Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baked Omelet for Saturday Night Supper

It has been such an interesting challenge to incorporate the recipes that will be next in line in the cookbook challenge into our meals.  It means looking ahead far enough that we have ingredients for several recipes at all times, so that I can make one or more at a moments' notice as time (and interest) and appetite allow. It's a juggling act - finding time to cook, at a time when I feel like cooking and Merlyn feels like eating what's on the menu. Saturday night turned out to be the 'sweet spot' in last week's juggling act.

Saturday nights are always special in my mind. In my childhood, Saturday nights were when we took our baths.  I'm sure we took them at other times, but my strongest memory is of the Saturday night bath, in anticipation of Sunday morning church, with clean body, hair, and clothes.  It's such a strong a metaphor of the way we'd like to approach God - with clean hands and a pure heart.

When I was 5, we moved to a house with a real bathtub!!!  There were lots of other new and wonderful things but the bathtub really stood out to me. Fast forward to the present, and I'm a morning shower person, and only occasionally soak in the tub.  I still think hot water is one of God's greatest gifts!  Again, it's a metaphor for His gifts to us - God requires us to come before Him in purity, and then gives us the means to do it!  

Saturday night was a great time to try this Baked Omelet.  It's simple and filling!  I couldn't find a similar recipe online so will reproduce it below. 

1 lb. bacon, ham or sausage meat (cooked and drained).  Line bottom of 13 x 9 pan with meat; top with sliced cheddar cheese and sliced mushrooms.

Beat together:
1 1/2 dozen eggs (18)

1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour over cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Unhappily, <hangs head> I was not successful in my quest to follow the recipe exactly. Since there were just the two of us, we elected to cut the recipe in half and use a 9 x 9 pan.  We had ham on hand for this recipe (from a post-Easter spiral-cut ham that we slow-cooked), and added about 4 oz. of sliced fresh mushrooms.  Because I am often assaulted with the comment "needs more *flavor*," I chose to use pepper jack cheese to add some spiciness. 

This is a delicious baked omelet and I will use this recipe for overnight guests expected in the fall. It's easy, filling, and should be universal in its appeal.

Here's the challenge: I'm going to make each recipe in the cookbook, "Trophy Recipes from Columbia Classics Car Club 1992-2002,' Tri-Cities, WA", one recipe per section, and blog about it.  And then I'll go on to the next section.

Main Dishes: Cakes
Next Recipe:  Chocolate Caramel Cream Cake
I'll be back after while!.  Bon Appetit!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Best 'Broccoli Salad' in the World

While some of the recipes we've attempted have been surprisingly good or surprisingly - not good, I have been blind-sided by a couple of eventualities.  One is that I have taken some of the recipes out of sequence! I am a 'by the book' girl, and it's shocking to me that I've changed the rules in the middle of the 'game', to accomodate time pressures, meal schedules, and/or items on hand.

Not only that, I have actually had a difficult time preparing the recipes exactly as written!  When I research recipes on the web, I have often found myself thoroughly disgusted with the posters who go on and on about how they added this or substituted that, wondering, "why can't they just make it the way it's supposed to be done????".  But now I find myself doing the *very* *same* *thing*!  And seemingly unable to stop!

I did prepare this 'Broccoli Salad' as it appears below, except that I used Oscar Meyer Ready to Serve Bacon instead of frying my own (since I had some on hand). A Good Housekeeping Taste Test calls it one of the best-tasting precooked bacons.  Also, I forgot to put in the slivered almonds until we brought it out for the second meal.  It made enough for 3-4 meals for the 2 of us. AND WE LOVED IT.

Karen Hilmoe, one of our favorite cooks, contributed this recipe for the cookbook, and attributes this recipe to our collective niece, Patty Hilmoe.  Per her note on this recipe: "Our niece, Patty Hilmoe, of the Bismarck Hilmoes, was kind enough to share this with me.  We love it, and I get many requests for it.  I realize many of you already have it, but for those who don't... Enjoy!"

1 bunch broccoli cut up (4 cups or eore and you can mix broccoli and cauliflower)
1 cup celery chopped
Green onions chopped (Karen use 3 to 4)
1/2 # bacon fried crips and broken up (I used half a package of precooked bacon)
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups red grapes, cut in half

1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)

Blend the dressing well and toss with the salad.  Let sit one hour before serving to blend flavors.

Here's the challenge: I'm going to make each recipe in the cookbook, "Trophy Recipes from Columbia Classics Car Club 1992-2002,' Tri-Cities, WA", one recipe per section, and blog about it.  And then I'll go on to the next section.

Next Section: Main Dishes
Next Recipe:  Baked Omelet
I'll be back after while!.  Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Candied Brie with Apple Wedges - It's a Hit!

Back when it was cold and snowy, Merlyn coerced some friends (who had never seen it) to watch the entire Star Wars series of movies. Part of the coercion was that they would bring food with them and join him on Sunday afternoons when I was working.  Star Wars, wonderful friends and great food - what's not to love!

They were such good sports about that I invited them to watch "A Year in Provence" with us, which of course required each of us to produce some French food to share. A Year in Provence is a miniseries that I first saw at Thanksgiving in 1993.  What actually happened was that there was a Thanksgiving blizzard which meant that my family couldn't come to town and have dinner with us.  This was our first Thanksgiving after my Dad passed away in August, so I was understandably depressed and couldn't really keep my mind on the series.  Merlyn spent the whole day moving snow and pulling people out of snow drifts. I spent the day tryiing to watch "A Year in Provence."  It was on A & E three times that day, so whenever he came into the house, it was still playing, and he thought it was at least 12 hours long.

A few years later I received the video series (a mere 6 hours long) for Christmas, and we watched it and enjoyed it - even learned some things!  During the past winter I ran across it as I was cleaning out our video cupboard and wanted to view it again. 

It took us two evenings to watch the whole thing.  And  the food was fabulous: we had two kinds of quiche, madeleines, salade nicoise, lobster risotto, chicken cordon bleu, French apple tart, homemade ice cream ...  We spent so much time with the marvelous food that we had to do an encore a few days later to finish the last quarter of the miniseries.

That time, we had madeleines, French apple tart and homemade ice cream again, as well as several appetizers like this one, candied brie with apple wedges,' provided for the Tri Cities cookbook by my sister-in-law Karen Hilmoe (a fabulous cook).

I have since learned better but at the time, none of us were familiar with Brie and we didn't know what to do with the rind.  So we peeled it off with a knife and scooped out the cheese, then spread it on the apple slices.  It was excellent!  And I'll have to serve it again to see how it is the right way, sliced with the rind intact.
Here's the challenge: I'm going to make each recipe in the cookbook, "Trophy Recipes from Columbia Classics Car Club 1992-2002,' Tri-Cities, WA", one recipe per section, and blog about it.  And then I'll go on to the next section.

Next Section: Soups, Salads, & Condiments
Next Recipe:  Broccoli Salad
I'll be back after while!.  Bon Appetit!