Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On the Menu: Leftover Panini and Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate

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I'm not a fan of season transition periods. I like to get up and moving into the next season. By the time Thanksgiving dinner is over, I want to be immersed in the season of chocolates and peppermint and out of turkey and pumpkin land. This makes leftovers (for any season) difficult to handle. Who wants to eat turkey for a week and postpone the candy-cane hot-chocolate imbibing?

I've found that the best way to cure the leftover blues is in my favorite food form: panini! You can put just about anything into a grilled sammie with cheese and be delighted with how it tastes. That goes for the sweet and the savory... combined! Read on below for some ideas on what to do with the leftover turkey you just want to get rid of and a seasonal hot chocolate recipe thrown in for good measure.

Roast Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Paninis

Rye bread
Leftover turkey/ham/chicken
Leftover cranberry sauce
1 tbsp Kraft Mayo with olive oil
Kraft shredded pepper jack or sharp cheddar

Spread some Kraft Mayo with olive oil on your rye bread slices and sprinkle on a layer of your favorite sharp, tasty shredded cheese (hint: Shredded cheese works best for paninis and grilled cheese as it melts much quicker than slices). Layer up your favorite thanksgiving leftovers on the sandwich making sure to combine a savory and sweet option for a truly delicious sandwich. In this case I used leftover thick cranberry sauce and roast chicken. Butter your slices of bread and toast them in a frying pan on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Serve with your sparkling cider leftovers or the hot chocolate I'm also sharing below.

For Thanksgiving this year we had salmon and as an alternative to this panini recipe, you could make your salmon or other fish into a spread by adding a bit of Kraft Mayo with olive oil to your leftover fish and spread it on a piece of bread and top with Kraft shredded cheese for open faced leftover sandwiches!

My second recipe for you today is a great way to break out of the Thanksgiving season and embrace the chill. Homemade hot chocolate with a crunchy twist.

Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate

2 oz. Baker's chocolate (finely chopped)
16 oz. skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. Baker's coconut
Whipped cream

Add a 4 oz. of skim milk and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to a saucepan on medium heat and whisk constantly. Once warm warm, add half of a block of Baker's hot chocolate (2 oz.), chopped finely, to the milk continuing to whisk until the chocolate is melted in. Once the chocolate is mixed well, add the remainder of the milk in continuing to whisk so as to avoid a skin forming on the surface. Once the milk is steaming (4-5 minutes), serve into mugs.

While warming your milk (or before, if you don't have a friend to whisk for you) toast 1/4 c. Baker's shredded coconut on a tray in the oven at 350 until it is golden brown, mixing on the tray regularly to prevent from burning. Top your hot chocolate with whipped cream, toasted Baker's coconut and Baker's chocolate shavings for a delicious seasonal drink!

P.S. I picked up these ingredients at WalMart, where they have some awesome coupons going on right now for Kraft products and great recipe ideas to boot.

If you're interested in some more ideas for holiday leftovers (I know you want those mashed potatoes gone, folks), check out the Kraft digital magazine below:


  1. Oh my goodness YUM...I love hot chocolate and especially coconut. This is a must-try for the holidays, and it's handmade hot chocolate?? What could be better?!

    xo, K

  2. mmm Everything looks so perfectly delicious!!

    Maggie A

  3. Delicious recipes! I love hot chocolate and drink it almost every day, so I'll try your recipe. The pictures are really good and made me feel hungry. :) Thank you very much for sharing these awesome recipes. I just discovered your blog and love it!


  4. All of this made me so hungry right now.


  5. Oh gosh.. it's lunchtime and both look amazing.. You pretty much had me at toasted coconut! Yum..

  6. How yummy it look like ?

    We've just upload a new video as a Q&A friendship on our blog ! Feel free to check it out and maybe follow us on GFC if you like ?

    Hope to see you soon on it !

    Emily from Pretty Tiny Things

  7. My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures! I wish I'd seen that turkey panini recipe a few days earlier. It's such a great way to use up those leftovers.

  8. Oh my gosh, I definitely need to try that hot chocolate. It looks amazing!

  9. these pics are very original! great work!


  10. That coconut hot chocolate looks AMAZING!! I'm obsessed with all things coconut, so I'm definitely going to have to try this out.

  11. Sounds delicious! I want that hot chocolate right now! #client


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