Comfort Food · Dinner

What To Do With that Ham Bone?

Holiday meals are creeping up on us, believe it or not! Last weekend I baked a Smithfield Brown sugar glazed ham (it’s one of the best I’ve ever bought!). After I sliced all the meat off, I tucked the bone into a freezer bag and put it in the fridge. I knew that bone had all kinds of possibilities! I usually always make Senate Bean Soup with our Christmas ham bone, but I wanted to venture out and try a new recipe.

I found this a recipe for Creamy Ham and Potato Soup and it sounded savory and delicious. It also didn’t take hours to make! The recipe suggested making ham stock with the bone and using that as the base of the soup. That’s exactly what I did. All that took was popping the bone into a stock pot with water to cover and simmering it for an hour. Easy peasy.

Here’s the simple recipe with my slight changes:

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup

NGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup large carrot peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 2 cups Ham Stock or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chicken Bouillon
  • 3 cups milk 
  • 1 pinch of salt, if needed 
  • fresh cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes).
  • Add the potatoes, cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Mix the flour through and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in stock and bouillon and ham, mixing all ingredients together. Increase heat and bring to a boil until potatoes are ‘just’ fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add the milk and stir over the heat until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  • Add more and salt and pepper, as needed
  • Serve warm.

This was so savory! I was so happy to make such good use of that flavorful ham bone! It made a whole pot of ham stock, so now I also have more frozen for a couple more recipes of this wonderful soup!

To make your own ham stock, place the ham bone in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Discard bone. How easy is that?!

If you don’t have a ham bone on hand, you can purchase a bone at Honey Bake Ham! But I’d also encourage you to save this for those holiday hams in your future!

Here are a couple of our other favorite savory soups:
Sausage Corn Chowder
Chicken Gnocchi

Happy ham bone season!

baking · Comfort Food · Fall

Link to Favorite Fall Foods

Would someone explain to me why when fall rolls around I get this insatiable desire to bake everything delicious? The temps drop, and I seriously want to make Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Cake, Donuts, Muffins of every sort, and a whole assortment of cookies! I need to join a support group.

If you’re like me, then I’m going to help you. I wrote a post last year about my Roll Call of Favorite Fall Foods. I recently added a BUNCH more of my favorite recipes to that post! To make it easy to find, I have added a “Seasonal Foods” category to my recipe index. Scroll down below 30-minute recipes and you’ll find Fall Favorites there.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is an example of one recipe in my line-up of fall favorites – I’m pretty sure I post this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake every year, but it’s with good reason! It’s the BEST pumpkin recipe I’ve ever made. Everyone loves this cake and it’s so easy it’s crazy!

The list of fall foods is complete with main dishes, breads, soups, all my favorite pumpkin recipes and more! I hope you’ll avail yourself to my list and cook and bake up a storm this fall!

Who else gets the urge to bake when it turns cool outside?

With love from my country kitchen,

Comfort Food · Dinner · Easy recipe · soup

Empty the Freezer Soup

Savory soups that simmer on the stove create two things –

  1. An aroma that’s irresistible
  2. A meal that satisfies both appetites and hearts

Last week I had the blessing of spending time with my parents and helping out during a time of hardship. Fixing meals each day was one responsibility I took on with great delight. A sampling of my menu included things like, Pinto Beans like Cracker Barrel’s, traditional Rump Roast dinner with all the trimmings, Baked Potatoes topped with broccoli cheese sauce – all recipe I’ve made many times.

But then my mom requested I make her recipe for Vegetable Beef Soup. She had this recipe in her head and verbally shared it with me one morning. I realized it would pull together very quickly, and would also use up some of the little bits of this and that in the freezer. Always a good thing, right?

During the fall and winter we eat lots of homemade soups. Some of my favorites are Senate Bean Soup, and Cream of Wild Rice Soup but both of these recipes are a little labor-intensive and take some time to prepare (but so worth it!). I love having a delicious soup recipe that’s a snap to pull together, and my mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup definitely fits the bill! You can use whatever vegetables you like/have on hand. This soup is a great way to use up those little bit of leftovers hiding in the fridge or stored in your freezer!

Here’s her simple recipe…

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup lima beans
1 potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 can Bush’s northern beans
1/3 cup barley
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef and onion. Drain any fat. Add the chicken broth and then all the vegetables, spices,seasonings and barley. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes.

I like to serve a soup like this with a crusty bread and a side salad.

Yum! This is a perfect winter meal that will:

  • Wisely use up leftover veggies in your freezer
  • Warm bodies
  • Win the hearts of those that sit at your table!

Open up your freezer, grab those veggies and throw them in a pot for this delicious soup this week!

Refresh your menu with a savory soup!

Chicken · Comfort Food

Honey Fried Chicken Strips

Honey Fried Chicken Strips, drizzled with honey on top.

One day just recently my daughter sent me a text and asked me for my recipe for Honey Fried chicken Strips. Oh my goodness! I hadn’t thought of that dish in a long time! I used to make this recipe when my girls were growing up, and quite frankly, I hadn’t made it in years! The reason is because it’s not exactly healthy. It is in complete contrast to some of my recent low calorie posts, but it’s simply too good not to share with you all!

Sweet Alli made up this recipe after getting it from me, then she invited her dad and me for supper. It was worth the little splurge to indulge in a couple chicken strips! You gotta live a little, right?!

Why is this recipe so good? In my opinion it’s due to the batter including honey. It gives it a slightly sweet flavor. I also always serve honey alongside for dipping. Wow, her meal turned out amazingly delicious! When you need a little something special and want to splurge on a not-so-healthy recipe, I’d encourage you to try this family favorite!

Honey Fried Chicken Strips
2 large chicken breasts
1 bunch parsley
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tbl honey
1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Salad oil

1. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1-inch strips. Chop enough parsley to make 1/3 cup.
2. In large bowl, mix flour, milk, honey, lemon-pepper seasoning, salt, and chopped parsley. Stir in chicken; set aside.
3. In 5 quart Dutch oven over high heat, heat 1 inch salad oil to 325 degrees on deep fat thermometer (or, heat oil in deep fat fryer set at 325 degrees.
4. Fry chicken strips, a few at a time, about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and outside is golden. With slotted spoon, remove chicken to paper towels to drain.

This is fried chicken with a twist…a sweet and delicious one! I hope you’ll give this a try. I don’t think you’ll be sad you did!

Here’s another version of fried chicken that’s healthier

With love from my country kitchen,

Chicken · Comfort Food · Lightened Up Recipe

Country Chicken Pot Pie (Reduced Fat!)

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those classic comfort foods in my book. I have made them for years with my homemade pie crusts and we love that version, but I’ve come across a recipe that is so savory and yet also reduced in fat, and so much faster! The answer to both less fat and less time comes in the form of a reduced-fat crescent roll! These make preparation so easy!

The filling for this pie can be changed to suit your family’s taste buds. The recipe calls for fresh mushrooms, which we loved in there, but if that’s not your jam, you can leave them out and use whatever veggies you love! Here’s the tasty recipe:

Ingredients

1 tsp Butter
1 small chopped onion
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Cup chicken broth
3 Cups Cooked, chopped chicken breast (a rotisserie chicken is great for this!)
2 Tbl. flour
1/2 Cup Fat-free Evaporated milk
4 Reduced-fat Crescent rolls – I used all 8 that came in the can.

My big dish was rather shallow, so I put some of the filling in single serving bowls for another day.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 10-inch round shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Coat a large pot with cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Add vegetables, broth and chicken. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. In a small cup, combine flour and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk; stir into chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of evaporated milk and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Spoon chicken mixture into prepared baking dish. Unroll crescent rolls and arrange dough around inside edge of baking dish to form a border (there will be a hole in the middle). Bake until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
Every bite was so savory!

My husband and I were both happy there were leftovers for another day. I popped the dish back into the oven so the crescent rolls would get crispy again. It was just as good the second time around!

Eating healthy is deliciously disguised in this comfort food makeover! I hope you’ll try this soon!

This Broccoli Salad or this Green Apple Salad would make great accompaniments to this pot pie!

With love from my country kitchen,