Category Archives: Home Cooking

On the Shore

Waldorf Salad


Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman – again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode!   In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe.  In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish.  I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color.     I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way.  The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.


Waldorf Salad

Serves: Serves 8 as a side

Original Recipe: 2 apples 1/2 cup grapes 1 cup iced hearts of celery 5 tbsp seasoned mayo Lettuce for serving


  • 8 apples, peeled
  • 2 cups diced heart of celery
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning


  1. Peel and core the apples, divided in half and then cut in to slices. Reserve 12 slices, and cut the remainder into thin julienne strips.
  2. Combine the apple strips with the celery and toss with half of the mayo. Fold in the grapes
  3. Season to taste then place the mixture in the middle of a salad bowl and spread with the mayo. Garnish with the lettuce and the reserved apple slices.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!


Since this was part of a Seder dinner, the mayo was limited to Kosher for Passover and with that unseasoned.

I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture.  The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!).   I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party,  and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!

I Wanna Marry You

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake


Welcome to #15Cheesecakes – an anniversary celebration for Camilla and her husband.  Like Joe and I, Camilla and her husband also celebrated their vows with a delicious cheesecake in place of the standard wedding fare.  So when I saw her call for 15 bloggers to make a cheesecake to help them celebrate I KNEW I had to be involved.  My first plan was to recreate our wedding cake, a fantastic Dulce de Leche creation but that didn’t exactly work out due to poor dulce de leche making skills on my side – thankfully I had back-up ingredients.  One of the biggest take-aways from doing all these blog challenges is to always, always, always have a back-up plan in place.  Sometimes the recipe just won’t cooperate while other times it will be life in general.   Thankfully my back-up cheesecake worked out perfectly!  The real trick is to gradually lower the temperature of the cake to prevent it from cracking – or at least that’s what I heard many moons ago and so far the “trick” works.

I Wanna Marry You


  • 2 cups honey graham crackers (or honey Teddy Grahams in a pinch)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp caramel syrup, divided (I use Monin)
  • 2 oz blocks of cream cheese, one reduced and one regular
  • 1 8oz tub of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated dark chocolate


  1. In a food processor, blend together the melted butter. 1/2 tsp of caramel, and graham crackers. Pulse until pieces are pea sized. Remove from processor and gently press in to an 8 inch springform pan - working from the middle and up the sides. Set Aside
  2. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 6 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, continue to cream then add the yogurt and caramel and cream for a final 6 minutes, or until mixture is creamy. Fold in half of the grated chocolate
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture in to the crust and spread out evenly, then top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 35 minutes, then turn oven to 250 and bake for a final 15 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep cheesecake inside with the door slightly propped open. Once cool cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Happy 15th Anniversary Camilla and!  May you have dozens and dozens and dozens of more cheesecakes together!  Also a happy early anniversary to my husband – 5 years together tomorrow and 3 years married (!!!) next month :-)

Cheesecake Bars
by Baking and Creating with Avril
Cheesecake Bites
by Cookaholic Wife
Caramel Cheesecake
by Dancing
by My Hobbie Lobbie
Topped Peppermint Cheesecake
by Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Brulee Cheesecake Bars
by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Basket Mini Cheesecakes
by Little Bit of Everything
by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Cream Cheesecake
by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Layered Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake Cake by Famished Fish, Finicky Shark
Blackberry Cheesecake
by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Matcha-YuzuCheesecake with a Meyer Lemon Gelée by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Churro Caramel Cheesecake
by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes by Join Us,
Pull up a Chair
Mom’s New York Cheesecake by Taste Cook Sip
Mudslide Cheesecake by Sew You Think You
Can Cook

{No Bake} Marshmallow Cheesecake by An Affair from
the Heart
Pumpkin Cheesecake
by Angels Homestead
Samoa’s cheesecake
by Goodie Godmother
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars by The Savvy Kitchen
Sopapilla Puff Pastry Cheesecake by Pink Cake Plate
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Cheesecake Brownie Torte
by Making Memories With Your Kids


Found out late last night (2/12) that one of the Dancing Veggies readers WON the Acala package as part of the TripleSBites challenge!  So with that, CONGRATULATIONS to Jeanne 😀

New post coming tomorrow (2/13) and then a special Valentine post on 2/14!!!!

Again, HUGE congratulations to Jeanne!!!!

A Long

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese


I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of TripleSBites!  Last night we had our awesome twitter party, which included a few of our awesome sponsors and lots of tasty recipes.  Today’s feature is one that takes a bit of prep work but offers a great twist on a classic dish.  While a few of my twists on Mac & Cheese haven’t been blogworthy (hello, cauliflower) but this one is out of the world!  To save some time I used a few of my Gourmet Garden treats and also added just a touch of a new goody: Chili Cumin from Acala Farms.  Normally I use mustard seed in my mac & cheese but decided to switch it up this time!

A Long

Serves 4-5


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili cumin oil
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs), halved
  • 1 lb elbow noodles
  • 1 tsp Italian Spices paste (Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 tsp Chunky Garlic paste (Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)


  1. Turn oven to 425. Mix together the olive oil and cumin oil and pour in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the squash in roasting pan, cut side down. Roast for 45 minutes.
  2. Turn oven down to 350 and remove squash from oven for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile cook the elbow pasta per the box, rinse and then return to the pan.
  4. Stir the squash in to the cooked pasta, along with the spices, greek yogurt, and goat cheese.
  5. Place in to a casserole dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Another HUGE HIT!  For a quicker version, drop the baking part and serve right after mixing everything together.  Always been a big fan of the breadcrumb crunch but some nights there just isn’t time.  If using a gluten free pasta, add 2 tbsp of milk to the dish before baking to prevent the noodles from drying out.

Have you entered the Giveaway yet?!?

Wash Out

Butternut Squash Dressing


I’ve always found that it’s hardest to be a vegetarian around the holidays – so much of the celebration revolves around food and so much of that food involves meat.  From turkey to brisket to ham to venison, the traditional feasts revolve around a core protein of the animal variety.  When I first went vegetarian I had to accept that my holiday meal would consists of sides and for the first few years that was rather rough though there was always one exception: the dressing.  More often then not, the dressing would feature breadcrumbs of some form with vegetables and even tho it was normally on the dry side since no gravy – most of them were rather amazing.   For the past few years my contribution to the holidays have been my sweet potatoes but this year I wanted to try and completely veganize a stuffing that would be moist and amazing regardless of gravy.   So I set out to search the internet and various grocery stores to see what all was out there for me to mess with.  In the end I came up with this (in my opinion) awesome dressing that could work for more than just the BIG holiday meals.  In fact, I think it would be the perfect stuffing for an acorn squash!


Wash Out

Serves: Serves 8-10 as a side


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Bag of plain vegan stuffing (Wegmans brand, Pepperidge Farm, etc)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cranberries


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, add spices and cook for 1 minute while stirring frequently. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, or until onion is golden.
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. Add the butternut squash and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes, stirring as needed.
  4. Once the squash is soft, add the stuffing mix along with the stock, water, and cranberries and mix well.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until stuffing is warm throughout.

 I was surprised how many stuffing mixes were vegan as I was expecting most of them to feature whey, eggs, and/or turkey.  Most of the “plain” and “original” varieties turned out to be vegan while most of the ones featuring spices or seasoning were generally vegetarian – featuring whey.  The stuffing was fantastic and moist tho most of us did enjoy it with some vegan mushroom gravy from Whole Foods (seriously, that stuff is insanely good).  All in all an awesome side dish that can be enjoyed by vegans and turkey-eaters alike!

As of now I’m not really that much of a fan on 2015 – the year has just started and so far it’s been rather annoying.  Our first attempt at DIVF was a bust, our FET has been put on hold, my car is on the verge of dying as is our oven, while my cell phone had an accident this morning so it’s basically busted.  I know that most of these things, okay all but the cell phone, are out of our control but at the same time – this is just insane!!!  I thought bad things happened in groups of three and so beyond three at this point.