Thursday, September 24, 2009


It's time for another set of batch recipes to add to our Make-a-Menu Calendar. Are you starting to get the hang of this added dimension to your cooking? The Make-a-Menu recipes are not meant to fill in every single night of your food prep. Rather they are a way to save time and money by using what's on sale and fill in the calendar on those extra busy nights.

There's still room for pizza and hamburgers and your special recipes that your family loves. Don't forget ~ the foundation of the Make-a-Menu system is first discovering what your family's favorite meals are!

We're going to add some yummies to the list of family favorites with the following savory meals all based on ham. If these meals don't appeal to you, don't forget to check out my other Ham Plan, where you'll find another set of recipes.

Today's recipes include:
Cheesy Ham N' Mac Casserole
Ham Manicotti
Amazing Ham Pie

Of course, before you make any of these, you'll need to purchase a ham! After you serve your family the yummy ham, slice up the leftovers. You'll have plenty to dice for these recipes. If you have extras left over, freeze the ham in 2-cup portions in quart-size freezer bags.

Don't forget that ham is on sale this week at HEB. When you head out to the store, don't forget to include all the ingredients you'll need for the cooking session.


16 oz. Macaroni or rotini
14 manicotti noodles
½ onion
2 cloves garlic
½ green bell pepper (finely diced
¼ red bell pepper (finely diced
¼ cup olive oil
5 cup ham, diced
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cup milk
3-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cup shredded swiss cheese
½ cup Bisquick or baking mix
10-oz. Bag frozen chopped broccoli

Serving Day:
1 cup milk
3 eggs
½ cup dried bread crumbs mixed with 2 Tbsp. Melted butter

13”x9” casserole OR two 8”x8” casseroles
Gallon, quart, pint freezer bags
Snack baggies


Get out 2 pots and fill each with water, ½ tsp salt, and 1 tsp olive oil. Bring to boil. Boil macaroni in one and manicotti in the other. Boil until they are just tender, not finished, and not mushy. Don’t walk away or start watching your favorite tv show. DON’T OVERCOOK!!! When done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay the manicotti noodles on wax paper or foil without having them touch each other so they don’t stick.

Get out a large saucepan and heat on medium. Open the cans of cheese soup and pour in the pan. Add 2 cups of milk. Bring to a simmer. Add 2 cup shredded Swiss cheese and 2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix macaroni, 1-1/2 cups ham, and 1-1/2 cups cheese sauce. Pour into a gallon-size freezer bag. Label well, including the instructions, “thaw, pour into a greased casserole dish, bake at 350 for 20 minutes”. MMM!! Simple and yummy!

Get out a saute pan. Heat the pan, then add ¼ cup olive oil. Saute ½ cup onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 green bell pepper (finely diced), and ¼ red bell pepper (finely diced) until soft. Remove from heat then add 2 cups diced ham and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Add ¼ cup cheese sauce from Step 2.

Get out a 13”x9” casserole pan or two 8”x8” casseroles. Put ½ cup sauce on the bottom. Spread it around. Get a spoon and a manicotti noodle, and start filling the noodles with the ham mix from Step 3. Fill them up completely! Lay them flat in the casserole dish, one at a time, as you fill each one. If you have extra meat mix, just tuck it in here and there. When you’re done, cover the manicotti with sauce and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Cover well with saran wrap and foil. Freeze. Add the dish to your Make-a-Menu Calendar.

Make the Impossible Ham Pie Kit by doing the following:
*Seal 1-1/2 cups diced ham in a 1-quart freezer bag.
*Seal 1-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese in a 1-quart freezer bag.
*Seal ½ cup Bisquick or other baking mix and ½ tsp. Pepper in a snack-size bag.
*Make another Bisquick baggie, but include ¼ cup parmesan cheese and ½ tsp. Garlic powder. *Label bag as “topping”.
*Place one 10-oz. Package chopped broccoli and the bags of ham, cheese, and baking mix into a one-gallon freezer bag that you’ve labeled “Impossible Ham Pie Kit”.

Yep, that’s a lot of baggies, but it’s going to make cooking soooo easy! You might even consider setting up 2 of these bags. (Just be sure to add the ingredients to the Make-a-Menu ingredient list for this recipe.)

Print out the following recipe and place in the gallon freezer bag too!:
“Grease one pie plate. Preheat oven to 400. Dump ham, cheese, and baking mix into pie plate, mixing well. Add 3 eggs and 1 cup milk, mixing well. Mix topping ingredients with 2 tsp. Melted butter and crumble on top of pie. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.”


Have fun cooking!!!

Menu Maker Mom~
Makin' Yummies. Stuffin' Tummies.