Posted in - Pork, Holiday Good Eats

Honey Smoked Ham

As you know Turkey is the star of Thanksgiving as Ham is to Christmas. Instead of spending nearly $80 on an overpriced honey baked ham, fire up your smoker and cook one yourself. As some of you may know my husband & I are the kings of DIY! We tried this recipe out this year and it’s better than anything you can buy. Delicious!

Go and buy 1 – 10lb. Naturally Hickory Smoked Spiral Cut Ham (the brand we bought was a Target Market Pantry).

These hams are precooked as you know; if you notice the directions it simply says to reheat the ham in an oven for a couple of hours until it reaches an internal temp of 140 degrees. It is perfectly fine to reheat it this way, but if you want to turn the ham into something spectacular, use your smoker and this recipe.

To create the “Honey Baked” effect on the outside of the ham I use two things: a Honey glaze and a seasoned sugar rub.

Honey Glaze

  • ½ cup Orange Juice
  • ½ cup Apple Juice
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Honey

Whisk these ingredients together over Med. High heat until it reaches a low boil. Reduce the mixture for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.

The first step in the process is to baste the outside of the ham with the glaze. I use a squirt bottle but you can simply brush it on the outside with a pastry brush. This step can get a little messy, so it’s best to have the ham in a shallow dish or aluminum pan.

Now it’s ready for the Seasoned Sugar Rub. Here’s the recipe:

Seasoned Sugar Rub

  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Natural Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado Sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (cinnamon ginger nutmeg allspice)
  • ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika (Spanish will do if don’t have smoked)

Combine these ingredients in a ziplock bag. Then rub the sugar blend to the outside of the ham. Once the outside of the ham is covered with the seasoned sugar rub, it’s ready for the smoker.

Smoking Directions: To cook the ham the smoker needs to be between 275-300 degrees. We use a mild fruit wood like cherry or apple for the smoke. Since we’re essentially “double-smoking” the ham you want to stay away from stronger woods like Hickory or Oak. These will easily overpower the flavor.

Place the ham on the smoker and check it every hour. If the outside starts to look a little dry, use some of the glaze for basting. The entire cook is only going to take about 2 ½ – 3 hours.

The ham needs to reach an internal temp of 140 degrees before serving, but you don’t want it to get much hotter than that or it will dry out.

You can tell when the ham is ready because the slices will start to separate slightly and the outside will have that caramelized look. When it reaches this point, remove the ham from the smoker and loosely tent with aluminum foil.

Serving: It’s ready to serve after a short rest, but you can keep it warm for a couple hours by placing it in a dry cooler with a few old towels.

Carving a spiral sliced ham is easy. They’ve done all the work for you, just make a cut along the bone and free all the slices.

Be sure not to throw that bone away because it will flavor a pot of beans or can even be used for making pork stock.

Hope you enjoy this DYI “Honey Baked Ham”. Merry Christmas!!!

Posted in Dessert, Holiday Good Eats

Peanut Butter Blossoms 

“Cookies and cakes have been a Christmas treat for centuries. But after two Minneapolis flour millers shaped and embellished tradition, holiday baking was never the same again.” – Tom Webb Pioneer Press from his article 12 Days of Minnesota Christmas: Craving Christmas cookies? Thank Betty Crocker

Enjoy one of my favorite Christmas Cookie!

Peanut Butter Blossoms 

Make 48 cookies 

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Heat oven to 375°F.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30-60 minutes. Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove to cooling racks.

Posted in Breakfast, Holiday Good Eats

Minnesota Delights: Christmas Wild Rice Breakfast Pudding

What a great addition for your Christmas brunch! Please enjoy this special treat from my home state of Minnesota.

Wild Rice Breakfast Pudding


Adapted from (Chef Heather Hartman)

Serves 6

1 cup Wild Rice, rinsed
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened (more may be needed)
1/3‐cup maple syrup
1/4 dried cherries
1/4 dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (you can also use toasted almonds, hazelnuts, or pumpkin seeds)

In a medium sized saucepan, place 1 cup rinsed wild rice and 3 cups water, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook rice until it is tender. Hand harvested wild rice will take about 20‐30 minutes. Stir a few times during cooking. You should have about 3‐3 ½ cups cooked rice. If there is water left over, drain off excess.

Add the almond milk and maple syrup to pan, and heat on medium. Add the dried fruit and nuts. Serve with extra almond milk and maple syrup on side if preferred.

This can be made the night before, but add the fruit and nuts before serving.


You can also use a crock‐pot. Place all ingredients (rice should be cooked) except for the dried fruit and nuts in pot. Heat on low for up to 4 hours. Rice will become softer, and will absorb more of the milk, so more milk may be needed.

Add the fruit and nuts on side.


You can use leftover cooked wild rice in this recipe. Place rice and almond milk in pan, heat gently until warmed through. More almond milk may be needed.

Other additions you can add to your wild rice pudding –
-toasted coconut
‐dried blueberries
‐frozen mango chunks
‐dried banana slices

Want to go savory?
‐Bison Chorizo
‐green onions
‐scrambled eggs
‐leave in the maple syrup for a delicious sweet and savory moment!