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!

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · salad

Big Mac Salad

These hot August days sometimes turn my appetite away from heavy, hot foods to cold, refreshing salads. But when you need some protein, and you want more than a garden salad, what do you do?

You add ingredients to the salad that have the taste of a Big Mac without the heaviness or the calories of a burger! This Big Mac Salad is basically a deconstructed hamburger without the bun. But it’s hearty and delicious!

Here’s how you make it:

Big Mac Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  sweetener of choice
  1. Brown ground beef, adding salt and pepper. Break beef up into small crumbles as it cooks.
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. Top with cooked ground beef. Top with dressing just before serving.
    You can also assemble each salad on the plates as I did in the photos here.
  3. For Dressing:
    Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Add warm water or oil to make it a pouring consistency .

This meal is also super fast and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – probably faster than you could run to the local fast food restaurant and get served! It’s the perfect meal on a hot day, or a day when you want something delicious, but healthier than a hamburger!

What do you eat when it’s hot outside?

Dinner · main dish · turkey

Grilled Turkey Tenderloin

If you’ve never had a turkey tenderloin and are wondering what it is, it’s simply the boneless and skinless part of the turkey breast. Butterball sells them at our Ingles store and I absolutely love them! They’re juicy, tender and cook up quickly.

I came across a recipe for a rub to put on turkey breast that makes it so delicious. It’s a super simple recipe to throw together. If you can grill these, it will be even better, but you can also put it into the oven to roast. Here’s the easy recipe…

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Turkey Tenderloins

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 pounds turkey tenderloin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Stir together first 6 ingredients. Brush turkey tenderloin with olive oil, and rub with brown sugar mixture.

2. Grill turkey, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

You could probably use that rub on chicken or pork! It’s a little sweet, a little spicy. Mmmm. It’s just good! I hope you’ll try it!

What part of the turkey is your favorite?

Dinner · Pork · Sunday Dinner

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

Hi friends! I’m back after a week of rest from blogging. Thanks for checking in today! Let’s start out by talking about Easter since I missed it last week!

Sometimes even good family traditions need to be tweaked. We typically always have either ham or turkey breast for Easter, but I felt the need to try something new (imagine that!). I looked through some cooking sites and found a delicious sounding recipe for Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin from Food and Wine site. While we’re not wine drinkers, they have some great recipes and this one did not disappoint!

The Pork Loin is marinated overnight, giving it flavor. Then in the morning it’s seared in a pan, giving it that nice crispy edge that any meat should have! It is then roasted in the oven for a relatively short amount of time. I did this all before heading to church. Then I sliced it and put it on the platter. All I had to do after church was warm it in the oven a bit. The pan juices made a really savory gravy to pour over top!

I love apples with pork, so I also made a side dish that would incorporate that flavor. I cooked apples with cinnamon and a little sugar until the apples were tender. Then I baked sweet potatoes and we topped the potatoes with a spoon of the apples. It was SO good!

Here’s the recipe for the pork loin. I hope you’ll make this in the near future! It’s a keeper!

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch of rosemary, leaves only, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds center-cut pork loin 
  • In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Transfer the pork and marinade to a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Let the pork stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush off as much of the marinade as possible. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a work surface or carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing and serving.
A full plate, but an even happier heart! Our Savior lives!

Of course dinner was ended with a slice of my Coconut Cake with lemon filling!

How was your Easter and did you serve anything out of the ordinary?

Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!