Tag Archives: garlic

Easter Dinner

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Now, I don’t eat ham…I don’t like the texture (although I’ve always had a hard time explaining why), but I grew up in a family who usually did the traditional “Easter Ham” & I have a husband who gets pretty excited about about it as well. For me, Easter is about spring, egg hunts, flowers…chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies (I’m not gonna lie!), and activities with the kids! I love dying eggs and watching their faces when they discover their baskets in the morning. Even my 17 yr old is excited to discover the T-shirt or comic book hiding among the eggs & treats in his basket (Mommy bunny always puts some non-edibles in the basket as well). Many years ago my mother started making a particular ham recipe that became a family classic. It is now the only one that is asked for in my home, my siblings’ homes, my in-laws have shared it with friends, my husband has been emailing around work…I figured the “cat’s out of the bag” I may as well share it with you all.


Our Easter Dinner consists of Mom’s Coke Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, & a Vegetable, this year I made Garlic Roasted Asparagus. We round it out with my Pineapple Upside-down Cake.

Ham thick side down in pot

Start by placing your Shank Half/Bone-in Ham, thick side down, into a pot on the stove top. Pour 2-liter of Coca-Cola Classic to cover entire Ham, use more if needed (cannot be diet, off-brand, or Pepsi or it doesn’t work the same). Cover with lid, bring to boil then simmer for at least 2 hours.

pour coke over ham

While the Ham is simmering in Coke, it’s a good time to use the oven to prepare the cake or other dessert. I’ve always been a fan of Pineapple Upside-down Cake. I try to do a lot of things from scratch, but given that I’m in the kitchen all day on the holidays anyway having a couple of cheats I think is alright! I use Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme. If you look on the side of the box there is a skillet recipe; you do need to have a 12+ inch skillet that has an oven safe handle, but it is SO worth it! I’ll paste the link to the recipe on their website below along with the pic of my finished cake. This is my “go to” recipe! I love it. #duncanhinespineappleupsidedowncake

finish with your favorite Easter dessert. Ours is pineapple upside down cake

http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cakes/Duncan%20Hines%C2%AE/pineapple-upside-down-cake/

sprinkle with cloves, brown sugar, and molasses to taste

Now that your Ham has been cooking for 2-3 hours while you got your cake baked & out of the way…Pour the Ham & Coke into a strainer in the sink (be careful, the hot Coke-Cola is sticky & will burn badly if it splashes onto your face). Trim off fat. You can choose to leave the Ham whole or cut it off of the bone in chunks like I do (as pictured). If you leave it whole you must score it well to ensure that the flavors get through it. [I prefer it “chunked” for a couple of reasons. I think that it allows the pieces to all get good & crispy in the oven as well as making sure that the flavor gets all over them.] Sprinkle with cloves, brown sugar, & drizzle with molasses (to taste). Set aside.

Here’s one more “cheat” that I do…I admit that I haven’t yet successfully been able to make homemade, all from scratch, cheesy scalloped potatoes…so sad.  They are always either too greasy, the potatoes are too firm, or the sauce isn’t creamy enough for my liking, as I’m a perfectionist about such things…so, I cheat. I get boxed scalloped potatoes & I embellish them & jazz them up! For our family of 5, I usually use 2 boxes. I always use the “oven method” on the box. Follow all of the steps up to stirring in the potatoes…STOP! Add a small handful of shredded sharp cheddar (I get Tillamook extra sharp white cheddar, it’s awesome & a great price at Costco)  & 1 bunch (just shy of a cup chopped) green onion. Stir it up good then add the potatoes. Sprinkle a little more cheddar on the top (to get that nice crispy goodness) then bake as directed.  So much better than straight outta the box!

if you're gonna cheat, they're SO much better

While the potatoes are in the oven, clean asparagus under cool water. (To remove woody ends from the asparagus, gently bend the end of each spear until it snaps naturally.) Lay on a paper towel & pat dry as you can, you don’t want them to steam in the oven.

once dry spread single layer drizzle generously with olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic

Next, spread the asparagus out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea or kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, & garlic (I use a little garlic mill, but you can use granulated as well). Finally, pop in the preheated 425-degree oven & roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes. The secret is for the oven to be very hot without the veggies getting overcooked & wimpy.

finished asparagus

Now that the asparagus is done, crank the oven temp up as hot as it will go (ours goes up to 550) & throw the ham in for 10 min (15 min if you left it whole), then rearrange the pieces, sprinkle more cloves, brown sugar, drizzle more molasses, & turn on the broiler on high. Set the timer for 7 minutes & go get the table set. (The broiler gets it good & crispy around the edges.)

after 10 minutes rotate sprinkle again cook another 10 repeat sprinkling again then broil on low for 5 if you want extra crispy

Dinner is done!

Dinner is served!


Coke Ham

  • 1  Shank Half/Bone-In Ham
  • 1  2 Liter Bottle Original Coke-Cola
  • Brown Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Cloves

Place Ham, thick side down, into pot on top of stove. Pour Coke-Cola over ham. Cover with lid, bring to boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours. When 2-3 hours have passed: Heat oven as hot as it will go (probably 550); Pour ham and Coke-Cola into strainer in sink; Transfer ham to an oven proof pan (either the entire ham or cut from bone & place in pan, but either way trim fat first; if whole ham in dish you must score it by cutting slashes all over it so the next ingredients will seep down inside); Sprinkle with cloves, brown sugar, & molasses (to taste); Put in oven for 15 minutes (If you cut the ham from the bone, you’ll need to cook 10 minutes in the oven then rotate pieces, add more cloves, brown sugar, & molasses, then cook another 7 minutes on broil to crisp it up.


Garlic Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 4-5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt or Sea Salt, to Taste
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to Taste
  • Ground Garlic, to Taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean asparagus under cool water. Remove woody ends from the asparagus by gently bending the end of each spear until it snaps naturally. Lay on a paper towel & pat dry as you can (you don’t want them to steam in the oven).  Next, spread the asparagus out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea or kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, & garlic (I use a little garlic mill, but you can use granulated as well). Finally, pop in the preheated oven & roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes. The secret is for the oven to be very hot without the veggies getting overcooked & wimpy.


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Super Easy, Family Pleasing Chicken

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Do you ever have one of those moments where you are contemplating what you’re making for dinner at like 2 o’clock in the afternoon, then you remember seeing something in your inbox a couple of days before that you’re pretty sure you have all of the ingredients for?

You find it, it looks okay & you realize that with a few modifications you’re pretty sure everyone would like it.

If you’re lucky you’re right. If you were me this last week, you were amazed because they LOVED it so much I just made it again tonight. This time I took pictures for you all!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

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8 oz of French Dressing

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1 packet of onion soup mix

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A generous dusting of granulated garlic & a pinch or 2 of cayenne (more if your family likes things hot).

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8 oz of apricot preserves
(You could sub orange marmalade if you want it a little less sweet, but it’s not crazy sweet anyway…)

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Mix it up well & set aside.

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Fill a glass baking dish with chicken thighs & season liberally with salt & pepper. (I used about 10-11 boneless skinless chicken thighs). Then pour on the sauce & spread to cover the thighs evenly. Place into a preheated oven & cook for 60 min.

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When the timer goes off turn on the broiler to low for 8-10 min. This caramelizes the top just enough to make it awesome.

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And here we are! I served it with rice & salad the 1st night, peas the 2nd.
Leftovers heated up well too…this one was awesome!

Teens, the toddler, the hubby, & I all loved it & that is a rare occurrence!

Go love someone!
~Paige

What’s in the Fridge/Freezer Soup

Today was a cold one again! I don’t think that it got above 20 degrees! Clearly it’s a soup night!
Kinda perfect considering I have a leftover roasted chicken in my fridgerator with barely any meat on it (stock-ready, I call it). We’ll start there!

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For my Homemade Chicken Stock (sure to cure what ails you) your basic ingredients are:
Roasted organic chicken carcass
2 carrots, halved
2 ribs celery, halved
1 med-large onion (your favorite variety), quartered
1 bulb garlic, quartered
1-2 Tbsp whole peppercorns
2 whole bay leaves
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
A pinch of turmeric
1-2 tsp sea salt (depending on size of pot & how much water)
Splash of cooking sherry
(You can always add additional veggies if you have some that are close to turning as well. Peppers add wonderful flavor to stocks, as do cabbages. Root vegetables like beets do as well!)

If using a crockpot, put everything in, cover with water. Cook on high for 4 hours, then set on low for 3-6 hours.  
(My crockpot cooks hotter than most. I usually cook on high for 2-3, then overnight on warm.) 
If cooking on the stove, bring it to a boil, then allow to simmer for at least 2 hours. Remember that the longer it cooks the more of the goodness come out into the broth. You don’t want it to reduce though. Be prepared to add water to it if needs be, just bring it back up to boil, then back down to simmer again.

Once its finished cooking, pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer reserving the broth in a large bowl or another pot. Allow the juice to drip out of the vegetables & carcass for a few minutes before you toss it aside.

Onto the rest of the soup…
I know I’m making a poultry-based soup, as I don’t eat much red meat & I’m making fresh chicken stock. I really hadn’t planned for soup today until I looked outside!

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This is the view from the door! I do not feel like going to the store…I guess it’s time for “What’s in the Fridge/Freezer Soup”
When I look out in the freezer to grab the chicken, assuming that I’ll be grabbing breasts, thighs, or a combination of both I see these, which I bought at Costco last week

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Chicken Andouille Sausages! Its on! Now the decision is noodles, rice, or barley? The traditionalist in me says beans & rice of course, or maybe barley instead of rice…but I have a 2 year old…rice in soup=messy mess. And I have an autistic teen who is picky about veggies, but if they are all in a dish together, he’ll eat them, so they really need to be in the soup…
I decided our dinner:

“Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup”

While the stock was cooking I gathered my ingredients,

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Egg noodles (after the picture was taken I measured about 4 cups, dry, into a bowl to be cooked once the stock was finished. You should always add them precooked or they will end up too mushy),

2 C frozen peas (you could use fresh too),

2 C carrots (sliced),

1/2 – 2/3 C some fresh parsley (chopped or minced to your liking),

salt & pepper,

1 Lbs + package Chicken Andouille Sausage

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I defrosted & cut up the sausage (these are already cooked, if you haven’t tried them you really should. All natural, gluten free, super tastey!)

Once the stock has finished cooking & is straining, cook your pasta to al dente. Strain as well, reserving a little of the water just in case you need to add a little liquid to your pot.
Pour the stock back into the pot. Add the sausage, carrots, peas, & parsley.

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Then add the noodles bring to a low boil season to taste with salt & pepper. Cook until carrots are tender (about 20-30 min depending on how thick you sliced them).  If your stock is too concentrated or there is not enough liquid add hot water you reserved from your pasta.

Of course you can make anything for your “What’s in the Fridge Soup,” but this turned out pretty awesome, so I thought I’d share!

Have a wonderful night!