Food and Drink

Shannon Kuhn: Use that leftover cranberry sauce to kick things up

The sweatpants (or ski pants) are out, the stack of dishes is looming in the sink and the fridge is full of leftovers.

The day after Thanksgiving means pumpkin pie for breakfast, the obligatory turkey sandwich, stuffing egg Benedicts and a socially acceptable excuse to add gravy to everything. But what about the cranberry sauce?

Treat this ruby red condiment like royalty this year and make it the star of your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Besides baked goods, here are a few ideas of what to do with it:

Cranberry sauce smoothie: Dig out your ice cube trays and use them to freeze that cranberry sauce. After cubes are frozen, transfer to a Ziploc bag for storage. Add six cubes to your smoothie routine to mix things up with a sweet burst of color and flavor.

Cranberry sauce parfait: Layer cranberry sauce with granola and plain yogurt to get your day started off right. Or substitute granola with crushed gingersnap cookies and serve as a dessert.

Sriracha-cranberry sauce grilled cheese: Add a dollop of sriracha to your cranberry sauce and mix together. Spread a generous layer of Brie and sauce on the inside of your bread. Heat a skillet with butter and wait until it starts bubbling to place the sandwich in. If you have a lid, cover it to help the cheese melt. Add more butter when you flip, to get the other side crispy.

Cranberry sauce cocktail: Place 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce, 2 tablespoons bourbon, 1 tablespoon Cointreau, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a shaker with ice; shake 15 seconds. Strain into a glass. Put your feet up and relax.

Leftover cranberry sauce steel cut oats: If you're feeling overly gluttonous after an evening of second helpings of pie, try making steel cut oats for breakfast and swirling in leftover cranberry sauce for sweetness. Whether you are headed into the mountains to play, or are tackling that ever-growing pile of laundry, steel cut oats are a quick and hearty breakfast. Make enough in the crockpot to eat all week.

1 cup steel cut oats

4 cups water

Leftover cranberry sauce

Crystalized ginger

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and set to low heat. Cover and let cook for 8 hours. (This method works best if started before you go to bed. This way your oatmeal will be finished by morning!)

Leftovers keep in the fridge for about a week. To reheat, thin with a bit of milk, stir to combine, and microwave for about 90 seconds. Mix in cranberry sauce and top with crystallized ginger. If it's not sweet enough for your liking, add brown sugar or maple syrup.