Stromboli

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If you couldn’t tell, this family loves pizza and “pizza-ish” recipes! This is a simple and satisfying meal and makes for easy school lunches 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Stromboli – adapted from The Spiffy Cookie

**I made two with this recipe**

  • 2 lbs pizza dough, divided (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 2 cups grated cheeses (*I used mozzarella, Monterey jack, Romano and Parmesan*)
  • 5 ounces pepperoni (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • 4 ounces of deli ham (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • Olive oil, garlic powder, pizza seasonings and salt for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Spread pizza dough out on baking sheet to be approximately 10×16. Spread pizza sauce over 2/3′s of the dough lengthwise, leaving a 3×16 rectangle of plain dough along one of the edges. Top sauce with half the grated cheese, pepperoni and ham.
  3. Roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise starting along the long edge of dough topped with all the fillings and ending with the plain strip of dough on the bottom of the roll. Repeat for the second dough ball.
  4. Brush the entire Stromboli with oil and sprinkle the top with seasoning if desired, and gently cut slats in the top of the dough every 1-2 inches. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes and slice into pieces. Serve with more pizza sauce.

Hungry for more? 

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Portobello and Kale Pesto Pizza

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Broccoli Cheese Soup II (with Ham)

soup

Even before I baked ham the other day, I already had plans for the leftovers! I wanted to make ham and potato soup, but he had a different craving. M loves Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup – I like it too. That’s not the problem…when I have a plan, I’m not immediately flexible to accommodate different ideas! He doesn’t really like my version because it’s not as thick as Panera’s – but I have a feeling they accomplish this by adding processed cheese. After deciding to go ahead with his plan, I quickly looked for a recipe that called for the stuff, but I couldn’t find one. I was in the parking lot of the grocery store, using my slow phone and didn’t have a whole lot of time. This recipe makes a small batch of thick, rich soup – all that half and half kept the base nice and creamy. I usually double my go-to recipe and use whatever milk I have, so it’s much thinner.

Verdict: Okay…this recipe is better than the other one. It’s rich and creamy, thanks to all that half and half! Also, the addition of diced ham (from a new recipe I’ll share soon) was a tasty, meaty and a perfect complement. Everyone loved it and the rolls I paired with it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup – adapted from Cookbook-Recipes

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ÂĽ cup melted butter
  • ÂĽ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ÂĽ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 heaping cup of diced ham, optional

Directions:

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

I Can Hardly Wait!


After two years of making this huge spread for TG, I have learned (the hard way) what to do in advance to make this as stress free as possible. Today I started the brine for our turkey! It’s a simple step that really makes all the difference in your finished bird. I never craved turkey until I made this recipe, but this always comes out juicy and flavorful. Every year I have made it, I have used the 10 gallon Ziploc bag, and my 12 quart stock pot to contain the beast! It’s a nerve-racking workout to place this safely and cleanly into the fridge 🙂

Over the weekend, I prepared my brioche dough for the brioche and sausage dressing and the herb butter is sitting pretty in the freezer ( I used a stick and a half of butter instead of three). Tomorrow my plan is to bake off the brioche and roast several bulbs of garlic. Wednesday I will prepare the dressing, make the dinner rolls and take the turkey out of the brine. Thanksgiving day, I will prepare this ham in the crock pot, roast the turkey, make the roasted garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and bake off the dressing. It’s lists like this that makes me wish for two ovens!  Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I have been slackin’! I made this over a month ago and I am just getting around to sharing it with you. Even though it’s been awhile, I do remember that everyone enjoyed this. My husband was pleasantly surprised at how good it was 🙂 I used Applegate Farms ham for this instead of the prosciutto, and baby Swiss instead of Gruyere – other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. I recommend these roasted green beans and this creamy garlic pasta to serve along side this dish. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu – adapted from Food Network

  • 4 chicken skinless and boneless
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere, grated
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 2 slices of prosciutto neatly over the top to cover the breast and sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the prosciutto. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Season the flour with salt and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs with thyme, garlic and kosher salt, pepper, and melted butter. The butter will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and season so the flour, the eggs and the crumbs are all seasoned.

Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the roulades onto it. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Ham and Cheese Rolls

Quick Post: After I made the kids these pizza rolls, I knew I needed to make ham and cheese filled for their school lunches. These are quick, easy and the kids loved them! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ham and Cheese Rolls –

  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • swiss cheese, sliced or shredded
  • cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded
  • sliced deli ham, chopped or torn

Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Roll pizza dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle and cut into 4 strips width wise (so you’d end up with 4 pieces of dough that are 4 1/2 inches x 12 inches). Place the slices of ham on top of the dough and then with swiss and cheddar cheese.Roll up each piece of dough and place on prepared baking sheet seem side down. Press the open edges down to seal. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and bottoms are brown.

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Oh, TG leftovers, how I appreciate you! It’s so nice having leftovers that are easily turned into a whole new dish. Take the ham bone for instance – it doesn’t seem like much, but it lends rich flavor to this soup. I chopped up some leftover ham and added it to the pot towards the end of cooking right after using my stick blender to puree some of the soup. The flavor is warm and comforting and this may become a new Thanksgiving leftover tradition for my family 🙂 It’s so cheap to make too, and all I needed to buy was the navy beans because I had all the stock, veggies and herbs I needed for this. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Navy Bean and Ham Soup –

  • 1 pound navy beans, soaked for 6 to 8 hours
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • thyme, rosemary, bay leaf – tied with kitchen string
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 2-3 cups diced ham
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven combine the beans, herb bundle, ham bone, onions, and garlic with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and adjust the heat so the soup cooks at a gentle simmer, about 1-1/2 hours.

Add the chopped vegetables and beans. Cook for another hour, until the vegetables are soft, the beans are completely tender, and the ham meat easily pulls away from the bone. Pull the meat off the bone and discard the bones.

Turn off the heat and remove the ham bone. Cool slightly. Remove the meat from the ham bone, discarding the bones, fat, and skin. Cut the meat into small cubes. Remove the herb bundle and discard.

Puree about 3 cups of the beans with a some of the liquid in a blender or use your stick blender. (For a smoother soup puree all the beans.) Stir the puree and diced meat into the soup along with the chopped ham. Heat the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.

Honey Ham

I have been making this for at least five years now – it’s always a hit! My husband loves this and would probably disown me if I didn’t make it – even when it’s just the four of us. Thankfully the leftovers are amazing – especially fried up the next day with a side of scrambled eggs 🙂

Years ago before I was bold in the kitchen, we used to buy Honey Baked Ham, but that is expensive. I was determined to have those flavors at a fraction of the cost. I found the recipe at Allrecipes, but modified it slightly to suit our tastes. First, I omit the corn syrup and substitute it with brown sugar. Then up until a couple of hams ago, I left out the cloves because I wasn’t very daring with my seasonings. Now I always add them and it really adds a nice flavor to the ham. Last year I tried cooking this – or warming it through, in my crock pot. I needed all the oven space for the turkey and I was pleased with how the ham turned out. It’s nice not to have to watch it closely and open the hot oven to baste it every 15 minutes. I just keep the glaze on a double boiler and brush the ham with it every 15 or 20 minutes. It wont caramelize nicely like it does in the oven, but you can always place it under the broiler for a few minutes when the oven becomes available. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Honey Glazed Ham – adapted from Allrecipes

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

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

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.

Re-Post: Ham and Potato Soup

Quick Post: This soup is perfect when the temperature dips below 70 here, and I always look forward to the cooler weather to make some of my Fall favorites. The last time I made this was last December, posted here.

Ham and Potato Soup – adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 pound diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken stock (like this one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk

Directions: 

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Homemade Hot Pockets

Yum! These are worlds better than store bought Hot Pockets:) I made several different combinations for these and they all turned out to be really flavorful, cheesy and satisfying. I made a chicken, broccoli and cheese pocket, a pepperoni, sausage and cheese, and ham and cheddar cheese. Next time I think I’ll use a garlic and herb flavored dough to take the flavor up a few notches. We enjoyed the pizza pockets with what else – pizza sauce, drops of Frank’s Red Hot or green Tobasco. I had to stop myself from eating more of these – cheese and bread in combination are my weakness! The recipe below is really just a rough guideline for making these. They’re pretty fool-proof and don’t require any real measurements. I just made sure that I didn’t over-fill the dough. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Homemade Hot Pockets –

  • 4 ounce balls of pizza dough (*I made 9)
  • cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, Parmesan cheeses – odds and ends are great for these
  • pepperoni, ham, chicken sausage, and shredded chicken breast – cut into small pieces
  • steamed broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes – or whatever leftover cooked veggies you have

Directions –

Take one ball of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface so that the long side is perpendicular to your body. It should have a rectangular shape and be only slightly thicker than paper thin. Add about about 1/4 cup of your filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges of the dough.

Pull the shorter ends toward each other and then pull the longer ends toward the middle. Seal the roll by pinching this last portion of dough against the roll. Smooth out with your fingers by gently pressing the seam. Place the pocket into onto the prepared baking sheet seam side down. If you’d like a crisper crust you can brush the tops with olive oil or egg wash. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham and Potato Soup

Wow – was it cold today or what?? Seriously icy cold winds that would not let up made it unbearably chilly today. I don’t normally cook dinner on Mondays because M is at school, but today was perfect soup weather. This is one of my family’s favorite soups – it’s creamy but not too heavy. I always double or triple the amounts given at Allrecipes.com because it’s that good! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ham and Potato Soup – adapted from Allrecipes.com

* = my modifications

  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes (*2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup diced celery (*5 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion (*one whole small onion)
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham (*a little over 1 pound)
  • 3 1/4 cups water (*4 cups chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules (*I omitted this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (*I omitted this)
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter (*11 tbsp)
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (*11 tbsp)
  • 2 cups milk (*three cups)

Directions –

1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.