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Creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers

Laura Willard is a law school grad who has successfully avoided using her education for eight years and counting. She's a wife and an adoptive mom to two kids. Motherhood is the best job she never knew she wanted so much until she had it...

Make the most of Thanksgiving leftovers

If you've prepared your Thanksgiving meal correctly, you'll have tons of Thanksgiving leftovers. Isn't that half the fun? If you're not sure what to do with them, we have suggestions. Try these creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Make the most of Thanksgiving leftovers

Sure, you should eat your Thanksgiving leftovers, but if you're in the mood to get creative, we have ideas.

Creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers

Mashed potato finger painting. Do you remember your preschool days when the teachers would cover the tables with shaving cream and let you go crazy? (Or did my mom just send me to a strange preschool?) Go for it on Thanksgiving -- with mashed potatoes.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can add food coloring to your leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, pop 'em on the table and let the kids go to town. You can always call the carpet cleaners on Monday morning.

Thanksgiving leftovers, baby food style. It's game time! Watching football is for spectators. We're all about getting in on the action. Throw a little of everything from your Thanksgiving dinner into a blender, hit the puree button and serve it up. Whoever eats the most wins. We're not sure what they win -- other than some serious compassion for babies -- but oh well. Game on.

Thanksgiving leftovers sculpture contest. Divide your family into teams, give everyone an equal amount of Thanksgiving leftovers on a serving platter and find out who is the most creative. The team with the best sculpture wins the privilege of eating their masterpiece... and everyone else's, too. Sometimes, it's not so bad to lose.

Grow a garden. Create your own vegetable garden with mashed potatoes as your mulch. Plant carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes and any other leftover veggies you can find. Watch your garden grow... or find out how long it takes for leftover Thanksgiving vegetables to rot.

Freeze for holiday parties. Sure, when your best friend asked you to bring an appetizer to her holiday party she likely meant a fresh one, but come on. Who doesn't love a little defrosted, three-week-old sour cream dip? Bonus points if you bring a bag of chips that is leftover from the Thanksgiving weekend football game viewing party.

Turkey houses. Leave the Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes on the counter for a few days. Once the turkey is as stiff as cardboard, it's time. Use the mashed potatoes as mortar and the turkey as bricks and make a Barbie house. We suggest you wear gloves and heavily sanitize the area when you're done. The bacteria factor sounds quite high.

Less wasteful uses for Thanksgiving leftovers

Of course, if you're like most normal people, you don't want to waste all of those amazing Thanksgiving leftovers, so do the right thing and serve up some delish leftover dishes. We suggest the following:

  • Whole wheat gnocchi with turkey ragu
  • Turkey mole
  • Turkey artichoke salad
  • Turkey pot pie (get these fabulous leftover turkey recipes from SheKnows)

Do you have a creative use for your Thanksgiving leftovers? Share in the comments section below!

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