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Why Leftovers Are a Foodie’s Best Friend

Entertaining in style takes a lot of effort. Chances are, you spent some time selecting the perfect heritage meats, organic veggies and Sonoma-Cutrer wines for your impressive dinner spread. Why waste an ounce of your invested efforts?

Nose-to-tail eating, a term used to describe the practice of cooking with all parts of the animal, has been getting a lot of attention lately at trendy restaurants. This holiday season, why not bring this eco-conscious practice into your home by getting creative with your leftovers?

Often overlooked items like picked-over bones, vegetable trimmings and even those last few sips of wine can be used to turn up the flavor on future meals.

Meat bones are worth their weight in gold when used to make stock. Did you treat your guests to a prime rib roast, smoked turkey or traditional holiday ham? Don’t even think about tossing those bones. Homemade stock can add depth and incomparable flavor to everything from soups and stews to grain dishes and sauces.

Stocks are also an ideal place to use up stray carrots, extra stalks of celery, onions and fresh herbs like thyme and parsley. Once you’ve tasted the difference homemade stock makes, you’ll never go back to the store-bought variety.

Can’t stomach another second in the kitchen? Understood. Simply freeze the bones until you’re a little more inspired. The same goes for veggie trimmings, including carrot tops and onion skins, which you can throw into your meat stock — or save for a flavorful veggie version.

Skip cruciferous veggies in your stock (they’ll make it taste sour), but don’t toss any leftover Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or even broccoli stems. Instead, roast them up with any remaining herbs and serve over rice, or throw them in a tasty frittata.

As for all those quarter bottles of wine leftover from your festive dinner? Cook with it. Pour any lingering wine into ice cube trays, freeze and you’ll be prepared the next time you need to deglaze a pan or whip up a sauce.

With a little foresight, you can make the flavors from your high quality ingredients last all season long.

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