Friday’s Recipe and a Contest!

I’m a pretty unadventurous baker/cook/diner. I like normal dishes with normal-sounding ingredients. (Which doesn’t exclude Chinese, Thai, Mexican and Italian cooking. It’s just that even in those recipes, I like ingredients that I can pronounce and find and identify.) Like today’s recipe – plain and simple ingredients for a nicely baked casserole. I still remember making a salad with Jicama in it (about 15 years ago, before Jicama was considered a normal ingredient). I asked the produce manager where the Jicama might be. (pronounced J, as in jeepers and jingle and Julia.) He politely pointed and said that the Jicama (pronounced H, as in hello, and hanky, and Harold) was over in the corner. ย Like I said, I like ingredients that I can find and pronounce.

Today’s recipe is a new one that I tried when we were on Spring Break. It received a thumbs up from my family, so I hope you and your family like it, too!

chicken-and-ham-bakeChicken and Ham Bake

1 pck. cornbread stuffing mix (6 oz)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/2 lb. deli ham, sliced into thin strips
1 cup Swiss cheese
2 cups Cheddar Cheese

Layer chicken in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix one can of soup with 1 cup of milk and pour over the top. Layer on the ham , swiss cheese, and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Mix the other can of soup with 1 cup of milk and pour over the ham and swiss.

Prepare the stuffing mix according to package directions. Layer this on top and sprinkle 1 cup of Cheddar Cheese on top.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer (or until cheese melts).

This month’s blog contest question is easy – what’s the most unusual ingredient you have ever eaten or cooked/baked with? (And if it’s not all that unusual, that’s just fine. I can relate.) Leave your answer in the comments below and I’ll draw the winners next week. The prize? A special edition color of Wollmeise.

Note regarding in-person shopping hours next week (4/19-23): While the website is always open, 24/7/365, we will be closed to IN-person shoppers here all next week. We have Spring Flingers coming in and they’re all we can handle at one time! (And our Fire Marshall agrees….)

Sheri headingtoaweddinginIndianathisweekend.Hopetheweathercooperates!


  1. Well I am a very picky eater, but growing up on a farm exposed me to some weird foods. I must say the weirdest was cinnamon sugar crickets.

  2. A few of the weirdest things I’ve eaten: bbqed grasshoppers, cow organs (kidney, heart), lamb organs wrapped in a fatty membrane that surrounds its heart. I’m willing to try most things once. =)

  3. The I have cooked a great deal of food as well as eaten many odd things. I think for me the weirdest thing I have cooked would be Shark and Cow Tongue. Shark taste like chicken when you fry it. Now cow tongue I was being nice and make it for a a grand parents. Don’t know what that taste like because I drew the line at eating that. It was bump and smelled gross. Try finding that at a store. Shark is a little easier to find but if you live on the coast I recommend catching your own . It’s makes it worth trying then.

  4. I must not be a very adventurous cook! or I can’t think of anything wild … the answer for me is lion’s mane mushrooms … they look like “marshmellows gone bad” as someone memorably described them. but very mild and tasty.

  5. Octopus. My husband loves it and it can be purchased, cleaned, at the local Asian grocery. It’s ok as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Pounded silver leaf on indian food. it doesn’t harm you to eat it, and it is to make the food fancy looking.

  7. I recently made a tomato-based pasta sauce that was pretty ordinary, except for the fact that it called for prunes! It was delicious.

  8. The strangest thing I have ever eaten was maybe sea cucumber, but I didn’t cook it. I have cooked dishes with insects, though. (However, I am an entomologist, so eating wierd insects goes along with the job)

  9. I regularly each “weird” food as I am Chinese-Canadian and I like most well-prepared foods that taste good. One thing I found “weird” and unpleasant was a meal I had as a teenager. My family was invited to dinner at someone’s house. These folks set up a lovely meal in the dining room with all kinds of wonderful Chinese dishes from steamed fish and other seafood for the adults. The “children” had to eat in the kitchen and we had spaghetti. The woman used those frozen vegetables -cubed carrots, peas and corn- and I am convinced the sauce was largely ketchup. The food was neither hot nor warm, but it wasn’t cold either. I have never forgotten this meal and I still resent this woman very much.

  10. Not so unusual…but Matzah in everything for a week…matzah with eggs for breakfast and matzah lasagne for dinner…and don’t forget the matzah refridgerator cake(with melted chocolate) for dessert… doesn’t taste bad going in, but feels like a lead balloon in your stomach!

  11. The most unusual was probably the little snacky cockroaches, but they were a bit salty and I liked the crickets and grasshoppers better.

  12. As a child in Tanzania, we ate flying ants which were deep fried, wings removed first. They proved to be nutty and crunchy in taste and texture.

  13. After my first son was born we went to visit the inlaws. They hunt and fish alot. When we arrived there was a crockpot dinner waiting for us. It smelled SO good. and I was starving! The hubby’s step mom gave me a little bowl and a big bowl. The big bowl for food and the little bowl for what looked like BB’s. The meat was squirrel. That was weird and unusual for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. “Thousand Year Old Eggs” My friend is Chinese and while these USED to be eggs that were buried in the ground and covered with lye (and I don’t want to know for how long), they are now made using some kind of chemical and are still just as gross looking and tasting as they sound. They are a delicacy and my friend LOVES them but I can’t get past the “bruised” look or the smell. I will take the plain hard boiled chicken eggs with all the colors on the outside provided by the Easter Bunny – THANKS!

  15. Being of Lithuanian heritage, I can remember my grandmother preparing pigs’ feet for my grandfather. I remember sitting down with him at 8 or 9 years of age and having pigs’ feet for dinner on a dare from my cousin! I particularly remember the hooves! They were boiled and herbed up. Would I try one now — not a chance!!!! LOL

  16. Most unusual food has to be the “thousand year egg” that I got one time a few years ago at a Asian food store. Parts were gelled and black inside! The store clerk recommended dicing it and eating it with diced tomatoes, which I did – once. Haven’t repeated the purchase but I enjoyed the adventure!

  17. I have lived overseas and done missions work, so I have eaten a few unusual things: dog, horse, fermented mare’s milk (yes, I was in Mongolia). Reindeer tongue, moose, crawdads, lots of mutton, including the fat off a sheep’s tail area. Yuck.
    But if I win Wollmeise, then it’s all worth it. Oh, and my heavenly reward, of course!

  18. The weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten is probably goat meat. I was in Haiti at the time.

    I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with any strange ingredients. I’ve made some strange sounding combinations, like bean brownies but all ingredients were normal!

  19. I don’t get out much so nothing too weird for me I’m afraid. but as a young boy, my brother fed me ground up chalk & told me it was powdered milk. had a very “chalky” taste but wasn’t half bad actually. I was only 6 at the time. joey

  20. Raw Oyster Happy Hour: 3 dozen raw oysters on the half shell with a couple of microbrews. Not really that weird, but some people might think so.

    Also have made elder flower tea and fir needle tea. Both good!

  21. I have tried many different spices. Saffron is the most expensive and Basil, Oregan, and thyme are my fav. Guess you can’t tell i like spagetti based food.

  22. Can’t believe the respones you got. I am very picky when trying new foods and about the most adventurous I ever got was to eat alligator. Just like chicken!

    Joy S

  23. My husband was in the peace corps in central Africa and we cooked elephant nose for hours but it was just too tough to eat – one piece kept you busy all day! When he retuned home he never wanted to see tomato paste again because it was a daily food over there. So I concealed it in several recipes and he loved the tomato paste chocolate cake!

  24. yew aril! it’s not that unusual, but people usually avoid them because the seeds are so poisonous!

  25. We eat lots of different kinds of food. We also do medieval re enactment(SCA). So I’ve made and eaten a lot of things that some people may consider odd.
    One of our family favorites is a dish called Crawfish Monica, and yes, we all eat crawfish, including the kids, and they have since before they were old enough to peel their own. I also occasionally make crawfish pie.

    I’ve made a savory cheese cake that included Gorgonzola cheese, pesto and dried tomato sauce.
    One of my favorite things in the world is fried dill pickle spears, served with a ranch, sour cream and horseradish dip, and yes I make those myself.
    We’ve made our own sushi, and it was pretty good.
    One time for an Arts and Sciences competition, a friend and I made stuffed dates. That doesn’t sound too weird until you realize that the dates were stuffed with a boiled egg mixture. It was a combination I would’ve NEVER thought of, but it was surprisingly good.
    We look for new fruits or veggies to try when we go to the market. WE’ve eaten the broccoli/cauliflower cross that looks like something from startrek. We’ve had dragon fruit, and ugli fruit and star fruit, which we can get in our local stores pretty regularly.
    But that’s about it…
    Good luck to everyone…

  26. I’ve eaten some seriously strange stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with anything really weird.

    The strangest thing I’ve eaten? hmmmm….
    Probably the peanut butter stuffed jalapeno appetizer I had at a restaurant. Sounds disgusting, right? I couldn’t eat ’em fast enough! They were pickled jalapenos, split down the middle with a creamy peanut butter/mango chutney mix piped into the split. SO tasty!

  27. Mine isn’t strange at all but I consider my greatest food discovery was a love of ginger. My mom isn’t a fan so I didn’t have much food with it growing up. When I went to college, they had a “make your own stir fry station”. I added tons of ground ginger every time and learned the greatness of fresh ground ginger once I finally had a kitchen of my own.

  28. Octopus. I had it in a salad at a Russian restaurant in Macao, of all places, and it was wonderful!

  29. When I was in fourth grade elementary school, my dear big brother brought me some really good looking candy home from his high school. It was a luscious looking fudge and he said he had been given it by one of his teachers. I took one great big bite as my Mom wondered into the room saying, “Did your brother offer you some candy?” She swept him out of the room and started giving him what for! You see his fudge had ants in it. I said I thought it was funny to have such small nuts in it!

  30. Growing up, my father and mother must have wanted us to experience what it was like to have to waste nothing, so we once had to eat sweetbreads, which I believe are the thyroid glands of cattle??? YUCKY!!!! Think brains, and you get an idea.

    Now, if you aren’t already gaggind, here is a group of weird foods that I grew up actually looking forward to–most likely because we only ate them on Christmas Eve just before we opened our gifts, and who wouldn’t want that? We had lutefisk, lefse, and–for dessert–rummegrot YUMMY!!! Lutefisk with LOTS of butter isn’t too bad–sort of like gelatin with butter!

    jc in WI, but born and raised in MN

  31. In middle school, we had to cook with insects so that we could learn “alternative sources” for protein if we were stranded in the woods. The chocolate covered grasshoppers weren’t too bad if you closed your eyes before taking a bite…

  32. The most unusual food I have eaten is Bullwinkle Burgers. We were sort of tricked into them by our host…who served them as hamburgers and then told us we were eating Moose meat. I’d never had it before and was grossed out mostly because I was only 12 at the time and that was the thing to do…be grossed out by something new.

    On our honeymoon, my husband tried rattlesnake ball soup…I could not try it, but he said they were good!

    Joy Linn, SE MI

  33. Weird food is a common thing at my house…I think the weirdest thing I have ever eaten is a duckling egg, complete with the duckling. My grandparents are from the Philippines, and this is called Balut. My grandmother was always trying to get us to be more adventurous eaters…and now she has snagged my kids in the weird food game!

  34. The strangest thing I’ve ever eaten was homemade pasta that was made with SQUID INK. The pasta was a very black purply color. It didn’t affedct the taste at all and was served with a light garlic alfredo-type sauce (not thick or creamy). YUMMY.

  35. WOW. people have tried so many different things (some of which I can’t imagine). But for me the most unusual would have to be the Turtle in red wine sauce I had on Grand Cayman. It was absolutely delicious. The taste is somewhat between pork and beef. I’ve also had Conch fritters there. They were o.k. but nothing special. I’ve also tasted Sour Sap and Sweet Sap fruit in Jamaica. Yum. And Mountain apple in Hawaii. Very good. Lilicoi, Guava, and Mango are wonderful fruits. My mom used to make persimmon bread which was scrumptious.

    A combination I came up with when I was a kid and still like today. Celery spears filled with Peanut Butter AND Cream Cheese. These are really tasty. A combo that helped me survive through college (many many years ago) was Pork and Beans (heated or cold), sweet Corn (heated), and Cottage cheese (cold) mixed together. Yes, it was and is weird but yummy.

    Tammy (a misplaced Californian in Georgia)

  36. When I was small, we’d get pickled beets from the local deli, and I’d mix the juice with orange juice for a lovely dessert beverage. I also liked orange juice with cod liver oil… sort of minty… is that weird? Hmm.

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