The days are getting shorter. It’s dark when we wake up, and its dusk when I get home. I can no longer walk around without wearing my hoodie. Oh, and it snowed on Saturday. So much so friends had no power, and work had no internet. Ugh.
Time for some more comfort food. Time for some creamy, cheesy casserole!
This weekend and the beginning of the week were rough. We had a good time visiting Rachel’s sister, husband, and two girls out in the Pittsburgh area. Seeing our 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old nieces and visiting with family was great, but the 7 hour drive was not. Someone really needs to invent teleporters Preferably without the icky sci-fi side effects like turning into a fly or ending up with your head on backwards (why didn’t anyone ever tell me my butt was so big?!?)
Returning home we found our town, and much of the state, looking like a war zone. Heavy, wet snow had toppled trees and branches. Many people didn’t have power or heat, though we lucked out and had both and no damage.
Rachel had no work Monday as a result, and while I did, it was only to spend the morning using my smartphone to catch up on food blogs - the storm knocked out our work internet, which is a really bad thing when you work at an internet marketing agency.
By the time the day was over, we needed comfort food!
Enter Creamy Ham Casserole. Ah, the darkness parts and light shines down as the warm casserole exits the oven and is scooped onto our eager plates. (Too over the top?)
Nothing says comfort food like a good creamy casserole. Rachel suggested it, and I loved the idea right away (I love this woman!). We immediately took to the internet, browsing through the websites of our foodie friends. I came across this Creamy Ham Casserole recipe on The Novice Chef, and just like us, Jessica made it when she was in need of some good comfort food. And to quote Jessica, “in case you didn’t know, casserole = comfort.”
This casserole has everything going for it. The cheese and mushroom soup blend into a perfect creaminess, while the fresh vegetables are cooked just long enough to still have that satisfying crunch. We made the full recipe and froze half, leaving us just enough left overs for lunch the next day while saving the rest for a future meal. This was a Taste Test Thursday win, so we are pleased to share it with you today. Enjoy, and please check out Jessica’s site for more deliciousness!
Recipe: Creamy Ham Casserole
- 4 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup fat free milk
- 1 10oz can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups (8 oz) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (6 oz) tub light cream cheese with chives and onions, softened
- 2 cups chopped lean ham (we used a half pound of thick sliced deli ham)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (we used Panko)
- Cook noodles in 2 quarts boiling water for 2 minutes. Add broccoli and carrots and cook 3 minutes more. Drain immediately. You do not want to over cook your noodles, otherwise you will end up with a soggy casserole.
- Combine milk, soup, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese in a large bowl; mix well with a whisk. Add noodle mixture and ham and stir well.
- Divide noodle mixture evenly between a 9×13 baking dish that has been coated with olive oil (or Pam). Sprinkle the bread crumbs (or Panko) evenly over casserole.At this point you can choose to freeze the casserole to eat at a later date or you may cook it immediately:
- To freeze: Wrap unbaked Casserole with heavy duty foil. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat, remove casserole from freezer and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes (this ensures your baking dish will not crack while baking from the heat). Then bake, covered, at 350 degrees, for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.
- To bake immediately: Cover casserole with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Recipe from: The Novice Chef