Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Onion Dip

At first I thought it would be stupid to blog about this. I mean who hasn't made onion dip with sour cream and onion soup mix?

But then I decided to just put it up here anyway.

Onion Dip reminds me of my dad. He passed away when I was 19. I never really got to cook for my dad. I did make Potato Salad that he enjoyed. Actually, potato salad and my dad reminds of a story about him. One day when I was in high school, I was skipping school with my cousin Sue. I know. I know. You're stunned that Spryte ever skipped school! Shhhh... don't tell my mom... or my kids... thankfully, my kids don't read this! Anyway... my mom dropped me off at school. I met my cousin Sue at the front door and we walked back to my house. I decided I wanted some Potato Salad and whipped up a batch. We just finished making it and getting everything cleaned up when we noticed my dad's car pull up! Uh oh! Dad worked for the town and often came home for break or lunch. So Sue and I rushed to my room and intended to quietly wait him out. He had no reason to suspect anyone was home, so we figured it would be cool. We heard him come in and open up the fridge. Then he said, "Oh! Potato Salad! Hmm... it's still warm..." Then he says, "Peg??" The potato salad was still warm and he guessed that I was there! SHIT! Knowing I was busted, I just said, "yeah dad?" He asked if I'd just made potato salad, so I told him I did and encouraged him to have some. Then he asked why I wasn't at school. I mumbled something about teacher conferences, trying to play it off like I was supposed to be home. He just said, "oh" and had some potato salad. Yes! He bought it! Home free! He finished up his potato salad and was leaving to go back to work. He was half way down the walk. I was standing in the door waving goodbye and he turned back to look at me and said, "Peg. You can't snow the snowman." BUSTED! He knew all along. But that's all he ever said!

Anyway... lots of times when I'm making something, I'll think to myself that my dad would have really liked it, like he enjoyed the potato salad that day.

So why does onion dip remind me of him?

Back in the olden days, when I was a kid we only had one TV. When there's only one TV... guess who decides what you watch? Yep... Dad. (except when M.A.S.H. was on... Mum's favorite) We'd watch old TV shows like The Untouchables, Baretta, Dragnet or those old John Wayne war movies or westerns. The movies I could totally do without... but all the old gangster movies and The Untouchables... I LOVED that! I still do!

Anyway... you're still wondering what this has to do with onion dip. It's simple.

Dad's favorite TV snack. I can't picture him watching TV without a bowl of onion dip in front of him.

When he would settle down on the couch to watch TV, Mum would whip up a bowl of Onion Dip and grab a bag of Ruffles.

So... incase for some reason, you've never tried it, here's the recipe!

I'm not usually a slave to brand names, actually just the opposite. But for this, it's Lipton Onion Soup Mix and Ruffles Potato Chips. ALWAYS

Onion Dip
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
16 oz sour cream

Mix until well combined. Serve with Ruffles Potato Chips.




So that's it! I make it often. My kids love it. I love it. It always reminds me of Dad.


Oh... and if you're gonna skip school... and you make potato salad... and someone comes home... take it with you! Don't leave it in the fridge... the warmth will give you away!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ranch Burgers

I make these all the time. I'm not really sure why it never occurred to me to blog about them.

I got this recipe from my friend Lauren. Many of you know her as StarryBugg. It's a Hidden Valley recipe.


Ranch Burgers
2 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 to 2 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing & Seasoning Packets
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
8 hamburger buns
Your favorite burger toppings

This time I used beef, but these are equally delicious with turkey!

Add dressing mix.

Add shredded cheese.

Mix it up.

Make patties

It's grillin' time!


Even though these are stuffed with cheese... we add more!

Top with your favorite burger toppings.

You can change up the shredded cheese to whatever kind you like.

I LOVE these made with ground turkey.

Perfect for tailgating & cookouts!

If you haven't tried them yet, you're missing out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whitney's Broccoli Salad with a Tangy Twist

I had this the first time at my friend Whitney's house. For my long time readers, you might remember her from my wine tasting parties last year.

I instantly LOVED it!

She often includes it if we're going to dinner at her house, because she knows we all love it. When we plan a weekend's worth of meals when our families play together at her lake cottages, I always suggest she make that.

It's so yummy!

Recently I attended at potluck meeting at Bob's school. His section of the alphabet had to bring either a side dish or salad. I instantly thought of Whitney's Broccoli Salad.

She'd told me what was in it, but I didn't have the actual recipe.

Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until the very last minute. So I looked it up online. I've heard people mention how much they love Broccoli Salad, so I figured the recipe would be easy to find. And it was.

But, being Whitney, she always puts her own special twist on everything.

All the recipes I found for this salad called for raisins. But Whitney uses craisins! I don't have the slightest desire to even try it with raisins, because craisins are just perfect in it!


These quantities are approximate.

Whitney's Broccoli Salad
2 bunches of broccoli, florets
1/2 C craisins
1/2 C bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/4 C red onion, diced
1 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C cole slaw dressing

Toss all ingredients except dressing until well mixed. The toss with dressing until it's evenly coated.
This filled a 13 x 9 pan.

Chop the broccoli.

What to do with these?

Makes me kinda wish I had a bunny.

They're great for soup.

Or roasted... or sliced in stir fry... or grated in slaw or salad...

LOTS of stuff! Don't let all of those vitamins & fiber end up in your compost pile!

The Broccoli is ready!

Toss in Diced Onions.

Craisins (Whitney's tangy delicious twist!)



Toss until well mixed.

Add the Cole Slaw Dressing.

I used T. Marzetti Slaw Dressing. It's wicked good and I had to make this right after work, wicked fast, to bring to the pot luck. But you could totally make your own dressing. (and I'm sure it would be almost just as fast... but this was WAY easier for me!)


Toss to coat!

That's it! How easy is that?

Lots of you probably already know, since this is a popular salad.

But I urge you to try it with CRAISINS next time you make it!


You'll never go back to raisins!


Thanks Whitney! This is for you!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can Openers!

I haven't done many equipment posts.

I posted about my Big Ten Inch and my awesome BIG Deep Sink.

Wait... now that I think about it... I also posted about my KitchenAid Food Processor, but not my KitchenAid Mixer, or the awesome Meat Grinder attachment.


This isn't a post about an awesome tool. Just one you need. Well... I guess if you ONLY use fresh foods, you might not need one. But I often have occasion to open a can!

I've never had an electric can opener and really don't want one. It seems like a time you might really need a can opener is when there's no electricity. We had a manual can opener for years that I never had a problem with. But Jon hated it. He said it was hard to use. So sometime during spring, I bought a new one. He loved it, I hated it. I kept using the old one, while he used the new one.

Within the past week, I couldn't use either one of them. I almost considered trying to hack into the can with one of my awesome knives... but then I came to my senses. I pried open whatever I was trying to open, didn't cut myself and vowed to get a new can opener the next day.

So that's what I did.

I went to Target at lunch on Friday and started trying out all of the can openers. Unfortunately I couldn't actually open cans with them. That would have been ideal. I just tried turning the handles. They ranged in price from about $7 to about $20. I kept comparing to see if it felt like they'd really grip the edge of the can. But I had no way to tell if it would actually cut.

I got this one. It was $10.


It opened those cans just fine.

I guess time will tell.

What kind of can opener do you use?

What do you like about it?

What don't you like about it?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coffee Frappe

That's pronounced Kawfee Frap.

It's not a Frappé (frappay)

A frappe is a thick milkshake containing ice cream. It doesn't have to be coffee flavored, but that's my favorite. I grew up in the Boston area, and it seems not everyone calls them that.

Nowadays, you get frozen coffee drinks and they are often called frappé (frappay). But those are coffee blended with ice; not thick milkshakes with ice cream.

You can really make one with just milk & ice cream.

But this is the grown up version!


Premium coffee ice cream
coffee syrup
espresso powder
coffee liqueur

If you're not in New England, good luck finding coffee syrup!!

I usually pick some up every time I visit mum. You can probably get it online too!

Throw everything in the blender and blend!!


Yours doesn't have to be coffee... it can be whatever flavor you like!

Now enjoy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Snack by Jon

When I'm outta town, Jon has to fend for himself.

He was thoughtful enough to take step by step photos of one of his snack creations during my last trip.

So I thought I'd share it here.

Step one.

Separate the marshmallows from the frosted oat pieces in a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Step two.

Throw away the frosted oat pieces, because even though they're frosted, they might contain some vitamins, minerals or a little bit of fiber!

Step three.

Pour a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles.

Step four.

Combine Lucky Charms Marshmallows with Cocoa Pebbles.

Step five.

Mix well.

Step six.

Add toasted Cherry Pop Tarts.

And it's Snack Time!

And he claims he doesn't cook!