Thanksgiving Potluck


Last week, a coworker and I decided we wanted to have a potluck in honor of the thanksgiving holiday. Somehow, I immediately became responsible for the ham. I have not made very many hams in my day, but I was definitely up for the challenge! As usual, I took to the wonderful World Wide Web to find some recipe ideas. With in minutes, I came across a that not only sounded delicious, but was incredibly simple, AND…… was made in the slow cooker!!


1 bone-in spiral ham, about 10lbs
1 can pineapple tidbits, with juice
2 cups light brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
Cooking spray


Spray bottom and sides of the slow cooker.

Evenly spread 2 cups brown sugar on the bottom. Lay the entire ham on top (My ham was slightly larger, so I ended up having to cut part of my ham off in order to fit in my 6 quart slow cooker).

Pour pineapple, including juice, over the ham.

Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over ham.

Cover with lid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

**Recipe credit: The Crockin’ Girls

The ham was absolutely delicious, and all of my coworker were in agreement! I would definitely make this again. Possibly even at our Christmas potluck!


My potluck contributions did not end there! For reasons yet to be determined, I felt like Super Woman yesterday, and decided to also make a 10lb turkey as well as a Thanksgiving Potluck party favor for each of my coworkers!!! I just might be nuts!

Nothing special to report about the turkey. I just sprayed it with cooking spray to help the skin brown nicely as well as seasoned with salt and pepper. I did reserve all the “extras” to make some stock for gravy to serve along with the turkey. Where the gravy recipe called for water, I substituted the stock I made. A delicious substitute!

On to my favorite part……THE FAVORS!


I do not know exactly what these bite-size treats are called, but I can promise you they are delicious and easy to make!

You only need 4 ingredients:

Waffle-shaped pretzels (I used Snyder’s brand. I had to represent my hometown.)
Hershey kisses and/or hugs*
Reese’s pieces
Orange-colored sugar crystals


Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Lay pretzels flat on top of foil. Unwrap kisses/hugs and place 1 on top of each pretzel. Please note: If you are going to both hugs and kisses, you will want to prepare them on separate baking sheets. The hugs melt much faster, and therefore do not need to bake as long.

Bake pretzels with kisses about 5-7 minutes. Just until they are soft enough to push a Reese’s pieces into the center of each. The pretzels with the hugs will bake about 3-5 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Keeping them on the baking sheet, put them in the refrigerator to cool and allow the chocolate to harden.



Now as for the way in which I packaged them. I searched on Pinterest for some free Thanksgiving printables, and came across this site — Dimple Prints. This site provides you with 125 pages of Thanksgiving-themed DIY party decorations. I only printed off the full page designs and cut them to size. I then stapled them over the plastic bag. I also printed the circular badges, and stuck one to each favor with double-sided tape.

These are so delicious, and can be made to suit any holiday. Last year, I made them using red and green M&M’s, and will likely do so again this year!

Hope you and your coworkers find that these recipes are just as tasty as me and my coworkers did!



Weekly Ingredient: Chicken Breast

Tonight’s recipe was influenced by the first weekly ingredient I chose: boneless, skinless chicken breast. It is so versatile, and you can pretty much flavor it with your favorite favors. I have marinaded, baked, grilled, and sautéed chicken breast many times, but it can easily get boring!

So, before I left for work this morning, I laid out 4 chicken breasts to defrost. Although, I still had no idea what I was going to do with them. I just knew I wanted to make something I had not previously made.

After some thought in between patients this morning, the idea of chicken cordon bleu popped into my head. I’m not really sure what made me think of it. In times past, I had always bought the pre-made, frozen version at the grocery store. For some reason, it just seemed like a lot of prep work went into making chicken cordon bleu, but in reality, no more prep time than needed for most other recipes. So, below is my version!

Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu


4 large, thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices deli ham (I used Hillshire Farm brand, low sodium, thin slices)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 paprika
Cooking spray


Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pepper, salt, and paprika. In another bowl, lightly beat egg. Set aside.

On the thick side of the chicken breast, with a knife, make a pocket (My pockets were about 2 inches long by 2 inches wide). Be sure not to cut all the way through the other side of the chicken. Continue with the other chicken breasts.

After all the pockets are made, begin to fill. First, I put in 2 pieces of ham and about 2 tablespoons of cheese. Using a toothpick, puncture the chicken to seal and keep the cheese and ham inside. Once sealed, coat stuffed chicken breast in egg, then bread crumb mixture. Place in greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden (Prior to baking, I also sprayed the tops of the chicken with cooking spray to help the bread crumbs brown, since I omitted the butter from the original recipe).

**Recipe inspiration: The Girl Who Ate Everything



As in the original recipe I found, I made a Dijon-parmesan sauce to go on top.

Dijon-Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients: (NOTE: This made quite a bit of sauce. I think I could have probably halved the recipe and had enough for 4 people.)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup chicken stock (possibly more if the sauce is too thick, I ended up using about 1/2 cup total)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: When the chicken is almost done, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Cook the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken stock and salt. Whisk mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes.

Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking. If your sauce is too thick, whisk in some more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, simmer longer.

Additionally, I made a zucchini and squash gratin. Both of the vegetables were on sale at my grocery store. I could not resist buying them at such a great price!


Zucchini-Yellow Squash Gratin


2 large zucchini, shredded in food processor
2 large yellow squash, shredded in food processor
1 cup shredded cheese (any combination you like, I used 1/2 cup Swiss cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar-jack cheese), plus extra to top
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place shredded zucchini and squash on a clean kitchen towel. Spread evenly over the towel, roll-up and wring the towel over the kitchen sink to extract as much liquid as possible from the zucchini.

In a small bowl, place the cheese, flour, salt, and pepper and toss to coat the cheese with the flour.

Add the dry zucchini to a large bowl, toss in cheese and flour mixture. Stir to combine.

Spread the mixture into greased 8×8-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese over the zucchini mixture

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let rest five minutes and serve.

**Recipe credit: RV Goddess


My family really liked these dishes, and I hope yours does too!