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Important holiday dinners like Easter are occasions when you DEFINITELY don’t want to run out of your favorite foods. And for many of us, that means ham. Whatever your favorite brand and however you enjoy preparing it, chances are you’re going to end up (either by plan or chance) with more ham than a couple of sandwiches might suit.

For me, pretty much by habit, I always have an exit strategy for the usual holiday meals like turkey, ham and roast beef. It helps going in because you might want to have certain recipe ingredients on hand, so you can get right to rescuing these expensive treasures the next day. Another thing I find helpful is creating something much different from its original incarnation. In the case of ham, I look forward to coming home to enjoy my new recipes just as much as I did the meal they were originally purchased for.

Here are a few recipes that are really different from the original:
Ham, Cheese & Mac “Enchiladas”
Ham & Mushroom Biscuits with Cheesy Alfredo Sauce
Southwest Ham & Bean Salad with Colorful Peppers

and here are some of  my personal favorites:

Black Bean Soup with Smoked Ham and my Black Bean Cakes with Smoked Chicken (you can substitute ham instead of chicken).

Here are some of my favorites which are really easy and quick to make:

• Roll up julienned ham and shredded cheddar cheese in Pillsbury Croissant dough triangles. They’re a great snack or breakfast treat!

• Speaking of breakfast, using a microwave silicone baking cup, it’s easy to make a quick Mexican-Style Fritatta of 2 beaten eggs and 1/4 cup chopped ham, adding some chopped onions, peppers and tomatoes. Microwave until the egg is firm, and serve with zesty tomato salsa.

• For another very quick and wickedly delicious appetizer or entrée, purchase Nino’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip, and then add nearly equal amounts of both julienned ham and shredded Pepper jack cheese. Roll 1/4 cup of this mixture in a 6” soft flour tortilla and microwave for about 30 seconds. WOW!

• One of my least-expensive ideas uses Michigan’s own Jiffy Mix. Prepare the corn muffin recipe per directions and add almost equal amounts of chopped ham. After baking, top with a sauce made from 1 can of cream of corn and a sauté of colorful bell peppers, onion and diced tomato.

• Ham is also a great addition to a number of Nino’s prepared salads, including our prepared White Bean Salad and Black Bean and Corn Salad. I also enjoy using ham in a 1-to-1 ratio with our Mustard Potato Salad.

three salads_resized

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