Cozy Mysteries & Thanksgiving Leftovers

Nov 8, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Victoria Hamilton

Details on how to enter to win a $20 Amazon egiftcard at the end of this post, along with a link to purchase Victoria’s latest mystery.

Hello, dear readers! In Queensville, Michigan (location of Sieve and Let Die, Vintage Kitchen Mystery #11) Jaymie Leighton Müller has a busy busy life, with multiple jobs, a food column in the local newspaper called Vintage Eats, a food blog, a husband, a daughter, and volunteering at the local historic home.

Oh, and she also volunteers the whole month of December for the historic society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Dickens Days! She bakes treats to sell to people who come to the village for the Christmas festival, and dresses up in Victorian garb to stroll the Queensville downtown.

And she solves murders. There is that! Sieve and Let Die sees her best friend, pharmacist Valetta Nibley, accused in the court of public opinion of poisoning a woman with a faulty prescription. When that woman dies, Val must be proven innocent of any wrongdoing, or her career is over!

In the midst of all that investigating, Jaymie still has to find time to put dinner on the table. Sure, Jakob makes his chili and his meatloaf, but she likes to experiment, and she does have to come up with recipes for her blog and column. She favors quick meals and this year, if she can exonerate Val and when Thanksgiving is over, she will probably use some of the leftovers in creative ways, as in a nod to her Grandma Leighton’s Canadian heritage, Thanksgiving Poutine!

Surely, you’ve heard of Poutine, that French Canadian/Quebecois yummy concoction of French fries and cheese curds, smothered in hot gravy so the curds become melty deliciousness? Deliriously delectable.
And adaptable. Can’t get cheese curds? Grated cheese will do, whatever kind you think will melt; just make sure the gravy is screaming hot. Want to add other elements? Try it! But if it’s Thanksgiving in a bowl you’re craving, check out this recipe below for full-on Thanksgiving leftover heaven. You can thank me later.

So, with apologies to my French Canadian brother and sisters, I offer you my own version, Thanksgiving Poutine, a wonderful way to use up turkey, stuffing and gravy, with a dollop of that leftover cranberry sauce from a can! Or homemade, if you have it.

Thanksgiving Poutine
Serves: 3 or 4, depending on how hungry everyone is!

2 Cups Leftover Turkey, chopped into bite size pieces or shredded.
1 Cup Leftover Stuffing; you should be able to break this up into smallish pieces as well.
1 Pound Frozen French Fries (or equivalent homemade.) (I used Southern Style frozen fries for some zip!)
1 Tsp Ground Thyme
½ Tsp Old Bay
1 or 2 Tbsp Turkey Drippings (or olive oil)
2 Cups Turkey Gravy
2 Cups grated cheese (I used a mix of Monterey Jack and old cheddar.)
Cranberry Sauce (optional)

1 – Cube or shred the turkey and stuffing ahead of time.
2 – Preheat oven to whatever the directions on the frozen fries packaging says. Prepare the baking sheet – I use parchment under my oven fries to protect the baking sheet – and put the French fries in the oven to bake. They usually take about 20 minutes or so, but follow their recommendation. You could make your own fries if you are so inclined, and you could certainly deep fry your French fries if you like.
3 – Warm the cubed or shredded turkey gently in a nonstick frying pan in some of the turkey drippings, or olive oil. Sprinkle the thyme and Old Bay over it and toss it gently as you heat the turkey. Leave room in the pan to warm the stuffing, as well, but do not put it on high heat! You don’t want to fry the turkey and stuffing, you just want it heated thoroughly.
4 – Grate the cheese and heat your leftover gravy. If you don’t have any leftover gravy, then make some packaged gravy.
5 – When the fries are done, put some in a shallow bowl, layer some hot turkey, stuffing, and cheese over it, a few more fries, some more turkey, stuffing, cheese and then, last but not least, drown it in piping hot gravy, which will melt the cheese. Serve immediately. Some may want a little cranberry sauce with it.

Enjoy! This is a decadent treat, easy and so very very good as a lunch or dinner. When I served this, the comment was “Mmmmph… sooo good! You have to make this again.” I think it would be particularly popular with kids/teens/grandkids.

Sieve and Let Die – Vintage Kitchen Mysteries #11
In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of A Calculated Whisk, Jaymie’s not sure who to believe when every suspect’s alibi has as many holes as a sieve . . .
Vintage cookware collector Jaymie Müller is stunned when an irate woman accuses her pharmacist friend Val of tampering with her prescription. When more unfounded accusations follow, it seems clear the woman has a personal grudge against Val. But before they can figure out why, Jaymie and Val stumble upon the woman’s dead body on the steps of Val’s pharmacy. Given her altercations with the woman and the location of the body, the police naturally suspect Val.
Jaymie has heard rumors that the victim had become forgetful and erratic, but could that explain her death? And why was Val being framed as her murderer? Determined to find the clues that connect the woman’s strange behavior to her death, Jaymie begins questioning the people in her life, and soon suspects that the culprit is among them. But she’ll have to be careful about who she confronts, because while solving murders is hard work, there’s a killer on the loose who finds committing them all too easy . . .
Includes a vintage recipe!
To watch for in 2024:
Lady Anne and the Haunted Schoolgirl – Lady Anne Addison Mysteries #5
Thanks for Muffin – Merry Muffin Mysteries #8
And #12 in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series: Cat Got Your Tongs

To enter to win a $20 Amazon egiftcard, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “thanksgiving” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 18, 2023. U.S. and Canadian residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. Victoria is the bestselling author of four mystery series: the Lady Anne Addison Mysteries, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, the Merry Muffin Mysteries, and A Gentlewoman’s Guide to Murder Mysteries. Visit her website at and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with all the latest in her mystery world!
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Your recipe sounds swoon worthy! Our son loves fries so I’m sure this will be a hit! Thank you!

  2. I make a similar dish using leftovers. I combine leftover dressing/stuffing, chopped up turkey, and gravy in a casserole and warm it up in the oven. You can top it with leftover mashed potatoes if you like. Leftovers can be delicious!

  3. I combine leftover dressing/stuffing, chopped turkey, and gravy in a casserole dish. You can top it with leftover mashed potatoes if you like. Heat it up in the oven and serve with leftover cranberry sauce.

  4. I believe I’ve had poutine before, and rather liked it.

  5. Thanks for the cool recipe idea, hadn’t thought of that one before. I’d love to win an Amazon gift card! Happy Holidays all! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  6. I enjoy this series. The recipe sounds great. Thanks for the chance.

  7. I’ve never had poutine, but I’ve heard about it. Looking forward to reading the book and trying to make my own poutine.

  8. Often wondered what poutine was – sounds delicious.
    Going to have to try to make it. Book sounds great
    too. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  9. Love poutine so will try this recipe out. Thank you!

  10. Recipe sounds great! I would love the chance to win.

  11. Never had this before, thanks for the chance!

  12. Great series, and a really fun recipe!

  13. Looks like a good series. Thanks!

  14. Ohhh! I’m going to have to check out this series! Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  15. Oh sounds nice I usually make a turkey pot pie out of the leftovers

  16. I’ve never been a fan of poutine but I think that this version may be a winner for me. Addingbthe book to my TBR list and crossing my fingers ?tracy dot condie at gmail dot com

  17. I have never tried poutine, but it involves all my favorite foods, so why not? Thank you for the recipe.

  18. I like to dice up turkeyand stuffing, add gravy, a can of cream of mushroom soup to that, add some thyme and rosemary. Serve it over hot, buttered toast with a side of cranberry sauce. A favorite from my childhood. Also cold turkey sandwiches with mayo, lettuce and cranberry sauce on it. Turkey with gravy, over mashed potatoes and carrots. I am not making a turkey this year, it is too much standing for my spine issues. Last year I hurt so much I did not eat. I will just cook a couple of thighs. I will make stuffing though. I will get some wings to make broth for that.

    • I do the thighs thing nowadays… I cook a few turkey thighs, and sometimes a turkey breast, then do StoveTop stuffing fixing it up a little with sauteed apple and onion, etc. A whole turkey can be too much work, though I’ve done the frozen stuffed turkeys a couple of times and they are really not bad! Have to cook them from frozen, so it takes 6 hours or so, but really pretty good!

  19. I love this recipe and may try it with Tater Tots…

  20. We have a winner!

    • A new baby beats all!!!!


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