Ham, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

Back when I was a kid, my single mom got some meal plans from the US government for cooking healthy meals on a budget.  This Ham, Cheese, & Rice Casserole recipe was one of them.

This is a great way to use the random pieces left over from a Christmas ham.

This Christmas I bought a small Smithfield Spiral-Cut Honey-Glazed Ham (~$13).  The small end of the ham, chopped into bits, made up the meat in this recipe.

Continue reading

Christmas Bread

We’ve all heard jokes about the awful fruitcake that gets re-gifted again and again, year after year.

Well, this ain’t your grandma’s fruitcake.

Sure, it has the fruitcake fruit and nuts … but Christmas Bread has a lighter bread batter that tones down the sticky sweetness of traditional fruitcake.  Try it once and it’ll quickly become an anxiously-awaited holiday treat.

This recipe was adapted from The Southern Hospitality Cookbook written by Winifred Green Cheney back in 1976 (~$4 incl. shipping, if bought used on Amazon).

Continue reading

Meatloaf Burgers Recipe

Back when I was a kid, my single mom got some meal plans from the US government for cooking healthy meals on a budget.  I’m pretty sure this Meatloaf Burgers recipe was one of them.

It’s important to understand why meatloaf was invented.  The eggs and crackers helped stretch the ground beef, a practice that was crucial during hard times.  Though beef isn’t such a luxury these days, we can still benefit from reducing the amount of red meat in our diet.

But I love these meatloaf burgers because of the taste — They’re flavorful, super-juicy burgers with all the onions and Worcestershire sauce built-in.

Continue reading

Mexican Mess / Micro Taco Recipe

I make a taco salad pasta dish I affectionately call Mexican Mess or Micro TacoI have no idea where the recipe came from.

The taco pasta is sort of like a Mexican-spiced Spaghetti with Meat Sauce … but once you add all the toppings, the similarity fades.

Stretching meat with pasta (or beans or tofu) has long been a strategy for poor folk (myself included) but it is also healthy by cutting red meat consumption.  And using whole wheat or fiber-fortified pasta makes the dish even more nutritious.

Continue reading

Career Day Tee: A Mothers’ Day Tribute

During my senior year at Agnes Scott College, the Career Center hosted a Halloween Career Costume Party.  The idea was to create a costume depicting yourself in your ideal career, with some humor and/or horror thrown in.

As an astrophysics and math major, I was tempted to dress as a mad professor with a lab coat, an Einstein-esque hairdo, and some soot from an apparent explosion.

But when I stopped to consider what my *ideal* future self would be doing, I had to drop the cliche and find a more creative way to reveal my inner dream: Continue reading