Monday, April 06, 2015

Maple Pecan Glazed Ham with Apples

I tried a new recipe for my Easter Ham  this year and while it may not have been my prettiest ham, it sure was good. I usually buy whole uncut hams because spiral hams tend to dry out on the edges. But I couldn't pass up the sale price on the spiral cut hams at Costco, so I decided to go with one this year. Next I decided to make my own glaze instead of the one that came in the packet....I think those packets taste too much like cloves and I wanted a Southern ham this year. So I made a maple syrup glaze with some apple juice and some pecans. Then I decided to slice up some Granny Smith Apples and slide them between the slices.....thinking those apples slices would soften and release that juicy apple flavor for the inside....and that is exactly what they did. Here's how it turned out. Again, not the prettiest ham, but so good!

Maple Pecan Glazed Ham with Apples

1 fully cooked bone-in spiral sliced ham 
1 cup apple juice 
1/4 cup Bourbon (or you can use rum) 
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed) 
1 cup pecans, finely chopped 
1/2 cup good maple syrup 
2 tablespoons dry mustard 
2 Granny Smith apples

Add apple juice and bourbon or rum and boil for about 5 minutes until it reduces down to about a 1/2 cup. Add in pecans and dry mustard and stir until combined.

Position oven rack high enough for ham to fit and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a roasting pan with heavy duty foil. Place ham fat side up in pan.

Core your apples and slice them into very thin slices. Then slide them between the slices of ham. I scattered them throughout in no particular pattern. If a couple of the slices start to fall forward you can secure them with toothpicks. Keep in mind, the glaze will help keep them in place.

Pour some of the the glaze over the ham making sure it goes between the slices. Then brush the rest of the glaze over the entire ham. Cover lightly with foil and bake for about an hour.

Take ham out of the oven and remove foil. Baste well with the juices from the pan, making sure the top is well basted. Bake for another 40 minutes or until glaze is nice and sticky and brown and bubbling. Baste again with the pan juices before serving.

NOTE: You can omit the bourbon or rum if you want to.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

♥ Cream of Broccoli Soup

Here's another wonderful soup that just says comfort food to me.  I like my soup rich and thick and creamy with a vegetable now and then to make it somewhat healthy!  LOL.  I like to serve this in a hollowed out bread bowl too. So good and so easy to make!

Cream of Broccoli Soup

6 cups water
10 ounces fresh or fr
ozen chopped broccoli florets
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/4 cup butter

In a large soup pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the broccoli and onion and boil for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts. Add the milk, cream, and butter. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

If you like your broth thicker, whisk 1/2 cup cold water with 1/3 cup flour until smooth. Slowly add to the hot soup, stirring rapidly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the soup is the consistency of heavy cream. Serve hot with a little shredded cheese (yellow or white) on top.

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♥ Pork Rib Roast (AKA: Crown Pork Roast)

Not everyone is making ham for Easter.  Personally, I love rib roasts...pork or beef. There's just something about cooking rib roast that says "home." The house gets all warm and the aromas are out of this world. I make my roasts just like I make my oven baked spare ribs that are so popular here at Welcome Home. I start off making my own combination of seasonings in a dry rub and then roast it slowly in the oven using steam to keep it moist and tender.  It's delicious.... moist and juicy and fall off the bone tender!

Pork Rib Roast 
(AKA: Crown Pork Roast)

Dry Rub

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons mild chili powder                                     
2 tablespoons course salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground allspice

Mix all dry seasonings and ingredients together until blended. Lay roast on plastic wrap and rub generously with rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put a rack inside a large shallow roasting pan to keep the roast off the bottom of the pan. Discard plastic wrap and lay your roast on top of the rack. Then fill the bottom of the pan with water under the ribs making sure the roast is not touching the water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes in a hot oven.

Turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and allow ribs to cook slowly for at least 4 hours or until bones can slide out easily when pulled from the roast. 

Remove from oven and carefully remove foil so that steam escapes. Carefully use tongs to lift the roast to a platter. Tent loosely with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Remove foil, slice between the rib bones and serve.

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Mini Cherry Danish

How cute are these? I am a gadget freak and I own every sort of kitchen gadget you can imagine. So when I saw this little pastry cutting roller the other day, I had to have it. And when it came in the mail, I had to use it. So I made these little pastries and they were delicious and pretty too! 

Mini Cherry Lattice Danish

1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
1 can (21 ounces) Cherry or any fruit pie filling
Course sugar for topping

Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk and set aside.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut into squares (whatever size you want). On each square spread a little pie filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Brush the edges with the egg mixture. 

Unfold the remaining pastry sheet and cut into the same size squares. You can simply place them on top and crimp the edges or if you want a pretty presentation you can make a lattice top with a pastry roller cutter like the one I used (see comments) or you can use a pizza or ravioli cutter and cut thin strips of dough to create a lattice pattern on top.

Once you have put on the top layer then crimp the edges with a fork or pinch the edges with your fingers to seal. Brush tops with the egg mixture and sprinkle coarse sugar on tops. If not using lattice top, make sure you cut several slits in the top of the pastry and then sprinkle with course sugar.

Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Cool the pastry on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional sugar if desired.

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Get my new mini pastry roller at

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Thursday, April 02, 2015


The gates are now open my friends.... Books are now only $11.99 to any Welcome Home follower when you click on the links below to buy them. First 100 people will get this special pricing so you need to act quickly. We will help you download to a desktop computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, and/or your Android Smart phone.

Here are the links:

My most poplular book, Home is Where The Heart Is.....

My first book, Welcome Home Cooking....

 One of my favorites, Home For Dinner....

My dessert book, Home Sweet Home....

 And my most popular book, There's No Place Like Home.....

My newest cookbook, Memories of Home...

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Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon

You can't get much easier than this. Tender cheesy potatoes with smokey bacon....Oh Yum.

Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon

8-10 medium potatoes (cut into ½” cubes)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted).
1 ½ cups half and half or cream
1 envelope Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
salt and pepper
6 bacon slices (cooked until crispy and crumbled)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and set aside.

Add potatoes to a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender. Then drain well and pour into the casserole dish.

In a bowl mix together cream of mushroom soup, half and half (half milk and half cream), ranch dressing, 1 cup of the cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese and the crumbled bacon over the top.

Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with extra bacon and additional salt and pepper to taste.

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Artichoke Flans

When we think of flans we always think of a wonderful pudding-like dessert that is rich and decadent.  But there are savory flans too and they are a perfect and elegant side dish for any meal. I make a wonderful corn and leek savory vegetable flan and one of my favorites is a spinach flan that is to die for.  There's just something about that creamy custard whether sweet or savory. Today I bring you my artichoke flans that would be perfect for your Easter dinner this year! 

Artichoke Flans

1 cup Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts in water, marinated or grilled
1 tablespoon Olive Oil 
2 cups heavy Cream 
5  large eggs 
1 tsp  salt
black pepper to taste 
2 tsp chopped Italian Parsley 
non stick cooking spray
8 ramekins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop artichokes to bite sized pieces.

In a medium skillet, heat oil until sizzling over medium high heat.  Add chopped artichokes and saute for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together heavy cream and eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  Spray ramekins with cooking spray, making sure to coat them well. Spoon artichokes into the bottom of each ramekin, portioning evenly.  Next, pour your custard mixture over the artichokes. Do not overfill ramekins. 

Transfer ramekins onto a 9 x 13 rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and bake for 35-40 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and egg custard is set.   Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes before unmolding.

Once cooled, insert the tip of a pairing knife around the inside edges of the ramekin to loosen.  Then cover the ramekin with a small plate and flip.  Then lay your serving plate over small plate and flip again to see the nicely browned tops. Garnish with extra parsley and serve.

Photography is  the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home. 

Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts can be found at select grocery stores nationwide either in the produce section or the canned vegetable aisle and online at

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Icing

There's only one thing that can be said about this pound cake.  A hot steaming cup of coffee on a warm spring morning.  Ah lemon in the spring time!

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Icing

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup fresh lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 6 cup loaf pans (4 1/2-by-8 inch) by brushing with butter and then dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk with vanilla extract and lemon extract. Add the lemon zest and juice. Set aside. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk and beat until just smooth (do not over mix).

Divide your batter evenly between pans; shake and top on counter to smooth tops and get rid of air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Start checking them a little earlier to make sure they are not getting too brown. If they are, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Lemon Icing:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Stir together powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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Cream Cheese Brownies with Toffee Topping

Sometimes you want something rich and chewy and creamy and nutty all at the same time.  This one pretty much does the trick my friends! 

Cream Cheese Brownies with Toffee Topping 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon whole milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

5 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar


1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup chopped Heath Bar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and then spray with non stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and melted butter until combine. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until blended. Add in half of the flour mixture and mix just until combine, add in milk and mix just until combine, then add remaining flour mixture and mix just until combine (batter will be very thick).

Pour batter into prepared 8 x 8 baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until center is nearly set. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting 
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to beat until smooth, about 1 minute.


Once brownies are frosted, drizzle melted chocolate on top and then sprinkle on chopped Heath Bar. Makes 12 brownies.

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