Category Archives: Holidays

You have a ham bone, now what??

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You have a ham bone, now what??

How many of you plan to cook a ham for Easter?  Ooohh, I can see your hands in the air!  The dilemma is solved, my friends, with what to do with that dang ham bone, in this post.  Bottom line, do not throw it away — that Easter ham is the gift that keeps on giving!

I cooked a ham after Christmas, and froze the bone.  Since we have had all four seasons in one week, today being foggy, chilly, and rainy, I thought ham and beans might just fit the ticket, plus it can cook away all day in the slow cooker.   If you have read other posts of mine, you might have seen that I’m a fan of Southern Living magazine.  I’m a midwest girl, but that magazine will give you some of the best recipes and ideas ever!

I grabbed this recipe out of the drawer, and voila, Spring Ham and Bean Soup was ready when we arrived home.  I prepped everything the night before and threw it all in before heading out the door.  The recipe actually calls for a 6 hour jaunt on high in the slow cooker, but since I was gone all day, I cooked it on low for about 11 hours.  PERFECT!!!!  You can find the recipe here but I’m adding it below for your convenience.

So, if you are one of the lucky ones eating Easter ham, save the bone and take advantage of an easy peasy meal!  Happy Easter, and thanks for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

Ham and Bean Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans, sorted of debris and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (dried works as well)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large, meaty ham bone

Stir together chicken stock, Great Northern beans, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, celery, carrots, and onion in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place ham bone in the center of mixture; cover and cook on HIGH until beans are tender, about 6 hours, or low until you get home from work. Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bone; discard fat, gristle, and bone. Shred meat, and stir into soup.

 

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A couple of easy peasy salads for your turkey day table…..

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A couple of easy peasy salads for your turkey day table…..

Not sure why I’ve not posted these recipes — they are two of my most requested.  My fantastic mother-in-law introduced me to the Oriental Crunch Salad, and my brother won’t let me come for Thanksgiving lunch if I don’t bring the Pineapple-Cranberry Salad.  I love CRUNCH, and these salads live up to the challenge.  It’s not too late to serve to loved ones on your Thanksgiving table tomorrow (or whenever you gather for the holiday)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

Oriental Crunch Salad

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Ingredients:

1 16oz. bag shredded coleslaw mix
6 green onions, chopped (with greens)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4  cup tarragon vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 pkg ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
1 stick butter

Mix together the shredded cabbage and chopped green onions.  Set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce together.  Stir/shake well until sugar is dissolved.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  (I do this in a jar and shake the heck out of it)

Brown almonds, sunflower seeds and ramen noodles in margarine or butter.  Drain on paper towels and store in plastic bag until ready to serve.  Careful not to burn

You can make everything ahead of time.  Keep separate until about 15 minutes before serving time.  Put the crunchies over the slaw and pour the dressing over all.  Stir well.

cranberry

Pineapple Cranberry Salad

Pineapple-Cranberry Salad

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Ingredients:

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 pkg (4 serving size) raspberry flavored jello
1 can (16 oz) whole cranberry sauce
1 red apple, choppedf
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough cold water to juice to measure 3 cups; pour into saucepan.  Bring to boil; remove from heat.  Add jello mix and stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Stir in cranberry sauce.  Pour into serving bowl, and refrigerate for 1.5 hours or until slightly thickened.

Stir in pineapple, apples and pecans.  Refrigerate until firm.  Yummo!

 

Hey all you smokers out there….

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Hey all you smokers out there….

meat smokers, that is!  If you’re lookin to change it up a bit for the holidays, I’ve got the deal for you.  We aren’t huge turkey eaters – usually dry…you know the story.  However, while I was out of town last week, Mike, the hubster, did a little research and found a smoked turkey recipe on the Traeger site.  He shared it with me, and my only thought was, ok, this sounds good, but we need to do a trial run before we launch it on everyone at Christmas.

So, today was the day.  We actually started watching the (horrible) KC Chiefs game and half way through, ate wings right off the smoker.  We tried some sauce that we scored in St. Louis last weekend (you might have seen a recent post that we were there for a wedding) which is from a restaurant called Syberg’s.  (Actually, I think we have met the owner at the lake; he’s a friend of a friend, Bob Wood, a.k.a Woody, and I believe he’s been on our dock before).  We joined our friends, Nick and Katie, for lunch, and they said they sell it in the grocery store, so we bought some before we left town – a couple different kinds.  If you have a chance to eat there, do it.  Delish!  And, the plus is that they have TV’s everywhere, and posted on the TV is the NFL game that will be broadcast on that particular TV that day.  I’ve watched a lot of football in sports bars, and that’s a new, albeit very convenient, idea!!!

OK, so back to the turkey.  Mike took the Traeger recipe and changed it up a bit, and it’s amazing.  We will definitely be doing this at Christmas, along with tri tip on the smoker as well.  Note that we did this on a pellet smoker, instead of the big wood smoker (easier) so adjust as you need to.  This is it before going under the knife:

turkey

Two turkey breasts, awaiting the knife and consumption!

So, so delicious.  We gave half to our friends, and will have leftovers this week.

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

~Connie Kaye

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Ingredients:

MEAT
We used a bone-in turkey breast (leave skin on)

Brine
1 gallon water
3 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup canning & pickling sauce
3 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP cajun seasoning

Cover and brine for 1-2 days.  Following brining, remove and pat dry.

Mix 1/2 cup soft butter and 1.5 cups spicy BBQ sauce (we used Traeger Texas Spicy Sauce- yum).  Rub this under the skin and all over the turkey breasts.

Set smoker at 225 degrees, and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours — until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Baste with remaining butter/BBQ sauce every 30 minutes or so.  Once it hits the desired temperature, remove from smoker and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

Carve and enjoy!

Yummy Crescent Roll Ups

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Yummy Crescent Roll Ups

The perfect recipe for tailgating or watching football – what can you not like about creme cheese, bacon, jalapenos?  I sure cannot think of anything!  Tried these a few weeks ago, and they did not last long at all.  Super easy, and you begin with crescent roll dough, preferably the full sheet, or if not, just seal the triangles to make a sheet.  Cover with a layer of whipped cream cheese to which you have added chopped jalapenos and crumbled cooked bacon.  Sprinkle with sharp shredded cheddar cheese, and roll, starting with the long end.  Cut with sharp knife, and you should have something similar to this:

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You’re about 15 minutes away from yummy.  Add shredded cheddar to the top, and bake at 375 degrees or until desired degree of brownness.   Enjoy, and grab one first before your “friends” get to them!

~Connie Kaye

The BEST pickles

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Yes, I know I’ve been absent for a LONG time, but I now have full staff at work, and hopefully time to share some great recipes I’ve been saving for the last few months!

We have a neighborhood shrimp boil every year around the middle of October, and this year, my friend Becky brought the most amazing pickles.  They’re sweet and spicy with just the right kick and crunch, and the best part is that they’re SO simple to make.

I’m sharing the recipe below, and if you add anything to change it up, please post below in the comments so I can try that as well.  (she says that some people add cauliflower and carrots)  Enjoy, and see you back  here again soon!

~Connie Kaye

Becky's Sweet and Spicy Dills

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Ingredients

1 gallon whole dill pickles
5 cloves chopped garlic
1 jar sliced, drained jalapenos, chopped
2 cups sugar

Chop or slice dill pickles as desired, reserving juice.  Add chopped garlic, chopped jalapenos and sugar.  Stir and place mixture back into pickle jar.  Add enough pickle juice to cover.   Place in refrigerator and turn daily for 2 weeks.  Enjoy!

 

Yummy Potato Casserole

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This is not your traditional tater casserole.  Nothing healthy about it, but with Easter approaching, I wanted to share as it would be a delicious addition to your meal.

Keep in mind that this casserole may use shredded frozen potatoes and cheddar cheese, but you use HEAVY CREAM – nope, no canned soup in this baby.  I now use only sharp cheddar but you could go with your favorite.  And, for those of you who want to make it and leave it, I’m pretty sure a slow cooker would work on this.

cheesy-hash-brown-casserole

Happy St. Patty’s Day, and enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Potato Casserole

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Ingredients:

4 cups shredded hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 1/2 heavy cream
Optional:  thinly sliced or minced onion

Alternate layers of potatoes and cheese (and onion, if using), using salt and pepper to taste.  One you have all of the taters and cheese in casserole dish, pour cream over it.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min covered, then remove lid and continue for another 10-15 minutes uncovered so cheese is bubbly.

 

Crockpot Crack

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Not that we all need more chocolate this time of year, but hey, it’s the holidays, and we all need some good go-to’s for family, friends, work, etc.

So here’s another drug recipe — well, not really.  A co-worker makes this and swears by it.  Super easy and no way you can mess it up.

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Photo credit keyingredient.com

Happy holidays, and thanks for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

Crockpot Crack

  • Servings: depends
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Ingredients:

1-16 oz jar unsalted peanuts
1-16 oz. jar salted peanuts
1-12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2-10 oz. bags peanut butter chips
2 – lb. pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

layer all ingredients in a large crockpot, starting with peanuts.  (at this point I hope you are using a crockpot liner).  Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours.  Remove lid and stir to combine.  Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes.  Stir again then spoon mixture onto wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil.  Allow to harden for at least one hour.