Saturday night – 03/17/2018

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be about just corned beef and cabbage.

Though I did make cabbage this week. I was looking for a recipe to match a braised red cabbage we enjoyed at a (semi-)local fine dining restaurant, the Castle. This is an old-school “fancy”, dress-up-for-dinner, sort of place that my family goes to for special occasions. We went with my mom and sister to celebrate what would have been my dad’s seventy-seventh birthday. The red cabbage that was served with our entree was tender and flavorful with a touch of sweetness. I asked what went into it and learned that it was cooked a long time and had a touch of red currant jelly. That was enough of a clue to find something online. The rest of the menu was pretty much built around the red cabbage dish.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
Braised Red Cabbage
Chicken Thighs with Mustard Cream Sauce
Irish Brown Bread

Gingerbread with Whipped Cream

Notes under the cut


Ham Tetrazzini

[Ham Tetrazzini]We hosted the family Christmas day gathering this year. We provided ham, popovers and egg noodles for my mom’s Swedish meatballs. At the end of the day there was ham and egg noodles leftover. So I took a page from Thanksgiving leftovers and made a tetrazzini type dish.

The butter, milk and cheese make this rich dish. Perfect for the week before New Year’s resolutions have us all eating kale-cauliflower-mango smoothies.

Ham Tetrazzini
Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


  • 6 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 10 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 sm. onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or just water if you have no broth)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle
  • 1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3 cups cooked ham, cubed
  • 4 cups cooked egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until most of mushroom liquid has evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions, and cook until the onions begin to soften; another 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, to get rid of the taste of raw flour. Add the broth and stir to start the sauce. Allow to cook for about 1 minute and add milk while stirring. Stir in the chipotle, paprika, pepper and vinegar. Adjust the heat for a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  3. Add the ham, noodles and parsley. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes to reheat the ham/noodles.
  4. While the ham/noodles reheat toast the breadcrumbs. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add the breadcrumbs and use a spatula to coat the breadcrumbs in the melted butter. Heat, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are browned to your liking. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  5. To serve spoon up a generous helping in a bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan and toasted breadcrumbs. A few grinds of fresh black pepper never hurt anyone either.

I would normally salt the mushrooms and onions while sauteing them as it helps draw out the moisture. That said this is already going to be a salty dish with the broth (unless it is homemade), ham and Parmesan. Leaving the salt out means it’ll take a little longer to cook down the mushrooms and onions. Patience, and temperature control, are your friend.

Christmas Day – 12/25/2017

My family joined us for Christmas brunch today, which was a potluck sort of affair. It was a fun day despite 7″ of new snow overnight that pushed are gathering time back a bit.

Items we provided are marked with an asterisk.

French toast casserole
Baked Hame with Cherry Glaze *
Swedish Meatballs (with Egg Noodles *)
Fruit Salad *
Popovers *

Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Chocolate Fudge
Assorted cookie

Notes under the cut

Jelly Roll with Cranberry Compote and Orange Marscapone

Follow a number of food bloggers on Instagram and other social media. One of my favorites is theboywhobakes. Around Thanksgiving time he posted an roulade (though I think of it as a jelly roll) that looked so tasty I saved the post for a random weekend when I’d be able to examine it further. This was that weekend.

[Jelly Roll]I confess that jelly rolls don’t have a good reputation in our kitchen. More often than not then have become the basis for a sweet trifle when they cracked in half during rolling. For whatever reason I was convinced I could make it work. Then I looked at the recipe and was a bit dumbfounded. This looked like no jelly roll cake I’d seen before and I looked away. I found a cake recipe I was more comfortable with, tweaked it a bit and went with that.

The jelly roll still cracked however it was delicious. Worthy of another try I think.
Notes under the cut