Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Friday Friend Recipe #190 -- Party Potato Skins

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #190
My Favorite Mother-in-Law's Party Potato Skins

and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....

...and the rest is cookbook history!

Oh...maybe I shouldn't have used a yellow plate.
Well, no matter what color plate they're on-- they're very good.
Warm with a crunchy skin and just enough soft, white potato still in the shell to fill your mouth with comfort -- that and the cheese!  And the bacon! 
Leave the green chili off if it's not your thing.

The first time I met the Handyman's mom, I didn't really see her.  It was late at night and the Handyman was hungry and instead of stopping at a restaurant, he broke into his mother's home while everyone was sleeping.  I guess 'broke into' is not the exact truth because he had a key to his mother's house. 
And I can't tell you the exact date we were on, when it happened to be that late at night when we stopped and everyone at his mother's house  was sleeping (he had teenage siblings for heaven's sake)--because I don't remember.

What I do remember is her refrigerator.
The Handyman wanted a sandwich and so he let us in with his key, went to the kitchen and proceeded to make the most tasty sandwich I'd ever had.
Her refrigerator had deli meat in white paper!
At my mom's house we had peanut butter, tuna fish and bologna. 
During real fancy times my mom would grind up a leftover pot roast and mix it with some Miracle Whip and relish for a 'spread' and man was that a fancy lunch!!
And once in a while some deviled ham.
But real deli-meat and  deli-cheese in white butcher paper? 
Never in my life had I seen anything so grand.
And where my mom had white Wonder Bread, Handyman's mom had some good cracked wheat bread.
The Handyman proceeded to make us a sandwich, while we whispered and giggled in the kitchen-- I couldn't believe no one was waking up to catch us.  He used all kinds of deli-meat, making it a triple decker and then,  AND THEN, he fried an egg and set it up on top of the sandwich. The yolk was  little bit runny and dripped down the sides of the roast beef and ham.  He then topped all of that  with cheese and lettuce and a tomato.
It was heaven on a piece of cracked wheat bread!
PLUS his mom used mayonnaise and not Miracle Whip like my mom did.  Mmmmm…. seriously heaven!

I often wonder what his mom thought in the morning when she saw a small frying pan and a couple of knives in her sink.
While I didn't actually meet her that night, I had a glimpse of her refrigerator and knew we'd be friends forever!

Years later, after we were married with kids, we went with my in-laws  up to Hood River, Oregon and boarded a paddle wheel boat for a trip up the Columbia River.  It was just a day trip, lots of fun and apparently--very windy!

The Handyman and I grew up on the Columbia River --and truth be told we might have spent our date that fateful night where I was introduced to the best sandwich ever,  walking along the river, holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes.  We didn't have a lot of money back then so a lot--A LOT- of our dates consisted of river walking. 
We love the Columbia River -- and when we retire are planning on doing the weirdest thing ever and following the river from start to finish--or finish to start, making side trips along the way.
I'll blog about it!

This river/paddle boat took us on a day trip down to the Cascade Locks where we ate at this wonderful little café overlooking the gorge.  It's so beautiful.
These little boys are now in their mid to late 30's and my father-in-law is gone, but when we go visit my mother-in-law she still has the best stocked fridge ever --and cracked wheat bread!

And that my friends is recipe #190 in the never ending countdown of the Friday Friend Cookbook!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Friday Friend Recipe #189 -- Peachy Keen Cobbler

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.

What is the Friday Friend cookbook: I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county). At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 18 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.

AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.

Which brings me to this... recipes #189

My Mom's Peachy Keen Cobbler

Peachy Keen Cobbler is a drink!  The name is very deceiving. 

You will notice that I cut this in half, if not in 1/4 for the Handyman and myself.  We enjoyed it last summer on the patio.  We love our patio on summer evenings--and enjoying a nice cool summery drink is great!

When I was really young, my mother didn't drink at all. I remember her saying that she just didn't like the taste of it.  There was horrible pressure in the 1960's tho,  to drink up--don't be a stick in the mud, etc etc, Someone always was trying to make her try something--they had just the drink for her! So sometimes she would have orange juice and club soda.  No one would ever notice--she had a bubbly personality anyway--they were just happy to see her with a drink in her hand.
I'm not sure when things began to change, but slowly she started to like some trendy drinks with naughty names.  I don't know if she actually liked them at the time, or just thought they were funny, but for a while I can remember my dad making "Slow Screws" for everybody.  
A Slow Screw was orange juice and sloe gin.
It had many variations on the name -- just change the alcohol a bit and Wah-La you have a Slow Comfortable Screw against the wall.

Just in case you wanted to know.....these are the drinks with naughty names my parents would sometimes toss out there at a dinner party.  It was very risqué at the time, but they'd all laugh, my parents and their friends, as if they'd discovered some secret joke that we kids knew nothing about.
Okay, so at the time, we didn't have a clue to what they were so amused about. Back then (and admittedly this was before I was a teenager) I just thought how cool they were, laughing and having cocktails with their friends.
When they had dance parties in the 60's, my brother and I (and sometimes children of my parents friend who were supposed to be sleeping in a spare room) would sit at the top of the stairs, in our pajamas and listen to the clink of the ice in the glasses, their laughter and the sound of their shoes sliding across the concrete floor of the basement before my mom would notice us and shoo us off to bed. 
In the 70's it became the popping of beer bottles and the shooting of pool, as by that decade they had carpeted the basement floors and bought a pool table.
Always in the mornings tho, there would be leftover cocktail glasses with lipstick stains and stale ashtrays with cigarette butts, record albums on the floor and....
(for the record my parents didn't smoke, but some of their friends did)

Oh...I rambled on... here are the variations on a Sloe Screw:

Sloe Comfortable Screw- 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce Southern Comfort, 1/2 ounce sloe gin, fill with orange juice.
Sloe Comfortable Screw Against the Wall- 1 ounce each of vodka, Southern Comfort and sloe gin, fill with orange juice, top with Galliano. ('The Wall' refers to the Harvey Wallbanger, which Galliano is famous for.)
  • Sloe Comfortable Mexican Screw Against the Wall- 1/2 ounce each of vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin and tequila, fill with orange juice.
  • Sloe Comfortable Screw Between the Sheets- 1/2 ounce each of vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, rum and brandy, fill with orange juice. ("Between the Sheets" refers to the popular rum and brandy cocktail, Between the Sheets.)
  • Sloe Comfortable Fuzzy Screw Against the Wall- 1/2 ounce each of vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin peach schnapps, and Galliano, fill with orange juice. ("Fuzzy" refers to the peach schnapps in a Fuzzy Navel.)

  • I wonder why these drinks go out of fashion?
    For years my mom's favorite was a Fuzzy Navel made with Peach Schnapps and Orange juice -- it seems she stuck with orange juice in her drinks forever.  She never was a big drinker and most times she would have been happy with a glass of orange juice and club soda.

    The Peachy Keen Cobbler seems to be a variation on the Fuzzy Navel, in my humble opinion.
    It was very good.

    My dad was not a Shriner until I left home... and, how does this fit into the story, you might be asking yourself about now?  I think most Shriners are drinkers.  There you have it. When I think of Shriners I think of the men in the funny cars or serving breakfast at county fairs and cocktails.
    My dad joined the Shriners because he liked the idea of the Shriner hospitals.  He liked to raise money for the kids and their families in need.  And I'm sure he didn't mind the cocktail hour either.
    In the last years of their lives they had so much fun with their friends in the Shrine organization.  Those parties took the place of the dance parties of their 20's and the pool playing parties of their 30's.  

    See? Cocktail glasses in the background?

    My mom would have killed me for this one... but... cocktails?
    It kind of proves my point. 😍

    A few years ago, the Handyman and I and some of our grandchildren were at the lake, and we went into town to watch the 'Children's Parade' for Chief Joseph Days and  guess what was the best entry we saw?  The little guys with Fez hats like the Shriners driving their little cars!

    Eli, Emerson and Evalynn waiting for the parade to begin.

    And the little Shriners!  I think they were advertising the breakfast before the rodeo.
    The cutest things ever!

    And there you have it --- Friday Friend Recipe #189!

    Saturday, May 12, 2018

    Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Again!

    I am so mad at myself!!
    Remember that I was trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe?  Buttery, crispy and chewy?  And that I found it right away and it was my mom's recipe--in which she used no butter?  Shortening only!  Okay, that's kind of funny -- but in discovering the best chocolate cookie recipe I slowed down... way WAY down in making my way thru this cookbook:
    (as well as my own personal collection of chocolate chip cookie recipes that people have given me/swear by)

    So today I was going to get back on track-- I knew I had some photos of a cookie in my drafts -- two cookies to be exact.  I compared and contrasted two different cookies from this book.  Funny thing is, I didn't mark anything or make any notes and it's been so long I don't know which two I made!  I have a vague recollection of one of the recipes, but... ??  I certainly can't use a vague recollection or pretend I remember.  Which means these photos are USELESS! And I have to start from scratch again.

    Just look at these photos tho.  I find it amazing that by taking the same basic ingredients and doing some mixing and matching, cookies can come out so differently. Crunchy and hard, chewy and soft, crispy and chewy and buttery.

    I'm off now---off to make some chocolate chip cookies!
    I better take notes... before I forget.

    Friday, May 11, 2018

    Friday Friend Recipe #188 - Quiche Lorraine

    Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook!

    What is it, you may ask?

    In a nutshell...
    About 19 years ago, 50 of my closest friends and family, who had been on an e-mail forum with me, sent in recipes in different categories and we compiled a cookbook.
    I decided to count those down!

    Because  one night I was looking thru the cookbook and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog"
    The Handyman--who thinks he knows me better than I know myself, said,  "you'll never EVER do that."
    Well,  maybe I will!  Maybe I'll show him!

    Which brings me to recipe #188

    Ashley's Quiche Lorraine

    Sunday morning breakfast on the patio.
    Quiche and a fruit salad and coffee.

    Bacon, Swiss cheese and onions mingle in perfect harmony amidst the eggs and cream in this timeless classic.

    This is Ashley and this is her 6th recipe in the Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown.
    Check out all of her recipes here (just click)

    Before there was blogging--or before I learned about blogging anyway-- I would print out all the Friday Friend forum correspondence and put them in binders.  Years after we stopped doing this forum I have still have it all in notebooks
    (I should probably toss them, but it is so fun at times like this). 
    I would usually start a theme for the week or ask a question or two and then let the conversation begin. 
    There were approximately 50 of my closest friends and family -- 15 of these were great answerers and 15 were occasional answerers.  The others were sporadic.
    Ashley was one of those.

    For instance, I looked thru 2 big notebooks this morning trying to find an answer or some dialog that Ashley contributed.
    I came across this (after skimming the notebooks for 2 hours)
    She what she says in the middle of the page --  Dr. Pepper is her 'soda' of choice.
    That's it -- no story.

    NO story!!
    She likes Dr. Pepper.
    And Winnie the Pooh.
    She also started the Totally Lit Book Club that I'm in.  Of course it was just called book club 18 years ago -- we added the TOTALLY LIT, about 10 years ago.
    ( some of them below--organizing themselves as I make them get their picture taken  )

    April and I are the only original members left, we've had people come and go, but they go because they move away.  Ashley and I share a good friend, Betty, who she invited to join the book club at the very beginning--18 years ago-- and she never did -- until last summer!  I'm so happy to have her!

    We all ran into each other last summer at The Griddle and I whipped out my phone to take a picture--thank goodness, as I am running out of photos of her.

    By the way, she didn't have Dr. Pepper in her glass....

    And that my friends is FF Recipe #188--Ashley's Quiche Lorraine

    Wednesday, May 9, 2018

    Friday Friend Recipe #186 and #187 -- Oven Roasted Potatoes and Coconut Mandarin Bowl

    My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #186 and #187!
    Barb's Oven Roasted Potatoes and Coconut Mandarin Bowl

    and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....

    ...and the rest is cookbook history!

    An extra bonus in  making these potatoes?  There is one packet left of onion seasoning so  you get to make onion dip!
    The potatoes need no introduction - they are just good - we all know that.

    I went out of the box tho and used red and white potatoes--not russets! 
    Sometimes I am crazy like that...I go wild and no one can stop me.

    And then we have the Coconut Mandarin Bowl!  I love fruit salads like these. No one else in my household does.  They remind me of growing up.  My mom would fix fruit salads with marshmallows and/or whipped cream and pudding and all kinds of 'extras'.   The Handyman's mother didn't.  She was a green salad, potato salad and macaroni salad kind of woman.  I'm sad to say, they missed out on so many good dessert salads such as this one.

    These are Barbara Brown recipes.  I have lost count on how many she has in the countdown, but you can see all of them here! Just click.

    Barbara Brown!
    She's the one who typed up the original Friday Friend Cookbook.  I asked for recipes to be turned in and I received.  Then I passed them on to Barb and she typed and typed and typed.

    And typed.
    This is what my copy of the original looks like today:

    It is very well used and well loved.
    Sometimes I find it hard to think of new stories to tell about my friends and family in the countdown, so sometimes I think I'll just give a fact or two. The trouble with this is that I feel I've given all the facts on Barb that I know.
    The fact is-- she just celebrated a birthday, so I'll just call this a 
    and say THANK YOU for starting this whole thing.

    Here is Barb at her Happy Place: the Washington coast. She lives in Arizona but twice a year she spends 5-7 weeks at her son's beach house in Washington.  She takes her sewing machine and many books and has a wonderful time--alone for most of it.  Her son comes on weekends and her husband usually comes up for a 1 or 2 week vacation during her stay.
    It's a FACT that Barb is happy, reading, drinking coffee on the deck, going for long walks on the beach and making quilts. I'm sure when her 'company' is there, she is also playing cards and board games.

    And that's my story!
    Two more recipes down and who knows how many more to go...

    Friday Friend Recipe #190 -- Party Potato Skins

    My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #190 (#willreallyfinishthissomeday) My Favorite Mother-in-Law's P...