Celebrating Christmas after December 25th & a Recipe for ‘Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce’

Tonight is New Year’s Eve but my extended family and I celebrated Christmas yesterday – and a merry time it was!

snowmen-at-twilight-myyellowfarmhouse-com
Snowmen at Twilight – My Yellow Farmhouse

Christmas Traditions – making buttery sugar cookies with new & old cookies cutters.  (The angel and poinsettia cookie cutters were my mother’s.)  

Christmas, even though celebrated after December 25th, still felt like Christmas to me and my extended family two days ago. There were happy, excited children, brightly wrapped presents, rum-spiked eggnog and lots of food and Christmas cookies – plus love, laughter and Bing Crosby singing Christmas Carols.    ; o )

I kept the menu for our ‘Christmas Meal’ simple and did much of the cooking the day before.  I baked three French Canadian Meat Pies, ‘spiral cut’and roasted the ham and prepared Make-Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes. I served only one vegetable – Wilted Spinach with Olive Oil and Pine Nuts, which takes only minutes to prepare.

To nosh on while we opened presents I made a platter featuring good old deviled eggs, various types of olives, and sliced tomatoes & fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I also served a few old favorites like one we like to call Vito’s Dip, and Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.  (I think my twin brother ate half the Ham and Cheddar Cheese Balls because he loves them and I hadn’t make them in years.)

Below my directions for making Ham and Cheddar Balls you’ll find links to Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies, Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes and a link to Fabulous Foods.com‘s directions for how to cut and bake a spiral ham.

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Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

 

Oven at 350F          Bake for 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups biscuit mix – such as Bisquick   ++  If Bisquick isn’t available, check online for directions to make your own.  It’s easy!
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham
  • 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 oz.)
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard    ++  I use GREY POUPON’S ‘Country Mustard’
  • 2/3 cup milk

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. honey

METHOD

Lightly grease a cookie sheet ..  OR  ..  line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using a large serving spoon, mix all ingredients until well blended.

Form dough into 1″ balls. Place balls 2″ apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Balls will be lightly browned

While balls are baking, prepare sauce.  In a small serving bowl mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbs. brown mustard and 1 2 Tbs. honey until blended.

++  ‘Ham and Cheese Balls may be baked the day before, placed in a big ziplock bag, refrigerated and reheated on a cookie sheet for a 6 – 7 minutes at 350F.

Recipe adapted from Bisquick brand’s Holiday Ham Balls.

Directions for preparing Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies

Recipe for ‘Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes’

slow-cooker-loaded-mashed-potatoes-myyellowfarmhouse-com

Fabulous Foods tells you everything you need to know to spiral and cook a ham.  My ham sure didn’t look quite as ‘pretty’ as this one, but it was delicious!

http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/957827/how-to-spiral-carve-ham

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Photo courtesy of FARMPAC.

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Tired of Thin Layer Cakes – Here’s a Trick to Fix That! Yellow Layer Cake with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Bits

I don’t know about other parts of the world, but the cake mixes in the States have been getting smaller and smaller – which is so wrong.  I’d rather pay a bit more and have a nice, fat layer cake..  We have no control over what the stupid cake mix companies do, but luckily there’s a few things you can add to be sure your layer cakes come out bigger.  (You may decide it’s just easier to make a cake from scratch – and that works too!)

BREAKING DEVELOPMENT  – –  I broke my ankle last night… Not a bad break, luckily, but still inconvenient.  And – get this – I’m having a party today because one of my twin sons and his family will be visiting from the Philadelphia area.

I’ve been cooking, and cleaning, for the last few days. Yesterday my other son and I put out all the outdoor furniture… and dragged out all the cushions and lanterns etc.  I was so pleased when I finished washing the final table and chairs… But cruel fate intervened… As I stepped down from our deck (to dump out the bucket of water) my foot caught on a huge, thick stepping stone… Over I went, like Jill of Jack & Jill fame, bucket, gloves and sponges flying all over.

And I heard my ankle break.  I crawled to where I thought I’d left my phone…. then remembered I’d brought it to the porch… so I crawled some more.  In any event, my brother-in-law and a neighbor got in me the car… but not until I directed them to find my comb, get my make-up kit and bring me clean clothes.  Being men… they started getting impatient – but I was married for almost 40 years… so I’m used to it!

Luckily, the cake (which is for my granddaughter’s birthday) was baked before I fell – so I got up early this morning so I could frost it and post the recipe.   ; o )

UPDATE — My Granddaughter was very happy with her birthday cake.  And the party was a great success as well !!

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Directions for a ‘Bigger and Better’ Layer Cake with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Bits  

Oven at 350F        Bake for 30 – 35 minutes      Two greased 9” round cake pans

Dry Ingredients for ‘Add-In’ Batter

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar   ++  I used brown
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 pinches salt

In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar baking powder and salt with a fork

Liquid Ingredients for ‘Add-In’ Batter

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Beat with mixer for about 30 seconds until well blended.  Set bowl aside.

  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup English Toffee Bits  ++  I used ‘Heath’ Brand 
  • 1 Tbs. all purpose flour

Mix 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/2 cup English Toffee Bits and 1 Tbs. flour in a small bowl.  Set aside.

  • 1 yellow cake mix, prepared according to package directions    ++  I used Duncan Hines Butter Yellow – ‘Classic’

Once cake mix is prepared, pour in ‘Add-On’ batter.  Beat with mixer for about 30 seconds until well blended.  Gently mix in mini chocolate chips, English Toffee Pieces and flour mixture.

Divide batter equally between two greased 9” round cake pans.  Bake at 350F for 30 – 35 minutes – or until toothpick or sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean.   ++  Because of the ‘Add-In’ batter, your layers may take 3 – 5 minutes more time than usual.  

Cool cakes on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool completely before frosting.

Due to my broken ankle – and the fact that I have no crutches because the ER ran out of ‘short people crutches’, I frosted my cake with purchased frosting BUT soon I’ll post my recipe for a really delicious homemade chocolate frosting ‘to die for’.   Enjoy!!

P.S.  My son who lives locally is arriving in a few minutes with some crutches – HURRAH!! And I am not cancelling the party …however, I won’t be the one bringing out trays of food.. not for several weeks.

1 - Morgan's Birthday Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse

Add-In Batter – Ready to Go

2 - Morgan's Birthday Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse
Add-In Batter & Cake Mix Batter Mixed – Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Added
3 = Morgan's Birthday Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse
Divide Batter Equally Between 2 Greased 9″ Pans
Morgan's birthday cake - My Yellow Farmhouse
I Like to Level the Layers Using a Sharp Knife

Tired of Thin Layer Cakes - Here's a Trick to Fix That!  Yellow Layer Cake with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee - My Yellow 

 

Parmesan and Basil Spiral Dinner Rolls – Short on Time? Buy Prepared Dough!

Parmesan and Basil Dinner Rolls - myyellowfarmhouse.com (6)

Parmesan and Basil Dinner Rolls would be a delicious addition to any meal but, at least for me, these babies are the perfect accompaniment for spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna … actually, pretty much anything Italian.

I used my bread machine, which makes a 2 lb. loaf, to prepare the dough for these rolls. Since I only needed half the dough to make 12 rolls, I used the rest to bake a loaf of bread. Of course, you could use the dough to prepare 24 Parmesan and Basil Rolls instead of 12!

Yesterday I lost a life-long friend to pancreatic cancer.  Angela adored bread, in any form.  My dear friend, I dedicate today’s post to you. And I like to imagine you and your mom busy preparing the best lasagna heaven has ever seen.

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++  You can purchase 1 lb. of bread dough, prepare the dough the ‘old fashioned way’ or use a bread machine, set on the ‘dough’ setting – it’s up to you.

This bread machine recipe makes a 2 lb. loaf.  One lb. makes 12 rolls plus one bread.  Or, if you chose, you could make 24 ‘Parmesan and Basil Rolls’.  For 24 rolls, you’ll need two 8 1/2″ – 9″ round cake pans.

DOUGH INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm milk
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbs. butter or olive oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbs. AND 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ¼ tsp. bread machine (quick rise) yeast

Add ingredients and set bread machine for ‘dough’.  Should take about 2 hours.

FILLING INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp. dried Italian seasonings – or oregano
  • ¾ tsp. minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 – 3 fresh garlic cloves, crushed     OPTIONAL

TO SPRINKLE ON TOP OF ROLLS AT END OF BAKING

  • 1 heaping Tbs. grated Parmesan

METHOD      

Oven at 375F      8 1/2″ to 9″ round cake pan     Bake rolls for approximately 25 minutes

Mix 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 2 Tbs. softened butter, 2 Tbs. mayonnaise and herbs in a small bowl.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 lb. (16 oz.) bread dough into a 12” by 14” rectangle.

+  If using frozen bread dough, allow it to thaw and warm up a bit so dough will be easier to roll.

 ++  Dough may have the tendency to spring back – just let it rest for a minute and then ‘give it another go’.  Also, don’t be afraid to take a bit of dough from one place and stick it onto another place in order to get the rectangular shape.  

Spread Parmesan/butter/mayonnaise/spice mixture evenly on the 12″ x 14″ rectangle.  ++ I like to drop small amounts all over – I think it makes it easier to spread the filling.

Starting at the 12” end, roll up dough and cut into 12 equal sections.

Place sections in an 8½” to 9” round cake pan.  (Pan does NOT have to be greased.)  Cover pan with a dish (tea) towel and allow dough to rise until almost double – between 40 minutes to over an hour.

++  I recommend placing the dough in the oven to rise, and I place a 10” x 13” pan filled with hot water on the lowest shelf because the hot water helps the dough rise evenly – and usually faster.  

Once rolls are risen, remove from oven and set oven temperature to 375F.Bake rolls for 20 minutes – remove from oven and sprinkle on 1 heaping Tbs. grated Parmesan.  Bake 4 – 5 minutes more.

Allow rolls to cool for a minute or two, then remove from pan with a spatula.  Enjoy! 

 Parmesan and Basil Dinner Rolls - myyellowfarmhouse.com (7)