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You'll find over 400 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing

October 13, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing is a winner! I was looking for something different to do with the beautiful yellow beets I bought and found Jasper White’s recipe in Jasper White’s Cooking from New England.

The recipe says it serves 4 – 6. I halved it, and it made 2 generous servings. We also had chorizo sausage, but, honestly, the best part of the meal was this salad. I will definitely make again.

Without further ado, here is my take on Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing!

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing (and sausage)

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing

(Adapted from a recipe in Jasper White’s Cooking from New England)

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(print the recipe))

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My 3 medium yellow beets weighed about 9 ounces, total, with the greens and roots trimmed.

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Serves 2

2 – 3 medium beets (6 – 9 ounces total)

8 ounces baby spinach

2 slices thick bacon, cut in half lengthwise and then into small pieces

1½ teaspoons oil

½ medium onion, cut into medium (½ inch) dice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Serve with Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season to taste

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  1. Peel the beets and cut them into ½-inch sticks. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it’s boiling, add a spoonful of salt and the beets. Boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until it’s starting to get crisp.

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3. Add the oil and the onion and cook for a couple of minutes, just until the onion is starting to get tender.

Onions added

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4. Add the vinegar and the beets and cook, stirring, for just a minute or so.

beets added

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5. Add the spinach and toss it with the other ingredients until it just starts to wilt. (Mr. White says, “Move very fast or you will have a cooked vegetable, not a salad.”)

Spinach added

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6. Serve with salt and black pepper to season to taste.

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Two sausages for Bob 

Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing

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Tall Warm Spinach and Beet Salad

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

September 13, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Laura emailed me this recipe the other day saying that she and Byron had enjoyed it at least a couple of times. It looked terrific, so I wasted no time before giving it a try.

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce is an epicurious recipe developed by Kristin Donnelly. It’s really easy to make!

I made it exactly as written except I substituted Swerve sweetener for the sugar. Swerve measures the same as sugar so it’s an easy substitution. Bob and I both declared that this recipe is a winner. I can attest that leftover patties are delicious reheated in a microwave oven, even without the dipping sauce.

Laura said they had made it as is, but they subbed Truvia for the sugar. They also made it into a salad one night. They tore up the lettuce, cut the patties into smaller pieces, and used the dipping sauce for the dressing. I love that idea!

Get the amazing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine in your own kitchen with these Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce! Delicious!

 

Wrap a pork patty in a lettuce leaf and dip in the sauce!

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

(Adapted from an epicurious.com recipe by Kristin Donnelly)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 3 – 4 (3 patties were enough for me; Bob was happy with 4)

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To me the patties were just a wee bit salty. If you are salt-sensitive, you might want to reduce the kosher salt a bit, but use all of the fish sauce. It’s an important ingredient in Vietnamese cooking and it adds “umami” to the dish. You can substitute Swerve or Truvia for the sugar.

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For the patties

1 pound ground pork

3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons0

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (3-4 onions)

1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, lower 6 inches of tender bulb finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1½ teaspoons fish sauce

1½ teaspoons sugar (or Swerve or Truvia)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon kosher salt (don’t use ¾ tsp table salt; substitute ½ tsp.)

 

For serving

12 lettuce leaves, like Boston or iceberg

Herb sprigs, such as mint, cilantro and Thai basil (optional, I didn’t use)

 

 

  1. Put everything for the patties, except the pork, in a bowl and stir.

Ready to mix with pork.jpg

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2. Add the ground pork and mix until well combined. Form the pork into 12 patties (about ¾-inch thick) and put them on a plate or, as I did, on a small foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

Ready to grill

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4. Preheat a grill for 10 minutes. (You know your grill; grease the grill grate if you usually need to do that. I don’t find it necessary with my grill.)

5. Grill the patties for 3-4 minutes on one side. Turn and grill for 4 minutes longer.

6. Serve with lettuce leaves to wrap around the patties and the dipping sauce.

 

Dipping Sauce

1½ tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar (or Swerve or Truvia)

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fish sauce

Pinch of crushed red pepper

 

  1. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour into 4 small bowls for serving.

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce - Copy

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Pork Chops à la Julia with Montreal Steak Seasoning

September 6, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Pork Chops à la Julia has been my go-to pork chops recipe for years. It’s from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. I recently tried one small change that took the pork chops to a whole new delicious level.

What did I do? I simply used McCormick Grill Mates 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning instead of salt and pepper. My, oh, my! What a difference! The pork chops were so flavorful and Bob and I both loved them. I prefer to use the reduced sodium version since I give the meat a generous sprinkling of the seasoning.

I highly recommend that you give this a try. Pork Chops à la Julia with Montreal Steak Seasoning is a super entrée for a quick meal.

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Pork Chops served with homegrown green beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Chops à la Julia with Montreal Steak Seasoning

(Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe in The Way to Cook)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 2 (easily doubles to serve 4)

 

pork chops, ¾ – 1 inch thick (either bone-in or boneless)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

McCormick Grill Mates 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/3 cup Vermouth or chicken broth (I used Vermouth.)

 

  1. If there is a lot of excess fat, trim it off. (My pork chops were already well-trimmed.)

2. Let the pork chops sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. When ready to cook, pat them dry with paper towels.

3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet that is just large enough to hold the chops.

4. Generously sprinkle the Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides of the pork chops. Put the chops in the hot skillet

5.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Turn the pork chops over.

6. Cook for 3 more minutes.

7. Remove the pork chops to a warm plate and cover with foil.

8. Add the vermouth or chicken broth to the pan. Turn the heat up and cook, stirring, until the sauce reduces and thickens a bit.

9. Serve the pork chops with some of the pan sauce.

 

Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp

August 22, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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This Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp is an adaptation of Elana Amsterdam’s Paleo Peach Crisp on her Elana’s Pantry blog. She bakes her crisp in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

I cut the recipe in half and baked it in my cute little 6-inch pie dish. It was a perfect little dessert to make for two people. For us, it actually makes 3 – 4 servings so we enjoyed dessert one night and had a bit left over for the next day. (Peach Crisp for breakfast, anyone?)

Elana uses maple syrup, which is an approved sweetener for Paleo desserts, but I wanted to try sweetening it with Swerve. Swerve is an erythritol- and oligosaccharides- based sweetener.  I have only tried it for a couple of things, but I have been pleased with the results. It measures the same as sugar, cup for cup, so it’s easy to substitute it in recipes.

Bob and I both loved this Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp! Give it a try while great summer peaches are still in season.

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Peach Crisp cooling

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Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp

(Adapted from Elana Amsterdam’s recipe on her Elana’s Pantry blog)

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(print the recipe)

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I used Swerve to sweeten the crisp topping. Swerve measures the same as sugar. Substitute an equal amount of maple syrup if you wish. Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour is available at my Costco.

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Serves 3 – 4

1 pound peaches (about 3 medium peaches), peeled and sliced*

½ cup + 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour (not almond meal)

A couple of dashes of salt (if doubling the recipe, use 1/8 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon butter

1½ teaspoons Swerve (or maple syrup)

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put a rimmed baking sheet on a rack in the middle position. (The baking sheet will catch any drips from the peach crisp.)
  2. Arrange the peach slices in a 6-inch pie plate, or another baking dish that has a capacity of about 3 cups.

 

Beautiful peaches from Metropolitan Market’s “Peachorama”

Peaches

Peaches 2 - Copy

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3. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor (My mini food processor worked great.)

4. Add the butter, Swerve, and vanilla and pulse so it’s all blended.

5. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the peaches.

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Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

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6. Bake for 30 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool.

Paleo Peach Crisp

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*Peeling the peaches:

I have a serrated peeler that works great on peaches (and tomatoes). Before I got one, I used this method to easily peel peaches:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches and boil for 1 minute. Remove them from the water immediately. Remove the skin from the peaches, and slice.

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Double the recipe to serve 6 – 8

Bake it in an 8 x 8 inch square dish (or any baking dish that holds about 6 cups) for about 35 – 40 minutes.

Use the same method with these ingredients:

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2 pounds peaches (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced

1¼ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon Swerve (or maple syrup)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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Peach Crisp cooling - Copy

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Julia Child’s Salade Composée

August 7, 2017

By  Kath Dedon

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Too hot to cook. That was last week in Seattle. Too hot and smoky for a lot of outdoor activities. We were, and still are, covered in smoke that is being blown south from the 100+ wildfires burning in British Columbia. We were under a burn ban last week that included a ban on charcoal fires.

The air quality improved a bit over the weekend so the burn ban was lifted. We still can’t see the mountains because of the haze, but it did cool off last night.

Last week we had easy hot weather meals like Dilled Shrimp Salad, one of my favorites. I also tried a new recipe – Julia Child’s Salade Composée (Main-course Combination Salad). It was a great meal for a hot summer night! If you already have hard-boiled eggs on hand, which we did, there is absolutely nothing to cook.

I found the recipe in Julia’s cookbook based on her first public television series, The French Chef. The French Chef Cookbook has all of her recipes from that series. She describes the salad as “a handsomely arranged combination salad” for a “spur-of-the-moment meal”.

Julia writes the recipe in one simple paragraph, giving directions on how to put it together. She doesn’t give amounts for the ingredients; you can adjust it depending on how many people you are serving. She arranges it all on one large serving dish to be brought to the table.

Since I was cooking for two, I decided to arrange the salad on two dinner plates. Bob and I each got our own Salade Composée.

When I made this last week it was too hot to turn on my bright lights and get out my camera to take photos. I just snapped a few photos with my iPhone because I thought I might want to share it.

Last week it was TOO HOT to edit photos and write a blog post. This morning it has cooled off enough that I am eager to share this recipe. Salade Composée is definitely a keeper and I’ll be pinning it to my Hot Summer Nights board on Pinterest. 😉

I hope you’ll enjoy this Salade Composée as much as Bob and I did. I love the combination of all of the great flavors. It’s a perfect one to remember when it’s too hot to cook!

P.S. Please join me in thinking good thoughts for our neighbors in BC – for those whose lives are being impacted by the fires (many have had to be evacuated from their homes) and for the brave firefighters (some from as far away as Mexico) who are working so hard to contain the fires.

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Julia Child's Salade Composee

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Salade Composée (Main-Course Combination Salad)

Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe in The French Chef Cookbook

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2

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This recipe is easily adaptable to suit your needs. Increase the ingredients to serve more people. Substitute another kind of fish or chicken for the tuna.

Vinaigrette (recipe at follows the salad recipe)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans (I used 50% less sodium.)

1 cup raw zucchini, sliced

¾ cup raw mushrooms, sliced

Mixed salad greens (about 3 cups)

1 hard-cooked egg, quartered

10 grape (or cherry) tomatoes, cut in half

12 black olives (I used seedless Kalamata)

4 – 6 anchovy fillets

1 can of good-quality tuna

Chopped parsley (Optional garnish)

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  1. If you don’t have a hard-cooked egg, get that going first. I highly recommend this method.
  2. Make the Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  3. Drain and rinse the beans, put them in a bowl and stir 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette into them.
  4. Put the mushrooms in another bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
  5. Put the zucchini in a third bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
  6. Allow the beans, mushrooms, and zucchini to marinate for 20 – 30 minutes.

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Vegetables marinating

marinating in vinaigrette

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7. Toss the greens with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.

8. Divide the salad greens between two dinner plates.

9. Divide about 1 cup of the marinated beans between the two plates (1/2 cup each). You will have left-over beans for the next day.

10. Arrange the rest of the salad ingredients around the beans. Pour a bit more vinaigrette over the salad (especially the ingredients that had not been marinated) and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

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Julia Child’s Vinaigrette

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2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

A few grinds of pepper

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Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.

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dinner

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Julia Child's Salade Composee - Copy

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This is our view of the Olympic Mountains on a clear January day (1-4-17)

View of the Olympic Mountains 1-4-2017

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The same view last week. There were no clouds. It was all smoke.

8-2-2017

Smoke 8-2-17

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8-5-2017

Smoke 8-5-2017

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8-6-2017

Smoke 8-6-2017 - Copy

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Forecast last Thursday (8-3-2017): SMOKE

(The little suns imply that the forecast was for sunny skies. It’s true that there were no clouds, but it wasn’t clear and sunny. It was smoky. 😦 )

Forecast Smoke 8-3-17

Bob’s Big 7-0 Birthday Bash

July 20, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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There’s no recipe today. I decided that I wanted to write about Bob’s Big 7-0 Birthday Bash, mostly so we can remember all of the details later and relive the fun day. I also wanted to give a shout-out to Café Turko so Seattle area people will know about this great Turkish restaurant and what a fine job they do with catering. My next post will feature a new recipe!

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Clockwise, starting on the left: Byron, Bob, Kath, Rhett, Carrie, and Laura (Thanks to my sister, Joan, for taking this picture. And a big thanks to Laura for taking almost all of the rest of the photos. I took the one of Byron and his ribs, and the final photo of the festive room two days later.)

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A few months ago Laura and Carrie were at our house and they said, “Dad, you have a big birthday coming up. You need a party and we’ll do everything!” And they did!

Bob came up with the guest list and gave it to Laura. She designed and sent out the evites. She kept track of the RSVPs. Laura also secretly made a fabulous poster board of photos of Bob, “70 Years of Bob”. He was totally surprised and loved it.

Carrie contacted the caterer who had done such a fabulous job at the party she and Rhett hosted for their out-of-state wedding guests last year. So we had Café Turko cater Bob’s party, too.

On July 10 we had a beer tasting at The Beer Junction in West Seattle and decided to order a half barrel of Fremont Brewing Company’s Lush IPA and a quarter barrel of Georgetown Brewing Company’s Manny’s Pale Ale. Everyone seemed to enjoy the beer selections.

The owners of Café Turko are the nicest people! Gencer and Süreyya Gökeri obviously take great joy in sharing their Turkish food and culture with the people of Seattle. Süreyya is the accomplished chef behind the homemade food. She started catering even before they opened the Café and she has taught Turkish cooking classes. I know that they both work hard delivering the catered food. Süreyya brought the food to our house for Carrie and Rhett’s party, and Gencer delivered the food for Bob’s party last Saturday. (He mentioned that they were catering 4 events that day!)

The food at Café Turko is exquisite! Here’s what Carrie and Süreyya chose for Bob’s party:

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Muhammara (A red pepper and walnut spread)

Watermelon Salad with Cherries

Dolmas (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Rainbow Hummus (3 kinds: chickpea, yam, and beet)

Snowballs (a delicious cauliflower and Brussels sprouts salad)

Ali Nazik with Chicken (Grilled spiced chicken served with yogurt and grilled eggplant sauce and Antep seasonings. Ali Nazik means “made with gentle hands”.)

Wholesome Aegean Musakka (Eggplant, onions, green peppers, garlic, tomatoes, Turkish red pepper paste, parsley and olive oil and spices.)

Pita bread

 

On the day of the party (July 15) Carrie and Rhett stopped at Costco for wine and bottled water. Rhett and Byron picked up and set up the kegs. Rhett was a helpful bartender, pouring glasses of wine and beer.

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It didn’t really feel like 91 people. People came and went at different times and they spread out in the yard and upstairs and downstairs.

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Gencer and one of his sons delivered the food right on time. We had so many people comment on how much they liked the food!

Some of the food. Gencer hadn’t brought all of it in yet.

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Byron had his own surprise for Bob’s birthday dinner. He smoked 20 pounds of pork ribs  – 6 racks of St. Louis-style spare ribs! (Byron has become an incredible grill master and smoker. His home-cured home-smoked bacon is the best!) I believe he used a dry rub on all of the ribs, and then he made a BBQ sauce that he brushed on half of them. Both versions were fantastic!

Byron cutting up his ribs

 

For dessert, Laura ordered a full sheet cake from Safeway. She chose Safeway mainly because they could use a photo of Bob from his 60th birthday and turn it into an edible photo on the cake. Very festive, but I didn’t really expect people to eat much cake. But it was actually very good and most of it got eaten. We were glad we decided to order a full sheet cake (serves 80 – 100) instead of a half sheet.

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After dinner Byron set up the trebuchet. Because it’s not a summer event at Chez Dedon without seeing how far you can toss potatoes with the trebuchet. (A few years ago Byron ordered the plans to build a 3-foot trebuchet, but he and Bob decided that it had to be 6-feet tall so they scaled it up. Bob built it and they still have fun with it.)

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And after the party, Laura, Byron, Carrie, and Rhett did the clean-up. Rhett did all of the hand washing. Byron returned the kegs a couple of days later. 🙂

We ended up having a total of 91 people at Bob’s Big 7-0 Birthday Bash! We were touched and humbled to have so many people come, including friends and family from California and Oregon. Bob’s a “people person” and we are blessed with so many great friends. There were friends at the party that he has known since junior high! We had an absolute blast and everyone else seemed to have a good time, too.

Thank you to all who joined us, and a huge thank you to our remarkable “kids” who made it happen!

And a tip to all who live in the Seattle area or plan a visit, do try Café Turko in Fremont! Their food is amazing! And definitely consider them for your catering needs. They’re very professional, easy to work with, and are very reasonably priced.

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob!

 

Still festive two days later!

Still festive.jpg

 

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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

July 12, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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This Roasted Shrimp Cocktail from Ina Garten is super easy for entertaining! I roasted 5.25 pounds last weekend to take to a gathering of 30 people. It was very well received. I had purchased frozen shrimp, let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight, and then peeled and deveined them. Peeling and deveining them was the most difficult part of the recipe. And it actually wasn’t difficult, it just took some time with 5.25 pounds.

Yesterday I bought 1½ pounds of fresh peeled and deveined shrimp to make it again. The shrimp were large (21 – 25 shrimp per pound). I tossed them on a baking sheet with the oil, salt and pepper and popped them into the preheated oven. I can almost hear Ina say, “How easy is that!”

I got a lot of complements last weekend for the shrimp and the cocktail sauce. Roasting the shrimp does make a difference; it enhances the sweetness and flavor of the shrimp.

The cocktail sauce is the classic sauce that has been popular forever. This version is simply doctored-up ketchup and chili sauce, but just a tiny bit of effort makes it much tastier than bottled cocktail sauce. You can control how spicy you want it with the horseradish and Tabasco. I used Ina’s amounts and thought it was just right, but you could adjust it to suit your taste.

The peeled and deveined shrimp made the recipe amazingly easy! And, it can be made the day before for stress-free entertaining. I made them yesterday to enjoy with my family tonight before going to Crawfish House to celebrate Bob’s birthday!

Happy Birthday to Bob!

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Roated Shrimp Cocktail up close

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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

(Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on Food Network)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6 – 8

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1½ – 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt (use a bit less if you use table salt)

A few grinds of black pepper

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  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

 

  1. Put the shrimp on a rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer.

raw shrimp.jpg

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  1. Pour the oil over the shrimp. Sprinkle the salt over them. Grind some pepper over them. Toss gently with your hands until the oil, salt and pepper are well distributed. Spread the shrimp out on the baking sheet.

IMG_4134

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  1. Roast for about 8 minutes, or until just done. Set aside to cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

Done

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  1. Serve with Cocktail Sauce

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Cocktail Sauce

 

ingredients for cocktail sauce

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½ cup ketchup

½ cup chili sauce (I used Heinz, which Ina Garten recommends.)

3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon Tabasco

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  1. Stir all ingredients together. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

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Roated Shrimp Cocktail up close - Copy

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