A new year and some new goals as far as meals go! During December I thought a lot about cooking and what I enjoy about it. While I really like seeing some of the more gourmet meals on Pinterest, Food Network, and on food blogs, that just isn’t my style. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well prepared meal with high quality ingredients, but I don’t get more satisfaction out of making something “fancy” than I do out of making other recipes. In fact, I often end up getting stressed because I have to buy more costly ingredients and try techniques I’m not comfortable with. What I really get the most enjoyment out of is making healthy family meals, especially comfort foods and dishes my family especially love. So I am going to slowly start focusing more on making the kind of meals I enjoy cooking and my family enjoys eating. I’ll still have some easy fare thrown in there to accommodate our busy schedules.
We enjoyed a traditional ham dinner for Christmas. Ham, twice baked potato casserole, green beans and carrots (to accommodate everyone! ), rolls, and cranberry salad. We had quite a bit of leftover ham. We also had a variety of leftovers from the days leading up to Christmas. So after the big day, we had a couple days of “leftover buffet” and then I had to get serious about using up the rest of the ham. Also, at the end of the year we usually try to use up as much as possible from the cupboards and freezer. This cleans out our cupboards so we can start fresh in the new year and is also budget-friendly since we usually have spent more at the grocery store on holiday meals and all the fixings. Not only was I trying to get creative with my leftovers, I was trying to do so using what I had on hand. Talk about a challenge.
I read a handful of recipes online for ham tetrazzini. I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients for any of the recipes I saw, so I kind of made up my own based on all the ones I had browsed through. I also have been trying to get away from using the “cream of” soups in recipes so I googled a little and figured out a substitute. Here’s my version of ham tetrazzini, created from bits and pieces of about a half dozen recipes! I served it with some Italian bread I had left from a soup lunch and some pickled asparagus. Probably not the ideal side, but hey, it worked!
1/2 box of spaghetti
1 – 2 cups of diced ham (use what you’ve got!)
1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms (more or less per taste)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup of cream or milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook spaghetti noodles. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in butter. Set mushrooms aside.
Use the butter from the mushrooms and flour to make a roux. Slowly stir in cream or milk. (I used cream because I had it leftover from another recipe. I would usually use milk to make it healthier, but the cream made it very rich and yummy!) This is your substitute for “cream of” soup.
Stir in water. Then add cheese. Once cheese is melted add ham and mushrooms. Serve over spaghetti with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over.
On to my menu! I’ll be linking up on I’m an Organizing Junkie if you’re looking for more meal planning ideas! Or check out and follow my Yummy board on Pinterest! Interested in meal planning? Check out my post on meal planning.
Here’s what we’re eating this week:
Breakfasts (we don’t plan for each day – see here for why – but these are our choices along with a fruit)
- Granola bars and yogurt
- Cream of Wheat or oatmeal
- Toast or English Muffins
- Roo: Monday – Lunchable; Tuesday – PBJ Sandwich; Wednesday & Thursday – school lunch; Friday – Ham sandwich
- Monkey: Monday – Lunchable; Tuesday – PBJ sandwich; Wednesday – Mac & Cheese; Thursday – soup; Friday – Ham sandwich
- Me: Monday – work lunch; Tuesday & Wednesday – leftovers; Thursday – Mac & Cheese; Friday – leftovers.
- Monday – BBQ ribs in the crockpot; corn casserole, mixed veggies
- Tuesday – Tuna Casserole, peas
- Wednesday – Church youth night
- Thursday – Pasta, garlic bread, salad
- Friday – Pizza
- Saturday – Dinner at The Coach’s parent’s house
- Sunday – Cheeseburgers, french fries, green beans
What are you eating this week? Leave a comment and feel free to link back to your blog if you have your plan posted!