Posts Tagged ‘holiday’


Easter is coming.  And what does that mean?  Another holiday to cook gobs and gobs of food for:  my favorite kind of holiday. 

 For some reason, ham is the traditional Easter meat.  Growing up, I don’t ever really remember having ham on Easter, though; I think we had either a turkey or a whole roasted chicken.  So ham was never really one of those food items that I grew up liking. Well, that and the only ham we did eat when we ate ham was the canned ham with a layer of goo gel around it.  It makes me shudder just thinking about it.  

Later in life, we discovered honey baked ham.  And that kind of ham I’m completely ok with.  Last Christmas I decided to finally undertake making my own ham.  So I researched a bunch of different recipes, and in the manner I cook best with, I created my own recipe based upon my research findings.  And believe you me, it was gooooood. Even my brother-in-law, who absolutely positively refuses to eat ham, liked it.  Thus, it promptly was added to my recipe box.

Don’t throw the ham bone away.  There are so many great recipes that you can make with a ham bone, such as split pea soup or baked beans.  After you finish eating, simply carve the rest of the meat off the bone and cut into little chunks.  Store ham chunks in a freezer safe ziploc bag, about 1-2 cups per bag, until ready to use.  Take ham bone and place into a large freezer safe ziploc bag, and freeze that until ready for future use.

In my opinion, and based upon my style of cooking, the key to making this recipe is to eyeball all the ingredients.  That way you can customize it to your taste buds. (Note:  This was more than enough rub and sauce for a 7lb ham, so feel free to use a bigger ham — like 10lbs — without making adjustments.)

1 ham (I used a 7lb hickory smoked ham shank with bone)

2 T. brown sugar
(use measurements of the following ingredients based upon your ratio preference to the brown sugar and each other. With the sugar being the greatest amount, i used cinnamon and paprika as the second greatest amounts, then nutmeg, then cloves, then cayenne.)
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
ground nutmeg
(i think some ground dry mustard would be good next time!)
1/2 c. whiskey
1 c. honey
1/2 c. blackstrap molasses (cut back to 1/4 for a less molassesy flavor)
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. butter, melted
juice of 1 small orange, or of 1/3 large orange*
1)  Score ham in a criss-cross pattern, about 1 inch apart and ½ inch deep.
2)  Combine rub ingredients into small bowl. Rub all over the ham. Place ham into baking dish (roasting pan or a 9×13 casserole dish), cut side down and refrigerate. Let marinade for at least a few hours. 
Preheat oven to 325°.
3)  After ham has finished marinading, combine glaze ingredients in a bowl. Pour over ham. Create a foil tent over ham. 
4)  Bake at 325° until center of ham reaches 140°, basting every 20 minutes. (My 7lb ham took about 2 hours to cook.)
*try changing up the flavoring to apple, pomegranate, or pineapple juice, or even apricot preserves, although you would need to add a bit liquid to the preserves to make it a glaze consistency.

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gingersnap cookies

 just in time for christmas! eat these by themselves or crush to use as a pie crust (similar to a graham cracker crust). at thanksgiving i used these as a pie crust for a pumpkin caramel cheesecake (from my hero Pioneer Woman). last year i made a couple different gingersnap recipes, and they all turned out light and fluffy — NOT the way i like my gingersnap cookies. i mean, isn’t that just little gingerbread balls, not gingersnap cookies? i like mine flat and crunchy, like the store-bought kind. stumbling upon this recipe, i can now cease my search for the perfect gingersnap cookie. once you start popping these in your mouth, you won’t be able to stop.


(from Scraping the Skillet)


1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

¾ c. butter (i used earth balance)

1 c. sugar

1 large egg

1/3 c. molasses



Preheat oven to 375°F.

1)  in medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour through soda).

2)  in a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and egg until fluffy. beat in molasses; stir in dry ingredients. dough should be soft and sticky, but it shouldn’t necessarily stick to your hands if you were to touch it.

3)  drop dough onto cookie sheets (non-stick, or lined with parchment paper or silpat) by rounded spoonfuls, spoon size depending on whatever size you like your cookies to be. the store-bought kind are small, so some use a teaspoon. since i was using these for a crust recipe, and size didn’t matter, i used an ice-cream scooper.

4)  bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes. (i baked mine for 12 minutes, but didn’t think about the fact that they were going to get baked again as a pie crust, so if you are using for a pie crust i would recommend the shorter baking time, depending on your oven.)

5)  now, here is the most important step, vital for getting your cookies to be that hard and crunchy consistency. immediately after removing them from the oven, raise the baking sheet about 5 inches from your countertop and drop the sheet quickly. do this about 3-5 times. this will help release any air bubbles in the cookies, thus leaving you with a flatten crispy cookie.

6)  cool completely on a wire rack. store in an airtight container.

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