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Thanksgiving Leftovers: Savory Sundaes

Dessert's the best part of Thanksgiving, anyway.

There are only so many ways you can enjoy a turkey sandwich: hot or cold, on a roll or marbled rye. You can even go old-school Atkins Diet and roll up some turkey in lettuce leaves. No matter your preference, leftovers get lame after that first sandwich. It’s right about then you realize you have enough food left to feed a track team for the next several days. Time to think up some new ways to use up your mashed potatoes and stuffing, and fast!

The infamous Thanksgiving cake is a great way to transform dinner into the best course — dessert — albeit a labor-intensive one. Take an easier route and re-imagine your favorite leftovers as sundaes. It’s a sweet idea for your savory sides.

To make the sundaes, start with mashed potatoes; they look the most like ice cream. Form balls using your hands or an ice cream scoop. If your potatoes are warm, set the mashed potato balls in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes until they firm up; they’re much easier to work with when cold. Once firm, make a well in the mashed potato ball and fill it with your favorite Thanksgiving dish. You can use any kind of vegetable — green bean casserole, peas and carrots, a solitary Brussels sprout, or even a small, stuffed mushroomstuffing, or some turkey, finely chopped and mixed with gravy. Seal the top with a daub of more mashed potatoes, and return to the refrigerator to firm up.

Play with your food: You could use a spoon to make a well in the potatoes, but you should just use your fingers.

Just like with ice cream sundaes, there are no rules — you can top yours as you like. Spiced nuts make a nice topping, crunchy onions, cranberry sauce or pearl onions. I toasted chunks of leftover stuffing until dry and crisp.

Sundae best: Think you could trick the kids into eating leftover veggies?

To assemble, layer the stuffed mashed potato balls (preferably two different flavors per sundae — one turkey-filled, and one veggie-filled, perhaps) with bits of chopped turkey and some cranberry sauce in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the mashed potato balls for 30-second intervals until rewarmed, dress with warm gravy, and top with a cranberry. Eat, enjoy, repeat for days and days and days.

Digging in: A bite reveals the filling packed within each scoop.

Feel like giving it a shot? We want to see your Thanksgiving-Leftovers Sundaes! Upload a pic to the Cooking Channel page on Facebook and share the love with everyone.

If your fridge is still loaded with sides and a giant bird, check out our roundup of favorite day-after dishes. Highlights include: Thank-Goodness-It’s-Over Bruschetta, Turkey and Vegetable Soup, and Leftover-Pumpkin-Pie Brulee.

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