Hello, and happy New Year! I’m still quite enjoying myself here at home…and I’m still geeking out over the full kitchen with all the “staples” I need to delve into whatever baking/cooking project my heart desires. Oh, and I’m diggin’ the home-cooked deliciousness (we’ll just pretend like I don’t cook most of it 😉 ) But being able to cook things in normal quantities without having leftovers for years is lovely. For example, I’d probably never cook my mom’s scalloped potatoes for less than four people.
Enough rambling…what I’m saying, is we made scalloped potatoes and they were amazing! Soft, warm, slightly creamy, cheesy (CHEESY), lightly peppered…and the ham! The best part is…this is basically the easiest recipe ever. Watch and learn, my dears!
Quit drooling. Just read the post, then go cook! 🙂
This is one of those recipes that we loosely follow…as in we put the ingredients in, but don’t measure much. So peel, slice, and rinse an amount of potatoes that seems right. For two dishes, we used maybe…ten small ‘taters.
Next, lightly spray a baking pan with olive oil or some other type of non-stick spray. Then, cover the bottom with a single layer of potato slices.
To complete the first layer, sprinkle finely chopped onion (about 1 tbsp), flour (about 1 tbsp), shredded cheddar cheese (to your liking), cubed ham (to your liking), then lightly sprinkle salt and pepper, and dot with butter/margarine. Repeat this layer about 3 times, depending on the size of your casserole dish and how many potatoes you sliced.
Now, this is the only slightly tricky part. The cook book says to heat milk, almost to scalding, to pour over the layered potatoes. How on earth do you heat something almost to scalding? So we just stick to our true form of improvisation! For the two pans of potatoes, mom heated about 4 cups of milk in the microwave, until it just started to bubble a bit. Then simply pour it over the potatoes!
Now, cover the pan(s) with foil, and place in a 350* oven for 30 minutes. Then, take the foil off and continue cooking for about 1 more hour, or until the potatoes are soft and smooth and delicious and you can’t wait any longer because the DELICIOUS smell is driving you crazy.
I like these a lot.
Now, ours had extra oven time because we started them early. So when the hour-and-a-half cook time was through, my dear dad saved dinner (mom and I had to run and errand) and turned the oven off letting the pans just sit there until dinner time. Perfection. Or as close to it as possible 🙂
In the last bit of cook time, add more cheese to the top. You taste it more on top than in the layers anyways! And please, PLEASE put cheese on the table so we can add more to our own plates!
This meal is particularly special because we only have it when there’s leftover ham. We’re a family who’s firm in our traditions, so there’s only leftover ham after Christmas and Easter. Two times a year, people! This is a big deal…
…Austin sure thinks so!
Now on to the resolutions!
Dana at My Little Celebration posted her resolutions for 2012, and I felt inspired to think of a few of my own.
First, I think I’ll adopt Dana’s “Body Resolutions”:
I want to embrace what I was given.
I want to stretch more.
I want to dress to accentuate my best features.
I want to stay healthy.
I want to relax more often.
And for a few of my own:
I want to focus on the nutritional benefits of the food I eat, rather than worrying about how many calories it might have.
I want to improve my health (weight, etc) in order to better serve – my roommates, friends, loved ones, family.
I want to wear less make-up without worry.
I want to improve my health so I can go to Africa and serve for a few weeks.
How about you? Do you have any resolutions? Do share. And go make some potatoes!