Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Easy Fall Flavors: Maple Glazed Ham, Spicy Creamed Spinach, and Pumpkin Muffins

I tried this last night for the first time, and I have to say it's really darned easy. I plan to make some adjustments to make it a little healthier, but if you have access to a working stove, you can make this in about 20-30 minutes--faster if you have a 2nd cook.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter (original recipe calls for 2. I think 1 is enough--you really just want the flavor, you don't "need" the butter, so maybe 1/2 tbsp would be plenty, or maybe just butter flavored Pam--I have to experiment.)
24-oz ham steak (I had to buy a hunk of ham and slice it--ham steak would be easier if you can find it), cut into 4 pieces
2 Tbsp maple syrup (REAL syrup only!!!)

2 bags spinach (recipe calls for 1, but I think it needs 2 and then each serving would be fewer calories)
4 oz pepper jack cheese, grated (if you can find low-fat, yay for you--you could also use monterey jack but then it won't be spicy, which may be a bonus for those of you with little geeks)
4 oz Neufch√Ętel cheese (or regular cream cheese if you don't care about fat)
salt and pepper

First, get all your ingredients ready and place them near the stove. You will be happy you did this later because it will make things easier.

Fill a large skillet with about 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add spinach and cook until the spinach wilts (2-3 minutes, possibly longer for 2 bags). You may need to add one bag at a time if you do 2 bags.

While that cooks, melt the butter in a skillet. Brown ham in the skillet (a couple minutes on each side).

Between ham-turning, drain the spinach in a colander, pressing out extra water. Return to skillet over medium heat and add both cheeses, stirring until melted whenever you aren't flipping pieces of ham. Once cheese is melted, add salt and pepper to taste, stir, cover, and keep warm.

When both sides of ham are browned, drizzle with maple syrup, turning pieces to coat. (You might have to cook the ham in batches and then return it to the skillet for this step, depending on the size of your skillet.)

Serve and enjoy!

If you're going to make this for dinner, I strongly suggest making pumpkin muffins earlier that day. If you use them to sop up the extra sauce in the ham skillet after everyone else is done eating and has left the kitchen, you will not be sorry, and no one will know.

Unless, of course, you post about it in a blog. . .

Anyhow, there are zillions of pumpkin muffin recipes, but this one is the easiest EVER. You probably already know about it, but here it is just in case.

You need:

1 box spice cake mix (if you can't find it, you can use yellow or white and just add some pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon/nutmeg/ground cloves in pinch).
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

Mix pumpkin and cake mix until well combined. Spoon into prepared muffin tin (spray it with cooking spray or use cupcake liners). Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Great for those with egg allergies!

The Big Geek and I enjoyed this. The little geek currently announces she doesn't like everything before she even tastes it, so I don't know if I trust her reaction. She does like the muffins, as does the baby geek.

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