Monday, April 29, 2013

Honey Baked Ham (Copycat recipe)

From: Mommy's Kitchen

3 1/2- lbs ham (spiral cut smoked, fully cooked)
1/2 - cup pear or apple juice
1/2 - cup orange juice
1/2 - cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 - cup honey
hand held butane torch

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the ham, cut end down, in a large baking pan.  Mix the pear or apple juice with the orange juice in a bowl and mix.  Pour the juice mixture over the ham and bake for 15 minutes basting frequently with juices. Remove from oven.  Mix brown sugar and honey together in a small bowl.  Brush mixture over ham and bake for another hour or until internal temperature reads 140°F.  Using a butane torch carefully caramelize the glaze to the crust using small strokes.

Thumbs up! I am never buying deli ham again. Literally. I can't believe I have waited so long to cook a ham. I'm not sure why I was so afraid. About a month ago I caught a ham on sale for $0.99/lb and I scooped one up (it was just over 8 lbs). I figured I may as well take the plunge and try to cook it. Found this recipe and made this for dinner the night Stephen just returned from his last deployment. It doesn't get any easier than this. I threw away the glaze packet that came with the ham. I did everything just as this recipe specified (I used apple juice and orange juice) but my ham did take about 3 1/2 hours to cook. When it was done, we used the butane torch to caramelize the outside (see first picture) but all it did was harden the spot that we torched. I ended up matting on extra brown sugar with some juices and then torching it lightly. This added the "Honeybaked Ham" skin that we love so much! If you're scared of cooking a ham, like I was, I strongly encourage you to try this recipe. It was incredibly simple and made a ton of ham. I'll never be afraid again!

Cinnamon Banana Bread

From: Bargain Briana

  • 1-1/2 bananas
  • 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons half and half
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine bananas, half and half (I used milk), egg, and oil in bowl until smooth. Stir in brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Cool completely.

Thumbs up! I have a tried and true banana bread recipe that I never stray from, but you know I'm always open to trying new recipes. I like this one. Not too different from my other recipe but just as delicious. I highly recommend it if you like a basic banana bread recipe! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Surprise Chocolate Cake

From: Cooking With Heinz Ketchup

2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
Chocolate frosting

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add milk, ketchup, shortening, and vanilla. Beat at low speed until combined. Add eggs and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread batter evenly in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until done (it took mine 25 minutes). Cool. Frost with your favorite frosting.

Chocolate frosting recipe:
From: Here

2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp evaporated milk (I used regular milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

Well, it got a thumbs up from everyone who tasted it. My opinion is, I've made much better cakes. I felt like I could really taste the cinnamon for some reason. I'm not sure why that is. On the other hand, I loved the frosting. I love the not-overwhelming-sweetness of homemade frosting, and this didn't disappoint. So, in the end, I would make the frosting again, but I'll stick with some of my other tried and true chocolate cake recipes in the future.