“The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” ~ Martina Navratilova

I got a HUGE compliment from my husband!

He told me that the ham I baked for Christmas dinner was the best ham he had ever had!

BTW – he turned 50 this month, so that means the best ham in FIFTY years!

(Happy Birthday REP!)

It was a good Ham – for the first time ever, we ended up eating the whole whopping thing.

We had ham sandwiches, fried ham in biscuits and chopped ham in farmer omelets, etc.

Made me feel very frugal. 🙂

So if you have a hankering for a good ham (would be great for Sunday dinner) or just a great compliment from your hubby (or wife). You need to give this very delicious but very easy ham a try.

Best Ham Ever

(adapted from South Your Mouth)

  • 6-8 lb. bone-in, cured ham
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup prepared dijon mustard
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1½ cup of coke
  • 1 Large turkey baking bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Score the Ham 1/4 inches down in a diamond patter.

Place the ham in the baking bag on it’s bottom (cut side out). Place bag on a roasting pan.

Mix mustard and sugar together in a small bowl until combined. Spread mixture over the whole ham (in the bag).

Place orange wedges around the base of the ham and pour coke around the bottom on the ham (not over the top – you do not want to wash your sugar mixture up.

With a puff of air into the bag, close the opening tightly and with a sharp knife, cut 3, 1 inch slits on the top of the bag.

Cook for 1.5 – 2 hours.

Let ham rest for 30 minutes before serving.

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-abp

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“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~ Annie Dillard

If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times!

Crockpots are the best invention ever!

In my case, it’s the afternoons that start to get busy so it’s great to be able to get a meal on in the morning, knowing either all or at least the main part of dinner will be ready when you are ready for it.

It allows for me to concentrate on dessert or a yummy side or to just come dashing in and throw it on the table.

This recipe is no exception. It’s a breeze to put together but so delicious and very versatile.

It can be eaten by itself, on a bun or my favorite way – on a baked potato.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless  chicken breasts
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste

Lightly salt chicken and place in slow cooker.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Shred chicken and cook for another 15 minutes on low.

Voilá – it’s ready for however you want to use it!

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-abp

“For me, the magic of Hawaii comes from the stillness, the sea, the stars.” ~ Joanne Harris

Ugh, another cold, cold dreary day.

It is time for you to leave, Old Man Winter. You have overstayed your welcome.

On days like these, I can’t help but think about nice, sunny, warm days at the beach and today my mind is on this particular beach.

Hanauma Bay in Honolulu.

What a fabulous day this was…….

DSC04007_2So in honor of this day in my memory we are having Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken.

If only it could take me back!

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

(adapted from Chef-in-Training)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained

Mix all ingredients except pineapple chunks and cook in crock pot on low for 6 hours.  Add the pineapple chunks in for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Remove chicken, shred and return to pot.

Serve over rice.

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Aloha!

-abp

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” ~ Victor Hugo

Wow, how my life has changed.

And I LOVE it.

I’m still a Type A worry wart but my worries are now different.  I have slowed down a bit.

Use to – had I still been unshowered and in my PJ’s at 10:00 a.m., I was ridiculously behind on my day. Now, I’m in my PJ’s covered in spit up, my hair a mess, with my first cup of coffee in hand sometimes as late as noon.

I’ll even open the door for the mailman looking like this.

But that’s ok. Because what’s important is sitting here, snuggled up, staring at the best thing I have ever done. And having her look right back at me and smile.

These moments are priceless.

And fleeting.

Everything else can wait.

I’ll cook while she sleeps and today I cooked the following.

Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

(adapted from Makin’ it Mo Betta)

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup sprite
  • 2-3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Red pepper flakes

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray, place chicken inside.

Mix together sugar, vinegar, sprite, garlic, soy sauce and pepper. Pour over chicken.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Remove chicken and shred. Pour remaining sauce into sauce pan. Mix water and cornstarch and add to sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes until it thickens and becomes a glaze. Remove from heat and stir for a couple more minutes and add pepper flakes. Mix in shredded chicken. Serve over rice.

Very Flavorful!

phonto-abp

“Trips to the dentist – I like to postpone that kind of thing.” ~ Johnny Depp

I better enjoy the last few weeks of my pregnancy and my newly found sweet tooth!!

Because once she gets here – someone is going to have to pull that sweet tooth!!

I’ve always been a fan of sweets but I would usually rather have a second helping of the savory dish at hand and pass on dessert.

Not anymore.

I had whipped up these Graham Cracker Toffee Bars last Saturday to go with the Vegetable Beef Soup and I ate my one (good-sized) bowl, pushed it aside and stuck my hand into the plate of Toffee Bars.

6 times.

Yep, I ate six, without even moving from my chair.

I know I’m having unusual cravings but seriously folks – they are THAT good!

Graham Cracker Toffee Bars

  • 24 Graham Crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (you will need 2 or 1 if you half the recipe like I did) and lay out graham crackers

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil – careful not to scorch. Stir in pecans.

Pour melted butter/sugar over crackers and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Allow to cool completely and the break apart.

photo-8You can thank me later!

-abp