby to repurpose them. This year’s holiday entertaining has offered me many opportunities … shhh … don’t tell the guests.

A couple of standouts were a quiche appetizer, which was originally the dip from a previous gathering; chopped salad composed of the vegetable side dishes (fennel, green beans, onions, hazelnuts); and a cream-less bisque built on a broth made from the shells of the lobsters from our family feast. The New Year’s Day black-eyed peas that I make for good luck will be pasta e fagioli, and the mulled red wine leftover from post-hiking refreshments that day will become a simple chocolate cake with added illusive flavors. Dried-out Christmas cookies have already been whirred into crumbs in the food processor and frozen to become crumb pie crusts or toppings later in the year.

Here are two of the recipes:

Recipe: Quiche That Was Dip


Photo by Charles Diaz

This quiche used to be spinach dip.

A dip made with part mayonnaise or yogurt will also work. One cup is an estimation; somewhat more or less won’t hurt. 1 cup sour cream- based dip, such as French onion soup, spinach or artichoke dip


  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or other suitable fresh herb (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Asiago or Gruyere cheese (optional)
  • 1 pie crust


Prepare the pie crust and line an 8- to 9-inch pie plate or quiche baker. Whisk together the eggs and dip. Thin the mix with enough milk to create a pourable consistency, adding chopped herbs if desired. Fill the prepared pie crust and sprinkle the cheese on top, if using. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until firm, golden and puffed up, 40 to 50 minutes.


Recipe: Cocoa and Red-Wine Cake

cocoa and red-wine cake

Photo by Judith Hausman

This simple chocolate cake uses up leftover red wine nicely.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup red wine*


Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Whisk together dry ingredients.

In a second bowl, beat together butter and sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and beat 2 more minutes until well-mixed and light. Fold in dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the wine; do not overmix. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cool completely and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Serve with whipped cream or best-quality vanilla ice cream.

* I used leftover mulled wine, which was flavored with orange peel, clove, cinnamon and star anise. Adding the grated peel of one orange, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground clove and 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise would approximate my cake. Or, use the orange rind and 1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or French Quatre épices spice mix.

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

Give us your opinion on Recipes: Holiday Leftovers.
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Waste not, want not. It is good to put left-overs to a new use.
Carl, Livermore, CA
Posted: 1/11/2012 10:46:55 AM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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