Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Mom's County Ham Loaf

I can still remember my Mom grinding up leftover Easter ham in an old meat grinder that was clamped onto the kitchen counter. She would turn that wheel and grind it all up to put in her famous ham loaf. Oh my goodness it was so good. We loved it better than the Easter ham! I still make it today with my leftover ham and I still like it better than ham. Things are easier these days. No more grinders and hard work to get it to the right consistency. I trim off any fat and cut my ham into one inch chunks and put it in the food processor. Works perfectly to give you the perfect texture. 

Mom's Country Ham Loaf 

1 lb. fresh ground ham 
1 lb. fresh ground pork 
½ cup saltine crackers, crushed 
½ cup plain bread crumbs 
1 egg, well beaten 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1½ tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 
3/4 cup milk, more if needed 
To make ground ham, cut fully cooked ham into one inch cubes and process in a food processor until ham in finely ground. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine ham, pork, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper, egg and milk. Using clean hands, mix until combined. Mixture should be moist and very soft. If too dry, add up to ½ cup of extra milk.
Form into one large loaf  and place in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish or make two smaller loaf sized. 


2/3 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon dry mustard 
1/2 cup water 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 

In a small saucepan, combine glaze ingredients and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour about one-third of glaze over ham loaf. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove ham loaf from oven and uncover to pour remaining glaze over loaf. Glaze will begin to get thick and sticky as ham loaf continues to bake and brown. Cooking time should be about 90 minutes or up to 2 hours for larger loaf made in 9 x 13 pan. 
Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I used to look at those cans of Pillsbury dough on the refrigerator shelf in the grocery store and think nothing of them...other than they are just a quick way to throw out some biscuits when you're running short on time.  And we all know that while they are convenient, they don't taste anything like homemade. 

But then one day something happened.  I had a revelation of sorts when I thought about what is really in those cans....it's just pre-made dough!  And a whole new world opened up for me.  Now I look at those cans and think of appetizers, side dishes, main dishes and desserts!  Desserts that are incredible and truly unforgettable! Next time you pass by that canned dough....throw some in your cart and think delicious! 

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 (8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (divided)
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Keep the cans of dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Then unroll one and using fingers spread it out flat on the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Press out any seams.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of the sugar and the vanilla extract until creamy and smooth.  Pour the mixture over dough in pan and using a spatula, spread evenly.  

Unroll the second roll of dough and gently lay it evenly on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Pour the melted butter evenly over the top layer of the dough.  Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the butter mixture. 

Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool for 20-30 minutes before serving warm.  Cover and refrigerate.

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

Here's one of my quick and semi-homemade recipes that tastes just like you made it all from scratch. A short cut to making a much more complicated dessert, this one is so simple to make and so delicious! You might even have to have that second slice just to make sure!

Simple Brownie Cheesecake

1 pkg. (19 to 21 oz) Brownie mix (13 X 9 inch pan size)
pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted in microwave for drizzle

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare brownie batter as directed on package; pour into 13 x 9 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 25 minutes or until top is shiny and center is almost set.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan. It will almost fill your pan.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen sides; cool. Refrigerate 4 hours. Drizzle top with chocolate topping.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Friday, August 26, 2016

♥ Beef Stroganoff

One of my personal favorites! I love my country rendition of Beef Stroganoff...well, I can't really call it Stroganoff because I have left out a lot of the ingredients that might go into that classic dish.  But even without the mushrooms, sour cream and other things that go into Stroganoff, this is delicious. I actually like this better! I start off by finding the perfect chuck roast in the meat case and I ask the meat clerk to trim the fat and cut it into beef cubes for me.....

Beef Stroganoff

2 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons butter for frying
4 tablespoons of flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups half and half (half milk/half cream)
1 (16 oz) package egg noodles

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet and then add olive oil. Over medium heat, saute onions and garlic until tender. Add beef cubes and fry until brown on all sides. Cover and simmer on low heat for about an hour or until meat is very tender. You can also pre-cook beef cubes in a crock pot for 6 hours on high with a little beef broth for fork tender beef for all your stews and soups. I do this often and freeze until I need them.

In a separate skillet, add 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of flour and whisk quickly to blend. Cook, for about 1 minute and lightly browned, stirring the entire time. Whisk in half and half and continue whisking until sauce begins to thicken. Turn off heat and salt and pepper to taste. I like a lot of pepper in mind.

Finally, pour your sauce into the skillet with your meat and with a wooden spoon stir, making sure that you scrap all the bits of meat and garlic and onion from the bottom. Cover for another 10 minutes while noodles cook.

Boil egg noodles as directed on package. Drain well and pour into bowl. Add meat and sauce over noodles.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

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Ground Beef Stroganoff

I love these quick one skillet meals don't you?  So easy to make and so 

Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 lb ground chuck, browned 
salt and pepper to taste
1 box egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup of beef broth

Brown beef in large skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain beef, pour in bowl and set aside. Using same skillet, saute onion and garlic until tender. Add beef back in and stir.

In large deep skillet, melt butter. Add flour and whisk for a full minute until lightly golden. Slowly pour in cream whisking until incorporated. Whisk in beef broth and stir as sauce thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Simmer on low heat until egg noodles are ready.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain well and serve with stroganoff.

Photo source: flickriver mooshee85

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


For those of you who are thinking about subscribing to the Welcome Home Online Magazine but have a few questions, now is the time to ask. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section under this post. Here are a few that have been asked before:

Q: Are the recipes the same as the recipes on Welcome Home 
Facebook or in your Blog?
A: No. I put my best recipes and photographs in the Magazine. 
They are exclusive and are published no where else but the 

Q: Is it a print magazine that I can have mailed to my home?
A: No. This is a private online blog website that you can access with 
your own personal link and code. Once you subscribe, you simply go to the website and it will recognize your email address and allow you full access to the magazine.

Q: How many recipes do you publish and how often?
A. I publish recipes daily. The magazine began in 2014 and so
far there are over 700 recipes published in the magazine.

Q: Are there photos of the finished dish with each recipe?
A: Yes. All recipes have several full sized photos showing the finished dish. Some of the recipes have step by step photographs showing you how to make the dish.

Q: Are their advertisements that fill up the magazine with unwanted photos and hype?
A: There are no advertisements in the magazine. Only recipes, photos, kitchen how to's and tips, and helpful gadgets that make life easier in the kitchen.

Q: How will I know when a new recipe is posted in the magazine?
A: As a bonus for subscribing to the magazine, you will become a member of my Welcome Home Magazine Fan club. This is a private group on Facebook for subscribers only. You will find an announcement of every new recipe each day, along with even more recipes, hints, tips, etc.

Q: How much is it?
A: The Welcome Home Online Magazine is only $2 a month ($24 a year). You can renew each year for more recipes. Some of the proceeds from the subscriptions to the magazine go to my Save A Life mission and are used for saving the lives of dogs and cats killed unnecessary in shelters. And some of the proceeds go to feeding the hungry and helping the homeless.

Q: What kind of recipes do I feature in the magazine?
A. There are recipes that everyone can enjoy. There is a full line up of every kind of recipe you can imagine, from Asian to Mexican to southern style cooking. From Lettuce Wraps to Nachos to Chicken and Dumplings and cornbread! You'll find that home style cooking with a southern flare is my specialty. Comfort food at its best!

Q: Can I see any sample photographs of what I can expect to see each day in the magazine?
A: Yes. The photos in the collage with this post and the ones in the comment section are actual photos of my recipes in the magazine. You will find nearly 700 more just like them when you subscribe.

Q: How do I subscribe:
A: Follow these simple steps and you'll have access to the magazine in minutes.

2. Click on the Subscribe Today button at the top of the page.

3. That will take you to PayPal so you can pay with your PayPal account or with a credit card.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

I made only one pie this past weekend...but it was a good one from my Mom's favorites. She was quite the pie baker and use to come up with all kinds of different combinations. We loved this spin off her all American apple pie. It almost tastes like a caramel apple with the mix of caramel and pecans. This one is a keeper my friends.

Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

4 lbs. Gala, Fuji, or Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced in ¼-inch slices
Zest of 1 lemon and 3 tablespoons of the juice from that lemon
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 ½ cups Kraft caramel candies, cut in fourths
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 additional tsp. granulated sugar

Easy Pie Dough: (or use frozen pie shells)

1 ½ sticks very frozen butter, diced into cubes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold shortening like Crisco
about ½ cup ice water

Crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and cut in the cold butter and shortening. Continue cutting until the butter is the size of peas and resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball in the bowl. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Pie Filling: While dough is chilling, slice your apples in to ¼-inch slices and place in large bowl. Combine apples with zest, lemon juice, sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans. Stir to mix thoroughly, coating each apple slice. Set aside.

Remove your dough from refrigerator and cut in equal halves. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a circle, rolling from the center to the edges, turning and flouring the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Fold dough in half, and carefully place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold dough to fit pan. Repeat rolling for second pastry dough.

Fill the pie shell with apple mixture and drop caramel pieces evenly on top. Top with second crust and trim edges to 1-inch over the rim of pie pan. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the edges together with fingers by pinching.

Combine 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and whisk well. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with an additional teaspoon of sugar. Cut 4-5 slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Place pie on sheet pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until crust is browned and juices begin to bubble out.

Allow pie to cool slightly and then drizzle more melted caramel on top and sprinkle with pecans. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy! 

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Oven Roasted Memphis Ribs

On the menu today will be my out of this world delicious oven roasted ribs that I have shared many times at Welcome Home.  You probably remember me telling you that I have stopped using the grill or smoker to make my ribs.  There's no need to anymore with this rub and this method of cooking.  Use the  grill for burgers and chicken and steak but save these for the oven!  These delicious ribs are so fall-off-the- bone-tender they melt in your mouth. And they even have grill marks! Take a look at the photo of the ones I made today. Better yet, try them....let me know what you think!

Oven Roasted Memphis Ribs

4 pounds pork ribs or two big slabs
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce

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 coarse 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 ingredients together until blended. Lay ribs out flat and rub both sides 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 ribs off the bottom of the pan. Lay ribs across rack and fill pan with beef or chicken broth under the ribs making sure the ribs are not touching the liquid. 

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes in 450 degree hot oven. Then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and allow ribs to cook slowly for at least 4-6 hours until the meat begins to fall off the bone.

Remove from oven and carefully remove foil away from you so that steam escapes.  There will be plenty of steam, do not get burned.

Brush ribs generously with Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce. Return to the oven to bake for 15-20 more minutes.

Carefully use tongs to lift ribs in one piece and place on platter.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home
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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Welcome Home Everyone!

Welcome Home everyone! So glad you came home to visit and I hope that you'll stay forever.

My prayer is that you find comfort here.  Maybe you'll find a recipe or two that will bring back memories of days past.  Maybe a heartfelt story that might pull at your heart strings and make an impact in some way. Maybe you'll see something that makes you laugh or brightens your day or a picture or quote that makes you stop for a moment and think about it's relevance in your life.

I created Welcome Home to honor my Mother who moved to heaven a few years ago. And while I may have started something to share with others, it is my Mom and God that are the true authors here.  For you see, I am not a writer and have never professed to be, and yet when I'm at Welcome Home, I'm filled with the spirit of a devine higher power that inspires me and guides my thoughts....a strong force that allows the words to just flow from my mind and onto the page.  I did nothing to advertise this page.  I never once promoted it. And yet people come from all over the world to find comfort here.

I believe with all my heart that our paths crossed right here at Welcome Home for a reason.  I believe there was a time in everyone's life when we were happy and we felt comfort in the arms of a loving mother who sheltered us from the harshness of this sometimes cruel world.  I think there was a place we all knew at one time, where we felt safe no matter what went on outside our door.  We called that place home, and I believe that no matter where life takes us or how old we are, we will miss that place and continue to yearn for those days for the rest of our lives.

I can't bring back that place or those times for you.  I only know that you were brought here for a reason and I will do all that I can to help you find comfort here. So, sit back and relax and enjoy your new home.  Welcome home my friends.  Welcome home.

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