Ham Sauce

AH, THE HOLIDAYS.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or Canada Day, those family get togethers wouldn’t be quite the same without the food. Each Holiday has something to look forward to in the kitchen department, and it just isn’t quite the same without that special something. In our house Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a turkey, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and Canada Day just isn’t Canada Day without a big family BBQ (although, this year we will be trading our BBQ tongs for fine china because my baby sister is getting MARRIED!).

For me, Christmas Eve isn’t Christmas Eve without ham. My Mum makes the most amazing ham on Christmas Eve and I look forward to it even more than the turkey. You walk into the house on Christmas Eve afternoon and you can just smell that amazing ham smell and you just know   that Christmas is here. The smell transports me to my childhood home and my childhood Christmases every single time. It’s magic. Don’t you just love those moments?
BUT. This last Christmas Eve was without that wonderful meal. And I really missed it. My Christmas Eve wasn’t the same without it. Especially as I knew my family was enjoying my favourite Holiday meal without me. We started a new tradition of alternating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our parents so that each could spend quality with us and Liam instead of squeezing all our visiting into one day. We had a wonderful, special day with my Husbands family with plenty of all the good stuff- food, gifts and lots of love. No complaints there.. but.. I didn’t even get a ham care package. Just saying.


So. Happy Easter! Easter is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to the family meal. Obviously the food association here is chocolate. Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without a few bags of Mini Eggs! When it comes to the family meal it is a bit of a wildcard. Turkey, roast beef, roast chicken and lamb have all made an appearance over the years. I have the pleasure of hosting Easter dinner today and alongside the Mini Eggs I will be serving HAM. Christmas Eve ham. Complete with mashed potatoes, asparagus casserole, and the most important part of the ensemble: ham sauce. What is ham sauce, you ask? It’s sweet. It’s smoky. It’s saucy. You’ll love it. You’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. You’ll never eat ham without it again.


HAM SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Heinz 57

1 Cup Liquid Honey

10 Dashes Tobasco

DIRECTIONS

Add ingredients to mason jar.

Shake well.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Note: Continues to keep very well in fridge

This sauce is also delicious on BBQ ribs or pulled pork.

Enjoy ❤ KOCHIEMAMA 

Mustache Cookies

IF YOU MUSTACHE.. I AM DELICIOUS!

We celebrated our Little Man’s first birthday last weekend! We hosted an afternoon full of food, friends, family, and a few mustaches. You can check out all the party highlights on the party post.


Fitting with the Little Man theme I whipped up a batch of sugar cookies and cut them using a mustache cookie cutter. They were adorable! More importantly they were delicious and our guests really enjoyed them. In fact, It’s a good thing I taste-tested at least 10 cookies while I was baking and decorating because there were NONE left at the end of the party!

I am not the worlds greatest cookie baker. I’ve always struggled getting a great batch of cookies to come together no matter how closely I follow the recipe. I really needed success this time so I consulted my wonderful friend Nikita for a fool proof cookie dough recipe. She suggested her sugar cookie recipe and I gave it a try.

SUCCESS!

This will now be my go-to cookie recipe forever and ever. I halved the original recipe and made one teeny tiny ingredient adjustment. I had to sub almond extract in place of the vanilla as I didn’t realize I was all out of vanilla extract until I had started making the dough. Almond had to suffice this time but no qualms about that here. The outcome was superbly delicious. I can’t wait to have a need to make cookies again 🙂


After the cookies were cooled I made a simple icing glaze with just icing sugar and water and about two thirds of the cookies. The first third I sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles for a fuzzy mustache look while the glaze was still wet. The remaining cookies I decorated with the left over buttercream from the cupcakes. How cute are they?!



Thank you for saving me from my cookie slump Mrs McElgunn! You can find the original recipe HERE.

Eggs & Bacon Salad

IT ALL STARTED ON THURSDAY. 

We’d been out and about picking up some renovation supplies and we shopped right through dinner. We were famished and decided to pick up some A&W on our way home. I was dreaming of a Teen Burger or Chubby Chicken Burger but rolling up to the drive through the Hubs noticed that Papa burgers were on special 2 for $7. I’d actually never had a Papa Burger so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. By the time we left the drive through we had an order of 2 Papa Burgers, 2 Chubby Buddy Burgers (mini burgers.. because I still wanted chicken) and an apple pie (because what is life without dessert?). They say “don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry”… Perhaps we should add “don’t drive-through when you’re hungry” to those words of wisdom.

We got home and I unwrapped my very first Papa Burger. 2 Thick beef patties in one bun. My starving self had a hard time getting through that much meat… I almost didn’t make it. But, once finished I still wanted that chicken so I ditched the second bun and just ate the delicious crispy fillet. Then, when I really shouldn’t have eaten anything more, I remembered the apple pie.

Commence tummy ache.

And the tummy ache continued until bedtime, the following morning, and well into the afternoon.

Dinner last night required the opposite of the night before. Salad for dinner was all I was in the mood for. One problem, my husband wouldn’t exactly agree! We have this continual problem that about an hour after dinner I am faced with “I’m still hungry” just about every night. If I was going to serve a salad it needed to be seriously filling.

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The Hubs named this salad “Eggs & Bacon Salad” because it has eggs and bacon in it (original, right?!). Despite it being a “salad” he has never grumbled about it because it is fully of really tasty ingredients and is a full-meal-deal in the dinner department. Whenever I make it, it’s never exactly the same twice. It’s a great clean-out-the-fridge dinner and you can add what you love and leave out what you don’t.


EGGS & BACON SALAD

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 Grilled Chicken Breasts. Cooled. Thinly sliced.

2 Hardboiled eggs. Cooled. Thinly sliced.

4 Strips Crispy Bacon. Crumbed.

1/2 CUP Ham. Diced.

1/4 CUP Cooked Quinoa. Cooled.

Half green leaf lettuce. Rinsed and chopped.

Half English Cucumber. Chopped.

8 Cherry Tomatoes. Quartered.

1/2 CUP Corn.

2 TBSP Hemp Hearts.

Your favourite salad dressing.

DIRECTIONS:

Arrange half of each of the ingredients onto 2 plates.

Top with a drizzle of your favourite salad dressing.

Note: Serve with a side of grilled naan bread for extra tastiness.
ENJOY!

KOCHIEMAMA

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

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SUNDAY SNOW DAY

We are buried under inches upon inches of the white stuff! The snow started to fall on Friday evening and it hasn’t stopped since. Thankfully the roads are highways are well maintained in this part of the world and getting around hasn’t been too hindered. However, we are taking full advantage of some quality hibernation time and enjoying a quiet weekend at home.

To cut down on grocery costs this month I am really trying to use what I have in the pantry and freezer. The grocery bill got a little out of hand last month so I’m making a commitment to be more conscious of grocery costs and recover from some of the (unfortunately necessary) over spending. I like to keep a well stocked panty and freezer so with some more effort for planning ahead this task shouldn’t be too difficult. 

I was debating making a dessert to go along with the roast beef I made for dinner last night (funny story about that roast beef coming up later this week- stay tuned, friends!). I could eat warm, comforting desserts every single day at the moment. It’s a winter thing. After some thought about what I was in the mood for, and what I had on hand, I spied some past-their-best buns in the bread bin. I had whipped up some home made buns to go with the pulled pork I made on Thursday. I should have frozen what was left over- If you’ve made bread before then you know that it goes stale very quickly. But, instead of preserving their freshness safely in my deep freeze, there they were, getting hard as a rock, on my kitchen counter. How do you save stale bread? You make bread pudding! And, what’s better than bread pudding for dessert? Bread pudding for Sunday Snow Day Brunch.

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In the spirit of using up some of what was on hand I pulled out of the freezer some of the pumpkin I pureed after Halloween, and found an open carton of almond milk in the fridge that needed to be used up. I cubed the buns and left the pieces, uncovered, to dry out for about an hour before continuing the prepare the rest. Then, in a large bowl, I whisked the eggs, sugar, almond milk, pumpkin puree and spices together. The bread cubes got tossed with some melted butter and put in a large, buttered casserole dish, and then the liquid mixture was poured over the top. As this recipe was a first time experiment I had an “Oh, goodness. I think I have way too much liquid here” moment. But, it was the perfect amount. By the time I got my camera ready to take the photo it had already started to absorb into the bread. By this morning it was fully absorbed. So, don’t be alarmed.. lots of liquid is a good thing! I then covered the casserole dish with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge overnight to allow the rest of the magic to happen.

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My Mother-In-Law always stops in for lunch on her way home from church and this would be a tasty warm lunch to serve on a snowy Sunday. About an hour before she arrived I topped the pudding with a sprinkle of brown sugar, cinnamon and some chopped almonds, and popped it in the oven. The house smelled amazing! I served it up with a drizzle of syrup and a side of coffee and baileys. It was a hit! Even the baby devoured it (minus the coffee and baileys, of course!). Aside from all the eggy, pumpkin, sweet bready goodness in this dish… It is also Mother-In-Law approved!

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PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING

Serves:
4 as a main dish
6 as an accompaniment

Ingredients:
7 stale bread buns (approx. 8 cups)
1 tbsp softened butter (for buttering casserole dish)
1/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 3/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
For topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1.
Cube bread and set aside for 30 minutes to dry out.
2. In a large bowl beat eggs. Add sugar, almond milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well to combine.
3. Butter a large casserole dish.
4. Toss butter and bread cubes to coat. Transfer to the casserole dish.
5. Cover bread with the liquid mixture.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least an hour. Overnight is best.
7. When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350.
8. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with brown sugar, cinnamon and almonds.
9. Bake for 50 minutes. When casserole has “puffed up” and top is toasty brown it is ready.
10. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Delicious served with a drizzle of syrup!
Enjoy as a main dish or a side to your breakfast favourites.

What do you think, friends? I’d love to hear if you tried this recipe! Comments always welcome.

❤ KOCHIE MAMA