Friday, February 27, 2015

Crock pot Ham!

I'm not sure why I've never thought this was possible before, but now that I know...

I'm not sure who gifted us with the 7lb ham we've had in the fridge for a while, but I'm grateful. It was precooked, so it didn't need a ton of cooking time but ham still takes some planning. I usually make some kind of brown sugar glaze and then reglaze half way through the cooking process. Even then, ham can end up being dry if you're not careful. The crock pot seemed like an excellent way to remedy that.

The recipe I found said to cook it on low for 4 hours. These were instructions for a 6-8lb ham. Obviously, you could use a meat thermometer to ensure it was cooked to your liking. Being that this ham was already cooked, I really just needed it warmed to my liking. I found this brandy brown sugar glazed ham recipe from A Spicy Perspective. I'm not really an alcohol drinker (unless it's wine) but the recipe said you could sub juice so that's what I did. We don't always have juice but this week we have some pineapple orange juice, so that's what I used. I also used regular ground  mustard, because that's what I had, and I tend to not like overly mustardy things so I used half as much. I found this to be amazingly good. Different than your normal brown sugared ham, but different in a really good way. My husband wasn't thrilled, he doesn't seem to like cumin unless it's Mexican food, I know, I pity him too, but he still ate it. It's also the first time I've used the grinding function on my blender. I used fresh ground coriander. Love the way it smells. I omitted the allspice, because I didn't have any.

I wondered what kind of crust we'd get on the ham in the crock pot, but to my surprise it browned very nicely. All in all, I'm quite sure we'll use this method again. It's the perfect way to have Easter dinner done right after church let's out without worrying about burning the house down!

6-8 lb ham
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c juice (apple, orange, mixed)
1 T ground mustard
1 T cornstarch
1 T cumin
1 T ground coriander
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 t seasoned salt

Mix all the dry ingredients up and add your juice. Stir it well to make sure you've gotten all the brown sugar declumped. Score the ham about 1/4 inch deep. Rub about half the glaze all over the ham. I put the ham in the crock pot cut side down. Really, it was because that's how it fit best, but I'll do it again next time as well because I then poured the rest of the glaze over the ham. You could save the rest and do it half way through the cooking process, but I decided not to do that because with slow cookers you really want to leave the lid on to keep the heat in. Let it cook on low 4-5 hours. You could leave it longer for a larger ham. 

So good folks!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate shake (that won't ruin your diet!)

It's lent. Everyone gives something up. I've decided to have a different perspective this year. It's not about giving something up, but about committing something. I'm committing to 40 days of healthy eating and positive perspective. I was really excited about this new outlook and that high kept me easily turning away from bread and cookies all week. Then tonight happened. I'm sitting at home watching a movie (Harry Potter for anyone that cares) and I'm dying for chocolate. I go to the kitchen to see what I can come up with and what do I find, Red Velvet Oreos. I did not buy these. I would not deliberately temp myself. God bless my husband and his ability to eat ONE cookie and then put the bag away. I don't know how he does it.

I turned away from the cookies and decided I could come up with something that would satisfy my need for something sweet without breaking my commitment this season.

Frozen bananas puree like ice cream, did you know? I've posted about it before here, and I highly recommend you try it if you haven't. I grabbed a banana from the freezer and chopped it up. I used my 12 oz blender cup, so this isn't a giant treat, just enough to satisfy my craving. I added the banana to the cup and then filled it to the 12oz mark with Vanilla Almond milk. I added about 2 T PB2 and 2 T carob powder. Blend it up and yum. Delicious peanut butter banana chocolate shake. It's a little thin, but just darn good.
1 frozen banana, sliced
Vanilla Almond milk (about 8 oz)
2 T PB2
2 T carob powder

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pork Chops & Garlic Parm Pasta

It's sounds like a weird combo doesn't it? It really isn't though. I decided to make these mushroom, onion, garlic, wine pork chops that I've made previously and I couldn't decide on a side. When I thought of the onions, garlic, and mushrooms though all that came to mind was pasta. I figured why not?

This pasta is so easy to make. It's butter, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. That's it. I used 16oz of bow tie pasta and cooked it as directed. Once it was finished I drained it and used the same pot to melt 1/2 stick of butter and 2 T of olive oil. I sauteed about 6 cloves of minced garlic for about 30 seconds and then added the noodles back to the pot. Turn the heat off and mix it up. Then add about 1/2 c of parmesan cheese. Grated or shredded, whichever suits your fancy. So yummy. I plated it with the pasta on the bottom, then a pork chop with all the extra goodness from the pan drizzled on top, with a side of broccoli. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl 2015

Also known as the time it snowed so bad we cancelled church, shoveled snow multiple times throughout the day, and stayed inside. It was great!

I'm honestly not even being sarcastic. We watched a livestream service of  the Potter's house and it was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. We played some Earth, Wind, and Fire and I had myself a dance party while my husband looked at me like I was some crazy woman. We picked up some awesome chicken, I made some cheesy ranch potatoes, and decided to make the peanut butter dip I was going to make for the party we were going to go to that was cancelled. It's about to be a Super Bowl party for two! Hope you're enjoying your day wherever you are!
1/4 c butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
12 oz jar of peanut butter (or 1 c will work)
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c mini chocolate chips
Chocolate sprinkles
White frosting

Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter. Stir in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar half a cup at a time. Stir in the chocolate chips. You can add more powdered sugar if it's too sticky. It will mold nicely on a serving platter and you can have a free standing football. I had a football shaped dish so decided to use that instead. The amount of sprinkles you use will vary, I used about 1/4 cup and it covered the top nicely. Then draw on your seam. It's delicious. You will want to eat it with a spoon. And you can! We have some pretzels and celery we're going to use. I bet cookies would be delicious too!