Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Ham

Tonight our supper has a definite holiday feel to it. It's cold and wet here in Fort Wayne and that means it's the perfect night for comfort food. I had ham steaks but wasn't sure what I wanted to do w/ them other than something special to go along w/ the winter squash, cranberry stuffing and applesauce I had planned. I love ham at the holidays, but make it year round and sometimes very simply. But tonight I wanted to do something different; and I thought the oven would be great to warm up the house! I searched online for "baked ham steaks" and found this recipe at Cooks.com and am really excited about trying it. Very simple and the smells from just assembling it are amazing--can't wait to taste it!

Baked Ham Steaks w/ Glaze
4 ham steaks about 1/2 inch thick
4 tsp prepared mustard
8 TBS brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice or cider (I used juice)

Dry off steaks if moist. Place in 9x13 baking dish. Spread 1 tsp mustard over each and sprinkle w/ 2 TBS brown sugar each. Add apple juice around steaks and bake @ 350º for 20 minutes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Not So Snappy

My father in law loves ginger snaps; and he has passed this onto my son. But sometimes for Alex, certain kinds can be a little too hard for his little teeth, especially now that they are starting to fall out :-) So when I got this recipe this morning from my fellow blogger Real Mom's Kitchen I immediately thought of both of them. Alex b/c this would give him the taste he loves w/o all the crunch and b/c anything he can dip is totally fun; and my father in law b/c anything like resembles a ginger snap reminds me of him! I can't wait to try them and see if they are as yummy as they look/sound.

Chewy Ginger Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) I Can't Believe It's ® All Purpose Sticks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup Demerara, turbinado or granulated sugar (I will use granulated)

Preheat oven to 350º. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Beat margarine w/ 1 cup granulated sugar in large bowl w/ electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until blended. Stir in molasses. Gradually stir in flour mixture just until blended. Gently roll dough into 1 inch balls w/ lightly floured hands, then roll in granulated sugar. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 8 minutes or until cookie edges are firm. Cool sheets 2 minutes on wire rack; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely. 


Gingersnap Dip
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice. Beat in Cool Whip until blended. Refrigerate until serving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fa La La La La La La La

Yep, my favorite time of year is once again here! I love Christmas. And when I say love, I mean LOVE. I adore everything about it. The spirit of goodwill in the air, the lights, the food, the festivities, picking out the perfect gift, the sparkle and joy in my son's eyes, celebrating Christ's birth....EVERYTHING. So there is a good chance between now and Dec. 25th, a majority of my posts will be Christmas related :-)
The first is actually a decorating project that involves food. When I was little our church had an Advent Workshop each year before Christmas. There were crafts, food, and a ton of holiday activities for kids. I always looked forward to it and it was one of the highlights of the season for me. These were something I made each year and can't wait to share them w/ Alex this year!

Applesauce Ornaments
1 lb. jar sweetened applesauce, drained
8 oz. ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, gradually combine applesauce w/ ground cinnamon, alternating until consistency of cookie dough.

Measure out 1 cup of mixture & pat into dough until 1/4 inch thick on wax paper.

Cut w/ cookie cutters. Make a hole in each w/ a toothpick at the top.

Dry in a warm place for a week, turning every day.

Meal Plan November 28-Dec 3

Sunday
Shell Pasta w/ Homemade Mushroom Cream Sauce

Monday
Smoked Sausage
Sauerkraut
Peas

Tuesday
Ham Steaks
Cranberry Stuffing
Applesauce
Winter Squash

Wednesday
Beef Stir Fry
Fried Rice

Thursday
Baked Mostacolli
Garlic Bread

Friday
Alex is spending the night at Mimi's, so I didn't plan anything.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tradition With a New Twist

The other day while helping me to find a recipe for traditional Ambrosia salad, my mom stumbled upon this salad and suggested it to me. Although I won't be making it for Thanksgiving, I am definitely going to be trying it for one of our Christmas meals. But w/ the cranberry addition I think it would be the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. I love a traditional Waldorf Salad, and the cranberries would give this one a really nice "kick".  I love salads that also give you a little something sweet on your plate; and can't wait to try this one.

Cranberry Waldorf Salad
1 pack cranberries ground ( I am going to put mine in the food processor and pulse a couple times)
3 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups diced apples
1 cup grapes, cut in half
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 chopped walnuts
1 tub Cool Whip

Mix the 4 first ingredients and chill overnight. The next day, add the other 4 and serve chilled.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving 365

Since Thanksgiving comes but merely once a year, I love cooking meals that remind us of the "eating" holiday. I make turkey burgers seasoned w/ poultry seasoning and cranberry sauce, ham steaks w/ stuffing, etc. This recipe came to me once again from my mom finding it in a magazine, Family Circle. These sound so good and I think would be great for a meal or a party food. I plan on making them for a  meal come about February when the holiday fest is over and we're once again hungry for turkey.

Holiday Cranberry Meatballs

2 packages turkey meatballs (about 1 1/2 lbs)

Sauce:
12 oz whole cranberry sauce
9 oz chili sauce
2 1/4 tsp brown sugar

 In a saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until brown sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Add meatballs. Cook until meatballs are hot, approx. 15 minutes. Serve w/ assorted cheese cubes, crackers and grapes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Contribution

Starting today through next Wed. all posts will be Thanksgiving related, or at least related to it, for me. Today is what I'll be taking to my mother in law's on Thursday for lunch. We will be eating our "big" meal w/ Adam's family and then going to my mom's later in the afternoon/evening. I wasn't sure what I would take until I listened to my inner craving and realized I wanted old fashioned Ambrosia salad. We used to have it every year on Thanksgiving at my grandma's, well, in fact we used to have multiple fruit and/or jello salads and this was always on the "hit" list. My mom reminded me that her family calls it "5 Cup Salad", but it is the same exact thing (in case any others out there use that term too). I told my mother in law this morning that I'm happy to bring something that is one of my family's traditions and I've been SO hungry for it. Something easy and yummy---that's my idea of a Turkey Day delight!

Ambrosia Salad
1 small can mandarin oranges
lg can fruit cocktail
1/2 bag mini marshamallows
1/2 bag shredded coconut
16 oz can pineapple chunks
1 cup crushed nuts (I use walnuts)
1 tub of Cool Whip

Mix all together in large bowl and refrigerate.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Real Men Cook

Even though I do 99% of the cooking in our house, it's nice to know that if I ever couldn't, we wouldn't starve, b/c my husband is a pretty amazing cook. He started cooking years ago when he lived w/ roommates, and then by himself. He has a few recipes that are his "signature" and this is one of them. The first time he made it, most of his family, including me, turned our noses up at it b/c we never imagine it could be good. But oh how good it is! I've been making it since we got married and when Alex came along, he too refused to eat it, until he tried it a few times. Actually, it's our supper tonight b/c Alex asked me to make it! So if you're looking for an easy crock pot soup that is comfort through and through, try it before you dismiss it!

Crock Pot Split Pea Soup
2 bags dry split peas
1 lb. bag baby cut carrots- finely diced
1 medium white onion- finely diced
1 lb. package diced ham
Salt and pepper

In crock pot place all ingredients and cover w/ water. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until peas break down and soup becomes very thick. Add water to loosen, if necessary. (If have left overs to reheat, definitely add water). Half way through cooking, use potato masher to break peas down.



Shared on Everyday Sisters Oct. 9, 2011
Shared on The Country Cook Oct. 21, 2011


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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meal Plan November 14-19

Sunday
We have a free pizza from Papa Johns!! Woo hoo!

Monday
"McTeacher" night at a local McDonalds. Teachers serve food and we are going to help raise money for the school.

Tuesday
Pork Burgers
Pasta Salad
Sliced Cucumbers
Tator Tots

Wednesday
Roasted Chicken w/ Lemon and Thyme
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Noodles
Broccoli

Thursday
Split Pea Soup

Friday
Ravioli
Breadsticks

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanks Mom

My mom is great about always looking for recipes in magazines or the newspaper she things I would enjoy. Mom is a great cook, but w/ my dad being on the road 5 days a week, so only cooks for herself most of the time, and if it was me, I wouldn't go all out either! So she lives vicariously through me and always passes great ones on. This one she tore out of a Family Circle magazine at the doctor's office. (shhh....don't tell) and I can't wait to try it. I've already passed it onto my fellow super cook, my sister in law Amanda, and she too can't wait to make it.

Quick Apple Crumble
3/4 cup  All- Bran Original cereal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 cans (20 oz each) apple pie filling
1 TBS lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cereal, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using pastry blender, cut in margarine until crumbly. Set aside. Combine pie filling and lemon juice. Place in 9x9x2 inch baking pan or dish. Sprinkle w/ topping. Bake @ 375º for 30 minutes until bubbly around edges. Cool slightly before serving.
Apples on FoodistaApples

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meal Plan November 7- 12

Sunday
Coney Dogs
French Fries
Baked Beans
Sliced Cucumbers (This is left over from last week b/c of painting kitchen cupboards and having to get pizza...lol)

Monday
Chili
French Bread

Tuesday
Steak
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sauteed Corn

Wednesday
Fish Sticks
Mac n Cheese
Cauliflower (this is an Alex chosen meal)

Thursday
Pork Chops
Apple Stuffing
Scalloped Potatoes
Applesauce

Friday
Linguine w/ Green Olives and Capers (the other "Alex meal")

Alex's Lunch Plan

Monday
Wrap Lunchable
Yogurt Pretzels
Mandarin Oranges
M &M cookie
Capri Sun

Tuesday
Turkey/Cheese Sand.
PBJ Crackers
Grapes
Strawberry Dananino
Apple Juice

Wednesday
Mini Lunchable
Pretzels
Carrots
Zebra Cake
White Grape Juice

Thursday
No School

Friday
Turkey Sand.
Cheese Rice Crisps
Mandarin Oranges
S'more Gold fish
Strawberry Milk

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Be a Jerk

Ok, so don't really be a jerk, but if we're talking about "jerk" in cooking term, that's acceptable:) I was just talking to a friend last night about how parents cater to picky eaters way too much. My mom always said "this is what we are eating, and if you don't like it, it's a long time until breakfast.". She never made me something else if what the meal was didn't suit me. Too bad, so sad. And for the most part, I have taken the same attitude w/ Alex. If there is something that I know he has tried and definitely does not like (which w/ him, isn't very often) I will substitute it out. Or when he was younger he had trouble chewing steak, I would give him a different meat. But for the most part, he eats what we eat; and we have a rule--he has to try one bit before he makes a decision--which w/ Alex usually turns into many many more bites. He loves food. I think parents sometimes create their own picky eaters by not allowing them to try new and different things and not developing their palates. By the age of 5 Alex was eating Brussels sprouts, parsnips, calamari, oysters....all things most kids his age would turn their nose up at. If kids want to try it--LET THEM! Another person that shares this belief is Rachael Ray and today's episode of 30 Minute Meals was designed around introducing more "adult" flavors to kids using a kid friendly staple-- sloppy joes. I can't wait to try it myself and hope it is another "Mommy, this is really good" moment in our house.

Sloppy Jerky Turkey Joes
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 onion chopped
2 Fresno chile peppers or 1 Anaheim pepper seeded and finely chopped ( I will omit this not b/c of Alex, but me!)
1 sweet bell pepper seeded and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper
1 TBS paprika
1 inch piece fresh ginger grated or minced
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg
2 TBS fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)
small handful cilantro leaves finely chopped (I will omit this also b/c I don't care for cilantro)

Sauce:
2 TBS cider vinegar
2 TBS dark brown sugar
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 lime juiced
1 cup tomato sauce

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil ripples and is hot, add the meat and brown. Add the onions, chile, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in paprika, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme and cilantro. Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl combine vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and tomato sauce. Stir the sauce into the turkey mixture. Simmer for a few minutes and serve on rolls.

*I will half this recipe for the 3 of us*

*I always serve sloppy joes on toasted buns from the broiler. It keeps the buns from getting soggy and much easier for little hands*

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meal Plan October 21-November 5

Sunday
Halloween--no specific dinner plans

Monday
Chuck Roast
Butter and Herb Rice
Pan Roasted Brussels sprouts

Tuesday
Baked Mac and Cheese
Green Beans
Sliced Peaches

Wednesday
Hot Dogs
French Fries
Baked Beans

Thursday
Alex is going to Maa Ma's b/c we have parent/teacher conferences:)

Friday
Clam Chowder
Biscuits