After a rough week – I needed to “stress cook” with Mexican themed dishes
To balance the very healthy dinner the other might, and inspired by the book that we’ve been reading for Book Club this weekend; The Uncomfortable Dead, with its Mexican theme, I decided to look into some older recipes and given I needed the distractions – went out to try these Mexican themed recipes.
Mexican Wedding cake/cookies
First I tried my hand at a batch of Mexican Wedding cake/cookies (aka Russian Teacakes or Snowballs); it would seem that most cultures have a version of this butter, sugar, flour & nut recipe and everyone has an opinion on what makes them authentic and the “best”. So while mine didn’t come out the way I planned with a cute little crescent or ball shape, and they looked more like “pillows” than I intended they still ended up tasty. I think I went short on the amount of flour I was supposed to add so they spread during the bake – but from the feedback, I got – lots of folks said to keep it that way. This cookie has always been a favorite one of mine, that one of my Aunts would often make, but I tended not to eat them when out in public, because some versions (especially the Italian one) have hazelnuts. Which is one of the few foods I am strongly allergic too. But in the spirit of Book Club, I thought, “let’s go ahead and I’ll make them” and to make them my own, I did a rough toast and grind of not one nut, but three; toasted pistachios, almonds, and pecans! Now the recipe is super old school, including the mixing, is all by hand, and I mean “hand” no mixers or spoons. So you can imagine the mess at one point.
Pickled Carrots and Jalapeños
Back in the day, when I first moved to San Francisco, I came across a tucked away Taqueria in the Mission that the owner used to make buckets of pickled carrots and jalapeños. They weren’t something I had tried before moving here. So while she is now long past, I always try to look for that perfect heat and crunch. So “hot off the presses” from the fermentation class I took in April, I decided to also whip up some of my own pickled carrots & jalapeños for Book Club.
The primary dish I had planned to bring to Book Club I started the prep on Friday night so that a certain someone could sleep in and not hear me banging around the kitchen. This dish is actually one from Pati Jinich’s Cherry tomato and Red Wine jam on goat cheese covered toast. She is the lively and creative host of Pati’s Mexican Table which I have been tuning into more and more
When I first read this recipe, I had an “hmm so it’s like a warm Mexican style bruschetta” moment, but like the cookie, most cultures have some kind of combination of tomatoes, cheese, and bread as a starter. Still, the recipe looked good, and I thought I’d give it a try. I have to say I’m glad I did. It was a super easy recipe to make, the outcome was very very tasty.
Note to self: It holds up well so would be perfect for entertaining (think the annual holiday open house) by doing parts of the prep the day before, the do the simmer in the morning and spoon it out just before serving.
The only thing I felt I needed to do differently from the recipe, was adding a little squirt of lime into the tomatoes before spooning out. I think next time I could use a little extra zing with some diced jalapeño too. But overall a definite win.
Also managed a few treats for the guys!
If you follow this blog you know that over the holiday I did some fun bookmarks and “Keepers” from old jewleryWell I figured it would be fun to create some old school bookmarks to surprise the Book Club with as a companion theme to the book “The Uncomfortable Dead“.
I got big Easter reviews at home today from the patient!
This is the text that I got while in the office, after prepping for this afternoons dinner and making sure that Paul got his coffee and Easter Ham Pie.
“The House of Dino has done it again. Chef Frank and sous-chef de cuisine, Shadow, have brought an Italian tradition into the 21st century. Their Easter Ham Pie is moist, salty, and creamy. All your favorite breakfast foods… eggs, bacon, ham…rolled up into one beautiful pie. Served warm or cold, it simply melts in your mouth. The crispy flaky crust holds the magic together. Just like your Italian grandmother made…only better.Well done, boys!
Later today we planned a very last minute meal with just a few pals doing a potluck. But since we had a ham a few weeks ago, I decided to go super simple with some baked ricotta & herb shells, meatballs, grilled sausages, and peppers.
As the summer wraps up, the fall is normally one of my favorite times of the year and the Orphans Holiday Party is one of the highlights of the year to share time with friends.
This year, I seemed to get several inquiries asking me about my thoughts on the customs, gestures, and traditions that go along with being a guest. You know, those commonly held, or historically offered niceties that civil society says is “what polite society” dictates as a way to thank a host.
I started this post as I sat on a flight from DC just before Thanksgiving but got sidetracked catching up till now. So I figured I would try to jot out some thoughts as I check my “to be answered” folder of questions.
What is the scoop on “Invitation Protocols”?
Frank, It’s that time of the year when I have started to get invitations to dinners, brunches etc. What do I bring ? Do I need to bring something? Is there a universal set of gestures I should know?— TK
This is a great question and while I wouldn’t say I am the “arbiter of good taste and manners” all the time – I have some opinions on what I believe to be common courtesy and reflect a gesture of appreciation for your host. (For the sake of ease when I write “host(s) it is implied as “host or hostess”).
Mostly it’s about three things:
Appreciating the gestures of being invited
Acknowledging the effort and work that goes into that brunch or party
Common Sense understandingthat tokens & gestures do matter to some, but doing something needs to not derail the host/hostess’s game plan.
This is key – when you are invited to something – your host(s) has taken the forward thought to plan, design and arrange what they hope will be a memorable time. During the days that lead up even to the smallest luncheon or brunch to the largest open house – tension rises and many last minute “fixes” are in full implantation mode.
Ensuring that your host(s) know how much you appreciated the invite, the time you had, and any special moments that the event made for you. These could include photos, gestures, networking or even a memory made is a great way to appreciate the experience.
3 simple gestures to show your appreciation
Ask: If you know you are going to the store the day of the event. Maybe in the morning (or the day before). Call and ask if you can pick anything up that may have been forgotten. But be prepared to get those supplies back to the host early so that they have time to use them as needed. (Hint: even if you don’t need to go to the store, but you have the free time and willingness to help, the offer to do so is huge)
Offer to stay late to clean up; come the “witching hour” when the bulk of the guest have left, most of us that toss the party, push through on adrenalin alone. So come the end, the energy runs out. Nothing says “appreciation” better than “Frank, We are going to stay and help you clean up; what do you need to be done”
Check in after the event; If you aren’t able to attend or have conflicting events, let your host know as soon as possible. then a day after the event, drop the person a call, text or email asking how it went. That lets the host know you valued the invitation and was disappointed at not being able to attend. Who knows you might even get an invite for coffee or dinner to help use up those leftovers.
Look I can say how much I love to throw a party – and I do. But being acknowledged for the effort I put is, while it may not look like it’s important, it is.
Those of us that like to entertain and create these moments, feed off the excitement of the planning and staging something that will be memorable. We often take special care to blend in specialties to make everyone feel good. So hearing someone acknowledge the time and effort that goes into it, or noticing the small personal touches go a long way.
For instance, for me, I take pride in creating a menu that includes dishes and options that encompass vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free needs without them feeling like an aside. I use these as a way to “challenges” me to expand my food thinking and try new dishes that I might not generally eat myself.
In fact, some of the results can be stellar, like the gluten-free orange cardamom granola and spinach stuffing I created for a stuffed turkey one year. That recipe has now become a great alternative to my regular “old school” recipe.
One simple way to show your acknowledgment is to let the host know with a simple gesture says ” you noticed something that made them feel special”. One way to send a small token; this could be something fun, whimsical, or useful and in the theme that the host would enjoy. Feel free to ask for the recipe or the brand and where they found it. We generally love to tell you; once the event is out of the gate. For those of you “less creative types” here are a few ideas that I either send or have enjoyed receiving:
Many of us make notes for the planning of the next event and your comments, feedback, and notes are ways we know what to keep or use again so journals such as this Refillable Travel Diary Notepad ($15.99)
Another way to acknowledge the effort is to share your own specialty ideas. If you have special food issues and knowledge of brands, recipes (or even well-loved book cook) and ideas for substitutions. Those I keep handy for the future. A great way to do this is making use of mail order or online services that stock your preferred “finds”. In some cases, you may even find them on Amazon.com.
Tokens and gestures to show your appreciation with a thank you are long-held traditions. They may changes from time to time, perhaps with an updated look or trend – but the basics remain the same.
If you are invited to a small dinner party, brunch or dinner:
Cut and arranged flowers, potted plants are perfect thank you gestures. But if you really want the host(s) to know you are excited or had a good time, have them delivered the morning of the event so that they have time to place them in a spot instead of having to figure out a frantic fix while trying the deal with the last minute preparations. (Hint: you really want the host to love you? Call a few days before and say you want to send over an arrangement to the table or the fireplace and what colors is the room or theme). Or even better, have something delivered a few days after the event for the host(s) to enjoy a lovely personal note inside.
At the holidays (or any time of the year) if you know the host has a fondness for collecting something; I work hard to custom select something for them. In my case, I have a “story tree” at the holidays where most of the ornaments come from friends & family. So I often get unique ornaments from places I might not have visited as a thank you or clever people found out I keep a “gift” list on Amazon of stuff that I want (and eventually plan to buy but should someone ask – it’s easier to send them to the list)
A few thoughts for those that haven’t got a clue yet:
Resoprocity is equally as important.
Even the most gregarious and “party loving” host, doesn’t always want play host. Offering to have the host over for a dinner to say thank you is perfect. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it’s the fact that you took the time to say thank you and take the night off is what matters. If you don’t cook, then offer to take them to dinner or at minimum, send them a gift certificate to a store with a fun personalized note “saying you are happy to taste any new dishes this inspires“.
Larger events like open houses, parties etc
These are less formal or because of the crowd less likely to need something to be given. But special bottles of wine or alcohol is always a nice touch – but remember to add a personal note – with your name and mention why this beverage is significant. Is it a special year or from a vineyard you love. Is it a hidden wonder etc. I know one of my “go to” gifts this year will be a vodka that has a dedication of funds toward dog adoption. Or try your hand at making something. The last few years I have made and jarred gifts to give to hosts; preserved lemons, pickled vegetables are two that get mentioned a lot. Remember to include the recipe tag and hold long they will keep with them.
What about Potlucks? Or invitations to meals or parties held at a restaurant?
Potlucks play a unique role. If you agree to bring a dish, let the host know early on what you are bringing and ask when do they want it. Nothing puts a host on edge more than during a potluck when someone arrives late with a dish and half the food has already been served. You can always drop your dish offer earlier if you think you will be late.
If you aren’t bringing a dish to a potluck – any of the other ways listed above will work – but letting the host(s) know you would like to offer to help out with clean up is always welcome.
Resturant or venue-based dinner parties: If you are invited to a dinner party held at a restaurant and the host has made it clear that you are guests (i.e. they are covering the costs of the meal) can be tricky. I rarely want to bring in a bottle of something or a gift as I know the hosts then have to figure out a way to get them all home.
So try to find out what the host’s plan is. For a birthday or anniversary held at a beloved resturant or because of the host(s) lack space at home, then it’s likely they may either have a “no gifts” on the invite or will have a place identified to put cards, gifts, and gestures. Just remember to secure your card well so they don’t get separated. I can’t tell you how many times I have ended up with orphan gifts and gift tags after we get them home.
If it is a more casual setting or annual open house type thing, I would lean towards sending your acknowledgment after the event (use any mentioned above – I personally love waking up to breakfast or brunch baskets) and have it delivered to them at home.
When all is said and done
Whatever you send or do, it should be significant to the host, serves as a way to show you care, and how you felt special about being included and appreciate the effort.
You can blend all or any of these ideas into one “thank you”. Gifting the host with that special dietary cookbook you love, with a note inside letting the host know much that it meant including their food sensitivities into the party menu and you are wanting to share this cookbook… etc. Those personal touches are the part I like best.
Over the years I have had several “thank you’s” that stand out as memorable to me:
One was to find a case of small batch, specialty tomato sauce delivered as a thank you from two guests who had been to a dinner party at my home. the brand was a favorite they thought I would enjoy being introduced too.
Another was taken right from the “Martha Steward school of entertaining” when the morning after a rather large party, my doorbell rang and I opened it to find a box with all my favorite breakfast foods; bagels, lox, cream cheese, hard boiled eggs, a loaf of poppyseed bread, jam, ground coffee ready to be made and savored.
Another was a gift certificate good for brunch at a restaurant we had spoken about but that I hadn’t gotten a chance to try yet. Included with a thank you card reminding me of our chat about how much they liked the food and they thought I would as well.
The common theme here is personalizing it, make it memorable and do it timely.
I have left the comments open on this post so that others can share ideas as well…
Since I was planning to go into the office Thursday for that late afternoon meeting and the weather was mild, I decided to walk. I arranged to meet a professional colleague at Cafe Flore for coffee first. Lucky me, I got to see the infamous “Smoking Santa” get ready to take to the roof. It’s amazing to see what is going on around us, when we aren’t in our cars or stuck below ground.
Each week they highlight a few special themes. Last week was food and the food of tomarrow, on Nov 16th the theme also food related is: After Dark: Cooking Contraptions. They have a posted full list of the scedule as a well as the indivudal nights events here
After walking down to the Ferry buildingor Ferry Building Marketplace as it is officially what they call it (earlier than expected due to a power outage on the Van Ness/Market street area). I took some time to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that being in the Ferry Building always offers. The Ferry Building actually has a cool history to it and what it has become. It is well worth an afternoon or early evening walk through. If you are a cheese lover – the happy hour crowd at the Cowgirl Creamery‘s Sidekick spot is pretty rocken and on the night I stopped they had “oh so good Raclette” and grilled cheese goodness everywhere.Eventually Paul got out of work and we walked over the the Exploratorium. A hint – as long as you buy your tickets for the even by 5:00pm you can save a few bucks off the entry, not can get busy – so you might want to read up on what features it has and what you want to be sure to get in line for early.
The Exploratorium is a meadering space that makes thinkers out of children and children out of adults! Below are a few of my favorites shots from the night. This is so a “do with your friends kind of place” very hands on and well worth taking the time for it. After Dark is every Thursday from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. The whole idea of the place is interactivity – some on your own, others with those around you. They even offer a few “trust” activies for you to consider.. Which would you hit?
Sip or Squit; make the choice
This was one of my favorite displays – if you had two fountains and one looks like a toilet – would you still drink from it?
Would you drink from this?
Wrapping up the night, we walked back from Pier 15 towards the Ferry Building and ended up deciding to stop at Gott’s Roadside for burgers, people watching and even spotted a few celebrity Food Network folks walking through before grabbing Muni home for the night.
Ahh a day off!
Friday being my day off, that meant I got to do mostly catch up as I prepare for a trip to DC in two weeks, and offer a several hour workshop.. But since the weather wasn’t all that nice, after a quick trip to the grocery store, I tossed togther a hearty pan of “Cowboy Lasagna” which I have raved about before a few times before. This dish has become a real favorite as it takes only 30 minutes to put togther and 40 min to bake. Sure it isn’t my all-day sauce Italian lasagna, but it sure is a great alternative with some homeade cheese bread on the side. The recipe actually comes from the Trisha Yearwood cooking show.
Yes, that is me! It’s from a poster promoting FSE some years back
Winchester & Folsom unlikely bedfellows… or not?
Because my life isn’t full enough with what I have to do on a daily basis – we still took some time to enjoy Folsom week and the Folsom Fair last week. Having a guest in town gave us an excuse to go and for me to try a few new dishes. But first, it also meant I had company to make my annual trip to the Winchester Mystery House (aka Winchester House or by its formal name while its owners were alive “).Each year I go to purchase my annual pass and with the pending movie due out by CBS Films starring Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Eye in the Sky) and Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Zero Dark Thirty) and is being directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (Predestination) based on their screenplay. As with any local favorite – once a film or episode is shot – you can expect crowds – so I really wanted to get in now.
On a side note: because of the film launch, where in the past you could take pictures inside the house – the agreement currently is they aren’t allowing photographs. While a disappointment for first-timers (I wish they made that fact better known on the websites too)the images I used here are from a 2008 trip and do not include recent upgrades, newly acquired furniture or open rooms.
Winchester House Tours
Since my last trip, in addition to the Mansion Tour, they launched a new tour, called Explore More Tour. This replaces the previous “Behind the scenes” tour and adds several new areas of the house including more backstory on the rooms closed off after the earthquake. The annual skeleton key pass also gets your guests a reduced rate on the tours! To do both tours will run over 2 hours and 15 minutes. While not exhausting, the tours do include a lot of walking and stairs – so dress accordingly. Either tour offers great insight into this local favorite. For me, Winchester has special significance as it is also a hometown name. New Haven, which is where I hale from, is the birth (and final resting place) for the Sarah Winchester and her husband. Located right in San Jose, about a 45-minute ride from San Francisco, literally across the street from the major shopping promenade. this afternoon or evening treat ( they offer special night events as we get closer to Halloween) is a perfect “go to” for kids of all ages. If you are curious you can also check out Winchester House’s Blog and/or it’s very interactive Facebook page, Facebook.com/winchestermysteryhouse/. For you thinkers out there – you can also visit the website The Truth About Sarah WinchesterI can’t attest to its accuracy -but it does fill in some holes I thought interesting.
My Annual Key pass
We even got to meet up with some Red Hat Rebels!
2008 image -the grand ballroom – wait until you see it now!
2008 image – starts to nowhere
2008 image – the details!
2008 image – talk about a bad day..
2008 image – Tall people an FYI!
The Winchester Grave marker in New Haven
Don’t overlook the gardens either
Knowing I was going to want to have a simple breakfast on Sunday before the Folsom Fair and did a nice omelet on Saturday for the boys – I opted to try my hand at making this Spicey Cheese Bread. One of the Cooks Country recipes – but if you don’t have an online membership – you can find the recipe here on fellow bloggers site; https://www.browneyedbaker.com/spicy-cheese-bread/
The recipe wasn’t as hard as I anticipated. Don’t get too nervous about the amount of red pepper either – you really need it to balance with cheeses. Note: this bread reheats really well and I can tell on its own or alongside a hearty stew it’s a keeper. My next plan is to play with the recipe and add cooked off diced prosciutto or sausage!
I can’t believe how fast the second week went. but I can believe how much work I came home too
So how did the rest of the week go? Pretty much the same as week 1!
Mornings I spent at Joe’s Cafe trying to draft out notes for the first two journal article due at the end of the month. On several occasions, we enjoyed the great foods from Chach (luckily I don’t mind eating in the same places if I like the food) as the other guys liked it as well., we continued to ride the bikes, sometimes some of our road longer than others. Lots of the time we grabbed lunch at the condo to take advantage of the weather.
Lox – the beach story
From Connie’s Bakery, I scored a day old fresh loaf of bread so french toast made a visit this year on the deck. (FYI: both Connie’s and Joes offer day old parties in the am. the best part is they come wrapped in plastic to easy to grab a quick snack for later). But many of sweets and sandwiches they offer are reasonably priced and great tasting.
Other highlights of week two included a few meals at the Burger Queen shack – while set up as fast carry out food – meets the quality of many of the more formal ones. (or as in the case of the Mayflower; exceeds it) and the Canteen which with its new expanded back area makes for a great casual place to hang out and eat.
We even get everyone to tackle the Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument on one of the few gray days. If you have never been – it is well worth a visit. While the Monument itself is a nice walk – the museum also offers a changing collection of history and art.
Yeah as if we plan to run …
We took in a beachside jazz night at Herring Cove and got to enjoy the casual mid week time with vacationers and locals alike that ended with a great seaside bonfire.
Of course, we also saw our pal Varla Jean Merman and her new show Bad Heroine (go see it when it comes to a city new you!)
The trip home on Saturday was mostly uneventful on our part. Just a long process and we were ready to get home. Luckily the folks at the Marriott let us park our bags for a few hours while we took in the sites near the waterfront in Boston, then it was off to Boston Logon airport.
Settling in at the Cove each summer is always a whirlwind for the first few days, but rarely lasts long. On this trip, we also have a few friends here – so its added some fun additional options.
After a very long coach ride into Provincetown on Saturday . It was nice to just sit back and breath.
Come Sunday we were in full vacation mode. Bikes needed to get rented for the next two weeks, as that makes being able to go to Stop & Shop for groceries much more doable.
So we made the short walk up to the road to PTownBikes (Address: 42 Bradford St, Provincetown, MA 02657, Phone: (508) 487-8735). After getting our annual “rules of the road” reminders, we were off for a short ride to Herring Cove to show the boys around that end of the town.
After we got back from the ride, it was nap time for the boys – so I had some time to connect with local friends and get the skinny on the season and the annual “what do you want to do for activities” ticket discussion begins.
Once we were all refreshed and we had enough coffee in us. Yes, I had made sure to run by Joe’s Coffeeshop (170 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657) . You can check out Joe’s Facebook page for more on this little slice of Provincetown. It was time for the dreaded Stop & Shop run.
So, empty backpacks ready, we got on the bikes and took to the store for supplies to get us through a few days. While we always love eating out – being here in a unit with a kitchen allows me the luxury to also cook some of the days. Especially those when we just don’t want to deal with the crowds. (Note: first time to Ptown? Don’t shop on Saturday if you can avoid it – that’s turnover day in town and usually a mad house. We tend to go later Sunday or even better on Monday am when we can).
It was still early when we got back, so everyone hit the deck for some late rays, while I went in to think about dinner. For tonight, we went with marinated (yes – with bottled italian salad dressing, along with some ginger beer added for zing) to toss on the grill, grilled sweet potatoes and quick pickled carrots.
After dinner we took the first official “ice cream” walk to close out the day.
Come Monday, we were all in “vaca mode”. I tend to wake up early, so generally out with the camera walking around by 6:15 then heading back to Joe’s coffeeshop around seven. Spent a few hours drafting some notes for a journal article then met up with Brent and Josh before walking back to the house to figure out the game plan for the day.
All in all, it was just a very nice relaxing day at the Cove; lots of sun and catching up. We ended up eating lunch in doing that old standard “make yourself sandwiches” since we knew that evening we will be going to a show and dinner.
After all getting showered we went over to the Canteen (225 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657) for dinner, one of my favorite of the small places here in Ptown. A nice assortment of fresh and fried foods and probably the best crispy brussels sprouts we’ve had. They do their brussels sprouts cooked to get fried crispy and then top it with the vinegar fish sauce working with the natural flavor of the smoky sprout. The
other guys went with some basic fish and chips, I opted for “fish fries”, a.k.a. fried smelts.
After dinner, we walked over the Crown and Anchor where we checked out an early show of the Generations Project (thegenerationsproject.info). Part of a new intergenerational, transnational LGBT queer storytelling project that hopes to serve as a bridge between older and younger folks by sharing different stories frint points in our lives (coming out, risk, dating etc.). Tonight’s specifically highlighted the stories related to Ptwn.
After a really well-done show, we once again took a walk so the men could get ice cream and I splurged at the PortugueseBakery (299 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657) for a pastry; Malasada is the Portuguese version of a “fried dough” treat. Italians grow up with a similar version serves on Sundays or at street fairs. As they do with the italian version – they cover it with sugar hot out of the grease.
Paul’s parents were scheduled to come down on the 11 o’clock ferry, so after getting up and doing a few hours of work I went back to the unit and made some breakfast for all of us.
Then we took a nice leisurely stroll to the ferry for his mom and Eddie. Looking for something to do that wouldn’t require them to walk as much, we decided to make use of the new Provincetown Mayflower Trolley tour.
What a great ride. We were able to get to a bunch of locations with the tour we hadn’t checked out before. While we heard some really interesting stories and history of the people who founded Provincetown. Not to mention learning about the environment & ecological structure. Overall well worth the money for the $20 tickets and I would reccomemd to anybody who’s never been here to take advantage of it. And I got a recipe to try as well!
We caught sight of some fun street based art that often can be found tucked away in nooks and crannies. SaveSave
A gathering of the tribe last night for a “salon” dinner. A night focused on food, talk and stories. For this month, my old friend Josh and his husband Brent were in town, taking advantage of “retiree” time and visiting the Bay Area. Now Josh and I have been friends, “sisters”, co-facilitators, both ran focus groups and volunteers for local programs for many years and all around were “those two are trouble together” for over 24 years.
Instead of a dinner out like in the past (the last visit we took them to Old Skool for a great meal), I suggested we eat here and invite some other friends we’ve known for years and just kick back old school style.
For the menu I wanted easy, solid and fun. Years ago Josh and I manned a mens social group called the Social Exchange Network as a way to gather men to get out of the city to camp, eat, remember, heal. This was during a time of great pain and change for us, when so many of our friends were dying or sick with AIDS. So the socials and SEN were an opportunity to “stop the madness” for a few days. We did everything from camping trips to Disney World to house parties.
Often for the weekend SEN events, I tended to do all the cooking (except for the junk food table which often held every sweet treat, salty, sugary snack that we ould pre-buy that would sit on a table for the whole weekend for those late-night munchies) while Josh would serve as the front man-cruise director for the social stuff. On those trips when an oven was available – our first night menu was frozen lasagna dinners with a green salad and garlic bread. As it was easiest meal to get prepared on the day of travel as people rolled in.
With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to recreate a home version, but that wasn’t the old school all day sauce version that I normally would make , which I know he loves. So Trisha Yearwood’s “Cowboy Lasagna” recipe came to mind. I originally tried the recipe back in a few months ago (that post is here) after seeing it on her cooking show to a great success. I recall saying that the mean-sauce was like “crack”, “one spoonful and you couldn’t stop tasting it”. To start the night I re-used another favorite starter; my adapted version of Roasted Carrot Hummus that I have mentioned back in my February post
When all was said and done – it was a win for sure. Two of our other friends Russel (Russell has know Josh almost as long) and David, brought a fresh baked apple pie (crust and all) incredibly infused with rosemary. Which paired perfectly to the lasagna meal.