Kirk Spencer had a terrific suggestion in an email this morning. We were talking about bamboo skewers (and how you MUST soak them before grilling to avoid flaming kabobs) and he said he’d used rosemary stems as skewers. I thought this sounded just wonderful. Maybe a lemon marinated chicken skewered on rosemary. It wouldn’t need much other seasoning, that’s for sure, and of course you’d really need to like rosemary. Lamb would probably hold up well with that type of seasoning. Yum. Can’t wait to try on something.
Now for some news on the Thursday Recipe Exchange. This week it will be postponed to Friday because the wonderful Wiley Cash will be live blogging over at Balloon-Juice about his book A Land More Kind Than Home tonight. And since I post the recipe exchange specifically to be cross-posted over there, a changed seemed prudent.
Friday night is where it’s going to stay for the time being, because of some special events planned at B-J on Thursdays. I’m good with that, hope you are, too.
Back to Mr. Cash, first of all, has there ever been a better novelist’s name? I read his book when it first came out and gave it as gifts over the summer. It’s worth a read, sets a beautiful North Carolina mountain scene as the backdrop to a dark mystery. It’s a quick and compelling story, told from the perspective of several characters in the first person.
I think that covers everything. Hopefully Kirk and I will have a big cooking announcement in the coming weeks.
I owe a lot to Balloon-Juice. It is an amazing community of people who listen, snark, commiserate and most importantly love animals. The ship is captained by John Cole, a big bear of a guy with a heart of gold who loves his Tunch, Lily and Rosie, all of who came to him as rescues, in one way or another.
Just this month, the team at B-J, headed by John, helped rescue and pay for the medical needs of a beautiful St. Bernard, named Garnet. Even better, when all was said and done, she was adopted by someone in the B-J family. I’ve lost count how many that makes this year. But a post will go up about an animal in need of a home and by the end of the day, someone in the B-J community has a new member of the family.
I am so happy to direct you to the Balloon Juice calendar. Not only is it beautiful, but it helps animals in need. The pets that appear on every page are all from the B-J community and EVERY DIME goes to help animals in need.
Makes a great gift. So help a puppy or kitty out and order yours today.
I am reposting this because John Cole had a birthday last week and his dad made him cabbage rolls again and everyone was asking for the recipe. Here it is. Originally published August of 2010:
I was catching up on my Balloon-Juice reading one afternoon, when blog host John Cole mentioned that his dad was making cabbage rolls that night for dinner. It so happens I’ve been looking for a good recipe for cabbage rolls for a while. I figured if it was served in the Cole household it must be good. John was kind enough to fulfill my request, so here is Dad Cole’s recipe:
Dad’s Cabbage Rolls
- 1 medium size head of cabbage
- (If you use Savoy cabbage, the cabbage will cook faster and the rolls are more delicate.)
- 1 pound ground beef mixed with ½ pound ground pork
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped small
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, oregano, and basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large can of tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp parsley, oregano, and basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in a cup of hot water
- salt and pepper
- 1 small can of sauerkraut
Boil three quarts of water in a large pot. Cut the core out of the cabbage and remove each cabbage leave carefully. When the water is boiling, drop the cabbage leaves into the water. Leave for at least two minutes. Remove and cool in ice cold water. Drain and then use a pair of shears to remove the hard ridge that is the spine of leaf. Set leaves aside on a paper towel to drain.
In a bowl, mix the beef and pork with the eggs, seasonings, rice, and tomato paste as though you were making a meatloaf.
Take a leaf, place a large tablespoon of the meat mixture at the core end of the leaf. Roll once, then fold each side over the mixture and complete rolling the filling to the end of the leaf.
Place rolls in a crock pot or baking casserole. As you layer them, spread the sauerkraut and any leaves not used after (chopped into fine strips). Mix sauce ingredients and pour over the rolls. Make certain there is enough liquid to cover the rolls. If using a crock pot, select the time. They can be cooked slowly over a 6-8 hour period, or within 4 hours. If baking, set the oven at 350 and bake for at least 1 ½ hours or until a fork can easily pierce a top roll. If more liquid is needed to keep the rolls covered, mix a small can of sauce with an equal amount water and add during the cooking time.
Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated aged Parmesan.
I can’t wait to have an occasion to try these out. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. I only hang out at Balloon-Juice because I have a huge crush on this guy:
John, I had to go back 4 months to find a good picture of Tunch, which means one thing, MORE TUNCH please.
I think I might start something new. I did a few over the Christmas holidays and now I think I’ll emulate some of my favorite bloggers and start posting some favorite music.
This one is from John Cole over at Balloon-Juice. How have I never heard of this wonderful singer before?
It reminds me of one of my favorite shows Memphis Beat, RIP.
This is Tunch. He belongs to John Cole and just so you know, he’s probably the only reason there is a food blog here. It’s a long story, but my love of Tunch kept me hanging out at Balloon-Juice and then before I knew it, I was posting menus there by request.
Love. That. Cat.
Just before I left for LA, friend of blog sent me a recipe to go along with our favorite Balloon-Juice Doberman, Max. I ran out of time to get the recipe up, so it was delayed until now. From Joshua De Mers:
Inspired by one of Balloon Juice’s most beloved mascots, MAX!!!
Sometimes things just work together better than you could even plan! I know pretty much all these flavors get along, so the end result comes out delicious and really not too expensive!
Max’s Bacon-Sweet Potato Frittata
- 8 slices bacon
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6-8 crimini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- salt & pepper (this is season as you go)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 oz white cheddar cheese (whatever sharpness you prefer)
- 2 oz gruyere cheese
- 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
- 10 eggs
Parmesan cheese (use the stuff from the can)
Set oven to broil. Slice bacon into pieces, then cook in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove from pan. You can either clean out the skillet or start over in a large non-stick skillet that can go under the broiler. Turn down heat to medium. Slice sweet potato into fourths, then into thin wedges. Melt butter in large skillet, add sweet potato, season with salt and pepper, and cook 3-5 minutes. Add in onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms, give a good stir, season some more, and cook another 5-7 minutes. Add in tomato, seeds and all, then garlic. Cook until almost all the moisture is gone and you start to see starchy streaks of orange in the skillet. At that point, turn the heat down to low. Crack and scramble the eggs, cut the cheese into small pieces (you can grate it as well but small bits give you little pleasant cheese pockets!) and stir into the eggs. Also stir in the cooked bacon and the parsley. Cook in pan over low heat until you see egg starting to set, then pull back so custard can hit heat and set as well. Also pull back just enough so eggs form a layer on bottom of pan. When eggs have almost but not quite totally set, dust entire top with the Parmesan cheese. Set pan under broiler and let cook 5-7 minutes or until top is golden brown and eggs are puffy and pulled away from sides. Slide frittata onto cutting board and cut into wedges. Served topped with sour cream or mascarpone cheese.
Joshua De Mers
Thanks Joshua, sounds yummy, love the sweet potato twist. Joshua always includes a quote with his emails. I particularly liked this one:
May I become at all times, both now and forever,
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A bridge for those with rivers to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those without shelter
And a servant to all in need.
The team over at Balloon-Juice had an amazing inspiration: take the photos of all of our pets and compile them in a calendar to help animal rescue. The results are awesome and the proceeds go to a good cause, so order yours now!
Link to order here. There are other items available, too, so peruse the store and see who you can cross off your Christmas list.
Here is a preview:
Balloon Juice is running a fund raiser for a favored pet rescue/pet shelter and the plans are to sell calendars featuring pet photos sent in by readers. They limit submissions to two pics per pet or I might have gotten carried away. Here are the pics I sent in: