Ham & Potatoes

Today is the day. Today we finished fall harvest for 2019. And today is still October. I’ve been told that fall harvest NEVER wraps up in October. Those farmers must have been pulling extra hours in the field (with a little help from Mother Nature, too). To say that I am thankful is a huge understatement!

Not only are all the family and friends who have been helping with harvest safe at home and the crops from this harvest stored securely in the grain bins or at the elevator, but even more so, we have a quick second to breathe before Baby #2 arrives. Phew!

This last month, days on the farm have been long. Farmer Scott leaves first thing when the sun is up and typically isn’t home until 8:00-9:00 pm. That’s hours after Cowboy Lewis goes to bed and only minutes before I typically hit the hay.

As incredibly thankful as I am that the combine or tractor holds all three of us and that Cowboy Lewis adores our dinner dates in the field (he has “vroom, vroom” on repeat just as soon as he spots his dad in the combine), I am also looking forward to having Farmer Scott back at home, even just for the company. Comfort.

Speaking of comfort, I have a family recipe for a comfort food I would like to share with you. Ham and potatoes (Cowboy Lewis would add, “Yum, yum!” here).

This next month, we will be cleaning and storing equipment from harvest and planing as well as hauling cattle from pasture to fields closer to the farm (and other odds or ends). More on those days to come!

For now, cheers to the farming family and tasty food.

Ham & Potatoes

Makes 8 servings


6 tablespoons of butter

1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 cups water

2 cups milk

2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base

6 medium russet potatoes, sliced and chopped

3 cups ham, diced

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in medium stockpot over medium heat.
  3. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with whisk. This is the base of the roux.
  4. Slowly add water and milk. Continue to stir constantly and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add Better Than Bouillon and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. Layer potatoes and ham in prepared 9 x 13 casserole dish. Pour roux over the ham and potatoes to cover completely.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour. Remove from the oven and stir in shredded cheese. Serve warm.


  1. Although not as convenient as pre-shredded cheese, shredding your own cheese is well worth the extra effort in this recipe. The cheese melts perfectly to blend with the cooked ham and potatoes. Yum!

Thick & Creamy Gouda Macaroni

I know I say this farm family loves their meat & potatoes (which we do), but we also have a special place in our hearts for some good ol’ fashioned macaroni and cheese. A comfort food, perfect for any occasion.

Makes: 6 servings


2 cups dry pasta

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups milk

5 slices of gouda cheese, 1/8″ thick and chopped into small pieces

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente and set aside.
  2. In the same stockpot (after pasta is removed), melt butter on medium heat. When melted, add flour and whisk together. This is a roux!
  3. Cook the roux on medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add milk to the roux and continue to stir. Let cook for 5 minutes. The sauce will slowly begin to thicken during this time.
  5.  Remove sauce from heat and add cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. When cheese is melted, fold pasta into the sauce.


Depending on the type of pasta you decide to use, you may need more or less milk. Also depends on how thick and creamy you prefer your mac & cheese šŸ™‚

Gouda cheese can be substituted for just about any other cheese. Go ahead and get creative! I will usually purchase cheese sliced from the deli and chop this into small pieces at home before adding to the sauce.

Black Bean Dip

I spent 4 glorious years on the Kansas State University campus. Studying, yes. Chowing down on delicious grub, yes. One of the ultimate stops in Manhattan, KS is So Long Saloon. I’m beginning to drool just imaging those burgers. A stop at So Longs was never complete without their ever-famous Chipotle Raspberry & Black Bean Dip. Being that we are a couple hours from Manhattan, KS,  I had to find a way to kick this bean dip craving. Here’s what I’ve got, see what you think!

Makes: 4 servings


15 oz can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 jalapeƱo, diced

1 cup mozzarella cheese

4 oz cream cheese, block

tortilla chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the beans, jam, jalapeƱo and mozzarella in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Place the cream cheese in the center of the mixture.
  4.  Bake dip for 30 minutes or to desired warmness.


It’s a dip, so of course, you can enjoy with tortilla strips or other desirable dippers. BUT, you could also mix things up, enjoy this bean dip layered on a burger or sandwich, or even smothered over chicken or pork. You won’t regret it. I promise.