Saturday, May 26, 2012

Back to School Feast - Holly and Kim - May 2012

Holly and Kim put on such a fun "Back to School Feast" this Month. They hosted at Kim's new house and it was the perfect setting. Her house is beautiful and we were all glad to get to finally see it!

As we entered there was this darling old school desk. We were all dying at how perfect and how cute! Love the color.

The room was set all perfect for our "first day of class".

A darling chalkboard with an OLD school picture of each of us hanging. That was a good laugh for sure trying to pick out who was who!

There was another desk which housed our class pet.
So cute!

The table was darling. Super simple. Just books, globes, some chalkboards in frames and apples. It was perfect.

Our place settings rocked! School lunch trays to match the desks. For real. Loved it and loved the chalkboard name tag in an apple.

The menu was printed on a chalkboard and framed on the take home table.

The appetizer table was clean and simple and we all dug right in to the goods.

Apple Dippers with Toffee Caramel Dip

Chicken Nuggets
(Buffalo Chicken Bites)

Peanut Butter Sandwich
(PB and Nutella with caramelized Bananas)
Um, need we say more?!

Pizza Puffs
(Chicken Artichoke Pizza Puffs)

The Pesto Alfredo Sauce went with the Pizza Bites and it was delicious!

The blue cheese yogurt dip went with the chicken nuggets and it made them!

The Main Course was:
Ham and Cheese (black forest ham and swiss cheese drizzled with poppy seed dressing) TDF!
Fries (garlicky potato wedges with Rosemary mayo) yum!
Mac and cheese
fruit snacks (fruit kabob drizzled with vanilla bean honey yogurt dip) delish!
and Mango Peach Pineapple Punch to drink. Awesome!

After school snack was milk and cookies!
These darling little milk shots to wash down...

a toffee chocolate chip pizookie and vanilla bean ice cream.
Everything was awesome and we were stuffed to the brim.

We played a fun 80's fact game and the winner was Sunny. Amber won a lucky prize to and they each got a fun teacher gift idea.

Take homes were these darling framed chalkboards

and a delicious school lunch peanut butter bar. Talk about a trip down memory lane.

We had a great evening and as usual had some great laughs!
Thanks for a fun night back to the good old school days girls!

back row: Holly, Sunny, Kristy, Heather, Annika, Kim
front row: Shelly, Lindsay, Michelle, Amber

Peanut butter & nutella w/caramelized bananas

2 ripe Bananas
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Peanut Butter
White bread

Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and melt the butter, making sure it coats the pan. Place the bananas in the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, making sure the bananas are not touching each other. Cook for a minute or two, waiting for the bananas to develop a crust before flipping. Turn and repeat. Assemble the sandwich by layering the caramelized bananas in between the Nutella and peanut butter.

Chicken-artichoke Pizza Puffs w/ Pesto alfredo Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup reduced-fat (or regular) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
½ cup artichokes

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg.
3. Stir in the mozzarella, chicken and artichokes: let stand for 10 minutes.
4. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 minutes.
5. Microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through, Serve the puffs with the pesto alfredo sauce for dipping.
Tips: Unless you are having 2 people over, I suggest doubling the pizza recipe.

Pesto-alfredo sauce

***For pesto-alfredo sauce: simply mix 1/2 cup pesto with 1 cup alfredo sauce.

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce from Our Best Bites

2 C low-fat milk
1/3 C (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
2-3 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves
1 C grated Parmesan cheese


Place milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you dont want to burn it.

Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it’s nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites with Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip

(Inspired by and Bobby Flay)

Makes 12 dinner-sized bites or 30 appetizer-sized

For the Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip

  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely-chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely-diced red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Buffalo Chicken Bites

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1/4-3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onions, white and pale green parts chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking spray


  1. Mix all the dip ingredients together well. Stash in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, wing sauce, cheese, green onions, and cream cheese until well combined.
  4. Mix panko and a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
  5. Form chicken mixture into 2-1/2 balls (for dinner-sized) or 1-1/2 balls (for appetizer-sized).
  6. Roll the chicken balls in the panko and place in a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Before cooking, spray the tops of the balls with cooking spray.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops of bites are brown and crunchy

Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip

From Our Best Bites

1 8-oz. package cream cheese (you can use light cream cheese)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (you can add more to taste)
Toffee bits (look by the chocolate chips and try and find the chocolate covered ones if you can! Your dip won’t be pretty, but it will sure taste good!)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. (about a pinch) nutmeg

Allow cream cheese to reach room temperature. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla. When ready to serve, stir in about 1/2 a bag of toffee bits. Serve with fruit.

Ham and Swiss slider

2 dozen Kings Hawaiian Sweet dinner rolls
1 lb shaved black forest ham
1/2 lb sliced swiss cheese
1 stick melted butter
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

Slice rolls (cut one whole dozen at one time, leave sides stuck together to save time.) Place bottom half of rolls in a glass baking dish, (9 x 13 will hold 1 doz) and top with ham and cheese. Place top half of rolls over the ham and cheese. Mix worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and poppy seeds into the melted butter. Pour the mixture over the top of the rolls. Cover well and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Garlicky potato wedges

Adapted from: Lottie + Doof

8 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 russet potatoes (about 8oz each), each cut into 12 wedges
3 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (use less for less kick!)
½ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 225°C/440° F.
  2. Combine the garlic and oil in a large bowl, warming it until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer 5 tablespoons of the oil (leaving the garlic in the bowl) to the baking sheet, coating it well.
  4. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the garlic mixture and toss to coat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and microwave on high power until the potatoes are translucent around the edges, 3 to 6 minutes, shaking the bowl to redistribute the potatoes halfway through cooking.
  5. Combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot potatoes and toss well to coat.
  6. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Serve with ketchup, mayo or sour cream.

Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

from Martha Stewart

This recipe for the world's best mac and cheese is from Kurt Beecher Dammeier's "Pure Flavor" cookbook.

Serves 4 as a side dish


  • Butter or vegetable oil, for baking dish
  • 6 ounces penne
  • 2 cups Beecher's Flagship Cheese Sauce (***SEE RECIPE BELOW)
  • 1 ounce cheddar cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or oil and 8-inch baking dish; set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook penne, according to package direction, for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package. Rinse pasta in cold water; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together cooked pasta and sauce gently but thoroughly. Pour pasta into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with cheeses and chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

***Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce (Makes about 4 cups)


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 14 ounces cheddar cheese, preferably Flagship, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, preferably Just Jack, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes.
  2. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, chile powder, and garlic powder. Stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days.
  3. To reheat sauce, place in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.

Fresh Fruit with Vanilla Bean Honey Yogurt Dip

From Best Bites

2 cups fat free plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ of a vanilla bean, sliced with seeds removed

Combine ingredients and mix in a bowl. Serve with strawberries, grapes and pineapple (or any fresh fruit). This is also great over granola.

Mango Peach Pineapple Punch
1 12 oz can lemonade (make per instructions)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large can of pineapple juice
1 packet of mango peach kool-aid (or your favorite flavor of kool-aid)
2 liters lemon lime soda.

This recipe makes a large quantity so you will need to use a large pot and/or 2-3 pitchers to mix well. Mix all the ingredients into prepared lemonade concentrate, Use LOTS of ice!

Toffee chocolate chip cookies

Adapted from

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour* (make sure to read note below)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (not margarine), softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup toffee bits

¼ cup white chocolate chips

¾ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375
° F. If using convection, preheat to 375 as well.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beating well. Stir in flour mixture and chocolate chips all together, taking care to not over mix. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto ungreased baking sheets. I use a large scoop, and place 6 cookies per baking sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of your hand.
Bake for 7-10 minutes on middle rack until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets completely.
This recipe yields 18 large cookies.

**If baking in ramekins, fill ramekins ½ full. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes

School Lunch Peanut Butter Bars

1 1/2 C Flour

1¼ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Baking Soda

¾ C Butter

¾ C Sugar

¾ C Brown Sugar

1 ½ tsp. Vanilla

1 1/2 C Creamy Peanut Butter (split)

2 Eggs

1 ½ C Quick Oats


½ c. butter

3 ½ c. powdered sugar

2 TBSP cocoa

¼ c. milk

1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, 3/4 C peanut butter, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Then, stir in the oats. Spread onto a greased 11 x 15 Jelly Roll Pan (cookie sheet). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes.

The frosting is a two step process. First, whip the remaning
¾ C Creamy Peanut Butter until it becomes lighter colored and fluffy. Carefully spread the whipped peanut butter over the pan cookie.

Then, add butter to a small sauce pan and melt the butter. Add the milk and cocoa. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Heat just until boiling. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Then, gradually add the powdered sugar. Stir until thickened. Pour over the peanut butter and gently spread over the cookie. Cool completely, and slice into bar cookies.

Caramel Apple Dip
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
Marzetti's Caramel Dip (15 oz.)
Heath Bits (found in the baking aisle)
Mix a generous scoop of caramel and the cream cheese together and spread in a pie plate.

Make individual caramel dip favors by filling in 1/2 pint size mason jars. Fill jars ½ full with cream cheese/caramel dip mixture. Top with remaining caramel, followed by a solid layer of Heath bits. Serve with apple wedges.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - Sunny and Lindsey - April 2012

Our latest Gourmet Night took us to Palmer field for a ball game! Such a cute idea.

The had ever detail attended to and thought of from the menu course names to

fun sport fact cards.

Sunny and Lindsey did a great job and fully dressed the part.

The table was darling and each name tag was a different sports flag hung form the back of the chairs.

Place settings were clean and fun as well.

The center piece was actually flats of lettuce (I think) with glass sconces full of baseballs and greenery balls. Such a simple fun idea!
Our Bull Pen Warm Ups were:
Guacamole with Pear and Raspberries
(Hands down the favorite of the night!)

Grapefruit Cocktails

Apple Cole Slaw

and Sausage-Bacon Bites
aka: Man Candy

Then onto the "Play Ball" course:
Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

and Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flat bread.

There was Popcorn of course only not just any popcorn.
"Whats a Game Without Some Popcorn".

The Bases were Loaded with:
Fall Off the Bone Ballpark Ribs, Robs Famous Potato Salad in Parmesan Baskets and Skillet Corn on the Cob with Parmesan and Cilantro.
All very good!

In between each course Lindsey came out shouting, "Popcorn, get your popcorn!" or "Nachos, get your hot nachos". Such a cute idea!

These Tropical North Shore Nachos were TDF! Awesome for a snack or a meal.

And the 7th Inning Stretch:
Mud Pie in a Helmet
(no words)
We were stuffed. Literally.

The appetizer and take home table was simple and clean as well with a glass cylinder vase of golf balls.

Closers were:
Cracker Jacks,

all the delicious recipes,

A jar of the yummy BBQ sauce from the ribs

and Ellie's Cotton Candy. (made from Jolly Rancher's mind you)
Such a great job and all great food!

I have to say we are the best Gourmet "Team" out there!
Such a fun night and talk about the perfect weather! Couldn't have been better.
(Unless Shelly had been there!)

Back row: Amber, Holly, Kristy, Lindsay B., Michelle, Sunny, Lindsey, Angela (a visiting friend)
Front row: Heather, Kim, Judith, Annika

Guacamole with Pear and Raspberries
Gourmet, December 2001

- ⅓ cup white onions, finely chopped
- 1 serrano chile, finely chopped with seeds
- 1 t coarse salt
- 2 lbs. ripe California avocados (about 4 large)
- 2 - 3 T fresh lime juice
- ¾ cup pear, peeled and finely diced
- ¾ cup seedless grapes, halved
- ¾ cup raspberries, broken up

In a food processor, grind onion, chilies and salt into a rough paste. Gradually add the avocado, coarsely mashing it (you’ll want it to be chunky).

Sausage-Bacon Bites (A.K.A Man Candy)

Makes 8 servings
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

For the glaze combine:
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- 3 T stone-ground mustard
- 3 T white wine vinegar
- 1 T black pepper

For the sausage-bacon bites slice:
- 1 lb kielbasa
- 12 strips bacon, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack. Lightly coat rack with non-stick spray.

For the glaze, combine brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves; keep warm.

For the sausage-bacon bites, slice kielbasa in half lengthwise. Cut each half into twelve 1 ½ inch-thick pieces. Wrap bacon around each piece and secure with a toothpick. Brush each bite with sauce, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Roast bites, basting them every 15 minutes, until bacon is cooked through, 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Tropical North Shore Nachos
(adapted from Honolulu Harry’s restaurant)
Serves 8

1 16 oz package Wonton wrappers
1-2 cups canola oil
8 oz block Pepper Jack Cheese
2-3 Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
Sour Cream (thinned with water)

Tropical Salsa:
1 cup mango (about 2 large mangoes) chopped
¼ cup red onion finely chopped
2 green onions chopped (white and good amount of green)
1 cup pineapple (fresh is best) chopped
2 T cilantro chopped
1 cup tomato chopped
½ cup red bell pepper chopped

Mix all salsa ingredients together and set aside.

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil in large skillet. Cut Wonton wrappers in half diagonally. Fry Wonton wrappers until they reach a light golden color. Remove with slotted spoon to cookie sheet lined with paper towels. When all wrappers re fried, remove paper towel and arrange wonton chips on cookie sheet. Shred 8 oz block Pepper Jack Cheese. Top chips with shredded Pepper Jack cheese. Place in oven for 10 min. or until cheese is melted. Remove and immediately sprinkle wonton chips with 2-3 oz Sweet Thai Chili sauce and top with tropical salsa. Drizzle thinned sour cream on top. Serve immediately. Yum!

Apple Cole Slaw
The Cook’s Kitchen
December 2010

3 cups finely sliced cabbage (1/3 red, ⅔ green)
1 unpeeled red apple cored and chopped
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 green onions
⅓ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 T lemon juice, or to taste

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, red apple, green apple, carrot, red bell pepper and green onions. In a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Pour dressing over salad. If not serving right away, add the apples closer to the serving time.

Grapefruit Cocktail
Makes 2 Quarts

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 pkg of frozen raspberries thawed
1 cup crushed pineapple (fresh Del MOnte pineapple with juices)
7 or 8 grapefruits sectioned

In a small saucepan over medium heat add sugar and water. Watch closely, until sugar is dissolved into the water forming a syrup. Cool slightly and pour over fruit. May be used slightly chilled or frozen.

Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing

- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 T onion, finely minced
- 1 t garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely minced
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 T white vineg
- 1 cup crumbled bleu cheese

Mix all ingredients together and serve over wedges of iceberg lettuce.

Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 10 oz. tube refrigerated pizza dough
¾ cup garlic-and-herb cheese spread (such as Alouette), divided
¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
3 T chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1 small red onion
1 7-8” long zucchini (yellow or green), cut crosswise into ⅛” thick rounds, divided
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with nonstick spray. Unroll dough onto parchment. Spread half of herb cheese over 1 long half of dough, leaving ½ “ plain border. Sprinkle with half of parmesan and 2 T parsley. Using parchment as aid, fold plain half of dough over filled half (do not seal edges). Spread remaining herb cheese over top; sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Remove enough outer layers of onion to yield 2” diameter core; cut into ⅛ alongside zucchini. Arrange 1 row of zucchini down 1 long side of dough. Arrange onion rounds in row alongside zucchini. Arrange 1 more row of zucchini alongside onion. Brush vegetables with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 24 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 T parsley.

Makes 4-6 servings

Carolina Honey BBQ Ribs

Ingredients: Carolina Honey BBQ Sauce​​

Rib Meat
1 Cup Ketchup​​​​​
​3 full racks of pork ribs (Baby Back or Spare)
1 Cup Vinegar
½ Cup Molasses
¼ Cup Honey
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce

Making BBQ Sauce
Combine all of the ingredients, except ribs, in a sauce-pan over high heat. Blend the ingredients with a whisk until smooth. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered. In 30 to 45 minutes, or when the mixture thickens, remove it from heat. (If sauce is too thick… thin it with more vinegar.)

Cooking the Ribs
Heat the oven to 300°. Tear pieces of aluminum foil that are roughly 6 inches longer than the ribs. Coat ribs front and back with some of the barbecue sauce. Place a rack of ribs, one at a time, onto a piece of foil lengthwise and wrap it tightly. Place the ribs into the oven with the seam of the foil wrap facing up. The foil helps keep in the heat allowing the ribs to cook in their own juices. Cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until you see the meat of the ribs shrinking back from the cut ends of the bones (about ½ inch). This long cooking time will ensure the meat will be tender and fall off the bone. Cook it less time if you like a more firm piece of meat (competition style is more firm and uses spare ribs)

Toward the end of the cooking time, pre-heat the barbecue (400-500 degrees). Remove the ribs from the foil and smother them with additional barbecue sauce. Be sure to save some sauce for later. Grill ribs on the hot barbecue for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or just until you see several spots of charred blackened sauce. Watch for flames and do NOT burn!!

When the ribs are done, use a knife to slice the meat between each rib bone about halfway. This will make it easier to tear the ribs apart when served (not needed if cooked to fall off the bone). Serve ribs piping hot with additional sauce on the side.

(Ribs can be marinated in advance. Just prepare the ribs in the foil as described and keep them in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Cook as directed.)
Rob’s Famous Potato Salad

14 red potatoes
8 boiled eggs
4-5 green onions
1 cup celery
½ cup purple onion
1 ½ cup pickles (I used Tabasco flavored or garlic)
1 T celery seed
½ cup pickle juice
1-2 cups Miracle Whip, or as needed
2 T Dijon mustard
fresh ground pepper, to taste
Put potatoes in a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain; let cool. place eggs in a sauce pot and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the stove, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and let chill. When cooled, slice eggs. Stir together miracle whip, Dijon mustard and pickle juice, celery seed, pickles, onions & celery. Peel potatoes; cut into ½ “ chunks. Fold into sauce mixture. Fold in eggs. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. It’s best if made the day before so the flavors can marry. If the potatoes soak up too much liquid then you can add more miracle whip and pickle juice

Parmesan Baskets
(potato salad served inside with green leaf lettuce)

Heat 10” nonstick skillet over medium high. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan into a disk shape (keep cheese light around the eggs so it looks lacey). When disk is slightly golden underneath, carefully remove it using spatula and your fingers. Quickly drape disk over a glass, golden side up, and press to form a bowl. Cooled baskets can sit several hours. Use inexpensive shredded (not grated) Parmesan-the kind in a bag works great.

Skillet Corn on the Cob with Parmesan and Cilantro
Bon Appetit, August 2003
Serves 4

- 4 ears fresh corn

- 6 T olive oil
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T fresh lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ t hot pepper sauce
¼ cup fresh cilantro

Cook corn in a pot of boiling salted water unti tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Whisk 5 T oil, cheese, garlic, lime juice, cumin and pepper sauce in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. heat remaining 1 T oil in large skillet over medium-heat. Add corn and saute until heated through, turning frequently, about 2 minutes. Brush corn with some of the parmesan mixture. Trn corn and brush with more cheese mixture. Cook until coating begins to color, about 3 minutes. Transfer corn to platter. Mix cilantro into any remaining parmesan mixture and brush over corn.

Mud Pie

Oreo cookie crust:
1/4 cup melted butter to 1 1/2–2 cups crushed Oreos
Press in the bottom of a pie dish or square pan

Ice cream Layers:

Soften chocolate ice cream. Spread a layer over Oreo crust
Top with crushed peanut butter cookies (I used Nutter Butter)
Pour caramel topping over top…let harden. Soften vanilla ice cream. Spread a layer over caramel. Let harden. Layer with Peanut Butter. Let harden Soften vanilla ice cream. Layer over peanut butter. Let harden. Drizzle with fudge and sprinkle with crushed Snickers*. Freeze.

*Freeze Snickers and crush with hammer.