The Recipe Card Test

So Ray fixed me up with this here handy dandy recipe card feature. Our church recently found out that the navy will be selling the land that the church building sits on. We own the buildings, not the land. I said I would add a few recipes on here for them to grab for a cookbook that will be sold. I’ll keep you posted because the folks at this church CAN COOK! 

I’m starting with the recipe I’m asked about most often at church, Yummy Ham Sandwiches. Mom gave me her version first. Then she handed me a cookbook. Eventually I put them on Hawaiian rolls. The rest is well, just sheer yum. I also wanted to make sure Mr. Ken got this or I might be in trouble. Please let me know what you think or if there are recipes you want to see. 

Here we go… 

Yummy Ham Sandwiches
Serves 12
These are my go to finger food, but they are MESSY. Everyone back home has their version, this is mine...
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  1. 2 packages sweet butter Hawaiian rolls (12 rolls per package)
  2. 1# honey ham sliced so thin you can see through it
  3. 1# swiss cheese, sliced to your preference
  4. Stick of butter, softened
  5. 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  6. 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  7. 2 Tbs. Sugar
  8. 1 Tbs. dried minced onion (This is the ONLY time I ever use this ingredient...EVER!)
  1. Slice your rolls in half. Set the bottom half on a cookie sheet. Pile on your ham. Layer your cheese and then top with the other half of the roll. In a bowl mix together the butter and mustard. Add in the poppy seeds, sugar and minced onion. Spread this mixture over the top of the rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  1. We love the Hawaiian rolls but you can use any roll.
  2. If you like more ham, you might want to add another 1/2 pound to the recipe.
  3. I prefer ham from the deli. The prepackaged stuff does not taste the same.
Adapted from The Sedalia Elementary 2003 Cookbook
Adapted from The Sedalia Elementary 2003 Cookbook
Okkar Lif
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Cauliflower and Orzo

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe. This is too good not to pass on…and decadent and rich and well you get the idea. I saw a very healthy version that we made once. It went over okay. Then we started tinkering with it. Now there is nothing inherently healthy about it except cauliflower entered my children’s mouth without an ounce of protest. That is always nice. I’m all about the no struggle to eat family dinner. So here goes…

It all starts with a trip to Target, I mean a head of cauliflower. For some unknown reason, I can never find cauliflower at the commissary so a trip to Target it is. I know. Feel sorry for me please.

I break it apart, chop it up, however you want to do it into pretty small pieces. Then I slice some of these unless I’ve been at the commissary and I have the presliced version.

Forgive the photos. Pioneer woman I am not.

Rough dice an onion…

Then mix it all together with a little mojo.

What is this mojo, you ask? Well, it’s our affectionate term for mojo de ajo. You can find my recipe here. This particular batch Ray talked me into smoking instead of popping in the oven. It’s not what I want all the time, but it’s been a pretty good change up from our typical garlic crack. If you don’t have a gallon jug of mojo like we do, some olive oil and chopped garlic added with some salt at this point will work but it loses a bit of the magical golden qualities. Make some mojo already!

Mix it up, throw it on a cookie sheet into the oven at 450 degrees. You really want the cauliflower to brown. Over the course of cooking, you may want to turn it a couple of times.

Just let that cook and we’re off to step two. This step is totally optional. This is a great vegetarian dish if you want it to be. My kids lapped it up the last time we made it. However, sausage in my refrigerator is like money in my wallet. It seems to burn a hole until I find a reason to cook it up. So… out of the fridge.

Into the pan

Brown it up. Crumble it as small as you like. There is a difference of opinion here. Ray likes it tiny. I like to get a big hunk every now and then so I compromise and do somewhere in between usually dictated by what I think Jack can manage to chew. Remove it from the pan and add a stick of butter. Remember I said decadent…

Brown the butter. Now, I can at times be a bit of a novice. Several years ago we discovered brown butter noodles it led to brown butter mashed potatoes and popcorn and well anything else we can think to put it on. If you are like I was, it pretty much means, melt the butter and let is cook until it’s brown, not burned. I stir it…alot.

While your butter browns start boiling some water with a little bit of salt. Not this much. Apparently I just felt the need to show Gran’s old cast iron skillet that holds my salt. I love it. The water should be salt though.

And back to my butter… add about 2 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar. I just eyeball it.

Let it bubble and simmer and it will quickly look like a thick syrup. At this point Arleigh almost always runs into the kitchen. Yelling, “It’s my favorite sauce!” It’s hard to mistake the aroma.

Add about a half cup of cream. Back up to my decadent comment.

It looks weird for a second but keep stirring and it’s the color of a rich brown gravy. At that point put in about 1/2 cup of parmesan.

Mix it up and it can simmer for as long as you need it to.

Throw 1/2 box of orzo into a pot. I promise 1/2 of that box feeds my entire family well. Especially if you have a salad and some crusty bread on the side. Last night, we had neither. Sigh.

When the orzo is done to your taste… my crowd likes it just past al dente… Drain it and put it back in the pot. Throw in the sausage. Pour on the gravy. Then slide all that cauliflower mixture on top and stir it up. Dump it on a plate with a little more parm.

Sorry. Bria picked our plates last night and this was a bit of a last minute picture…

And we had some happy campers. Jack was double fisting a fork and spoon. He couldn’t shovel it in fast enough.

I would say it’s a hit. Plus, it’s one more reason to make a Target run!

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Fried Cabbage

I mentioned Fried Cabbage as part of our New Year’s Dinner. I had a couple of requests for the recipe. I currently have food on the brain. I have pictures, and some details… so I thought I would share.

I start here… with washed cabbage, bacon, onion, butter, mojo de ajo (garlic oil) and I finish it with a bit of sugar. I guess I was so excited I forgot to get the sugar container in the pictures. That, or Ray commandeered it for coffee. Anyway, I start here and finish with cabbage on a plate, cornbread, and if I’m really, really a good girl some black eyed peas with a heaping topping of tomato relish. Tomato relish would require a guest post by Grandma since I’m currently terrified of canning. Anyway, let’s begin.






First, fry up that bacon. You can cut it early in large strips, or fry it as it is and chop it later. I picked strips…and probably stole a piece.









While the bacon cooks, rough chop the onion. I don’t like it diced because it will get lost. I don’t like it as big as the pieces of cabbage either. What I’m saying is, use your own best judgement. Save the scraps for the chickens.








What’s that? You don’t have a friend with chickens in their back yard? I’m so sorry. It makes my day to send scraps over for the ladies. I’ll try and get a picture of my fine feathered friends very soon. Anyway, fry those onions up in a bit of the leftover grease, but not too much. As they caramelize, get those bits of bacon scraped up.









While the onion is getting soft, chop your washed cabbage. Again, to your taste but not too small and not too big… I’m sounding a bit like Goldilocks.

Then, it’s everybody in the pool!

 Cabbage… stick of butter. Don’t judge. I don’t eat this very often. I also should have mentioned…large head of cabbage or two small heads of cabbage. Hold off on the bacon though or it will get soggy.







Add some mojo de ajo. Have no idea what mojo de ajo is? It means something like bath or garlic or in our house nectar of the gods. You can read more about it here.

Oh my! I think I might me drooling. Mojo de ajo and bacon… and onion… Seriously ready for the Daniel Fast to be done. Apparently Daniel didn’t eat bacon…or butter.








Okay then, put a lid on it. Let the cabbage get soft. Now here’s a note. Some people like their cabbage to have a crunch. I find that my kids eat more of it if there is a lack of texture. I cook it to death. Sort of like my green beans that I only serve for taste and the pretty factor. It’s a vegetable but it doesn’t really count. Cook the cabbage to your desired texture. While it’s cooking…

Chop that bacon. Try not to eat too much of it. It’s hard in this house. I honestly don’t know how I haven’t seriously hurt or maimed a child slipping their hands in and out try to pilfer a piece of bacon or nine.







Throw it in… Add a pinch of sugar.

That’s a horrible picture you say? I know. I’m throwing it in so at some point I can talk to Ray about a different camera. I’m passive aggressive like that. So stir it around, the sugar dissolves and it’s ready to put on a plate.







That’s it. No picture of the finished project. This was dinner people. I had screaming kids wondering why on earth I was standing with my camera taking a picture with every step. They ate it. They ate it all quickly. I typically have leftovers. This night, there were none. If you want, you can finish it with white balsamic vinegar. Honestly, I think the only thing it needs to finish it is some buttered cornbread.

Now, I’ve been hearing all about roasted cabbage. I think it would be wonderful considering that’s how most vegetables are served several times a week around here. I’m just wondering, how do you cook yours?

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Pineapple Slaw

Pineapple Slaw

Let’s open this thing right by saying I am not Pioneer Woman. My pictures aren’t great. I didn’t take a picture of every step, but I recreated something and I feel the need to share…

So down here where it’s 100 bazillion degrees at about 5 in the afternoon, I don’t like turning on the oven. Problem… my grill is leaking gas. In the summer I grill everything. I cook almost all of our dinner outside. Ray fiddled once but I still can’t use it. This presents a giant problem when I really don’t want to cook inside.

I got home from Florida. After living on shrimp and grits, po’ boys and jerk chicken for a week, eating a cold ham sandwich or a bowl of cereal didn’t sound great. I’m still trying to do a high protein, lowish carb, nothing processed if I can help it diet. It’s exhausting. I still had island food cravings, piano lessons cutting into dinner time and no real plan. That’s when I noticed this big ugly thing. A whole pineapple that had been sitting far too long on my counter. It was on it’s way to gross but so, so sweet because it wasn’t quite gross yet.


I chopped it up. I chopped the whole thing up… but I only used about two thirds of it for my concoction.

I mixed the pineapple with a prepackaged bag of slaw and three green onions that I chopped up. Cilantro might have been a nice touch but Ray isn’t a huge fan and my herb garden all but burned up while I was gone. Now, that I’m thinking about it, some slivered almonds or something with more crunch might have been nice too.

For the dressing, I mixed a cup of sugar (I know. Big cheat. I was out of substitute.) with a cup of mayo. Please use mayo. I use the kind with olive oil. I don’t think that matters. Miracle Whip is death to slaw. Actually, Miracle Whip could induce gagging in our house but I digress. Then 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and two tablespoons of pineapple juice because I happened to have some.

I poured a jerk style marinate over some chicken breasts and roasted it in the oven. We had sort of Jerk Chicken, the slaw and some steamed broccoli. You should have seen Ray’s face when he walked in and saw me dumping pineapple in his slaw. The real test… Hanan ate it… more than one bite. Arleigh asked for seconds. Bria slurped it up like it was spaghetti. Two days later and it’s gone.

This was a nice change from the potato salad and baked beans that usually show up with all things pork here. It was also nice and cold and crisp. Tell me if you try it, but maybe only if you like it.

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Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salad

One of our summer favorites!

  • Romaine Lettuce – Three heads
  • Strawberries – Two pounds, sliced
  • Red Onion – Half, thinly sliced
  • Blue Cheese – Five ounces, crumbled
  • Sugared Pecans – One cup
  • Vidalia Onion Dressing
  • Toss, Serve and Enjoy!
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Icelandic Soup

One of my favorite things about Iceland was the soup at Cafe Duus. I miss it still. There were bread bowls full of piping hot creamy soups all the time. Chicken Soup and Cream of Asparagus were my favorite. While we were there, Ray wrote his own recipe. It was pretty simple. It’s still good, but I’ve come up with my own version. Maybe instead of Icelandic Soup, I should call is Trash Can Soup. It might be more appropriate.

I thought I’d share it with you… I’m no pioneer woman and I didn’t bother to edit any of these pictures…
Start with a stick of butter.

 Then chop water veggies you love in your soup or are starting to wilt in your crisper. That would be why I could call it trash can soup. We like celery.


 Red or sweet bell pepper. I don’t think I would use a green one.

 Of course, onion.

A course chop works nicely. I’m Gordon Ramsey’s worse nightmare. It won’t matter later that they aren’t perfectly the same size.
Season with salt.

 Course chop some chicken too. I happened to have about 5 breasts that I needed to use up.

 Then some tomato paste… some canned diced tomatoes. The tomato paste was part of Ray’s original. The diced tomatoes are not. I like them. I guess I’m saying they are optional.

Oh…don’t forget to throw in some chopped garlic…to taste. This is not a precise recipe.
Then tarragon, at least a teaspoon. I know it’s alot but it helps with that touch of Iceland.
Put in the big box of broth. I know, it’s alot of soup you can freeze it but you won’t have to because you’ll want to finish it. 
These pictures are making me crazy. Now I know why Bria says that all the time. I swear I don’t know how professional bloggers do it. Add some wine. I happened to have a white. Sometimes a good sherry works better but whatever you have. It’s a little harder to come by here in the south. I can’t get my wine at Wal-Mart anymore. 
After it cooks on low for the better part of the day… add cream. You can add it to taste but for my big old pot, one pint is required.
Then I get my little handheld whizzer thing out. It chops and dices everything so be careful if you want bigger bites of veggies. I hit the soup a couple of times and here it is, ready for a big old bread bowl. 

This is my ultimate comfort food if I fix it in a bread bowl. I love it all winter, of course with all that butter and cream, I wait for the days that I really need it.

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