Cheesy Potatoes With Ham

This cheesy potatoes with ham recipe certainly qualifies as comfort food. It's great for when you have so much leftover ham you don't know what to do with it. Families love it!

Don't you just love comfort food? This cheesy potatoes with ham recipe certainly qualifies for that category. It's also a good recipe to use when you have so much leftover ham from Christmas or Easter that you're not sure what to do with it. No leftovers available? Do what I do and buy a ham slice to use instead.

Don't like ham? Leave it out!

This recipe is similar to my favorite mac and cheese recipe. Instead of macaroni, I use potatoes that I've diced into cubes and partially cooked on the stove. Pre-cooking the potatoes reduces overall preparation time and is much faster than slicing potatoes, layering them, and baking for an hour or more à la scalloped potatoes.

If making your own cheese sauce scares you, stop worrying! White sauce is very easy to make from scratch and, after adding your favorite cheese, tastes so much better than jarred cheese sauce. I'll explain how to make it in the steps below.

Are you hungry yet? Here's the recipe:

Susan's Cheesy Potatoes With Leftover Ham


about half of a 5-pound bag of potatoes (I use red or russet potatoes; both work)
about 1/2 pound ham (use leftover or part of a purchased ham slice)
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese, cheddar or your favorite, divided


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or spray the inside of a 2.5-quart casserole dish.

Wash and dice potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. No need to peel the potatoes! Place the potatoes in a 3-quart pan, add water to cover plus a shake of salt, then cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost done. While the potatoes are cooking, dice the ham into pieces about the same size as the potato pieces. 

When done, drain the potatoes in a colander; set aside while you use the same pan to make the cheese sauce. 

Melt the butter in the pan over medium-low heat, then stir the flour into the melted butter, stirring constantly until well combined, making a light roux. Continue stirring as you cook the roux for about two minutes. Remove from heat for a minute or two to cool slightly, then place back on heat and slowly stir in the milk. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, continuing to stir, for three to five minutes or until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Save the rest to use later. 

Add the potatoes and the ham to the casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top. Stir just slightly to allow the cheese sauce to drip down into the potatoes. Cover the dish, then place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid from the dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top. Return to oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until hot and bubbly. 

Remove the casserole from the oven and let set for about five minutes to settle, then serve. 

Serves 4 hungry adults. 

I like to serve cheesy potatoes and ham with baby lima beans. The color contrast is pretty and the tastes complement each other very well.

Still worried about making cheese sauce? Watch this video that shows how to make roux. It's the same method described above and a very good video for visual learners.

Sound good? Think you'll try this recipe? I'd love to read your comments!

Family Favorite Coleslaw Recipe

This family-favorite coleslaw recipe is easy, quick (takes less than 5 minutes) and requires only two ingredients. What could be better than that?

Looking for the most delicious, quick and easy coleslaw recipe around? My husband says mine is the best. In fact, he prefers my coleslaw to any other because of my not-so-secret ingredient, revealed below. It's what makes this our family's favorite coleslaw recipe.

This slaw recipe is easy, quick (make it in less than 5 minutes) and requires only two ingredients. What could be better than that?

Serve this tasty side dish with your favorite barbecue or pulled pork or with your preferred picnic fare. It tastes great piled on top of a hot dog.

So, enough chitchat. I'm hungry, how about you? Let's get on with it.

Here's the recipe:

Family-Favorite Coleslaw

About a pound of shredded cabbage or cabbage/carrot mixture (or as much as you need)
About a cup of Marzetti's Slaw Dressing (see below)


Put the cabbage or cabbage/carrot mix in a bowl. Pour the dressing over top. Stir gently.
Serve immediately or chill for a few hours. 

Notes and Tips:
  • I usually make this an hour or two before dinner then add some additional shredded cabbage just before serving to keep it crispy. If you prefer creamy coleslaw, let it chill for a bit or add more Marzetti's as needed.
  • I almost always use packaged pre-shredded coleslaw mix. It's fast and easy and fairly cheap. If you're serving a crowd or just love to shred stuff, buy a head of cabbage and do it yourself.
  • I don't measure the ingredients when I make coleslaw. After you've made it a time or two, you just know how much cabbage you need and how much dressing to pour on it. So, adjust the amounts to your needs and your family's preference or taste. 
  • Cooking for a crowd? Increase ingredients accordingly.

Now, The Secret Ingredient

I use Marzetti's Slaw Dressing to make the best coleslaw, but that's not all. It makes the best potato salad in the world, too (just ask my husband). I even use it when I make deviled eggs. (Now I have no secrets.)

You'll find Marzetti's Coleslaw Dressing in the salad dressing aisle of your local grocery store, not in the refrigerated section. If you don't see it, ask for it. Marzetti does make refrigerated products that you'll find in the produce department, too, but this is version that sits all alone on the top shelf in our Walmart store, so check yours if you can't find it anywhere else.

Use Marzetti's in any of your potato salad, macaroni salad, or other recipes that call for mayonnaise. You'll love the tangy taste and texture. Refrigerate after opening.

On the jar that I currently own, the ingredient list is: Soybean oil, sugar, corn-cider vinegar, water, egg yolk, salt, mustard seed, xanathan gum, and natural rosemary extract. I verified this on the Marzetti's website.

Oh, and it's gluten free!

Our family-favorite coleslaw tastes great on a hot dog, with pulled pork, or as a side dish at any picnic.
Coleslaw tastes great on hot dogs!

I love "slaw" on a good hot dog. How about you? I hope your family enjoys our family's favorite coleslaw recipe.

(This post was adapted from an old Squidoo lens/Hubpages hub. Photos and contents ©Susan Deppner, All rights reserved.)

Celebrate National Grilling Month With a New Apron

July is National Grilling Month. Celebrate with a new apron. Here's a coupon code with a great discount and free shipping!
"My Grill's Hotter Than Your Grill"
I've done it and you probably have, too.  I've leaned up against the edge of the grill or walked into a utensil hanging from the grill and ended up with tough-to-remove food or grease mark on my clothes.

Why do I do that? Obviously, it happens accidentally, but to eliminate the possibility in the first place, you and I both need a grill apron!

In honor of National Grilling Month (July), Flirty Aprons is offering an awesome coupon for 40% off plus FREE SHIPPING on any apron when you use the code BBQ40.

Note that this offer is for ANY apron, not just grilling aprons. But why not choose a grilling apron? Here's a cute one. Okay, well maybe "cute" isn't the right word. The "My Grill's Hotter Than Yours" apron would be a great griller-guy gift.

July is National Grilling Month. Celebrate with a new apron. Here's a coupon code with a great discount and free shipping!
Moroccan Pattern Apron in Teal

Or maybe you're more interested in a feminine apron in teal, like this one which definitely is cute and would make an awesome hostess gift.

The offer's good through the end of July, but don't put it off. Remember, aprons make great gifts! Browse the complete selection of aprons here.

P.S. The coupon code is not available on the website, so copy it here and remember to use it at checkout: BBQ40  Then share this post with friends who love aprons, 40% off, and free shipping.

P.P.S. Fellow recipe bloggers take note: Join the Flirty Aprons Affiliate Program

Mushroom Chicken and Noodles

Mushroom Chicken and Noodles, a Slow-Cooker Recipe from
Click to pin.

When I think of comfort food, I think "winter." Occasionally during the summer months, though, especially on a rainy day, I get a craving for one of my favorite comfort foods. Since I don't like to heat up the kitchen when it's hot outside, I turn to one of my favorite appliances, the slow cooker (or Crockpot).

Today, I also turned to one of the easiest recipes in my cooking repertoire, and one of my husband's favorites, Mushroom Chicken and Noodles.

Here's the recipe:

Mushroom Chicken and Noodles (a slow cooker recipe)

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained, or use fresh (optional)
black pepper, a few shakes
1/4 cup dairy sour cream
salt to taste
prepared noodles

Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker, in a single layer. Spoon the condensed cream of mushroom soup on top. Add the sliced mushrooms if using. Shake on some ground black pepper. Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn on to the "low" setting. Cook for 4 to 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through and easily pulls apart. Stir the chicken mixture, coarsely shredding the chicken. About 5 minutes before serving time, stir in the 1/4 cup of sour cream (approximate measure - I just use a couple of heaping spoonfuls). Add salt and more pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite hot, prepared noodles. Serves 4.


  • I like the flavor of mushrooms but not the texture, so I rarely add extra mushrooms. If you're a mushroom lover, feel free to add a can or a few sliced mushrooms. 
  • Since canned soup already contains salt and because we try to keep our salt intake down, I rarely add more. 
  • Feel free to substitute boneless chicken breast. We prefer thighs in this particular recipe. Happily, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are much more available than they used to be and make a fairly frugal meal.

Prefer beef? Here's our go-to slow cooker beef and noodles recipe.

So tell me, do you have a favorite summertime comfort food? Is this a recipe that your family would enjoy?

Cajun Blackened Chicken on the Grill

Chicken legs, drumsticks, seasoned with Cajun Blackened Seasoning make a delicious dinner on the grill. Here's the recipe.

We love to cook on the grill and definitely enjoy some variety in our meals. That's why, instead of grilling boneless chicken breasts or even thighs (which can get boring), occasionally I'll grab a family-sized package of chicken drumsticks for a thrifty, delicious, easy-to-eat meal. On this occasion, I chose to use Cajun Blackened Seasoning for flavor. Good choice, if I do say so myself.

I like to order spices from I can always count on fast service, freshly-packaged spices that never disappoint, and a surprise in the box. Prices are good, too, especially when you order several packages at a time to get the best bang for your shipping-cost buck. The Cajun Blackened Seasoning is tasty and not too spicy, perfect for my taste buds.

Ready to give it a try? Here's the recipe:

Cajun Blackened Chicken on the Grill

1 family-sized package of fresh chicken legs (drumsticks)
Olive oil
Kaina's Cajun Blackened Seasoning (or your favorite brand)

Prepare chicken drumsticks by pulling off the skin, rinsing, then patting dry with a paper towel. 

Rub olive oil onto each chicken leg (not a lot of oil, just a bit) then rub a generous amount of seasoning into the olive oil. (In the pictures below, I went a little light on the seasoning; you might want to use more.) 

Preheat the grill to high, then arrange chicken legs on the grill. Don't crowd them. Close the grill lid then turn down the heat to between medium and high (around 350 to 375 degrees if you have a grill thermometer). Check after a few minutes and turn. I like to check and turn the drumsticks fairly frequently (every 5 minutes or so) and keep the heat at medium so they don't burn. Continue turning and checking for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken tests done (180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, juices run clear, and meat easily pulls away from the bone). Remove from grill, let set for about five minutes, then serve.

Note that every time you open the lid to check the chicken, you let heat out of the grill. Close the lid and the grill slowly heats back up. It's a fine "dance" that takes some practice to keep the chicken cooking slowly without burning until it's completely done.

Sound good to you? Cajun Blackened Chicken on the grill really is a delicious meal, especially in the evening following a hot summer's day. Enjoy!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please pin it to share. Thank you!

A recent order from |
A recent, beautifully packaged shipment of seasonings from Kaina's SpicesForLess.

Ingredients for Cajun Blackened Chicken on the Grill. Enjoy this recipe from
Rub olive oil on the chicken drumsticks, then rub in the seasoning.

Grill the chicken slowly, cook thoroughly. | Cajun Blackened Chicken on the Grill from
Grill slowly to cook the chicken thoroughly and keep it from burning.

Enjoy your Cajun Blackened Chicken hot off the grill. Recipe from
Enjoy your Cajun Blackened Chicken hot off the grill.

Peanut Butter Triple Berry Smoothie Recipe

This Peanut Butter Triple Berry Smoothie recipe reminds me of a PB&J sandwich with a glass of cold milk. Minus the bread. Great breakfast or snack!

My friend Dawn Rae just published a review of her new NutriBullet Pro 900. I read the review this morning and promptly started having hunger pangs that quickly grew into cravings for a fruit smoothie. So I went looking for a recipe.

Since an unopened bag of Schwan's Triple Berry Blend was residing in my freezer (alongside a zipper bag of frozen banana halves, my favorite smoothie sweetener), I turned to the Schwan's website for inspiration.

Their Triple Berry Smoothie recipe caught my eye and held my interest. In fact, I was rather fascinated that peanut butter was one of the ingredients. Hmm. Berries and peanut butter. Sounds good. Plus banana. Sounds even better. Their recipe called for almond milk, which I didn't have on hand, but I made an executive decision to use regular milk. My future smoothie was sounding better and better.

After blending then promptly consuming the results (after snapping a few pictures, of course), both my taste buds and my tummy were satisfied. The peanut butter taste really stood out, so I decided to call my concoction a Peanut Butter Triple Berry Smoothie. Here's my version of the recipe, for you to try:

Peanut Butter Triple Berry Smoothie 

1 cup milk (I used regular 2% milk; feel free to use almond milk)
3/4 cup Schwan's frozen Triple Berry Blend (contains raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) 
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 frozen banana 

Combine the ingredients in your blender or smoothie maker. Pulse or blend until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Pop in a straw and enjoy!

Makes one serving. 

If Schwan's products aren't available in your area, feel free to substitute your own combination of frozen berries.

Note that you might come across some tiny raspberry seeds as you consume your smoothie. That wasn't a problem for me, but just wanted to let you know in case it's a problem for you.

This smoothie reminded me of a PB & J sandwich with a glass of cold milk. Minus the bread. Made a pretty good breakfast for me!

So, what do you think. Sound good to you?

Delicious Hamburgers on the Grill

May 28th is National Hamburger Day. Even if you missed it, any day is a good day to enjoy a delicious hamburger on the grill. Here's my recipe.

Happy Hamburger Day!

May 28th is National Hamburger Day. Ready to enjoy it? Even if you missed it, any day is a good day to enjoy a delicious, home-grilled hamburger. Here's my recipe.

Delicious Hamburgers on the Grill

1/3 pound lean ground beef per burger (see tip below)
Garlic and Herb Seasoning (I use this seasoning on everything from meat to soup to rice!)
Slices of your favorite cheese (optional)
Hamburger buns of your choice (better buns make better hamburgers)
Romaine lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, mayonnaise or your favorite hamburger fixin's

Divide ground beef into 1/3-pound mounds. Shake a generous amount of Garlic and Herb Seasoning onto each mound. Shape the mounds into patties, distributing the seasoning throughout. I make the patties slightly bigger than my palm, a little on the thick side, then press the center third or so of the patty to make it a bit thinner so it will cook faster in the middle.

Heat the grill for 10 or 15 minutes to 400 degrees. (We use a gas grill with a temperature gauge. If you use charcoal, use the hand test to estimate the temperature.)

If you're using extra-lean ground beef, be sure to oil your grill just before adding the hamburger patties so the meat doesn't stick. Place the patties on the grill, leaving some space in between. Close the cover of the grill and set a timer for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, open the lid and turn the partially cooked burgers. Close the cover again and set the timer for 2 or 3 minutes depending on the thickness of the burgers. Check when the timer goes off and look to see that the liquid/grease on top of each burger is getting brown and is no longer red. I use the edge of the spatula or tongs to press slightly on the burger to "feel" if it's done. (Or use an instant-read thermometer. With a little experience, the "feel" method works better for me.)

Remove the burgers to a plate when they're done and let rest for a few minutes. To serve, place a burger on a bun and dress it as you like it. In the picture above, I used sliced grape tomatoes since that's what I had on hand, a romaine lettuce leaf, and mayonnaise on my American cheese-topped burger.

Tips for the best burgers:

  •  It's best to turn the meat just once to maintain juiciness. 
  •  If you're using cheese, add it when the burgers are just about ready; close grill cover for about 30 seconds to start the melting.
  • Choosing ground beef: The higher the fat content, the more flaring you'll have on the grill and you might actually burn the burger. The lower the fat content, the easier it is to overcook the burger, cooking off what fat there is, leaving the burger hard and, well, not very good. A good compromise is 85-15, though I make a mighty-good burger using 93-7 by using the quick-cooking method described above. Less fat, less guilt works for me!  

Have a happy Hamburger Day. Enjoy your flavorful, delicious burgers!

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