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Tree Trimming Treats

24 Nov

Here’s a wee nosh perfect for the start of the holiday season. Kind of cocktail hour appropriate, and a perfect match for drinks while trimming the tree.

Ming Tsai

Makes 30 potstickers

1/4 small head Napa cabbage, finely chopped (about 2 cups; 7 ounces)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon for seasoning

1/3 pound ground pork (not too lean)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (from 1/2-inch knob)

1 small carrot, coarsely shredded (about 2 tablespoons)

2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil

1/2 egg, lightly beaten

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

30 gyoza (pot sticker) wrappers, from 1 (14-ounce) package*

1/4 cup canola oil

In large bowl, toss together cabbage and 3/4 teaspoon salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Transfer to clean dish towel or cheesecloth, gather ends together, and twist to squeeze out as much water as possible. Wipe bowl clean, then return cabbage to it. Add pork, ginger, carrots, scallions, and garlic and stir to combine.

In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg, then stir into cabbage-pork mixture. Stir in pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.

On dry surface, lay out 1 gyoza wrapper, keeping remaining wrappers covered with dampened cloth or paper towel. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into center, then moisten halfway around edge with wet finger. Fold moisture-free half of wrapper over moistened half to form open half-moon shape. To seal, using thumb and forefinger of one hand, form 6 tiny pleats along unmoistened edge of wrapper, pressing pleats against moistened border to enclose filling. Moistened border will stay smooth and will automatically curve in semicircle. Stand dumpling, seam-side up, on baking sheet and gently press to flatten bottom. Cover loosely with dampened cloth or paper towel. Form remaining dumplings in same manner.

In 10-inch, lidded, non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking, then remove from heat and arrange pot stickers in tight circular pattern standing up in oil (they should touch one another). Cook, uncovered, until bottoms are pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, tilting skillet to distribute, then cover tightly with lid and cook until liquid has evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons more water if skillet looks dry before bottoms are browned. Remove lid and cook, shaking skillet to loosen pot stickers, until steam dissipates, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert large plate with rim over skillet. Using pot holders, hold plate and skillet together and invert skillet. Remove skillet and serve pot stickers warm.

from Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger


1/2 large red onion, sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/2 cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins

Zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce

1 cup cranberry juice

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil for cooking

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a saucepan coated lightly with oil over high heat, sauté the onions, ginger and dried cranberries until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the orange zest and juice, naturally brewed soy sauce, cranberry juice, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce by 50 percent over low heat, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check for flavor. Immediately, transfer to a blender and blend until almost smooth (with small bits is preferable), drizzling in oil. Do not blend until super smooth. Check for flavor and adjust seasonings. Let come to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar, seal and store in fridge for up to two weeks.

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1/4 lb (125 g) lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Savoy or Napa cabbage
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrot
1/4 cup (50 mL) green onions

32 round dumpling or square wonton wrappers
Cornstarch for dusting
1 cup (250 mL) Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced ginger
2 tbsp (30 mL) thinly sliced green onion

Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in turkey and brown well. Add the carrot, cabbage, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Moisten two edges of each wonton wrapper with a little water. Place a rounded spoonful of the filling in the centre of each; fold to enclose, pressing to seal. Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornstarch to keep wontons from sticking. Cover with a damp towel.

Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add a single layer of the wontons. Cook, without turning, for 2 minutes or until just golden on the bottom. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of water to the skillet. Cover and steam for 6 minutes or until all the water is evaporated and dumplings are tender throughout. Repeat with remaining dumplings, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Sauce: Meanwhile, whisk the cranberry sauce with the soy sauce in a small saucepan; set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the sauce comes to a boil and is smooth and glossy. Cool slightly; stir in the ginger and green onions.

Makes 32 wontons.

Jennifer 8 Lee’s version here involves ground turkey, half a head of shredded lettuce, 1/2 cup soy sauce, some chopped scallions, sesame oil, vinegar, shredded veggies, a bit of salt and sugar. She adds egg but you don’t have to.


Seventeen magazine Bubble Bread Tree!

10 Nov

saucy cherie seventeen magazine recipes

An early Christmas present has arrived, courtesy of Brenda. A long lost Seventeen recipe page for Christmas tree-shaped sweet buns!

We’ve seen a request for this recipe (other Seventeen holiday breads here), which is from a December 1975 issue. Before our time, but perfect for Brenda! She writes:

“Since I’ve found your blog, I’ve been searching out Seventeen Magazine issues on EBay and other places. This is the first issue that I actually purchased (it was the cheapest I could find) and it came today. Imagine how surprised I was that it had a recipe in it that someone on your site had been looking for. I was thrilled to be a part of it and share. You’re right, this would be perfect for the upcoming holidays.”

If you have any ’70s or ’80s Seventeen magazine recipe pages stashed away, please send them our way. We are happy to post and share with our growing legion of fellow retro recipe hoarders! 🙂

Brenda was kind enough to scan and send the rest of the issue’s pages for fellow Seventeen recipe searchers. Enjoy!


Looking for more 1980s Seventeen magazine recipe pages? Click here.

Secret longing for a Sandringham Christmas of One’s Own

19 Dec


We love the traditions of Christmastime. There are no surprises in our world: routine rules, and we couldn’t experience anything more joyous.

So we are rather fond of imagining the Royals’ Christmas traditions at Sandringham House.
The pageantry of the timed arrivals, the Christmas Eve day tea, joke presents, followed by martinis, cider and other drinks in the saloon, a candlelit, three-course dinner, Christmas morning church, and back for lunch etc.

While our holiday sideboard is missing the boar’s head, chaudfroid ham, and raised pie presented on linen, we darren-mcgrady-3-600can at least dream up two fun Royal menu additions for our own holiday table.

We are loving the idea of a cranberry-spiked Chicken and Pistachio Terrine and a truly Royal Gleneagles pate served with melba toast and horseradish crème fraiche

2lb smoked salmon, thinly sliced and divided

1lb smoked trout

11⁄2lb unsalted butter, softened and divided

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1 tsp lemon juice 1lb smoked mackerel

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

Line a 1lb loaf tin or pate terrine with plastic wrap, overlapping the sides. Take half of the smoked salmon and line the sides and bottom of the loaf tin. Overlap the top edge by about 2in so that the salmon will fold over and cover the filling once it is in place.

Remove and discard the skin from the smoked trout, and then place the trout in a food processor and chop finely; add 1⁄2lb of the butter to the processor. Blend again until smooth and add the chopped dill and lemon juice.

Carefully spread the trout mixture into the loaf tin on top of the smoked salmon and smooth the top. Place the loaf tin in the freezer for ten minutes while you prepare the second layer.

Clean the food processor bowl. Remove and discard the skin from the mackerel, and place the mackerel into the food processor; chop finely. Add 1⁄2lb butter and blend until smooth.

Take the loaf tin from the freezer, and spread the mackerel mixture smoothly on top of the trout layer without disturbing the trout layer. Place the loaf tin in the freezer for ten minutes while you prepare the third layer.

Clean the food processor bowl once again and place the remaining smoked salmon into the food processor and chop finely. Add the remaining 1⁄2lb of butter and the chives to the processor, and blend again until smooth.

Remove the loaf tin from the freezer, and spread the smoked salmon on top of the mackerel. Smooth the top. Fold the overlapping pieces of smoked salmon over the top layer of the salmon spread. Cover the top with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight, or for at least four hours, until firm.

Remove the loaf tin from the refrigerator and lift off the top plastic wrap. Invert the terrine on to a cutting board and remove the loaf tin and additional plastic wrap. Slice the terrine into 1in slices. Serve on salad leaves as an appetizer or slice the terrine into fingers and serve on crackers as a canapé.

Makes eight to ten servings



“Eating Royally,” by Darren McGrady

Diana served this recipe to her guests while she ate a fat-free version.

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped

3 tablespoons finely minced onion

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped

1 1/2 packets unflavored gelatin

1 lemon, halved

6 seven-ounce lobster tails, steamed and split down the center

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

3 bunches watercress, washed and stems removed

Lightly brush six small ramekins with the vegetable oil. Set aside. In a food processor, puree tomatoes with chopped onion. Strain the pulp into a bowl, pressing on the tomatoes to push as much as possible through the sieve into the bowl. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, heavy cream and tomato paste. Fold into the tomato/onion puree. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper and the dill.

Place the gelatin into a small saucepan, and moisten it with the juice of 1/2 of the lemon. If the lemon doesn’t have a lot of juice, you may need to add up to a tablespoon of water. Reserve remaining 1/2 lemon for the lobster vinaigrette. Melt the gelatin over very low heat until it dissolves. Let it cool a moment, and then pour the gelatin into the tomato mousse, mixing as you pour. Taste for salt and pepper.

Pour the finished mixture into the ramekins and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, run a small knife around the edge of the mold, dip the ramekin into a bowl of hot water to soften the gelatin and turn out the mousse onto a plate.

Toss the split lobster tails with the olive oil, remaining lemon juice, salt, pepper and chopped chives. Nestle the lobster on a bed of watercress next to the tomato mousse.



1 pound vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped onion

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese

2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 packet unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Put the tomatoes and onions in a food processor and blend until they become somewhat soupy. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the remaining seeds and skins. Whisk in the cream cheese, sour cream and tomato paste until there are no lumps. In a small saucepan, add gelatin, chicken broth and lemon juice. Stir until softened, and then warm the saucepan over low heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Whisk gelatin mixture into the tomato mixture, and season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Fold in the dill, and pour the tomato mousse into six ramekins. Refrigerate until uncovered for at least 2 hours. Serve in the ramekins, or dip the ramekins in hot water, run a knife around the edge of the molds, and invert onto plates.


Retro Christmas cookies

15 Dec

retro Seventeen magazine recipes
Seventeen magazine recipes

Making a cookie wreath

8 Dec

seventeen recipes, retro seventeen magazine recipes, seventeen recipes from the 1980s
Here’s some seasonal 1980s Seventeen nostalgia for you: A cookie wreath.

We don’t know what year this is from, but judging from the tell-tale collage cutout on the page, we’re guessing 1983.

Do you have any ’80s Seventeen recipe pages to share? Let us know!
saucy cherie blog, seventeen magazine recipes, vintage seventeen recipes

Mousse on the loose

5 Dec

Let’s all hope the photo quality improves around here soon. Ghetto bberry shot of shrimp mousse.

To complete this WASPish gastronomical feat, serve with Ritz crackers.


1 pkg. Knox gelatin (mixed as per directions)
1 can tomato soup (undilluted)
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 c. mayonnaise
1 can tiny shrimp, drained
3/4 c. celery, chopped fine
3/4 c. green onion (white up to a bit of the green), chopped fine

Bring soup to boil. Take off heat. Stir in cream cheese beat til smooth (can use immersion blender). Add gelatin/water mix and cool.
Add remaining ingredients and place in a greased mold or glass dish and chill until firm. Chill overnight or until set. Serve with crackers.
(This recipe fills our glass chip’n’dipper, plus two lidded ramekins)


23 Dec

We love that thwack! moment in “A Christmas Story” when the head of a roasted Peking duck is cleaved.

You remember the Parkers’ yuletide dinner was destroyed when the Bumpus hounds savaged their turkey.

Years later, we remember that “Chinese turkey” scene and we are keen to bust it out Peking duck-style for Christmas Eve hors’d’oeuvres.

For $20, we snagged a barbecued duck, hacked before our eyes, at the Asian market. Mandarin pancakes are proving harder to find, but we’ll use tortillas in a pinch. Green onions cut into brushes and hoisin sauce with orange peel, and we’re set.

4-1/2 to 5-pound duckling

Cooking oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine

1 tablespoon yellow bean sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons five-spice powder

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

1 cup warm water

DIRECTIONS: Clean duck thoroughly. Blanch the duckling in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. Remove and dry well. Rub the duck with salt and tie the neck tightly with string. Mix 1 tablespoon oil, chopped green onion, chopped ginger root, tablespoon sugar, rice wine, yellow bean sauce, hoisin sauce, and five-spice powder. Heat mixture in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, making sure all ingredients are blended well. Pour this mixture into the cavity of the duck. Secure the opening shut with a metal skewer. Dissolve the honey with vinegar and red food coloring in cup of warm water. Brush mixture all over the duck, giving it several coatings. Hang the duck up to air dry for at least 6 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a tray with 1 to 3 inches of water and place it on the bottom of the oven. Place the duck , breast side up, on a greased rack in the center of the oven. Bake 30 minutes. Then turn the duck breast side down and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the duck one more time, breast side up, and roast for another 30 minutes until the skin turns a dark brown. Baste with coating mixture each time the duck is turned. Remove the metal skewer and pour out the liquid mixture to be used as gravy to pour over the duck. Serve with scallion flowers, hoisin sauce and egg foo yung.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

China Moon, Barbara Tropp
1/2 cold unsalted butter, cut into eight pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 cup currants

1 packed tablespoon finely diced crystallized ginger

In bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour, salt, currants, and ginger; mix the dough until well blended, about 3 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Lightly flour a 12-inch/30-cm square piece of parchment paper. Place the dough on top and roll out, using a flour-dusted rolling pin, into a 10-inch/25cm square that is an even 1/4-inch/6mm thick. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and move oven rack to middle position. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using sharp knife, divide the dough into 10 1-inch/2.5cm wide strips. Cut each strip into 11/2-inch/3cm long shortbreads; place them 1/2-inch/1cm apart on prepared baking sheets. Gather and roll out scraps and cut more shortbreads. Doing one sheet at a time, bake cookies until edges are lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup lard

1 egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

Almonds (shelled)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together into a bowl. Cut in the lard until well mixed. Then add egg and almond extract and mix well. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Set them 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place an almond on top of each cookie and press down slightly. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Makes 2 to 2-1/2 dozen cookies.