What’s your favorite food to eat at Christmas time?

It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone, mine is ham. 😉

Last week, I wanted to do a practice run for our Christmas-eve dinner – which we always have at home, just the three of us. I headed to the HoneyBaked Ham store in Livonia, Mich. to get what I needed. Because I’m all about making meal preparation as easy as possible – and HoneyBaked makes it super easy – I decided to get the pre-cut ham slices that they sell by the pound.

Ham

One of my favorite things about HoneyBaked is its selection of Heat & Share Sides. As the name implies, all you have to do is heat them up – right in the package! While I was in the store, I picked up packages of their garlic roasted mashed potatoes and cinnamon apple slices. You can either heat the sides up in the oven, or the microwave. When I cooked for my Thanksgiving post, I used the oven. However, as I was cooking for this post, I was running short on time (super-busy workday) and used the microwave. There were chunky parts of the garlic roasted mashed potatoes that weren’t cooked all the way through. I highly recommend using the oven, instead.

I also wanted to try their signature sweet potato soufflé, unfortunately, they didn’t have any on hand. So, instead, I made some Italian-cut green beans I had on hand, for the second side.

Final Plate

Now, I know you’re wondering what I did with the cinnamon apple slices. Well, I made a pie – quite possibly the ugliest pie ever made, but I received rave reviews on taste from the hubster and the kid. To make, I just bought some pie crusts from the store, added the apples and voila – ugly, but yummy, apple pie.

Ugliest Pie Ever

In addition to the above, I also picked up some of these…

Cinnamon Rolls

Don’t they look delicious? They’re brand new to HoneyBaked Ham. I can’t wait to try them.

From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this amazing limited time coupon for $8.00 off any Bone-in Ham and Turkey Breast or Boneless Ham and Turkey Breast from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious!  (This offer is valid only at the following locations: Rolling Meadows, Orland Park, Villa Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Mesquite, Hurst, Lewisville, Houston, Austin, Spring, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Indianapolis, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Roseville, Birmingham, Troy, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Canton Township, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg, Monroeville, San Antonio, Bellevue, and Lynnwood.  For store addresses click here.)

Donate $1.00 to Feeding America during checkout at the register of any HoneyBaked store. $1.00=10 Meals!

Disclaimer: This is a compensated post, however all opinions are my own.

Not your mama’s mac & cheese recipe (because it’s my mama’s).

Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone! I’m about to log off, and start cooking, so I thought I’d post my mom’s macaroni & cheese recipe. As we’ve gotten older, my cousins and I have been assigned various side dishes, to cook, for the holidays. My assignment is the mac & cheese.

(I’m cooking for two houses, so there are twice the ingredients.)

I normally use a 9 x 13 pan.

Ingredients:

  • 1-16 oz box of elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of Velveeta
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese (I use ¾ cup of each)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Boil noodles
  3. Heat butter& milk in a pot
  4. Add Velveeta & 1 cup shredded cheese
  5. Let mixture melt
  6. Stir in (beaten) egg
  7. Add seasoned salt, pepper & onion salt to taste
  8. Stir mixture
  9. Pour enough mixture to coat bottom of pan*
  10. Put in ½ the noodles
  11. Add in more sauce & ½ of the left over shredded cheese*
  12. Add in the remaining noodles, sauce & shredded cheese*
  13. Bake, uncovered, for 35 – 40 minutes, at 350 – 375 degrees

 *Make sure mixture is all distributed evenly.

So, there you have it. If I remember, I’ll edit this post, to include a picture, of the final product.

Hope you all have an awesome Turkey Day, filled with laughs & love.

An Easy and Delicious Thanksgiving with HoneyBaked Ham + a $500 Giveaway

I’m not sure if you know this, but I love ham. No seriously, it I could, I just might marry ham. That said, nothing is a good as a HoneyBaked ham. Except for maybe a HoneyBaked turkey.

HoneyBaked Turkey Breast

The best thing about HoneyBaked is its selection of yummy meats and side dishes. They have ham (bone-in half, quarter, boneless, whole and slices), whole turkeys, and roasted or smoked turkey breasts. They also have tons of Heat & Share Sides to choose from including garlic roasted mashed potatoes, green beans almondine, sweet potato soufflé, potatoes au gratin, and much more.

Earlier this week, my family and I sat down to an early Thanksgiving meal of ham, turkey breast, green beans almondine and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. For dessert, a pumpkin pie – with Cool Whip of course.

HoneyBaked Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, getting all the food on the table wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped. Last Saturday, the kid and I went to HoneyBaked Ham in Livonia. We shopped around and debated which sides to get, as well as which dessert would be best. After many conversations and much back and forth, we finally made our decision. We piled our haul on the front counter and the nice woman rang us up. Then, it happened… I tried to pay for our meal, with the gift certificate I’d been sent by the lovely folks at HoneyBaked only to be told that their machine was down and they couldn’t accept the gift certificate because they wouldn’t be able to print one for the balance. Whelp, there goes my Sunday dinner plans. And, the kid was really looking forward to that pumpkin pie.

Since HoneyBaked isn’t open on Sunday, I had to wait until Monday to try again. We called first, of course. Wouldn’t want a repeat of Saturday. Luckily, I had the day off, seeing as they’re only open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – not very working mom friendly. This time, it was the hubster who accompanied me. While he waited in the car, I went in and gathered my selections again. This time, everything went off without a hitch.
When I went to pick the kid up from school, first thing he asked me was if I’d gotten the food from HoneyBaked. He was very excited to find out I had.

Once we got home, I prepared everything. It was so good. The meat – both the ham and turkey – was so juicy and the green beans almondine so crisp. I bought some gravy to add to the mashed potatoes (which were really, really good) and turkey. All in all, it was wonderful meal. Perfect for those who celebrate Thanksgiving with just a few. And perfect for those who celebrate with a lot of people.

HoneyBaked Thanksgiving Dinner

And, bonus! We finished everything off with that delicious pumpkin pie.

HoneyBaked Pumpkin Pie

HoneyBaked Ham is giving away $500 in Gift Cards to some of your favorite places! You can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Some HoneyBaked Goodies

From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this amazing limited time coupon for $8.00 off any Bone-in Ham and Turkey Breast or Boneless Ham and Turkey Breast from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious! (This offer is valid only at the following locations: Rolling Meadows, Orland Park, Villa Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Mesquite, Hurst, Lewisville, Houston, Austin, Spring, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Indianapolis, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Roseville, Birmingham, Troy, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Canton Township, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg, Monroeville, San Antonio, Bellevue, and Lynnwood. For store addresses click here.)

Disclaimer: This is a compensated post, however all opinions are my own.

Getting Dinner on the Table with Walmart and Coca-Cola

Yesterday was truly a Monday. Chaotic, busy and a bit stressful. And, it seems my inbox decided to explode over the weekend.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t get off until later then expected. Much later.

Oh, and did I mention I forgot to take something out for dinner? Not that there was something to take out since I’ve yet to go grocery store. (Did I also mention this weekend was busy as well?)

Instead of picking up takeout, I decided to stop at the local Walmart dive it was on the way home – and since I need (more than) a few staple items.

While there, I remembered they had their whole Effortless Meals program. What’s that, you ask? It’s a “delicious, easy and affordable meal solution for busy moms everywhere – located exclusively in the Walmart Deli.” You can choose a rotisserie chicken, side and 2-liter Coke product, a 16-inch take-and-bake pizza and 2-liter Coke product, or a sub sandwich, chips and a 20-ounce Coke product.

walmart-effortless-meals

I called my guys to see which they’d prefer (the pizza, of course), made my selection and purchases, and was on my way home. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any pepperoni pizzas available, so I bought a one with just cheese, and threw a package of pepperoni in the cart.

walmart-effortless-meals-collage

Thirty minutes later, dinner was on the table. The pizza tasted much better than I expected (you never know, with take-and-bakes and frozen pizzas). And, as a bonus, I got to drink my beloved Coke (and we all know how much I love Coke).

pizza-and-coke

Since Walmart has partnered with Coke for the Effortless Meals program, if you head over to the My Coke Rewards/Effortless Meals website, you can unlock 10 bonus points when purchasing Effortless Meals. All you have to do is enter the UPC code from any participating Walmart meal deal, then enter the MCR code from your Coke product. It’s that easy!

Disclosure: Though this is a sponsored post, all my opinions are my own. Thanks to The Coca-Cola Company for providing compensation for this blog post.

A Quick and Easy Meal with #Johnsonville Premium Sausages

As a working mom, I’m always on the lookout for easy, tasty meals to cook for my family. As such, I turned to Johnsonville for some of their premium sausages (less time, because it’s already fully cooked and so flavorful).

To start, I bought some Johnsonville Andouille sausage and mixed it with a box of store-bought jambalaya mix. So good! And, super easy to make.

Johnsonville Andouille Sausage

As I said, start with Johnsonville Andouille sausage:
  • Slice the sausages into bite-sized pieces (I sliced, then cut the slices in half).
  • Then, bring 2 ½ cups water to boil
  • Add a tablespoon of oil
  • Stir in sausage and store-bought jambalaya mix
  • Turn down the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes
  • Let stand for five minutes
  • Fluff with fork
  • Serve

It’s that easy and *so* flavorful!

Jambalaya with Johnsonville Andouille Sausage

It was a hit with the kid. In fact, his exact words were, “the first meal I ever cook, will be jambalaya.”

And, if jambalaya isn’t your cup of tea, Johnsonville offers 14 different flavors of meat, so you can easily mix things up.

I also bought some their smoked sausages and grilled them on the indoor stove-top grill and served them on buns with fries. Another quick and easy meal, using delicious Johnsonville sausage.

Grilled Johnsonville Smoked Sausages

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always, opinions are my own.

 

A Yummy New Discovery [#Aioli]

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided a supply of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes for the purpose of a review. As always, all opinions are mine all mine.

I want to take a minute to talk to you about a yummy new dish I discovered – aioli. According to Wikipedia, aioli is a “Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and usually egg yolk.” While that all sounds delicious, I have a different kind of aioli recipe…

You simple take a can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes (comes in many flavors), mix with mayonnaise and you have aioli. You can change the flavors of the aioli, by choosing different flavors of the petite diced tomatoes and adding extras like lime juice, hot sauce, pesto, mustard, etc.

Earlier this week, I made a delicious sandwich by paring garlic aioli and with cheese, on some toasted bread. I also made a BLT, using the tomato aioli recipe. It so, so good! Unfortunately, my camera’s SD card is on the fritz, so no pictures :(. However, the recipe I used is at the bottom of this post, so be sure to try it for yourselves!

Red Gold has come up with all kinds of recipe for the different types of aioli. Head over to their website, for some fantastic ideas.

Red Gold has been around since the 1940s, focused on growing local in the Midwest (mainly Michigan, Indiana and Ohio), where the climate, position of the sun and soil are perfect for growing tomatoes.

Red Gold is hosting a Facebook promotion, now through May 27, where you guys can win aprons or even a $250 prize pack that includes a Cuisinart Panini Grill and other great prizes. To enter, just visit Red Gold on Facebook, and select which aioli you are most like.

——————

BEST YEAR ROUND BLT with TOMATO AIOLI
MAKES 4 SERVINGS PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES

  • 1⁄2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can RED GOLD® PETITE DICED TOMATOES 8 slices bread, variety of choice
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and drained
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Combine mayonnaise and RED GOLD® PETITE DICED TOMATOES to make the Tomato Aioli.
Place lettuce on 4 slices of bread and then add three strips of bacon and top with Tomato Aioli and black pepper. Place slice of bread on top. Cut in half and serve.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING
Calories 320, Fat 15g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 740mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Fiber 4g, Protein 15g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 25%, Iron 10%

A #HoneyBakedEaster + #Deals and a #Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided a HoneyBaked Ham gift card to purchase and review Easter menu items. As always, all opinions are mine all mine.

Honeybaked2

I love spending holidays with my family. It’s the best part about them. However, the second-best part is the food. I think holidays are made all the more festive, by all good food.

Easter is coming up, which means Easter dinner is coming up – and one of the yummiest parts of Easter dinner is the ham. I love ham. I know that’s a weird thing to say… but I do. If I had to choose one meat to have, for the rest of my life, it would be ham. Again, I love ham and my favorite is HoneyBaked Ham.

I’m a busy mama. Between work, home and blogging, I have a lot on my plate. That said, HoneyBaked Ham makes it very easy to get a delicious Easter meal together.

I headed over to the HoneyBaked Ham in West Bloomfield, Mich. and picked up some ham, potatoes au gratin and green beans almandine. The sides were HoneyBaked’s heat and serve, making it super convenient. Since we’re a family of just three, I was ecstatic to find out they sell it by the pound as well.

Honeybaked12

All the food was so good. I came home and heated up the potatoes, green beans and ham. The meal took less than an hour to prepare. It had our house smelling so good. The kid and hubs were so excited for this meal. And, let me tell you… the HoneyBaked food did not disappoint! The ham juicy. The potatoes au gratin cheesy. The green beans crisp and flavorful.

Honeybaked

I highly recommend HoneyBaked Ham for your Easter dinner needs. I also recommend them for those times where you’re hosting dinner and don’t have time to cook. Good food, good prices, easy prep.

THE DEALS

  • In-Store Specials
    • $54.99 Easter Ham & Turkey Combo – Pair a Turkey Breast (approx. 3 lbs.) with your choice of a Boneless Ham (approx. 3.5 lbs.) or Quarter Ham (approx. 4.5 lbs.)
    • $22.99 Turkey Breast (with any Half or Whole Ham purchase)
    • $24.99 Easter Brunch Bundle – Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake and Honey-Spice Bacon
    • Heat & Share Sides: Two for $13.99, three for $19.99
  • With Coupons:
    • $5 OFF Half Ham (Bone-in) or Become a HoneyBaked VIP at honeybakedfoods.com (Save an extra $1 when you sign up to become a HoneyBaked VIP at honeybakedfoods.com: $6 OFF )
    • $3 OFF Boneless Ham or Quarter Ham
      (Save an extra $1 when you sign up to become a HoneyBaked VIP at honeybakedfoods.com: $4 OFF )
  • Become a VIP at HoneyBakedFoods.com for exclusive savings all year long.

Offers valid only at:

Participating Retail Locations: Rolling Meadows, Orland Park, Villa Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Mesquite, Hurst, Lewisville, Houston, Austin, Spring, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Indianapolis, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Roseville, Birmingham, Troy, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Canton Township, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg, Monroeville, San Antonio, Bellevue, and Lynnwood. For store addresses click here.

THE GIVEAWAY

Enter to win one of 20 $50 HoneyBaked Ham gift cards!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Menu Plan {6/17/13}

Butter Cream Chicken

So, I’m hopping back on the menu planning train. Not only does it help me, when I’m get home late from work – it also helps with grocery shopping and money saving.

Here’s what I’m planning. Most of the recipes are from Jamie Cooks It Up (which is an awesome site, by the way).

I’m also linking up at Organizing Junkie, as a part of her Menu Plan Mondays.

Michigan Spinach Salad: A Simply Suzanne Recipe

Eating healthy is hard. Getting your kids to eat healthy is even harder. That’s why I was so pumped to try out the Simply Suzanne So Very Cherry Granola, from Michigan company, Simply Suzanne.

Not only is the So Very Cherry granola good for you (low in sugar, vegan, and all natural), it’s good to you as well! Simply Suzanne adds Michigan cherries and sweetens the granola with pure maple syrup and brown sugar.

The granola contains no preservatives, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, cholesterol or trans fat. It’s also nut Free, and high in protein and fiber.

Simply Suzanne me a bag of the Simply Suzanne So Very Cherry Granola to try out, along with a recipe which they guaranteed kids would love.

Simply Suzanne Michigan Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups baby spinach (or mixed greens)
  • ½ cup Simply Suzanne So Very Cherry Granola to taste
  • 10 tablespoons pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 12 grape tomatoes or 2 small tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

  • Place baby spinach or greens in a dish. Add salt and pepper to greens and toss.
  • Sprinkle remaining ingredients over the greens.
  • Add vinaigrette. Toss lightly and serve.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6 generously

I made a few substitutions/adjustments, based on our preferences.  It was super-easy to make. And the verdict: Everyone loved it! Two thumbs up.

The hubs and the kid are still munching on the granola – with or without the salad.

 

Disclosure: I was provided a bag of So Very Cherry granola, from Simply Suzanne, for the purposes of the review. All opinions stated are my own (and the kid’s and the hubs’).

Sausage & White Bean Soup with Randall’s Great Northern Beans

Earlier this month, the hubs and I attend the Mitten Mom’s Blogger Conference and Retreat; him as the photographer and me as a round table facilitator and attendee.

As a part of our awesome goodie bags – filled with yummy food, awesome swag and cute little tchotchkes – we each received a jar of great northern white beans from Randall Beans.  Now, I have to say… I am NOT a bean person – at all.  But the hubs is, so he took on the task of finding a recipe to use the beans in.

After a week or so of searching, he finally came up with something he wanted to make – sausage and white bean soup. He found the recipe on allrecipes.com.

Sausage & White Bean Soup (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, in the casing
  • 1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto ham, minced
  • 1 medium onion, in medium dice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and in medium dice
  • 1 medium celery stalk, in medium dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1-1/2 (15.8 ounce) cans great Northern or other white beans, not drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth (carton or can)

Directions

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add sausages; cook, turning once or twice, until well-browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. (Sausage will not be fully cooked at this point.) Remove from pan. When cool enough to handle, cut into slices 1/4-inch thick.

Add prosciutto, onions, carrots, celery and thyme to the empty skillet; cook, stirring often, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mash one can of beans with a fork into a chunky puree. Add broth, whole and mashed beans, and sausage; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, partially covered, to blend flavors, 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes; serve.

We (really he) made a couple of adjustments for taste. For instance, I hate onions. So, he didn’t put them in. Also, instead of the sausages in casings, I got ground Italian sausage, because I didn’t know which kind the recipe called for. In hindsight, I really wish I would’ve gotten the actual sausages – or maybe even kielbasa. And the prosciutto? Not even sure we needed it.

All-in-all, it wasn’t a bad tasting soup.  And the beans? Not so bad, either.