Monthly Archives: September 2012

What’s For Dinner?

As discussed in a recent post, I cooked an enormous ham and now have the fun task of coming up with creative ways to incorporate the leftovers into breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.

After much begging and pleading from Jason, I finally broke down and made scalloped potatoes for dinner last night. Now, let me preface this post by saying (for those of you who don’t know) I am Italian. I never made, nor have I ever ate scalloped potatoes before so I this was all new to me. Always one for a challenge, I began my search.

Step one: Find a recipe.

Step two: Find an easier recipe that I can actually make. 😉 So after some searching, I stumbled upon a decent looking Scalloped Potatoes’ n Ham recipe. Here are the ingredients you will need to make this dish:

  • 3/4 cup powdered nondairy creamer
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups diced fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Step three: I peeled, washed and began slicing potatoes. Although the recipe called for 6 large potatoes, I used a lot more to fill up the baking dish. I just kept peeling and slicing until the dish was full.

Step four: Next I substituted half a red onion (diced) for the dried minced onion that is listed in the recipe. After all, recipes aren’t carved in stone and I figured I should just use up what I had in the fridge.

Step five: I diced up some of the left over fully cooked ham that I had in the fridge. Again, I just eyeballed it and didn’t measure it to the exact specifications listed in the recipe. After spraying the baking dish with non-stick cooking spray I combined the potatoes, ham and onions into the dish and put off to the side.

Step six: Set the oven to 350° so it can begin to get nice and warm up as you make the super special secret sauce.

Step seven: In a bowl, combine creamer and water until smooth. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, onion, salt and paprika until smooth; gradually add creamer mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened.

Step eight: Pour the sauce over the entire dish and stir to make sure the potatoes are coated.

Step nine: Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 40-50 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; bake until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted

Step ten: ENJOY!!!!

I tried to get an action shot of JBear enjoying this dish but that quickly turned into a game called let’s eat before mommy can take a picture. Oh well, at least he enjoyed his dinner. 😉

So is this a recipe you think you may try? If so, please send in comments or pictures and let me know how it turned out for you. What comfort foods do you make?

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Makeup’s Dirty Little Secret

I love makeup. I love everything about it. I am not, however, a pro by any means. There are days were I dabble in the art of a smoky eye but if you ask anyone that knows me, more often than not, I am wearing the bare minimum; a touch of mascara, some lip gloss and out the door.

The reason behind this is simple….I hate the clean-up part. If only there was a quicker way to take your makeup off at night when you are dead tired….and the brushes, don’t get me started on cleaning brushes. Or should we? 😉

Recently I got hooked on makeup blogs – the way they apply their makeup so effortlessly and easily just captivated me. The brushes looked so fun and of course their makeup always looked great. So with my deductive reasoning…it had to be because of the brushes (truth be told….I just wanted to get a set of brushes and needed to justify it in my own mind).

After reading up on different types of brushes I order the 22 piece set by Coastal Scents.

The best part of this brush set is that it is that you get a lot of brushes for not a lot of money and that is perfecto for me.

Yes, it’s true, makeup is so much more fun when you can use all sorts of different brushes and colours. But all good things eventually come to an end and for me, that was when I noticed that all my brushes looked like this…..

Although I had avoided it up to now, that option was no longer available, so for all of you that are in the same boat I was, here is a post just for you: How to clean your makeup brushes. It may not be glamorous…but we all have to do it sooner or later.

Step one, rinse of the ends of each brush in warm water. Be sure to rinse them with the brush part facing down so that the water doesn’t pool in the handle part.

Step two, get some mild soap (I chose baby shampoo because I already had some) and gently massage into the hairs of your brush with your fingertips.

Step three, rinse the soap off the brush (again facing the brush downward).

Step four, be sure to gently squeeze the excess water out of the brush and lay it on a clean towel to dry (which may take several hours depending on the size of the brush).

I also tried to reshape each brush so that it kept its original shape as it dried.

Voila! Nice clean brushes. So all in all, it wasn’t as painful as I originally made it out to be, but that doesn’t mean I won’t complain about it the next time I have to wash them. 😉

Anyone know an easier way to clean brushes? Feel free to share, the more the merrier! J


A Quick Dinner Fix

When we were younger, my sisters, brother and I loved playing a game we made up called Cooking Show. Truth be told, we still love playing Cooking Show…it is just that fabulous and is even better when you get a group of people because that is when the giggles start.

Anyways, it isn’t a very complex game, basically you pretend you are the host of a cooking show and explain what you are doing as you cook. There are several pauses to allow the camera to come in for a close up, special ways to stir the food so you can see it cook to that perfect golden brown.

And then, after all that, comes the taste test. You know, the moment when the host lays the food out on the plate, making sure each piece is just right. Then they cut a rather large piece and take a bite. This is often followed by over exaggerated facial expressions and then finally saying…mmmmm DELISH!

The best part of the Cooking Show game is you can do it with any meal. Last night for example, I was not looking forward to breaking out the pots and pans. Opening the refrigerator door, I saw the ham I cooked on Sunday. That’s right I cooked an 11 pound ham for three people. There is a whole back story to that but let me sum it up by saying, Jason suggested we have ham on Sunday, I grabbed the first one I saw in the freezer…..there was a MUCH smaller one right behind it which we will be saving for another day. 😉

Anyways, as I looked at the remains of that ham, and debated what I should cook, the thought COOKING SHOW TIME!!! popped into my head. And that is just what I did.

Here is my cooking show (via pictures) on how to take left over ham and whip it up into a quick meal great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Step one, chunk up some ham and toss it into a hot frying pan.  Let that baby sizzle until it is a beautiful golden brown (those are classic Cooking Show terms).

Step two, while the ham is sizzling on the stove, crack three eggs into a bowl and add some milk, salt and black pepper.  Mix all the ingredients together until it is a smooth and creamy blend.

Step three, pour the eggs over the ham and stir. We don’t want it to burn on the bottom so you may need to turn down the heat a smidge.

Step four, as the eggs and ham continue to cook, cut a good chunk of bread and lay it out on a plate.

Step five, pile the eggs and ham on the bread and take a moment to admire your work and presentation.

Mmmm – just beautiful and scrumdiliumpcious!

Voila – an easy meal for any time of the day.

So what do you think….you may not want to admit it but I am willing to bet most of you will be “hosting” your own cooking show in the near future. 😉


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