Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Leftovers & New Cooking

SP was off yesterday and we spent the whole day relaxing at home. Well, I'm not sure he'd call setting up my new scanner relaxing, but he did enjoy a few quality hours playing 'Halo' in his man cave...Ham. Christmas ham. It's like Thanksgiving turkey. Actually, I've never experienced the seemingly never-ending leftover Thanksgiving turkey problem. But we sure are experiencing seemingly never-ending Christmas ham leftovers! We sent my brother & his family off on their drive back to GA with ham sandwiches. Last week we ate ham sandwiches for lunch. We ate ham with eggs for dinner. Ham with leftover scalloped potatoes for dinner. I tried to pawn some off on my friend T, but he had ham leftovers from his mom in his refrigerator. Then I tried to give some to Z & ZSO, but they were hammed out from their Christmas in MI. I was starting to groan in despair when I saw the leftover ham. I was starting to contemplate sending the ham to the starving children in China/Africa (take your pick, whatever place your parents threatened to send your food if you didn't eat it when you were a kid).

Yesterday, SP took the remaining ham and pulverized it in the food processor, added finely chopped kosher dill pickles, some Dijon mustard, and just enough mayonnaise to moisten it and turn it all into ham salad. We both really do enjoy ham salad so this is a good way to finish the ham. Plus, as ham salad, it seems less... hammy, if that makes any sense! I think the pickle turns it into something that doesn't seem like more ham. Plus, I like pickles, but I don't eat them very often, so I am really enjoying the pickle taste in the ham salad. Happily, I'm not groaning when I see the container of ham salad in the refrigerator. Thanks to the food processor, this is a very smooth ham salad. I like it.So this week, it's ham salad for lunch. Specifically, for me, ham salad spread on a toasted English muffin and topped with a slice of Swiss cheese. Yum!

After a couple of weeks of quickie dinners, dining out, holiday indulgence, and eating leftovers, we got back to cooking. Yesterday for dinner, we made a baby spinach salad with tomato, kalamatas, dried cranberries, almonds, Parmesan cheese, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.SP roasted a chicken. We hadn't made the America's Test Kitchen Roast Lemon Chicken in quite some time and it sounded good to us. This chicken always turns out so deliciously moist and lemony! Here's part of the leftovers:The chicken broth and lemon juice that the chicken sits in as it roasts is boiled and thickened with cornstarch to make a bit of gravy:We ate the chicken with rice. I'm not sure if it was truly a super delicious meal or if I am just so sick of leftovers (ham! pork balls! breaded chicken tenders!), cookies (butter! sugar!), eating out, and just not eating enough vegetables that it tasted better than normal! It's definitely nice to be getting back to our normal eating!

And yes, we have leftovers for the week, which I like because we don't have to think about what we're going eat. But these leftovers are new leftovers -- and they won't last for more than a week!


  1. What a great use for the ham! I have to agree, getting back into the swing of things, especially with food, just feels so good!

  2. I had a hard time using up all the leftovers from our 22 pound turkey. I made turkey and gravy on toast, turkey sandwiches, then turkey tetrazzini, then turkey chili which had way too much turkey in it just because I wanted it used up! No idea what I'll make tonight without turkey in the fridge - ha ha!

  3. I actually ended up on the flipside of the Christmas leftovers problem, because all the leftovers remained at my aunt's place. Turns out I have nothing but remnants of foodstuffs in my fridge and cupboards.