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Saturday, April 19, 2008

How Are You Going to Use Your Leftover Ham?

By Elizabeth Randall

I sure hope you had a wonderful Easter celebration! If you are like me, you have some ham to use in your menus this week. I have some scrumptious options for you.

Let's start with one of my favorites - Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin and then move on to Eggs Bennedict, Ham and Potato Soup and then we will finish with a Mediterranean Vegetable Salad with Ham. All are deliciously different so your family will not be giving you the 'Oh, no! Not ham again!' routine.

Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin

AllRecipes has a simple recipe but it does take a little time. If you don't have time in the evening for the casserole to cook, use your crock pot. Remember to reduce the amount of milk by half if you are using your crock pot.


2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup cooked and diced ham

1 Tbl minced onion

1/3 cup butter or margarine

3 Tbl all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

3/4 tsp salt

1 dash white pepper

Chopped fresh parsley


1. Combine potatoes, ham, and onion in a greased 1-qt. casserole, set aside.

2. Melt butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and bubbles. Add cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until cheese melts.

3. Pour cheese sauce over potato mixture and gently stir to mix.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes or until bubbly.

5. Garnish with parsley.

Eggs Bennedict

This is a very rich and elegant way to use your leftovers! This recipe is from BedandBreakfast and it is delicious. If you are short on time, you can substitute a Hollandaise sauce mix for the 'made from scratch' version in this recipe.


4 eggs

4 slices Canadian bacon or ham slices

4 thick slices grilled focaccia artisian bread or 2 English muffins split in half

3 egg yolks

2 Tbl hot water

2 Tbl lemon juice

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and hot

cayenne or favorite hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste



sliced lemon rounds


1. Poach 4 eggs.

2. Grill ham and bread or English muffins.

3. Make Hollandaise sauce: put 3 egg yolks, hot water, and lemon juice in blender and blend until frothy (about 1 - 2 minutes). Drizzle in hot butter slowly as you continue blending. Add hot sauce to taste.

4. Assemble: Place bread slices on plates and stack a ham slice and poached egg on top of each. Pour Hollandaise sauce over the top of the eggs. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika over the top and garnish with chives and lemon slices.

Ham and Potato Soup

Nothing is quite as satisfying as soup on a chilly evening. Ham and Potato Soup fits the bill here. Even though it is spring, we will still have some chilly nights to come. This recipe from AllRecipes will have you enjoying your soup in 45 minutes - flat.


3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

1/3 cup diced celery

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 cup diced cooked ham

3 1/4 cups water

2 Tbl chicken bouillon granules

1/2 tsp salt or to taste

1 tsp ground white or black pepper or to taste

5 Tbl butter

5 Tbl all-purpose flour

2 cups milk


1. Combine potatoes, celery, onion, ham, and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper.

2. In a separate large sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 - 5 minutes.

3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Mediterranean Vegetable Salad with Ham

Salads are always a healthy and quick alternative for dinner. MyRecipes has a marvelous salad that will give your salad a fresh new look and taste.


1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp Greek seasoning blend

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup red bell pepper strips

1 cup green bell pepper strips

1 cup finely chopped cooked ham

1/4 cup (1 oz) crumbled feta cheese

1 Tbl sliced ripe olives

1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)

4 6-inch pitas, cut in half


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

2. Add tomatoes and next 6 ingredients (through cucumber) and toss well.

3. Serve with pitas.

I hope this helps with your meal planning for this week. I know I am looking forward to trying these recipes.

Check for more menu ideas and tips. is designed to help busy moms everywhere prepare meals - family meals, holiday celebrations, and special dinners plus entertaining - through recipe and meal planning links. Most of the links are fast, fun, and free to use. Who has time to waste searching endlessly through the web? Certainly not us moms!

I am the mother of five grown children who are now starting families of their own so to say that I have 'been there, done that' is an understatement! My trick is to plan weekly menus and grocery shop only once per week. I am a firm believer that once-a-week meal planning and grocery shopping saves a lot of time and money! We can all use more of those commodities.

I sincerely hope you have fun with your meal planning and preparation,

Elizabeth Randall and Family

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