Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Leftovers Take 4

Ham and Egg Fried Rice
Cooking Light September 2008

4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)


  • 4 cups cold cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup thinly horizontally sliced green beans
  • 3/4 cup diced ham (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onions


1. Break up rice with hands to remove large clumps, if necessary.

2. Heat a 14-inch wok over high heat. Add canola oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add 1 1/2 cups onion and garlic to wok; stir-fry 1 minute or until onion begins to brown. Add beans and ham; stir-fry 2 minutes or until ham begins to brown.

3. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add cold rice to wok; stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper. Push rice mixture up sides of wok. Pour eggs in open space in center of wok; cook 30 seconds or until set, stirring to scramble. Gently stir scrambled eggs into rice mixture. Sprinkle with green onions.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 397 (29% from fat)
Fat: 12.8g (sat 2.3g,mono 5.4g,poly 3.2g)
Protein: 14.5g
Carbohydrate: 54.5g
Fiber: 2.8g
Cholesterol: 121mg
Iron: 3.3mg
Sodium: 868mg
Calcium: 57mg
This dish was pretty tasty but I didn't like the consistency. It was more like rice mush. I had sticky rice on hand but I probably should have used a long grain, less starchy rice.

Here's to a Healthier 2009

I had so much fun in 2008 trying new recipes and publishing a wide variety of blog posts. However, looking back at some of the posts I wonder how I didn't gain 100 pounds this year.

There were 20 Wilton posts relating to my cake decorating classes (that's a lot of cake!).

There were 16 cookie posts (I doubt even Santa could eat this many cookies!).

There were 8 Snack food posts. Some snack foods are healthy but I doubt any of these qualify.

There were 20 dessert posts. "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips."

And the winner for the ultimate unhealthy food post of the year... Fried Snickers!

In 2009 I am turning over a new leaf. Yes folks you heard that right. This junk food junkie, sweet tooth sweetie, cream and butter queen is going to attempt a new health food challenge. In 2009 my goal is to post at least one healthy recipe each week on Mondays. There will even be a new blog category for healthy food. Everyone probably has their own definition of healthy. I'm not going to take this to vegan extremes but I will try recipes that are low fat, low sodium, and low calorie. I plan to get my inspiration from Weight Watchers, Cooking Light, and Sparkpeople recipes as well as other sources. Don't worry I will still post new cookie, cake, and snack recipes in the new year because I could never give up these vices for an entire year. But I am taking baby steps. I also started a new blog called Live N' It Up which is about striving for a balanced, healthy life. This blog will include fitness posts, book reviews, indoor and outdoor activities, and much more to keep me accountable in my quest to live healthier.

Look for the Healthy Recipe Challenge Logo in 2009. Feel free to join me in this challenge too and use this logo in your healthy blog posts.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Leftovers Take 3

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

2 cups dried red beans (kidney beans or small red beans)
1 ham hock
Cajun seasoning to taste
enough water to cover the ham and beans in the slow cooker
2 cups cooked white rice

Rinse red beans under water. Add ham hock and beans to slow cooker. Cover with water. Add seasoning. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low 8-10 hours. Serve over rice. Sprinkle additional seasoning on top if desired.

Warning: this makes enough to feed an army. There are just two of us so we've been feasting on this for several days.

Special Cheese & Crackers

I got this idea while shopping at Costco. They were sampling their Raspberry Chipotle Sauce over cheese and crackers. It was so good. Your party guests will think you spent a lot of time preparing these but they are super simple. The flavor combination is delightful.

Raspberry Chipotle Cheese & Crackers

cream cheese
butter crackers such as Keebler Club Crackers
Fischer and Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce *available at Costco

Allow cream cheese to soften at room temperature until it is spreadable. Spread cheese on individual crackers. Top with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Leftovers Take 2

Ham and Cheese Crepes
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
coarse salt
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons butter, melted
vegetable oil for cooking crepes
1 cups shredded cheese (original recipe is for Swiss cheese but I used cheddar)
1/2 lb thinly sliced ham, cut into strips

For the crepe batter, combine the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, milk, and brandy to the well and whisk to combine. Stir in the melted butter. Cover the batter and set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Cover the bottom of the skillet with just enough batter to coat, lifting and shaking the skillet to help the batter along. Let the crepe cook and lightly brown on one side, about 1 minute. Turn the crepe with a rubber spatula, lifting up the edges, then use a toothpick or your finger to flip it over. Once it is flipped, scatter some cheese and ham on top. Season with salt and pepper, then fold the crepe over and continue to cook until the cheese starts to melt. Transfer the crepe to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat 7 more times to serve 2 crepes per person.

Christmas Leftovers Take 1

Ham and Lentil Soup
by Me

1 cup dried lentils
1 cup cooked ham
6 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and clean the lentils. Place lentils and chicken broth in a large pot. Boil for 30 minutes. Add ham, salt and pepper and boil for 30 more minutes.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas Menu

Whiskey Glazed Ham
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cauliflower Au Gratin
Cream Corn Muffins
Lindt Chocolate Cheesecake
Martini and Rossi Sparkling Wine

Whiskey Glazed Ham

1 half ham
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp apricot marmalade
1 tsp spicy mustard
3 Tbsp Jack Daniels Whiskey

Place ham in a roasting pan. Cover with lid or aluminum foil. Cook for 3 hours at 350 degrees. In a sauce pan combine brown sugar, marmalade, mustard, and whiskey. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. All ingredients should be well combines. Remove ham from oven. Remove lid or foil. Pour glaze over ham. Return to oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole

I made this dish last year for Thanksgiving. I think this is the best sweet potato casserole recipe and I don't want to make it any other way.

Cauliflower Au Gratin
recipe from my mom

1 head cauliflower
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter
4 slices Kraft singles cheese
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Trim green leaves and stalk from cauliflower. Rinse cauliflower under water. Place in a large pot and fill with two inches of water. Cover pot with lid. Steam over medium heat for 30 minutes or until a fork can easily poke through. Remove cauliflower from pot and place in an oven safe dish. Cover with 3 slices of Kraft cheese (trim cheese to fit if needed). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a sauce pan, combine butter and milk. Simmer until butter is melted. Add 1 slice of Kraft cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese. Continue to stir and simmer over low until cheese is melted. Pour sauce over cauliflower. Place cauliflower in oven. Bake until cheese is bubbly and begins to turn light brown (about 10 minutes but watch carefully).

Cream Corn Muffins

1 pkg Jiffy corn bread mix
1 egg
1 can cream corn
3 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Place nine baking liners in a muffin pan. Spray the liners with cooking spray. Divide the mixture evenly between the 9 muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Lindt Chocolate Cheesecake

9 inch chocolate graham cracker crust
2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (if you don't have sweetened condensed milk and you just realized it Christmas day and all the stores are closed then you can substitute according to the directions here)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c flour
3 oz bitter sweet Lindt baking chocolate
2 Tbsp whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the chocolate and whipping cream in the microwave for about 45 seconds, but watch carefully so you don't burn it. In a large bowl whip the cream cheese until soft and creamy. Slowly add the condensed milk. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Slowly add the flour. Pour in the chocolate and smooth and well combined. Pour mixture into the graham cracker crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting To Know You Christmas Edition

I was tagged by my sister Erika.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Depends on the gift but usually gift bags. This year it was unwrapped gifts because you aren't supposed to bring wrapped gifts on the plane.

2. Real tree or Artificial? No tree. We didn't get around to putting one up this year.

3. When do you put up the tree? See #2

4. When do you take the tree down? See #2

5. Do you like eggnog? Not really but I will drink a little bit to satisfy the tradition.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? bicycle

7. Hardest person to buy for? Lauren

8. Easiest person to buy for? myself - I buy too much for myself when I should be buying for other people. lol

9. Do you have a nativity scene? No.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? We usually forget to send them.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? My old softball bat. My parents thought it would be funny to wrap up my old bat and re-gift it to me. It wasn't funny at all. I cried because I wanted a new bat.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story - "You'll shoot your eye out!"

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop for myself year-round. lol

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? cookies

16. Favorite Christmas song? There are so many of them and I think I have a new favorite every year. Right now my favorite is Last Christmas. Growing up my favorite was All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Staying home this year

18. Missed this question. So say anything that comes to mind..........................I wish my company considered Christmas Eve a holiday

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have a star but didn't use it this year. See #2

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? In the morning

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Going to the mall. Too much traffic

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Aggie theme, maroon & white

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? a few days of relaxation

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged.

Caramel Apple Bread

This bread came out of a package. Gasp! I found it on sale at Super Target and I thought it looked interesting so I decided to give it a try. It was actually pretty decent for packaged mix.

Sweet Seasons Caramel Apple Bread

1 pkg mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a large spoon until well combined. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Pour mix into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Raspberry Chipotle Meatballs

I went to a potluck Christmas party last night. I signed up to bring an appetizer so I could have some material to blog about for Snack Food Sunday this week. These meatballs were a huge hit. I wasn't very happy with the turkey meatballs though. Chase likes them but I thought the consistency was more like bread and they didn't stay together very well in the crockpot. I will go with beef meatballs or a different brand next time.

Raspberry Chipotle Meatballs

1 pkg (3 lbs) fully cooked turkey meatballs
1 jar Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

*I purchased both of these items at Costco

Add meatballs and sauce to crockpot. Cook on high until meatballs and sauce are heated through (about 1 hour). Reduce temperature to low or warm while guests feast on the party buffet.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Overnight French Toast Bake with Berry Topping

This is the second recipe I've tried from the Betty Crocker Brunch eCookbook. I actually prefer the first one I made, Upside-Down Banana-Nut French Toast, but this one was good too.

Overnight French Toast Bake with Berry Topping
from Betty Crocker Brunch page 8-9

Serves 8

For the French Toast Bake:
12 cups cubed French bread
8 eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Berry Topping:
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen berries (unsweetened) *I replaced this with more strawberries
3 cups strawberries, quartered

1. Spray bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place bread cubes in baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs, half-and-half, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until smooth; pour over bread cubes. Cover tightly; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no more than 24 hours.

2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover baking dish; bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean.

3. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart sauce pan, stir together 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in orange juice until smooth. Stir in mixed berries. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook about 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until topping is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

4. Just before serving stir strawberries into topping. Serve warm over French Toast.

Little Smokies in Orange Sauce

Little Smokies in Orange Sauce

1 pkg. (16 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Little Smokies
1-1/2 cups orange juice
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

HEAT Little Smokies as directed on package.

MIX remaining ingredients in small saucepan. Cook on medium heat 10 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens, stirring frequently.

PLACE Little Smokies in slow cooker or fondue pot set on low heat. Add sauce; stir gently. Cover with lid to keep warm until ready to serve.