Category Archives: Cooking


It is not too early to think about feasting during the season of Christmas.  I have sample menus for meals and would appreciate input from the family.  I have decided we will eat a big meal on Christmas Eve and then just snack on Christmas day.  It will save us from having to miss out on all the fun on Christmas day and to be able to concentrate on feeling the Christmas spirit instead of just feeling tired. 

Christmas Eve dinner will be: Ham, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, favorite salad, tossed salad, rolls and a dessert to be determined.

Christmas Day will be: Clam dip, Cheese ball, chili cheese dip, creamy Southwestern chicken dip, pina colada dip, pumpkin dessert dip, sandwiches, crudites, spiced nuts and desserts to be determined. 

I am hoping Dale wouldn’t mind doing the “bar” again.  That was so much fun.  If anyone has any ideas buy drink ingredients and we will have our drinkmeister mix them for us.  I will try to find a punch bowl for the popular sherbet drink. 

Mark, you can make whatever you want when you get here.  If you need special ingredients and you won’t get here until late on Christmas eve just let me know and I can shop for you.

Kurt, we are depending on you for the uplifting music, and whatever else you want to provide for our evening and day of fun.  You don’t have to be with us the whole time if you get over stimulated (that goes for all the bachelors). 

Leslie and Carolyn, let me know if there are special recipes you want to have for either day, and Carolyn let me know which day you will be in Shelton.

We will have a Christmas eve program which will involve singing and hopefully some musical presentations by the grandchildren.  I am trying to assemble some costumes for our pageant. 

Let me know what I have forgotten here.  I am sure you all have wonderful ideas, so post them.  This will be our forum for planning.

On Christmas day I want some stations set up downstairs for fun.  A table for games and one for puzzles and maybe something else.  Let me know what you want.

The Germknödel Catastrophe

Since we decided to do our “Oktoberfest” Theme for today’s After Conference Dinner, I thought it was high time I attempted to make Germknödel again.  My first attempt was at Christmastime 1990. Everyone in the family remembers it as a dismal failure, even this many years later (of course many of you still remember the St Patrick’s Day meal I butchered when I was about 11 or 12, so what do I expect?). I actually haven’t tried making it again since then, but I’ve asked everyone that I can think of for any tips. No luck.  So I got a recipe off the internet and went to it. Continue reading The Germknödel Catastrophe

New yummy recipe from Victoria Williamson

We had this last night for dessert and it was amazingly delicious.

Strawberries, sour cream, slightly beaten, dark brown sugar.

Roll the strawberries in sour cream and then dip in brown sugar and eat. 

Very simple, very elegant, very delicious.

She also had some chocolate to dip the stawberries in, but we prefered the sour cream and brown sugar. 

A fun recipe.

The RS president gave me this one and I thought I’d better share before strawberry season is over for this year.  This is a good dessert for kids or for after a barberque.  Get some big ripe strawberries.  Freeze some big marshmallows for an hour.  Soak some bamboo skewers for an hour.  Alternate the strawberries and frozen marshmallows on the skewers and then put on the grill for just a few minutes.  I know it sounds weird but it is really delicious, and the kids love them, at least sister Najdawi’s kids.

Mexican Casserole

It took me a while to find my ideal Mexican casserole, and then I had to alter a couple recipes and come up with my own!

Brown 1 pound ground beef with a medium onion and 1 bell pepper, color of your choosing

Add 2 cups salsa, allow to simmer 15-20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.

Add to meat 1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans and 1 can corn, drained
In a 9×13 inch baking pan, line with 10-12 torn up corn tortillas, or you can use 3 cups broken corn chips
Top tortillas with meat mixture

Spread 2 cups sour cream over meat mixture

If you like, add a small can nasty black olives, one diced tomato, and/or 3 chopped green onions on top of the sour cream

Top with 2 cups cheddar cheese

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Serve with avocados on the side for extra yumminess.


Okay, I’ve already described the picnic lunch from day 1: Rye bread, spicy headcheese, garlic ham (oh, and I forgot to mention the hazelnut wafers).

And that evening, we ate FREAKING HUGE pork carnitas burritos from a takeaway stand. Heavy. And yummy. Day 2 continued the Mexican theme as we visited La Super Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara and had Stuffed roasted chilis, Beef tri-tip with onions and bacon, marinated pork tacos, and chorizo tacos (plus nice cold Jamaica). Soooooo yummy.

At the farmer’s market in S.B., we had numerous tidbits of fruits, juices and oils (yes, oils).

Finally, we ended up having a picnic supper that EAG had prepared consisting of fresh bread, brie, some hungarian sausage, tomato, fragrant pears, plus some produce we had purchased at the market: cherimoya and carrot. It felt very European.

Day 3: Lunch as the LYL Garden in Monterey Park. We had Baked Pork Chop with Spicy Salt (crispy and yummy), String Bean with Minced Meat (so salty and fresh), Shrimp with Eggplant and Spicy Garlic Sauce (So savory and delicious), and Deep Fried Fish (I think it was flounder, and so light-tasting. Mmm. It was a fabulous lunch.

We then had little tidbits for most of the rest of the day. At the market, EAG gave me a Chrysanthemum tea which was so tasty and thrist-quenching. Some of the stuff we had throughout the day included mochi ice cream (I had red bean flavor), melon ice cream, strawberry cake, and a churro at “Mr. Churro”.

That evening, we spent some time at some friends of EAG’s and had some of our LYL leftovers plus some spicy beef, pig’s ears, and some more American-style Chinese takeout. Oh, and ginger beer.

Day 4, we had another picnic: Bread, brie, hungarian sausage and fragrant pear made reappearances, plus a grilled Ahi salad that we purchased on the (Getty Museum) premises.

That afternoon, for a snack we had ice cream sandwiches: mine was chocolate chip cookies with mint chip ice cream. Soooo decadent.

The grand finale was dinner at El Rocoto Peruvian restaurant in Torrance. Despite its being a Peruvian restaurant, however, they did not have Guinea pig on the menu. We ordered the Lomo Saltado (beef sauteed with onions, tomatoes and french fries) and Saltado de Mariscos (Shrimps, squid, scallops and mussels sauteed with onions, tomatoes and french fries).

Basically we ate like kings… and yet, food was way cheaper than parking.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Sweet-Sour Dressing

Mom left a message that she was wanting this recipe…

1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 medium-sized sweet or white onion, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, 3-4 stalks, florets and stems separated
1/3 cup raisins
8 pieces crisp-cooked bacon

Around 3-4 hours before serving time, stir together the mayo, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar 1 tbsp at a time, stirring in well after each addition to thin evenly and prevent mayonnaise lumps.  Add the onion.  Cut the broccoli florets into small bite-sized pieces and cut the stems into 1/3-inch slices.  Stir the broccoli into the dressing and refrigerate.

Stir several times before serving.  Then stir in the raisins, and crumble and stir in the bacon.  Season to taste, and serve cold.