Ham and Swiss Quiche

It’s New Year’s weekend and I have three consecutive days off. It’s also the coldest its been in years with wind chills temps of -15 so staying in seems like a great plan. That means I’m also cooking up a storm. This morning, I created a breakfast quiche that would use up more of that leftover holiday ham. Very tasty.

Ham and Swiss Quiche from Pinterest
IMG_05431 Pillsbury pie crust
½ c. onion
1 T. butter
½ lb. ham
6 oz. Swiss cheese
4 eggs
2 c. light cream
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper

Remove pie crust from fridge. Let it sit 15 minutes before unrolling. Place crust in sprayed pie pan. Pinch up corners of crust and over with parchment paper and metal beads. Cook at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Sauté onions in butter until translucent. Let cool slightly. Dice ham into small pieces. Cover crust with onions, ham, and cheese.

In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, and seasoning. Pour over mixture in crust. Sprinkle with chives.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting quiche and serving.


  • I don’t have those beads for baking pies so I improvised by placing a spoon on top of the parchment paper. It worked.
  • I used one shallot instead of a regular onion. I sautéed it in Wildtree Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil.
  • I used probably 1 ½ cups of ham. As a result, I only ended up using half the egg/milk mixture.
  • I had some leftover Gouda and Fontine cheeses from Christmas. I shredded probably 2 oz. of these cheeses and combined with 4 oz. of Swiss cheese. The result was a very cheesy quiche. You could also do a Cheddar cheese if you prefer. 
  • I messed up and bought buttermilk instead of half and half. I ended up using Skim Milk. It worked just fine. However, I was only able to get about half half the egg mixture into the quiche. I decided to cook the leftover mixture on the stove top. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able those to get that egg mixture to cook on the stove top – too runny.
  • I didn’t have any chives so I sprinkled with parsley instead.

Breakfast Bubble Pizza

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I love Bubble Pizzas. The beauty is you mix everything in a bowl and dump into a pan. Who doesn’t love less dishes? I’ve made traditional Bubble Pizza (first made for me by my Uncle Tom and Aunt Annette) and Mexican Bubble Pizza.

This morning, I was trying to use up some of our leftover Christmas ham. Jeremiah and I bought a Smithfield ham (my favorite brand – local and support my favorite charity with donations of product to feed hungry people) at Sam’s Club. The ham was the most delicious ham I’ve eaten in a long time but we had way too much left – even with my nephew whose favorite meat is all pork products didn’t finish it off. You’ll love this super easy, five ingredient breakfast casserole. Plus, it looks beautiful. It turned my day around that started with a smoke detector we couldn’t get to stop beeping and a tv that was frozen on an infomercial.

Incredible Breakfast Bake by Key Ingredient Recipes
img_0537.jpg½ c. milk
5 eggs
1 c. ham
1 package (8 oz./2 c.) cheddar cheese
1 package of Grands biscuits
Salt & pepper

Beat eggs in a large bowl and top with salt and pepper. Add milk, ham, and cheese to bowl. Cut biscuits in fourths and fold into egg mixture. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish and pour mixture into dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Casserole

Jeremiah and I had some extra ham and a half bag of hash browns. I found this breakfast dish but I think you could very easily use it as a meal you make with Christmas leftovers. Not as cheesy as your traditional cheesy hash browns but still good.

Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Casserole by Plain Chicken

IMG_02161 bag of frozen hash browns
1 lb. diced ham
2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
1 – 16 oz. container of sour cream
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix everything but Parmesan cheese. Pour into dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook for one hour at 375 degrees.


  • I halved the recipe and baked in a smaller baking dish for the same time.
  • I added a little salt and pepper.
  • I think you could easily add some onion or garlic salt to this recipe.
  • You could use Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream. I think you could also skip the Parmesan cheese and still enjoy this recipe with less fat.

Breakfast Sliders

Last Christmas, my mother-in-law made the Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders for Jeremiah and I to take on the road. At the holidays, we alternate between our parents’ homes. That means a 5 ½ hour Christmas afternoon road trip between Kansas City and Wayne. These little sandwiches were definitely tasty snack along the way. She also whipped up a Gluten-free, dairy free version for her grandson. (Just substitute with Gluten-free rolls and dairy-free fake butter.)

Recently, I ran across this slightly sweeter breakfast variation on Pinterest. I cooked up a batch for Jeremiah and I on Tuesday morning. Delicious and filled us up until lunch time. Perhaps you could cook up a batch for your family over the Christmas break.

Breakfast Sliders from Pinterest
img_01671 package of King Hawaiian rolls
1 stick of butter
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. maple syrup
6 slice of ham
6 scrambled eggs
6 slices of cheese
1-2 T. poppy seeds

Cook scrambled eggs and sit to the side. In a pan or microwave dish, melt the butter, Worcestershire sauce, and syrup together. Meanwhile, slice rolls in half. Spray a 11 x 7 pan with non-stick spray. Place the bottom halves of rolls in dish. Top with half of butter mixture. Cover with ham, cooked scrambled eggs, and cheese slice. Top with remaining bun tops and press down into pan. Brush remaining butter on top of buns and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Post Easter Recipe

Not sure what to do with that leftover Easter ham? Here is a make-ahead recipe that you can throw in the oven while you are getting ready for work.

Amish Egg BakeAmish Egg Bake from Pinterest
1 lb. cooked bacon (or ham)
1 medium, sweet onion
6 eggs, beaten
1 (30 oz.) package of hashbrowns
2 c. cheddar cheese
1 ½ c. cottage cheese
1 ¼ c. Swiss cheese

Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


  • I used about ¾ of pound of ham. I thought it was plenty.
  • I used low-fat, small curd cottage cheese.
  • I used 1 ¾ c. cheddar cheese and 1 c. Swiss cheese. I didn’t miss the ½ c. of cheese. I also used 2% cheese.
  • I used about ½ onion. When diced small enough, you can’t even taste it.
  • I had to bake it for 1 hour to fully cook the egg.

Tater Tot Muffins

I work seven days a week so it is always a present surprise to get two un-requested days off from my part-time job. When I didn’t request it, the welcomed days off allow me to cook up a few new recipes. I loved this recipe so much that I had to put the leftover immediately in the fridge to prevent me from eating too many.

Tater Tot Omelet CupsTater Tot Omelet Cups from Pinterest
36 Tater Tots
8 eggs
1/4 c. milk
Your choice of breakfast meat
Cheddar cheese

Thaw tater tots in the microwave. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and place three in tots per cup. Smash down with a fork or glass bottom. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with breakfast meat. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Pour eggs over each cup. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes and run a knife around the edge of each cup.


  • I lined each of muffin cup with a silicone muffin cup. My muffins popped right out and no messy clean-up.
  • I used mini-tots. If you do that, make sure you put four in the bottom of each muffin cup.
  • I used pre-cooked bacon and Carl Budding ham in my muffins. But you could easily use diced peppers, sausage, spinich, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, etc.
  • I used skim milk and regular eggs. Again, you can make it healthier using egg substitute or egg whites.
  • I used 2% cheese but you could probably use fat-free cheese and not have any weird melting issues.
  • I halved the recipe and only made six cups.

Turkey Leftovers

Sure, who doesn’t love a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? In my family, that means both turkey and ham. My nephew prefers ham and my grandfather won’t eat bird meat. With six people eating this feast, it leaves a lot of leftovers. My question after eatting leftover for a day or two is: what else can I make with? Below is a recipe from the December2013/January 2014 issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious that my family will be trying.

Turkey cordon bleu

Photo from Taste of Home website

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole by Kristine Blauert
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sage
2 c. cubed cooked turkey
2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. crushed butter flavored crackers (I’m using Ritz – they are Brock’s fav)

Cook macaroni (or pasta of your choice) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, mix soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and seasonsing together. Add meats and mozerella cheese. Drain pasta and add soup mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and top with crackers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


  • You can cover and freeze this casserole. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

My friend Michelle and I go way back. She was one of my first friends in Kansas City. I don’t remember what classes we had together but I know we met in graduate school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. We were both working on our Masters in Public Administration. Like me, she loves to cook and enjoys great food. When she first moved to Kansas City, Michelle nannied for people who were great friends with some of Kansas City’s best chefs. Needless to say, she introduced me to a couple of great places in town. Michelle loves Brookside so she took me to a lot of great places by UMKC – Aixois and Bella Napoli to name a few. Michelle also used to host dinner parties at her apartment where everyone would bring different dishes based on a theme like “Caribbean”. A great way to sample a lot of new recipes.

Last fall, Michelle invited me to her new house for dinner and to help handout Halloween candy. This recipe is what she made for dinner. It’s from one of her favorite food blogs – The Smitten Kitten. One of the things I love about Michelle is her willingness to try adventurous recipes. Although this recipe isn’t pretty in appearance it is quite delicious. A hearty, healthy recipe for soup made with black beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and onions.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup by Gourmet, November 1996 posted on The Smitten Kitten Blog

Photo by: blogs.babble.com

Photo by: blogs.babble.com

Three cans of black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), drained and rinsed
1 c. drained diced tomatoes
1 1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced (I would substitute jar garlic)
1 T. plus 2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 c. beef broth
1 can pumpkin
1/2 c. dry Sherry
1/2 lb. cooked ham, diced
3 to 4 T. Sherry vinegar

In a food processor, puree beans and tomatoes. In a stock pot/Dutch oven, cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onions is softened. Stir in bean mixture. Add broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until well combined. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally f0r 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Just before serving, add ham and vinegar to soup, stirring, until thoroughly heated. Makes 9 cups.

Note – We ate this with crackers and corn bread muffins. Original recipe suggest sour cream or pumpkin seeds.

Mini Ham & Cheese Frittatas

What exactly is a frittata? I always thought it was like an omelet. When I went to cook this recipe I noticed the amount of milk compared to eggs seemed off for a traditional omelet or scrambled egg recipe. I Googled it and found that the definition of frittata is “an Italian egg dish made with fried beaten eggs, resembling a Spanish omelet.”

I ran across this recipe while I was home for Christmas. If you think I have a lot of recipes, you should see my mother’s house. One of the lessons I learned over the years was to get rid of recipes you will never make. This often means tearing recipes out of cookbooks and putting them in three ring binders. I also throw away recipes that I made and don’t love enough that I think I want to make them again. My mother refuses to do this so she has LOTS of recipe books. Two of her most recent purchases include Taste of Home and Simple & Delicious cookbooks. They were very colorful and filled with lots of great recipes. This is one I made while I was home for the holidays.

Ham & CheeseMini Ham & Cheese Frittatas by Simple & Delicious
1/4 pound fully cooked cubed ham
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
4 egg whites
3 T. minced chives
2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Spray eight muffin cups of a muffin pan. Put in ham and top with cheese. Beat together all remaining ingredients. Pour over ham and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes.


  • I felt like the eggs would have been better if I had used more milk.
  • I used Egg Beaters Whites for the egg whites. Way easier and healthier for you.
  • Be sure to spray the entire cup good with cooking spray or use silicon muffin cups. My recipe stuck a little more than I would have liked it to.

Why Rachael Ray and I could be friends

When I was a kid, my mother went to work outside the home when I was in second grade. This often meant I was responsible for preparing my own afternoon snacks. Before the days of The Food Network, I used to pretend their was a video camera in my kitchen and I would talk to it about what I was making for my afternoon snack. My sister, next door neighbor Julie, and my friend Katrina can also attest to some of my microwave cooking experiments. I know, I know…it’s totally silly, right?

My original plan when I went off to college was to double major – Broadcast and Advertising. I ended up just pursing the Advertising side of the J-school.  But what I was  really good at volunteering and volunteer management (the extra curricular stuff). One of my friend suggested I pursue a career in social work. I actually looked into for a minute but decided it wasn’t want I wanted to do. With a nudge from a few other friends, I pursed opportunities which led me two terms as AmeriCorps member, mentoring and tutoring children. I loved what I did but pursed my Masters in Public Administration so I could actually get paid a decent wage for it. Although I love my career in the nonprofit sector, my heart still has a special place for that dream of one day hosting my own cooking show.

So why do I think Rachael Ray and I could be friends? In June, Rachael Ray came to Kansas City. I was super excited when I heard she was coming and bought her new burger cookbook immediately from Rainy Day Books so I could meet her (I was the 7th person to place my order). She’s my favorite celebrity chef. That weekend, I met Tony Dovolani and Chelsea Hightower (both very sweet) from Dancing with the Stars…but I was really hoping Rachael Ray would sign my book in front of me. Unfortunately, with over 1,000 attendees, she signed the books in advance.

Rachael Ray is just as cute and bubbly in person. I also loved this beautiful story she shared about how she still has a flip phone from over 12 years ago. She saves it to listen to about 20 voicemail messages her husband has sent since the day they first met. Gotta love that!

The story about how she got her big break is also amazing. Rachael was working at a few different food stores. At one, they realized the pre-cooked meals sold a lot better than the gourmet ingredients for people to cook those meals themselves. It sparked an idea,  Rachael said they figured if people would wait 30 minutes for a Domino pizza (back in those 30 minutes or less promo days), what if they could teach them how to cook a meal using their ingredients in the same amount of time. The idea was golden.  And without the funds to hire a chef, Rachael assumed the responsibility of showing people how to cook with their high end products. Pretty soon, she had a segment on their local TV station. The recipes turned into little cookbooks sold at their local grocery stores. As luck would have it Weatherman Al Roker got a copy of one of the cookbooks and gave it to his producer. When a snowstorm was scheduled to hit the northeast, Rachael got a call from Al’s producer to do The Today Show. This happened just after she was asked to cook a recipe on a NPR station. The cards aligned and producers at The Food Network took notice. And America fell in love with Rachael Ray.

So why do I think we could be friends? I’m not a culinary trained chef – just a person who loves to cook. Who knows, maybe I’ll get my big break to share a recipe in the local media. And although I don’t regret my decision to go the nonprofit PR route, a little part of me wishes I would have got the broadcast degree. As I learn more about telling people’s stories working with clients, I think I would have been a pretty good producer.

Today, I am sharing one of the recipes from Rachael Ray’s newest cookbook. I personally think it is her best one yet so I hope you go out and pick-up a copy. It even is filled with QR codes to link to more recipes and videos.

Tips by Rachael Ray that I love:

  • Bake bacon. Rachael suggest bacon on a wire rack so the grease drips off. Plus, you don’t splatter all over your kitchen.
  • Make your burgers thick on the outside than the middle. They will even out when cooking and also cook more evenly.
  • Take a pound of meat and flatten it into a square. Score it and divide into four sections. This way your burgers are all the same size without having to steal from a burger that is already complete.

Meat Lover’s Burger by Rachael Ray
2 plum tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 sprinkle of dried oregano
Kosher salt and pepper
EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) for drizzling
1/4 lb. bacon, finely diced
1 lb. ground beef
2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
A handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 oz. salami pieces
1/4 lb. ham
4 slices of provolone cheese
4 crusty rolls
A handful of basil leaves, torn
A handful of arugula leaves
Thinly sliced red onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange sliced tomatoes on a cookie sheet. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with EVOO. Bake for 40 minutes. Mix meat, garlic, and parsley together. From into four patties. Cook in a skillet with EVOO. When finished, top with cheese and melt for a minute. Serve on a bun with tomato, onion, and fresh greens.