Monday, July 24, 2017

Sorry Baby.....No Leftovers Available Today. #FoodnFlix

This months film for Food n Flix is one of my very favorites of all time, Dirty Dancing.  I was so excited when Chef Sarah Elizabeth chose this film.  You can see her announcement post right here and you can learn all about our Food n Flix club right here.

Basically, we are a group of bloggers who watch the same film during the month and then blog a recipe that was inspired by the film.  It is so much fun seeing the film through other's eyes and stomachs.

Food 'n Flix

I have watched Dirty Dancing numerous times.  I loved Patrick Swayze and he did such a great job in this film.  Jennifer Grey was cast perfectly in the role of Baby Houseman, a young woman who accompanies her family to a resort for three weeks.  Baby is a daddy's girl with a desire to save the world.  She has lived a very sheltered life and her naivete is immediately tested upon arrival at the resort.  She becomes friends with a group of employees whose lives were not as charmed and blessed as Baby's and she soon learns that the world contains more gray than black and white.

I had never watched the film with foodie glasses on and I really couldn't recall any food in the movie at all, other than a watermelon that Baby helps Johnny's (Swayze's) cousin carry to the employee cabins when she gets her first glimpse of a life vastly different from hers.

Image result for dirty dancing

Here is a list of the foods that I missed the first 30 or so times that I watched the film.  Dinner rolls, Pot Roast, Iced Tea, Brownies, Pudding, Cabbage Rolls, Beef, Sweet Gerkhins, Milk, Matzo Meal, A1 sauce, Coca Cola, Brandy, Bagels, Wine, Beer, Grapefruit, Orange Juice, Coffee, Toast and Assorted Pastries. 

There was also the Watermelon, a reference to spaghetti (when Johnny Castle referred to Baby's arms) and a Chinese Lantern, in case I wanted to go Asian. 

I didn't make any of these things.

Instead, I took my inspiration from the very beginning of the movie, when Baby's father, played by Jerry Orbach, commented to the resort owner that Baby would like to have her leftovers shipped to hungry children.

Baby felt badly that she was unable to finish her meal when there were those that go hungry in the world.  I, too, hate wasting food and do my best to use up our leftovers or, at the very least, feed them to my animals.

We grilled up steaks for the 4th of July and, not being sure how many were coming, we had quite a bit of leftovers.  I sliced up the leftovers steak, chopped up the leftover mushrooms and onions and cut the leftover potatoes into chunks.

I put the potatoes, onions and mushrooms into a large skillet with some olive oil and let it crisp up nice and brown.

Then I added the steak to warm, made shallow indentations and added some eggs to the mixture. I covered the pan at this point to help the eggs cook on the top as well, without hardening the yolks.

This made the perfect welcome breakfast for my brother, Larry, and his wife, Mary, who are vacationing in Michigan from California.  Vacationing fits in perfectly with this movie as well and they even sat and watched it again with me for this post.

Steak and Egg Skillet
serves 6

2 T. olive oil
3 leftover baked potatoes, cut into chunks
1 1/2 c. leftover mushrooms and onions (mine were grilled)
3 leftover strip steaks, cut into 1/2" slices
6 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med high heat.  Add the potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Let cook until the potatoes start to brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes.  Flip over and cook other side for another 5-10 minutes.  Add the steak, cook and stir until warmed through.  Make 6 shallow indentations in the mixture, cracking an egg and emptying into each.  Partially cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and cook until eggs are set to your desired degree.  Divide into 6 equal portions and serve.  Print Recipe

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Copy-Cat Detroit Coney Dogs for #SundaySupper

This month's Sunday Supper theme of Creative Hot Dog Recipes is co-hosted by Stacy of Food Lust People Love and MaryEllen of Recipes, Food and Cooking.

July is National Hot Dog month so Stacy and MaryEllen asked us to share our fun options for serving this kid friendly food.  According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, consumers spend nearly 2 billion dollars a year on hot dogs in US supermarkets.  That is a lot of hot dogs!!!

Image result for hot dogs

I can understand it though.....I love the crunch of a natural casing frank when I bite into it.  I love the way they split open on the grill when being cooked.  I love that when dinner sneaks up on you and you haven't made a meal plan you can open the fridge, grab the dogs and dinner is on the table in moments.

Image result for kowalski hot dogs

Natural casing franks are very popular here in Michigan.  In fact, Serious Eats, did a taste test of all the natural casing franks available here.  Frank is a hot dog snob and when eating hot dogs at home will only accept Kowalski brand.  I am happy to say that this is the brand that won for best traditional dog in that Serious Eats taste test.

Serious eats also mentions that Detroit is home to the famous Coney Dog, made with a beanless chili sauce.  We love our coney dogs here in Michigan.  So much, in fact, that we have numerous Coney Island Restaurants, sometimes with two or three on the same street corner.

One of my favorite chains is National Coney Island.  There are 20 locations in southeast Michigan where I reside.  Their first store opened up in 1964 at a Mall near the home in which I grew up.  I spent a lot of time in that mall during my tweens and teens and ate a fair share of coney dogs while there.

My brother and his wife live in California but come home to Michigan every year for a month long visit.  We host a large pot-luck party each year so that everyone in the family gets an opportunity to see them while they are home.  This year I decided to make up a roaster full of sloppy joes and serve those along with Coney Dogs as the main courses with everyone else supplying the side dishes.

I had fully intended on keeping my life simple and buying a block of frozen National Island Chili Sauce for the Coneys.  So the morning of the party, I went to the store and they were out of the sauce. We live in the middle of nowhere (or in BFE as affectionately referred to by my children) so while we are lucky enough to have a decent grocery store 5 minutes away there is not another for half an hour.

I decided to do a google search, rather than waste time running around from store to store, and was ecstatic to find this recipe at a blog called Great Lakes, Better Food.  Unfortunately, this blog no longer appears to be up and running with the last post being in 2013.  Fortunately, it was once up and running because this chili sauce is perfect!!!  It tastes amazingly the same as that from National that I love so much.

I adapted this recipe by deleting the beef hearts (as I didn't have any) and replacing it with an equal portion of additional ground chuck.  It came together in minutes and had plenty of time for the flavors to meld while in the crockpot waiting for company to arrive.

There are rules to having a Detroit Coney Dog. 
  • Your hot dogs must have skins
  • Your hot dog must be grilled or steamed
  • The only toppings are coney sauce, yellow mustard and finely diced onions
My guests were as amazed as I that this was a copy-cat and not the actual chili from National's.  It was that good.

This is definitely going on my rotation for when we get a hankering for hot dogs along with my Cheesie Wienies, Chili Dog Nachos and Pretzel Dogs.  You will find many other Creative Hot Dog recipes following mine for Coney Dogs.

Copy-Cat Detroit Coney Dogs
adapted from Great Lakes, Better Food

3 lbs. ground chuck
6 T. butter
6 T. flour
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
24 oz. beef stock
2 T. paprika
3 T. chili powder
3 T. yellow mustard
1 T. turmeric
1 T. cumin
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. kosher salt

Brown ground meat in a dutch oven over med high heat until browned and all fat is released.  Drain and set aside.  In the same dutch oven, melt the butter over med high heat.  Stir in the flour until brown and nutty smelling.  Whisk in the beef stock, cook and stir until smooth, thickened and bubbly. Add the tomatoes and all their juices, paprika, chili powder, mustard, turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.  Stir in the reserved beef and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered until thickened.

The chili is now ready to be used for topping grilled or steamed natural casing franks or can be refrigerated and reheated on the stove or in the crockpot when ready to serve. Print Recipe

More Creative Hot Dog Recipes

Cheesy Dogs

Meaty Dogs

Regional Dogs

Tex Mex Dogs

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Last Week of July!! How is that possible?? Oh Well, here is the Weekly Menu

Wow this month has flown by in the blink of an eye.  We have been having a blast, entertaining and being entertained.  It has been a lot of fun and this week is going to be another whirlwind.

Last night, our niece, Stephanie, and her husband, Tom, hosted another family party.  It was a great gathering.  All the siblings, most of the kids and most of the grand-kids were there.  It is the last time we will all be together before Larry heads back next Saturday and Mary heads back on August 2nd.

Today, Nicole and Pierre are working a craft show for their Petoskey and Pine products.  We are going to go take a walk around and check out their competition. Tonight, Frank and I, Larry and Mary, and Dick and Jackie, are going out to dinner.  Tomorrow is Larry and Mary's 51st Wedding Anniversary so we will celebrate this evening.

Sunday, Mary's sister, Susie and her husband, Tony, are coming to stay for a day or two.  Our sister in law, Rebecca, will be joining us for dinner as well.

Monday we are meeting Nicole, Pierre and Anthony for an early lunch before they go to work. Between being in the restaurant business and the soap business, they were not available for either of the family gatherings.  We are meeting Mary's cousin, Michelle, and her husband, Jerry, for dinner in the evening.

Monday would have been my Pop's 101st birthday and my brother, Dan's, 64th birthday.  My brother, Dan's longtime partner and mother of his two youngest children, passed away on Thursday morning. I find comfort in knowing that they are together again.  They loved each other very much.

Tuesday we have our Angel Face so Grampy will make her spaghetti. This seems to be our weekly routine.

Wednesday is clear thus far.  Thursday night we are going to Roz and Ron's for dinner.  Friday night we are going to dinner with our friends, the Greens and the Lents' at a new restaurant that has opened in the area.  One of Rob's friends is the chef and we will be celebrating John's birthday and retirement both of which occur on Friday.

So, as you can see, there are not many meals at home but I will share what we will be enjoying on those few days.

Out for dinner

Rum Glazed Pork Tenderloins
Baked Russet and Sweet Potatoes
Corn on the Cob
Summer Squash with Lemon and Basil
Dessert by Rebecca

Out for dinner

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Casimer Rice

Dinner at Roz and Ron's

Dinner out

Friday, July 21, 2017

Gingered Shrimp and Veggie Bowl #FishFridayFoodies #BacktoSchoolRecipes

Happy Fish Friday everyone. Sue of Palatable Pasttime has invited us all to share "Buddha Bowls" this month.   Sue describes Buddha Bowls as healthy one bowl meals with protein, grains and vegetables.  Of course, since this is Fish Friday Foodies, our protein will include Fish and or Seafood today.

Fish and seafood does not have to be deep fried or drenched in butter to be delicious.  One bowl meals are perfect for showcasing a colorful and appetizing meal.

This recipe takes shrimp which is low in fat and calories and high in protein and serves it up with tons of colorful, crisp vegetables and whole grain brown rice.

Seasoned with ginger which is a health powerhouse aiding in digestion, keeping blood sugar and blood pressure in check and protecting the brain among other things.

Cooked in sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds this dish also helps prevent diabetes and cancer.

All of these things are amazing in and of themselves but then add in the fact that it is mouth wateringly delicious and you are completely awe struck by this dish that is quick enough for a weeknight and fancy enough for company.

The fact that it is so quick and easy makes this a perfect Back to School recipe and on the off chance that there are leftovers they will be perfect in a lunchbox.  A quick zap in the microwave and you have a nutritious, healthy, warm lunch to see you through the rest of the day.

Today is the last day we are sharing our favorite recipes for healthy breakfasts, great lunches, sweet treats and delightful dinners to get us all through the busy weeks coming up when the kids are back to the old grind.

This party was hosted by Cindy of Feeding Big and there have been marvelous recipes being shared.  Find them all by following #BacktoSchoolRecipes on your favorite social media platform.  You will find today's entries below my recipe.

Don't forget to stop by the other Recipe Makeover Posts for more great healthy and nutritious recipes.

Gingered Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry
adapted from The Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook

2 T. sesame oil
1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into half moons
8 oz, asst. wild mushrooms
1 small head bok choy, chopped
5 stalks asparagus, woody ends snapped off , cut into 1" pieces
1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
2 T. coconut aminos
1 T. minced ginger
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
2 t. sea salt herb mix
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 c. cooked brown rice

Heat 1 T. of the oil in a wok over med high heat.  Add the shrimp and cook, stirring for about 4-5 minutes, until pink.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Stir together the coconut aminos, ginger, sea salt and red pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok.  When heated, add the squash, mushrooms, bok choy and asparagus.  Cook and stir for 5 or 6 minutes, until vegetables are slightly tender.

Add the tomatoes and the reserved aminos mixture.  Cook and stir for a few minutes.  Return the shrimp to the wok along with the sesame seeds.  Cook and stir until heated through.

Place 1/2 c. of brown rice in one side of 4 shallow bowls.  Place 1/4 of the Gingered Shrimp Stir Fry alongside the rice in each bowl and serve.  Print Recipe

More Buddha Bowls

More Back to School Recipes

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spinach Pasta Surprise #BundtBakers

This month's Bundt theme was chosen by Colleen of Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice.  Colleen chose Untraditional Bundts.  If you know Colleen, this does not surprise you at all.  Colleen is pretty untraditional herself.  Give yourself a treat and go read some of her blog posts.  I promise that she will make you laugh.

I originally wanted to do a red white and blue jello bundt that I could serve up for Independence Day but our fearless leader, Stacy of Food Lust People Love said that while she would allow untraditional Bundts they must still be baked.  Hmmmm....that made this challenge a little more....well .....

I started considering all of the things that I bake, other than cakes, that would work in a Bundt pan.  I considered meatloaf and was planning on going with that when it occurred to me that I had a baked pasta on the menu for Meatless Monday and it could easily be converted to be baked in a Bundt pan instead of casserole.

I started out by making a simple marinara sauce.  You could always use store bought if you want but this is such an easy peasy recipe that it doesn't take much longer than opening a jar of premade.

This dish has all the flavors of lasagna, incorporating eggs, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan along with spinach in a creamy sauce.

Stir in a pound of cooked pasta.  Any kind will do.  I used penne pasta because it was what I had on hand.

Turn it into a Bundt pan that has been liberally treated with cooking spray and bake until set and golden brown.

Let it sit in the pan for about 15 minutes before trying to remove it onto a platter.  Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cheese sauce from the sides.  Flip it over onto a rimmed platter or shallow bowl and pray for the best.

Breathe a sigh of relief along with all of the wonderful aromas. The Bundt is now ready for the "frosting".

Heat up the sauce, pour it over the Bundt and listen to the family ooohhh and ahhhh as you bring it to the table.  This is a cheesy, ooey, gooey pasta bake in a fun presentation.  Cut into slices and serve, passing extra sauce for people to add as desired. Enjoy.

You will find links to all the other Untraditional Bundts following this recipe.  I can't wait to see what the others created for this fun challenge.

Spinach Pasta Surprise

3 T. olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can tomatoes 
2 t. Italian Herb Blend
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb pasta, cooked per package directions
4 eggs
1 (15 oz) carton ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. half and half
1 (8 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 T. dried basil, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over med high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant.  Add the tomatoes with their juices, Italian herbs, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, breaking the tomatoes into pieces with a wooden spoon.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 45 minutes to an hour.  Set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, ricotta, cream, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper.  Fold in the pasta until well coated.  Pour into a Bundt Pan that has been liberally treated with cooking spray.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for about an hour, until set and golden brown around the edges. Cool, in the pan, on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges and turn out onto a rimmed platter or shallow bowl.

Reheat the sauce and pour some over the bundt to resemble a frosting glaze.  Cut into slices to serve passing the remaining sauce to be added as desired. Print Recipe

More Untraditional Bundts


 #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

Avocado Dip #CrazyIngredientChallenge #BacktoSchoolRecipes

Hi everyone and welcome to the July version of Crazy Ingredient Challenge.  The fun little game we play where we vote on items from two lists and the top vote from each list are united to become our Crazy Ingredients.

This month's ingredients are Avocados and Cumin.  The largest challenge was to try to narrow it down to just one recipe that I wanted to share.  I thought about making a creamy chilled avocado soup.  Cumin would be the perfect spice with which to flavor it.  I thought about making a warm cheesy casserole incorporating cumin and topping it with guacamole.....YUM.  Avocados are always great in smoothies and it would be very simple to add flavor with some toasted cumin.  I even considered an Avocado Cumin Ice Cream.  After all, it is National Ice Cream month.

In the end, my choice was made due to another event in which I'm participating.  I have been posting Back to School Recipes all week long along with a group of like-minded friends under the direction of Cynthia of Feeding Big.

I went on a S'Mores tangent and shared all things S'Mores for the past 3 days.  I turned S'Mores into Clusters, Cookies and Ice Cream......there's that National Ice Cream Month again......

When I shared the very first post I mentioned that when my kids were young I found making lunches exciting every day very challenging.  I often fell back on the old stand-bys, sandwiches, a piece of fruit and cookies.  Once in a while I would change things up with cheese and crackers, hard boiled eggs, and some carrot and celery sticks.

It was with this in mind that I made up this creamy and healthy avocado dip that my kids would have loved to find in their lunchboxes along with those fresh veggies.  I found this recipe from Cooking Light and adapted it slightly to fit our tastes and what I had in the refrigerator.

Please make sure to scroll past my recipe to find links to all the other Avocado and Cumin creations and all the inspirational Back to School recipes.

Avocado Dip
adapted from Cooking Light

2 (5 oz) containers plain Greek yogurt
2 lg. avocados, peeled and pitted, cut into chunks
1 T. low fat milk
2 T. cilantro paste
1/2 of a jalapeno, seeded
1 lime, peeled (or juice of one lime)
1 T. cumin
pinch of salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

Place the yogurt, avocados,milk, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, cumin, salt and garlic in a heavy duty blender. Puree until smooth. Serve with fresh vegetables.  Also delicious with chips and as a topping for burgers or grilled meats.  Print Recipe

More Avocado and Cumin Creations

More Back to School Recipes