Callie’s Ham Salad

This must be my week to try new things.  I cannot recall having ham salad before and to be honest I was a tad bit reluctant  to try it.   I love most things that include the word salad…tuna salad, potato salad, definitely chicken salad, egg salad..but ham salad?  Yes, ham salad.  Now, I know lots of people are very familiar with ham salad but not me, so forgive my innocence or what I call now…my ignorance.  Several recipes for ham salad have caught my eye, and I have kind of planned to make it, but the minute I saw this little beauty, I knew I would have to make it.   Like now.  Cannot wait.  Impulsivity reigns supreme when it comes to a recipe I see that must be made.  I may perish if I don’t make this asap.  (said in my best Southern damsel in distress voice…)  Tomorrow is another day and by God, I will make this ham salad!!!  Now,   what I love about this recipe is that it is simple and straightforward.  I like recipes that tell me how to get from a to z directly.  Shortest route here people.  No need to reinvent the wheel.  I guess because I deal with kiddo mood swings, fake illnesses, deciphering their language (mine are all at ages where nothing is as simple as it once seemed, maybe it is just me?)…so a recipe should get down to the nitty gritty pretty quickly.  If you start off and tell me that I need to cook a whole ham first before I can get a ham salad out of it…well no thank you.  I am tired, need more coffee and want ham salad.  This recipe took you straight to it.  No hoops to jump through.  This is very easy, takes few ingredients and you can double to feed a hungry bunch if you need to.  Now, this original recipe comes from a cookbook that is now at the top of my list to buy.  My birthday is coming up…hint to BD.  The cookbook is called Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions and I discovered it when I came across blog lovin and this link~ http://www.thecountrycook.net/2014/01/callies-ham-salad.html?m=1.  If you have never had ham salad, I encourage you to try this recipe.  It made a believer out of me.  we ate it in a sandwich, but some people spread it on crackers.   I will be making this one again and again.  Cajun mama is a ham salad convert…spread the word.

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Definitely on my make again list…already.  

Ham Salad

Stuff you need~

1 lb. ham (I used a ham steak that I bought at the store.  It was a little over a pound.  That is what the blogger I got this recipe from did.  But you can use leftover ham from Easter (great idea, Laura!) or any time you bake a good ole ham.

3 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 onion, chopped

2/3 cup mayo (as always…Duke’s is my fave)

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 sandwich sliced pickles, chopped (I used BD’s favorite kind Claussen that we already have in the house-picture below)

1 1/2 tsp. pickle juice

1 Tablespoon light brown sugar

kosher salt and black pepper to taste (slow your roll and give it a taste first.  I added salt without reading that part and it was a tad too salty for us.  But still amazing)

What to do with the stuff~

Now, she suggests just pulsing the ham and celery together for 20-25 pulses or so.  Again, I did not read all the way through and tossed all the ingredients in the food processor and pulsed it all.  I had left the pickles and onions pretty coarsely chopped and it turned out fine.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this but the consistency might be a tad off unless you chop the ham silly fine.  So, as I said, my way was to throw it everything into the food processor and pulse it a few times until it was combined. Lol!  I was being a hardheaded gal today (or more so than usual…) She says after you pulse the ham and celery set aside.  In a bowl, combine other ingredients.  Add the ham and celery mixture to the mayo mixture and gently stir.    Potato potato I say.  It was dang good my way so I think any way you go, you are golden!!  And that ham salad will taste so good with a glass of iced tea and some potato chips.  Ya know…if you like that sort of thing.  And I do.  I really do.  OOH she also added a few  pieces of chopped green onion (green parts) to the finished product.  I did this as well.  Mmmmmmm….

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Yes, yes, I am a believer in the powers of ham salad.  

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Big Daddy’s and Benny’s favorite pickles 

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All set to be pulsed all together into a lovely ham salad…it was good even if I didn’t do it right

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Luscious Lemon Loaf

I woke up yesterday morning with cooking on my mind.  My kiddos are on spring break, 2 of them are with their grandparents in Arkansas, one is up his daddy’s behind, and the other (my mama’s girl) has been chilling with mama.  So, frankly, I felt a little adrift. Regardless of how many kids you have, it seems like when one or two are away, things just aren’t the same.  I definitely felt their absence, though it has been nice hanging with my sweet girl and having some one on one time with her.    Anyway, I decided that I was going to cook up some stuff and this lemon loaf was one of the recipes on Pinterest that had caught my eye.  But I must say, it was originally called “white chocolate lemon bread” and frankly, it looked so yummy but the name threw me off.  Yes, I will admit I am not a white chocolate fan.  Mama likes her dark chocolate, that is all I am saying.  Always have.  And white chocolate?  Gag.  No really, gag.  But I took a risk.  I love, love, love the lemon loaf at Starbucks.  I don’t love, however, paying over 2 bucks a pop for a slice.  I mean, really?  I truly love lemon and this looked so easy, I figured what did I have to lose anyway?  Nothing.  So I went for it.  I am so very glad I did.  There is nothing white chocolate to it and this loaf tastes so close to Starbucks’ lemon loaf that it is uncanny.  Taking the risk (though with this the risk was small) was well worth it.  Don’t you love when things work out that way?  I renamed it luscious lemon loaf because even though there is white chocolate pudding mix, you cannot taste it.  This is just pure lemon delight.  And the glaze that you pour over it is simply fantabulous.  This recipe truly could not be easier and makes two loaves.  So, theoretically you can keep one and give one away.  Good luck with that.  This stuff is so good, you might consider hiding both loaves under your shirt and running like the wind.  And keeping it all for yourself.  If your family does not beat you to the punch.  It is that good.  You can see the original recipe here http://liluna.com/white-chocolate-lemon-bread.  I made it just like the recipe suggested this time, but next time I will replace the oil with applesauce and the sour cream with Greek yogurt.  I do the applesauce thing in most of my muffin recipes and it works great.  We get a little fruit boost and I can enjoy a slice or um…two…with less guilt.

Luscious Lemon 

Stuff you need~

1 box of lemon cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

2 small boxes instant white chocolate pudding mix

4 eggs

1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 Tablespoons)

1/4 cup of oil

1 cup sour cream

zest of one lemon

For the glaze:  Mix 1  1/2 cups powdered sugar, juice and zest from one lemon.  Add more lemon juice if it was too thick. I used a big lemon and had plenty.

What to do with the stuff~

Mix cake mix, pudding mix, oil and eggs in a bowl with a beater (or your standing mixer) until well combined.  Now, add sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Use a spoon to mix at this point.  Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans.  I used a regular size loaf pan and then a pan with 4 little mini loaves.  They were the cutest little things!!

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  If you go the mini loaf route, bake for about 15 minutes.  Let them cool completely.  I removed mine from the loaf pans at this point and set them on a baking sheet or plate.  Now, poke holes in the loaves and drizzle the glaze all over them.  Get ready to curse me and thank me all at once.  You will want to do both.  It’s ok.  I still love ya.  Image

Big ole zested lemon 

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awww…look at those little darlings…so tiny and cute.  I could just eat em up.  he he 

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Sweet tart lemony glaze…so pretty

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