Hooray for Hors d’Oeuvres: Double Weenie Wreath

Howdy, kittens!

Are you somewhere that’s getting snow?

snowpocalypse

Charles Street & 23rd January 2010

snowpocalypse

Snow drifts on 23rd. No way to drive through that.

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Channeling Gene Kelly. I may have been a little drunk here.

If so, I really hope that you went out shopping yesterday and already have your milk, bread, and toilet paper. I’m looking specifically at our friends in New York and New England.

Speaking of New England, I only remember it snowing once when I lived in Boston and it wasn’t all noteworthy. Isn’t that weird? I know that it had to more than that, but I only remember the one time. Well, that’s aside from the time I nearly killed myself and Frank the Cat while driving back to school after Thanksgiving; my VW Beetle did a full 360 spin-out in the middle of I-80. But I guess that was more ice than snow.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I remember there being a big snow storm because my brother was staying with me and he had taken the train into Manhattan to see a friend and he had the worst time getting back to Brooklyn. We ended up playing A LOT of Super Nintendo because there was absolutely nothing to do. It seemed like the city shut down.

Much like when I was here in Baltimore for the Snowpocalypse of 2010. The city definitely shut down. I didn’t even live here yet, I was just visitin Dearly Departed Cleve. We were trapped in his apartment (which eventually became my apartment) with no cable tv and no furniture. Seriously. The only furniture in the house was his futon, a tv stand, a desk chair and folding table with his computer on it. Oh, and a slow cooker! I made ropa vieja in the slow cooker. Thank the lord that my mother suggested to me to buy a shit-ton of booze before I drove down (I think I brought a box of red, a box of white, a fifth of Jim Beam and I think a couple bottles of sparkling something or other); it got us through the initial snow. Really, drunk is the best way to get through an event like that. Luckily, urban living allows for a walk up the block to the bottle shop or to the local bar/restaurant for some boilermakers and wings.

And speaking of cities shutting down, when I lived in Richmond with my brother it snowed/iced for a few days and everyone in VA lost their minds. They don’t have plows down there and they don’t have salt, so I remember guys in those orange jumpsuits going around and throwing sand everywhere like that was somehow going to create traction or melt something. All it did was make tan slop. Silly Southerners.

Now ending snowy walk down memory lane.

Well, all of that is neither here nor there. I am hoping to this week do a little bit of clearing house with a lot of the posts that I have up in the queue–so I am hoping that this week will be The Week Of Hors d’Oeurves! 

To kick it off, here is something wintry: The Annual Weenie Wreath!

But this year, due to how popular Weenie Wreath was in 2013, I made a DOUBLE WEENIE WREATH!!!

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Yinzerella’s Lazy Pierogie Casserole

pierogie todayIt’s going to snow here today. I don’t know how much, but snow is in the forecast. And when snow is in the forecast, there is nothing better to eat than a big, stick-to-your ribs, comfort food casserole. And when it comes to comfort foods, two of the best are pierogies and lasagna.

There are a lot of pierogie casserole/lasagna recipes out of there, but they are typically just potato and cheddar. But me, the Pittsburgh girl that I am, I like all of the pierogies. And I love a combo platter. So I decided to make my own version that combines the classic potato-cheese with the cottage cheese pierogie and the sauerkraut pierogie; as well as have that sauteed-in-onion and butter flavor.

OK, now this recipe might not be that lazy because there are a lot of steps to this recipe (duh, it’s a lasagna), but it’s definitely less work than if you were to make your own dough and filling.

Yinzerella’s Lazy Pierogie Casserole

  • 1 bag of mashed potatoes, prepared (4 – 4.7 oz bag makes about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • lasagna noodles (I used 10 noodles)
  • 4 slices bacon (turkey or pork)
  • 1 cup drained sauerkraut
  • 2 tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • paprika

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Happy Cheese Lovers’ Day!

Cooking With CheeseJanuary 20 is a day for those of us who love cheese to celebrate. And I really love cheese. I actually have CHEESE listed on my OKCupid profile under “6 Things I Could Never Do Without.” Also included: cable TV and liquor stores.

I’m a classy gal.

Anyway, a shit-ton of cheese has made it onto this here blog, so here’s a bit of a cheese retrospective. Click on the picture to revisit one of these old favorites.

Take your Lactaid.

hot olive cheese puffs

Hot Olive Cheese Puffs

party cheese ball!

Party Cheese Ball

Cheese Souffle

Cheese Souffle

cheese spread

Cheese Spread

Chili Cheese Log

Chili Cheese Log

Ham and Cheese Fondue

64. Ham & Cheese Fondue

chili cheese dog

Chili Cheese Franks (Weiner Wednesday!)

I really wish I was going to go out tonight and wine and cheese it up. Instead, I see Indian leftovers in my future. But paneer totally counts, right?

 

 

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Uncle Bob’s Jell-O Salad

This was part of Casey’s Ham Loaf dinner. Which I haven’t written about yet. But I will. And then link back to this post so you’ll remember that THIS is the Jell-O that went with the loaf. Oh, how I have reservations with dishes that are made in loaf-form! Why loaf, why?

But I digress. Casey gave me the recipe because apparently you can’t have Ham Loaf without this gelatin dish. It’s a rule. Here is the recipe:

Two small boxes of black cherry jello. Add two cups boiling water and dissolve. Add 8 oz cream cheese and use fork to break up into small pieces. Drain liquid from one can crushed pineapple in its own juice and one can of black cherries into 2 cup measuring cup. Add water to make two cups and add to the mix. Then stir in the pineapple and cherries. Pour into a suitable container and chill til it sets.

Well, that’s easy enough. Although I couldn’t find a can of black cherries.

Hands up if you’re surprised that the Safeway didn’t carry cherries in a can.

anyoneAnyone?

I didn’t think so.

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Posted in Dessert, Food, Fruit, Jell-O, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes, Salad | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Readers’ Choice!

In my Flank Steak Teryaki post I pointed out that it has been a long, long, long time since I prepared a complete meal from the DiS! set. How long? It was summer.

That’s a long-ass time.

I have been away from the cards so long that I didn’t even know that there are only 11 left. Yes, you heard me right: ELEVEN. That’s one-a-month if I start in February.

Now I realize: I can do this. I can totally do this. I can finish the cards this year!

But all I need to do is start. I look to you, gentle readers, to give me a kick in the ass and get this show on the road.

I have chosen 4 DiS! cards, all with different proteins, but all suitable for the season (I wasn’t about to start doing some outdoor grilling in this cold).

What’ll it be?

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As always, that is some damn fine food photography, Marjon Promotions, Inc.

27. Swedish Meatballs

  • Assorted Herring Appetizers
  • Swedish Meat Balls
  • Pickled Beets
  • Cucumber Pickles
  • Jannsson’s Temptation (card #91)
  • Apple Squares with Vanilla Sauce

53. Stuffed Breast of Veal (or Lamb)

  • Stuffed Breast of Veal
  • Sage Potatoes
  • Tomato, Cauliflower, and Olive Salad with French Dressing
  • Babas Au Rhum

60. Orange Duck 

  • Orange Duck
  • Wild Rice
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Whipped Jello Parfaits

111. Broiled Fillet of Sole

  • Peppery Tomato Juice or Bloody Mary
  • Broiled Fillet of Sole With Coral Shrimp Sauce
  • Broiled Mushroom Caps
  • Rosti Potatoes
  • Cheese Pinwheels
  • Grape and Orange Ambrosia
  • Coffee or Tea

Voting opens today and will go til Monday. So if you are just bonkers for meatballs, love Jell-O, or have strong feelings for cheese pinwheels, you got a lot of time to stuff the ballot box.

Speaking of strong feelings–over the weekend (and by the weekend I mean Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon) I binge-watched The Affair–and I have a lot–A LOT–of feelings about Joshua Jackson a.k.a. Pacey Witter.

hot pacey

He plays a cowboy/surfer. Not kidding.

So. Many. Feelings. I could watch that clip all day long.

HAPPY VOTING!

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The Sandwich: Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Are You Hungry Tonight?

Compiled by Brenda Arlene Butler, 1992

Happy Elvis Day, my friends!

Today Elvis would have been 80. That totally blows my mind. Frank Sinatra died at 82 and performed and recorded almost right to the very end. Tony Bennett is frickin’ 88 and just released an album with Lady Gaga. Just think of what Elvis might be doing right now had he laid off the prescription drugs and the fried food.

Speaking of fried food, in honor of Elvis’ birthday, I made The Sandwich. The Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich.

Would it surprise you to know that I never tried one before?

This recipe is from Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis’ Favorite Recipes. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks.

Here’s what the cookbook says:

Elvis made it famous. He made it part of American folk cuisine. He referred to it as a peanut butter and ‘nanner sandwich, and his love for this treat helped to transform this simple delicacy into his signature dish. He loved these sandwiches and would ask that they be prepared for him at all hours of the day and night.

  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 slices white bread, toasted
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp butter

It’s extremely easy. Just make a grilled cheese, but with mashed banana and peanut butter as the insides. Look:

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Banana? Good. Butter? Good. Peanut Butter? Hell yeah!

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35. Flank Steak Teriyaki

IMG_20141001_185315_392

IMG_20141001_185438_847So, have you ever been to Colonial Williamsburg?

I have. Twice. Once as a kid and once in my 30s.

If you haven’t been, just know that the whole thing is just weird. It’s a little colonial village filled with cosplay American Revolutionaries (albeit, paid). It’s like Medieval Times, but spread across acres and acres. So, I guess it’s kinda like a Renaissance Faire. Except in early America. And without big turkey legs.  

My first visit in the 90s was notable because during a tour of the Rockefeller’s house (they’re the ones who funded the restoration of the town), my little brother had to use the facilities, so he got to use the off-limits bathroom. On the other side of the velvet rope. Little Nicky peed right next to John D. Rockefeller’s monogrammed towels.

The second time I visited was right before Thanksgiving 2010. It was Dearly Departed Cleve’s birthday/Christmas present–2 nights in historical Americana geekdom (in one of the on-site colonial-styled houses). A nice trip. But it sticks out in my head because on that trip I received the phone call to inform me that my beloved Gramsy (yes, the woman from whom I received Dinner is Served) passed away. So that sucked.

But the thing that was similar both times? I ate dinner at the King’s Arms Tavern. And I love that kind of shit. The whole restaurant was lit by candlelight and the menus were factually based. I was eating what George Washington would have eaten, had he visited.

OK, so what the hell does Williamsburg have to do with anything?

Because for #35 I made the Sally Lunn recipe from The Williamsburg Cookbook (1975). I scored this copy from a bookstore in NYC years ago.

Williamsburg Cookbook

It’s a really neat cookbook. I want to make the cold peanut soup this year. I recall that the soup was tasty both times I dined at the King’s Arms.

Sally Lunn RecipeSally Lunn Recipe

It is fitting that I made the Sally Lunn because Todd is a huge American history buff and this was the dinner I made for him for his birthday. Did I not mention that? I made this for Todd’s birthday. Which was back in May.

That’s how long I sit on these sometimes.

Anyway, without going into the drama of me and baking, here is the resulting Sally Lunn:

Sally Lunn

GORGEOUS. Now onto the main course!

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New Year Pretzel & City Chicken (A Very Pittsburgh New Year)

3riverscookbook

Published 1973

Happy New Year, kittens!

The days of December 31 and January 1 are rife with superstition and things to do and not do in order to roll into the new year as a lucky duck and leave the bad parts of the previous year behind.

Depending on where you’re from this could include eating black eyed peas or pickled herring or putting a dime on your windowsill.

As a kid growing up in Western PA, there were two foods that were must-haves in order to usher in a prosperous new year: pork and sauerkraut. And for good measure, throw in a lucky New Year’s Pretzel purchased from the local Giant Eagle.

I have never seen the pretzel outside of Pittsburgh, but I wanted to make 2015 a helluva lucky year by having all three. So I had to bake my own.

I found the recipe in a copy of the Three Rivers Cookbook that I perused last weekend while at my brother’s house. I wasn’t looking for it. But there it was:

new year's pretzel recipe

According to this recipe, it’s a German tradition. Can anyone else verify that?

I anticipated that the pretzel would be a challenge since I am baking-impared, but it went surprisingly well!

The dough rose and was very easy to roll out.

more blog photos 017more blog photos 018more blog photos 019New Year's Pretzelmore blog photos 024

Here’s the final product, festooned with powdered sugar icing, candied Maraschino cherries, and crushed walnuts.

Pittsburgh New Year's Pretzel

I think it’s rather pretty! Sadly, the inside of the pretzel was a little under-cooked.

Me and the baking, man! It’s always something, ya know?

Now, from the Eve to the Day and my pork and sauerkraut.

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Bisquick Impossible Brunch Pie

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OMG, this cheese from Herb’s is just outrageous.

Seasons greetings, kittens! I have been at Casa de Mum & Dad for the past few days and we’re getting our holly jolly on. Yesterday my mum and I drove up to scenic Zelienople, PA to pick up our Christmas ham at Herb Brittner’s Smokehouse and Radiator Shop. We stopped by Carol’s Bakery on Main Street (celebrating 40 years!) to pick up cookies and rolls and stollen. It’s the best bakery.

Since we are having a great big holiday fest for Christmas Eve, I decided to make dinner last night. Something simple, easy, and something that I need to make for this here blog. It’s Impossible Brunch Pie!

impossible seafood pie recipe

You know the drill. BUT! This time I used an actual blender (I typically just use the stand mixer).

Here’s the pie, through photos:

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Blended mixture on top of the cooked, drained spinach.

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Thinly sliced tomatoes placed gingerly on top of the cheese/Bisquick mix

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I didn’t skimp on the Parm. I probably put on closer to a half a cup. I also sprinkled some freshly ground pepper on top.

Now, I don’t know if this is because we used gluten-free Bisquick (mum has The Gluten) or because I used a blender, but this impossible pie was so fluffy–it was like a biscuit! Look at it!

Impossible Brunch Pie

I loved the consistency of this–it was like a cheesy base with fluffy biscuit on top. The sour cream and the cottage cheese blended so nicely. So much better than some of the past pies made with milk, egg, and shredded cheese. You could put some basil and oregano and other herbs in it and get a really nice Italian thing going on.

This may have been my favorite of all the Impossible Pies. Well, maybe with the exception of Impossible Taco Pie. But who doesn’t love a Taco Pie? For serious. Who ever says no to Taco Pie?

Anyway, you know what this means?

ONLY ONE MORE PIE LEFT!

Do you think I can make it happen before midnight on the 31st?

I don’t know! But I do know this–I hope all of you have a fabulous Christmas/End of Hannukah/Festivus (did you know that today is Festivus?).

I’ll see yinz all on the flipside!

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Bavarian Meatballs

This is me trying to connect this dish to Christmas somehow:

Bavarian Meatballs. Bavaria. What do they do in Bavaria? Drink beer. Eat sausage. There’s Alps. Snow. Ski lodge. Sweaters. Christmas sweaters. Oh, shit. Bavarian Christmas Markets!

How sweet does that look? I totally want to go to there.

I don’t know if they’d serve Bavarian Meatballs at a Bavarian Christmas market; but I doubt it, considering where I got this recipe:

blog november 006

Doubleday & Co. 1960

This cookbook is something else. It contains hundreds of ways to prepare ground beef. There are recipes to feed 100 people. And seven variations on Swedish meatballs. SEVEN.

Pray tell, why would I be making meatballs for 100 people? If I were catering a wedding?Feeding the Duggars?

Anyway, the author of this book, Doyne Nickerson, seems like one helluva interesting fellow. His jacket bio is among the best I’ve read:

blog november 009

blog november 011

A true Renaissance man!

 

This guy ate a shit-ton of hamburger. Three times a day? During the depression? Wasn’t everyone eating cabbage soup? How the hell did this guy get his hands on that much beef?

This book is a veritable meatball bounty.

blog november 008

And I do like a good meatball.

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