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Nov 24, 2013 12:12 PM

What's for Dinner #258 - Into the Freezer edition. [Through Dec 1, 2013]

Temps are in the 20s today in my part of New England, dropping to the low teens. That's the forecast for quite some time.

What are you cooking to warm the soul and the household?

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  1. I've decided to do a ham today. I've never made a ham and they're cheap right now, so why not. Plus we have a busy week where we're not home in the evenings so having a big ham to make sandwiches with for lunches was appealing.

    I found a glaze online that came from Gourmet, a "honey thyme" glaze that has, you guessed it, honey and thyme, along with apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire, and butter.

    Sides will just be either some corn bread or some premade mac and cheese, and some fresh green beans. We have an event to go to later on this evening so this will probably be a "linner".... lunch/dinner meal.

    13 Replies
    1. re: juliejulez

      Ham is the dish that keeps on giving. Well done.

      1. re: steve h.

        Thanks... at 11 pounds too, it will certainly "give" for quite a long time!

        1. re: juliejulez

          Shaved ham on warm, buttered rolls.

          Ham, mac & cheese.

          Ham, spinach and cheese tart.

          Split pea and ham soup.

          Ham and cheese omelets.

          Grilled ham and cheese.

            1. re: juliejulez

              Orecchiette with diced ham, peas, fresh parsley and a creamy white wine sauce.

              1. re: juliejulez

                Eleven pounds! Much as I love ham, it's often too much of a good thing. Freeze half of it now in 3 - 4 containers/bags, You'll still be tired of ham by the time you're done with the first half.

                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                  Yeah so far I have it divided up.... half was diced, the other half sliced. We'll see how far we get by Wednesday, after that, into the freezer it goes!

                2. re: juliejulez

                  And, of course, the ham bone can become soup. I dug a bone out of the freezer on Saturday and made Cajun 15 bean soup. Leftovers here at work with me for lunch!

                  1. re: tcamp

                    tcamp - I haven't made Cajun 15 bean soup in years! I love it! Thanks for the reminder.

              2. re: juliejulez

                Baked potatoes with broccoli, ham & cheese

                Scalloped potatoes w/ham

                Sweet potato hash topped with seared ham & poached (or fried) egg; hollandaise optional. Great for dinner!

                Lasagna with layers of pasta, chopped ham, ricotta & lightly sautéed broccoli raab; béchamel sauce & a little finely grated lemon zest

                1. re: juliejulez

                  You could go really old school and serve creamed ham(bechamel, Dijon, ham etc...) on toast.

                  1. re: DowntownJosie

                    Or old school ham croquettes. Man, now I want these.

                  2. re: juliejulez

                    lol-ing here...the lights are low, I've had a glass of wine, my bifocals prescription is slightly out of date...I glanced at your post and misread "I've decided to do no harm today." I thought, man, if you're posting on this board your cooking can't be *that* bad.


                    We ate out at a friend's for dinner - roasted squash, brussels sprouts, risotto with swiss chard, and chicken with apples. Very New England in the late fall. Yum.

                  3. This weather will test if the 17 new windows, new clap boarding and roof were worth it. Brrrrrr! I dug out the down coats and gloves.

                    Tonights dinner is a repeat of last nights. Marcella's tomato sauce, bread and pasta. However tonight I will add meatballs and a salad. And even though its a "school night" there will be a bottle of body warming red wine!

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: foodieX2

                      Marcella is my hero. Your meal sounds great. Body warming wine? Marcella would approve.

                      Congratulations on the significant house updates. You know that's just the beginning, right?

                      1. re: steve h.

                        Yes, it was part one of a three part plan. This year was capital improvements-new roof, windows, clapboarding, shingles along with fresh paint and new shutters. We also repaired and repointed the chimneys, rebuilt the stone porch and screened it in, repaired/replaced/painted the fences, repaired/painted the barn doors and entrance ramp and re-graveled the driveway.

                        Next year it will be a complete kitchen overhaul and bathroom updates along with replacing/repairing the 265 year old staircase and a master bedroom/bath update

                        The final stage will be to update the barn complete with a guest apartment.

                          1. re: steve h.

                            The 265+ year old girl deserved some much needed TLC. However my wallet says this will be at least a 5 year plan. The barn part scares me….

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              Commitment is key. It's seldom the money associated with renovation that wears a person down. Rather, it's the (seemingly) endless disruption, the need to find/hire/supervise contractors/workers and the challenge of learning all of the building trades to some degree in order to be conversant with the people you deal with.

                              Deb and I are still noodling second-floor renovation designs. The good news is that the first-floor stuff, including the garage, have turned out well. The bad news is that these projects should have been completed a year ago.

                              I'm raising a glass to you guys.

                          2. re: foodieX2

                            Wow. WOW. That was a lot this year - and next year with the new kitchen and bathrooms!

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              I feel like a wimp complaining about my minor kitchen reno and downstairs painting. :{

                              1. re: Berheenia

                                Nah, don't feel that way, Berheenia. No matter the renovation, it STILL makes a mess and STILL disrupts everything.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, is an excellent primer on home renovation.

                                  1. re: steve h.

                                    I adore Myrna Loy's conversation with the painter. Classic.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      "Red, green, blue, yellow, white".


                                  2. re: Berheenia

                                    Seriously! DH and I haggled over paint colors and painted one living room wall over the weekend and I feel like we did a major reno!!

                            2. Well, I guess I'm cooking a 20 pound turkey today. The man brought one home from work Friday (Costco is one of their clients and they drop off a truck of turkeys every year.) Since we don't want turkey for Thanksgiving and I couldn't find anyplace to donate it to (no one is accepting fresh turkeys, only frozen,) I'll cook it and use the meat to make things I can put in the freezer (pot pie filling, enchilada filling, etc.) After freezing my coconuts off at a luau last night it'll be nice to have the oven making the house cozy tonight.

                              Not sure what's actually for dinner tonight... something with fennel maybe because I went out my front door to find a big beautiful fennel bulb complete with fronds sitting on one of my porch chairs.... not sure who's garden it came out of but its beautiful. We have some baby beets..... I'm seeing a salad pulling together if I grab some citrus while I'm out picking up lunch (gotta walk off all the wine I drank last night and think the crisp air will do it.)

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                Two big thumbs up on the fennel!

                                It's been a long time since my last luau. I need to correct that.

                                1. re: steve h.

                                  You do! Luau's are a lot of fun in the food department. I sure did eat my share of rumaki last night... I love what we call "little food."

                                  I got to see some of the footage of the show (the birthday boy is one of the guys in it.) It looks really good- and so different from other "reality" shows. The guy doing it likes for everyone to look good- no stupid drama. Really funny (some of the guys are serious characters and their chemistry is great,) and really cool footage.

                                  Turkey cooking might have to wait for tomorrow since I haven't even started yet....

                                2. re: weezieduzzit

                                  Wow, that's some gift, and randomly appearing veggies! You're luck today.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    A handful of us "gift and run" with our extra garden veggies. :) They can't say no if you just leave it on their porch!

                                3. With snow on the ground for weeks and -25C temps, we have been braising a lot lately. However, tonight is simply slow-roasted baby back ribs with a Kansas City honemade sauce and rub, warm potato salad and an apple cider slaw. Dessert - apple and pear crisp with butter pecan ice cream.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: chefathome

                                    Simple and delicious. How long and what temp do you roast? That sounds like a warm and cozy dinner. I don't think I could handle that weather :)

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      I roast the ribs at 300 for about three hours and begin basting at 2.5 hours.

                                      Yes, our winters are brutal and extremely long. However, I enjoy cooking more in the winter as our summers, though short, are too hot to cook indoors comfortably.

                                  2. I left the house today. Of course, I *should* have done it yesterday, because I felt like Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day out there getting in and out of the car! And now the cats are going crazy trying to chase the swirling leaves that keep attacking the house off the deck - GET DEMZ!!!! ;-)

                                    I did my Thanksgiving dinner shopping did many others. The Hannaford's market I go to was busier than I've ever see it. But at least it's done. I also got my flu shot.

                                    Tonight's dinner will also stock a few dinners in Mom's freezer - mac & ham & cheese. Cabot's Seriously Sharp cheddar will be used, and some Lipton's Garlic & Herb soup/dip mix will be added to the Panko crumbs that will go on top of the mac & cheese.

                                    A small salad alongside...probably with some Ranch dressing. And some wine. Like duh. :-)

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: LindaWhit


                                      Big games this afternoon and tonight. Tray tables and seat backs in the upright position.

                                      1. re: steve h.

                                        OMG, was that ever a bumpy ride for the Patriots! Definitely wasn't expecting that landing after the first half of the flight. :-)