Sunday Roast: What’s for Dinner?

Weirdly enough, it’s December AGAIN.  Where did this year go?

Anyhoo, this seems to be the time of year when people are interested in cooking a big holiday dinner for the family and friends.  Not me, of course, but some other people.  You know who you are.  🙂

So I thought to myself, “Self, why not do food posts for the month of December?”  And I replied, “Self, that seems like not all that much work…I mean, GREAT IDEA!!  People will love this!!”

Well, ’tis the season of giving, so I give you a lovely ham video.  Personally, I’m glad I’m not scrubbing that pan after dinner.  Yikes.

This is our daily open thread — Post your foodie favs here!

Sunday Roast: The Snowman

This is one of my eldest’s holiday favorites.  I love it, too.

What are your favorite holiday videos or memories?  Hey how about recipes, too?  We haven’t done that in a long time.  🙂  Please share in the comments section!

This is our daily open thread — Happy Holidays, everyone!

Sunday Roast: White House beer recipes!

President and Mrs Obama brew their own beer in the White House.  How awesome is that?

Here’s a video:

Well?  Get started on that shopping list!

This is our daily open thread — The Obamas brew beer in the White House!

May 13, 2012: Jane’s Sausage Bread Recipe

By popular demand, I’m finally putting my sausage bread recipe in writing. (Okay, I know that some of you asked for it several months ago, but…)
I’ve honed the actual prep and cooking down to its easiest, quickest formula. No more rolling and stretching fresh pizza dough, no more crumbling the sausage. The instructions look a lot more complicated than they really are, but that’s because I’ve added notes for guidance. So here you are:

You’ll need:

1 roll (16-oz) PARK’S HOT N’SAGEY SAUSAGE (In the frozen sausage section, the wrapper is bright orange)
NOTE: Keep it frozen until the night before (or morning before) you’re planning to start this; let it partially thaw in the fridge so that it will be easier to slice lengthwise, otherwise it’s messier to try to slice evenly.

1 roll Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough

1/2 lb. (approx) Muenster cheese (or provolone, or Monterey Jack, any mild cheese – I don’t use mozzarella ’cause it’s too stringy/messy.)
NOTE: I get the muenster cheese in the bar form, since I end up slicing it lengthwise. I thinly slice off the orange outer part of the muenster before slicing.

1/2 to 3/4 lb. mushrooms
NOTE: I get the pre-sliced white mushrooms, which come in an 8-oz package, but a bit more would be optimal. (For this Saturday’s event, where I made two breads, I had inadvertently bought one pack of sliced white mushrooms and one pack of sliced baby bellas. Mixed, it turned out okay, but the baby bellas are a little more rubbery, so I’d recommend just the white mushrooms.)

2 or 3 large cloves of garlic (or several smaller cloves, or a good heaping tablespoon of jarred pre-minced garlic)

a pat or two of butter

Since I usually make this for a particular event or get-together, I like to get the prep part done the night before:

– Pre-heat oven to 325;

– Slice the sausage roll lengthwise into (approx) 1/2″-thick slices (easiest if you slice it down the center, then slice each half down their centers–you should end up with 4 slices); place the slices in a foil-lined (for easier cleanup) pan that’s at least 1″ deep – I use a brownie pan – because the sausage produces a lot of grease; place in pre-heated oven and bake for approx. 1/2 hour, turning slices halfway through cooking time; you’ll want them to be thoroughly cooked, but not browned or crispy; meanwhile:

– Peel the garlic cloves and mince them in a chopper (or whatever you more sophisticated cooks use);

– the mushrooms: whether you’re using pre-packaged sliced mushrooms or whole mushrooms, they’ll need to be chopped into smaller pieces–you can combine them with the garlic cloves when you chop them, or do it separately;

– Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the minced garlic and chopped mushrooms; cook on low heat (either covered or uncovered), stirring occasionally, until both mushrooms and garlic are well-softened (approx. 15 minutes)

If you’re doing these steps simultaneously, both the sausage and the mushroom/garlic combo should end up being ready around the same time; then:

– Remove the sausage slices from the pan and blot them thoroughly in a LOT of paper towels to absorb as much grease as possible;

– Drain the liquid from the cooked mushroom/garlic concoction (you can keep the liquid for other recipes if you wish);

At this point you can either refrigerate these ingredients and go to bed, or set them aside while you start playing with the pizza dough. Either way, when you are ready to finally put the whole thing together:

– Pre-heat oven to 350

– Open the pizza dough roll and carefully (try not to stretch it) unroll it onto a very lightly greased large cookie sheet or other large baking pan (can’t use round pizza pan, as the dough rolls out into a rectangle, more or less) NOTE: I spray a little Pam onto a paper towel and use the sprayed paper towel to grease the pan. You can use a little bit of butter the same way.

– Arrange the sausage slices along the center of the pizza dough, leaving about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of dough uncovered at both ends. The sausage slices should be arranged in two-by-two form, i.e. ==; it works best if you lay them out along the shorter width of the pizza dough;

– Using a cheese slicer (for uniformity) slice the Muenster cheese bar lengthwise in approx. 1/4″-thick slices; arrange the slices on top of the sausage slices;

– cover the sausage/cheese slices with the mushroom/garlic mixture, spreading evenly;

– carefully (again, try not to stretch the dough) fold the sides of the dough over the top of the whole concoction, and pinch the open ends together to close the bread;

– bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until the bread is more-or-less evenly golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove it from the baking sheet – I use two spatulas so that the bread is evenly supported. Either place the bread on a serving plate for immediate slicing and consumption; or, if you’re bringing it to an event, wrap the bread in tinfoil.

NOTE: When I do this for an event, I allow extra time to cool the bread in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour, then pre-slice it and reheat it for 10 or 15 minutes at 300 prior to final wrapping for transport. When I do the re-heating, I partially wrap the bread, leaving the top uncovered a bit so the top gets firm and a little crusty again.

As I said, the above looks like a lot of complicated work, but it’s really not, otherwise I would probably be too lazy to make it!

Try it yourself and enjoy!

The Watering Hole: December 9 — What’s for dinner?

Hey, Critters and Zoosters!  The table is set — What’s for dinner!?

I know you have your holiday favs running around your heads, and you’re haunting the stores for the best ingredients, so if you feel like sharing your holiday traditions, stories, and/or recipes — this is the place to do it!

This is our daily open thread and it’s Friday Foodie day — what could be better?

Sunday Roast: Foodie post!


It’s been a LONG time since our last foodie post, so I thought it high time we get on the subject.

Roasted chicken is one of my all-time favorites, and you can’t hardly mess it up, unless you cook it too long.

What are your favorites?

This is our daily open thread — mind the drooling.

Sunday Roast: Chicken!!

I promised a foodie post this weekend, so here it is.  Roast chicken is one of the best things on the planet.  My mom used to make a killer roast chicken when I was a kid, and I’ve fallen into the bad habit of buying rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.  Now that the weather has turned cooler, I won’t mind having the oven on so long — roast chicken coming up!

This is our daily open thread — share your foodie love
and whatever else you’ve got on your mind.

Sunday Roast: It’s for dinner

Image source

Popular throughout the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland, Sunday Roast is a lovely tradition going back to the inventions of meat and Sundays.

The Sunday roast isn’t necessarily beef; it can be chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, or even some vegetarian atrocity.  Heh, no offense to vegetarians.  Srsly…

The above Sunday Roast is beef, served with roasted potatoes and carrots, broccoli, salad, and a cute individual Yorkshire pudding.  I must learn how to make those.

What’s for Sunday Roast at your house?

This is our daily open thread — stop drooling, your keyboard will short out.

The Watering Hole/Feeding Trough: July 15 – Foodie Alert!!

Steak tartare.....Mmmm?

Photo by gummitch

Okay Zoosters, you asked for it!  Post your recipes and favorite (or least favorite) food experiences here.   I’ll have a pad a pencil ready to make a shopping list.  😉

Now we’ve seen how gummitch spends his Saturday nights, so I’m a bit green around the gills.  But he assures me the wine was fabulous — if he remembers correctly.  Heh.

This is our daily open thread, so feel free to comment on any subject!
If your tummy isn’t growling long before lunch time,
we’re not doing the food thing right.

The Watering Hole: May 22 – Hey grandpa, what’s for supper?


Pico de Gallo

6 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 c. Vidalia onion, diced

3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

1 1/2 t. garlic, minced

1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 t. fresh oregano, chopped

3 fresh limes, squeezed

Salt & pepper

Combine the first six ingredients.  Add the juice of the limes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate in a tightly close container; overnight is best.


Yum, yummy!!  What’s cooking in your part of the world these days?  Share your recipes here, and you might find a few to add to your recipe box.

This post was inspired and requested by our bloggy friend, Hoodathunk. Thanks for the yummy idea!

This is our daily open thread, so have at it!

(Image source)

Olive Oil Protects Your Heart

Recipes for salad dressing and a marinade made with olive oil.

According to new research olive oil surpasses all the other oils in protecting your heart from failing and arteries from hardening.  One of the reasons it is the healthy choice:

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels in your blood.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consuming about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day may reduce your risk of heart disease.

There are many different types of olive oil, the most recommend is “extra-virgin” or “virgin” these are the least processed and have the highest levels of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant.

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What’s for dinner?

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

It’s almost dinner time and many wonder what to eat tonight, or tomorrow. How about cooking a meal, even if you don’t have much time? Here’s a suggestion:

One chicken (free-range if possible) of about 3.5 lbs

Two organic lemons (if not organic, wash thoroughly with hot water)


And here’s how it’s done:

Wash chicken and remove excess fat, sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out.  Roll whole lemons firmly on the table to soften and prick about twenty times with a kitchen needle. Stuff lemons in chicken’s belly and use kitchen needle to close it. Preheat oven to 356 F put chicken in a pan breast side down, no added fat, roast for 30 mins. Turn chicken on it’s back and roast for another 30 mins, turn up heat to 395 F roast another 20 mins until nice and brown. If the chicken should look like a ballon, don’t worry – you did everything right. Remove lemons from belly, throw out lemons and cut chicken in pieces.

As side dish: Toss some salad in a bowl, add seasoning vinegar and oil.


This works for singles too. You can use any excess chicken meat for a sandwich tomorrow or chicken salad.

Try it out, it’s healthy and done quickly and tatstes great.

Toasterhead’s Crazy Good Apple Muffin Thing

Toasterhead’s stunningly dangerous TPWW Recipe Cabal has posted an amazingly yummy recipification for his Crazy Good Apple Muffin Thing, and it’s so good it makes you want to lay down and die — except then you couldn’t eat anymore of it. IT’S TRUE!! 🙂

Ok, this is a recipe I made this morning and it was crazy good. I call it the Crazy Good Apple Thing. Here’s the recipe, based on this one from the Internets but with some special “Toasty Touches.” For best results, use organics and fair-trade ingredients wherever you can:



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice blend
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded apple – gala or pink lady works crazy good but anything you can get locally is ideal
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground korintje cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375F and grease a brownie pan or muffin tins whichever you prefer. I’m lazy and thuslike prefer the brownie pan.

Muffinness: Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and apple pie spice in a smallish bowl. Blend butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a biggerish bowl. Add apples. Blend in the flours and stuff. Pour the muffinness into brownie pan [8×8] or muffin tins.

Toppingicity: Mix butter, brown sugar, and flour. Blend in the butter. Dump it on top of the muffinness.

Bake 20 minutes or until finished. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner!

I’ve decided to be adventurous today and try out a couple of new recipes for our St. Patrick’s Day Dinner tonight.

Irish Stew with Lamb and Guinness

From GumboPages.Com

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut into large dice
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 2 quarts lamb or beef stock, or as needed
  • 12 ounces Guinness stout
  • 1 cup pearl barley (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For a real Irish country touch, include the barley — cook it for 20 minutes in 3 cups of lamb or beef stock, then add when you return the meat to pot with the vegetables. Cut off some of the parsley leaves and chop enough to make 2 tablespoons; reserve. Cut off some parsley stems, and tie them into a bundle with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme; reserve.

Season the meat with salt and brown the meat in a little oil. Remove and reserve, and sprinkle with a little flour, shaking off excess. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté, tossing to coat with the fat. Add the Guinness and deglaze, scraping up any caramelized meat juices. Add the potatoes, return the meat to the pot (and the barley if you’re using it). Add enough stock to barely cover, cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat to very low and simmer 2 – 3 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Check seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat, stir in parsley and the cornstarch (mixed into 4 teaspoons water) and stir. Cook over low heat for a few more minutes to thicken. Serve with plenty of Irish brown or white soda bread, tea and more Guinness if you like.

YIELD: 6 generous servings

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Recipe for Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee


  • Irish whiskey (I love Bushmills!)
  • Strong black coffee
  • Finely ground sugar
  • Pint of fresh whipping cream

Heat the glass. Add the a jigger of whiskey (Bushmills), add two tsp. of sugar and the hot coffee. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Shake the carton of whipping cream until it thickens (I usually pour some out and set aside first so that there is more room to shake up the cream in the carton – this part takes a few minutes).

Float the cream on top of the coffee by pouring over the back of a spoon rested just on the surface of the coffee: let the cream flow into the bowl of the spoon and overflow onto the coffee. Lift the spoon as the cream builds up, so that a layer of cream builds up on top of the coffee.

Do NOT try this in coffee without sugar in it: it is the presence of
the sugar that allows the cream to float successfully.

Serve. The coffee is supposed to be drunk through the cool cream, not
stirred in.


“We Should Start Eating Insects”


Cricket pies, fried grasshoppers and mealworm quiche: Welcome to the new culinary delights. Or so hopes Arnold van Huis, an entomology professor in Wageningen, the Netherlands. Van Huis is working to bring a range of entomological appetizers to the market.

Marco Visscher: Why should we eat insects?

Arnold van Huis: While the world population is growing and our global wealth is advancing, meat consumption is rising dramatically. Currently, 70 percent of farmland is being used for meat production. If this trend continues, it will prove unsustainable. Moreover, livestock is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane and nitrous oxide. Insects have a much lower environmental burden, while their nutritional value measures up to chicken or beef.

Um….yum! Yeah. Professor van Huis has graciously included a few recipes. Try this one!

Banana Worm Bread
Compliments of Iowa State University Entomology Club


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted army worms


Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Let me know how it is! I’m looking for new Christmas recipes. 🙂

Another traditional Christmas recipe.

One of the things my family looks forward to each Christmas morning, before we open presents, is breakfast with hot coca and my Sour Cream Twists. Its a recipe I got from my mother, who got it from her mother. They take a little work, but are well worth the effort!

Recipe below the fold..

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Christmas Morning Brunch

This is a great egg dish you can put together the night before and throw it in the open for a Christmas morning brunch! I have fixed this every year for about 20 years. I can’t remember where I found it. I hope you like cheese… Yummy…

Brunch Baked Eggs

3 c. shredded jack cheese (12 oz.)
12 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 oz. medium onion, sliced
1/4 c. sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 c. butter, melted
8 oz. cooked ham, julienne strips
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese (12 oz.)
8 beaten eggs
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
2 T. snipped fresh chives, basil, tarragon, thyme, or oregano
1 T. snipped parsley

Sprinkle 3 c. cheese in bottom of 13x9x2-in. dish. IN Saucepan, cook mushrooms, onion, red pepper in butter until tender but not brown. Drain well. Place vegetables on top of cheese. Arrange ham strips atop vegetables. Sprinkle remaining 3 cups of cheese atop ham. Cover, and chill in fridge overnight. To serve, combine eggs, milk, flour, chives, and parsley. Pour over cheese layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Makes 12 servings.
I always serve it with fresh fruit and scones.

Christmas Season Goodies

As we head in to the holiday season, I always get excited because I get to pull out all those recipes I save JUST for this time of year. It is funny that certain tastes and smells can evoke such wonderful memories.. There are a number of recipes that I reserve only for Christmas. This first recipe is my favorite, and one I have used my entire adult life, as did my mother, as did my grandmother. I make a can for all my close friends, including those who live across the United States. I have sent it as far as Amsterdam. Its just too good!
(Recipe below the fold..)

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