Archive | December, 2012

Glama Pajama 2.0

31 Dec

glama pajama dinz 2 take 2

glama pajama cocktails

glama pajama cocktails 2New Year’s Eve 2012:

Rice and Easy

27 Dec

From the 1970s files: When they weren’t squirting spray cheese onto Ritz crackers, we’re starting to think everyone’s mother was hoarding boxes of long grain rice and herb mix in their pantries.

Here are two mainstays that keep turning up on dinner tables decades later.


2 pkgs Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice
1 cup butter
3/4 c chopped onion, celery
1 can chopped mushrooms
3/4 cup raisins
Cook rice to directions, then add remaining ingredients. Heat for 30 minues at 350 F and serve.



The Best of Bridge, Winners
“Don’t turn your nose up at the canned soup and rice mix – lots of really elegant ladies prefer this to their caterer’s fare!”

1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
2 heads broccoli (approx. 2 lb.)
1 pkg. Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice Mixture
2 cans (or less) mushroom soup

Cook rice mixture as directed. Cook broccoli until crunchy. Mix soup and cheese. Grease casserole dish. Alternate cheese, soup mixture, broccoli and rice in layers. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese. Cook at 350 F. for one hour.

A baby first laughs at the age of four weeks. By that time, his eyes focus well enough to see you clearly!


Best of Bridge, Grand Slam

Makes lots – perfect with any meat!

1 cup wild rice

10 oz. can chicken broth (salt reduced)

10 oz. can of water

10 pork sausages

1/2 lb (250 g) mushrooms, sliced

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp. flour

1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. marjoram

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Wash wild rice and combine with broth and water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer, cooking for 1 hour or until rice begins to open and is chewy. Remove to large mixing bowl.Cut sausage into small pieces and saute over medium heat until brown. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon and add to rice. Remove most of fat from skillet and saute onion and mushrooms. Add to rice mixture. In same skillet over medium heat, combine flour and cream stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add more cream or water if sauce becomes too thick. Add seasonings and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add sauce to rice. Spoon into large casserole dish and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Serves 10-12 delighted guests.


Wild Rice, Orzo and Mushroom Pilaf
Best of Bridge

1 cup wild rice
1 cup orzo
8 cups mixed sliced mushrooms
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish

Cook the wild rice in the beef broth, according to the package instructions. Cook the orzo separately according to package instructions. Saute the mushrooms in the butter and oil until the liquid has been reduced. Combine all ingredients well. Serve with chopped parsley on top.

Aaaaannnnd lastly, a very trashy chicken, canned soup and cheez whiz variety. We have added chunks of chicken to this.

Louise Strahan’s Broccoli and Rice Casserole

4 cups of cooked rice

2 cups of steamed broccoli

Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 cup of chopped celery

3/4 cup of onion

1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1 can of mushroom soup

1 can of cream of celery soup

8oz of Cheese Whiz (melting shredded cheese into soups also works)

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion and celery.

When the onion and celery are cooked, mix in the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and cream of celery soup and let it heat up for a bit.

Once warm, add in the Cheese Whiz. Once the cheese has melted, add in broccoli and rice.

Place the entire mixture in a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving.



27 Dec

Here’s another retro appie for the holidays.

Luscious little crab puffs. Or crab canape. Or crab toasties. Or crabby snacks. Officially known as Old English Crab Hors d’Oeuvre off the back of a jar of Kraft Old English Spread jar. Sweet Jesus, what is this jarred cheez, we ask? Processed, yes, but not Cheez Whiz. It is hard to source and has a cult following. We will try to reverse engineer for something more natural and gourmet. Stay tuned.

Make ahead and freeze. They only take 10 minutes to bake, so they’re perfect for unexpected guests.

As they cook, the butter in the spread melts into the English muffin so it toasts to a crispy golden brown.

We add a wee splash of sherry, Worchestershire, 2 tsp Trader Joes onion salt, garlic salt and a dash of Old Bay.



1 can crab meat (also check seafood counter for backfin or “special” crab meat which is smaller and perfect for this.)
1 5 oz. jar of Kraft Old English Cheese
1 stick (1/4 lb) softened butter
1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (in a pinch have used lemon packet and mixed into mayo. It’s Perfect)
1/2 Tbsp Lawrys Seasoned Salt (see above note about Old Bay, and Trader Joe’s onion salt)
2 tsp. garlic powder (I also see onion powder in some recipes)
chopped parsley

8-10 English muffins

Drain crabmeat and combine with the ingredients. Spread mixture on halved English muffins, spreading all the way to edges. Cut into quarters. Freeze. When ready to cook, bake at 400 for 10 or so minutes until bubbling and browned. (Or broil)


Christine Nunn’s Preppy Cookbook calls for:

1 lb backfin or special crabmeat (look in seafood section)
1 cup butter, softened
2 6-oz jars of Old English cheese spread
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tbsp garlic salt
16 English muffins
Pick through crabmeat. In mixing bowl, mix butter, cheese and mayo until well combined. Fold in the other ingredients. Spread on English muffin halves. Freeze for 30 minutes before cutting each half into quarters. Portion into freezer bags to store. To bake, 350 for five minutes or until cheese bubbles. Serve hot.

Christmas Crack

17 Dec


We’re keeping our Christmas party hors d’oeuvres simple this year.

Our contribution will consist of some  lovely gourgeres  and another appearance of sugared bacon sticks.  Dubbed “sweet and salty meat candy” in the New York Times, they are always a hit.

A sprinkling of brown sugar over a baking sheet of bacon strips is all that’s required. A little self-control afterward helps, too!

In years past, we’ve bundled these up and served them from a vintage musical Elvis tin from Russel Stover. Har.

We typically present these as long strips, but are wondering if cutting into cocktail nibble-sized squares would be a good idea to switch things up this year.

(sugared bacon)
1 pound thick sliced bacon

1 cup light brown sugar

optional: sprinkling of ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil (I’m through using my Silpat for this because it’s just too bacony!). Spray a cookie cooling rack and place on top of baking sheet.

Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on the rack.

Sprinkle a thin, even layer of brown sugar over bacon, coating both sides. Bake and rotate sheet until crisp and dark golden, 20 to 25 minutes. (But keep watching just in case!)

Transfer bacon slices to another wire rack set over paper towels or another liner to catch drips.

Another Batch

12 Dec

The last batch of archived news clipping cookie recipes! Don’t be too frustrated by the lack of photos: we haven’t made these yet!

From chef Shelley Robinson

“This recipe is a longtime favourite from my old, tattered, hand-written collection,” Robinson says. “Make the dough ahead and thoroughly impress anyone by baking a batch fresh when guests arrive.”

2 oz. (55 g) dark chocolate, in small chunks

6 tbsp (90 mL) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder

2 tbsp (25 mL) cocoa

Pulse chocolate in a food processor to break up into small, even-sized pieces.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in egg yolk until smooth. Add chocolate; sift in flour and baking powder to form soft dough.

Sift cocoa onto a piece of wax or parchment paper and form dough into a cigar shape about one-in. (two-cm) thick. Roll dough in cocoa to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour or until needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cut thin slices and bake about 10 minutes.

From Pam Fortier, chef and owner of Decadent Desserts

“Buttery, butterscotchy, nutty, mmmmmm,” Fortier says of these cookies.

1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) pecans

Toast pecans at 350 degreesF (175 degreesC) until fragrant, approximately seven to eight minutes. Cool. Chop in food processor until finely ground.

Cream butter in mixer with paddle attachment. Add brown sugar and continue creaming. Scrape down bowl, mix again and add flour. When just mixed in, add pecans and combine.

Use a small ice-cream scoop (or teaspoon) to shape into balls. Flatten onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degreesF (175 degreesC) for approximately 10 minutes, or until edges are starting to become golden brown.


HAZELNUT DROP COOKIES (Nurnberger Lebkuchen)
From Rhondda Siebens, Caffe Beano

“These are actually quite fussy, delicate wafer-like cookies, but because of our dry climate they are easy to make,” says Siebens. “They remind me of Christmas.”

1 cup (250 mL) hazelnuts or pecans

1 1/3 (325 mL) cups brown sugar

3 egg whites

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).

Grind pecans finely in a food processor. Whip egg whites until stiff. Press brown sugar through a sieve, then add slowly to egg whites, beating constantly.

Fold in pecans and vanilla.

Onto a greased and floured cookie sheet (or parchment paper), drop a teaspoon of batter, leaving lots of room in between.

Bake 15 minutes.

From Judy Wood, owner of Savoury Catering

2 cups (500 mL) flour

1 cup (250 mL) pecans, toasted

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1 cup (250 mL) butter

1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar

2 tsp (25 mL) vanilla extract

1 cup (250 mL) additional icing sugar for dusting cookies

Toast pecans and place in a food processor with flour and salt. Blend to a fine grind.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, icing sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add pecan-flour mixture.

Once blended, shape dough into balls about one in. (two cm) in diameter. Chill cookies for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degreesF (175 degrees C). Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven, let them cool for 10 minutes, then roll the cookies in icing sugar.


From the archives:
Decadent Desserts trays were beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and include an assortment of cheesecake brownies, raspberry almond and lemon tarts and Nanaimo bars. Shortbread wedges and milk chocolate dipped shortbread and Seymours, an ultra rich turtle on shortbread.

[Sisters Judy and Bev Polsky created cakes and desserts for 4 Street Rose]


5 ounces/150g unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup white sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

11/4 cups flour

2 ounces/60g EACH milk chocolate chunks and white chocolate chunks

3 ounces/90g dried cranberries

Beat butter and sugars together, then add egg and vanilla. Stir in cinnamon, soda and flour, then add milk and white chocolate chunks and dried cranberries.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto an ungreased pan and press down slightly. Bake at 350F/180C for eight to 10 minutes. When cookies are completely cooled, you can dip them in melted milk chocolate, white chocolate, or both. Put cookies on a pan lined with wax paper and refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.

Notes: Prepare chocolate by chipping chunks off a large piece of good quality chocolate with a knife. Chocolate can be melted on medium in a microwave or in a double boiler.


Makes about two dozen

11/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips may be used)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

4 ounces unsalted butter

Melt together in microwave on medium setting. Combine and mix in:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

11/2 tablespoon instant coffee

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 pound chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (or substitute white chocolate chunks)

11/2 cups pecan pieces

Let the batter sit in the fridge for half an hour. Drop on greased pan, using an ice cream scoop (about 3 tbsp) and bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for at least one hour, then refrigerate. They freeze well.


Total nostalgia. From our beloved Blue Vinny Foods from Mount Royal Village in the 1980s. Miss the Cookie Jar’s chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, too!

By Blue Vinny Deli Cafe

1 scant cup all-purpose flour, less 2 teaspoons
2 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon orange essence
grated rind of 1 orange
1 cup chunks of dark and white chocolate

Blend first four ingredients and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and a little of the flour mixture and blend well. Add vanilla and orange essences and rind, plus remainder of flour mixture. Continue blending, then mix in chocolate chunks.
Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 F – middle shelf – 8 minutes.

Blue Vinny Deli Cafe
185 grams butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
200 grams dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
melted dark and white chocolate for decorative glaze

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla; add egg. Sift together flour soda and baking powder. Add a little of flour mixture to butter mixture, then stir in remaining flour and milk. Mix well.

Melt chocolate with canola oil ahead of time and let cool slightly. Using a spatula, stir melted chocolate into dough. Add white chocolate chunks, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

Allowing room for spreading, drop two teaspoons of batter per cookie on a greased cookie sheet and pat down. Bake at 350F for eight to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool, then spoon on melted chocolate to glaze. Decorate with a drizzle of melted white chocolate.

Store in airtight containers. Can also be frozen, before glaze is applied. Thaw and decorate before serving.