Thursday, August 15, 2013

Baked Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches

So chances are good that if you're on Pinterest, you've seen this recipe and/or pinned it.  We had these last night, and I couldn't believe they weren't on my blog because I've made them several times, and they're completely easy and delicious.

I've always loved the">King's Hawaiian breads
, and it seems that now they're a whole lot easier to find than they were many years ago.  It used to be a big treat to find them, now pretty much every grocery store has them.  And I love them.  That was selling point number one for these sandwiches.  Although it just occurred to me that I've never looked at the ingredient list.  Sigh.  I probably should, but I'm fairly certain that means I won't want to buy them anymore.  Do you ever run into this conundrum if you try and mainly eat real food?  I suppose I could find a recipe to make my own...surely there's one out there.  But I digress...
I also love sandwiches.  I'd say who doesn't love them, but I do know of someone that doesn't.  She doesn't like mixing her food together, which I understand I guess, but man alive is she missing out!  I can see not wanting your mashed potatoes and peas to mingle together on your plate, but a sandwich is something completely different.  These sounded super easy when I first saw the recipe, and I'm always up for an easy to prepare dinner!  Especially if it's a delicious sandwich.

Baked Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches

One 12-count package">King's Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls
3 sticks butter
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 onion, somewhere between finely chopped and diced
1 pound thin sliced ham
6 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add in mustard, worcestershire, poppy seeds, and onion.  Let simmer 5-7 minutes.

Slice entire package of rolls in half horizontally, so you have 12 bottoms and 12 tops.  Keep them connected--don't break them apart into separate rolls.

Place bottom halves of rolls into a foil-lined 9x13 baking dish.  Brush 1/3 to 1/2 butter mixture on rolls.  Place ham on top, layering evenly across rolls.  Lay cheese slices in single layer on top of ham.  Place top halves of rolls over the cheese and brush remaining butter mixture on the top of the rolls.

Cover with foil.  Bake approximately 15 minutes.  Remove foil cover and bake another 5-7.  Slice into individual rolls and serve.


Obviously you can probably tell from my initial comments that these are a huge hit at my house.  My kids don't like the pieces of onion on theirs that inevitably end up on the top of the roll, so they just push them off and have a little onion pile on their plate, which is okay by me.  I'm not sure how many times I've made them, but last night I actually doubled the recipe so there'd be leftovers because we'll eat a whole batch in one meal.  But then of course today, Boy #1 wanted to buy lunch at school, and the husband had an all day meeting with lunch being served, so there's a whole pan of them just sitting in my fridge now.  Good thing it's leftover clean-up for dinner tonight!

By the way, does anyone know of a ham that is free of nitrates and nitrites?  Try as I might, I cannot find one.  I'm starting to think unless I get a fresh ham and cook it myself, it's not going to happen.  And if that's the case, I'll either stick with the nitrites or do away with ham altogether.

Who am I kidding...I would never do away with ham.

Speaking of ham...check out Boy #2 posing with the sandwiches!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori

Well, so much for my plan of keeping my blog updated over the summer.  Boy #1 started second grade last Monday, and Boy #2 starts his last year of preschool this afternoon.  I don't know how they got to be this old.  One of my friends posted a picture on Facebook of Boy #1 and one of his BFFs on the first day of school.  They've been friends since they were one, and seeing them so big and starting second grade had me in tears.  Anyway, now that school is back in the swing, and I have four afternoons a week to myself, I'm hoping to get back on the blog wagon.  The past few weeks I haven't made a whole lot of new stuff.  It's hard to find the time to come  up with meal plans that include a bunch of new recipes when I have both kids at home.

This recipe has been one of our new favorites over the summer.  The first time I made it I was watching my friend Amanda's daughters, and I wasn't sure how the kids would receive it.  I mean, it's grilled chicken, so I figured it would be okay.  Turns out I had nothing to worry about.  This is from, which is one of my favorite healthy cooking blogs.  I don't think I've ever been disappointed with a recipe I've used from her website.  I love grilling in the summer, especially if we're hanging out in our pool, but I get tired of always grilling the same stuff, so finding a new grilled chicken recipe is pretty fantastic in my book.

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Yakitori
Source: Adapted from">

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (for GF use low sodium Tamari)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, all fat trimmed
2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rings
18 (10 inch) bamboo skewers

Bring vinegar, low sodium soy sauce, honey and crushed garlic to a boil in a medium-sized sauce pan, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a ziplock bag; pour half of the marinade over the chicken. Place the zucchini in a second large ziplock bag and pour the remaining marinade over the zucchini. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the skewers in water 30 minutes so they don't burn.

Thread the chicken onto skewers, discarding the chicken marinade.

Thread the zucchini onto skewers, reserving the marinade for basting.

Preheat the grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, spray with oil then reduced heat to medium; grill the zucchini and chicken skewers about 5 to 6 minutes on each side brushing both sides of the skewers with the yakitori sauce during the last few minutes of cooking time.


I said above that when I made this for my family and my friend's daughters I didn't have to worry about them not liking it.  The kids all had seconds of the chicken.  There were no leftovers from this, which was kind of disappointing because I had hoped to have some for the husband and me for lunch the next day.  The kids didn't eat the zucchini, but the husband and I loved it.  This thick-zucchini-slices-on-bamboo-skewers was actually my go-to way to grill zucchini over the summer when we'd have it as a side dish.  So easy!  If I wasn't making this recipe I'd brush the slices with some olive oil and sprinkle with some Lawry's or Tony Chachere's and throw them on the grill with whatever protein I was cooking.

This is super easy to put together (as long as you plan ahead for marinating time), and so good.  The original recipe called for sake instead of the rice wine vinegar, but since I didn't have sake on hand I substituted the vinegar.  It also called for green onions to be on the skewers between chicken pieces and zucchini pieces, but I haven't ever done that, so I took it out of the ingredient list.

I have already made this so many times this summer, but it's so easy and my family loves it, so it's definitely going to stay one of my go-to chicken thigh recipes!