Cruise Night 2011! Dead Like Me! Rosemary Garlic Chicken Wings

Recipes In This PostRosemary Garlic Chicken Wings with Mustard and Chipotle Mayonnaises

Usually on the Annual Cruise Night in Glendale, I usually cook up a bunch of Route 66 food, invite friends over, and then walk over to Cruise Night. This year was a little different, so only Spane, and Amber’s children went. I didn’t have people over, but Spane and I both like chicken wings. Continue reading

Red Pepper Stuffed with Crab Salad and Guacamole

Recipes in the postRed Pepper Stuffed with Crab Salad and Guacamole

I love this Red Pepper Stuffed with Crab Salad and Guacamole. Okay, so some of you who have been here before know that I am Roman Catholic. Some of you may think that Catholics don’t have to eat fish on Fridays, and you would be correct, they don’t. Continue reading

Holy Thursday – Our Catholic Seder Meal

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to Jehovah: throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Exodus 12:13-14

It is an amazing thing to have a seven year old son, who is going to have his First Holy Communion on May 15, 2011.  Part of his education is the understanding of what the sacrament means, both spiritually and historically.

Holy Thursday also known as Maundy Thursday,  Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries is the Thursday before Easter celebrated by Christians to commemorate Jesus’ Last Supper, in which he was celebrating Passover.  This was the very first Holy Communion, and the beginning of Holy Orders, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

Spane wanted to know why the Pastor was washing the feet of the men sitting on the steps leading to the sacristy.  I think a lot of people take this kind of for granted, just as the ancients took the slaves that washed people’s feet for granted.  By Jesus taking on the job of a slave, he showed us by his example, to go out and serve others.

The Passover commemorated freedom from slavery, Holy Communion commemorates our freedom from sin.

Last year, 2010, we celebrated a “mini” Seder meal, and this year we celebrated as well.  I decided to try to make it a meal that might have been served in Jesus’ time, something that would have been common in the Mediterranean.  Our menu had a lot of lemon, including the dessert, Lemon Bars.  We did not want to have dessert before going to Mass, so we had it after we got home.  It was the perfect end of a perfect day!

Our Seder Menu

The Seder Plate

Charoset

Charoset is a part of the traditional Seder plate.  It represents the mortar used for the bricks used by the Jewish slaves in making the Egyptian buildings, temples and tombs.  It is also a little sweet, to remind us of the sweetness of life.

When I make it, although I only use one apple, there is enough left over for Good Friday’s fast of one meal.

I use my food processor to make this in a snap!

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped nuts, walnuts are a good choice
1  apple diced
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
Red wine as desired

Instructions

Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until it resembles the mortar that was used to build the pyramids.  Okay, it doesn’t have to look exactly like that, but similar.

If you do not have red wine, as I did not this time, you can use Balsamic vinegar instead.

Romaine

The lettuce symbolizes the bitter enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt. The leaves of romaine lettuce are not bitter, but the stem, when left to grow in the ground, turns hard and bitter.

Bitter Herb

Bitter herbs bring to mind the bitterness of the slavery of the Jewish peoples in Egypt.

Salt Water

The salt water is used for dipping the lettuce and other things on the traditional Jewish Seder plate.  For us, it also symbolizes the tears shed by the slaves in Egypt.


The Meal

Tabouleh

684_Tabouleh (Burghul and Parsley Salad) The first time I had Tabouleh, it was at a pot luck someone’s mother had made it – I called it Christmas salad for the longest time because it was green with red and white. Since then I have had it many times, mostly purchasing at Armenian deli or once, I even bought the one that comes in a box.  I was determined to make it myself, even if I had to stand and watch an old Armenian grandma do it.

Don’t buy the Tabouleh that comes in the box, it does not have a bright, fresh taste.  Although Tabouleh may seem difficult to make, with the proper tools, it’s really a snap.  All you really need is a good sharp Mezzaluna.  What is a Mezzaluna you ask?  Well, it’s a half moon shaped knife that you rock back and forth over your herbs.  The double handled one is the best – I only have a single, but it did the trick.

A Mezzaluna can quickly become your best friend when wanting to chopping nuts and herbs.  It is my preferred tool when I am making Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios for chopping up the nuts.  I originally bought mine at Cost Plus World Market when they still carried them, and mine came with a nice wooden chopping block with an indentation in the center for the Mezzaluna.

I was a little frightened of bulgur since I had never used it, but doing a little reading up on it on the Internet calmed my fears.  I was happily surprised with the Zergut’s packaging that said the fine grain bulgur was the right one for Tabouleh..

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup Fine bulgur
2 cups Cold water
2 cups Chopped parsley
1/2 cup spring onions Finely chopped
1/4 cup mint Finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper freshly ground
2 tomatoes Firm ripe
Crisp lettuce leaves

Instructions

Place bulgur in a bowl and cover with the cold water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain through a fine sieve, pressing with back of a spoon to extract moisture. Spread onto a cloth and leave to dry further. Meanwhile, prepare parsley. Wash well, shake off excess moisture and remove thick stalks. Wrap in a tea towel and place in refrigerator to crisp and dry. Put bulgur into a mixing bowl and add spring onions. Squeeze mixture with hand so that bulgur absorbs onion flavor. Chop parsley fairly coarsely, measure and add to bulgur with mint. Beat olive oil with lemon juice and stir in salt and pepper. Add to salad and toss well. Peel and seed tomatoes and cut into dice. Gently stir into salad. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve in salad bowl lined with crisp lettuce leaves.

Mediterranean Grilled Lamb

682_Mediterranean Grilled LambI am very lucky living in Glendale, California, which has a large Armenian population.  Armenians make wonderful lamb dishes, especially kabobs grilled over their special hardwood barbeques.

For this reason, I can get lovely lamb chops at the butcher for a fair price. The butcher at my local store cut the ribs for me right out of the cold storage.  They had just come in that morning!

Another thing about living in Glendale and shopping at the Armenian markets; usually only lemon basil is available.  I like lemon basil, so I am fortunate in that respect.  Lemon basil, if you have not had it, is truly very lemony so it goes great with meats and fish.

These chops would have been wonderful on the barbeque, but I just put them in an iron skillet and broiled them in the broiler.

Ingredients

3 1/2 tablespoons Red onion minced
1 tablespoon Olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar plus 2
2 Garlic minced
2 teaspoons Fresh basil minced
salt and pepper to taste
4 5-oz Lamb chops

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except lamb chops, then add the lamb chops and marinate in the refrigerator at least 3-5 hours. Grill or broil the lamb chops until done as desired.

Lemon Bars

675_Lemon Bars

My friend Amber Lewis made these at her home a while back.  The only problem was they were so good in the pan that they never made it on to the serving platter!

When I was working the Scholastic Book Fair at Spane’s school, I was looking through 9×13 – The Perfect Fit Dish, and there was a recipe for Lemon Bars in it.  I bought the book just for that reason, and this is the recipe that was in the book.

As it turned out, we did not have enough time after our meal for dessert, so we had these when we came back from Holy Thursday Mass.

Ingredients

Crust

2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Butter

Filling

4 Egg
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Lemon peel
3/4 cup Lemon juice
1/4 cup Half-and-half cream
3 tablespoon Flour
1 cup Powdered sugar

Instructions

First, preheat the oven to 350.  Get a 9×12 pan and line it, bottom and sides with waxed paper or greased parchment paper.  This is important!

Make the crust by combining the crust ingredients in a food processor and processing until your have what looks a little like sand.  Take this and press it firmly into the prepared pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix them together.  I do not suggest using a stand mixer because it is just too powerful.  Use a regular bowl and whisk.

Bake the crust for about 20 minutes or until the sides start to brown.  Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the filling onto the hot crust.  Put this back in the oven and bake uncovered until the mixture has set, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan until cooled. Carefully lift the bars by using the sides of the paper on to a cutting board.  Cut into bars, sprinkle each with powdered sugar and serve on a nice serving dish.

Pope’s Hats, Broccoli Soup and Cookies

Fried Wontons

Fried Wontons with Ketchup and Asian Dipping Sauce

Recipes in this Post

It was cold in Glendale, and Accuweather said that it might even snow on Saturday, so I thought it would be a good idea to have soup for dinner on a cold rainy night. It was Friday, so that also meant no meat. I also wanted something fun to eat with the soup, and wontons sounded like a plan.
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Catholic Seder

“On this day you shall explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.”

Recipes in this Post

I am a practicing Catholic. What does that mean? It means I go to Mass every Sunday where I have Communion , I try to go to Confession once a month (and definitely before a Holy day), and I share the Good Word with others. When I was growing up I heard about the Passover Seder, and my mother had friends who were Jewish, but we never went to one. It was not until a year after I went through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) that I went to any form of Seder, and that was put on by a lovely Catholic couple. I thought it was such a nice way to help celebrate what God has given us, that I decided that I was going to have my own Seder. Last night was that first attempt, and was the start of a new tradition in our small family. I did not do a full Seder, I just presented a Seder plate, said some words of explanation where we all participated, and then I served a great dinner that brought it all together. I will share that with you here.

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Lentil Soup with Cilantro – A Lenten Soup Supper

Recipes in this postFr.Juan at Mass

We have Lenten Soup Supper at our church during Lent, and I went last year, but this year, I wanted to try my hand at lentil soup. So, I went to the local Armenian store, and looked for lentils.

There were two kinds, red and yellow/brown available, and I did not know which was better, so I asked the proprietor what she used, and asked her how she made lentil soup. I was surprised when she said to add cilantro (with her pronunciation, I was surprised that I figured out that it was cilantro at all!), but happy because I really like that herb.

So, without further ado, is the recipe. I served it the garlic bread and it was a hit.

Recipe: Lentil Soup with Cilantro

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Red pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 bag Small Lentils
  • 2 teaspoons Chicken bouillon
  • 3 cup Water
  • 2 Small potatoes chopped
  • 4 Small tomatoes cut in quarters
  • 1 teaspoon Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, then add the onion, carrot, and red pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent, then add the cilantro. Pick through the lentils, being careful to remove any sticks or stones. Combine the bouillion with the water and add that to the pot. Let simmer until the lentils are al dente, then add the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are almost done, then add the tomatoes and ketchup. Simmer until the potatoes and carrot are completely soft.
  2. Serve in nice bowls with a dollop of sour cream.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Dietary restriction: Kosher

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Armenian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
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