Friday, December 19, 2014

Benedict Strata

I love Eggs Benedict.  Well what I really love is hollandaise sauce, but I do love the other ingredients as well.  We recently had overnight guests, and I wanted to serve them something a little different than the standard breakfast casserole.  This strata goes together the night before, a bakes in the morning.  It has all the delicious flavors of Eggs Benedict with a lot less effort.  Perfect for company and brunch!
All the flavor of Eggs Benedict
without having to deal
with the hassle in the morning. 
(I'm not a morning person.)
The Benedict Strata Line-Up
Cut English muffins into cubes.
Combine with chopped
Canadian bacon in a
greased baking dish.
Beat eggs, and add milk.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest.
Add mayonnaise. 
(I know that doesn't sound too
tasty for a breakfast dish,
but the mayo helps give the texture
that you would get from the emulsion of
a real hollandaise sauce.)
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture over muffin cubes
and bacon.  Cover
and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, bake until golden brown,
about 50 minutes.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Philippe's: The History of the French Dipped Sandwich

A french dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip consists of thinly sliced roast beef (or other meat) on a French baguette style roll.  It is usually served with au jus ("with juice"), that is, the beef juice from the cooking process.  The sandwich in its original form was not served with the cup of dipping juice on the side as we know it today.  Philippe The Original, or Philippe's in Los Angeles is one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Southern California.  Established in 1908 by Philippe Mathieu, this restaurant has the distinction of having created the French Dipped Sandwich.  At Philippe's the roll is dipped into the hot beef juices before the sandwich is assembled, rather than with the au jus on the side.  It is said the sandwich was invented when Mathieu accidentally dropped a French roll into the beef juice, and a customer offered to eat the roll anyway.  Thus the French Dip was born! 
My hubby, outside Philippe's Restaurant
He reports that the French Dipped Sandwich was mighty tasty!

When in Southern California, be sure to visit Philippe's:

Philippe The Original
1001 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone:  (213) 628-3781

Monday, December 1, 2014

Junky Jug Christms Centerpiece

I'm so excited about the Christmas centerpiece I crafted up to decorate my porch.  It's even more exciting when you hear the crazy story behind it.  A long time ago, when Mr. DD and I lived in Nebraska, we would make the long drive home to Oklahoma to visit family.  And when I say long, I mean LLLLLLLOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGGG.  Just across the border into Kansas was an old, abandoned farmhouse that fascinated me.  I always wanted to stop and look inside but according to my straight-laced husband, "That's trespassing" or "You'll fall through the floor."  Last month I made a trip to Omaha to visit my good friend Michaela from An Affair From The Heart.  When I drove by the house, it was still there but in very dilapidated condition.  I decided that I would stop and investigate on my way home, because frankly the condition is so poor I'm afraid the house won't be standing the next time I travel to Nebraska.  So on cold, snowy, blustery Saturday afternoon, I finally mustered up the courage to check out the old house.  The grass was waist-high as I wandered around the yard and out buildings.  I found a few old small glass bottles lying around.  Little Devil collects antique bottles so she was very excited by my finds.  Then I spotted this great big glass gallon jug just lying in the grass.  And I helped myself.  And I went inside the house.  Which was completely empty and had been stripped of all doors, windows, trim and siding.  I wanted to go inside the kitchen because it still had some fixtures, but the floor was completely rotted away and I could hear Mr. DD's warning echoing through my ears.  In true American Pickers fashion, I did find a couple of other things that I'm saving for a future blog.  All the way home, I knew exactly what I was going to do with the filthy jug rolling around my floorboard.  I cleaned it up and it's greeting my guests on the porch with a JUNKY HOLIDAY WELCOME!
Here it is!  Just as Junky and Festive
as can be!
I cleaned up my jug,
filled it with water and fresh cranberries.
(Don't you just love how they float?)
Added some burlap ribbon and a
strip of buffalo-checked fabric
and some greenery snipped from
a friend's yard.
The only thing I paid for was the cranberries!
Here's the house.
Isn't is awesome?
I wish it could talk and tell me
stories about the butter that was churned there.
Merry "Junky" Christmas
(Perhaps it doesn't come from a store...)

Monday, November 24, 2014

MANLY Gift for a Guy

Like any siblings my brother and I have a long history of love and hate.  Now that we are both adults, we are pretty good friends.  But there was a time when firestorm was the norm.  He would wrap up empty boxes and give them to me for my birthday.  He would hide my dolls or hang them from the ceiling.  Hit me with hockey pucks.  You know.  That typical brotherly love.  And of course I was the perfectly innocent angel baby sister who played the, "Who me?" card and got him into trouble whenever possible.  Flat Stanley was my favorite book as a child.  Why?  Because my brother's name is Stanley.  And ohhh how I longed for a bulletin board to fall off the wall and flatten him.  So I could roll him up and mail him in a tube somewhere far away.  His birthday is tomorrow and thankfully, he's not flattened.  He's coming over for dinner and here's the little gift I put together for him.  He's a guy's guy so tools and gadgets are perfect for him.  I found the Stanley hat a while back.  Not only is it a great brand of tools, it's double the fun because it has my brother's name on it.  I used the hat as a little gift basket and added a few Stanley-brand products to it.  If you don't have a Stanley in your family, or if your Stanley was flattened in a tragic bulletin board accident that's okay.  I still think this makes a great MANLY gift for any guy in your life that's handy and likes tools. 
All wrapped up and ready for my
brother's birthday...
A Stanley hat complete with a
bottle opener in the brim.
That's pretty MANLY right?
Some Stanley gadgets for his workshop...
Use the hat as a basket and add some
shreddy stuff.  But don't make it too cute.
We want it to be MANLY.
Happy Birthday Brother!
Still one of my favorite books.
But I'm glad my Stanley isn't flat.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Greg's Party Potatoes

My husband LOVES Ro-Tel Tomatoes.  LOVES THEM.  Like he should have married them instead of me love.  He'll put Ro-Tel in almost anything that calls for tomatoes, peppers or green chiles.  But most importantly in his world it is the uniting of Velveeta Cheese and Ro-Tel Tomatoes that makes the planets align.  If you said Peanut Butter & Jelly he would say Velveeta & Ro-Tel.  I think he thinks it is a food group in and of itself.  Or at least a condiment.  Most people would have salt, pepper and ketchup.  He has Ro-Tel.  So what happens when you turn him loose with my mother's old recipe for gourmet potatoes?  He omits the cheddar cheese and adds Velveeta and Ro-Tel.  Then he thumbs his nose at my mother and takes a giant bow.  Actually he didn't do that, he served them to her, she loved them and now we've got an updated twist on an old family favorite.
Greg's Party Potato Party
Melt butter in skillet and saute green onions
until tender.  Add drained tomatoes
and saute another few minutes.
Add this mixture to par-boiled, cubed potatoes.
Add Velveeta cheese.
Add sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until hot and bubbly.
(And don't let your husband take the pictures
for your cooking blog, or you wind up
with only a few steps photographed. 
Oh well, it tasted really good and he
gets brownie points for innovation!)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Parmesan Wings

I wanted something different from traditional hot wings the other night, so I whipped these up.  And called them, "Parmesan Wings" only to realize they are not wings at all.  They're drumsticks.  Or what the bag referred to as "drummettes."  I had no idea chickens had "drummettes."  Obviously I am not well-versed in my chicken parts.  That's okay, that's a little gross so I will be content in my stupidity.  These hearty little "drummettes" make a great appetizer or main course.  Something a little different from the traditional hot wing.  They're coated in ground up Funyuns.  The best part about that is the leftover Funyuns.  I can't help it.  I'm hopelessly addicted to crap food and these were a tasty excuse to buy a bag.  Also they're baked so I like to pretend they are healthy.  Like the baking part cancels out the fact they're dipped in butter and rolled in Funyuns.  Hey this is The Devilish Dish. I never promised you healthy, JUST TASTY.
Anything coated in Funyun
crumbs is good stuff.
The Line-Up
Combine Funyun crumbs with flour.
Add salt.
Add Parmesan cheese.

Season with paprika and oregano.
Rinse drummettes, and pat dry.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Dip each drummette into buttermilk.
Roll in Funyun mixture.
Quickly dip in melted butter.
Place on a baking sheet.
(I put them in a casserole dish, and they were
too close together to get really crisp.)
Bake until brown and crisp!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spaghetti Casserole

A while back I tried out a new casserole on the family.  Mr. Devilish Dish exclaimed, "This tastes just like gourmet Spaghetti-os."  I'll take that as a compliment, I love Spaghetti-os.  There was a flavor he couldn't quite identify.  It's the addition of a can of tomato soup to the spaghetti sauce mixture.  It adds the slightest sweet flavor to this dish.  A perfect combination.  And a little bit more "gourmet" than Spaghetti-os. 
"like gourmet Spaghetti-os..."
The Spaghetti Casserole Party
Combine spaghetti sauce
and tomato soup.
Add milk and set aside.
Place cooked spaghetti in casserole dish.
Top with beef mixture.
Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
Cover with sauce mixture. 
Bake for 1 hour.
Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day of the Dead Margarita Cupcakes

I just love Dia de los Muertos.  Translation:  The Day of the Dead.  Despite the spooky name, it's actually quite a festive holiday.  Cheerful, yet reverent in honoring those who have gone before us. The holiday combines the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead with the Catholic holidays of All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day on November 1st and 2nd.   The calaveras, or sugar skulls represent a departed soul, and are typically placed on a home ofrenda (altar)  or gravestone to honor the departed.  Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style with lots of color and glitter.  When I saw these gummy sugar skulls, I knew right away we would have a special dessert in honor of Dia Day Los Muertos.  Margarita cupcakes seemed appropriate.  I added a lime butter cream frosting, flavored with fresh squeezed limeade.  Like a margarita, I sprinkled them with a bit of flaky sea salt. And like a sugar skull, I sprinkled them with colorful sprinkles before finishing them off with the gummy that is almost too cute to eat!

Fun and Colorful!
The detail on the gummy skulls is adorable.
Celebrate the day with a margarita cupcake!
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