Category Archives: ham

Creamy Latin Style Pasta Salad for #laborday #sundaysupper


Happy Labor Day everyone! I was trying to think of something different than my usual BBQ regulars. I knew we were grilling steaks and making a spinach salad but I wanted a pasta salad, because well, I love pasta. I decided to go to my Southern California roots do something with a Latin/Mexican flair. I was watching Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman and saw a pasta that she was working on and it gave me TONS of ideas. But you know that as a food blogger I can never leave anyone’s recipe alone, so off my little mind went with ingredients dancing in my head. I figured go big or go home, so I threw all of my favorites at this pasta, well not ALL of them, but most of them. Wow, who knew that my little thoughts would go so far?

I love it when my little mental foodie trips take me to a good place, and this of surely did! There is creaminess, spicyness, all of the things you would want from a great side dish. I know I have said we love things hot here, but trust me this is not too hot. You will love every bit of this pasta salad. I will bet money on it!! Kevin said that from now on if someone asks us to bring a dish to a BBQ this is the one we are bringing!!

Creamy Latin Style Pasta Salad

1 pound curly pasta (rotini, cavatapi)
1/2 fat free condensed milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced ham
1 cup crumbled Queso Fresco (can sub feta) cheese
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (a good handful), chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cook according to package directions. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, combine the evaporated milk, oil, Queso Fresco or feta, cilantro, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the ham, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, black beans, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently mix it into the salad. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving.


Labor Day Cookout Recipes:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides



Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings byENOFYLZ
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Bobbi on a Budget – Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham


I know I haven’t posted a budget meal in a while but it has been a bit difficult for me to make meals for 4 when I never know how many I am going to have here. At any given time it could be 2 or 6 with no warning *sigh* the joys of kids right? This was a meal that I knew could be made and if it wasn’t all eaten I could freeze the rest. Yes, I love soup!!

I actually chose to make this because I was thinking about my Dad. I miss his little comments “What experiment are we having tonight” “I love being a guinea pig” “Can we please have something besides chicken I am going to sprout feathers and cluck” My Dad was a crack up! One of the things I knew I could make any time and he would be happy about it was split pea soup. He LOVED it. I haven’t made it since he passed away last year so this one was for my Daddy.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
  • 8 to 10 parsley stems
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Tie the parsley stems and thyme together with kitchen string and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the split peas, leek, celery, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Add 4 cups chicken stock and 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low until the split peas are tender 6 hours. Add the cubed ham and cook on low an additional 2 hours.
Discard the herb bundle. Vigorously stir the soup to break up the peas and make the soup smoother. Thin with water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the thawed peas. Serve with bread, if desired.

Denver Omelet in a Cup


Ever since I  made the Make Ahead Sausage Breakfast Casserole I have been thinking more and more about good breakfast recipes. I really do love breakfast but I, as well as many I am sure, have fallen into that breakfast rut. You know, when you try to think of what to make for breakfast you run down the list, Bacon and eggs, Sausage and eggs (OH and don’ forget hash browns), Sausage gravy and biscuits, pancakes, french toast, omelet, etc. At least those are the ones that get bounced around here. Usually we settle on Eggs with sausage or bacon and hash browns. A cheese omelet or egg and cheese muffin sandwich are usually my go to choices through the week. That is IF I eat breakfast. My breakfast as of late has been coffee with cream. Bad I know, but it just seems to be all that I can fit in.

OK so if I am going to be boring and some what bad through the week, I want to make up for it on the weekend. This weekend was another winner. I was looking through my Everyday Food Magazine and saw a recipe that I was interested in but knew I wanted to change up a bit. I was really excited to have found another original recipe to surprise everyone with.

The thing about this recipe is that it is super easy and not that expensive. If you don’t want to use the packaged hash browns you could grate your own. Make sure you wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeeeeeeeze all the moisture out of them that you can. I used the packaged hash browns that you can find in the refrigerated section (usually by the eggs) just because it meant less work on the weekend and THAT was one of my goals.

This recipe makes 4 to 6 depending on how large your ramekins/muffin cups are. I used 4 ramekins that I have for making creme bruelee (now ask me if I have ever made that creme brulee that I bought them for), but you can use the jumbo muffin pans and then it will make 6.

Denver Omelet in a Cup
4 cups hash browns (1 pound), defrosted frozen, refrigerated, or fresh
2 egg whites plus 4 to 6 large eggs
4 teaspoons butter
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 ounces of ham steak
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Coat ramekins or jumbo muffin cups with non stick spray.
In a large microwave safe bowl, melt 4 teaspoons of butter. Add 4 cups hash browns and 2 egg whites, season with salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Place approx 1/2 cup of the mixture into each muffin cup (more if using ramekins). Firmly press into the bottom and up the side of each cup forming a “crust”. Bake 15 minutes.
Meanwhile in a small non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and ham steak. Cook stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide vegetable misture evenly between the cups and top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and crack a large egg into each cup, season with salt and pepper. Bake until whites are set but yolks are still creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. If using muffin cups use a small offset spatula to remove the omelet cups from the pan. If using ramekins serve as is.

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Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches


This week was one of those weeks that I was determined to use items I already had in the house. I told myself I could shop for fresh produce but everything else needed to be out of my freezer, fridge, or pantry. It gives me a challenge and keeps my productive juices flowing. Of course the family wonders sometime what they are going to get. But 9 times out of 10 they like what I present them with so they just need to sshhhhhhh.

I had a package of chicken breasts and the wheels in my head started cranking. One of the first things that came to mind was Chicken Cordon Blue. We all love it here so no worries with that. However, with the heat we have been having I really wanted to keep the cooking to a minimum. So the search began again. What could I do with these two lonely chicken breasts? I started to think maybe just making sandwiches was the way to go and then it hit me. Why not make a Chicken Cordon Blue sandwich? Hhhmmmmm OK so chicken breasts….check……black forrest ham….check……swiss cheese…..check bread bread bread AHA a loaf of ciabatta bread BINGO I had it. I knew what I wanted to make

So the Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwich was born. Because the cibatta bread was so thin I decided to do them open faced. I wanted to make a tarragon Dijon mayo to go with them but alas not tarragon in the house so I had to settle for just a Dijon mayo. But they were good with just that. Jessi, Kevin and I devoured them as soon as they were remotely cool enough to be eaten! That is why no picture on a plate. They went from the baking sheet straight into our tummies! Jessi just kept saying OMG Mom these are sooooo good. She is in the culinary program at Job Corps and told me she was going to tell her trade boss that he  needed to make these. I love it when a plan comes together!!

Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches

2 good sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 slices of deli style black forest  ham
8 slices of Swiss cheese cut in half (I did them in triangles)
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cut chicken breasts in half (like a book) and then cut the halves in half, giving you 8 chicken tender sized pieces. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Combine the mayo and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl. (this is where I Would have added a tablespoon of chopped tarragon leaves).
Slice the ciabatta bread giving you 8 slices. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake the bread slices in the oven just until crispy, approx 5 minutes (times vary). When bread comes out you can rub it with a clove of garlic if you like garlic. Spread a thin layer of the Dijon mayo mixture on the bread.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and cook the chicken until done, 2 or 3 minutes per side. Place cooked chicken tenders on the bread slices. In the pan that you cooked the chicken heat the ham slices just enough to warm them. Then place them on top of the chicken. Top each sandwich with two of the cheese triangles. Put the sandwiches into the oven and heat them until the cheese melts and the meat is heated through. Sprinkle hot sandwiches with a few chopped thyme leaves (optional). Serve warm and enjoy!



I have to admit, I am not much of a breakfast girl. As a matter of fact I am downright BORING when it comes to breakfast through the week. With my love for cooking it is amazing that I have such a lack of imagination when it comes to making myself some breakfast. Maybe that is the big problem. I hate to cook for just myself. If I lived alone I would probably starve! But once the weather starts cooling down I start to get inspired to make breakfast on the weekend. Jessi actually requested I make grits this weekend! She hasn’t had grits in YEARS! I am actually excited to cook some up.

This morning I made Scramblewiches. It is pretty simple, cook some deli ham in butter, add eggs with some S&P, hot sauce and a splash of milk, scramble and put them inside some scooped out bread boats with cheese topped with chives. Simple? Extremely! Tasty? Well, we all liked it so that would be a yes. It wasn’t a fancy show of a breakfast, but it was warm and cheesy and filled our tummies nicely. It was supposed to make 4 adult size servings, but it just seemed too big for me so I cut the bread down and made 8 normal size servings.

I don’t see me waking up in the middle of the night telling Kevin “Oh My God I have GOT to have a scramblewich tomorrow or I will die!”. But it was a good, filling, and easy breakfast and perfect for the cool fall mornings. 


1 baguette (day old is fine)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound deli sliced ham, smoked turkey, pastrami, or corned beef
8 large eggs
a splash of milk
a teaspoon of hot sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 deli slices of Swiss cheese (halved lengthwise to fit bread), or 8 slices of cheddar (2 squares per bread), or 6 slices Provolone cheese ( 1 1/2 slices per bread, cut to fit)
chopped fresh chives or parsley

preheat oven to 200

crisp the bread in the oven, split it lengthwise, and hollow it out. Cut each piece in half again, across, making four boats. Switch the broiler on.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and melt it. When the bubbles stop, add the meat and cook, separating the pieces, for 3 minutes, or until brown at the edges. In a bowl beat the eggs with the milk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Add to the meat and scramble, keeping the eggs a little soft. They will continue to cook in the oven.

Divide the eggs among the bread and cover with the cheese. Melt the cheese under the broiler. Take i tout as soon as the cheese softens and melts. Do not brown or allow the cheese to bubble; there are eggs under there! Garnish with the chopped chives or parsley.

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