A great way to use up leftover meat (and other ramblings)

Geez, I am looking at the last time I wrote a post, I am being a bad blogger already!

I will blame it on being busy in the gardens, spring has officially sprung in my area, I have tulips, and daffodils, and hyacinths and many others as well.  But with spring comes spring cleaning in the gardens, and that is what I have spent most of last week doing.

Another “project” I  am working on is using up everything in my freezer.  I always buy a lot of meat when it is on sale, and my freezer was becoming a little bit of a bottomless pit.  So I made myself commit to a good solid two weeks of not buying any meat while grocery shopping, and using only what was in my freezer.  I am at the end of this two weeks now, and I am happy to say that I did not cheat!  I am down to a manageable freezer that has only frozen tomatoes from last years garden (used in place of canned tomatoes), waffles, and chicken breasts.

One of my meals involved cooking a ham that I had purchased after Christmas when they were really cheap.  now a large ham for four of us was going to be too much meat, but I figured a day or two of leftovers, then freezing the rest for later use would be good.

In my search for recipes to use up some of the meat, most of what I came across was soups.  We are not huge soup eaters around here, so I decided to make up my own recipe.

Making up a meal as you go can be a daunting task for some people, I actually enjoy it.  And I have a hubby who will eat mostly anything I put in front of him so that makes it a little easier.  I must say that the end result was delicious, all my boys loved it.  You can also use pretty much any kind of meat leftovers you are trying to use up, you may have to switch up the soup though.

Ham and Pasta Casserole

Ingredients:
chopped, cooked ham
pasta cooked al dente
garlic, minced
veggies of choice (I used asparagus and broccoli)
Cream of Cheddar soup
one soup can of milk
Spices
Cheese to grate on top (optional)

I first started by cooking my pasta and setting it aside.
Cut up your vegetables in to bite sized pieces, I used asparagus that needed to get used up as well as broccoli.  Sautee with minced garlic in a litlle bit of olive oil.

Mix your cream soup (I used cheddar) with one soup can of milk.  Add seasonings.  I used some seasoning salt, pepper and basil.  Add in your ham and pasta, and vegetables once sauteed.

Mix it all together and bake in the oven at 350* for about a half hour.  *I use a lid or I find that the pasta can get kind of dry.

At the end of the half hour I grated cheese over top and mixed it in and put it back in the oven, lid off, for another ten minutes (or until cheese is bubbly).
The cheese I used was a Jalapeno cheddar.  If you like a little hint of heat, use this!

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