Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ruben Dip

This recipe was a hit. It's a Ruben, but in dip form. What's not to like. You can pretend that the yogurt dressing makes it into health food too. It doesn't really, but it does cut out some fat. If you like, you can make half a recipe. Cut the loaf of bread in half. Slice a bit off the bottom so it will set flat (pictured). Go Vikings! (Caution: The Vikings have lost both times I made this. This recipe might be a jinx.)

1 8-oz container pastrami, chopped (about 1 1/2 c)
3/4 c grated Swiss cheese + and extra 1/4 c grated Swiss
1 c sauerkraut with the water squeezed out
A round loaf of pumpernickel bread

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the thousand island, pastrami, 3/4 c of the grated Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. Cut the loaf of pumpernickel into a bread bowl. Cut the extra bread into cubes. Fill the bread bowl with the Ruben dip mixture. Bake 30 minutes. Top the Ruben dip with the extra 1/4 c Swiss cheese. Return bread bowl to the oven and place bread cubes in the oven. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve the bread cubes around the Ruben dip bread bowl.

Yogurt Thousand Island Dressing

This recipe is based on a America's Test Kitchen recipe. I replace the mayo with yogurt cheese. I also omit the egg ( I don't like boiled eggs) and replace the sweet pickles (I don't like sweet pickles) with dill pickle relish. You can choose to thin this out with water or milk or just leave it thick.

1 small garlic clove, minced to a paste with 1/4 tsp salt
1T green olives with pimentos, chopped (3-4 olives)
1/4 C minced sweet pickle (I used pickle relish)
1/2 hard boiled egg, peeled and minced (optional)
1 T minced fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch ground black pepper
1/2 c yogurt cheese
2 T chili sauce
1 T water or milk

Mix all ingredients. until combined.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I use my fresh salsa (previous post) to make guacamole. You may want to omit the salt. I'm going heavy on the salt these days.

2 small avocados
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 c salsa

Mash the avocados, salt and lime juice together with a fork. Stir in the salsa (I use my fresh salsa).


I've been making salsa for years. There used to be a green house in town that grew fresh tomatoes. It was so awesome. I had an endless supply of cheap, fresh, vine ripened tomatoes. I miss you green house. Recently I received a few tomatoes from my gardening aunt and uncle that I turned into salsa. I actually took the time to write down some amounts this time. Now people who want the recipe have actual amounts, instead of just a list of ingredients. You will still have to adjust for seasoning because each batch of salsa is different. I've found that if you think your salsa needs something, what it usually needs is salt. My second guess would be more cumin. The salsa will end up watery when made from fresh tomatoes. Your instinct is to drain off some of the "water". If you do that, it will just make more "water" within a half a day. I serve it with a slotted spoon and call it good. My salsa is not very hot. If you want it hotter, you can add the seeds and ribs of the hot pepper (jalapeno) or just add more. You could also add more Tabasco. Also, each jalapeno is unique. To get the same amount of heat sometimes it will take half a jalapeno, sometimes two jalapenos. You'll just have to use your best judgement.

3 tomatoes (3 cups), chopped
1 hot pepper, chopped 1 T + 1/2 tsp (mine was from the farmers market)
1 slice of onion, finely chopped onion 2 1/2 tsp
1 clove of garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
a shot or two of Tabasco
a few grinds black pepper
hot sauce
1 T + 1/2 tsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 T chopped fresh parsley

Combine all the ingredients.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

links list

Canary girl has chicken meatball eyeballs atop tomato sauce for Halloween.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has edible googly eyes for Halloween. They have lots of fun stuff there. I also like the Eyeball caprese salad for Halloween. Are you a female "Dungeons and Dragons" fan who likes to sew? The world must have at least three. Check out the 12 sided dice handbag.

Boston Zest had blue pumpkins.

Crazy-videoz has food as art. Little miniature construction workers and engineers working on food.

Once upon a plate had a recipe for homemade girl scout samoas for your year round dining pleasure.

I lose track of how I find my links. They come mostly via Apartment Therapy or Food Gawker.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

links list

Think inside the had a recipe for spiced simple syrup to make a pumpkin latte. I plan to try to make some, but it might not rise to the top of my "to do" list.

Apartment Therapy has how to cut a butternut squash.

The Urban Housewife has a recipe for homemade candy corns (they're vegan too). Cute!

Sticky and Sweet has a funny packaged Jamaican mix called Cock Soup. Oh cultural differences and shades of meaning.

Bitter Sweet takes you inside a professional food shoot, shows you how to light food, and how to add shadows to food. Personally I don't have the patience to do much more then turn on the lights in the house and click away. But if you want better pictures...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Spaghetti Sauce

I've made spaghetti sauce for an army. Well maybe not an army, but for the year. I thought I'd make a triple recipe in the stockpot. This is why they teach you math in High School. Had I actually used some math I would have realized that only a double recipe fits in the stock pot. I had to use the dutch oven as well for a triple recipe. Now I'm set for the winter. I didn't actually measure the oregano, rosemary, or thyme. I just threw in a sprig of each that I estimated would be a tablespoon (x3) each. I'm pretty happy with the results. I put a quart of the sauce in a gallon bag and froze the bag flat. Once frozen you can store them vertically or horizontally in your freezer. This is based extremely loosely on the Italian Tomato Sauce recipe in the "Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines".
*2nd year- I don't know what happened, but the sauce has a weird taste. I think it is the red wine I used. Barefoot Merlot. I added an extra 28 oz can of tomatoes to a double batch and some extra sugar. I also pureed some of the sauce with a immersion blender. I hope I like it better when I take some out of the freezer. Blerg!


1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained (save juice) and chopped
2 c red wine
2 yellow onions, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 whole cloves (I used 1/8 tsp ground cloves)
2 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper
1 T salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 T fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c parsley, chopped
1 T fresh oregano. chopped
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1 T fresh thyme, chopped

Saute the garlic, onions, red pepper flakes, celery, and carrots. (Since I was making a huge batch I sauteed these in a frying pan separately and then added to the pot.) Add the remaining ingredients (except basil). Bring to a light boil and then simmer for 2 hours, partly covered. Near the end of the 2 hours, add the basil.