Food, Glorious Food

I have become known for the dishes that I take to friends’ homes. I am constantly being asked for the recipes so I thought maybe a little addition to my site with the most common was appropriate. Instead of writing it down, you can get it directly from the web.

I just realized in reading the selections on this page, that there is a “theme” to my dishes. Many of them are wrapped or stuffed.

One word of caution; I occasionally throw in something tasty to the mix at the last minute that is not in the “official” recipe.

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Moroccan Beef with OkraI’ve made it with and without the okra; it’s better with. Also added olives, prunes, and raisins. Great over couscous!

My good friend is a world traveler. The neat thing for me is that when she returns from a trip, there is a picture party and a chance to showcase the foods from her travels. Over the years, I have re-created dishes from Egypt, Israel, Vietnam, Argentina, Namimbia, and Lithuania.

The Moroccan was my favorite. This dish is traditionally made in a Tagine (a dish and the cookware). This one is in a crockpot. Updated: 03/02/2015

Chopped Liver I was going to this party and a friend suggested I make chopped liver. Without admitting it was not in my repertoire, I said “sure.” Then I solicited recipes from all my friends and relatives.

This is from my sister-in-law, Marcia. Everything I read says “the more eggs, the fluffier”    9/28/2013

Spanish Potato Omelet
“Tortilla Español”
We were at a few tapas restaurants and had this fantastic potato omelet that is served cold. I don’t think mine came out as well, but I will work on it some more. At least my friends enjoy the experiments. {I noticed that the recipe is not complete, I'll work on it.}04/15/2003
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto We had a little party and decided to have a pasta bar. We went to a wonderful, old time Italian grocery and found 4 shapes of pasta. 4 of us each made a sauce or topping. I saw recipes for pesto but they had things I could not eat.  11/01/2005
Corn Casserole Almost embarrassed to post this one. When I finally needed a quick covered-dish I pulled it out; and found he left off sizes. And my regular dish is 10X15 not 9X13! Got this one from my youngest brother, Philip. Hear that it is a Thanksgiving treat in Chicago. rev 09/20/2013
Meatloaf Wellington
I saw something similar in a cookbook and figured on improving. My friends devoured the thing in no time. Yes, the idea seems silly but I actually liked it better than a large hunk of steak in pastry.

Hey, guys! No bad jokes about me and meatloaf. My friends think I’m nuts because if I see meatloaf on the menu, I have to try it out. .Updated 08/17/2003

Sweet & Sour Meatballs Took this to a New Year’s Eve party and the crowd went crazy. It is tasty, cheap, easy, and fast.  01/02/2003
Spinach Pie Needed something easy to make for a covered dish party. Did not have much time nor want to spend much on those guys. The most expensive ingredient is the cheese; most everything else is always around the house.
Sweet & Sour Slaw I am from Alabama. I like slaw on everything, especially piled high on a BBQ sandwich. I prefer a vinegar slaw but will tolerate a good creamy slaw, as that is most of what you find in Missouri.

I was going to a party and needed to take something. I looked all over for a slaw that sounded good and finally made up my own based on what I had in the cabinet. 8/20/2000

Karen’s Incredible Slaw My friend Karen was looking at my site and suggested her own slaw. If your head is stopped up, remember to get a big whiff of the sauce while boiling! 07/21/2006
Thai Macaroni Salad For our Halloween food day at the office this year, Karen C. suggested that I make “Brains,” or at least a salad that looked like brains.

The result is this quick and easy macaroni salad. I think I actually got a corkscrew looking pasta.  10/31/2002

Talking about Tapas
We were at my favorite, La Tasca in Arlington Heights, IL and had this thing that was bacon wrapped around dates with pepper sauce.

Had an idea to take to a party. Wrapped bacon around a chunk of pineapple, added a slice of pickled ginger, dipped in sesamé oil and baked. Had also done bacon-wrapped smokies that the crowd said was just “OK.”04/22/2013

Paella - Vegetable This is not a vegetarian version but one that traveled well with people that are “half-Kosher,” (no shellfish, love cheeseburgers). Anyway, as always I improvised from the vegetables that were in the store and found that I love okra. The saffron is very expensive but remember, you only need a speck.  08/15/2008
Egg Rolls It is easier than it sounds. Yes, I always say that! But I mean it. Made this when the “Funny Foods Group” was coming to my house. Used the peanut sauce that is part of the Thai Macaroni Salad.05/24/2003
Stuffed Cabbage Well, at work this week there was a “Food Day” and I was not given a choice what to bring. Even though I protested that I had never made cabbage rolls, only grape leaves.

I studied several cookbooks and eventually mashed together the recipes for Jewish, Polish and Lebanese versions. At least everybody thought it was great!   11/21/2001

Spring Rolls   My friends lost out. The first time I made them, NOBODY showed up for the party. This time, they were gone in no time. Don’t tell anybody about the secret ingredient! 11/05/2001
Blintz Casserole I got the recipe from my Mom. As I was making it, she mentioned that she put other stuff in it but could not remember what. This is the “improved” version.
Apple Crescents      I was scheduled to take an appetizer to a party but when I tasted the filling for my second batch of empanadas (guess you want that too!), I was not pleased. The first batch was OK since they devoured them in no time. This one was improvised on the moment from things I had around the house. It uses Grands™ Buttermilk Biscuits. Several people asked for the recipe.  02/18/2011
Empanadas As noted above, I do have a recipe for empanadas. Probably not authentic but still gets rave reviews. Included are instructions for both a vegetarian and carnivore. If you are an olive lover, this is for you. 07/25/2001
Chicken stuffed with
Apricots & Cous-Cous
My singles group was having a cookoff to prove who was the better cook, guys or girls. I hate to lose so made this one up for the occasion. Turned out that the guys baked and the girls brought potato salad from the grocery. Revised 12/27/1999

A slightly revised version of this one using rice is on the Pirmi website. 8/15/2000

Mushroom Strudel Very rich. Very popular. I made some improvements in the recipe in Dec, 1999. I had a kitchen “accident;” I thought the allspice had a shaker but the top flipped up. I was in the dish scooping out the extra 3 tablespoons.
Cabbage Strudel  I was in an Indian restaurant where the lunch special was this delightful cabbage. I think I added some things to the mix, but decided it would make a nice finger-food in phyllo. (01/01/2012)
Stuffed Grape Leaves This one is meat-less. The rice is wonderful by itself with a strong citrus aroma.
Mushroom Paté Another 25 minute recipe. Looks just like chopped liver.
Phyllo Never worked with phyllo? Here are some tips. It is a lot easier than you think.
Revised December 2001.
Balsamic Onions I made this for our club picnic and was besieged with requests for the recipe. 08/30/2003.

Don't do what I did, I panicked that I did not have enough and went to cut up a whole big onion to add. Never get in a hurry, it necessitated a trip to the emergency room.

Thai Coconut Soup After my friend and I had been to Thai restaurants for lunch many times, I decided I should make the soup at home. I leave out fish sauce because I'm allergic to fish. I put peanut butter in almost everything.011/23/2014.

Holiday Recipes
Mom's Sweet Potatoes My mom did not want to bring a hot dish so we made it at my house. I carefully noted the ingredients. (I made it 12/25/2001 and had to improvise a little, forgot to buy pineapple and used mandarin oranges).
Bourbon Pecan Pie At Thanksgiving this year, I was talking to someone who said that Pecan Pie is what says Thanksgiving for her. Since the other pie makers bailed, I decided to try my hand. I started with the recipe on the KARO® bottle and improvised.

The family ravished the pie in minutes. I cannot show up at the barber shop in November without one of these in my hand. Updated: 11/22/2001

Cranberry Salad I only make it once a year, at Thanksgiving so I have to put the recipe somewhere so I do not re-invent the wheel each time. This is a 15 minute prep salad.   Do you like haroshes at Pesach? The family thought it was a good alternative.    11/22/2001
Cranberry Chutney I looked at a bunch of recipes online but none had the zing I was looking for.
Cranberry Surprise My family expects some new Cranberry concoction every year. I love cranberries and enjoy thinking up new ways to use them.     11/28/2002

Desserts & Pastry

Have you ever noticed that free food at the office goes away fast; no matter how badly it turned out?

I've noticed that nobody bakes for office parties anymore; the cakes all arrive in grocery store boxes. I prefer to show off.

Baklava I learned to make Baklava from Clarita who called it “Ba-lay-wa”. Clarita was of Lebanese descent, grew up in Ecuador, but lived in Alabama for half a century. I have been experimenting for years and even made a chocolate version for Barb’s birthday. The lower filling was Ghiradelli Dark and the upper was almonds. Call it pan-Mediterranean!09/27/2012
Coffee Cake
The world’s easiest recipe for any cake. At our department BBQ it disappeared in a flash! 09/03/2006
Raspberry Tiramisu

Low-Cal Tiramisu
Two for the price of one. For a backyard party I created the Raspberry Tiramisu. 08/22/2010 This recipe was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on August 18, 2010. The Low-Cal version was updated in 08/2008 now that I am on Weight Watchers. Est 5 points.
Apple Strudel Came out better than I ever imagined. The bread crumbs make the layers separate and incredibly flaky. My office tore into it at 7am instead of waiting for the lunchtime event. 12/17/2009
Fruit Strudel This makes one large strudel with interesting fruits. Try different combinations until you find the one you like.  Added 6/11/2000
Poppyseed Strudel Made this for 2 stamp club holiday parties and there were no leftovers. In this example, I include a diagram of how I slice and braid the strudel.  Added 12/20/2014 NEW STUFF
Peanut Butter Pie Years ago, a friend worked the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Birmingham. Her specialty was Peanut Butter pie. For some time, I had the recipe but managed to lose it. This is what my brother and I have cobbled together from what we remembered.  12/23/2004
Puffed Pastry

Here is my recipe for Apricot filling. It got rave reviews.

Cheese Danish I admit that I am a better baker than photographer. Changed the receipe in December, 2015 to use ricotta and mozarella cheeses. The finished product has a silkier texture. There is a picture before and after baking.

When I am preparing to go somewhere and I will decide on the type food I am taking. If I already have the fixings in the house, so much the better. But let’s say I decide to make something with cranberries. It is unlikely they are already sitting around. So I get some and then raid the Internet for a recipe that has that thing and whatever else is in the house. Of course, the recipe that I find is “just not right” so I have to tinker with it anyway. These recipes show the results of my tinkering.