March 2, 2014

Ham & Cheese Casserole Creation

So today I decided to try and whip up a casserole with what I had on hand, simply because I was craving casserole. My mom used to make this wonderful thing with ham and potatoes and cheese, but for the life of me I can't remember what else she put in it and nothing I found online seemed to fit the bill. Well, instead of butchering up something from my childhood, I opted to try to create my own instead. I think it turned out pretty well, in fact, I'm likely to make it again when we have oodles of leftover ham on hand. 

2 cups leftover ham
1 cup  fresh cauliflower, chopped
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
4 slices cheese (I used Velveeta, but any American cheese will work fine), chopped
3 ounces Greek yogurt cream cheese blend
2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a generic "fiesta blend" because it's what I had on hand)
1/2 cup milk
1 T butter
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni in salted water until al dente and drain. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a deep skillet and saute green onions, ham, broccoli and cauliflower until the veggies are crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and sliced cheese, milk and half of the shredded cheese. Add drained macaroni and stir to combine. Put mixture in a greased casserole dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Servings: 6
Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories: 301
Carbs: 20
Fat: 15 g
Protein: 20 g
Sodium: 901 mg (no, that isn't a typo - the Velveeta cheese and the ham are both super high in sodium)
Sugar: 5 g

The information above shows the recipe just as I made it today. After taking a look at the uber high sodium content I will rethink the cheese choices and look at possibly doing this with turkey ham if I'm going to add this into our meal rotation. However, for an occasional dinner to use up leftovers I don't think it turned out too bad. What do you think?

November 16, 2013

My Christmas Conundrum

With the onset of the holiday season all kinds of things are presenting obstacles I hadn't considered with our new family arrangement. Case in point...Christmas cards. Every year for the last 18 years I have sent out Christmas cards to family and friends and signed them "The Wood Family" and the listed all of our names under that. That hardly seems appropriate this year and as a result I haven't started addressing Christmas cards this year. It's not a big deal (heaven knows it won't be the end of the world if I don't send cards out all together) and I think I will probably just sign them Jen and Sydnee and call it good, it's just an oddity that I hadn't planned for. However, that doesn't make for my biggest Christmas conundrum this year...the obstacle that is peeking out at me and laughing while I try my darnest to embrace this holiday season (Halloween is like my Christmas so I have to psych myself up for the rest of the world's Christmas) is the fact that I can not choose a theme for this year's decorations. I've already decided to do a Nightmare Before Christmas tree in the dining room because I think Sydnee will love it, but I need a cohesive look for the rest of the house. I love the trendy peacock colors that have been ebbing into the Christmas realm for the last few years, but I'm not sure I want (or need) to go with a trendy color scheme that would require me to purchase oodles of new decorations. I've done gingerbread for my kitchen in the past and I think I'll probably go with that again and add some red touches to my already green kitchen to make it festive. I'm thinking a traditional Christmas look (real red, real green - not pink and lime) with maybe some pine accents and simple white lights. What do you you have a Christmas theme?

February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

A while back my husband posted on facebook that he liked boobs, bacon and chocolate.  I figured I had the boobs thing covered and and chocolate is easy so I set out to find a valentine-ish way to give him bacon. 

Ta-da!  They're bacon roses.  I found a wonderful how to demo online and set out to make something special for hubs for Valentine's Day.  If you want to make something similar for the special guy (or girl, I mean who doesn't love bacon?) it wasn't too hard.  Check out the step by step pics at Instructables for directions.  When I did this I opted for a nail and a hammer to make the holes in the pan (which I've had for nearly 10 years and never used until now).  I also only made a dozen of these and it was a good thing because half way through I move the roses to empty spots because they didn't drain too well (probably because I opted for a nail instead of a drill, but you use what you've got).  Also, I baked mine for a total of 52 minutes and they were still a overly chewy in the middle (I like chewy bacon, but hubs prefers the crispity crunchy bacon).  I was afraid if I went any longer they would be too done on the outside.  Maybe next time I will cut down the length of the bacon strips.

November 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Yes, I am painfully aware that it has been a very long time without a post.  November is a pretty busy month for us, we have two birthdays and are gearing up for the upcoming holiday season.  October brings with it the fun and stress-free holiday of Halloween, but November brings with it the uber stressful family-expects-to-see-you holidays.  So, alas, I've been away from the blogging world a bit.  But, I've been inspired to come back to the land of the virtually-living and post again. (c:  Since it's Monday I thought why not kick off my back-to-blogging with a Menu Plan Monday post?  This week's menu is a little off because we will be having two Thanksgiving-type dinners.  I think we will all be sick of turkey by the end of this week.

Monday: Japanese-style stir fry
Tuesday: Our at-home Thanksgiving meal - Smoked turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin fluff
Wednesday - Pork chops with mac and cheese (wanted a break from turkey for today)
Thursday - Thanksgiving at the in-laws for lunch and our own leftovers at home for dinner
Friday  - ?? Normally this is my grocery shopping day - but I'm not crazy and won't be grocery shopping on Black Friday - in all honest, I might not even leave the house.  I'm thinking if we still have leftovers I might make a turkey pot pie or we may be so sick of traditional Thanksgiving fare that we might do something wacky like breakfast for supper.
Saturday and Sunday are remaining unplanned as well because I don't know when I will actually be shopping.  One of those days is likely to be pizza (c;


October 31, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

Happy Halloween!  Some families have a traditional "Halloween dinner" each year, spaghetti because it's quick and filling or Sonic hot dogs because they are *free* or Halloween candy (which is the dinner I remember as a kid, although I'm sure my mother would have made me eat something before the candy, right?).   Our family has never really been into the tradition of a Halloween dinner - until now.  I have a strange feeling that meat hand (yes, you read that right) is now going to be the traditional fare in the Wood household on Halloween  - and why not?  It's terribly gory and my family loves meatloaf.

Monday: Meat Hand with Mashed Brains
Tuesday: Whole roast chicken with mashed potatoes (leftover brains) and gravy
Wednesday: Homemade chicken noodle soup
Thursday: Bubble and Squeak (fried potatoes and smoked sausage)
Friday: Pork chops with baked sweet potatoes (and lots of cinnamon brown sugar)
Saturday: Spaghetti and meatballs
Sunday: Krista's pick - Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

This week we are having our Girl Scout meeting on Tuesday (no meeting on Halloween, of course) so Tuesday night is my quick and easy night.  Although roasting a chicken isn't really quick, it is super easy.

Halloween Memories: The Making of a Monster

Sydnee is definitely a Halloween fan, in fact I think she loves it just as much as I do.  As the years have gone on Sydnee has moved from the cutesy Halloween costumes (back when I was helping dictate what she was) to the truly gory (now that she's in full charge).  So, today I wanted to look back as the Ghost of Halloween Past and show you how her style has changed over the years....


Care Bear



Vampire Princess

Mummy Princess

So there you have it...the making of a monster.  In the span of 8 Halloweens we went from adorable little unicorn to the hide-your-small-children wolf girl.  Oh, and the totally awesome make up of her later years - that is credited to my talented husband.

October 29, 2011

Be Inspired: Gettin' My Spook On...

I love Halloween, I mean, I LOVE Halloween.  To the point that people might think I'm a little strange (okay, so people think I'm a little strange anyway, never mind that).  So, what better topic for my very first Inspiration post than my most favoritest (yes, that is too a word) holiday?

The first inspiration I have to share with you are these super cute (and really easy) spider eggs.  Use whole black olives, cut each in half and then use one half to cut the legs.  Use your kitchen shears for easy cutting.
This totally cute caterpillar is made with pumpkins - want to make it even cuter - make the head red and you've got the very hungry caterpillar!  That would make an ubber cute classroom project, dontcha think?
Now this is so neat and so wonderfully cheap!  This awesome witch's curtain is nothing more than (are you ready for this) trash bags!  Yep, so simple yet so effective!
And, if you want a similar effect inside just grab a roll of crepe paper streamers (you know those birthday party decorations) and make a curtain!  Oh my!
And this amazing jack-o-lantern inspires me - who would've thought to put a pumpkin in a pumpkin?  Well, someone over at Skull A Day did, that's who.  Simply brilliant!

So, I hope you find some inspiration in these ideas.  I'm off to put the finishing spooky touches on our home before Halloween comes - and to make one of those awesome witch curtains!