Thursday, December 29, 2016

Orange-Honey Sticky Wings

I am not into spicy hot wings. But I love sweet sticky wings like honey or honey mustard. Last year for the big Super Bowl game, I made the regular hot and spicy wings as usual, but I also came up with my own version of sticky wings with orange and honey and they were a huge hit! 

Orange-Honey Sticky Wings

2 pounds fresh chicken wings, cut in 2 pieces at joint or 2 pounds frozen chicken wings, thawed.
1 16 oz. can of frozen orange juice, thawed.
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
4 cloves of finely chopped garlic 
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
A pinch or two of red pepper flakes if you like them hot and spicy too! 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine honey, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, and garlic in large bowl. Toss in your chicken wings. Arrange two 9 x 13 baking pans with your wings. Brush wings with a little additional sauce and cover with foil. 

Bake wings at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and turn wings over and brush with more sauce. Bake uncovered for another 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil. Broil wings close to broiler element, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Remove wings to a serving dish and spoon more sauce from the foil over top. 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nacho Scoops

Listen, I'm all about throwing parties but I don't like to do a lot of work. So I am constantly looking for simple ideas that taste great and take minutes to make.  Put a tray of these little morsels out for the next football game and count how many times you have to put out a new tray! They are delicious. They are addicting.  Lately I have gotten very creative with what I fill them with but for now I will start off with the basic recipe.  If you can call it that!  

Nacho Scoops 

1 bag of Tostitos Scoops 
2 cups of Mexican Blend cheese 
1/2 pound of ground beef 

In a large skillet, brown the beef and salt and pepper to taste.  Drain off all fat from beef and set aside in a separate bowl. 

Lay out scoops in a baking dish. Choose any size depending on how many you're making.

Fill scoops with ground beef and top with cheese.

Add cheese up over the top of the scoops as it will melt down.

 Bake in a 350 oven until cheese is melted. Serve warm! 

Now let's talk about what  you can add to these if  you want to be creative:

Chili with or without beans
shredded chicken
different cheeses
refried beans
chili peppers
hot sauce
lettuce and tomato
sour cream

The sky's the limit!

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Caramel Cream Cheese Spread

Need a quick appetizer when unexpected guests arrive?  I'm almost embarrassed to call this a's more like a tip!  This is my go to when I'm caught totally off guard!  I literally throw this together in 2 minutes and they love it! 

Caramel Cream Cheese Spread

1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese
1 jar of caramel sauce (I use ice cream topping)
toffee bits or chopped pecans

bread rounds, crackers, sliced apples, pears, pretzels for serving

Place cream cheese on a pretty serving plate. Pour as much caramel topping as you want evenly over cream cheese and let it run down the sides. Sprinkle with a nuts or toffee bits.

Oh Yum!  It's especially good served with sliced apples or pears.

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Crab Bites!

These are my most requested party food. Whenever I ask, "what can I bring to the party,"  these always come up. I make them for my own parties too and needless to say, they are usually gone in less than 10 minutes. Of course this is my popular Maryland Crab Cake recipe just made into an appetizer. You can make them bigger and serve them for dinner.  

Crab Bites

2 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 teaspoons milk 
1 tablespoon Hellman's mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon OLD BAY Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 pound FRESH jumbo lump crab meat

I make my own breadcrumbs by adding bread to food processor and pulsing until fine crumbs. Then moisten the crumbs in the milk.

Add mayo, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, baking powder, OLD BAY, salt, egg and the crab meat mixing very lightly so as not to break up to much of the crab. Using a small scoop or your hands form the mixture into small balls and lay on parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

Refrigerate crab bites for 30 minutes which will help them hold their shape while cooking. You can choose to broil or fry.

If baking or broiling: Make sure you drop a couple of ice cubes onto the baking tray between the crab bites before you bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. This will keep the bottoms from burning while they bake.

To deep fry as shown in my photo: Fill your deep skillet with peanut oil or vegetable oil and deep fry your bites in batches until golden and crispy on the outside...about 5 minutes or less. Then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. You can also use a deep fryer with a basket to make these.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Country Ham And Bean Soup

Whenever my Mom made ham we could always expect to big bowl of soup the next day for lunch.  She would chop up the ham, throw in the ham hock, and add whatever she had on hand to make the most delicious soup.  Beans are perfect for soup because they soak up the deliciousness of the broth and veggies.  Love this reminds me of home.

Country Ham And Bean Soup
Ham Stock

4 tablespoons butter or use bacon grease 
1 onion diced
3 stalks of celery finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large ham hocks or ham shanks 
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf

In a large stock pot, melt butter or bacon grease over medium heat.  Add diced onion, garlic, celery to pot and cook until tender.  Next add your ham hock or shank and the water and chicken broth.  Add in thyme and bay leaf and stir well. Cover with lid and bring to boil. Then reduce heat to simmer on low and cook for about three hours. Remove ham hock and set aside.

Pour the stock through a strainer and remove solids.  If using right away, return to pot and prepare to make your soup. If not you can freeze it for later. 


2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (30 oz) can of diced tomatoes 
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pound of dry great Northern beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven or large soup pot.  Add chopped onion, celery and carrot; cook over medium until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and add the ham you picked from the ham shank or ham hock.  Add mixture to soup pot and stir well to combine all ingredients. 

Rinse and sort through the beans. Add to the pot, along with prepared ham stock. Add in diced tomatoes, cloves, bay leaves, brown sugar and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce your heat to low and cook for about 3½ hours or until beans are tender, checking every hour to make sure you add enough water to keep beans covered.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with Cornbread! 

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♥ Thick and Creamy Potato Soup and Ham

Probably my favorite of all the creamy soups I make. I like my soups very thick so I use cream in all my soups for a rich and creamy texture. Sometimes I make it plain without the ham and sprinkle bacon on top but today I wanted to use some leftover Christmas ham. If you like thick and creamy potato soup, you will love this recipe.

Thick and Creamy Potato Soup and Ham

3 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced to the size you like
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups cooked ham, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half or whole milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook potatoes in generously salted water until tender. Drain well and set aside.

In separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. and saute celery, onion, salt and pepper. Whisk in flour stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until vegetables are tender and flour has cooked lightly. 

Slowly whisk in half and half or milk. Continue whisking until mixture begins to thicken. Add in cream and continue stirring until soup is very creamy. Add in ham and potatoes and stir until blended. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in mug or bowl and add shredded cheese on top. 

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

I love making breakfast casseroles. Not only are they easy to make, I like to freeze them and heat them up anytime I feel like it.  There are so many to choose from, but I think this one is my favorite, especially when I have leftover ham. It has everything I love for breakfast, fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, ham and lots of  cheese. Try it, you’ll start making breakfast casseroles more often! 

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

1 cup diced or cubed ham
1 (30-32oz) bag frozen shredded hash browns
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with butter or
spray with non-stick spray.

In a large skillet, fry the frozen hash browns until lightly crisp and golden. 
Pour hash browns into casserole dish and top with ham and ¾ cup of each

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk.
Pour over hash brown mixture. Top with remaining ¼ cup of each cheese.

You can refrigerate at this point until ready to bake or bake immediately at
350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle. 

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