Follower Friday: Ham Pastries & Pumpkin Pie Cake

(Sorry for missing a few posts and for posting a FF on a Tuesday but I didn't want Nickie's yummy recipe to have to wait another day.  Blogger and I kept having problems.  But I think I've figured it out so we're back on schedule starting tomorrow. Continue to check for new recipes on MWF!  And, have you seen the NEW buttons on the side - compliments to Caley.  A new button to help share the food love and a button if you've been featured on this blog.  Grab it!  You know you want to brag to your friends.)

I was a special education teacher for preschoolers for one year.  Did you know that?  It was quite a roller coaster ride.  And Nickie was a first year teacher to that district as well.  That alone sealed the deal for our friendship.  We relied on each other (along with 5-6 other newbies) to survive through that year.  She continued on after I had my first baby.  And I'm amazed at what an incredible and hard working teacher she is.  I hope to one day be the teacher she is now!  Enjoy her recipe.

Fall is in the air and while I wish I could say I am most excited about pumpkins, scarecrows, and everything fall-themed, mostly I just can’t stop craving some down home Midwestern comfort food.  Born and raised in South Dakota, my fall and winter diet consisted of various hot dishes” and casseroles that always seemed to hit the spot (and also tip the scale).  With my little family battling the “post-baby bulge” hardcore, I’ve included a few dishes that satisfy my comfort food craving without adding to the waistline—and in no way resemble something that could be mistaken for a “hot dish”…!

Ham Pastries:
Items Needed:
2 pkgs of crescent rolls*
1 pkg cream cheese softened*
2 T. softened butter spread*
2 T. milk*
1-3 T dry onion soup flakes
¾ C. cubed/chopped ham
(*I use the fat-free or reduced fat versions of these items.  It’s even more delicious when you use the full-fat version, if your metabolism allows…!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cream cheese, butter spread, and onion soup flakes.  (Depending on how much you like the onion soup flavor, you may want to add anywhere from 1 T to 3T, depending on taste!) Beat until smooth.  Fold in ham.  Set aside.

On a non-stick baking/cooking sheet or tray, prep dough by taking two triangles of the dough and pinching them together to make a rectangular shape.  

On one side of the rectangle, place a scoop of cream cheese mixture.

Next comes the tricky part… not eating all the crescent roll dough.  Ha!  Just kidding (but not really). Fold over the empty side of the rectangle over the cream cheese mixture to create a little square-ish pocket. With a fork, press along the three outer edges to prevent the cream cheese mixture from oozing out when baking.  (I swear, no matter diligent you are in doing this, some of the cream cheese mixture will escape.) It’s also tough to make them perfect-looking so just do the best you can!

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the dough begins to turn golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before you eat—the cream cheese mixture inside is HOT!
(While the pastries are cooking, I usually use some of the remaining onion soup flakes to season some green beans for a tasty little side.  On this particular day, I steamed some green beans and mixed them with a little butter spread and dry onion soup flakes.  I then topped them off with some pepper, parmesan, sliced almonds, and bacon crumbles.  Looks fancy, tastes great—and very little effort!)


AND FOR DESSERT: Pumpkin Pie Cake!

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin (29 oz.)
1 can evaporated milk*
1 container whipped cream*
1 dry yellow cake mix
1 cube melted butter*
(optional low-fat or fat-free ingredient)

Mix all ingredients together EXCEPT crumb topping ingredients and whipped cream. Pour mixture into 9x13" pan. (Note:  I made a half recipe in my pics shown below—great for a smaller family.  Or a midnight snack. Don’t judge…)
Next, in a separate bowl, prepare crumb topping by mixing dry cake mix and (cooled) melted butter.  Sprinkle crumb topping over mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 mins or until crumb mixture begins to turn golden brown..

Once cooled completely, frost cake with whipped cream. Best when served with hot cocoa and other fall favorites—


YUM! Thanks Nickie.

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