18 March 2015

The Wedgie You'll Actually Want.

Want a quick and easy dinner that no one will whine about?

Here's you go.

It's a wedgie.  A local pizza place makes something similar.  Being the cheapskate frugal gal I am, I totally took the idea and made my own.

Here's what you'll need:
2 pre-made pizza shells
Italian dressing
Meat of your choice
Cheese of your choice

Preheat your oven to 400.  Spread Italian dressing on top of both pizza crusts (where you'd usually put the sauce and cheese).  Bake for 8 minutes on a cookie sheet and remove from oven.  Cover one crust with meat I used a combo of sliced turkey and slice ham).  Cover the other with cheese.  Then sandwich them together on the cookie sheet.  Brush the outside of the sandwich with more Italian dressing.  I then take a cast iron skillet covered in foil and place on top of the sandwich to squish it down.  Bake in the oven with the skillet on it for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and outside of shells are a little crunchy. 

Serve by slicing into wedges (hence the wedgie name). 

I've made this with just about every type of leftover meat I've had in the fridge.  You can also pry it apart after it's baked and add some lettuce and tomato.  Ronnie & I really like it with leftover hoagie meat, grilled onions, and pickled peppers.  Yum.

It's a quick meal and a great way to use up leftovers.

So go ahead - give your family a wedgie!

13 March 2015

Baked Ham Recipe aka Charli's Ode to Ham.

What?  You don't wax poetic about ham? 

Well, that's a little weird.

I've come to the conclusion that ham may be the best value for your money when it comes to feeding a small horde of hungry folks.

I can usually find ham around the major holidays for $0.99/# which  makes it totally in my budget.
By cooking a 10 pound or larger ham, I can have enough meat not only for dinner on the night I bake it, but I can also stretch out the leftovers for ham salad, ham sandwiches, quiche, and omelets.  And I'm still left with a nice big ham bone for soup beans.  And when you're done with the bone for soup beans, give it to the dog.  Everybody wins!

When choosing a ham at the store, don't pay extra for spiral cut.  You just want a nice half ham with the bone. And if it comes with a glaze, throw it out.  No one wants that unnatural tasting mess.

 Here's my basic ham recipe:

Around 10# ham
2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup honey

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine butter, honey, brown sugar and cloves in sauce pan over low heat just until mixed together.

Score ham.  Place ham in an oven cooking bag in a foil lined 9x13 pan.  Pour sauce over top of ham and seal bag.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning bag and ham 3 to 4 times during cooking.  At the end of the cook time, remove the bag and broil for 3-5 minutes to caramelize the glaze - watch closely so it doesn't burn!  Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before slicing.

By rotating the cooking bag, you don't have to baste your ham and by broiling at the end, you'll have that nice coating like the fancy baked ham stores, but for a fraction of the price.  And lining your pan in foil makes clean up a breeze.

Now head on out and grab ya a ham! 

09 March 2015

Menu Plan Monday for March 9th.

What?  It's double digit temperatures in West Virginia? 

I don't know what to do with myself.

It's been such a long, cold winter this year.  At one point, I literally didn't leave my house for 12 days.  (And it was glorious). 

You would think choosing to hibernate this year that I would have kept up with the ol' blog here, but nope.  I was an antisocial hibernater.  (Spell check is telling me hibernator isn't a word.  It's probably right.)

But I'm back for now and it's my favorite day:  Menu Plan Monday.

So here's what we're chowing down on this week:

Monday:  Baked ham, mashed potatoes and carrots
Tuesday:  Slow cooker steak & gravy, leftover mashed potatoes, peas
Wednesday:  Ham & cheese quiche, applesauce
Thursday:  Baked nachos, salad
Friday:  Soup beans and Lick the pan cornbread
Saturday:  Baked subs - ham & cheese and chicken, bacon, ranch.  Served with salad and peaches.
Sunday:  Leftovers.

I found a really nice ham for $0.99/# at Aldi's on Saturday.  I love when I can bake something and then feed the family off of it all week. 

I'll post my ham recipe for you later this week.  It's seriously the best.

As always don't forget to stop by orgjunkie.com to see more menu planning ideas!

06 March 2015

Favorite Things Friday.

Don't you just love when you find something that's new to you and that you just love?  I do too!

Here's some of my current favorite things for this snowy Friday:

Refit Rev. 
OK, I love these girls!  Fun dancing workouts, great CLEAN music that the whole family can hear without cringing, no annoying talking during the workouts and did I mention free on Youtube?  You better believe it's a dance party up in here in the afternoons.

Polar Bottle.
My sweet friend Tammy from Pike Street Bikes gave me my first Polar water bottle.  I now have five - one for each of us.  They're great, easy to open without leaking in my purse and they stay cold for me.  Plus there's none of those hard to reach areas to clean like with my Contigo water bottle. 

Seedling heat mat.
If you're starting seeds in West Virginia, there's a good chance you'll need a heat mat.  I'm not keeping the whole house at a balmy 78 degrees in February and March - we're not the Rockefellers.  I use a seed mat to keep the plants at a warmer temperature.  I also rotate the plants so they each have a turn with the mat.  It works for us.  (Side confession here - I've been known to plug the heat mat in under my desk while blogging.  The floor in that area gets really cold.)

Amazon Fire Stick.
I've mentioned my Roku love before.  While looking at buying a new Roku for our bedroom so we could stream Netflix and Amazon, the Fire Stick popped up.  It's cheaper at $39 and in our experience, streams faster than our Roku.  It does have less channel options, but since it has the channels that we routinely use (Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube) plus super easy access to our Amazon library - including Prime Music, we don't find the lack of additional channels an issue.  Best of all, you can download the Fire TV app to your Kindle and use your Kindle as a remote - with voice activation.  If I want to watch The Blacklist, I simply tell the app "The Blacklist" and it pulls up all the options with that name.  Pretty cool.

Remember the Milk.
This app is great at keeping me organized.  It links up with my Google calendar and is easily accessed from both my computer and phone.  Ronnie & I are both signed up, so let's say I have "Get milk" on the list but it's snowed and I'm not leaving the house.  I can simply reassign the task to him and he'll get the notice to grab milk on his way home.  We also use it with tasks that need to be done for our rental business.  Just a case of working smarter, not harder. 

Gourmet Garden or as I call them Herbs in a Tube.
When I buy fresh herbs, I usually use them for one to two day, forget about them, then throw them away three weeks later when they're nice and rotten.  Or you can buy these herbs in a tube.  I find mine at Walmart in the produce section.  Just a squirt and you have the taste of fresh herbs in your dishes.  My favorites are the Basil and Cilantro.

And finally, Body Butter from The Body Shop.

It's so dry right now, but even if it's wasn't, I'd still love this lotion.  It's so thick and creamy but it absorbs quickly.  I like to use the Shea butter in the winter but it the Summer, it's Mango all the way.  And it's not full of those weird chemically sweet smells like Bath & Body Works. 

So there you have it.  A few of my favorite things.