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Strawberries galore

Remember how I told you we had gone and picked strawberries over Mother’s Day weekend, and we ended up with 2 gallons?  Well, that’s a lot of strawberries to try to eat within a few days – even for the 4 of us!

I ended up making freezer jam out of a good half-gallon of them (thanks for the suggestion, guys!) and freezer popsickles out of another 1/4-1/2 gallon, chocolate covered strawberries with a bunch, and I also made two loaves of strawberry bread with a bunch more.  The bread turned out super-yummy, so I’m going to share the recipe with you.  (I froze the second loaf, so hopefully it will taste just as yummy thawed sometime later.)

Strawberry Bread (adapted from a recipe found at AllRecipes.com):

2 cups fresh strawberries: cleaned, hulled and sliced – sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside
3 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
1.5 cups sugar, (plus 1/4 cup to sprinkle on strawberries)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9×5 loaf pans.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in mixing bowl. Blend well. Add eggs, oil and milk to the strawberries and mix. Add strawberry mixture to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Stir in pecans. Divide batter between the two loaf pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center is done. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely.

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One of my favorite after-ham recipes

I look forward to holiday cooking almost as much for the leftover meals as for the day’s feast.  My go-to recipe for any leftover ham is macaroni and cheese (with ham, of course!). 

Yummy!

 Yum.  I’ve taken the basic recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook and tweaked it some.  It’s one of those meals where everyone has a favorite version – so perhaps you already have a favorite recipe?

Here’s my recipe (adapted from ‘Macaroni and Cheese’ from BH&G New Cookbook):

3 cups dried macaroni
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups ham, cubed
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1.5 cups velveeta cheese
1.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Ritz crackers (about 1/3 – 1/2 sleeve)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. (Slightly under-cooked is better than overcooked). Drain and set aside.
2.Meanwhile, while macaroni is cooking, melt butter over medium heat in saucepan. In small bowl, mix flour with pepper and salt. Add onions and garlic to butter and cook until tender. Add flour mixture to butter and stir – cook for a minute or two to form a rue. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly (stirring frequently to avoid sticking). Add cheeses, stirring until melted.

(looks like it's ready for fondue)

3. Add cooked macaroni and ham to a casserole dish. Pour cheese mixture over the noodles and stir to blend. Crumble crackers over top. 

ready for the crumbled crackers, and then the oven

4. Cook in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
5. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Enjoy!!

Dig in!
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Scones

I thought I might post a favorite recipe of mine once a week or so.  I love to cook – well bake, mostly – but I do enjoy cooking too, as long as I don’t have to stand at the stove for too long.  But baked goods are what I really like to make.  I’ve been on a scone kick lately.  Here’s my go-to recipe for scones.

I love to add dried cranberries and a bit of lemon peel to the dough before kneading.  They’re awesome with a cup of hot tea – slathered with some jam and maybe some whipped cream or cream cheese.  (Or whipped cream and cream cheese mixed together to make a kind of ‘fake’ clotted cream.  Never having had any clotted cream, though, I couldn’t tell you how it compares.  I can’t find it in stores anywhere, but maybe I’m not looking hard enough.  I may need to break down and order some online.)

Do you have a favorite scone recipe?

ETA: Also, I forgot to add that these scones freeze really well!  I’ve been making a double batch and freezing half to have on hand for later.  Just zap them on defrost in the microwave for a minute or two and they taste almost as good as they did straight out of the oven!