Thursday, May 30, 2013


I mentioned that our Memorial Day Party was a potluck affair.  One couple brought bars that were absolutely delicious.  She said that this is an old recipe that she got from her mother many years ago.   I asked for the recipe, and she said that I could share it with you.  It's your lucky day!

Chocolate-Frosted Coconut Bars
*  1/2 cup butter
*  1-1/2 cups graham crackers
*  1-1/3 cups flaked coconut
*  14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
*  16 oz bag of chocolate chips
Melt the butter and add the cracker crumbs, mix well and press into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan.  Mix the coconut and milk and spread over the cracker crumb crust.  Bake 25-30 minutes in a 350º oven (less for a glass pan).  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes, until the chips are melted.  Spread chocolate over the top.  Cool and cut into squares.

I'd share a photo with you but, alas, these were gone before I had a chance to go get my camera!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Greetings!  I hope all of you had a pleasant Memorial Day.  We did!  We had a party that included our best friends, all of whom brought along a food dish to share and a bottle of wine.  Nice, huh?  That left me with only the main entree, one appetizer to fill in, and the house setup.  Kevin teases me about how much I love to play house; a remnant from my childhood.  It means that I love to entertain and I love setting up the house and table(s) for a party.   It's all so fun!!

The main entree turned out well and I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

GRILLED, BRINED, MARINATED CHICKEN WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE.  This recipe came from "Bon Appetit."   The recipe shown here serves 4, although I easily revised the recipe to serve 18.
*  1/4 cup fine sea salt
*  2 teaspoons pickling spice
*  2 tablespoons honey
*  1 4-1/2 pound whole chicken, backbone removed and discarded, chicken quartered (OR 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which is what I used)
*  1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
*  1 large shallot, chopped
*  1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
*  1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
*  2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
*  2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
*  1 large garlic clove, peeled
Chimichurri Sauce
*  1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
*  2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
*  2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
*  2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
*  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
*  1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
*  1/2 garlic clove, peeled
*  Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
For the Chicken:
Bring 2 cups water, 1/4 cup salt, and pickling spice to boil in large saucepan, stirring until salt dissolves.  Remove from heat; add 6 cups water and honey.  Cool brine to room temperature.  Add chicken to brine; let soak 1 hour at room temperature.

Remove chicken from brine and rinse with cold water; discard brine.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Place chicken in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.  Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, shallot, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and garlic in processor.  Blend until herb mixture is finely chopped.  Rub herb mixture all over chicken; cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight (the longer the better!).
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
Place all ingredients in processor; puree until almost smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  DO AHEAD:  Can be made 4 hours ahead.  Cover; chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat).  Rub excess marinade off chicken, leaving some marinade still clinging.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill chicken covered until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Transfer chicken to platter.  Spoon some chimichurri over.  Pass remaining chimichurri.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Today was my turn to host our cooking club.  I picked the theme - Norwegian Foods - after attending a Byerly/Lunds cooking class on Scandinavian foods that included a delicious pear tart.  Here was our menu:

*  Appetizer - Marinated Edam Cheese (Marinert Edamerost) {We didn't have this but we had a nice substitute of smoked salmon with cream cheese & dill on sweet potato chips.}
*  Soup - Norwegian Spinach Soup
*  Side Dish - Andreas Viestad Onion Pie with Jarlsberg & Thyme
*  Salad - Frisee Salad
*  Main Entree - Fish Pudding (Fiskegrot) with Norwegian White Sauce
*  Side Dish - Andreas Viestad New Potato Salad with Herbs & Green Beans
*  Dessert - Country Style Pear Tart

All of the recipes turned out great.  If you want any of them, just let me know.

I made the Fish Pudding.  Yes, it sounds strange, but I understand it is a very typical Norwegian dish.  And, in the end, it was quite tasty and I will definitely make it again.  It is also incredibly easy to make and would make a good (and unusual) dish for guests.

*  2-1/2 pounds fresh cod
*  2 tablespoons potato starch
*  2 teaspoons salt
*  White Pepper
*  Dash of ground nutmeg
*  2 eggs
*  1/3 cup butter, room temperature
*  1/2 cup warm cream
*  1 cup warm milk (whole)
Place the fish in a food processor and process until smooth.  Remove it to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the potato starch, seasonings, and the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly.  Add the butter; warm the cream and milk in the microwave; then add it to the mixture.  Beat all until light and fluffy.  Place the mixture in a buttered casserole dish.

 Cover with foil, then place the pan in a larger plan of hot water.

Bake at 350º for about 1 hour.
Serve with Norwegian White Sauce.  Or you can serve it with fried onions.

*  2 cups whole milk
*  1 small onion, chopped
*  1 bay leaf
*  1 dash cayenne
*  4 tablespoons butter
*  3 tablespoons flour
*  salt
*  white pepper
*  1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, cooked (or more)
*  fresh chopped dill to taste
In a medium sauce pan simmer milk on medium-low heat.  Add the onion, bay leaf and cayenne.  Simmer for a few minutes stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Strain the milk into a bowl and discard the onion and bay leaf.  Melt the butter in the sauce pan and whisk in flour until thick.  Stir in the milk and simmer until the desired consistency is reached.  Sauce will thicken as it stands.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in peas to heat through.  Add dill.  Serve over Fiskegrot.

It was a challenge coming up with place settings that were Norwegian.  This was the best I could do.  See the guy on the cart?  I'm saying he's Norwegian!