Ham Hash Supper


This is an adaptation of a recipe my daughter sent me in 2006.  I changed it to make a smaller casserole and to use convenience foods like dried onions, pimientos and garlic in a jar so the meal could be put together quickly.  It makes  a very tasty and filling plateful of food.   Really good with leftover baked ham.


  • 16 oz. frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp. minced dried onions
  • 1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 Tblsp. spicy brown mustard

In a 9-inch casserole dish, combine hash browns, ham, dried onions, pimiento and garlic.


In a two-cup measure place cream cheese cubes, milk and mustard.  Microwave on high for two minutes until cheese is softened.  Whisk until smooth.


Pour sauce over ingredients in casserole and mix together.

Cover and bake @ 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.  Remove cover for the last 10 minutes to allow the top to brown.

I served some fresh cherry tomatoes with mine.  4-6 servings


Note:  Dish can be made ahead and refrigerated.  Bake for one hour @ 350 degrees F.

Henny Penny Chicken Casserole

I was looking through an old cookbook I bought in 1986, The Best of the West – Westwood First, of Course.  Westwood is a suburb of Cincinnati.  The book was published by the Westwood First Presbyterian Church and is filled with homey recipes submitted by members of a self-described “eating church”.

I was looking for a casserole that would use some cooked chicken, frozen mixed vegetables and some Cincinnati light rye bread.  I started to make the dish and realized that in 1986, Westwood loved cheese and butter – a lot.  I adapted the recipe to make it acceptable for our diets and I like the resulting casserole.  It’s comfort food at its best.


  • 1/4 cup melted margarine or butter
  • 2 cups soft bread cubes (I used light Cincinnati rye bread)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked according to package directions, drained
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F.  Butter or spray a 2-quart casserole.

In a large skillet, melt the butter/margarine and add bread cubes, tossing to coat.

Reserve 1/2 cup of bread cubes.  Place remaining cubes on the bottom of the casserole dish.

Spoon cooked mixed vegetables over the top of the bread cubes.

Spread shredded chicken over the mixed vegetables.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and cold milk.  Add the chicken broth and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for two more minutes, whisking continually.

Stir in the grated cheese and pour sauce over the chicken in the casserole.  Dot with remaining bread cubes.

Bake covered @ 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes more.

Servings:  4 to 6

This is a really delicious casserole and the addition of the rye bread cubes gives it a special flavor kick.

The Best of 2010

It’s been another fun year of blogging and on this last day of 2010, I revisited the 10 most popular of the past year’s posts.

Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt

Round Patchwork Tablecloth

The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford Dessert

Irish Lemon Blackberry Sponge Pudding

Pork-Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole

Peach Crumble Pie

Creamy Ham Tetrazzini

Vintage Hanky Heart Pillow

Light Pineapple Cheesecake

Tasty Gingerbread Muffins

Happy New Year to All!

Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Casserole

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Allrecipes.com and it made a very tasty, satisfying lunch.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 Tblsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed & drained, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 (8″) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella)
  • 1 Tblsp. snipped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Oil or spray a large baking dish

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute bell pepper and onion slices until tender.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper,  remove from heat.   On top of the vegetables, layer the thawed corn kernels, jalapeno pepper and shredded chicken.

Use a  food processor or the back of a wooden spoon to mash half of the drained and rinsed beans.  Add these beans and the remaining reserved beans to the skillet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add sour cream and mix to blend.

Place 1/6 of the chicken mixture down the center of a tortilla.

Fold tops and sides and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.

Repeat with remaining five tortillas and mixture.

Spread the salsa over the top of the tortillas in the dish and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake covered @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven – sprinkle with snipped cilantro and serve immediately.

Yield:  6 servings

A Snowy Day Retro Meal

My oldest daughter was here for supper in the middle of a weeklong siege of snow and I wanted to fix some kind of comfort food.  What says “comfort” more than a casserole and some cookies from the late 1940s-early 1950s?

The Casserole:  I loved to have lunch at my Aunt Mabel’s house when I was a kid.  Mabel shared a two-family house with my maternal grandmother and each week they and Mabel’s two young children got together with my mother, my sister, and me.   Mabel was something of a kid herself – in her early 20s, funny, good with young people, a tomboy in jeans long before girls had started to wear them in the mid-1940s.  She wasn’t particularly interested in cooking but she always served fun food – cold cuts, store-bought cookies, potato chips – and sometimes she would try out a popular recipe such as her Tuna Noodle Casserole.  My father wouldn’t touch anything that even looked like a casserole with its conglomeration of ingredients, so this was a real treat for us.  At Mabel’s, we enjoyed the food we never had at home, as well as all the latest magazines and, the best thing for me, the chance to sit with the three women and listen to them talk while the younger children went off to play.

This is my version of Mabel’s casserole:


  • 6 oz. dry noodles (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • One can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • Several gratings of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
  • 2 Tblsp. dry minced onion
  • 2 cans white albacore tuna (6 oz. each), drained &  flaked
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crushed cheese crackers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray or oil a 9″ baking dish

Cook the dry noodles in boiling, salted water until al dente (about 7 minutes).  Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the soup, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Mix well and stir in the peas, pimiento, onion, flaked tuna and grated cheese.  Stir in the drained noodles.  Pour into the prepared 9″ pan.  Sprinkle the top with the crushed cheese crackers.

Bake @ 400 degrees F for 20 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbly.

Serve at once.

The Cookies: These cookies are especially good when they’re first baked and the chocolate is still soft.


  • Servings: Approx. 48 cookies
  • Print

  • 48 Hershey milk chocolate kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tblsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening/margarine and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.  Add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beat until fluffy.  Add egg, milk and vanilla, blending well.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually beat the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture.

Shape dough into one-inch balls.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2″ apart.  Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 8-10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

Yield:  48 cookies 

I would love to have just one more chance to sit around the table with those dear people, listen to them talk and enjoy Mabel’s casserole.

Mediterranean Zucchini Casserole

Back when we lived in lovely Blue Jay on the Ohio/Indiana border, I spent my whole summer trying to make good use of all the tomatoes and zucchini my husband planted and harvested.  In 1995, I found a recipe in the newspaper that used a lot of zucchini, tomatoes and basil to make a big 9×13 pan of Mediterranean Zucchini Casserole.  I have a note in my recipe binder, “Large amount, but David and I ate 3/4 of it for supper along with hot rolls and a tossed salad.  Excellent.  We both liked this.”

Now that I’m alone, I cut the recipe down to fit a 9″ pan and still ate on it for three days.  It was delicious each day.  The good part about this dish is that there is not a lot going on to interfere with the fresh flavors of the vegetables and basil and the baking time allows the vegetables to be at their tender best.  I only make this casserole in the summer when I can use good farm market vegetables and my own fresh basil.


  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I use Laura’s Lean 4% fat beef)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Grind or two of black pepper
  • 3 slices of sturdy bread (I use homemade Italian bread)
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 medium zucchini cut into 1/4″ thick slices (3 cups)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute the ground beef, onion and garlic until beef is done and onion is tender.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tear bread into chunks and put into food processor with basil leaves.  Process until crumbs are fine.

Oil bottom of 9″ baking pan.  Arrange half of zucchini in the bottom of the pan, spread half of cooked meat/onions/garlic over the zucchini.  Top with half of tomato slices.

Sprinkle half of the bread cumb mixture over the tomatoes.  Drizzle olive oil over the top.  Repeat with layers of zucchini, tomato, crumbs and olive oil.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for one hour.

Sit down and enjoy the flavors of summer!

Hodgenville Ham Pudding


This is our family’s favorite way of using up leftover baked ham.  It comes from a favorite cookbook, “What’s Cooking in Kentucky”.  This is a typical 1950s era luncheon dish, probably served with a gelatin salad of some kind and a super-rich dessert.

The cookbook says that when President Dwight Eisenhower visited the birthplace of Lincoln at Hodgenville, Kentucky, the Women’s Club served lunch to the visitors.  President Eisenhower asked for a second helping of this pudding and the recipe, saying he was an amateur chef and wanted to add it to his collection.

Hodgenville Ham Pudding

  • 1-1/2 cups of buttery cracker crumbs (such as Ritz or Town house) – divided
  • 1 cup grated cheese – divided (I like cheddar)
  • 1 cup finely chopped ham – divided
  • 2 Tblsp. diced pimiento – divided
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced – divided
  • 1-1/2 cups white sauce (recipe follows) – divided

White Sauce

  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups milk

In medium saucepan, combine flour, salt and pepper.  Whisk in cold milk until smooth, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble.  Continue stirring for 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Butter a 9x9x2 baking dish.

In bottom of baking dish place 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs.  Moisten with 1/2 cup white sauce.  Add 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 cup diced ham, 1 Tlbsp. diced pimiento, and one diced hard-boiled egg.

Add another 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup white sauce, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 cup diced ham, 1 Tblsp. diced pimiento, and one diced hard-boiled egg.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs on top of casserole.

Bake @ 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes until bubbly hot and crusty.

Makes 6 servings.


This dish can be made ahead for baking later in the day.  Add 10 minutes or so more baking time to compensate for the food coming straight from the refrigerator.

The cookbook, “What’s Cooking in Kentucky” by  Irene Hayes (my version is the Revised Edition 1979) is probably the most used cookbook I own – and I have a lot of cookbooks.  The recipes are down-home, country style, contributed by women from all over Kentucky, and the timing was perfect for me when I got the book for my birthday in 1982.  We had just moved to the country and I had lots of good produce coming into the kitchen every day, sometimes with my husband carrying it in a wheelbarrow!  I notice the book is still available online and it would be a nice addition to anyone’s collection.