Monday, December 26, 2011

Leftover ham recipes


I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday celebration and I hope you were able to enjoy your family and friends as well as DELICIOUS food, as I did!

Here are links to a couple of my previous posts that are perfect for using your ham leftovers from Easter.

Both receive rave reviews from my bunch!

The first is Pasta Primavera with Smoky Ham (an old Bon Appetite recipe)Delicious and not heavy. Especially good after a heavy meal. (It is photographed above)


The next is a simple throw together, Ham/veggie Casserole.


A simple but tasty recipe to mix-up those ham leftovers.

ENJOY!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Festive presentation tips- simple and easy (I'm live on TV3)

You can watch me display some quick and easy last minute party ideas for Christmas on WSILTV 3 morning news show recently.

Remember, you don't need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen,these quick tips are all about presentation to help make very simple dishes look festive.


Click HERE to watch the short segment.

Super Moist Tyler Florence Meatballs ( a repost)




I made these meatballs on Christmas Eve last year and served them with pasta for my family and all of them agreed that these were THE best meatballs I've made. My oldest son, who travels all over the country told me they tasted just like the meatballs served in the Fine Italian Restaurants he has frequented during his travels.

The secret to the moistness? Soaking the bread in milk!
The only thing I changed about this recipe, is Tyler makes 10 large meatballs, and I made many small ones.

You can also try them as a meatball sandwich, or serve them with toothpicks as an appetizer for the holidays.

You must give them a try.

YOU WILL NEED:


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1 cup milk
* 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
* 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 cups heated Pomodoro Sauce, recipe follows, or good quality jarred tomato sauce
* 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
* Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil
* 1 pound spaghetti

Directions

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.


Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak while the onions are cooling.

Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture. (Hang onto the pan - you'll need it to cook the meatballs.) Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together. Don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough. Divide into equal pieces and shape them into nice looking meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a 3-count of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes. Put them into a baking dish and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over. Shower with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and put it onto a large serving platter. Pour on the rest of the sauce and mix well. Spoon the meatballs on top of the spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately along with extra cheese.
Pomodoro Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, liquid reserved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes) and about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring for a few minutes with a wooden spoon to further break up the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil and season again.

Yield: 4 cups

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And the winner is....

And the winner of the free night's stay in the Bed and Breakfast is....JULIE MACIER of West Frankfort!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Julie!

I will make arrangements with you through facebook to pick up your gift certicate, and I will call your name into the office there so they know to expect your call!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Enter the BED & BREAKFAST FREE NIGHT'S STAY GIVEAWAY TODAY!





Yes, you heard me correctly. One lucky winner will get to stay in the available room of their choice (up to $200 value) in this luxurious Bed & Breakfast in Metropolis, Il. (the home of Super Man himself!) *

The Summer's Riverview Mansion, is a spectacular retreat that puts the BREAK in Bed and BREAKfast!

My husband and I recently spent a wonderfully relaxing night in a room fit for royalty!(An early Christmas gift from him)We were pampered and well taken care of by the innkeepers who have lovingly put their hearts into making our experience a memorable one.

Our stay included a quick tour through the home on arrival, to late snacks prepared for us and delivered to our door, to delicious food and peaceful surroundings, and beautiful decor with much attention paid to details.



Lovely on the inside and outside, with a delicious full breakfast to boot!

Many people ask me why we choose to stay at a Bed and Breakfast rather than a hotel. Well, take a look at these photos, and I think any questions will be answered. NOTHING compares!

Let me take you on a tour (through my camera's eye)....


Each beautiful suite had a matching Christmas tree and wreaths on the doors and the gorgeous fireplace mantles were beautifully decorated as well.














The gorgeous Parlor









And the all inclusive full breakfast served from this beautiful dining room.














If you're thinking this would be perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary getaway, you are right--but ALSO, a new Wedding Chapel has been added to the property for an intimate ceremony.






So, would you love a great place to spend a romantic New Year's Eve? Or Valentine's Day? Anniversary? Honeymoon? Birthday?


Truly, I could go on and on about this place, and I've many more pictures I could share, but I want to get back to the contest...

Here's the rules:

1.If you enter, PLEASE only do so if you truly plan to take advantage of this special night (or at least give it to someone who you know will enjoy it.) (This is in the Southern Illinois area, and offer is good from now until March 2012.) CONTINENTAL US ONLY.

2. You need only to enter by leaving a comment. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. Please leave your name and a way to contact you. Winner will be chosen by random draw. Contest closes on Sat., Dec. 17, 9 pm. Winner will be announced on this blog and contacted by email( or facebook)after 9 PM Dec. 17.

*You may use the ANONYMOUS option for commenting, however, you will still need to leave your name and a way top contact you. *IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE LEAVING A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG, email me at asmurphy@clearwave.com



For more info on this B&B, click here.

If you decide to book a night here, even if you are not the winner, tell em Sherri sent ya!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bed And Breakfast Giveaway!




This is a teaser for TOMORROW'S Giveaway!

Visit this blog tomorrow (actually, anytime after midnight tonight) for an inside tour of this Luxurious Bed & Breakfast in Metropolis, Il. and you may win a FREE NIGHT'S STAY (up to $200 value)!

All you need to do is leave a comment (on tomrrow's post) and random draw will determine the winner.

More details and photos tomorrow...in the meantime, scroll down for some delicious recipes perfect for the Christmas season.

See you back here tomorrow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Fuss Ham (crock pot recipe)



Need a simple but DELICIOUS ham recipe for Christmas but think it will involve too much of your time watching the oven and testing for doneness?

Try this CROCK POT recipe that I found at this wonderful crock pot recipe site.

If you find yourself hosting a large family dinner in your home, this is a perfect recipe that will need no tending to- once it has started the slow cooking.

And it extremely moist. NO MORE DRY HAM!

Only a few ingredients:

7-8 pound bone-in spiral-cut ham

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup all natural maple syrup

2 cups pineapple juice



The Directions.


Use a 6-7 quart slow cooker. Unwrap the ham, and discard flavor packet. Place it into your stoneware, flat-side down. Rub brown sugar on all sides. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If possible, baste ham with collected juice from the bottom of the crock an hour or so before serving. When cooking is done, remove carefully and let it rest on a cutting board for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Now, how easy is that?

And your house will smell DIVINE!