Coleslaw with Microwave Boiled Dressing

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To Boil or Not to Boil

The good thing about boiled dressing and cabbage is that once the hot dressing hits the cabbage, it immediately wilts it. That’s a good thing if you sometimes don’t want your coleslaw to feel like eating tasty tree trunks. The other good thing about a boiled dressing is that the coleslaw has to refrigerate to get to serving temperature, and while it’s doing that it’s absorbing all that flavor.

Coleslaw made with mayonnaise dressing is great, too, especially if you have other vegetables like carrots, or fruit, like raisins or pineapple in it. Then you don’t want to necessarily use a hot dressing. The hot dressing is also a lot richer than its cold brethren.

Too Hot to Boil Anything!

Considering it’s a holiday, I wanted to have the richness, but I also didn’t feel like standing over a hot stove. Well, I came up with a solution. The Microwave is my friend, and your coleslaw’s friend, too. Boiled Dressing without the fuss!

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Summer Bean Salad with Lemon Mayonnaise

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Hellman’s Mayonnaise in California

Hellman's in California with and Bestfoods MayonnaiseWhat!!!!! What did you say? Hellman’s Mayonnaise in California? Well, actually, no it was Hellman’s Sandwich Spread in Glendale, California.

Spane and I were at the 99 Cents Only store on our way to visit Alexandria’s Archives‘s President, and stopped at the store to get a Danish or something, and I spied these jars of Hellman’s. I was amazed, and then found a jar of Bestfoods next to it. I couldn’t help take a picture, considering that I will probably never see the two brands together in the same place, unless I take it upon myself to start rock climbing or something. Don’t get your hopes up, folks, this was a jar of Hellman’s that will expire in August, 2014, just a few weeks after this post. So, no, we won’t be buying that.

I have to say I was flabbergasted when I found Hellman’s in Glendale. I told Spane that the jar was very, very far from home. Hellman’s is typically not sold west of the Rocky Mountains, where Best Foods is sold. The ingredients on both are the same, while some people prefer Best Foods because it is perceived to have a more tangy flavor, more vinegar. Wikipedia has an interesting article about the history of the popular condiment.

Mayonnaise is a great starter for sauces, including my Summer Bean Salad with Lemon Mayonnaise. It also has a host of other uses, but we will talk about those another day.

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French Cuban Sandwiches

French Cuban Sandwiches

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When I first came to work in Glendale, California, I was introduced to two things I came to love, Porto’s Bakery, and their Cuban sandwiches.

What is a Cuban sandwich you may ask. Well, a Cuban sandwich has roast pork, ham, cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread, which is similar to a submarine bread, but it is pressed in something similar to a Panini press without the ridges. If you have never had one, please find a Cuban bakery or sandwich shop and get one. You, too, will fall in love.

My mother used to make Monte Cristo sandwiches when I was particularly well-behaved, or turned in a really good report card. Monte Cristo’s are an older kind of sandwich, basically a ham and cheese sandwich that has been dipped in an egg wash, pan grilled and is served with currant jelly. They can be on any kind of bread, and very good.

When ever I have left over pork roast, I always try to make Cuban sandwiches. But, this time when I had left over pork, I had sour dough bread, which I also love. I decided to combine the two, and have a French Cuban Sandwich.

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Hot Dogs Covered with Mashed Potatoes and Cheese

Recipes in this PostHot Dogs Covered with Mashed Potatoes and Cheese

This is Spane’s favorite dinner, bar none. I think it’s because I use very good hot dogs, either uncured New York style, or Kosher dogs. I use hot dogs with excellent flavor, and I use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese.

This is an old recipe. My best friend Marissa‘s mother used to make these, and I loved them. Marissa told me she was surprised to find that her finance’s mother also made these. Shortly thereafter, when Spane was about 2, I found a very old 1950’s advertisement that had the recipe. I wish I had kept it, just for fun.

A lot of people make this with left over mashed potatoes. I suppose that would be okay, but potatoes lose their airiness when they are chilled, and it’s difficult to make them fluffy again. I always use freshly mashed potatoes, and make them like I would regular mashed potatoes, with plenty of butter and milk.

Please don’t use yellow mustard when making this dish. There are so many different mustards available, and a little experimentation is good for you. If you don’t like very strong mustard, try a brown mustard, or a stone ground mustard. Be adventurous!
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Marinated White Asparagus

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Marinated White Asparagus

Marinated White Asparagus

My son and I love asparagus, especially the long thin ones. We like them with butter, lemon and pepper. I’m always excited when they’re in season. Asparagus are good for you, they are have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities that can help with heart disease, diabetes, and may help prevent certain cancers. Not bad for a vegetable that sometimes makes your bathroom smell like asparagus!

When I was a child, my mother would sometimes bring home the white asparagus in the can. That was a big treat – except it didn’t have much flavor. When I saw white spears that looked a lot fresher and nicer than their green brethren, I knew I could so a lot better, so I decided to bring them home and marinate them.

One of the ingredients in this recipe is True Lemon. If you haven’t tried True Lemon yet, do it. True Lemon is crystallized fresh lemon juice and oil. It doesn’t have that bottled lemon juice flavor, and since it’s dry, it won’t affect your recipe in the way that lemon juice can. It’s also great because you can carry it with you and put it in water or other drinks as you desire. Right now, they’re even having a special promotion and will give you a free box if you spend more than $10.00.

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