Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter Leftovers, Part 3


Here is the last recipe that I used my leftover Easter ham in this year. It was so amazingly good. Very quick and easy and very satisfying.

Pretty Penne Ham Skillet


1 package (15 ounces) penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil and butter ove medium-high heat. Add ham, red pepper and onion; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until ham is browned and vegetables are tender. Add garlic and herbs; cook 1-2 minutes longer.

Stir in broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add pasta; toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.

Yield: 6 servings.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: I used 2 red bell peppers instead of one, but that is really the only change I made. This was so good and the leftovers were fantastic.

Easter Leftovers, Part 2



Here is another recipe I found to help me use up my leftover Easter ham. I have since made it twice (first, as originally written, and second, slightly lightened up). Be sure to read my notes to see what I changed to create a lighter version.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Recipe


3 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups sliced cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
3/4 cup cubed fully cooked ham
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat cream and cream cheese over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup Swiss cheese, onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper until blended.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, bacon, ham, and pasta. Add sauce; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; top with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, 18-22 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 1/2 cups equals 826 calories, 56 g fat, 249 mg cholesterol, 1,093 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 47 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. Baking it takes away a bit of the creaminess, however. It is fantastic baked, but if you want a really creamy pasta, I would suggest skipping the baking process and just serving it after tossing the chicken, bacon, ham, pasta, and sauce together. I've tasted it both ways and can tell you that it is great baked and unbaked.

My lightened version: To lighten this recipe, I substituted two 12 oz cans of evaporated milk for the cream. I also substituted Neufschatel cheese for the cream cheese. Honestly, it tasted almost exactly the same.

The only other change I made was that I added a lot more pepper. I would suggest adding the onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper to your taste.

This is also freezer friendly. Once you toss the chicken, bacon, ham, pasta, and sauce together, then top with cheese and bread crumbs and put in an aluminum baking pan, cover with foil, and place in the freezer. When you are ready to eat it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed. If you would like to bake it from frozen, keep it covered and bake until thawed. Remove foil and continue baking until hot and bubbling and cheese on top is melted.

Easter Leftovers, Part 1


I only buy a big ham about once a year at Easter. I love the leftovers and look forward to finding new recipes with ham in them to use up the ham that we can't eat plain. I found some good recipes this year (and some that I can't wait to try next year when I have more ham!). Here's the first of the bunch.

Ham 'n' Cheese Strata


12 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 pound fully cooked ham, diced
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup crushed cornflakes


Arrange six slices of bread in the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with ham and cheese. Cover with remaining bread.

In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir in onion and green pepper; pour over all. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Pour butter over bread; sprinkle with cornflakes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 serving equals 375 calories, 19 g fat, 197 mg cholesterol, 1,081 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 23 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. Plus, it was nice to throw it together the night before and then just pop it in the oven the next day.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Feast


Here are a few tasty discoveries we made this Easter. Delicious stuff!


Honey Glazed Ham


1 (5 pound) ready-to-eat ham
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups honey
2/3 cup butter


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan.

In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey, and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham.

Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.

Source:, submitted by Colleen. You can find it here.

Notes: We bought a spiral sliced ham and used that instead of scoring our ham. Then we served it with three different ham glazes for everyone to use as dipping sauces instead.


Easy Peach-Jalapeno Ham Glaze


1/2 cup peach jam
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno chiles


In small bowl, stir together jam and jalapeno chiles. Brush over ham the last 45 minutes of baking.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

Notes: As mentioned above in the notes for the ham recipe, we didn't use this as a glaze. Rather, we used it as a dipping sauce for the ham. It was very tasty!


Easy Blueberry-Chipotle Glaze


1/3 cup blueberry preserves
2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from 7-oz can)
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar


In small bowl, mix all ingredients with whisk until well blended.

Brush glaze over ham during last 45 minutes of baking.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

Notes: Ditto in the notes above. We didn't use this as a glaze. We used it as a dipping sauce and it was fantastic!


Easy Cherry-Lime-Ginger Ham Glaze


1/2 cup cherry jam
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


In small bowl, beat all ingredients with whisk. Brush over ham the last 45 minutes of baking.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

Notes: Again, we didn't use this as a glaze this time around, we used it as a dipping sauce for our ham. Super delicious!


Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs


12 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon mustard


Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and cool. To cool more quickly, rinse eggs under cold running water.

Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Alternatively, wrap bacon in paper towels and cook in the microwave for about 1 minute per slice. Crumble and set aside.

Peel the hard-cooked eggs, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a small bowl. Mash egg yolks with mayonnaise, crumbled bacon, and cheese. Stir in mustard. Fill egg white halves with the yolk mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source:, submitted by USEREMILY3260. You can find it here.

Notes: Holy cow, bacon just makes everything better, doesn't it? These were fantastic.


Peeps Easter Garden Cake


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil's food cake mix
Water, oil, and eggs as called for on package
1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1 can (6.4 ounces) Betty Crocker green decorating cake icing
8-12 Peeps marshmallow bunnies
1 can (6.5 ounces) Betty Crocker orange decorating cake icing


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Make cake as directed on box. Cool the cake in the pan on cooling rack until completely cooled, 30-60 minutes.

Spread chocolate frosting on top of cake. Sprinkle frosting with chocolate cookie crumbs. Use green icing to make garden rows. 

Insert a toothpick halfway into the base of each Peeps marshmallow bunny. Insert the bunnies, tootpick side down, into the cake.

Use the orange and green icing to make carrots on the cake.

Source: Betty Crocker. You can find it here.

Notes: This was so cute and the kids loved it. We also added some Cadbury chocolate eggs so that the Peeps Easter bunnies could have an Easter egg hunt in the garden as well.