Tuesday, March 24, 2015

7-Layer Ham Dinner

A dear friend of mine has a blog where she posts about frugal living.  I absolutely love all her tips, and I like to call her the Frugal Queen... because she really knows how to get the deals!  She can take amazing vacations for pennies on the dollar, and she shares tips about how to save money in everyday little things.  I am always finding new ways to save money through her frugal ideas and tips.

Take a minute and stop over to her site (she is just new to blogging, and would welcome your visit!) Her blog address is: http://simplyfrugalynne.blogspot.com/

One of my favorites of her recent posts was on how to take a vacation with just a few dollars!  Check out her post here to see how she and her husband flew to South Padre Island for four nights for $550.00.  Frugal... yeah she does it with style!

So, a week or so ago, she wrote a post on how to save money with meat here.  It was a great post but the part of her post that stuck out to me was the casserole that she made with her leftover ham.  I had been "hoarding" a pound or so of ham left over from Christmas in my freezer, and had been completely uninspired to use it.  In fact, I had pulled it out to the front of my freezer, hoping that by seeing it every time I opened the freezer, that I would be inclined to use it.  When I saw what she did with her leftover ham... it was like the lights went on in my head, and I knew I had just found a use for that leftover ham in my freezer.


Now I altered her recipe just a bit - but the foundation for this recipe was inspired by her original post. That is the fun of baking... things can be altered, changed and suited to meet the needs of your family. Since my family loves cheese... just about any casserole I pull out of the oven has to be covered ... or maybe even swimming... in cheese, lol!

What she did, and what I did was simple.  I peeled about 8 medium sized potatoes, and cubed them, and placed them in the bottom of my Pampered Chef stoneware baker.  Then I covered the potatoes with a layer of one diced onion.  Over the onion I placed 4-5 diced fresh mushrooms, and then the cubed ham (about 1 pound) over that.  Finally, I poured about 2 cups of milk into the casserole pan, and topped the casserole with about 3 tablespoons of butter, cubed.  I did not stir the mixture.  I did not add any salt (I figured I could add salt later if the ham wasn't salty enough, but with the ham and butter being on the top layer, the salt from the ham and butter would season the rest of the veggies).  I placed the lid on my stoneware baker, and placed it in a slow oven (300 F) and left it there for 3-4 hours.  (I had to run to town for a bit, and didn't want it to cook too fast.).  It would also cook very well at 350 for an hour or so.  After cooking for your preferred time, you can remove the casserole from the oven and stir it, taste it and add salt if necessary.  Now it is was time to smother the casserole in cheese - ooh yum!  I used a mixture of Cheddar and Monterey Jack shredded cheese.

Served with a salad, this made a meal that would make your momma proud, cause it is the "stick to your ribs" good kind of supper!


The flavor of the potatoes, onions, ham, mushrooms, milk and cheese make a simply divine connection!


I almost wanted to lick my plate clean... it was that good!


And the salad was a perfect accompaniment with the casserole, although any vegetable side would be wonderful.


Thanks Lynne for your inspiration on how to use up leftover ham, and for helping me to find a new recipe that my family says is "lick your chops good"!

 7-LAYER HAM DINNER


8 potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 onion, diced
4-5 fresh mushrooms, diced
1 pound ham, cubed
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place ingredients in layer given in large casserole pan (I used a 9 x 4" pan), except for cheese.  Cover tightly either with tin foil or casserole lid.  Cook slow at 300 for 3-4 hours, or more quickly at 350 for 1-1/2 hours.  Check potatoes for tenderness.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top and let stand for 5 minutes with lid on for cheese to melt.  Serve with a salad or vegetable side.  Don't be afraid to go back for seconds... if there are any left!

15 comments:

  1. Hey SpicingUp Idaho! I am so glad you found a good use for your ham! That casserole looks really good. We love cheese here too. A good stick to your ribs meal and it warms up the house too!

    Thanks for sharing my blog! Yes, everyone please come and visit! :)

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    1. I'm so glad to have found a wonderful new recipe to add to our menu here, and to also share with others your site where I find such great tips for frugal living! Have a blessed and wonderful day! :)

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  2. Cheese and ham and potatoes? Yum!!

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    1. Doesn't get much better - or easier - than this recipe! :)

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  3. That sounds absolutely delicious. I popped over to her blog. I could not find a single way to follow her . Maybe I need to go back and recheck. xo Diana.

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    1. It was so delicious, and it makes really great leftovers! Hmm, not sure about why her blog can't be followed. I'll send her an email to see if she can add one of those follow buttons to her blog :) Thanks for your visit today :)

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  4. It looks delicious. Ham is so versatile. Your friend's blog sounds interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Quick, easy, and yummy are always a score with me! Yes, she shares some great frugal tips, and she will have you watching your pennies - literally - she has a post on how to make money off old pennies! :) Hugs to you today!

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  5. I wonder if it would work with leftover beef since we don't eat ham? I like the ease of the recipe and the normal ingredients :) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh yes, you could definitely make this with beef or hamburger. I would add more salt in that case, and maybe use beef broth instead of milk. The fun of baking is that the ingredients can be changed up, and moved around to create your own masterpiece, and that is the fun of it all :) Thanks Jes for stopping by today! Always enjoy your visits and comments!

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  6. This looks really good. I love these kind of recipes and I think you can really add any kind of meat to it. I love to start out at the base of a recipe and then tweak it to my liking. And then it really becomes your very own creation. I do that a lot, because there are times I don't have or don't like a certain food in my dishes. I will be trying this one, however!

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs,Amy

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    1. Hi Amy, and yes, I do agree... baking recipes almost always have a tweak to them. It is not like using flour, sugar, eggs, and milk with specific ingredients that have a chemical dependence on each other. When cooking with meats, vegetables, and variables, I am always changing things around to see what works or doesn't. So absolutely, experimenting with a base recipe is so much fun... do report back how it turns out if you do try it. I found it a wonderful way to use up leftover ham. I have made a similar dish with hamburger, and it was pretty awesome, except I didn't use milk. Have a great weekend! :)

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  7. Oh. My. Gawd! Did you just say 7 layer? This is so sinfully delish!

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    1. 7 layers of simple ingredients that really makes an amazing dinner! Hope you get to try it out :)

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  8. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.

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