Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tapa’s Night for March

It’s Tapa’s time again, well it was on Saturday.   I try to do two dishes each time, one new recipe and one that seems popular with everyone.   I was just looking a blog called Newyorkerbyheart .  It’s a Danish blog I’ve bookmarked and followed for a couple years now.   And the other day she had made this recipe, just one of those ‘thrown together’ type recipes and I had to ‘steal’ it, or at least part of it.  I thought it lent itself so nicely to appetizers.
So simple, so easy and finger food friendly.    I made it in smaller pieces than she did, but OMG, was it good.

Chicken Bites

And for my everybody friendly dish, I made some Cheese Quesadilla’s, some with jalapeno inside and some without.   I served them with some salsa for dipping.


I also did a third dish, well, it was supposed to be served with bread, but I forgot to pull the Sourdough bread out of the freezer so I served it as a dip with potato chips.   The dip itself disappeared, or at least most of it did, but it would have been so much better on some bread or in a wrap or…

Feta Cheese dip

Then there were the following dishes which our guests brought;

Key Lime Pie
Taco dip
Strawberry Crostini
Tuna Spread
Potato and Tuna Salad with Deviled Eggs and Tomatoes

Hot Crab Dip
Little Sausages in BBQ sauce
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Baked Brie with Chopped Nuts
Chicken Fingers

And to top off the evening, we even had LIVE entertainment, Debi Jordan graced us with a couple of songs and was accompanied by Doug on the drum.

I’ll post the Chicken Bites and Feta Cheese dip recipes and how-to’s tomorrow.

Leberknodel Suppe, Saurbraten and more at the Cooking Demo…

I’ve talked about the Cooking Demo’s at the Crooked River Grill before, and they are always fun.   I got to present a Danish Menu last year, and had a blast doing it.    And have been fortunate enough to attend most of the dinners since then.   This week we had a German menu.   I got to try Saurbraten for the first time.   And better yet, a soup that I’m still dreaming over, Leberknodel Suppe.    However the soup, well, let me just say I filled up on it and could have made that my entire meal.   But then again, I like liver.  Sorry, but I do.

For starters there was a lovely salad, and the soup.   Sigh, I took pictures of it, but didn’t know what the ingredients were beforehand, so I kinda put a bunch of the little meatballs in my bowl, didn’t know what kind they were until I ate one.   And fell in love, well, serious like at any rate.    Then my table mates told me it was liver, and I smiled.   And now I have the recipe for it, and I’ll share, I do share stuff from time to time.


The meat for the Saurbraten is actually marinated for several days before you brown it and then cook it slowly in the oven.   It was served with Potato Dumplings and Red Cabbage.   Quite tasty, and now I’ve finally tasted Saurbraten, and I’m glad I did.

And for dessert, a Black Forest cake, which I neglected to take a picture of, sigh.

Leberknodel Suppe
2-3 quarts of chicken or beef broth
1/2 pound of finely ground beef or veal liver
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp. parsley finely chopped
2 tbsp. chives, finely chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

Heat broth, combine all other ingredients to make a dough.    Make small dumplings about 1 tsp. in diameter and drop gently into the boiling broth.  Simmer about 8 minutes or until the dumplings rise to the top.  Garnish with chopped parsley and chives.   Serve right away.

Subs and Muffulettas, my way

I was racking my brain trying to figure out something to make and bring to Boat Club this month, and as I was gazing at some lovely Hoagie Rolls, inspiration struck, and it didn’t hurt a bit.  Then, when I asked my DH if he had any ideas for what I could make, inspiration struck him too.   So we both had the idea of making subs out of the rolls, but then I had to go one better.   I’ve craved salty/pickle type stuff so I thought I would make a Muffuletta style sandwich out of two of the sub rolls.   Nothing like multipurpose is there?   One of my favorite things.  Well, one of many…

I think we all know now to make a sub sandwich, and since I’m making this to serve a lot of people, I’ll be cutting each sub roll into quarters or fifths.   Just large enough for the filling to stay inside, but not quite enough for a meal, well part of a meal that is.   As you may know if you’ve read my blog, there is always a surfeit of food at one of our potlucks.

To start with I’m spreading some mustard on one side of the roll, and layering the meat and some cheese on top of that.   And to top that off, I’ll add some sliced tomatoes and some shredded lettuce.   I’m putting a wonderful hot pepper relish on the side, as well if someone wants to doctor the sub up a little.   Some people like a little hot with their sandwiches.

Look at the pretty tomatoes.   I had a yellow tomato as well as the regular red ones.

I just wrapped up the sandwiches in some plastic wrap and cut them when we reached the club, that way the fillings didn’t fall out.    I’m lucky I have a large tray I can place them on.

Now for the fun one.   As I said in the beginning I’ve been craving something pickled and salty and decided to make some Muffuletta style sandwiches out of a couple of the Hoagie Rolls.    I know these are not real authentic, but they taste good.    I was in the big city (well, it’s bigger than the one I live in), and saw some Olive Salad on the shelf there, but it looked like it was mostly green olives and pimento’s so I decided to use some black olives in there as well as some Kalamata olives to augment it.   Hey, it’s my blog and I can augment if I want to.

At any rate, I did do a taste test first, and then added the chopped black olives as well as a bunch of the Kalamata olives and it looked very pretty, tasted good too.


The red and green and black olives all look so pretty chopped up.

I do love my little 2 cup food processor.   Makes life just a little easier.  The mixture of the olives looked so pretty, the red of the Kalamata, the green, the black, and it tasted good too.  And I threw in a couple of my favorite garlic stuffed olives as well.    Oh,  and before I forget,  I did add a tablespoon or so of EVOO to the mixture, and placed it in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavors to mingle and get to know each other and generally hang out for awhile.   Less of a shock to them that way.

After that I got my sandwich meat out of the fridge, I started to put the sandwiches together.   I’ve discovered this brand is great for a quick Sub Sandwich and I usually have it on hand.

I know a true Muffuleta will have  a lot of other Italian meats, but this is my version and you’re stuck with it.
Drizzle a little EVOO over both sides of the bread

then spread  it with the olive mixture.

After that, layer the meats and cheeses on top of the olive salad (next time I make this, I’ll cut back on the black olives a little, they weren’t tangy enough, but it still tasted good).

Spread more olive salad on the other side of the rolls and place very carefully on top of the meat mixture.   Then wrap them tightly in some plastic wrap and place a heavy weight on top of them for about an hour in the fridge.  I did skip the weight part, didn’t have room in my fridge to do this properly.  Just wrapped the Sandwiches very tightly.

See, all wrapped up and ready to go to the party.

And here they were.    I did cut them into smaller slices, and they seemed to go over well.    I have to admit to having some Muffuletta left over, but that could be because I didn’t put it out?   At any rate, I got to nosh on it for lunch yesterday.   And it was still awesome.

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich

It was late, I was tired and I didn’t feel like cooking.  There I said it, contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about time spent in the kitchen, it’s all about me.     Just kidding.   Truth is though, I spent the day at the beach, in the sun, and I was tired but I wanted to eat dinner too.   So, I made one of my husbands favorite sandwiches for dinner.    You can also make a salad to go with the sandwich for a more balanced meal if you like.

And you can turn this into a Panini if you want to.   All I know is that it tastes good and is easy to make.   Let’s face it, we all need meals like this. Quick to put on the table, almost effortlessly.

Start by warming a loaf of your favorite french bread in the oven.

Then place some thinly sliced ham or leftover ham from a ham roast if you have it, into a fry pan you’ve sprayed with some non stick spray.   You want the pan on low, all you’re doing is heating up the ham a little, not frying it.  Add some sliced cheese on top, I like to use Cheddar,

Next take a pickle out of the fridge, slice it thinly.

Take the bread out of the oven, spread it with some mustard, make pretty designs if you like.   Then layer the warmed ham and cheese and the pickles onto the bread.

Cut into quarters and serve.   As you can see from this picture, I got a little skimpy on the ham on my end of the sandwich.

And it was good and fast.  I’ve also put this sandwich on my George Forman Grill and make a Panini out of it at this point,  now that’s good.

Sausage and Cabbage Boil

Just wanted to post a few pictures of the meal we prepared this last week for our seniors, and I will try to get back into the groove this week and tell you about some more foods I’ve prepared.   But last week was CRAZY, mainly because some good friends came to town and we visited and we ate and we had fun.   But not too much cooking went on in my house.   Well, except for me serving Spaghetti one night, but I’ve told you how to do that so…

I’m going to leave you with some pictures of the deliciousness we prepared for lunch.
From Sweet Potatoes


Corn Bread (I didn’t get a picture of the turnip greens, darn)

And our other choice of meat, this totally scrumptious Sausage and Cabbage dish, I’m still dreaming of this.  The recipe follows at the end here.

Then our vegetarian option, my Squash Medley, the how to’s of which I will be posting later on.

We also had a bowl of Cherry Tomatoes

And there were the requisite desserts, which I failed (my bad) to get pictures of.

But let me leave you with the recipe for the Sausage and Cabbage dish.   I could not believe how totally yummy it was.    And it’s a dish I will make for myself at some point in time.

Sausage and Cabbage Boil

6 large potatoes, Red Bliss or Yellow or White,  they should be a firm fleshed potato.
1 head cabbage, chopped
3-6  carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 lb. ring of Kielbasa Sausage
1 quart or more low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste, if you like.

Cut up some firm potatoes like Red Bliss or White Potatoes, either work well in this dish.    Place in a large pot, then cut the carrots into coins or chunks, after which you core and chop a head of cabbage, however you like.   I would suggest cutting it into quarters, then cutting those quarters into thirds and place them in the pot, add some chicken broth, low sodium is best, to cover.   Add some water if needed or more chicken broth.   Finally some Kielbasa Sausage, cut into chunks.   Season with some Marjoram and Thyme, cover and let simmer until the potatoes are cooked  and the cabbage is done as well.   Taste and season with some salt and pepper if you like.   Serve with some cornbread if you like.      This was so good, I can’t even begin to tell you and, by adding more potatoes, carrots and cabbage you can stretch this dish out as well.    I really like budget friendly dishes like this.

Senior’s Lunch and my weekly menu

This has been a crazy busy week, between trying to get some stuff caught up, my car going into the shop and everything else, I was so glad I had my menu’s posted on the fridge so I didn’t have to agonize over what to make for dinner every night.  

 And of course this is always subject to change without notice, or at least not much notice.   Although I am still trying to get to the Crooked River Grill for their Friday Fish Fry, again.   They had Cod and some of the best tasting Hush Puppies I’ve had in a long, long time.   I’ll make it over there yet!

Monday night someone else did the cooking, giggle.   We were invited over to a friends house for burgers, and wow were they good.   Bleu Cheese topped with Onion marmalade, cooked in red wine, on a nice meat patty, and some nice arugala.    YUM!!!!  Of course I love onions just about any way you care to serve them.     I’m going to try my hand at this Onion Marmalade some time soon,  or at least just cook up some good onions for myself.   Some Caramelized onions, a touch of BBQ sauce, a slice of raw onion, and a hamburger bun, now that’s a sandwich.  One of my favorite restaurants who have now gone out of business, sigh, used to serve sherry glazed onions, they were so good, hmmm, I think I  will try my hand at that sometime as well.   I mean how can you screw up onions other than blackening them? The more you cook them, the sweeter they get.

I took the picture with my camera phone so the picture sucks a little, but the burger sure didn’t.

Yesterday I headed off to the Senior Center to help cook lunch, and as usual had a blast doing it.   The last 15 minutes or so before we serve can get a little like the Keystone Kops, trying to get all the food finished and ready to be served.    But we have fun and there is a great group of people there who do some awesome work, and we are all volunteers. 
Last week we had the following:

 Sorry, no photo’s of the finished dishes, I got busy and it was more important to get the food out, than to take pictures of the prepared food.   But I think I’m in love with Field Peas n’ Snaps.    The Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls was well received with one exception, we didn’t (read that I didn’t) get enough cabbage in there.   We’ll make it again, and next time put lots more cabbage in it. 
Here’s the menu board board for this week;

But we did have some pork chops left over, from last week, it wasn’t quite enough so we cooked a few more and made some chopped Pork Sandwiches, have to say I’ve paid good money for some that didn’t taste as good as mine did. 

along with the totally yummy Fried Chicken for this week’s lunch.

 Plus Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Squash Casserole,

Sliced Tomatoes,

Pickled Beets,

Biscuits and the desserts, I think our seniors and others had a great lunch.