Corned Beef Hash Cook-off 2021

As many of you know, the part of me that isn’t Norwegian is Irish.  My family has always celebrated the day with corned beef and cabbage.  Even though G and I are still confined to barracks so to speak, we did not mess with our tradition.  I made an absolutely fabulous corned beef yesterday, so that must mean today begins the cook-off.

I wrote about the last one.  It wasn’t pretty.  G actually admitted defeat very early on in the competition.  It was the Worcestershire sauce that did him in.  He’s always hoping to discover the next best taste sensation.  I just want a hash that would make my dad proud.  I’m much more into simplicity then G is.

G is making his version tomorrow.  Be kind.  There are only 6 ingredients in my recipe.  It’s not as crispy as I would like so I think I’m going to get a weighted press to help hold it down next year.  Give it a try Laddies and Lassies.  

*****From the Recipe Box:

If you don’t like corned beef, these recipes aren’t for you, but for G and I, we are in hog heaven.

and remember:  Erin Go Bragh.  Big kiss, Lynn

Mississippi Chicken Pot Roast

If you have ever had Mississippi Pot Roast, this is very similar.  I posted the meat version of this in October of last year.  This is almost identical with just chicken as the only difference and so flavorful.  The Mississippi Pot Roast recipe in case you are interested is super easy and very handy to have in your rotation.  You will not be disappointed.

The gluten-free-girl was here for dinner and I made this. I checked all the ingredient lists and everything was copasetic for her tummy. I made it with rice and corn, but there are so many options. I’m making the leftovers into tacos. I’m also using it in salads. It freezes well if you want to keep some on hand.

1 packet Au Jus gravy mix

1 packet Ranch seasoning or Onion Soup Mix

1 cup reduced chicken broth

1 cube of butter

as many pepperoncini plus juice as you like

Place everything in your crockpot.

Cook on LOW for 6 hours.  Shred and serve with your choice of sides and enjoy.  

*  From the Recipe Box:

I’ve not made it with thighs yet, but I will.  When I do, I will probably serve it with rice and teriyaki and leave out the pepperoncini.

I think it would be great with stuffing or mashed potatoes as well. I made gravy with the au jus. I added a bit of Worcestshire sauce to darken it up and add to the flavor. It was good.

We like gravy. I made the jus into gravy using Worcestshire sauce. Way good. This week I used balsamic, cream and butter. I think we both thought it was even better. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

and remember:   Life humbles you as you age.  You realize how much time you wasted on nonsense.  Big kiss, Lynn


OK, here comes another, “How tough can it be recipes?”.  Since G and I are pretty much stuck at home, we’ve been watching a lot of food programming.  I’m not a huge Italian fan, it’s simply too heavy, but I do find some things so clever.  Aranchini is so very clever.  I love anything that encourages me to use up the rest of my leftovers.  Plus this one has the bonus of fried foods.

I decided not to stuff them with anything.  I’m not a frying expert and we don’t have a deep fat fryer, so it was time for a little KISS (Keep it simple stupid) action.  This is the basic recipe I found.  We made them about golf ball sized.  And I know there are Italian GMas turning in their graves, but we used teriyaki for a dipping sauce and it was good.

  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 egg whites (I used whole eggs)
  • 1-1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Cook rice according to package directions. Cool slightly. Stir in the egg yolk, cheese and butter. Season, season, season.  Cover and refrigerate until cooled.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet if you want stuffing, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, peas, salt and pepper.
  • Shape rice mixture into 11 patties. Place one heaping tablespoonful of meat filling in the center of each patty. Shape rice around filling, forming a ball.
  • Place egg whites and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip rice balls in egg whites, then roll in bread crumbs. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry rice balls, a few at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels
* From the Recipe Box:
I will make these again in all sorts of different sizes and fillings.  I’m also feeling braver about deep frying.  If braver isn’t a word, feel free to replace it with the correct version.
and remember:   Getting knocked down in life is a given.  Getting up and moving forward is a choice.  Big kiss, Lynn

Porchetta Part 2

On April 18th of last year I shared a recipe for faux porchetta I got from the neighbors who found it at Bon Appettit.  As much as we loved it, it wasn’t enough.  I kept thinking about apples and pork, so I decided to do a little experimenting.

Today was the day things came together to form the perfect mix.  I roasted a small pork butt.  The porchetta could not be easier.  While the meat was resting, I got out the rest of my ingredients:

1 Fuji apple, sliced thin

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

S & P to taste

I put approximately 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet.  I added the apple slices and brown sugar to the pan and sauted them on medium high for about 5 minutes.  I added the cabbage at this point and sauted for another minute or 2 before adding the sweet chili sauce.  I wanted the pork roast to rest on the apple mixture.

I must say both G and I were totally pleased with the results.  I’ll continue to work with this but I’m not quite sure what I’d do to change it.


* From the Recipe Box:
As you can see from the picture, I forgot to grind the fennel seeds.  Both G and I agreed nothing got lost in the lack of grinding.  So, if you want to take the “lazy butt” method to the next level, don’t grind. I also think it intensified the fennel flavor a bit more this way.  I won’t be grinding again.
Don’t forget what a great sandwich this makes.
and remember:  I’m making changes in my life, so if you don’t hear from me, then you are one of them.  Big kiss, Lynn

Crab Louie

Last century, when I was still in school, my mom would take me school shopping in downtown Seattle.  It was a really big deal for me.  This was before Nordstroms became Nordstroms.  Back then it was still called Bests and it was everything you wanted in a department store.

After I got my 2 outfits, 2 wool skirts and 2 wool sweaters, we would go to lunch at Rosellini’s.  It was so incredibly cool.  I would always have the Crab Louie.  My mom would have a Manhattan.  Shopping with me always tried her patience.  The Manhattan helped.

Rosellini’s specialized in Italian food.  The decor looked like something out of The Godfather. The owner’s brother was the governor of Washington, so I was always hoping I would see someone famous.  I was a nosy kid even back then and read the newspaper cover to cover each morning.  I know I’m wandering as usual, but this time of the year brings all those memories back.

But I’ll stop digressing and talk about Crab Louies.  Those trips into Seattle with my mom started a life long love affair with Louies.  This is the salad I remember.  Is it the correct recipe?  I don’t know, but if we catch crab, this is the way I make it and I’m always gloriously happy.

Start with a wide rimmed pasta type bowl:

  • Add a bed of shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce,
  • next a layer of chopped celery,
  • next a layer of hard boiled eggs, quartered,
  • next a layer of dungeness crab, the more the better.  Be sure you’ve picked through it to remove all the shells.

Make a batch of thousand island dressing.   Depending on how many Louie’s you are making, quantities will vary.  Plus, I want plenty of dressing:

  •  mayo, for 2 Louies I will start with about 1 cup,
  •  ketchup, approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons.  I taste it and adjust accordingly, but start out minimally and add.
  •  dill pickle relish, these are the islands in the thousand island dressing.  I like a tablespoon or so, but you need to decide for your taste

  • a drizzle or so of lemon juice.

* From the Recipe Box:

Crabbing season opens on my birthday here in Washington, so to me it’s an additional gift.

If you aren’t eating dungeness crab, really, why bother.  Isn’t he a beauty?

and remember:   You cannot make a crab walk straight.  Big kiss, Lynn



Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon

I never think of myself as a finicky eater, but the longer I write this blog the more apparent my finickiness appears.  Of course, it could be I only have so many years left and I’m not going to waste it on food that doesn’t ring my bells.  As I look through cookbooks, I will flip right past recipes that have no appeal or too many ingredients.

So, what do I love?  Don’t you play that game as well?  We spent a couple of years living in Hawaii and I fell in love with Kimchi.  I’ve always liked pickles, but this goes beyond pickles to spicy and funky.  My mom used to always put a bowl of sliced onions and cucumbers in vinegar on the dinner table and this reminds me of that.  Korea, Norway, very similar in its own way.  I could eat it every day.  I love, love, love watermelon, especially cubed with mozzarella and basil.  Or mozzarella with grape tomatoes.  You’re going to notice a little trend, I will never pick cow when I could pick shrimp.  I don’t want heavy pasta, but I do enjoy pasta with vegetables or seafood.

This is my version of linguine and shrimp.  It comes together so quickly and with just a few ingredients.  I’m just cooking for G and I tonight, so the ingredient list will be a little scaled down.  I put enough water for 8 ounces of linguine on to boil.  If my shrimp is frozen, I start thawing it.  I like using 16 to 20 count shrimp.  That simply means 16 to 20 per pound.  I prefer unpeeled, tail on.  I think they last longer in the freezer and it gives me more options.  I put them in a colander and run cold water over them.  When they’re thawed, I peel them.  This was one pound of shrimp.

By this time the water is probably boiling and I throw the pasta in.  I heat butter and olive oil in a fry pan and cook the shrimp.  I add fresh lemon juice, more butter and garlic to taste.  When the pasta is done, I add it to the shrimp with a little pasta water if needed.  A wee drizzle of olive oil to finish.  This is a light yet filling meal and it looks pretty as well.

This is probably more than you needed to know about me, but if you stick around, you’ll hear even more.

* From the Recipe Box:

For those of you paying attention, that is not linguine.  You know the drill, no store runs for one item.  This is angel hair, which is not my favorite pasta, but it will work in a pinch.

and remember:    I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.  Big kiss, Lynn

Oven Baked Spare Ribs

My sous chef is here visiting and he is a total spare ribs freak.  I don’t make a lot of ribs:  too messy to eat and they get stuck in my teeth.  Yes, I’m that girl.  We did an online search and came up with this recipe.  It was originally posted by Fifteenspatulas.  I’d never heard of that blog before, but you can’t go wrong with a 4.9 out of 5 rating.  I’m going to look for more of their recipes because these turned out fabulously.

4 to 5 pounds of St. Louis-Style Pork Spare Ribs

2 teaspoons kosher salt

18 ounces barbecue sauce, 1.75 cups, either store bought or homemade

Season two racks of St. Louis Style Spare Ribs with 2 teaspoons of salt, concentrating it on the meaty side of the ribs,

Cut the rack into individual ribs, cutting in between the bones

Place the ribs on a rimmed half sheet pan and drizzle with about 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.  I used Sweet Baby Rays because my sous chef was here and that’s his favorite.  Toss the ribs in the sauce until evenly coated.

Arrange the ribs on the pan, placing them meaty side up.

Cover the pan very tightly with aluminum foil.  You really want to create a tight seal here.

Bake the spare ribs for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 300 degrees, then remove the foil.  They will look fairly unglazed at this point.

Take half the remaining barbecue sauce and baste the ribs.

Bake the ribs uncovered for another 30 minutes.  They should be starting to get some caramelization on the edges, but they need another basting.  So baste the ribs with the remaining barbecue sauce, about 1/3 cup.

Bake the ribs another 20 to 30 minutes in the oven.  They should look wonderfully glazed by now.

 * From the Recipe Box:

Remember to remove the silverskin from the ribs.  You don’t want to eat it and it’s very hard to even bite through.

These were amazing.  Yes, you heard me, the non-meat eater, say that.  Next I’m going to find good Asian sauce recipe to make for the ribs.  I actually can’t wait.  I’ll keep you posted.

and remember what Albert Einstein said:  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.    Big kiss, Lynn

Chicken Parmesan Cutlets

I think this might be SJ’s favorite thing I make.  I was in the mood for it the other night.  They are super easy and you can have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.  I prefer making them with chicken breasts rather than thighs.

We butterfly 3 chicken pieces and pound them out to about 3/8 inches.  I set up a lovely dredging station.  I put approximately 1 cup of flour and S & P on the first plate.  Two beaten eggs on the second plate and 1 cup of Panko on the third plate.  Once the chicken pieces are pounded out, we begin the dredge.  Pat off the chicken, dip both sides in the flour.  Give them a quick dip in the beaten eggs.  Now a quick trip through the panko.  See the first picture.  The crust is really thin, as is the chicken itself.

I put about a quarter inch of canola oil in either a non-stick pan or a cast iron pan.  Cook the chicken on both sides until golden brown.   I usually cover it up with my trusty pizza pan.  Heaven forbid I buy a pan with a lid.  This only takes about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Remove from the pan and place them in a pre-heated 200 degree oven to keep warm while cooking the rest.  Add more oil, let come back to temp and fry more.  For 3 large breasts butterflied, plan on feeding 3 to 4 people.

I like serving them on a bed of arugula, but I didn’t have any tonight.  And, you know the rule, no trips to the grocery for one item.  I drizzle the greens, in this case romaine, with olive oil and balsamic reduction.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

 * From the Recipe Box:

This is such an easy dinner yet so very tasty.  The chicken stays so tender.

Even if it’s just G and I, I will cook up 3 breasts because this makes a great salad protein.  I try and make salads for dinner every other day so we get our greens.

and remember what Padma Lakshmi shared in her Instagram:  Germany doesn’t have Nazi monuments to “remind” citizens of their history.  Instead, they have memorials for the 6 million Jews and others who were murdered.  The U.S. doesn’t need statues of confederate generals to “remind” us.  The confederacy was created solely for the purpose of subjugating and controlling Black people through enslavement.   We need monuments for Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, people who fought the good fight.  Big kiss, Lynn


Impossible Chicken Pie

This is the third of the “Impossible” recipes.  They were so trendy once upon a time.  The whole ‘new’ thing is a big deal for a lot of people, but it doesn’t really ring my bell, I’m more of a tried and true type.  There were so many picky eaters in my family, I didn’t have the time or the money to be very creative.  Now that I have both, I’ve lost my desire.

This could be the last of the impossible dishes.  Mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook featuring Bisquick yielded a ton of memories.  You kids know how I hate being redundant though.  Ha-ha.  So, why do you suppose these recipes fell out of favor?

Due to my love of chicken pot pie, my mom would make this every so often for me.  Do you see a trend here?  The old broad loved making things she knew her family would love.  I do think I inherited this quality.

2 cups thawed mixed vegetables

1 cup chopped chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup Bisquick

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

Combine veggies, chicken and soup in a 9 or 10 inch pie pan.

In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick, milk and egg. Pour batter on the veggie mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

If you don’t usually have Bisquick, use Jiffy Baking Mix or anything else you might have on hand.  I’ve always loved Jiffy.

* From the Recipe Box:

Today I broke one of my cardinal rules.  I sent G to the store for 1 item.  I only did it so I could make the recipe as written.  Big mistake.  There was no Bisquick, there was no Jiffy, there was no anything on the shelves.  He came home feeling like a failure.  That’s the problem when you have been the most complete caregiver.  So we did what anyone would do, we went on-line and got a recipe to make our own Bisquick.  This is the recipe we used:

6 cups white flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup shortening

Combine the dry ingredients and sift them 2 to 3 times.  We used a fine mesh strainer, but anything that will sift flour will work.  Cut the shortening into the sifted flour until the mixture resembles corn meal.  I’m going to store my leftover ‘Bisquick’ in the refrigerator.

Keep this recipe handy if you use a lot of Bisquick.  This works for pancakes and waffles too.  Thank goodness for the Internet.

and remember:  If you think education is costly, try ignorance.  Big kiss, Lynn


G’s Smoked Beef Brisket

G loves to smoke salmon.  I love his smoked salmon.  For years and years, that’s all he smoked.  And then, we saw a show about Franklin Bar-B-Que in Austin, Texas and he became possessed to smoke the best pork and beef.  We bought new smokers, cookbooks for days, spices neither one of us had ever used before.  And then came the experimentation.  While there are recipes for the different types of meat, how you do it to your taste buds is the ultimate quest.

G buys a big brisket and puts it in the freezer.  When he’s ready to start smoking, he pulls it out and cuts off a chunk.  If you don’t have a band saw, this could be difficult and I would recommend cutting before freezing.  Next you will need to thaw the brisket for a day or 2.   G trims the fat to approximately 1/4 inch and removes the silver skin.  He brings it to room temperature.  He mixes salt and pepper in equal parts and rubs it into the brisket on all sides.  He marinates the meat for approximately 1 to 2 hours before smoking.  He uses a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and smokes the meat for 4 to 6 hours at 225 to 250 degrees.

When it reaches the desired color, he wraps it in butcher paper.  He returns it to the smoker and places it fat side on top and smokes it for an additional six plus hours until the internal temperature reaches 200 to 205 degrees.  This should take an additional 6 to 9 hours.

G and the boys love smoked meat.  I can’t in all honesty agree with them.  Even though he’s not smoking it quite as intensely now, it still tastes way too acrid for me.  One thing I will say, it makes a good French Dip sandwich.


* From the Recipe Box:

I would suggest reading Sean Brock’s book on smoked meat or the Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto.  G has gotten incredible lessons from both sources.

and remember:   This is what Stephen Chbosky said in The Perks of Being a Wallflower:  Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.  Keep the faith out there and be strong. Big Kiss, Lynn