November 2014 - Our Sunday Cafe
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Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, from Casey's place, a festive foods rewind

During the next few days, I will share some delicious recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings that may occur at your home with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This recipe originally posted April 2, 2011.




It started many years ago in a small family run Italian restaurant in sunny California. Pasta covered with fresh homemade sauce, and always a salad of tossed greens. The house dressing was a Blue Cheese Vinaigrette.

To this day it is my favorite, a creamy blue cheese dressing and a tangy vinaigrette combined to make the best dressing ever. The first time I had a salad with this dressing I knew it was a winning way to serve salad greens. Casey had his own "secret" way to make this dressing, but I think I can get close, real close. Trade secrets, they are everything in the restaurant business!

Let's talk salads, shall we? For me a salad needs to be tossed with the dressing, before it is served. A bowl of greens with dressing over the top, is difficult to eat with enjoyment. Usually the dressing is eaten up with the top layer of the salad, leaving naked lettuce and not much excitement at the bottom of the salad bowl.

To my way of thinking, a richly flavored dressing, tossed with the greens, then served up is so much more appealing. Also you don't need to drench your greens in a dressing, when a dressing starts out fresh, vibrant and well flavored, you automatically use less.


Casey's House Dressing
by the seat of my pants
makes approximately 3 cups dressing

1/3 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 t garlic salt
fresh ground pepper
2 T fresh minced parsley or 1 T dried
1/2 t sugar
1/2 mayonnaise
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c blue cheese crumbles

Combine all ingredients through buttermilk.


Whisk all ingredients except blue cheese until smooth. Add blue cheese, and using a "mashing" motion work cheese into the mixture to break apart some of the pieces.


Decant into a storage jar. Refrigerate.


To serve, toss with fresh greens of choice.



This dressing is also delicious spooned over a platter of prepared crisp vegetables presented as a composed salad for a sit down dinner, and everyone can help themselves.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post shared with:
see ya in the gumbo @ ms enplace
hearth and soul @ apriljharris.com
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Yeasted Brownie Bread with Walnuts, a festive foods rewind

During the next few days, I will share some delicious recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings that may occur at your home with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This was originally posted July 28, 2010


As written this is not a sweet bread, it is delicious and with the sugar listed in the recipe it is a wonderful sandwich bread. This bread would make an unbelievable good chicken sandwich.

IF you want a sweeter bread, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup. And it goes without saying, this would be wonderful rolled up with a spicy cinnamon swirl in the works!

I have noticed this bread in various places, and as it turns out in one of my own cookbooks! Honestly when I first noticed this bread, my first thought was meh. But one day I decided to try it, don't know why, and now so very glad I did. It turns out it is not only good, it is delicious and not at all like I thought it would be, you see, it is so much better!

Yeasted Brownie Bread with Walnuts
adapted from: The All New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook
by Tom Lacalamita

1/3 c warm water
2/3 c milk, warm slightly
5 T butter, cut into small chunks
1 t salt
1/3 c brown sugar (1/2 c for a sweeter dough)
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa
3 c flour
2 1/4 t yeast

2/3 c chopped toasted walnuts

Layer ingredients into bread machine pan in order given. Leave walnuts for later. Process on dough setting.




When dough is done mixing and going into the final rise, add walnuts to side of pan, where they will warm to the same temperature as the dough.

 (I could not get my machine to turn back on to knead the walnuts into the dough, when the cycle ended, and worked them in by hand)

Restart machine when cycle ends to work in nuts, or turn dough out and work in my hand. Shape into a loaf, place in prepared pan, let rise final time.


When dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 350,


Bake 35-40 minutes or until done. Let rest 10 minutes in the pan, turn out to cool completely.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!
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Pineapple Raisin Sauce for Ham, a festive foods rewind

Trending on the blog currently, his recipe has received the most activity in the past few days.

During the next few days, I will share some delicious recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings that may occur at your home with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!



This was originally posted December 3, 2010. 

Like many of the foods cooked and served in my childhood home, Mom did not use a recipe. Including this sauce. Yet I remember the sauce so vividly; I think I can recreate it in my own kitchen. I know it started with a can of crushed pineapple, including the juice. Then a big handful of raisins, some brown sugar, a bit of cider vinegar. 


The raisins were tender, not chewy. I also remembered that part. Oh and I remember a dash of cloves. I can see the little red and white tin in her hand, then a quick downward shake to get that “dash” to come out of the can. With exception to the raisins, I imagine that the order per say, does not matter.

A quick google for pineapple raisin sauce for ham produces 60,700 results. I was surprised at that number. It appears that a lot of folks eat pineapple raisin sauce with their ham.


(my mom) Mary’s Pineapple Raisin Sauce for Ham

1 c raisins
1 c water
dash salt

1 8 oz can crushed pineapple – do not drain
1 T cider vinegar
1/3  – 1/2 c brown sugar ( if you like a sweeter sauce, use the full measure)
dash cloves

1/4 c water
1 - 2 T corn starch ( I remember Mom’s sauce would stay on your ham!)

Place raisins and water in a medium size saucepan, cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Add the pineapple, vinegar, brown sugar and cloves, return to a simmer. Let simmer while making the slurry.

Combine the cornstarch and water, stirring until smooth. (If you prefer a thinner sauce, use the smaller measure of cornstarch) Pour into the simmering fruit in a thin stream, stirring continuously. Cook, until mixture is thickened and transparent. Serve with ham.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post shared with:
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
foodie friday @ rattlebridge farm

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Onion Gratin, a festive foods rewind

During the next few days, I will share some delicious recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings that may occur at your home with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This was originally posted September 4, 2010.



If you like onions, you will enjoy this simple yet delicious dish.

Onion Gratin
By the seat of my pants
400 degree oven

2 or 3 large onions, sliced about 1/2 inch thick, you can ring out or leave in a solid slice
olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 C dry bread crumbs
1/2 - 3/4 C Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


Cover the bottom of a large lidded pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Add onions, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a layer of dry bread crumbs, then the Parmesan cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove cover and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Note:  The onions will not be completely cook, they will be crisp tender. If you want completely cooked onions, bake the sliced onions for 30 minutes covered, then continue as directed.

Serves 6-8

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!
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Graham Cracker Muffins, a festive foods rewind


During the next few days, I will share some delicious recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings that may occur at your home with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This recipe originally posted November 14, 2010.


Graham Cracker Muffins
adapted from:  Mostly Muffins
Barbara Albright & Leslie Weiner
400 degree oven

1 c flour
1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c wheat germ
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

1 c buttermilk

1 egg
1/3 c oil
1/3 c molasses

1/2 c raisins - optional (I did not use)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin, set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisk to combine.



Combine egg, oil and molasses in small bowl, whisk to combine and beat egg.


Add wet group and milk to dry group. Mix well. Batter is thin. Divide batter between muffin cups equally.


Bake 15 - 20 minutes, or until tests done in your oven.

Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes, loosen muffins from sides of tin and turn on to their sides to release steam. Makes 12.


Serve with:

Brown sugar Cinnamon Butter
4 T soft butter
1 T brown sugar
1/8 t cinnamon
Set this up to soften while the muffins bake.

Combine well, making sure no streaks of butter are present, serve with muffins.



As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes will make again!
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Blueberry Breakfast Cheesecake, a festive foods rewind!

During the next few days, I will share some delicious recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings that may occur at your home with family and friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This was originally posted April 25, 2010.


This is the first time I have made this with a food processor.  The entire recipe worked up very quickly and I believe with a better crust texture.  No excuses now, it will be fun to try different fruits in season, but there are always blueberries in the freezer!


Blueberry Breakfast Cheesecake
from the binder collection, adapted from (I believe) Sunset magazine.
425 degrees

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c butter (cut the cube down the middle and then crosswise in 1/4 inch slices)
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

1 16oz container cottage cheese
1/2 c sugar
1 T flour

2 c blueberries
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbs. In a large bowl beat the 2 eggs with the vanilla, stir in crumbs, continue to stir until mixture is large clumps. Dump into the bottom of a 9X13 pan and using your hands, pat evenly over the bottom.











Add the cottage cheese, sugar and flour to the processor bowl (no need to wash), process until smooth. Pour over the crumb base.


Sprinkle with the blueberries, combine the last of the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.

Bake 30 minutes
Serves 12 - 15

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!
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