Nailed It or Failed It Pinterest Challenge

January 2015 - Marissa's Rubber Turkey

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nailed it or failed it pinterest challenge

"Nailed It or Failed It" Pinterest Challenge

January 2015 -
Meal Planning

turkey startTaking an idea or photo of a project off Pinterest to do yourself seems like a no-brainer to recreate.

Pinterest is full of beautifully put together photos of everyone else's tasks, and they even provide you with the step-by-step instructions on how to do it! What could go wrong, right?!

This month Rayven and I are focusing on Meal Planning. It's a daunting task that all parents think about and dread doing.

However, in reality you could save yourself quite a bit of money by doing this. Having all your dinners planned out, prepped and ready for the oven takes away those questions you get everyday of "What's for dinner?" Not to mention the time it saves!

Ever have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another holiday? Maybe you got a great deal on a turkey during the holidays so you got an extra one for the freezer to make at a later date. One average sized turkey can feed a lot of people and you don't always have special occasions or a larger group of people to feed. So what on earth are you going to do with all this leftover turkey or this big ol' bird in your freezer that you just couldn't pass up?

I just happened to have a turkey in my freezer I was able to get FREE around Thanksgiving from coupon deals, so I set out to make my 'Nailed It or Failed It' Challenge all about "Leftover Turkey". Just what other meals could one make from what Rayven calls a "rubber turkey"? My goal- six dinners, all different from each other.

Pinterest Pin

I was able to find this Pin for Leftover Turkey Recipes from the Happy Housewife as my inspiration for this month's challenge. She makes it look so easy, and so beautiful! I did alter the recipes to fit my family's tastes. You can visit the Happy Housewife and see the original post here:

The Happy Housewife: Leftover Turkey Recipes

turkey leftovers pin

Marissa's Challenge Image

And here's my take on it (and the pic you use to vote "Nailed It! or Failed It!")

final pic

Before I get into all my yummy dinners, let me just preface this with the fact that this was my FIRST TIME cooking a turkey by myself. Previously someone else has always prepped the bird and I either stuffed it or helped season it and cooked it. This is also the FIRST TIME I had ever used one of those turkey bags to cook it in. So if after you read this you decide to run out and get yourself a turkey to make some of these recipes know that, if you use a bag to cook it in, this may happen!


My turkey bag got all inflated and about burst out of my oven! Never fear! It's perfectly normal! No sweat! You don't need to text your mom, and your sister (as I did) with pictures saying "Uh, is this right??!"

Now for the good stuff! My first go-to is always the same as right after the holidays. My Mom's Turkey Casserole. A family favorite every year and I haven't met anyone who doesn't like it so far.

Turkey Casserole

marissa hammers
You'll Need:
  • Leftover Turkey
  • 1 can Turkey Gravy (or you can use left over gravy)
  • 1 box stuffing (or use leftovers)
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • Mozzerella Cheese

This is a super simple recipe that you can throw together right after Thanksgiving and pop it in the freezer for another day. If you are using leftovers you are almost done already! If you're not, prepare the stuffing from the box directions. This is a layer recipe to make things even more simple!

Layer the baking dish as follows:marissa hammers

Mozzarella Cheese (bottom)

Repeat this until your pan is about 1/4 from the top.

Use your leftover/canned gravy and pour it over the top. I usually take a knife and poke the top of the casserole a time or 3 in random places so the gravy can seep thru.

Top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 until the top is a golden brown, generally 45 minutes or so.
Simple enough right?! My family loves it and even my son, who is a very picky eater, asks me if I can make it again another night. I say that's a total win!

I have always loved stuffed shells, pretty much any variety. This mancotti recipie is delicious!

Turkey Manicotti

Turkey manicotti
You'll Need:

  • 1 cup diced cooked turkey
  • 1 cup whole-milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, divided
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish, or as desired
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

Filling MixtureBoil the manicotti on the stove until soft. Rinse in cold water so you can handle them.

Combine the turkey, Ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, marjoram, red pepper flakes( I cheat here and use the leftover ones from Pizza Hut) and 1/4 cup parsley in a bowl.

Cover the bottom of pan with marinara sauce in a light layer.

Start filling the manicotti shells with your mixture. I use a spoon to put it on the top and use the handle to push it down. Fill all manicotti desired and place in the baking dish side by side.

Pour remaining 1 cup marinara on top of the manicotti in the pan, spread 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top and 1 1/2 tsp olive oil to the top.

Bake at 350 until the manicotti are slightly browned, generally 40-45 minutes.

Getting hungry yet? I won't hide it when I was making these up I was snitching bites of turkey or the fillings. My mom always told me that taste-testing was the most important part of cooking and/or baking. Do it often to make sure it's right!

Turkey Pot Pie

You'll Need:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared turkey gravy
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cubed
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1 pastry for a 10-inch double crust pie

In a large sauce pan combine the butter, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until tender. Add thyme, sage and flour until blended. Add in all your wet ingredients; water, milk, and gravy and let come to a boil. Cook on medium heat. Add in the turkey and vegetables and let cook until vegetables are soft.

Line your pie tin with the bottom crust. Pour in the saucepan mixture and then cover with the top crust. Seal the edges and poke holes in the top to vent while baking.

Bake 45-50 minutes at 425.
Somehow I managed to not snap a photo of my Pot Pie.

This next one is another all time favorite around my house. You could change out the turkey with another meat and it would still be amazing!

Turkey Tetrazini

You'll Need:
  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups diced turkey
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup

Prepare the spaghetti as directed on the package. In a mixing bowl add the cheese, cream of mushroom soup and turkey.

Add the spaghetti to the mixture and stir until blended.

Place in your baking dish and cover with cheese. Bake at 350 until the top is slightly browned, about 40 minutes.
Now this next one was a doozy! It's tradition in my family to burn the last batch of cookies, not intentionally, it just happens that way. Every. Time. So upholding that tradition is my last recipe, no I didnt burn it, but I might as well have! It went all wrong in so many ways!

Turkey Enchiladas, er.. Casserole

turkey enchiladas
You'll Need:
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olivs
  • 24 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
Super simple again but some how I managed to screw it up so my enchiladas are now a casserole! In a mixing bowl add chopped onions, olives (if you prefer them) and cheddar cheese, mix well.

Using a skillet, heat enough oil to lightly coat one tortilla, and cook until soft. Remove and dip in enchilada sauce to coat.

Add turkey and cheese mixture to center of tortilla turkey enchiladas(here is where it all went wrong for me!), ROLL and place in the prepared dish. Repeat until bottom layer of pan is covered with enchiladas. Spread enough sauce over bottom layer to cover. (See the photo to the right? They did not ROLL very well!)turkey enchiladas

If yours rolls, repeat process with a second layer; spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven 350, or until cheese is melted.

Since mine was not coopperating what-so-ever, I ended up using my tortillas as a layering tool. Ultimately turning it into a layered enchilarole! But that's ok! It all eats the same.

Once I was finished I looked around my kitchen and just laughed. I am a very organized person and evidently I was "in the zone" with prepping these meals because the aftermath in my kitchen was horrifying! Drawers open, spices all over my counter, dirty dishes everywhere and I even started a load of dishes during this adventure!
marissa hammersmarissa hammers

Now you may be thinking, "Marissa, that was five recipes and you told us there would be six." Yes, I did say six at the begining and my intention was to do six dinners, until my youngest son did what he thinks is just the cutest little move. He is just barely able to get his tiny little fingers on the counters now and pull everything off of them. I lost a pan to an 18 month old. Thus we have five dinners prepped and in the freezer!
final dinners

marissa hammers Weigh in: Did Marissa Nail It? Or Fail It? You decide!

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