Appetizer · Home Cooking · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Side Dish · Vegan

On the Shore

Waldorf Salad

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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.

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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!

Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club · Soup

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Veggies and Dumplings Soup

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Welcome to the first Secret Recipe Club reveal day of 2013! It felt soooo strange not posting something in December but with the craziness of the holidays I’m sort of glad there was a break in order to insure I could focus on my assigned blog.  This month I was sent over to Daily Dish Recipes hosted by the amazing Nicole.  In reading about Nicole I also found out that her daughter has her own food blog, as well as an adorable hedgehog, so kitchen skills seem to run in the family!  Since I had more than the usual amount of time to find a recipe I decided to take my time and really explore all that Nicole had to offer.  For the longest time I was leaning towards her candy section, because who doesn’t want to make homemade lollipops???  However after reflecting on the extreme amount of sugar I have ingested over the holidays I decided to refocus on all of her savory options.  This led me to her two Chicken and Dumpling posts, and some hard core inspiration to make a vegetarian version.  I took a little bit from both posts in order to come up with my recipe, and it was a HUGE hit!  The from-scratch dumplings were delicious, the perfect meal for a rather rainy winter day.

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This is one of those stews that could be done with so many different vegetables, I have every intention of trying it with some roasted winter vegetables!   There is nothing like a delicious dumpling soaked in a simple stew to make the winter a little warmer.  Make sure to check out all of the amazing SRC recipes this month 🙂


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Creole/Cajun · International Incident Party

Leaving is worse

Vegetarian Gumbo

Good evening!  It is once again time for another International Incident Party hosted by the lovely jeroxie 😀 I was thrilled when I saw this month’s theme of GUMBO.  I have been trying to be more adventurous in my cooking and cajun/creole dishes most certainly fall in that category.  I have attempted etouffe and jumbalaya in the past, but in both of those cases my dish was more in the spirit of.  This time I set out to do something as traditional as possible, minus the andouille sausage of course.  I was orginally hoping to make my own vegetarian sausage but realized that was way out of my skill level, so had to settle with doing everything else from scratch and using tofurkey sausage.  However I didn’t want to go heavy on the soy based products so I decided to add some beans, figuring they would add the right texture/taste to the dish.  I am rather impressed with what I came up with, even more so in the fact that this dish is also vegan!

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (16oz) black or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasonings (I used Emeril’s Essence)
  • 1 lb tofurkey sausage

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven melt the butter over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted whisk in the flour, allow to cook until the mixture has turned a very rich brown color, darker than peanut butter for the best results.
  2. Meanwhile in a large saute pan heat up the olive oil.  Add the garlic, onion, celery, and green pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, until the garlic begins to turn golden and the vegetables are tender.
  3. Once the flour mixture has turned brown stir in the water and vegetable stock, then add the tomatoes, beans, and cooked vegetable.  Cover and simmer for 30minutes.  Add the seasonings, recover and cook an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile dry brown the sausage in a small pan.  Cut into bit size pieces and add to the gumbo.  Allow the mixture to simmer for a final 30minutes.  Serve over brown rice!

I think this dish might be one of the few dishes were celery is acceptable, normally I leave that out but since I was resolved to be as traditional as possible I sucked it up and kept it in.  I’m sure most locals would still turn their noses up at my vegan gumbo but it is insanely dishes and really is a rib sticking dish.

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