Cheesy Ham and Potatoes

I got this recipe from Coleen's Recipes who got it from Carries Cooking and Recipes who got it from Melissa d'Arabian, winner of The Next Food Network Star. And not one of our recipes are the same... we all tweaked it! But 'tis the nature of recipes. While my version didn't turn out exactly as I planned/hoped, it was really delicious and we'll be making it again.

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced very small
1 cup ham, chopped very small
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 pepper
Heavy cream (2 Tbsp per serving)

Although this makes 12 individual cheesy ham & potato servings, it could easily be cut down to serve only 2 people by halving the recipe. An adult can easily eat 2 servings. And they warm up well for the next day.


Chop potatoes very small.

Add ham.

Add cheese.Mix all together.Spray muffin tins with Pam. Spoon potato/ham/cheese mixture into each cup.Using a Tbsp, pour 2 Tbsp into each cup. Cover with foil. And bake for 20 minutes at 375. You will want a cookie sheet on the bottom rack because some of the cream will boil over (but only a little). After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes. At the last 5 minutes, put the oven on HI broil. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from muffin tin with a spoon.

Now, here is where mine went awry. Mine did not solidify into little cake-like potato patties like Coleen's. I think my potatoes may have needed to be a little smaller, maybe somewhere between chopped and shredded. But they still tasted so wonderful. I'll still be making them again. I ended up scooping them all out and putting them in a dish and serving it that way. It was okay. I was disappointed in the presentation but the taste was so good I didn't really care anymore. And I really liked the potatoes being cut up so small. My family absolutely loved them. We served them with chicken, but they'd be a great side dish for any meal. I also think they'd be great served at breakfast as well. They are super easy and all in one dish. That's my kind of meal!

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Orange Syrup

I'm almost seven months pregnant (with our 3rd child --and second boy). Ever since I got pregnant, the one consistent thing I have craved is orange juice. This is especially strange for me, but I just can't get enough. After making the BEST buttermilk pancakes... ever, I decided that they would taste lovely with some orange syrup. This syrup is SUPER easy too make and super versatile for pancakes or a bundt cake. I hope you like it!

1 cup sugar
1 cube butter
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

Put all ingredients into a saucepan over medium low.

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool slightly and serve over pancakes, sweet bread, poppyseed cake or whatever you like.

Pour remaining syrup in a container and keep in the fridge until you're ready to use it again.... which will be soon because this stuff is GOOD!

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The BEST buttermilk pancakes!

I have a buttermilk pancake recipe I love. So when I came across this recipe on Joy the Baker, I realized it was exactly the same as mine but with butter instead of oil. Can't go wrong with butter. (She puts chocolate chips in hers as well. We're not so wild about chocolate chips in our pancakes so I left them out.) So I tried my recipe with her changes of butter. Oh they were so GOOD! We served them with buttermilk syrup. Can't go wrong with buttermilk syrup either. :)

2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 cups buttermilk
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Mix eggs, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients all at once and mix well.

Pour batter onto preheated griddle on medium heat. I won't go into when to flip your pancake. I think most people know how to do that. Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes 12 medium-sized pancakes or more depending on how small you make them.

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Poppyseed Bread

from Mom

2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup oil
2-3 Tbsp poppyseeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond flavoring

Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry mixture.Mix well but do not overmix. I usually do this on low speed at first to wet it all and then go up one speed until it is mixed well.Pour in small greased/well-floured loaf pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour.Sauce:
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

I usually double the sauce because I like mine really tasty.Don't remove loaves from their pans. Spoon or brush over loaves while still warm. I desired, poke bread carefully with a fork or a toothpick before spooning sauce over loaves. Leave loaves in pan until sauce is set up. Then carefully remove loaves and if there is remaining sauce on the bottom of the loaf pan, pour it over the top of each loaf.Slice and enjoy.

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Homemade Noodles

From Mom
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup milk
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour

With whisk, combine eggs, milk and salt. Stir in 2 cups flour with large fork. It will be stiff.

Flour surface to roll out. Roll out dough (half at a time). Flour top of dough. Roll quite thin. Sprinkle more flour so it won't stick when rolled. Roll it up and cut on cutting board. Unroll on cookie sheet and add more flour if noodles are sticking together.

Throw noodles into soup at the end and cook until tender.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got this from Real Mom Kitchen who got it from Blogger Buffet. But as with most recipes, you get it and tweak it and make it your own. And how could I resist this recipe when it's all done in the crockpot!? I'm all for something else doing all the hard work.

1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups El Pato Enchilada Sauce
1 can cream chicken soup
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp minced onions
1 Tbsp green chiles (more if you want it more spicy)
3 boneless chicken breasts

Just a note about the enchilada sauce... El Pato is good stuff. I think it is the best brand I've used. And I've tried a lot. It sure made a difference in this soup.
Pour enchilada sauce into the crock pot. Add soup and milk and whisk until smooth. Add chicken. Pour black beans, tomatoes, and corn over top. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours on high. Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Put it back in and stir it all together. (The original recipe calls for 6 to 8 hours on low. However, I forgot to put it together in the morning, so I did it on high and it was still worked out really well.)

Serve with fritos, shredded cheese, and sour cream on top! Avocado might be a good addition as well. I can never get my kids to eat them so I don't even bother. All in all it was a great dish. One we'll definitely be serving again. It made quite a bit for my family of 4. So we froze some and shared some with the neighbors.
Variation: This recipe was a little too spicy for my little kids. So if you are sensitive to some spice, reduce the enchilada sauce to 1 1/2 cups and add 1 small tomato sauce. And if you want it even more mild, you could exclude the chiles, too. However, I thought it was just right for my taste. The sour cream really made it perfect. My husband ate 3 bowls, which is impressive. I think it is a new favorite!
Variation 2: Don't put in the El Pato. Don't put in the chiles. Instead, Use 1 14oz can enchilada sauce (Old El Paso). At the end, drain the juice of 1 can of Original RoTel into a bowl. Pour the contents of the can into the soup. Let simmer for a few minutes and do a taste test. If it is the right "heat," then serve it. If you want it hotter, add the juices as well. This was a great variation! I think we like it best!!!

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Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

1 large package frozen strawberries
2 C sugar
4 eggs
1/2 pt whipping cream
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2t strawberry extract
1t lemon extract

In a blender add: strawberries, blend until smooth. Add eggs, extracts and sugar.

In a separate large bowl, beat whipping cream until thick. Stir in both cans of milk.

Mix all together in bowl. Pour into ice cream container. Add regular milk if needed to fill to the line.

Process as your machine directs.

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Maori Bread

8 C flour
1/2 C margarine
4 C warm water
1 yeast packet
2T sugar
1/2 t salt

Dissolve yeast & 1 T sugar in 1/2 C warm water. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Blend in the margarine. Add yeast mix & blend. Add remaining water. Mix together & knead (may need more flour). Let rise. Knead again then shape into 3 loaves. Cover & let rise about 20-30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45-60 min. Will sound hollow when tapped on with a spoon.

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Saucy Beef and Broccoli

Saute until lightly browned:
1 steak- thinly sliced (you can also use stew meat) & 1T oil

Make sauce with:
1 can tomato soup
3T soy sauce
1T vinegar
1t garlic powder
1/2 t crushed red pepper (optional)

Pour over beef & simmer 15 minutes.
Add: 3 C steamed & drained broccoli

Toss together & serve over white rice.

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Sinful Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

from Stephanie
(Note: I posted this recipe last October. It's super naughty and delicious. I finally found time to make it with step-by-step pictures. So I am reposting it. Hope you enjoy!)

2 cups Vanilla wafer crumbs (About 40 wafers if just crushing them)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
14 oz wrapped caramels (a 14oz Kraft bag works well since they melt down easier than Brachs. Don’t use Farleys or a generic brand.)
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans Note: (I used ½ cup pecans. It was plenty. I think 1 cup would be too much.)
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1. Crush Nilla Wafers. (I like mine so they're not super fine, with a few chunks.)
Melt butter, combine with cookie crumbs.
Press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.I very lightly sprayed the inside rim of the pan with Pam after I put the crust down so that the caramel and chocolate mixture didn’t stick. It makes for a prettier, more presentable cheesecake.

2. Melt caramels with the evaporated milk in a 1 ½ qt heavy saucepan over low heat. (Medium low works better.)Stir frequently until smooth. Pour caramel sauce into crust.Top with pecans. At this point, allow caramel to cool and set up. I usually let it sit for at least 30 minutes. If it doesn't set up, you will have a mess on your hands when you put the chocolate batter over it.3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt the chocolate (slowly in microwave -in 30 second increments), then blend into cream cheese mixture. Pour chocolate batter over pecans.4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Carefully loosen sides of cake from rim with knife, but do not remove rim until cheesecake is completely cool. Cool completely on wire rack. Chill completely before serving.

5. Enjoy each sinful slice!

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