Cooking Corner – Robert’s Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Robert cutting his ham


Robert loves to cook with staff and try new recipes. To start off the holiday season, Robert requested to bake a brown sugar glazed ham. Fresh out of the oven, Robert is neatly slicing his baked ham with brown sugar glaze. Robert reports that it was a really good ham! 

Looks yummy! Great job Robert!

Robert’s Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze 


  • 1 spiral cut ham with bone-in approx 7-9 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice or orange juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Combine dijon mustard and pineapple juice. Brush over ham.
  • If your ham has a plastic disk on the bone, this should be removed and discarded. Place the ham, flat side down in a roasting pan, and cover tightly with foil. Roast 12-15 minutes per pound (or according to package directions).
  • Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 2-3 minutes. Cool.
  • 15 minutes before ham is done, remove from the oven and turn the oven up to 425°F.
  • Brush with glaze and return to the oven until the glaze is caramelized and the ham has reached the safe cook temperature.
  • Enjoy!


  • If you purchase a smoked ham, it has been cooked, be sure to check the package to ensure it says it is “fully cooked”. If your ham is fully cooked on the package (as most spiral hams are), it will need to cook to 140°F (basically just to heat it). 

Give to the Max Donation Match

“Sometimes you have to be satisfied with a small amount of progress but remember, it’s still progress.” ~ Mary Ellen Kaul

A $5,000 challenge match has been given to Reach for Resources in honor of the memory of Mary Ellen Kaul and her son, David Kaul. This generous gift will match your donation, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 during the Give to the Max Day campaign.

Mary Ellen Kaul

Mary Ellen was a parent, special education teacher, and journalist.  As a mother of a Down Syndrome son, Mary Ellen thought, “There must be something I can do to help.” And help she did. In her many roles in helping out REACH, Mary Ellen sat on our Board of Directors,  volunteered by advocating at the city and federal levels for housing funds for people with disabilities, and acted as a mentor to many at REACH. What was remarkable about Mary Ellen is that she had an acute sense of justice for individuals with disabilities that was handled with a special positive energy that was so attractive to all who met her. Nowhere was this more evident than it was when it came to her children.

David Kaul

Mary Ellen’s son, David, was the middle child of five but the only boy. David was a person REACH supported, as he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. But like his mother, David never let that get in the way of volunteering and being a positive influence in the lives of others. David enjoyed riding his John Deere lawn mower and cutting the grass at Camphill Village MN, near Sauk Center, MN. David was also an honorary member of the local volunteer Fire Department. He loved emergency personnel, whether they were fire fighters, ambulance drivers, or police officers, and they loved David right back.

David’s passion for helping others was evident even in death. Due to an unfortunate accident, David lost his life, but as an organ donor, his organs were shared with two other people, giving them a chance at life.

This challenge match is a fitting way to honor the memory of Mary Ellen and her son, David. Even after their passing, they still are helping others and Reach for Resources.

Employment Success: Jenna

Picture of Jenna who works at Covenant LivingMeet Jenna! With the guidance of Carolyn, one of our Employment Specialists, Jenna found a job that she loves. Jenna interviewed at several companies but felt they weren’t the right fit. Then a position opened at Covenant Living for kitchen staff. From previous jobs, Jenna had some great experience in that field and applied. After an interview, Jenna was offered the job! With minimal guidance from Carolyn, Jenna completed all of the pre-employment tasks like paperwork and background check.

Jenna is enjoying her job and looks forward to going to work each day. She has made friends with many of the residents that live at Covenant Living. Some of Jenna’s work tasks include working with the dishwasher, putting dishes away and filling water pitchers.

Awesome job Jenna! Keep up the great work.

Love Rekindled after 15 years apart

Calli & james in collegeJames and Calli’s love story reads like a romantic movie script. College girl and boy fall in love. After dating a few months, boy breaks up with girl because he’s not ready for commitment. Boy regrets the breakup, realizing he just let the love of his life slip through his fingers. Fast forward 15 years. Girl is looking at a new apartment and in the lobby is the boy from 15 years ago. They start talking online a few months later. Jump ahead four years, they are very much in love, living together and just had a commitment ceremony.

Let’s start from the beginning. Calli and James first met at college where they were attending classes at Vector. They dated for about a year. James says, “Unfortunately, at the time, I wasn’t really ready to settle down yet.” Calli and James mutually agreed it wasn’t the right time for their relationship and amicably broke up. After they broke up, James says he thought about it and realized “She was a great girl. Why did I let this one go? If I have the chance to be with Calli again, I’m taking it, no matter how long it takes.” It took 15 years.

In 2017, Calli was touring apartment buildings. She was standing in the lobby of a building waiting for the tour to start when she recognized one of the individuals in the lobby. “Hey, there’s James!” Fast forward a couple of months and Calli moves into the same apartment building as James. One night, a bunch of people from the apartment complex went to a Timberwolves game. During the game, one of Calli’s friends needed assistance. Cue James! James came over to try and help with the situation. Calli said that she liked the way he was so kind and helpful to her friend. A couple of days later, Calli messaged James on Facebook, “Hi. What’s up?” The rest is history!Calli & James on their wedding day.

After about a year and a half of dating, James approached Calli’s father to ask if he could have his permission and blessing to propose to Calli, when the time was right. Calli’s father said he would be happy to give his blessing. Fast forward a couple of months. James has purchased a ring and is waiting for the perfect moment to pop the question. James said “Heck, I would wait till I die to marry her. I don’t care how long it takes. I just want to be with Calli the rest of my life. There’s no one else in this entire world I would rather be with. There really isn’t.” He didn’t have to wait long. One day, Calli and James were in the kitchen of their apartment. Knowing Calli doesn’t like big, grand surprises, James says he saw the perfect opportunity. He got down on one knee and proposed. Calli says, “YES!”

After a couple of months of planning, James and Calli had their dream life commitment ceremony on August 29th in front of a few family and friends. It was an outdoor ceremony presided over by Pastor Kathy at the Brookview Golf Course, which James is a member of. The ceremony, was followed by a small reception with lots of fun h’orderves and yummy wedding cake. For their honeymoon, they spend a few days enjoying Wisconsin together.

Congratulations Calli and James. Everyone at Reach is wishing you a lifetime of happiness together!

Thyme for a Fresh Start

In January of 2021, Andrew started receiving Employment Development Services from Reach for Resources. Prior to 2021, Andrew worked nearly two years as a dishwasher at Hy-Vee but resigned in September of 2020. He no longer felt fulfilled in the dishwasher role and preferred a job that wasn’t so monotonous. Before Hy-Vee, Andrew worked in a group setting as a sorter for a local wholesale produce warehouse from 2014-2018. Due to the repetitive nature of that job, Andrew also feigned interest. It was clear Andrew sought a Andrew in a blue shirt standing in front of Fresh Thyme Store.fresh start and needed assistance finding more meaningful employment in a more competitive, integrated setting.

The first thing Andrew and staff worked on upon joining the Employment Development Services at Reach was creating a more attractive and comprehensive resume. Next, Andrew completed an employment development assessment, which gave staff a good idea of the types of industries, companies and positions that would be a good fit. After speaking with Andrew after the assessment, he expressed the most interest in retail, warehousing/supply chain, entertainment, and recreation for employment based opportunities.

Weekly, Andrew and staff began to meet virtually via Zoom to go over some of the potential employment opportunities in his areas of interest that had been identified via Internet job boards and employment websites. Andrew would provide feedback to staff on which open positions he’d like to apply to and which ones he wasn’t interested in. Staff then assisted with completing and submitting these job applications.

In February, Andrew had an opportunity to interview for a Fulfillment Associate position at Lowe’s. Staff spent time with Andrew doing mock interviews, reading through the job description, and discussing positive interviewing strategies to ensure he was prepared. The interview ended up going well, but Andrew was not offered the position. During that time, Andrew also interviewed with Goodwill for a Donation Attendant position, but that opportunity wasn’t the right fit for Andrew either. Throughout both interviews, staff was on hand to help clarify any difficult questions. Since staff attended the interviews, they were able to provide constructive criticism regarding areas that Andrew could improve. Both interviews were great learning experiences for Andrew.

In March, Andrew was contacted by a hiring manager at Fresh Thyme Market about interviewing for a Produce Clerk position. After receiving an interview invitation, Andrew called staff to ask for assistance with setting up the meeting. Andrew and staff then made a three-way call to the hiring manager and scheduled the interview for later that week.

At the interview, staff helped rephrase any questions that Andrew was having difficulty answering and prompted him to talk about his previous work experience and how that related to the Produce Clerk position at Fresh Thyme. During the interview, staff explained to the hiring manager they would be able to provide Employment Support Services if Andrew were to be hired, and could assist with completing any on-boarding paperwork. After the interview, staff was driving Andrew back to his residence when he received a call from the hiring manager who offered him the position.

Andrew in a blue shirt standing in front of Fresh Thyme Store.The following week, staff assisted Andrew with completing all of his on-boarding paperwork including direct deposit and training videos. Just like with any new job, Andrew was quite nervous at first and a little intimidated by all of the different job responsibilities that were required of him. For the first couple weeks, staff supported Andrew by staying with him his entire shift and helping him learn all the tasks associated with being a Produce Clerk at Fresh Thyme. Three of the biggest challenges for Andrew were: identifying which items needed to be stocked, locating specific produce in the cooler area, and responding to customers’ questions. Staff always let Andrew complete these tasks independently, and if it was apparent that he was having difficulty completing them, only then would staff intervene to assist him on how to accomplish the task more efficiently.

Once Andrew began demonstrating independence completing his work tasks, staff began to slowly fade out of some of the on-site support. Staff was able to help Andrew identify co-workers who would be able to assist him with any questions if Reach staff was not present. He has been employed at Fresh Thyme for a little more than two months and works entire shifts without Reach staff. At $14.00/hour, Andrew is earning the highest wage that he’s ever received in his working career. This is evidence that people Reach for Resources supports are capable of thriving in a competitive, integrated employment setting.

Article by: Marcus Skallman, Employment Specialist at Reach


Have a story about Reach you’d like to share?

Submit below and we will contact you if we’d like to use it for a blog post or social media!