New Year's Ham Salad

So, its New Year's Eve & you still have Christmas ham leftovers. At this point, you have to either use it or lose it. Well, here's how to use it!

1/2 c light mayo
1/3 c sweet relish
2 T Grey Poupon (if you don't like the heat of Dijon mustard, use regular or grainy mustard)
24 oz cooked, leftover ham
salt & pepper
  1. Mix mayo, relish, & mustard together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut ham into chunks & pulse in food processor (or Ninja Master Prep) until desired chunkiness (about 8 pulses in my Ninja Master Prep).
  3. Combine processed ham with mayo mixture until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add salt, pepper, & more relish to taste.
  5. Enjoy on fresh, homemade bread!
COOK'S NOTE: I boiled my ham in the leftover ham glaze/dressing & some water before making this then tossed in leftover cranberry relish & some leftover apple/brie appetizer. It was very good!

Roasted Broccoli

This recipe is so stupid simple that it only really has a single measurement. I have been making this for years & even my kids will eat this broccoli (although I assume it is becasue I don't use salt in anything else). The real key is to pre-heat a metal pan in the oven. After that, the rest is fool proof!

I've been mixing up the flavors a bit recently with oils from The Olive Twist, a specialty vinegar & oil store near me. They will be happy to ship you anything you want & she only charges the USPS flat rate postage fee!

Broccoli florets
Olive oil
1/2 t sugar
  1. Pre-heat the oven, with your metal pan inside, to 500 degrees.
  2. Coat broccoli with oil & sugar, then season to taste with salt & pepper.
  3. Pour broccoli in an even layer onto your baking sheet & bake about 10 minutes.
    **You can stir it about halfway through if you prefer, but we really like the crispy edges that develop if you don't.**

Broccoli Recipes on FoodistaClick here for more Broccoli recipes from Foodista!

Coissant Bread (Brioche)

This bread will make a simple, but amazing gift & you still have time to whip some up before Christmas. This recipe takes 24 hours to fully develop the buttery flavor & flaky texture, but with only about 20 minutes total of working time, the wait it so worth it!

2 c flour
2 1/2 t rapid rise or bread machine yeast
1/4 c nonfat dry milk
1 T sugar
1 c hot water (not boiling)
2 sticks butter, room temperature
3 c flour
5 eggs, room temperature

  1. Turn on your oven light.
  2. Mix 2 c flour, yeast, dry milk, sugar, & water in your mixer.
  3. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the butter & beat on medium speed for another minute.
  5. Alternately add the remaining flour & the eggs, the dough will be very sticky.
  6. Beat on medium speed using the flat beater for about 10 minutes, dough will be shiny & elastic.
  7. Cover bowl & set in oven with light on for 1 - 1 1/2 hours until doubled.
  8. Stir down the dough with a spatula, cover, & refrigerate 24 hours or overnight.

The next day...

  1. Turn on your oven light.
  2. Divide chilled dough into 2 pieces & then divide each piece into 6-10 2 ounce pieces.
  3. Roll pieces into balls or short logs (the width of your pan) and place into greased bread pans.
  4. Spray dough top lightly with oil & place in oven.
  5. Let rise 1 - 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
  6. Set oven to 375 degrees (with bread still inside)
  7. Brush bread tops with a mixture of 1 beaten egg & 1 tablespoon milk.
  8. Bake 15 minute, rotate pans & bake another 15 minutes.
  9. Remove bread from pans & place on wire racks to cool.

Pecan Waffles

2 eggs
1.5 c milk
1/4 c canola oil
1T baking powder
1 t sugar
1/4 t salt
2 c flour
1 handful pecans (very precise, I know)

  1. Combine eggs, milk & oil in a blender, food processor, or mixer and blend well.
  2. Add baking powder, sugar, & salt and blend again until well incorporated.
  3. Add flour & blend until smooth.
  4. Blend in pecans.
  5. Cook following your waffle maker's instructions.

Corn Scallop

1 can cream style corn
2 T flour
1/2 c milk
1/3 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Stir all ingredients together & pour into a buttered baking dish
  3. Bake about an hour

Apple Fritters

1 c flour, sifted
2 T sugar
1/2 T cinnamon
2 t Baking Powder
1/4 t salt
1 egg, beaten
2 T butter, melted
3 or 4 apples

  1. Pre-heat oil to 375 degrees
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. Mix in egg, milk, & butter. The batter should be very thick.
  4. Core, peel, & slice apples. (I use one of those corer/slicer gadgets that you can get at the grocery store)
  5. Dip apples in batter.
  6. Lower carefully into hot oil.
  7. Cook about 3 minutes, turning once.
  8. Enjoy hot with ice cream!

Almond Pound Cake

1 c oil
2 c sugar
3 c flour, sifted
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
4 eggs
1 c milk
1 T almond extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Cream oil & sugar
Sift together flour, baking powder, & salt
Mix together eggs, milk, & almond extract
Alternate adding liquid & dry mixtures to creamed sugar mixture until incorporated
Pour into loaf pan & bake 45 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sugar Cream Pie

I was just taking a look at some of the forum questions on BlogFrog and realized that I've never posted my Sugar Cream Pie recipe! Pretty specific to Indiana and Pennsylvania, a holiday just wouldn't be right without a Sugar Cream Pie to sweeten it up. Read more on the history of Sugar Cream Pie here.

Bake it in my magic pie shell, but don't use an electric mixer of any sort to mix this! Make that mistake one time & you'll understand why it has to be mixed by hand. Fortunately it isn't tough at all, so mix one up quick & enjoy!

1 1/2 c Sugar
1/3 c Flour
2 T Salted Butter
2 c Whipping cream
Nutmeg to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, salt and butter. 
  3. Stir in whipping cream and mix well. 
  4. Add nutmeg to taste and stir. 
  5. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
  6. Bake for about an hour.

French Onion Soup

This recipe can be canned in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure; 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts. It makes great Christmas gifts!

5 yellow onions, very large
1/4 t sugar
1/4 c butter
3 10.5 oz cans beef broth
3 cans water
1/2 t salt
6 slices crusty bread, buttered
1/2 c grated Swiss or provolone cheese

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel onions & slice pole-to-pole (from root to tip)
  3. Sprinkle onions with sugar & sauté in butter making sure not to burn or over brown
  4. Add broth & water
  5. Cover & simmer 45 minutes to an hour
  6. Add salt & season with pepper if desired
  7. Portion into six oven safe bowls, top with a piece of bread, then top bread with cheese
  8. Bake until cheese is bubbly & turning brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Butternut Squash Bread

Butternut squash is a great stand in for pumpkin & this recipe is no different. If you love pumpkin bread, you'll love this, too! This recipe makes 3 loaves.

3 c sugar
3.5 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t ground cloves
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t baking powder
1 c vegetable oil
2 c butternut squash puree
4 eggs

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Pour into 3 greased & floured loaf pans (only fill them half full).
  4. Bake about an hour until a toothpick comes out clean.

To puree squash yourself:

  1. Slice squash in half & remove seeds.
  2. Place cut side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees until soft (abut 20 to 30 minutes).
  4. Remove from oven & tent to loosen skins.
  5. Peel skins & puree squash in blender or Ninja Master Prep.

French Dressing (for Sweet & Sour sauce)

Mix this dressing with a bit of peach or apricot jam and some pineapple bits for a quick & easy Hawaiian sweet & sour sauce.

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 T dry onion flakes
1/4 t granulated garlic
1/4 c ketchup
1/2 c olive oil
1 t celery salt
1 t paprika

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor & blend until smooth.

Hot Pepper Jelly

At this time of year, I have more peppers than I know what to do with! Well, I learned about hot pepper jelly a few years back & thought I'd try my hand at it. It's super easy & only takes a big pot of water to can! Every recipe I read goes exactly the same, so I can even recite it by memory now.

*This will fill about 6 half pint (8 oz.) jars*

12 oz Hot peppers (sweet bells take a different recipe; don't use them here)
2 c cider vinegar
6 c sugar
2 pkts liquid pectin (do not sub dry pectin; I don't know why)

  1. Wash & drain peppers.
  2. Puree peppers with enough vinegar to make it pretty smooth.
  3. Put sugar into the pot & add pepper puree and any remaining vinegar.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add pectin packets.
  7. Return to a rolling boil & boil 1 minute.
  8. Remove from heat, skim foam, and ladle into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.


  1. Wash jars & caps.
  2. Pour boiling water in jars & keep hot until ready to use (this prevents them from breaking in the canner).
  3. Fill a great big pot about half full of water & bring to a boil.
  4. Place a rag or cooling rack in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from coming in direct contact with the bottom.
  5. Carefully add jars to pot.
  6. Cover jars with boiling water so that water is about 1 to 2 inches above the lids.
  7. Put lid on pot & boil 10 minutes.
  8. Remove lid & let sit 5 minutes.
  9. Remove jars from canner, place on a towel, & cover with a dish rag to prevent drafts.
  10. Let cool 24 hours, then check to make sure the center of the lids does not flex.

Smashed Potatoes: A Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

From the November/December 2010 issue. Apparently Yukon Golds work almost as well.

Chicky Chili

16 clove garlic
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c olive oil
1 green pepper (or 2 poblanos if you're in a spicy mood)
1 onion
1/8 c Taco Seasoning
2 cans beans
1 jar Herdez salsa verde (I like this brand since it doesn't have any vinegar in it, but you can use what you like.)

  1. Peel garlic & micorwave, covered, with half of the olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  2. Chop chicken, peppers, & onion and sauté with Taco Seasoning in remaining oil until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Mash garlic & add to chicken mixture sautéing 2 minutes until garlic is very fragrant.
  4. Add beans & salsa and cook until bubbly.
  5. Serve hot with your favorite taco toppings.

Cucumber Salad

1.5 c Miracle Whip
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/3 c white or cider vinegar
3 large cucumbers
1 large onion

  1. Mix Miracle Whip, sugar, salt, pepper, & vinegar together.
  2. Slice cucumbers & onion .
  3. Add veggies to Miracle Whip mix & stir well to combine.
  4. Let set in refrigerator overnight to develop flavor.

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Panna Cotta with Blackberry Sauce

I can only describe Panna Cotta as the richest Jell-O you'll ever have...and you'll be dying for more! This is a simple summer dessert that could easily be paired with whatever fruit is in season for a year-round delight. You could even layer it in a trifle dish with fruit and poundcake. Yum-o!

1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 T water
3 c heavy cream
1 c milk (whole or 2%)
1 c sugar
2 t vanilla extract

9 oz blackberries (more if you've got 'em)
1/4 c water
3 T sugar
1 T lime juice

mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

For the Panna Cotta
  1. Line a 9x12 pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, & vanilla extract.
  3. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently & making sure it doesn't boil.
  4. While mixture heats, add gelatin to water & set aside.
  5. Once cream mixture simmers, remove from heat & add gelatin.
  6. Stir well & let cool 20 minutes.
  7. Pour into 9x12 pan & refrigerate at least 6 hours. (I let mine set for 2 days & it was still delish.)

For the Blackberry Sauce
  1. Combine 6 oz blackberries, water, sugar, & lime juice in blender or food processor.
  2. Puree well until sugar is well incorporated.
  3. Press sauce through a mesh colander to remove seeds.
  4. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.

To Serve
  1. Cut panna cotta with a large biscuit cutter. (Or scoop it out with a spoon if you're not picky about appearances.)
  2. Spoon sauce over plated panna cotta.
  3. Top with some of the leftover berries & a sprig of mint.

Teriyaki Sauce

You can simmer this sweet & salty sauce until it's thick then just spoon it over your dish, or mix it up as-is & use it as a marinade. Either way, it adds a nice oriental flavor to your grilled meats.

1 c soy sauce
3/4 c sherry
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t powdered ginger
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder

Tomato Sauced Zucchini with Chicken Parm

Farmer's market season is upon us, so I thought I'd post this delicious dish. Using fresh, locally grown herbs & veggies bumps up the sweetness factor while also supplying you with more that 4 times the antioxidants & flavenoids than grocery store fare. You could also omit the chicken & just serve the zucchini as a side to any dish you like!

2 t olive oil
1/2 red onion (red ones are sweeter, but you could use any kind you have)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped (I like to peel them too, or use one 14 oz can)
6 leaves fresh basil, shredded
1 bunch parsley
2 zucchini (more if your family really likes them)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c seasoned croutons, crunched into crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 lbs. chicken breast (about 2 large breasts)
1/4 c ricotta cheese

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Saute onion in hot oil about 1 minute
  3. Add garlic to onion & saute until garlic is lightly browned
  4. Add chopped tomatoes & basil
  5. Simmer mixture uncovered 5 minutes, then partially covered another 15
  6. while tomatoes mixture is cooking, wash zucchini & slice into super thin strips using a potato peeler (or a Titan peeler if you're an infomercial junkie like me!)
  7. Scrape the tomato mixture into an oven safe bowl & keep warm in preheated oven
  8. Without cleaning the pan, heat another tablespoon olive oil & add zucchini
  9. Cook covered 4 minutes, stir well, then cover & cook another 4 minutes
  10. While zucchini is cooking, pound chicken to an even thickness & slice each breast into thirds.
  11. Add zucchini to tomato mixture & heat another tablespoon oil in pan
  12. Mix croutons & Parm together
  13. Dip chicken pieces in egg, dredge in croutons, & add to pan.
  14. Cook about 4 minutes, flip, & cook another 4 minutes or until done.
  15. Spoon zucchini mixture into plates, add 2 pieces of chicken each, & top with a scoop of ricotta cheese.
  16. Sprinkle with any remaining Parm & serve!

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. honey
1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (really, that's pretty optional; it all goes in the blender)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 c. canola oil

In a blender, combine vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place lid on blender and blend on high. While blender is running, add oil in a steady stream. Store in refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks. Shake well before serving.

Coconut Cream Pie

This pretty pie is an Easter favorite. You can also sprinkle colored sugar on top to make it look like an Easter Egg!

12 oz can cream of coconut
12 oz half & half
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
2 c sweetened, flaked coconut
1/4 c cornstarch
1 t vanilla
1 pre-cooked, 9 in. pie shell

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spread coconut on ungreased pan & bake 5 minutes
  3. In a saucepan, combine cream of coconut, half & half, sugar, eggs, & cornstarch
  4. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring contantly
  5. Remove from heat & stir in vanilla & 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
  6. Pour into pie shell & chill until firm, 2-4 hours
  7. Top with a generous amount of shipped cream/topping and sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Chocolate Pudding

Ever wanted to whip up a quick dessert for the family, but you're out of instant pudding mix? Well, this recipe is almost as fast to mix up as store bought instant! Mix in mint chips, brownie pieces, butterscotch chips, or just layer with hunks of peanut butter for a quick parfait!

3 c milk
2t butter
1/8 c corn starch
1/4 c flour
1/2 c + 1/8 c sugar
1/4 t salt
2 eggs
5 T cocoa powder
2 t vanilla

  1. Heat 2 1/2 c milk & the butter.
  2. While milk is heating, make a paste of the remaining milk & other ingredients.
  3. When milk is nearly boiling, add paste to hot milk & stir well (I used and electric hand mixer for a smooth pudding).
  4. Cook 1 minute.
  5. Enjoy hot off the stove or spoon into individual cups & chill.

Sweet & Simple Salad Dressing

This quick & easy dressing is perfect for gearing up for the summer salad season. So good, even my kids will eat salads!

3 T Honey
1 1/2 T Vinegar (white, rice, or cider)
1/4 c mayo
1 t Grey Poupon (yeah, it has to be Grey Poupon)
1/8 t olive oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar.
  2. Shake like mad.
  3. Enjoy!

Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies

3/4 c flour
3/4 c baking cocoa
1/4 t salt
1/2 c butter, cut in pieces
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3 eggs, divided
2 t vanilla
1 c chopped pecans
3/4 c white choc chips
1/2 c caramel ice cream topping
3/4 c semi-sweet choc chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8-inch-square pan. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Reserve 3/4 c batter. Spread remaining batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle pecans and white morsels over batter. Drizzle caramel topping over top. Beat remaining egg and reserved batter. Stir in semi-sweet morsels. Spread evenly over caramel topping. Bake 30-35 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.