Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Food Trends

CHICAGO — The Food Channel® ( has released its Top Ten Food Trends for 2011.
For 23 years, The Food Channel has uncovered food trends ahead of the curve. “The insights are fun for consumers, and give those who make their living from food a competitive edge when it comes to what drives their consumers’ choices,” said Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel.

1. The Canning Comeback – “Putting Up” is gaining popularity for both economy and health.
2. Men in Aprons – Layoffs have led to more men cooking.
3. Local Somewhere – We care about hand-tended no matter where it’s grown.
4. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – We’re tired of being told what we can eat.
5. Appetite for Food Apps – Social media is our guide and our coupon source.
6. Small is the New Big Business – Corporations are thinking like small businesses.
7. Fresh Every Day – Rooftop gardens are just part of this trend.
8. Chefs in Schools – Better flavor is possible in an institutional setting.
9. Discomfort Foods – Change makes us comfortable with more change.
10. Eating for Sex and Other Things – We are working longer, and want all the gusto.

Read the complete Top 10 Food Trends for 2011 at

Also look for the Top Ten Foods to Watch in 2011. They include sausage, moonshine, grits, fin fish and the latest in antioxidant-heavy fruit.
What do you think?
And from other foodies, chefs and cities~

• Pies finally usurping cupcakes.

• Small, niche restaurants specializing in one main dish or ingredient, such as the Detroit-based Sweet Lorraine's Mac N' Cheez!

• Vegetables as fried chips, such as Brussels sprouts chips and turnip chips.

• Goat belly and lamb belly, following the popularity of pork belly.

Round 2
Technomic, a food-industry consulting and research firm in Chicago, has its eye on:

• Korean tacos, stuffing Korean flavors into the ever-more-popular taco shell.

• "Frugality fatigue" leading to more indulgent menus.

• Wine lists on iPads, tableside payment systems.

On the other hand ...
Eater website, which covers the New York dining scene, says:

• The pie trend has already come and gone, and cupcakes remain "everyone's favorite cutesy treat."

• The iPad wine list trend is tapped out. Look for iPad menus to last about as long.

Round 3
The Epicurious website boldly makes these predictions:

• Look for food halls -- great markets of food commerce that are sort of like cavernous farmers markets, but with restaurants. And a good PR firm.

• Korean cuisine with a twist; think kimchi quesadillas.

• Macarons, the pastel confections of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites, will persist.

• Meatless Mondays and Tofu Thursdays -- just what they sound like.

• Tiki bar cocktails -- we're so already there, thank you, Psycho Suzi's!

• Pop-up cafes that turn up in art galleries, parks or even chefs' homes.

• Sweet potatoes in everything from French toast to stuffed pasta.

• Pimenton de La Vera, or smoked Spanish paprika, to lend a sweet heat to foods.

What Rachael says
Or actually, Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine, says about what's Out and In:

• Out: vacations. In: foodcations, or cooking classes in exotic locations.

• Out: junk airport food. In: gourmet airport food. Being there, doing that at MSP.

• Out: pizza only as an entree. In: pizza for breakfast, topped with eggs.

• Out: cupcakes. In: pies. Clearly, views differ. Stay tuned -- and hungry.

• Out: coconut water. In: tart cherry juice, touted for sore muscles, sleepless nights and wrinkles.

• Out: artisanal pizza. In: artisanal hot dogs.

• Out: tricked-out popcorn. In: tricked-out pretzels.

• Out: clipping coupons. In: using smart phone apps for supermarket discounts.

Local Opinion Zone
The Five Hottest Food Trends for 2011
TAGS: 2011 artisan dc dining ethnic five hottest food trends food jana erwin local minimal sustainable trend trends
By: Jana Erwin 12/21/10 7:06 PM
Food trend spotters around the nation have been trying to peg the 2011 food fashions. Every article differs on specific dishes, but it all boils down to five buzz words you need to know: ethnic, local, artisan, minimal and sustainable.

As Tyler Cowne says, “all food is ethnic food.” But in 2011, expect to see a wide array of foods with names you can’t pronounce and flavors that might be new to you. New York and LA have been on the bandwagon for some time, but DC is just starting to discover flavors beyond Continental, Tex-Mex, and Pan-Asian. The biggest push is going to be for tacos that are anything but Latin and also expect to see a lot of flavors from SouthEast Asia (beyond Thai!), and other Asian cuisine such as Korean BBQ and fried chicken.

IN: black rice, quinoa, red rice, sandwiches, street food carts, breakfasts (traditional with ethnic spin, and traditionally ethnic), exotic fruits such as durian, passion fruit, dragon fruit, paw paw, guava, cheeses, Iced Tea (Thai style), and lots of Korean and Vietnamese flavors.

OUT: buckwheat, panini, Mexican inspired salads, alligator, parfait, French toast/stuffed French toast, quiche, daikon, soybeans, kale, Belgian, stir fry, grappa

I’m hesitant to call local a trend. It’s swiftly becoming a lifestyle and in 2011 it will pick up even more steam. We’re going to be seeing a return to “old world” shopping: visiting the butcher, the baker, the fromagerie, and all the mom-and-pop shops in between. Farmers are slated to become more popular than celebrity chefs, and you can bet that local butchers and cheese shops won’t be far behind. Expect to see more local canning wares at the farmers markets, with locally made pickles, jams, jellies, syrups, and preserves growing in popularity.
IN: locally raised meats, seafood, produce, mom and pops, neighborhood butchers, bakeries, cheese shops, locally made wine and beer, hot dogs, sausages, farmers as celebrities, locally made canned goods, farm shares and CSA (communally supported agriculture).

OUT: chain grocers, celebrity chefs, mass produced ingredients

So what is artisan food? To be truly artisan, food must be perfected and taken to the next level, by skilled and highly focused chefs. Artisan foods tend to come in small batches, and from sources that specialize in making one form of food, but with inventive twists you won’t have seen before.

IN: unusual ice cream flavors, popsicles, specialty bacon, “sandwiches” by any other name such as banh mi, specialty small batch cheeses, sous-vide, micro-distilled liquor, cocktails made with savory, fresh ingredients, gourmet junk foods such as chips, pretzels and popcorn, pie shops (both salty and sweet), and single ingredient-focused restaurants

OUT: boar, tongue, rabbit, sweetbreads, tripe, offal, lavender, foam/froth/air, wine on tap, absinthe, wine spritzers, cupcakes, and whoopie pies

2011 is taking portion control to a new level. The fad days of tappas and mezze may be over but we’re still into small plates, just so long as it doesn’t have a slider on it. Restaurants will be simplifying everything from their decors to the wording on the menu, and cutting out the advertising middle man as up to seventy percent of chefs and restaurants will be using social media to reach their customers. Don’t think this is about the recession: restaurants may limit their ingredients but we’re over the nostalgic cupcakes, whoopie pies and comfort food.

IN: bite size appetizers, bite sized desserts, food trucks, and pop-up restaurants with limited menus, social media for advertising, smaller portions for smaller prices

OUT: sliders, cupcakes, whoopie pies, traditional tappas and mezze


Years ago it was widely believed that over-fishing was impossible. But now, as more research has become available, a slow-growing movement for sustainable seafood has gained momentum. To see the latest information on which fish and seafood are farmed or caught in the most ecologically-sensitive ways, and aren’t part of endangered populations, try the Seafood Watch Program from Monterey Bay complete with iPhone app.

You will probably also see more restaurants and consumers growing their own produce and herbs, both to reduce pesticides and shipping deterioration, and to emphasize heirloom varieties that don’t grow well in bulk.

IN: focus on sustainable fish and seafood, restaurants with gardens (rooftop, backyard, community), growing your own produce and herbs for home cooking and canning, Meatless Mondays, replacing meat and seafood with vegetables

OUT: blue fin tuna, swordfish, red snapper, and Atlantic cod

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nutty Cocoa

I wanted to share two fun recipes with you~ They are posted on Nesting Newbies blog~

Nutty Cocoa
Serves One

1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and peanut butter in a small saucepan; while continuously whisking bring to a simmer. Serve hot.

Honey Goat Cheese-Stuffed Medjool Dates
Yields: Approximately 10 pieces

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
1 tablespoon honey
10 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced halfway through lengthwise
¼ cups walnuts, finely chopped

(1) Make a lengthwise cut in each date, remove pit, and gently pinch open to form a pocket.

(2) In a medium-size bowl, blend together goat cheese and honey. Using approximately a teaspoon of honey goat cheese at a time, shape into 10 balls.

(3) Fill each date with a honey goat cheese ball and with index finger, lightly press the ball into each date and smooth the top.

(4) Press the cheese side of each stuffed date into the chopped walnuts. Lightly tap to remove excess nuts, arrange on a platter and serve. Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Note: Experiment with other soft cheeses and toppings. Chef Lea often makes stuffed Medjool dates with Brie cheese and freshly chopped chives.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mystery Dinner Destination

Ny husband and I hosted a Mystery Dinner Destination. It started with a created email account. The designated guests were asked if they were free and if they were interested in participating on a given night. If they were free, weekly, sometimes bi weekly emails were sent to them. We didn't want them to forget about this event. They did not know who was hosting the party.
After they accepted, the first clue that was sent to them was: 'This is a Betty Draper style Dinner Party, and I'm not a blonde'.
Several had to google Betty Draper which was ok because that gave them a sense for the kind of party to expect. As the weeks wore on, famous lines or quotes from mad Men were sent. The quotes had to do with the dress, and eventually the menu- it was hysterical. We greatly admired our friends gutsy enthusiasm. They did not get final directions for where they were going until the night before the party. If they tried to figure out the location prior to the party, they would not know where they were going because at the last minute, just before 7 pm, we turned on an outside , illuminated 'Welcome' sign that they had to look for.

The menu:
Potato Balls fried in Duck Fat
Onion Dip in a mini cup
Prosciutto Wrapped pickles

Amuse Bouche
Fig in pear Broth with Gorgonzola, Fois Gras

Second Course
Root Soup with Cilantro Oil

Third Course
Caesar Salad

Fourth Course
Beef Tenderloin with Bordelaise Sauce

Fifth Course
Pumpkin Whoppie Pies with Rum Raisin ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce

Each place setting had a menu but this is what they lasw listed when they sat down with the real menu on the reverse side:

The Gypsy and the Hobo
Little Specks of brown
The Good News
My Old Kentucky Home
The Public Relations
Wee Small Hours
Love Among the Ruins
A Small Raise
The Suitcase

If you live in the burbs, and you want to do something more than just have friends over for dinner~
try doing a Mystery Dinner destination but you have to have some time on your hands! IT'S DOABLE!!!!
Ok, you can't do it. So, call me and I shall cater it for you!

Christmas Canon Rock

I am listening to the song Christmas Canon Rock and I used it in one of my sons' videos. For this post, it's the son in the middle of the first picture. You might think, what does this have to do with food? PLENTY! He's our biggest eater. He called this morning to say hi and told us how he recently went someplace in Seoul and ate things that were moving....
Ever since I used the Christmas Canon Rock song in a video I made for him, I get very emotional each time I hear it. I remember exactly where it was used. It was a sad scene- a losing season, the captains coming together to muster enthusiasm for the next game.
I would like to dedicate this post to him.
So, I shall put into this email quotes, well, I don't have much to quote, just pics! And my best memories of him. #8

Friday, December 3, 2010

First week in December Menus

Life, after Thanksgiving is calming down even though my hair is falling out in large amounts :)
A check up with my doc shows I'm doing great but I should be exercising more-something I really miss doing.
It occurred to me, why I don't have pictures of any of my weekly menus. I don't know why I don't, other than, too much all at once, and then where's my purse? I know I put the camera in there!
So, here are my 2 menus from this past week along with a picture of one of the salads I made the week before.

the top dish is a blue cheese potato tart. I used a white cheddar and a yellow cheddar ( because I was running short on cheese all of one color!

Thyme chicken and Mushrooms -

BEEF TIPS, – Melt in your Mouth Short Ribs
Corn muffins

Warm fruit compote

Menu #2~



I'm really trying to play catchup!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This weeks menu

Coriander Crusted Steak

Grams Spaghetti

Triple Mushroom Tart

Green Apples, Celery, Walnut Salad with lemon Vinaigrette


Chicken Pot Pie

Cranberry Pear Tossed Salad

Corn/sweet potato muffins


Turkey Tetrazzini

Waldorf Salad


Chicken Marsala Crock Pot

Brown Rice

Hot Buttered Corn

Cranberry Pear Tossed Salad


Potato Topped Vegetable Bowl

Seared Asian Steak

Dilled Cucumbers

Healthy food

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... All before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!

God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods. Modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them.

Figs are full ofseedsandhang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Black Friday

I was reading an article on how to prepare for Black Friday. I thought that was hysterical! Probably because in recent years, I've stayed away. I just don't know what I want to shop for. But back to the article. It talked about making your list and setting you alarm clock and one of the last paragraphs was about FOOD! Substenance! And the crowds and the shoving and the energy you spend on staying focused!
Here is a quote from the article:

Black Friday Countdown: How to Prepare for the Big Day

Pack snacks. You're going to get hungry at some point (Eating a good breakfast will help, but not indefinitely.), and you're not going to want to stop for lunch. High-protein snacks that don't need refrigeration and can fit in your purse or pocket are your best bet for Black Friday. Trail mix is a good choice, as is fruit and energy bars. Black Friday is one day you want to eat on the go.

If you're a coffee achiever, you know what to do. But remember what goes in must also come out. Do you want to interrupt the Black Friday shopping frenzy for a bathroom break?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deep Fried Turkey

While Deep Fried Turkey is one of Illinois' worst disasters when it comes to Thanksgiving fires, it continues to gain in popularity.
The reason why Illinois has one of the highest incidents is because people don't take the right steps to prevent explosions and other related disasters. They Loooove that deep fried thing but just don't do it right.
Read through these steps and heed the advice! There are several ways to prevent a Thanksgiving, deep fried turkey accident!

Get a real turkey fryer.

Don't try and use a stock pot. Don't use something that the turkey barely fits in. Don't use a hot plate. Don't put your pot on a grill. Three gallons of hot oil is nothing to fool around with, so start with the right equipment. The Bayou Classic is easy to set up, inexpensive, and sturdy.

Safety first. Make sure that your frying area is not near any structure or trees. Cook over stone, dirt, sand, or some other non-flammable surface. Keep children and pets away at all times. I use a large dog fence to cordon off the frying area. Have grease fire extinguishers handy, and above all, be careful!

Use a small bird. Using a large bird will only exacerbate the uneven cooking problem. Additionally, you run the risk of burning the skin before the center cooks through. A 10 to 12 pound bird is ideal, and should fee 8 to 10 people.

Use peanut oil. Peanut oil is one of the most highly saturated vegetable-derived oils and as such, produces crisper results. It also has a very high smoke point, which means that it's got a longer life, allowing you to reuse it multiple times before you've got to discard it.

Defrost the bird! Frozen turkey + hot oil = disaster.DISASTER!

Brine, inject, or season as desired. A brine or injections is not necessary for a juicy bird (I prefer mine without), but it's good extra insurance from overcooking can add flavor to your bird if you're into that. Either way, pat your turkey dry before frying it.

Measure your oil before you heat it. Nothing it worse than lowering a turkey into the fryer only to realize that you haven't added enough oil and the top of its sticking out. Ok, perhaps lowering it and having the oil overflow is worse. To avoid either of these problems, place your turkey into the cold fryer and add oil until the turkey is just covered. Remove your turkey, and heat the oil up to 350°F. You are now ready to cook, and have the exact right amount of oil.

Turn off the flame. If there's one safety tape to take home, let it be this one. By shutting off the flame under your pot before lowering your turkey, you can absolutely prevent your pot of oil from catching on fire—an all-too-common mishap. Shut it off, then relight it using a long match or long-tipped lighter after the turkey is safely in the pot.

Lower the bird slowly. It should take at least a minute to get your turkey into its hot oil bath (Thank the maker, this oil bath is going to feel so good!) Any faster, and you seriously risk boil overs.

Use a thermometer, not a timer. A timer is good for general guidelines, but a thermometer is the only way to guarantee that your bird is cooked to the right degree. Start checking the bird about 25 minutes into cooking. You want the coolest part of the breast to register 145°F before extracting it. Your oil temperature should be maintained at between 325 and 350°F while frying.

Let it rest.

This is absolutely essential. Cut it open immediately, and your exterior will be dry and your center undercooked. Allowing it to rest allows the temperature to equilibrate and for the juices to redistribute to make sure that every bite is relatively even in terms of moisture.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu for the week

I really hope I don't mess things up~ I'm fortunate to have another 'private' catering gig where I provide meals for 4 nights. I was asked to do 5 but said, let's wait and see how this is going to work.
So, here are my 2 menus for the coming week:
Crockpot Fried Rice with Chicken
Warm Curried Fruit
Tossed Salad

Beef and Sweet Potato Turnovers
Lime Jello with Pineapple
tossed Salad

Pork Roast and Dumplings
Tossed Salad

Kung Pao Chicken
Asian Slaw
Tossed Salad
Soup for the week: Apple, Squash, Cheddar
( very little breads and no desserts! Should make this job easier!
Chicken Almondine with Rice
Warm Fruit Compote
Tossed Salad
Molasses Raisin Bars

Balsamic Pork and Dumplings
Waldorf Salad
Tossed Salad

Chicken Kiev
Hot Buttered Corn
Dilled Rice

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Menu for the week

Baked Ziti
Sauteed Apples
Raisin Pecan Bread
Tossed Salad
Peach Strudel

Chicken Pistachio
Baked Potato
Tossed Salad
Roasted Carrots
Carrot Cake

Roast Beef
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Tossed Salad

The first menu was a hit thanks to my friend Carrie. We compared our recipes one day and she said her kids loved the ziti when it was made with pork. She's right! And I also added sausage to my ziti.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The new Schaefers

To my surprise the new spirits store has a new owner and has expanded. What a treat! The deli counter has been moved. There is a private room for parties; it's called the Boundary Room.
There is a wine tasting room which isn't really different than the bigger room. You can get wine flights and dinner- dinner consists of either a cheese platter artisan platter; or create one from their pates, dips, soups and more.

In their large back room ( looks like a warehouse) you can find deeply discounted wines. If you want to try a wine, they will gladly open it for you to sample!
Every Saturday, 11 to 5 they offer free tastings in their store. You can sample wines, beers, and other potables and and tempting spreads.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I love 153's sushi!

If you are near Wilmette, Illinois, please stop in for lunch or dinner to 153 Akira. I have had a birthday dinner and birthday lunch there in the last 10 days and I never tire of their menu or their presentations.
My frend Cheryl decide to base the birthday celebration on a theme: Eat, Pray, Love. The plan was to eat at 153. Then head over to the monument we always drive by: Bahai Temple. And for the loving part- back to her house to eat cake, drink wine and watch Eat, Pray Love. But, no place could the movie be found for renting nor was it On Demand. So, we watched the next best movie which I'm embarrassed to say I had NEVER seen. Julie and Julia! Both those women had great husbands in the movie. Not unlike my wonderful husband.

My friend Cheryl always manages to pull together something unique and fun with old friends and my sister!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sanitation Nation!

Or, as affectionately called by family: clean ween jean-
What a delight! This has something to do with food- cleanliness. I had a really professional cleaning agency come through my house yesterday to clean. My most important items were the huge chandelier that hangs in the foyer and then, my kitchen. So many cooks in this house and very few good cleaner uppers. You know that cooktop? Especially the black porcelain kind? My husband tried so many different things on that cooktop-we both wish we had watched the 'men in armor" get the job done. And my ovens! I mean the exterior- not a drop of anything on them! Banished! Gone forever- I wish. And the sink- not the safest kind because of the junk that accumulates in the seams- what a great job they did!

And the chandelier, it's so sparkly once again but you can quite see it in the picture. I'm just so happy....

And, the shower- those glass doors- they will forever, after today, see a daily squeegie; that thing that looks like a T.

After being here for 8 1/2 hours, we didn't want to cook dinner; I couldn't even wash my hands! So, out we went and enjoyed coming home to a sparkly, shining house!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu for the week

I don't know how the time has flown but I am here to share another menu of the week. However, the picture attached isa rice Krispie like cupcake that is filled with melted chocolate chips and topped with candy corn. It's so easy, you don't need a recipe!

This week's menu follows:
Potato Topped Vegetable Bowl
Oven Fried Chicken
Tossed Salad
Texas Toast
Peach Crisp

Swiss Steak
Cheddar Noodle Casserole
Lime Jello
Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes
Chunky Apple Cake

Skillet Pork Chop Stroganoff
Wide noodles
Tossed Salad

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tailgate revisited

Yesterday's weather was perfect for a football game and tailgating, college style!
For the first time in 5, maybe 6 years, I enjoyed the comfort of Metra trains and took the 3 hour rail trip to Galesburg, Illinois to watch the football team from Knox College ( a son's former school and team) to play ball. Not unexpected, they lost ( oops! sorry fans!) But seeing the tailgate friends again, well, makes you forget about the loss.

Several team players have parents that 'sleep over' vans. ( that's what my boys called them when they were younger. )There were 4 and they formed a box that shielded us from the chilly winds that became very cold once the sun left.

The morning started with delicious Bloody Mary's made with pickle juice and we had all sorts of snacks to munch on till game time. The picture staging isn't as good as it could be, I know.

We made our way to Knosher Bowl just in time to see the team run through the chute. During the game we would take off our coats and soon put them back on during the game that had scattered BIG clouds overhead. In the background, during the game, trains pass by and sometimes the calls on the field are halted due to the loud train whistles. Why do they always do it just as they come up on the Bowl???

After the game, we made our way to back to our 'box' and while the grills and battery operated grills heated up, we continued to snack on whatever was around and the boys from the team made their way to the group. Other parents are also tailgating and are encouraged to come inside the box and some of us usually end up walking around to see them.

By 6:00, the sun was gone and we had some delicious food- marinated chicken kebobs, marinated brats, pasta salads, potato salads, upside down pineapple cake. Two of the boys drove me back to the train ( which was such a nice gesture- earlier I made the 10 minutes walk to the field but it was chilly and fun to get a ride from them.
No more tailgating for me this season as I work on Saturdays. But yesterday, was just wonderful! Thanks to all my Knox friends- the Juarezes, Kiziors, Dohmes, Ricketts - miss you all!

Friday, September 24, 2010

filling a spring roll

Father Nam didn't like my Spring Rolls. he went to his Vietnamese store and bought the ingredients and then made the filling with what I had prepared for dinner that night. I think my Spring rolls looked the same but what I do know is, that my wrapper was different than his. If you look at the label on the wrappers- they all look the same and have the same wording. I think I have to have Fr. Nam buy them for me. I don't know squat when it comes to shopping in the Vietnamese stores, here in Chicago.

I'm glad I had filmed him as he is on his way to Vietnam. He escaped from prison years ago as a Catholic priest; fled and became an American citizen also, many years ago. He wants to visit his mother's grave. She died the day he escaped and he did not know that till quite a while later. Please, if any of you read this, please say a prayer for his safe return.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu for the week

This week I'll be making the following~
Grilled, Beer Marinated, Chicken
Cheesy Potatoes
Iceberg wedge with bacon and choice of dressing
Chocolate Candy Cake

Pork Chops and Potato/chive Perogis
Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes
Tossed Salad

Chicken with Parmesan Noodles
Monkey Bread
Autumn Salad
And I'm still looking for two more desserts.....

Butterscotch Apple Pie Squares

On a search for something different, I came across this recipe on Mixing Butterscotch Apple Squares

It looked similar to making that old bar called Hello Dollies, or 7 layer bar. This recipe also has 7 layers. With the Hello Dollies you don't have to press down on the layers as this recipe calls for that.
But it didn't help. The finished product looks good but try cutting into it! It really fell apart. I was going to put these on my menu for the week but not now. I did practice ( obviously) and took them to my friend Judy's house last night. To make them look presentable, fortunately I have these little 2" plates and mini forks left over from an event I did years ago.

I'm glad I never got rid of them. So, today I snapped a picture of one of these squares. Oh, I thought maybe these bars need to 'rest' overnight. Maybe they will firm up in the fridge. It didn't help. You can see how 'loose' they look.

I kept thinking, maybe I didn't press down hard enough on the layers but I thought I was as the milk starting oozing out of the sides in some places and almost over the edges of the plate.

Not all recipes turn out great. I'm sure someone out there can figure out how to make these turn out perfectly square. Here is the recipe:
1/4 c butter
1 1/2 c graham crackers
1 1/4 apples
6 oz. butterscotch chips
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 c flaked coconut
1 c chopped nuts
In a 9x13 baking pan, melt butter in a 350 degree oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter; top with apples. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt chips with the milk. Pour butterscotch mixture evenly over apples; top with coconut and nuts; press down firmly all over. Bake 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. ( I had to bake mine for 40 min.) Cool. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.