New Year’s Eve in Vegas

There’s no place like Las Vegas.  It’s glitzy, and plastic, and neon, and fun.

We went to Vegas for New Year’s in 2013 to celebrate my bonus son’s 21st birthday (“bonus son” = stepson, with a more positive connotation; it means I’m “bonus mom”).  It had always been a plan since he was a small boy.  It was a blended family trip, with my husband and me, my bonus son and his college roommate, my bonus son’s real mom and her fiancé (now husband), and my 16-year old son.

What to do on New Year’s Eve in Vegas when you’re celebrating a milestone birthday?

We figured that watching the fireworks from the bar in one of the tallest buildings was the way to go (minus the 16 year-old, of course).  The fireworks on New Year’s in Vegas are truly spectacular; click here for this year’s show summary.  There’s still time for you to get there! 🙂

The fireworks on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas are deployed from the top of  a half-dozen hotels and can be seen from everywhere on the strip.  We chose the roof bar at The Palms because the Grill-Meister had been there for a work event a few months earlier, and it was indeed an experience.  Getting through the security there was more stringent than the security at the airport.  We didn’t know what bottle service was (click here if you are just as naive), but it was the only option.  The music was SUPER LOUD, and the patrons were rowdy. The evening was a fun learning experience, something to remember for a special birthday, and not something we need to do again.

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If I was in Vegas for New Year’s this year, I’d go to the Golden Nugget.  It is owned by Tilman Fertitta, a Galveston native and the man Forbes Magazine called “the world’s richest restauranteur” in 2012.  Along with other entertainment options, across the Golden Nugget, he imports a  top-notch jazz group from Houston each year.

During the rest of the week, we did all the typical campy Vegas things:

  • A magic show:  Criss Angel Believe – NOT RECOMMENDED; we don’t believe.  In spite of being associated with Cirque du Soleil, this show didn’t live up to the hype.  The reviews on TripAdvisor bear this out, including mine, in which I said it was “flashy but fluffy”.
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The Criss Angel “Believe” Show:  we don’t believe.
  • A music show:  Blue Man Group.  This show was fantastic. There was never a dull moment, and everyone in our party, ranging from 16 to 50+, was equally enthralled. It is a captivating, interactive, all-ages experience, and very, very funny. There is also a fair amount of “hmmm, that makes you think” social commentary that goes down easy (isn’t preachy). The crowd’s energy adds to the fun, and the audience participation component is delightful, simply and invigorating. Don’t miss this if you go to Vegas – take your family, take a date, or go alone. You won’t be sorry.
  • Walking the strip.  The people-watching is wonderful.

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  • Staying at the Bellagio.  It’s like a cruise ship; it has everything:  restaurants, bars, shops, art galleries, gambling, dancing fountains, and more.

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  • Checking out the other hotels.  It’s like a tour of over-the-topness.

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  • Gambling.  Didn’t spend much, didn’t lose much, didn’t win much.  It’s not my thing.

Overall, New Year’s Eve in Vegas was great, but once was enough.  This year, we’ll be with family in Albuquerque, traveling there from our cabin in central Colorado.


Need more Vegas? Click here to read my Vegas haikus, from a different birthday trip – my mother-in-law’s 80th.

Venturing Forward Into Travel Blogging

Is it travel blogging or travelogue-ing?

Either way, I’m going to start blogging about travel, when I can.

Travel and food are symbiotic.  So many of my favorite recipes have had their start from a wonderful meal I experienced on a trip.

Here’s my new travel page:  click here.  You should visit it just to see the cool retro picture of my mom.

Travel Suitcases

The best meal I’ve ever had was in a tiny restaurant in a tiny town in Italy, Greve in Chianti.  I wasn’t taking food pictures back then, but I wish I had!  The dish was wild boar and pappardelle pasta and it was unbelievably good.  Hopefully I can capture those moments going forward.

What was your best meal ever?

Sandwich Wednesday: New Cookbook

Sandwich Wednesday is a thing at Glover Gardens.

The Glover Gardens Grill-Meister is a sandwich-making king on Wednesdays. Click here to read the original post, which includes a recommendation for a good panini press.

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This cookbook has lots of wonderful recipes for “sandwiches, Italian style”.  Click here to view it on Amazon.

To continue to encourage this wonderful mid-week dinner-making strategy, I gifted him with another cookbook this Christmas.  It’s a winner!

Sandwich Wednesday came early this week because we’re at our cabin in Colorado, Little House in the Rockies, and paninis are quick and easy.  We joined forces and made the recipe on page 30, the Goat Cheese and Roasted Pepper Panini.  It would be a copyright infringement for me to print the recipe here since it hasn’t been shared online, but you could throw together something similar very easily.

The recipe layers roasted red peppers (we used them from a jar – sometimes it’s ok to cut corners) over a goat cheese mixed with herbs on a simple bun. Olive oil, capers, freshly ground pepper and fresh herbs make the red peppers really pop with flavor.

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The sandwich in the recipe is served cold, but we used our panini press and gave the bread a nice crunch.

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Our panini presses at Little House in the Rockies are simply Sunbeam models, but they work just fine

The finished product is a lovely and surprisingly filling vegetarian sandwich that would be good in any season. We served it simply, with clementines and prunes.

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Goat cheese, roasted red peppers and capers make a quick weeknight panini

Other Sandwich Wednesday posts (and recipes):

New Year’s Brunch

I’ve always felt that the way I spend New Year’s (Eve and Day) foreshadows my experiences for the rest of the year.  And it usually does:  we’re either traveling with family, having a special outing with family, or spending time at home with family, celebrating the beginning of a great new year with a great meal.  Last year at year’s-end, we were at our cabin in the Rockies and spent a fantastic New Year’s Eve in Breckenridge watching the fireworks, which we highly recommend.  There’s a Torchlight Parade, with skiers coming down the mountain adorned with red lights on their ski poles, which is a marvelous spectacle.  Then there are the fireworks, which are spectacular.  Even in sub-zero weather, which last year was about -15 degrees.

New Year's Eve in Breckenridge
Photo courtesy of Megan Rehm Photography.
We had a spicy egg and sausage casserole for New Year's Brunch in 2015, complimented by mimosas.
We had a spicy egg and sausage casserole for New Year’s Brunch in 2015, complimented by mimosas.

My Facebook post on New Year’s Day of 2015 read:  “We had a great time in Breckenridge last night but couldn’t last ’til midnight when we got back to the cabin. No worries, New Year’s Eve champagne makes great New Year’s Day mimosas.”  We had a throw down spicy sausage and egg casserole and mimosas for our brunch here at Little House in the Rockies, which really hit the spot.  By the way, I saw Anthony Dias Blue of Wine Spectator on Good Morning America about 25 years ago, and when asked about champagne for mixing in drinks like mimosas, he advocated using inexpensive but decent champagne (like Korbel).  He said that the finer champagnes were wasted when they were mixed with juices or other liquors.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Back to New Year’s Brunch.  There are certain requirements for the menu.  Being a southerner, I was raised on the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s Day.  The trouble is, I don’t like them very much.  My parents found a recipe called Texas Caviar years ago that solves this problem:  the black-eyeds are masked by yummy pico de gallo-like ingredients in this a spicy, fresh dip.  I don’t have their recipe, but found one in another blog that looks very close:  click here.

Basically, you have to have lucky foods, which can include pork or fish, both celebratory and extravagant foods, greens, for the color of money, coin-shaped foods, or food that is the color of gold, like cornbread (click here for a neat blog post about lucky foods for New Year’s).  You also need very hearty foods, if it’s a morning-after kind of situation.  And make-ahead foods are always handy if you’re going out on New Year’s, but having guests or a special family meal on New Year’s Day.

So here’s my recommended New Year’s Brunch Menu (which can also be a lovely New Year’s Eve menu if you’re having a party):

My final recommendation:  have fun!  New Year’s is a holiday without the burden of huge expectations or gifts.  Just go with the feeling and start out the new year in a happy and joyful way.

 

 

 

 

 

Hearty Ham & Sharp Cheddar Panini on Jalapeño-Cheese Bread

If you saw my post about Sandwich Wednesday, you know that the Grill-Meister is also a whiz at panini-making.  We’re at our cabin in the Rocky Mountains right now, and panini are definitely on the menu.

Czech Stop Jalapeño Cheese Bread
The Jalapeño-Cheese bread from the Czech Stop is not for the faint of heart! The bread is very important in this recipe.

First-night food when you’re traveling and have landed at your destination needs to be easy.  Right?  That’s why we settled on the Hearty Ham and Sharp Cheddar Paninis.  We brought the last of the Christmas ham with us on our cross-country driving trip, and picked up some wonderfully spicy jalapeño-cheese bread on our requisite road-snack stop at the Czech Stop in West, Texas.  (There’s an upcoming blog about the Czech Stop – it is legendary.)  The Grill-Meister figured that sharp cheddar would compliment the bread and the ham perfectly, and he figured right.  He’s smart that way.

This recipe is so easy it hardly needs to be typed out.  I bet you could make it easily just from these directions:  4 slices of bread, enough ham for two sandwiches, sliced red onion, and a bit of sharp cheddar.  Assemble, brush with olive oil or butter, and press on the panini press, or cook like a grilled cheese.  That is all.

But I’ll be a little more prescriptive, just in case.

Ham and Sharp Cheddar Paninis on Jalapeno-Cheese Bread

Ingredients

  • Four thick slices of jalapeño-cheese bread, or other specialty bread of your choice; make sure the slices are of even thickness if you’re using a panini press
  • 1/4 lb of sliced ham (we used spiral sliced ham leftover from holiday entertaining)
  • Enough sliced sharp cheddar for two sandwiches
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Olive oil or butter for

Cooking Instructions

Heat the panini press to medium. Lay out the four slices of bread on a cutting board. Put a small amount of olive oil in a saucer or small dish, and then brush it on one side of each piece of bread, then turn over. Alternatively, put a thin spread of butter on one side of each piece, then turn over. Assemble the sandwiches:

  • Place a layer of cheddar on two slices of bread, reserving a small amount.
  • Top the cheddar with the ham.
  • Add the sliced red onion.
  • Top the ham and onion with a bit more cheddar. This will help the fillings “stick” to the top slice of bread and prevent the sandwich fillings from falling out.
  • Place the remaining two slices of bread atop the filling on each sandwich.

Put the sandwiches onto the panini press, close the lid and press gently. Cook until the filling is hot and the bread is golden brown. If you don’t have a panini press, cook the sandwiches like a grilled cheese, first on one side in a large, flat skillet, then on the other, pressing down slightly.

There are only a few ingredients in this hearty ham and cheese panini.
There are only a few ingredients in this hearty ham and cheese panini.
The finished product is appetizing - and filling!
The finished product is appetizing – and filling!

Voila! You have a tasty, main-course sandwich that only needs a salad or fruit. On our just-arrived-at-the-cabin-weary-from-traveling-day, we just had clementines on the side. It was just fine.

We left 2015 Winter Storm Goliath behind us as we drove across the New Mexico-Colorado Border. Travel days call for easy dinners!
We left 2015 Winter Storm Goliath behind us as we drove across the New Mexico-Colorado Border. Travel days call for easy dinners!
This rabbit showed up at the back door of Little House in the Rockies, right before dinner.  Maybe he likes paninis?
This rabbit showed up at the back door of Little House in the Rockies, right before dinner. Maybe he likes paninis?
This was our view this morning, looking out toward Breckenridge.  Nature is the BEST!
This was our view this morning, looking out toward Breckenridge. Nature is the BEST!

Pampas Grass: A Champagne Drink

I love mimosas. Actually, I love many drinks that mix nice-tasting ingredients with champagne.  I love champagne.  Bubbly is good.  Very good.

Overlay the above with the fact that my dad and aunt-mom (story later) had a very prodigious grapefruit tree, and one of my favorite cousins lives in Florida and has an uncle with a citrus farm.  You can imagine:  I am blessed to receive tons of citrus in the winter, and challenged to do it justice.  One result:  the Pampas Grass, a champagne and grapefruit juice drink.

It’s an easy mix:  equal parts champagne (or sparkling wine), Midori, and freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice.  I made it recently for my nieces, who graced us with a pre-Christmas visit.

The Pampas Grass (makes one drink; multiply as necessary)

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (or purchased, if you don’t have fresh fruit)
  • 2 oz. Midori melon liqueur
  • 2 oz. inexpensive but decent champagne or sparkling wine (Korbel or a similar wine) – *see note below
  • lemon, lime or small grapefruit slices for garnishing

Mixing Instructions

Add all liquid ingredients to a wine or champagne glass, and garnish with citrus slice.


*Note: I saw Anthony Dias Blue of Wine Spectator on Good Morning America about 25 years ago, and when asked about champagne for mixing in drinks like mimosas, he advocated using inexpensive but decent champagne (like Korbel). He said that the finer champagnes were wasted when they were mixed with juices or other liquors. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 Champagne First

Pampas Grass
Add the Midori and the grapefruit juice, and voila, you have the Pampas Grass

Glasgow in December (2)

I had to go on a last-minute business trip to Glasgow earlier this month and was musing about what it would be like at Christmas:  click here for the original post.

Glasgow did not disappoint!  I had to work the whole time I was there except on my arrival day (Sunday) and in the evenings, so I didn’t get a lot of great shots.  But another blog has done a nice job of profiling Glasgow and I’ve shared the link to their post at the bottom of this one.

Glasgow had Christmas markets, with food and fun and trinkets.

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And I was able to go to the Botanical Gardens, which was right across from my hotel in the West End (the Hilton – I recommend it).  The Botanical Gardens have neat stuff to do both inside and out, so you can enjoy it even in cold or rainy weather.

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Glasgow is a shopper’s paradise!  Try Buchanan Street, or the West End.

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And it is also a town for foodies.  There are wonderful pub/restaurants, such as Oranmor, a collection of rooms serving food and drink in what used to be a church.  The restaurants and pubs on Ashton Lane by the Hillhead tube station are also really cool, such as the Ubiquitous Chip.

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I really, really loved the food at Cail Bruich, which TripAdvisor.com says is the 8th best restaurant in all of Glasgow, describing it thus:  “Inventive French-inflected food from Scotland’s natural larder in a relaxed, family-run atmosphere.”

If you made it this far, please take a minute to click on the Glasgow post from the Cewinta blog.  There are nicer photos and a bit of history.  Click here.  And finally, here’s a link to the blog of a retired librarian who posts from Glasgow:  click here.  She has a wealth of information about the city and posts about interesting literary events and travel.

 

Sweet Potato Biscuits: Family History, Love on a Plate

I don’t know where to start when I’m talking about Sweet Potato Biscuits.  There are so many aspects to these warm, soft, little pillows of butter-oozing love:

  • Cracked Ice Vintage Formica Table
    My grandmother’s kitchen dinette was one of these circa 1952 Cracked Ice Formica and Chrome models. There was never a bad bite served on it.

    I can’t remember the first time I had them, but it must have been at my grandmother Harvell’s formica table in her kitchen in Sweetwater, Texas.  It was the place to be in the early morning when we would visit her for Thanksgiving.  The  Sweet Potato Biscuits would come out of the oven in batch after batch, and all of us grandchildren held out our plates, eager for more.  What a taste memory.

  • Following Mema’s example, my immediate family has had these biscuits for breakfast on holidays forever.  My dad was the one who made them at the home where I grew up at the beach on the Bolivar Peninsula.  He learned from his mom (“Mema”), and he always used Bisquick for the biscuit dough.  I don’t apologize for this.  The recipe is perfect with Bisquick, and there is no reason to make it any other way.
  • Don’t, don’t, don’t be fooled into trying a fancy recipe or mix for these biscuits. You don’t need Southern Living, Paula Deen, Martha Stewart or the Food Network for Sweet Potato Biscuits.  No, no, no!  They all know food and know how to cook, but there is absolutely no reason to tart up Sweet Potato Biscuits or add extra ingredients like Crisco or brown sugar.  Trust me.  This is a home truth.
  • All of my cousins feel the same way about Sweet Potato Biscuits.  Their parents, my dad’s siblings, also made them on special occasions while they were growing up, which spelled out FOOD IS LOVE every time they were served.  We made these biscuits at a Harvell family reunion in 2012 and I think 18 people ate about 100 biscuits.  Food was indeed love and we shared our memories of Mema’s kitchen and chrome table and the incredible feelings of safety and warmth and comfort when you were ensconced there.
  • People who come into our family, through marriage or friendship, become Sweet Potato Biscuit converts.  Without fail.  Even if they hate sweet potatoes.
  • People who loathe sweet potatoes like these biscuits.  They are transcendant.
  • The biscuits are more about textures than flavor.  They are moist and chewy, and absolutely MUST be heavily laden with butter when served.  My mom used to say that it wasn’t right to eat Sweet Potato Biscuits without butter dripping down your chin.
  • They are durable.  These biscuits can be reheated and served again with no impact to their quality.
  • You can’t eat just one.  Or two.  Sitting down with Sweet Potato Biscuits is a commitment to getting really, really full.
  • There was never a recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits that anyone in the family ever followed.  I asked my dad for years how to make them and he could never tell me; he could only show me.  There’s a cute little article at the end of this post written by my aunt that summarizes the conversation she had with her mom (my grandmother) about the biscuits…you’ll see how vague her instructions are.  My dad channeled my grandmother by telling me to add the mashed sweet potatoes to the biscuit dough “’til it looks right”. What does that mean???
  • You can make these biscuits ahead of time and par-bake them, removing them from the oven when they are 80% done.  Just set the oven to 400 when you are ready to serve them and bake until they are lightly browned.
  • I made the biscuits with my dad about ten times over the years, and have finally documented the amounts.  Woohoo!  Now I can post the recipe.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

This recipe makes about 30 biscuits.  You’ll probably want to double it.  They are relatively flat and even children can eat 5 or 6.

Ingredients

  • Two medium/large sweet potatoes
  • One recipe of Bisquick biscuit dough (or any other favorite biscuit mix), which is 2 1/4 cups of biscuit mix and 2/3 cup of milk
  • Flour for dusting

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 400.  Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a knife and place on a baking dish lined with foil.  Bake for about 45 minutes until they are soft when tested.  Cool, then peel and mash by hand with a fork or a pastry blender. It should not be a super-smooth consistency; there should still be some chunks. This step can be done ahead of time by a day or two.

When you’re ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the over to 400 again.  Prepare the biscuit dough, following the recipe on the package.  Measure out 2 cups of the mashed sweet potatoes, and fold it gently into the biscuit dough.

Spread flour over a large cutting board and then place the dough on the board.  Flour your hands and pat the dough out to about 3/8 inch thick.  Use a round cookie cutter from 1 1/1 inch to 2 inches in diameter to cut the biscuits from the dough and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the biscuits are lightly browned.

Serve hot with twice as much butter as you think your guests will need.

Note:  It’s the cook’s prerogative to test as many biscuits as necessary to ensure that they are the highest quality.  They must be tested immediately upon removal from the oven, with butter, of course.

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This batch of dough was made by my dad and me at a family reunion, and “it looks right”.  There wasn’t a good spoon for mixing it, so we used a spatula.  Any port in a storm…
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We didn’t have a cookie cutter when we made the Sweet Potato Biscuits at the family reunion (we rented a mountain cabin and used their kitchen).  But an emptied tin can worked just fine.
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They are very humble, but Sweet Potato Biscuits could probably bring about world peace; they are that good.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Sweet Potato Biscuits, in all their buttery glory.  Yum

Below is my aunt’s high school project, an interview with her mom about Sweet Potato Biscuits.

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I’m not sure when Mema evolved to using Bisquick, but I’m sure glad I don’t have to try to follow this recipe!

 

Found (and edited) Recipe: Scotch Eggs

 

I grew up near Galveston, Texas, and an annual treat was attending Dickens on the Strand, a wonderful festival held there each December that honors Charles Dickens and the Victorian Era.  There are entertainers, food vendors and costumed characters, most harking back to 19th-century London. Check out the festival highlights via the 30-second video below – and don’t miss it if you happen to be in Galveston the first weekend of December, in any year.

I fell in love with the authentic music and food at Dickens, especially the Scotch Eggs.  They are hard-boiled eggs encased in sausage, then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried.  Served piping hot, they are a simple but amazing hearty snack to eat on a cold, crisp winter day.  Or on any day.

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Our Scotch Egg at Dickens, paired with an English Ale.  It was a very balmy day, or else we would have had the wassail that was on offer.

I’ve been talking about the Scotch Eggs from Dickens for years, and this year, the Grill-Meister and I made the trek to Galveston so that he could taste them for himself.  It was a hit!  Not only did he love them, he volunteered to make them for Christmas breakfast if I could find a good recipe. I never Googled so fast in my life as I did on the way home from Dickens trying to find the right recipe.

Betty Crocker online had the best-looking recipe, primarily because the Scotch Eggs were baked, rather than fried.  (We deep-fry about once a decade at Glover Gardens and it wasn’t time yet.)  Click here if you’d like to view the original recipe.

The Grill-Meister is smart, and decided to translate Betty’s recipe into a make-ahead dish so that it wouldn’t be a big chore on Christmas.  He also decided to use a baking rack so that the Scotch Eggs wouldn’t sit in the sausage drippings.

Our modified version of the recipe is below.  We kicked it up a notch, Glover Gardens style, and made enough to serve 8 on Christmas morning.

Ingredients

3 lbs bulk pork sausage (or you could use hot bulk sausage for a real kick)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or substitute 2 tsp. fresh minced garlic)
12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Panko crispy bread crumbs
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (cut this back if you use spicy sausage)
2 eggs, beaten

Cooking Instructions

If you are making the Scotch eggs to eat right away, heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix pork sausage, onion powder and garlic. Shape mixture into 12 equal patties.  Note:  if you have a kitchen scale, use it to measure out 12 4 oz. portions of the sausage mixture and then make it into a patty.

Roll each hard-cooked egg in flour to coat; place on sausage patty and shape the sausage around the egg completely. Stop here and cover and refrigerate the sausage-encased eggs if you are making them ahead of time.  Remove them from the refrigerator an hour before baking, and preheat the oven to 400°.

Dip each sausage-encased egg into the beaten egg mixture, then roll in Panko to coat completely. Cover a cookie sheet large enough for all 12 Scotch Eggs in foil, then top with a rack and place the eggs on the rack.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink near the egg. Resist the temptation to check earlier; it really does take that long to cook the sausage.

Serve hot.


IMG_1368Oh my goodness, were these Scotch Eggs good!  Waaaay better than the Dickens version, and those were the stuff of memories.  Crusty and crunchy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside, only needing a dusting of salt and freshly ground pepper.  And they were easy to prepare, especially with the majority of the work done a day ahead. They stayed hot until everyone got seated, and paired beautifully with a bit of fruit and my sweet potato biscuits (watch this space for the recipe soon – it’s a marriage made in heaven).

I highly recommend Scotch Eggs as the main event for a holiday breakfast or any weekend brunch when you want to wow people.

Also, they are very portable – we had a few left and brought them to our mountain cabin in Colorado, where they made a super-easy travel-day lunch.  Reheat by microwaving on medium for about 3 minutes and then in the oven at 450 for about 2 minutes; the come out nice and crusty.

Scotch Eggs with Sweet Potato Biscuits
Scotch Eggs paired wonderfully with Sweet Potato Biscuits for Christmas Breakfast.  (Watch this space for the recipe.)

For more info about Scotch Eggs, and a nice look at a variety of them, check out this blog:  The Search for the World’s Best Scotch Egg.


Update

One of my former colleagues made these Scotch Eggs and connected with a childhood memory:  click here to read this sweet little story.

 

Copyright 2015, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Mashed Potato Pancakes

I love holiday leftovers for a day or two, but then I’m ready to transform anything that’s remaining, like those mashed potatoes that we all know were just a delivery device for the gravy.  It’s not an original idea to make potato pancakes from leftover mashed potatoes, but we’re especially partial to this version here at Glover Gardens.

Moist, lush and flavorful, these potato pancakes are extraordinarily good.  So says the Grill-Meister.

The recipe makes about 8 fairly large pancakes, or a dozen or more medium ones.  They can be the star of a vegetarian dinner, paired up with soup or a quick green salad.

Ingredients

1 egg
1/2 cup half ‘n’ half
2 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes
1 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnishes (optional)
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Sour cream
Grated cheese

Cooking Instructions

In a medium bowl, beat egg and half ‘n’ half with a fork or whisk. Add mashed potatoes, grated cheese and 1/4 cup of the parsley and mix well.  Add salt, baking powder, red pepper flakes and white pepper, and mix again.

Heat a large skillet with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil on medium high.  Using a big spoon, make mounds of potato mixture in your desired pancake sizes in the hot oil in the pan.  Top with salt and freshly ground  pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until nicely brown on the first side, checking occasionally to make sure the pancakes aren’t burning by lifting an edge with your spatula, then turn and cook on the second side until brown.  The pancakes will be thick and slightly mushy when you turn them; be careful not to let them fall apart.

As the pancakes are done, remove them to an oven-friendly serving platter or cookie sheet and keep warm in the oven on low.  Garnish liberally for the best presentation.

Potato Pancake Mixed
The potato pancake “batter” is very thick
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Make the pancakes big if they are the star of your dinner
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The finished product can be a meal in itself with its lush garnishes

Copyright 2015, Glover Gardens Cookbook