Tag Archives: Ham

Rainy Day Split Pea Soup (and a Swanson Review)

Today was a gloomy, chilly (for summer, at least), rainy, tea-drinking, book reading, soup making kind of day.  It started off with a run (I’m up to 1.7 miles now!) and a workout, and leveled off with a nap, the reading of an entire book (A Handful of Dust) and a little craftiness you’ll see either tomorrow or the next day.  Meanwhile, split pea soup happened.

Have you met my mom?

Isn’t she pretty?  She’s also the master, the reigning queen, the commander-in-chief, and emperor over all things soup.  She has that mystical mom-ability to create something out of nothing–from “there’s no food in the entire house!” to all the children squabbling over the leftover bowls.  Especially when it comes to pea soup.

This recipe was made in the spirit of my mom’s soup making–I just used whatever I had that I thought would work.  The CSA box from this week went along perfectly with the soup theme, supplying leeks, onions, and potatoes.  Combined with thyme from the garden, dried peas in the cupboard, and a ham bone from the freezer–magic happened.  Mom magic.

Rainy Day Split Pea Soup Printable Recipe Card

  • 2 small onions (or 1 medium)
  • 2 baby leeks (or 1 regular-sized leek)
  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 ham bone (from a previously made ham)
  • 1 C yellow dried split peas
  • 1 C green dried split peas
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 4 C water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I made this in the Crock Pot, because I didn’t want to have to babysit dried split peas all day.  This was an excellent plan, an excellent plan indeed.

Start by dicing all the veggies and adding them to a lightly oiled Crock Pot, set on high (for 4 or 6 hours).  When you use leeks, make sure to clean them extra well–they are known to be gritty in between the leaves.  If they’re extra bad, you can submerge them in a bowl of water and let the dirt fall to the bottom.

Add the spices, then the ham bone.  Sorry about the grisly image–kind of difficult to make it look attractive.  Top off with split peas, broth, and lastly with water.  I used four cups to make sure everything was covered with water, and it ended up making the soup the perfect consistency.  You can start with less and add more if you need it later, of course.

Allow the soup to cook until the peas fall apart.  Remove the ham bone and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

I’ve made pea soup several times before, but this is by far the best one.  You just can’t replace that deep and amazing flavor from the ham bone by using bacon–you just can’t.  Often I will add chunks of ham to the soup as well, but I didn’t have any and I must say I didn’t really miss them at all.

Fritz, who is often not a fan of split pea soup, approved heartily. 

On another exciting note, I received a box full of goodies from Swanson Health Products today!  They sent me a $25 coupon to use on anything from their website to review–and hey, I’m a poor college student and I love treating myself to some free food–especially if it’s not my standard fare.

So here’s what I picked:

  1. Pure Raw Buckwheat Honey from Y. S. Organic Bee Farm,
  2. Mayan Cocoa Spice Tea from Yogi Tea,
  3. Almond Flour from NOW Foods,
  4. Organic Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour from Bob’s Red Mill,
  5. Organic Popcorn from Arrowhead Mill, and
  6. Organic Kamut Spirals from Eden Foods

Quite a bit of stuff, which including shipping totaled $25.48.  Not bad, if I do say so myself (especially since you can search for coupon codes to help get the shipping costs down).

Now, I have to say that Swanson sells a lot of vitamins and supplements, and I don’t personally believe in taking those unless it’s medically necessary.  I have iron pills that I take when I know I’m probably anemic, and Fritz takes a multi-vitamin most days, but I generally think you should strive to get all of your nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from your diet as much as possible.  Most of those “miracle pills” and “superfood supplements” just aren’t my thing.

But back to the box.  First we tried the raw buckwheat honey, which was amazing. I’ve never had raw honey before (which, by the way, is antibacterial on superficial burns and such), but this jar tastes so smooth and rich.  Fritz wanted some on toast right away, and I obviously had to do a little quality control test first.

Then I headed straight for the cocoa spice tea.  What with all the rain and blankets and book reading, it was a perfect day to try a new tea–and it was really good.  I didn’t taste that much cocoa, but the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves was perfect–and made me crave fall sooo badly.  I brewed it a little on the weak side, so I’ll try it a bit stronger tomorrow and see if I get a little more cocoa this time.

And the smell?

Heavenly.

The tea gave me a nice little message to leave you with:

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Filed under Review, Soups/Stews

Greens, Egg, and Ham Salad

Catchy title, huh?  I thought of it on my drive home from the gym as I was contemplating what I was going to immediately make for dinner.  Because I’m one of those people who thinks about what they are going to eat the second they wake up, throughout class, at the gym, in the shower, etc.  I really just love food.  And planning food.  But mostly eating it.

My workout today was great–recently, the gym I go to got some new giant StairMasters and a Jacob’s Ladder, both of which are new and fun ways for me to get some more cardio in.  I had realized lately that I wasn’t getting quite enough of that heart-rate increasing, quad and hamstring burning cardio, so it was perfect timing for some new equipment.  I also warmed up today by running a mile and sprinting the last 0.15 of it, and it was surprisingly easy!  Seems like my workouts lately have paid off.

Also, I’m starting to get triceps!  Real ones!  I was driving the other day and I rubbed an itch on my arm–surprise!  Triceps!  Usually I have to try really hard to notice them even when I’m flexing, so it was nice to find them just hangin’ out while I’m all relaxed.

How dorky is it that I’m so excited by this?  I’m not sure how apparent it is to people just looking at me, but that doesn’t really matter in the greater scheme of things, does it?

Anyway, back to the salad.  I knew I had some greens hangin’ around, but I was craving protein, so I decided to be all foodie-trendy and add a fried egg to the top.  The nicest part?  With the addition of warm ham and eggs, the spinach wilted a bit–and no dressing needed, since I like my eggs runny.

Greens, Egg, and Ham Salad

  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 C diced ham (I had some in the freezer that I just reheated in the microwave)
  • 1 fried egg, cooked to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste (that means lots of black pepper for me!)

I don’t think I need to go into detail on how to actually put together this salad.

Baby spinach:

Topped with warm ham:

And a fried egg with S&P:

I also popped it in the microwave for ten seconds to encourage the wilting of the spinach.  Cheating, I know, but part of food blogging means all your food gets cold while you are taking photos, and the spinach isn’t likely to wilt on its own.  Gotta give it a little help.

This was so good!  I gave Fritz a taste, and he also really liked it!  It helped that the ham was really savory, but the runny egg on the top was the piece de resistance.  Now I understand why all the food magazines I’ve seen lately are all over this.  Definitely an easy way to bulk up a boring and really simple salad!

We ate outside because at 7:00 or so when it was all ready, the weather was that perfect slightly-dim-outside just-cooling-down perfection that is summer nights.  Anytime we’re outside on the deck, Henry stands on the table and meows sadly because he’s been left out–even if we’re just outside for a few seconds to grill.

Probably the most adorable thing ever.  Those pictures are from two different days–the one on the left is from when Fritz grilled turkey burgers with pineapple (delicious, by the way) and on the right from today.

One more summer update–we switched from the warm, bulky, winter comforter to the light, bright, summer comforter!  Doesn’t it look so peaceful and refreshing?  I love the bright colors and busy patterns of our other Anthropologie comforter, but sometimes it’s nice to switch over the clean and white.  It just looks so calming and fresh.

Tomorrow we are going to visit some of our favorite people, Zev and Breanna, before they move far, far away!  So sad to see good friends leave, but they are moving on to a new and exciting chapter of their lives (involving lots of graduate school), so we are happy for them.  Anytime I see people move, I get a little jealous because I love that exciting transitional period of finding yourselves in a new place.

It also might have to do with the fact that they will be much closer to my mom and dad than we are.  But that’s all the more reason to visit later!

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Filed under Salads

Happy Easter! Baked Ham

Happy Easter!

Hopefully you scored one of these this morning:

That’s right–my parents still give me an Easter basket.  I actually got it yesterday, and to my everlasting joy and surprise my “basket” was actually a colander that I admired earlier in the week.  How parents manage to do those things, I’ll never know.

Well, hopefully I’ll know someday.  But I have a few years to study their talents before I have to worry about it.

My Easter basket got put to use immediately–and it’s even cuter holding grapes than fake grass and eggs.

To continue the Easter celebration, I decided to make a traditional baked ham.  Nothing like the smell of baking ham with maple. cloves, and orange to celebrate what feels like the first real day of spring (it was sunny and warm outside all day!).

I learned two things today–1) buy a shank cut of ham, it’s easier to cut later and 2) “water added” ham contains less water (ie. more flavor) than a “water and ham product”.

Easter Baked Ham

  • 1 ready-to-cook ham (between 6-10 pounds)–it can be smoked or not, and spiral cut or not–your choice

The Glaze

  • 1/8 C brown sugar
  • 1/8 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • zest and juice of a small orange (I used a mandarin orange)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Place the ham flat side down (or fat side up) in a baking dish and add 1/4 C water to the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven on the middle to low rack.

Bake until the ham reaches 100 degrees in the middle (about 20 minutes per pound).  While it’s baking, put together the glaze by mixing the above ingredients.

Once the ham is ready, remove from the oven and turn up the heat to 350 degrees.  Cut off the skin (if there is any) and score the fat underneath in a diamond pattern.  Spread the glaze over the top and return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the ham.  Every ten minutes, baste the ham again with the glaze.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and let the ham rest for about 20 minutes, until the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees.

Serve right away!  We ate it with roasted asparagus and curried millet.  Quite a feast(er) dinner.

The orange is really perfect in this recipe–not too strong and not unnoticeable.  We also have enough ham to last us about 200 years (most of it is now in the freezer).

In the 10 minutes it took to write this post, the weather went from bright and sunny to dark and ominous–looks like it might storm!  Perfect timing since we want to see Water for Elephants tonight. 

What did you have for Easter dinner?

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Filed under Entrees