Friday, September 30, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes (au gratin) & Fruit Pizza

If you know my family, we LOVE to have people over for food!  Whether it's for a weeknight dinner, a Sunday lunch or just coffee (or ice cream, lol), we enjoy spending time with others.  Since my pastor's wife is out of town visiting her family, we decided to invite our pastor over for dinner.  Yes, we know our pastor.  One of the blessings in going to smaller church (not mega-church), is that you actually KNOW your pastor and his family.  We've actually had them over quite a lot in the 3 years they've been here.  So I've had the chance to make many different meals.  One favored (and often requested) meal is scalloped potatoes (also called potatoes au gratin).  Since I like cheese so much, I use a lot, but you can adjust your recipe to your family's personal taste.  I also use ham, but this can be a vegetarian dish if you want to just leave out the meat.  This is a great recipe for using up any leftover holiday ham pieces, or you can just purchase a ham steak.  I also am including a great recipe I found for Fruit Pizza.  A simple dessert that is very pleasing to the eyes, and taste buds alike! :)

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

6-8 medium sized russet (brown) potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 (1 lb.) ham steak or 2 c. leftover ham pieces, cubed thick or thin (according to preference)
8-16 oz. shredded cheese (cheddar or one of many blend options)
salt, pepper & garlic salt, to taste
1-2 c. milk
1 stick margarine/butter

1. Place the potatoes, cubed ham, cheese and seasonings in a large bowl.  Mix well with your hand.

2. Empty the mixture into a greased 9x13" baker or casserole dish.  Slowly pour the milk evenly over the mixture.  Take the stick of butter and cut little slabs of margarine/butter and place sporadically over the mixture.

3. Bake for about 1 hour in oven.  I use 375-400 degrees, depending on how fast/slow I want it cooked.  You may also want to cover with aluminum foil for the first 45 mins., then remove foil for the last 15 mins.

Makes about 6 servings.

Fruit Pizza

  • 1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries (halved), blueberries or raspberries, carefully rinsed
  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

  • 1. On a pizza stone, press cookie dough into a 12-in. circle. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  • 2. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust. Arrange the strawberries/raspberries/blueberries, kiwi and oranges over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour.  

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