Ham and Cheese Whirls – A Bonus Recipe

Ham and Cheese Whirls 047

The Superbowl is coming and it is snack food time!  Our family always has a little party featuring our favorite snacks.  Wendy usually makes my favorite, Mexican Layered Dip.  And, her husband, who is a great cook, makes a variety of good snacks.  I usually add some dishes of my own and it is a lot of fun.

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Last Saturday, after going on another hike in the snowy woods, we came back hungry and decided to make Ham and Cheese Whirls.  We were talking about what a great Superbowl snack they would be.  The recipe is actually, from our older sister, Rebekah.  Everyone worked together, and we had these delicious treats on the table in no time.

Ham and Cheese Whirls

Biscuit: (or substitute 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Filling:

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

To make biscuit:  Mix dry ingredients.  Then add milk slowly.

For filling:  Mix cheese, ham, celery and mayonnaise.

Roll out biscuit into a rectangular shape.  Spread on filling.  Roll up and cut into rolls on greased pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 001

First we put the dry ingredients into the Kitchenaid. (You could also use frozen bread dough, or make up some bread dough in your bread machine.)

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Next we added the milk slowly and mixed until it formed a soft dough.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 011We put the dough out on the floured counter top.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 012We rolled out the dough into a rectangular shape (We doubled the dough since there were a lot of us eating, so it was bigger than one batch would look.).

Ham and Cheese Whirls 013While some of us were making the dough, others were shredding the cheese,

Ham and Cheese Whirls 002cutting up the celery,

Ham and Cheese Whirls 009and dicing the ham.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 014We mixed those three ingredients together along with the mayonnaise to create the filling.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 015Next, we spread the filling all over the rolled out dough.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 016Then it was time to carefully roll the dough up like you would cinnamon rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 017Once it was all rolled, it was time to cut it into rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 019We used a piece of floss to cut the rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 020The floss keeps the dough from getting smashed like it might if using a knife.

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When the rolls were cut, they were placed on a cookie sheet.  We put them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  My nephew thought they looked so good that he wanted to try one before we cooked it!

Ham and Cheese Whirls 032I think the cooking was worth his wait because they came out of the oven golden and bubbly.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 042I’m glad we made a double batch because we all liked them!

Ham and Cheese Whirls 044Ham and cheese whirls are a dish I definitely recommend for your Superbowl Party.  Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Happy Baking!

Amy

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Blueberry Banana Bread – A Bonus Recipe

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Did you go blueberry picking last summer?  We did.  It is one of our favorite summer outings.  We love to be out in the sunny field with the blueberry bushes all around us.  My nephews are good pickers (although they like to spend some of their time trying to pelt us with unripe blueberries – they learned this game from their dad and uncle) and so between all of the adults and kids we usually pick a large amount of berries.  I love bringing them home, pouring them into zip lock bags and packing them safely away in the freezer for winter days like today.

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Today just seemed like a good day to bake with blueberries.  So, I found this recipe, compliments of one of the blueberry farms we sometimes visit, and got to work.

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Blueberry Banana Bread

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cups mashed, ripe bananas

Wash and thoroughly drain blueberries;  toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour.  Sift together remaining flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Cream butter or margarine;  gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add flour mixture and bananas alternately, in three parts.  Stir in blueberries.  Spoon into greased loaf pan (9x5x3 inches).  Bake in 350 degree oven about 50 minutes or until done.  Makes 1 loaf.

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I pulled the blueberries out of the freezer and washed them thoroughly.

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I then tossed them in 2 tablespoons of flour and set them aside.

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Next, I stirred together the dry ingredients with a whisk.

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I then creamed the butter and then gradually added the sugar.

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Next came the eggs and the batter became very light, almost foamy.

blueberry banana bread 005

When bananas are starting to get too ripe, I like to peel them and stick them in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  I can then pull them out for baking.  So, I pulled a couple of bananas out of the freezer, thawed them a little and then mashed them a bit (I know, it does not look appetizing!).

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I added the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the bananas.

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I then stirred in the blueberries.

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Then, it all went in the bread pan and into the oven at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes.

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It came out looking and smelling delicious!  This blueberry banana bread is a special treat from a special summer memory!

Happy Baking!

Amy

White Nut Bread

On Sunday afternoons, after church, we often go over to my parent’s house for lunch.  I always try to bring something to share, to help with the meal.  I found a recipe in my Grandma Dora’s recipe box for White Nut Bread.  I decided to make it because it seemed like a simple, easy recipe and something we could all enjoy with lunch.  When we got to my parent’s house on Sunday, I set the bread on the kitchen counter and began to help get the meal going and on the table.  As my dad looked at the loaf of bread I had set down, he said, “I remember that my mom used to make a nut and raisin bread that kind of looked like that.  She made it a lot and I always liked it.”  He didn’t know that I had actually found and made her recipe.  I said, “This IS your mom’s recipe!  I got it from her recipe box!  This is her recipe for White Nut Bread!”  I was so pleased that what I had made looked like and reminded him of Grandma Dora’s!  He said it was really good and tasted the way he remembered it!

NB - Recipe2
White Nut Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup nuts (or more as desired)

Mix together all dry ingredients.  Add nut meats and raisins.  Mix in milk and the beaten egg.  Put batter into a greased loaf pan.  Let rise 1/2 hour.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

NB - Dry IngredientsI began by mixing together the dry ingredients.

NB - Nuts and Raisins

Then, after chopping up the nuts (I used walnuts) I added them to the dry ingredients with the raisins.  I actually used a full cup of chopped walnuts.

NB - Wet Ingredients AddedOnce the nuts and raisins were mixed in, I added and blended in the milk and beaten egg.

NB - In loaf panI poured the batter, which was very thick, into a greased loaf pan.  I covered it and let it rise for 30 minutes before putting it into my preheated oven.

NB Baked
I baked the White Nut bread for about 50 minutes.  It was a beautiful golden brown loaf.  This recipe has very little sugar in it, only a half cup, so because I didn’t think the bread itself would be very sweet, I decided to add some frosting!!

NB - Frosted1I made a thick glaze of powdered sugar and milk and put it on the loaf while it was still slightly warm.

NB - Frosted and Sliced

Nothing makes a loaf of bread better than thick frosting!

NB - Frosted and Sliced3The bread had a nice, chewy outside and a delicious, soft inside!  The sweet raisins and frosting were a nice compliment to the nutty flavor of the walnuts.

NB - Fosted and Sliced2My family really enjoyed the White Nut Bread along with our Sunday lunch.  I was glad I had made it and that it turned out to be such a delicious recipe, one that reminded my dad of his childhood!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

Biscuits

My parents have a cherry table stored in their basement.  It belonged to my Grandpa and Grandma Dora.  It’s a beautiful, solid table, with lots of carved wood and intricate patterns. It has numerous leaves that fit into it, making it enormous in length.  I’ve always admired it and said that someday I hoped it would be mine.  My dad has told stories that during harvest time he can remember that cherry table, with all of the leaves in it, stretched out in their house with a large group of farm hands eating around it.  Farmers in the area would go together, farm to farm, helping neighbors bring in their crops, living by the adage, “Many hands make light work.”  When they would come to my grandparents farm, Grandma Dora, her mother Edith and the wives of the men in the fields would spend hours cooking and baking, trying their best to fill the men up with a hearty meal before sending them back out to the fields.

Grandpa on Hay Wagon

Grandpa on his hay wagon that was used during harvest time.

I found Grandma Dora’s recipe for homemade biscuits in her recipe box.  I’m sure she included them with the filling meals for the farm hands.  I had never made biscuits from scratch before.  Normally when I see a recipe that requires a rolling pin, I usually lose interest pretty fast.  But I had a recipe in my own recipe box for Creamed Chicken Over Biscuits that I had never made, but always intended to, so this was my chance.  I would whip this up for dinner!

Biscuit RecipeBiscuits

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • About 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 Tablespoons lard (or shortening)

Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl.  Add buttermilk and shortening.  Mix until soft dough is formed.  On a floured surface, knead a few times and roll out until dough is about 1/2 inch in thickness.  Cut with a floured biscuit cutter.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Biscuits dry ingI added all of the dry ingredients into my mixing bowl.

Biscuitswet combinedNext, I added the buttermilk and shortening.  (If you don’t have buttermilk and would like to make your own, we explain how in the recipe for Mrs. Magary’s Spice Cake.)

Biscuits DoughUsing the dough hook attachment on my Kitchenaid (though just a regular mixer attachment would be fine), I mixed the ingredients until a soft dough formed.

Biscuits Dough BallAfter flouring the counter, I kneaded the dough a few times until it felt like a good consistency for rolling out.

Biscuits Rolled OutI rolled out the dough until it was about 1/2 inch thick.  If you’d like a thicker biscuit, than don’t roll it quite as thin.

Biscuits CutSince I don’t have a biscuit cutter, I floured the mouth of a glass jar and used that to cut the dough.  I then placed them on an ungreased baking sheet and popped them into my preheated oven.

Biscuits BakedI baked them for about 12 minutes and pulled them out as they were starting to brown and open around the middles.

Biscuits Piled2They were beautiful!  Soft and flakey, splitting in the middle.  They even smelled delicious!

Biscuits Piled3I couldn’t wait to try them with dinner.  I covered them to keep them warm and made the Creamed Chicken, which is basically like the inside of chicken pot pie.

Biscuits ServedThe biscuits were delicious!  They were cut open and covered with heaping ladles of steaming Creamed Chicken.  It was a warm, hearty meal, one that reminded me of something that Grandma Dora must have prepared for the farm hands all those years ago.

Happy Baking!

Wendy

Mexican Layered Dip – A Bonus Recipe

It’s New Year’s Eve!  Time to party like it’s 2015!  And what else do we do when we celebrate?  We get together with friends and EAT!!  Just part of packing on the holiday poundage, I guess.  Hey, we need to have something to make a New Year’s resolution about, right?!

I found this recipe in a magazine years ago.  It is my ultimate favorite dip.  It eats more like a meal than a snack.  In fact, upon the rare occasion that there is some left after I’ve taken this to a party, I eat it for lunch the next day, with tortilla chips.  Yummo!

Mexican Layered Dip

  • 1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened (I use the 1/3 less fat.)
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup drained canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced black olives

Beat cream cheese and taco seasoning with mixer until creamy.  Spread onto the bottom of a 9 inch plate.  Layer remaining ingredients, in order, over cream cheese.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Dip1I started by adding one 8oz block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese to my mixing bowl.  I measured in 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning.

Dip 2I turned the mixer onto medium speed until the taco seasoning was nicely incorporated into the cream cheese.

Dip CroppedThen I spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over my serving plate and began the layering process of the other ingredients.

Dip salsa

I measured and poured on the salsa.

Dip 4Next, I added the rinsed black beans.  Rather than only using 1 cup of black beans, I always use the whole can.  I know that if I put the rest of them in the fridge, they will eventually get thrown out because I won’t use them.  Two bonuses here, they are good for you and you won’t waste them!

Dip 5My favorite flavor comes next, the green onions.  And if I’m perfectly honest, I don’t actually measure them.  I just cut up what looks about right and sprinkle them on.

Dip 6Cheddar cheese comes next and you might notice a pattern here, but I don’t measure this either.  This is a very forgiving recipe.  Just layer on what looks right to you!

Dip 7I added the shredded lettuce next and, you guessed it, I just eyeball the amount.

Dip 8I always go overboard on the black olives and put on way more than 2 tablespoons.   Knowing the way my son loves them, he’ll eat 2 tablespoons right off the top before it’s even served!

Dip 10

Make sure to let the dip sit in the fridge for at least an hour before it’s served.  During that time, the flavors blend together.

Dip 9

So there you have it!  Served with tortilla chips, it’s a delicious, colorful, healthy layered dip that you can take to your New Year’s Eve Party tonight!

Happy Layering and Happy New Year!

Wendy

Caramel Apple Salad – A Bonus Recipe

We had another family birthday party this past weekend.  My niece turned 12!  How can she possibly be that old?  I remember the day she was born.  We traveled 1.5 hours in the car to the hospital to see the first grandchild, my first niece, on our side of the family.  We all rode together and still to this day, tease our mom for how crazy she was.  I guess the birth of the first grandchild does something to women.  They get in a “baby zone” and can’t hear or see anything that doesn’t have to do with getting them to the hospital.  NOTHING will keep them from seeing their new grandbaby!

For my niece’s party this past weekend, I wanted to make Caramel Apple Salad.  My sister, Rebekah had passed this recipe on to me a long time ago.  It sat in my recipe box for years before I made it recently.  It’s delicious and makes a large bowl, so I always like to make it when I will be sharing with a group.  She had received it from her grandmother-in-law, Grandma Slager.

Caramel Apple Salad

  • 1 – 8 oz container Cool Whip
  • 1 – 8 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 – 3 oz, small box butterscotch instant pudding
  • 3 cups chopped apples
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts (or any kind you choose)

Mix all together except for Cool Whip.  Fold in Cool Whip last.  Chill.

CAS1

With just a few ingredients and no baking or cooking, it was the perfect, easy side to make when all of the crazy cousins would be together!

CAS Cropped1
I simply dumped the chopped apples (you don’t even need to peel them!), nuts and crushed pineapple into a big mixing bowl. (This is when you’d add the marshmallows too, but I don’t like marshmallows in salads, so I left them out.)

CAS Cropped2
Next, I poured in the butterscotch pudding mix.

CAS4I stirred until the butterscotch pudding was incorporated.

CAS5Then, I added the whole container of Cool Whip.

CAS6I stirred that in until it was well blended.

CAS7Last, I transferred it to a serving bowl and put it in the refrigerator to chill until it was served.  (I wouldn’t suggest making this the day before as the apples will get soggy.)

That’s it!   It is SO simple and so good!  The crunch of apples, with the sweetness of pineapple and saltiness of peanuts all combined in a blanket of caramely Cool Whip!  Yum!  Take this dish to your Christmas get-to-gethers and work parties.  You won’t disappoint!

Happy Mixing!

Wendy

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes – A Bonus Recipe

Figuring out what to make for dinner is always hard for me.  It’s not even the act of making it, it’s coming up with the idea.  If I can get something in the crockpot in the morning, I’m so proud of myself!  I was having one of those days.  I had a lot going on, and knew it was going to make everything else easier if I had some kind of a plan for dinner.  Even if I still had to make a side dish, at least the main dish would be in the works.

I have the greatest rotisserie chicken recipe that I’ve altered and use in the crockpot, rather than out on the grill where it’s intended.  I spiced up my bird, turned it on high and let it go.  At least for a while, planning dinner was out of my mind.  As time passed and the morning turned to afternoon, the smell coming from the crockpot was constantly reminding me that I’d have to come up with something to go along with it!  I was tired of the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy.  I had to think up something different.

Cheesy Potatoes - Baked

I love cheese and I love potatoes.  Putting them together makes them EVEN better!  I have a delicous cheesy potato recipe that I got from my mom’s recipe box. Funny thing though, I’m not sure that she’s ever made it.  Whenever there are family get togethers, I’m the one who makes and brings this dish.  Maybe I’ve mastered it.  Or maybe it’s just because I want to make sure that they’re at our holiday meals because I like them so much!

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes – A Bonus Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter (I reduce it by a couple of Tablespoons to lower the fat.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package (16 oz) frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (soup) milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cheese cracker crumbs, divided

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onion until tender.  Stir in potatoes, soup and milk.  Add cheese and 1/2 of the crumbs.  Pour into a shallow casserole dish. Top with remaining crumbs.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Yields 6-8 servings.

Cheesy Potatoes- OnionsI melted the butter and sauteed the onions.  Yum!  I LOVE the smell of sauteing onions!!

Cheesy Potatoes- Goldfish CrackersWhile the onions were cooking, I crushed up my cheese crackers by rolling the rolling pin over them inside of a plastic, zippered bag.  Man does it save on the mess!  Any kind of cheese crackers will work, but I’m a mom so I always have Goldfish on hand.  My boys are older now, so at least they aren’t crushed all over the seats and floor of our cars!

Cheesy Potatoes - Pot

Once the onion was tender, I stirred in the potatoes, soup and milk.  Then I added the cheese and 1/2 of the cracker crumbs.

Cheesy Potatoes - OvenI poured my potato mixture into a 9×13 and topped it with the rest of the cheese cracker crumbs.  The oven was ready to go at 375 degrees, so I popped them in.

Cheesy Potatoes - Baked I pulled them out when the timer went off.  They were bubbling and golden brown around the edges.  They smelled delicious as always!

Cheesy Potatoes

Cheesy Au Gratin potatoes were the perfect side dish to go with my rotisserie chicken!  Dinner was served!!

Happy Baking!

Wendy