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Monday, December 26, 2011

Beer-Glazed Ham

I bought 3 lbs of ham the other day at Lindsay's request and decided to do a beer-glaze with it. It's a sweeter glaze (lots of brown sugar!) and I know that Linds, the boy and I will all eat it (again, Luke picks but doesn't care much for a variety yet...I'm patiently waiting until he gets older since Linds was the same way). I made mashed sweet potatoes and some other kind of veggie (insert preggo brain excuse here) with it, and had plenty of leftovers to use it in a quiche, sandwiches and other leftover plates. I always love when I can get full use out of a bulk purchase!

Oh, and this photo is an old one and obviously does not match the description above.

Beer Glazed Ham
1 boneless fully cooked ham (3 lbs.) 
1 can beer
1 cup packed brown sugar  
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp ground mustard

  1. Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan (I didn't have a rack, so I rolled up some foil to keep the ham from sitting right in the pan). Score the surface of the ham, making diamond shapes ½ inch deep. 
  2. Set aside 2 T beer. Pour remaining beer over ham. 
  3. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 1 hour. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and reserved beer; spread over ham.
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 140, basting occasionally.

Mongolian Beef

It's been nearly impossible to cook, much less blog the recipes over the past few weeks! The holidays seem to be more time-intensive every year and being pregnant with two kids certainly didn't ease that typical rush. I honestly don't even remember what I've cooked over the past few weeks, but I do vaguely remember this one?! I didn't remember it being spicy enough last time, so I tried to kick it up a bit - and yes, my efforts were successful.

Spicy Mongolian Beef
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound beef flank steak, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peanut oil
Assorted veggies (I used broccoli and carrots this time - the photo below is from the last time I made it)

  1. Whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  2. Toss beef with marinade, cover, and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
  3. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large, nonstick skillet over high heat. Stir in the beef. 
  4. Cook and stir until the beef is no longer pink and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce

Grocery shopping is way overdue. I got a little lazy with Thanksgiving and all the running around we've been doing and haven't done much cooking. With all the rain we had today, it seemed like the perfect day to throw together some meat sauce and let it simmer all afternoon. The house smells great, there will be a home-cooked meal on the table, and it's something everyone will eat - I'm pretty sure that qualifies as a success! I always double this recipe so I can freeze a bunch of the sauce and have it on hand for quick meals down the road. And this one is so easy - really only takes about 15 minutes of active prep time for the sauce, and then you can make the pasta while it's simmering.

Spaghetti Tomato/Meat Sauce
1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pound lean ground beef
2 yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Blend the stewed tomatoes and crushed tomatoes in a blender.
  2. In a large pot, brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic. 
  3. Pour in tomatoes, and reduce heat. 
  4. Add sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and cover. 
  5. Simmer about 45 minutes. Serve warm over pasta of your choice.

Toffee Millionaires

The annual MOMS Club cookie exchange was on Sunday, and although I haven't done a whole heck of a lot with the club recently, this was the perfect opportunity to 1) catch up with old friends, and 2) get a nice big variety of cookies to eat (and guiltlessly, thanks to the baby on the way!). The festivities did not disappoint - nor did the cookies ;-)

Last year I made some pretty kick ass rum balls and wanted to bring something equally delicious this year. While chatting with the boy's family over Thanksgiving, someone mentioned the toffee millionaires that my brother-in-law made last year. They were a huge hit and I vaguely remember eating one (or five or six...hmmmm?) over Christmas and loving them. The more I thought about them, the stronger the craving, and I decided those were it. Making them in such a large number (I needed about 6 dozen) was a VERY time-consuming process, but so very worth it! If you're looking for some "salty-sweet goodness" (thanks, Sarah, for the description), then add these to your cookie list.

Toffee Millionaires
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars plus 1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars (about 10 ounces total)
1/4 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with rack in upper third. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. 
  2. Whisk to combine flour and salt into a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. 
  4. Using plastic wrap, press dough into prepared pan. With plastic on dough, chill 45 minutes.
  5. Pierce dough all over with a wooden skewer. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown and center is firm, about 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat finely chopped toffee bars and cream in a saucepan, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until smooth. 
  7. Pour over shortbread in pan; sprinkle with coarsely chopped toffee. Let cool slightly. Cut into squares. Let cool completely.
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