Stuffed Cabbage Rolls were a mainstay when I was growing up. My Slovak mother often made the hearty comfort food for Sunday dinner. The preparation took hours.
Pigs in a Blanket, Holubky or Kapusta: whatever you call them, the preparation is similar. Here is a 1993 recipe from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
My version of Stuffed Cabbage Wedges is simpler.
This is not about parboiling cabbage, carefully peeling the outer leaves from the head while you burn your fingers, then rolling little packets of ground pork, beef and white rice, and cooking the whole thing in a canned tomato soup sauce. This is not about super salty sauerkraut. This is not about bacon.
This is not my mother’s Stuffed Cabbage.
My recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Wedges is all about the luscious sweet flavor of steamed cabbage. It’s about a super easy way to stuff cabbage. It’s about healthy grains.
A presentation beautiful enough to serve guests.
When I was cleaning out my pantry, I came across an old bottle of whiskey. Nothing top shelf, but a good-sized bottle with a couple of inches left in the bottom. What to do with it? The big game was coming up on TV, making the perfect excuse for party food!
I found a recipe for Barbequed Beef Sandwiches in my mother’s well-worn cookbook from 1968, and because I haven’t eaten beef since last century, I thought I would try a version with chicken.
My recipe for Drunken Pulled Chicken Sliders couldn’t be easier. Rub the chicken with your favorite spices. If you like it hot, try a North African style Peri Peri blend.
Chicken and whiskey mix it up in the crockpot for 6 hours. If there is whiskey left in your bottle, you can drink that while the chicken is cooking. After shredding and the addition of barbeque sauce, the chicken looks delicious.
Hot Dogs + Jalapeno Poppers = Hot Popper Dogs
Finding this old recipe for Wrap‘n Roll brought back memories. My favorite fun food when I was a kid was the Crescent Roll wrapped wiener and cheese, sometimes called Pig in a Blanket. I remember peeling the label diagonally across the Crescent Roll tube until the dough popped out, cutting a slit in the hot dog to fit in a sliver of cheese, and wrapping the dog and cheese in the triangular shaped dough, ending with the point. They always baked up brown and crispy.
My version of Hot Popper Dogs combines the wrapped hot dog idea with jalapeno poppers. I’ve been exploring the versatility of puff pastry lately, and it works great for baked appetizers. Try some course ground or spicy mustard on the side with these Hot Popper Dogs.
Don’t wait for an excuse to make fun food!
Minestrone With Kale to Keep You Warm
Several days of bitter arctic cold has left me chilly in Cleveland, and snow is predicted for tonight. Soup time!
I found the funniest recipe for soup in this old Kitchen Craft cookbook from 1963. This recipe has very few ingredients: 1 can of vegetable soup, 1 can of bean soup, 1 can of beef noodle soup, and water. Can you believe a soup recipe that calls for 3 cans of soup? Maybe that’s how she kept her gloves so white.
Yes, I do somewhat resemble this kitchen queen.
My version of Minestrone is full of chopped fresh vegetables and leafy green kale.
This is a super easy soup—just use what you have, throw it in a pot, and let it simmer. Add a little pasta and some grated cheese for a comforting meal.
Onion, red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, green beans, kale, celery, jalapeño
Thai’d-up Broccoli Salad
I know broccoli is good for me, with its vitamins and fiber, but I have to admit I just don’t like the way it feels in my mouth, unless it’s overcooked and saturated with soya sauce. But raw, in a salad, nuh-uh.
Going through a collection of family recipes I compiled in the 90’s, I found a simple recipe for Broccoli Salad. How could I make it more interesting, (and more palatable)?
My herb garden is overflowing with Thai basil this year, and that was the starting point for Broccoli Mango Cashew Salad. Thai basil is smaller than its Italian cousins, but distinctive, giving this salad an Asian twist. The colorful combination of vegetables and fruit make this a beautiful dish to serve at a gathering.
Put the lime in the mango…
A great way to eat your vegetables!
Yogurt Cheesecake in a Peach!
What is it about cheesecake?
All that creamy richness contrasting with a crumbly crust and berries
for color feels so good in your mouth, it seems outright decadent.
Okay, so maybe it is the saturated fat and sugar.
I came across four versions of cheesecake in an old recipe book.
Each one calls for enough butter, cream cheese and eggs to clog
an artery, not to mention your thighs.
Variations on butter and cream cheese, eggs and sugar.
My version of Cinnamon Stuffed Peaches with Blueberry Sauce is an inspired alternative using Greek yogurt and very little sugar.
Super Easy Blueberry Sauce
A beautiful presentation for entertaining.
Enjoy without guilt!
Happy Memorial Day. Hail Our Heroes. Let’s Picnic.
Summer has officially started and that means salads and coolers and garden fresh vegetables.
I love traditional potato salad, like this recipe I found for Salad-Potato-Mother. But the picky eater in my house cannot tolerate hard-cooked eggs, or eggs in any form unless they are inside a chocolate cake. My version of Beet + Potato Salad uses an oil based dressing, nothing creamy. The key to this salad is the presentation. Instead of mixing it together in a big bowl, it’s arranged on a platter, allowing each color and texture to stand out. And no eggs!
Spices for Dressing
Like most things in life, it’s all about the presentation.
Fiery Hot Cinnamon Flavored Pasta
Moving is like childbirth: after awhile you forget the pain and hard labor, and want to do it again. Now I am in the middle of moving. The best part is I will be getting a workable kitchen. With a big cookbook shelf. I don’t know how I managed to cook in the little galley kitchen I have now. But many wonderful meals have come out of it, as have a few cooking disasters.
So in the middle of sifting through twenty years of toys, artwork and momentos, I found an amazing little recipe booklet that my husband made in first grade. (He still keeps in touch with some of his classmates from 1960!) I saved it from his parents’ house after they died. I knew this week’s old recipe must be Terry Davis’ Spaghetti and Meatballs. What could I do to fire up this easy, traditional meal?
Terry Davis’ Spaghetti and Meatballs, circa 1960
I took inspiration from my new favorite drink, cinnamon whiskey. No, I didn’t put the whiskey in the sauce. I put cinnamon in the meatballs, and hot peppers in the sauce, to give a spicy cinnamon-ey zing to Fireball Spaghetti + Meatballs. Whiskey on the side is optional.
Browned turkey meatballs
Red pepper, onion, jalapeños and zucchini for the sauce.
I dedicate this recipe to those who don’t throw anything away.
Rice: 200 Delightful Ways to Serve It
Rice is often just an afterthought, a counterpoint to spicy or richly sauced dishes. Or so I thought, until I found Rice: 200 Delightful Ways to Serve It. The Southern Rice Industry published this recipe booklet in 1935 to promote rice grown in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. It contains gems such as Rice and Liver Loaf, Chartreuse of Veal and Rice, and Rice Cranberry Parfait, including handy tips on table settings. Delightful!
My challenge was to make a casserole of Eggplant with Rice into something more interesting. This simple recipe contains only rice, tomato juice and eggplant. For Eggplant Stuffed Portobellos, I used a pearl couscous and lentil mixture, giving the dish more texture. Kalamata olives provide zing. I topped meaty Portobellos with the eggplant mixture, creating a hearty vegetarian meal. More delightful!