Category Archives: recipes

Nola. Gra-no-no-no-nola.

Do you officially have the Kinks stuck in your head now? Good.

It’s officially granola season in our household. Ok – maybe granola season is the wrong word. When the weather begins to show the slightest warming trend, my brain has a switch where all comforting winter food turns completely unappetizing. It’s not that I crave summer food, rather it’s that I really can’t stand the winter food anymore. Soup turns to sandwiches, everything can now be cooked on the grill, and all my coffee is iced. And for breakfast, I can no longer bear eating oatmeal.

Oatmeal and jam or fruit butter is a staple from the fall until my mental switch flips. But these days, the thought makes me slightly queasy. So we switch to granola. It’s so easy, I don’t know how or why anyone still buys it from a store.

His & Hers Multigrain Granola
Makes 1 big batch for a week of breakfasts for two people
1.5 cups spelt flakes
1.5 cups rye flakes
1.5 cups oats
3 tablespoons golden flax seeds
1/2 cup neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup maple syrup, preferably grade b (or if you’re anywhere near Stonewall Apiary, toss with their amazing honey butter)

Combine all grains and Toast at 250° until crunchy – stirring every 15-20 minutes – approximately 45 minutes. When toasted to your satisfaction, combine fruit, nuts and if you’re a maple syrup fiend like Jon, additional maple sugar.

His:
Raisins – golden & regular
Maple Sugar

Hers:
Coconut flakes
Dried cherries or apricots (or both)
Dried cranberries
Salted pepitas or toasted chopped hazelnuts (or both)

I find its easiest make a big batch of granola basics (grains, flax, canola oil and maple syrup) and after toasting, seperate it into two batches. Don’t think you’re being clever by tossing the fruit into the oven either, unless you’re really into shriveled black used-to-be-fruit (ahem). And I like toasting any nuts separately. Serve by itself with your milk of choice or with yogurt for a quick breakfast on a morning where oatmeal would simply be intolerable.

Dark Days: Week Six

This is the time of the year where I eat soup. I mean, a LOT of soup. All three of my meals seem to come out of a bowl these days. Yogurt or oats for breakfast. Lentil soup for lunch… lunch that is totally around 2:30. A bowl of beans soaking on the counter and a request for tortellini for dinner lead to another bowl of soup with some crusty ciabatta garlic basil bread tonight.

On top of my inner demands for soup, January is usually when the National Soup Swap takes place. Last year, I came home from our local soup swap with six quarts of soup and it fed me for months. Its kind of like dating: you might come home with a soup you want to try before you decide, a soup with a great story and maybe even a soup that you decided to take a chance on. Luckily, I am fortunate to swap with some great cooks, so I always come home with at least one soup I am in love with.

But until Soup Swap weekend, I am left to my own devices. I tend to make chicken stock in six quart batches, so I almost always have some on hand. I also freeze trays of slow roasted tomatoes in August and September. Cut in half, roasted at 170° for about 5 hours – they’re perfect to freeze in a quart jar. Sure, you could dehydrate them all the way and store them on the shelf. I don’t have a dehydrator, and like them ready to drop into soup or risotto. Plus, pre-freezing they’re concentrated bits of flavor perfect for a mid-summer salad.

This soup was spur of the moment, and really hits the spot when the heater is struggling to maintain any degree of warmth and I sit under not one but two blankets. Jacob’s Cattle Beans, chicken stock, slow roasted tomatoes, spinach, garlic, onions, and some frozen chopped basil from my garden. All of the produce homegrown or put away from this summer’s CSA. Seasoned with decidedly non-local but very necessary salt and pepper, it was just about perfect. I’d even say a soup you’d want to go home with.

Community Supported Agriculture… more like Farmer-Supported Kitchen.

So, not to sound like a broken record, but things are tight this summer. We don’t have a lot of discretionary income in the SK household. Luckily, in the midst of winter, we made the decision to find $300 to put away for summer vegetables. Normally, this would be a luxury expenditure. Don’t get me wrong but local agriculture can be (justifiably) more expensive – and though I manage to carve out some spending money each week at our fabulous local market, its not alot. (Sidenote/shameless plug: Vote for CRFM until midnight at http://www.greatbarngiveaway.com!) So I had to justify this one.

Membership is a CSA is sort of a symbiotic relationship. The member supports the farm, by providing literal seed money – you help the farmer with expenses before the season starts. This is why many CSAs require payment/commitment in winter. Luckily, some farmers are awesome enough to just let you put down a deposit to reserve your spot. In exchange for your pre-payment, you get a share of the produce every week for a certain amount of weeks. In tight financial times, I get a boatload of fresh local veggies every week throughout the summer. I get the best of whats in season because, indirectly, I helped (provide some of the funds) to grow it.

CSA grilled eggplant & heirloom tomatoes, my basil and fresh mozz. A perfect mid-summer dinner.

Our CSA hails from the lovely Windham Gardens. Our half share is the equivalent of one reusable bag worth of produce per week for 20 weeks. I can’t rave about Windham’s CSA enough. Unlike other CSAs, Windham Gardens lets you pick out what you want. Some people like the challenge of a set CSA box. If kolhrabi is in season, you get to figure out what to do with it. If its early in the season, you may find yourself overloaded with greens and make lettuce soup. These days, the variety is plentiful: tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, onions, garlic, greens, corn, squash…

A typical haul from the market, without spending any money: swap goods and CSA produce.

What I really, really (REALLY) like about Windham’s share is two-fold. First, I have the option to pick up at my farmer’s market, five minutes down the street. Second, I get to pick what I want. I go to Windham’s table, check in, and fill my bag with my choices. This week, I picked up three pints of cherry tomatoes (I snack on them like candy at work). I did not, however pick up the giant bag of various hot peppers. There is no impetus to use what you’re given – you pick it out. Thats not to say its challenging to use all that produce in one week.

Enter: CSA salsa. Who says salsa has to be red and spicy? This particular recipe used a little bit of everything in my CSA that week and provided something to swap at our pre-market homegrown swap. Plus, I got to empty the last jar of last year’s tomatoes.

[Early Summer] CSA Salsa
Adapted from Roasted Corn and Zucchini Salsa from Just the Right Size
Three medium zucchini, cubed
Three medium summer squash, cubed
One large/two medium red onions, diced in similar size to the squash
Four ears of sweet corn
One quart whole tomatoes
One jalapeño, seeded and diced
Three cloves garlic, minced
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon pimentón
Juice of one lime
A splash of Red Wine Vinegar

Take the kernels off the corn, toss with olive oil and roast about half an hour at 350°. Roast (in a cast iron pan if you have one)  until they get a slight bit of color – its very easy to dry them out. In the meantime, cube your squashes and toss with 1 tablespoon of salt and let drain in a colander. Put everything together on the stove – you can squeeze the tomatoes into small pieces in the pot (also strangely satisfying). Of course use fresh tomatoes if you have them – this salsa was made just before the onslaught of local tomato season. Cook for a little bit, until things come together but everything is still fairly solid. Let cool and eat immediately or freeze for future use.

I like to use only a splash of vinegar to give it a little acid, I like my salsas fresh. This means this NOT a canning safe recipe. Not that you’ll need it to last that long…

Heatwave Carnitas

This recipe became another 90° day keep cool meal this past week. Dinner Hummus was lovely for one night, but we had three straight sticky days and beans weren’t going to cut it. We had some Woodbridge Farm Heritage pork shoulder in our freezer. How to cook it without a huge hassle?

Thanks to a slow cooker, it was really a breeze. The addition of a few lazy margaritas [1) limeade + reposado + triple sec + ice, 2) shake, 3) imbibe], dinner was on the table in about 10 minutes and without overheating. Really, what more do you need?

Pork Carnitas
→ For the crockpot:
Pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of most of the fat
Coarse mustard
Hot Sauce
Garlic
One 28 oz can whole tomatoes or one quart home-canned tomatoes

→ For the carnitas:
Equal parts chili powder, pimentón and granulated garlic (more or less 1 scant tablespoon each per person)
Bacon fat
Grilled corn tortillas
Toppings of choice

Put the pork in the crock pot, covered with the mustard, hot sauce and garlic. If you don’t like hot sauce, don’t worry, the pork isn’t spicy. The point here is to get super flavorful, moist pork. Add the whole tomatoes, and squish with your hands to break up a bit. I wouldn’t recommend wearing white, even if you are super careful it always ends up on your shirt. I speak from experience. The pork needs to cook on low for at least 8 hours. Prepare first thing in the morning, head to work, it will be ready when you come home.

To make carnitas, heat flour tortillas until soft and a little browned on a griddle or a cast iron skillet. Place in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Add some bacon fat, and more or less one cup of shredded pork per person – your mileage may vary. Once warm, toss in the spices. You might need a bit of liquid here – either a bit more fat, some water, or some beer. Mmm beer. Ahem. Wait until the pork gets crispy – it will be quickly – and add toppings. I recommend sharp cheese and/or sour cream, fresh mustard greens, and chipotle hot sauce.  Add at least one margarita, go sit in front of a fan, and don’t move for at least 30 minutes.

Options
1. For the initial crockpot liquid, you can change it up in a variety of ways. Beer, wine, homemade stock, chipotles in adobo, worcestershire, onions… any combination of liquids and spices would be great. Anything to lend flavor.
2. Do you really need the bacon fat? Probably not. But it was in the fridge and pork cant go wrong with more pork.
3. Some pickled shallots or onions would be great. I happen to be all out – time to make some more!

NOTE:
These were NOT inspired by The Kitchn’s Heatwave Carnitas – I swear – even though the method is essentially the same. Great minds think alike!

Dinner Hummus

In case you’re not from the Northeast or haven’t heard – we’re currently in the midst of a heatwave. Today temperatures in Connecticut were well above 90°, and tomorrow its more of the same. 90 is not totally unheard of around these parts, but its pretty rare for the beginning of June. July or August is really where it belongs. Personally, I wish it never would come around (Snowflake Kitchen, remember?) but at least the tomatoes and peppers seem to like it. Luckily, we’re supposed to see some relief by the end of the week. When it gets this hot, the last thing I want to do is cook. I have some rhubarb macerating in the fridge, but there it will sit for another day – there is no way I am preserving in this weather. I began to hunt around for dinner and found almost nothing that didn’t involve a stove one way or another. I hate picking up prepared food or takeout almost as much, because to be perfectly honest it still involves moving from my comfortable spot in front of the fan. In my moment of desperation, I spotted a lone can of garbanzo beans in the back of the pantry. Hummus can count as dinner, right?

Dinner Hummus (that works equally well anytime)
One can (cooked) garbanzo beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
Approximately half a cup of olive oil, as green as possible
2-3 garlic cloves
Two heaping tablespoons of tahini
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend beans in the food processor until finely minced. Drizzle in the olive oil while on low speed until it comes together. You may need more or less olive oil depending on your preference. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and blend again. Add in the garlic, tahini and lemon and process briefly until blended.

It should keep in the fridge for a week or so, if it lasts that long – this stuff is worlds away from storebought hummus. I came home with a loaf of wonderful bread from the equally wonderful folks at Farm to Hearth yesterday – it was the perfect vehicle for dinner hummus at the end of a scortcher (or, in proper New England parlance, a wicked scortcha). But if you are unfortunately no where near F2H, then some pita (or homemade naan!) will work just fine. Hummus + bread + wine – a perfect summer meal when the stove simply won’t do.

Options
1. Preserved lemons would be the perfect bright note to balance the raw garlic in this. I would only add one (in my case the rind of one quarter) so as not to overpower the rest of the flavors.
2. Roasted red peppers or harissa. I am only too sad that I am out of homemade harissa right now.
3. Roast the garlic before blending. You could add more roasted garlic than raw, as the roasting will take away the bite.
4. Another favorite way to serve (pictured) is topped with a little pimentón, coarse grey salt and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Lazy Risotto

It’s just been way too nice to post lately. The sun is back, and its not a million degrees out. In typical New England fashion, mother nature went directly from rain to summer without having much of a spring, but things have evened out a bit after some scary storms this week. A tornado – in Springfield, Mass! Can you believe it?

Anyway, for nights like this, when its ever so slightly cool, I like to make lazy risotto. Full disclosure up front: this is not a rice risotto. This is a pasta risotto. Its not completely lazy – you do have to stir it a few times, but its a heck of a lot easier than traditional demanding recipes. Homemade chicken stock lends a ton of flavor, and it works well either as a side dish or main course. Easily made vegetarian with vegetable stock, too.

I like to use a mix of pastina and orzo – the combination makes for a great texture. With chicken stock, pepper, and lots of fresh grated parmesano reggiano, it is a perfect vehicle for spring veggies like asparagus and fresh mushrooms. Its even good plain. Honest.

Lazy Risotto
3/4 cup of dried pasta per person (side – double for main dish). Mix pastas as you like.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Three cups of chicken stock, heated to just under boiling
Pepper to taste
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add dry pasta and stir to coat. Keep an eye on it and stir until golden. Then add a ladle or two of chicken stock – be careful, it will bubble furiously with the first bit of liquid. Add the rest of the chicken stock a ladle or two at a time. You don’t have to sit and stir this like regular risotto. In fact, you can probably add half the chicken stock, stir and walk away until you add the rest. I wont tell. This is lazy risotto – its unpretentious. Just before the last bit of stock is cooked away, add the parmesan. You can also add a pat of butter, but I swear it really doesn’t need it. I also dont think the recipe needs salt, due to the volume of parmesan in it, but also your call. Garnish with additional parmesan, and serve.

Spice Rack Challenge: Coriander

Again, with the late posting. I swear it’s the weather. We had a beautiful April – sunshiney and warm enough and it opened up all the promises of spring and summer to come. May, however has been anything but. Dreary, cold – I had to bring all of my spring plantings in for an early May frost – and the days of sunshine have been only hours at a time in a week of rain. I know plants like rain, but even they need to dry out at this point. Needless to say, it gets you down.

So, this month’s challenge was coriander. I had some whole coriander leftover from my summer and fall pickling, but to tell you the truth I hadn’t used it since. Some Googling revealed its use in a ton of Indian dishes. Not to mention that ever since Bend It Like Beckham, I’ve wanted to try an aloo gobi. Warm and nourishing vegetarian food – just what you need when the weather gets you down.

Aloo gobi
Adapted from Quick Indian Cooking and Sailu’s Kitchen

One head of cauliflower, broken down into medium florets
Three small potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 half onion, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon dried ginger or one half inch fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red chile flake

Heat a heavy bottom skillet or pan over medium heat. If you have whole spices, it makes a world of difference to toast them and grind them yourself. I use my toaster oven for this, but you could also use a pan on the stove. Heat coriander, cumin, peppercorns and red chile flake until fragrant. Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to break down. I really like the mortar and pestle for indian cooking – it both seems therapeutic and the food really responds to coarser spices.

Once the spices are ground, add some olive oil or other neutral oil to your skillet and add the onions, garlic and ginger until the onions cook down a bit. Keep an eye on it, make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the potatoes and spices next, and make sure everything is coated. Add a half cup of water and cover. Check every 5-10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are almost done (i.e. less than fork tender). At this point add the cauliflower and cover again. Keep an eye on it until the cauliflower and potatoes are done to your liking. I like my cauliflower with a little bit of a bite. Serve with naan for a delicious, warming meal.

Homemade Naan
Adapted from Budget Bytes (Thanks Olivia!)

One packet of dry active yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2.5 – 3 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
1 large egg

Proof your yeast with the warm water and sugar in a small bowl for 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, mix the yogurt/sour cream, egg and canola oil together. Once yeast is proofed (you see little bubbles forming) add it to the wet ingredients. Add it to 1 cup of the flour and salt. Mix, then add half a cup of flour in at a time until the dough is no longer wet or shaggy. My dough ended up 2.5 cups of flour.

Roll it out and knead it for a few minutes. I like to knead mine in the same bowl in the beginning until its workable. You will need to use more flour so it does not stick to the counter. Once it is no longer sticky, let it rest in a warm spot for 45 minutes. We turned off our heat in expectation of a warm May and have been too stubborn to turn it back on, so I had to let the bread proof in my oven. I turned the oven to 170° (its lowest setting) then let it drop to 125 or so based on my oven thermometer. I covered the dough with a wet kitchen towel and closed the door. 45 minutes later – perfectly proofed.

Real naan is baked on the side of a tandoori clay oven – until I get one of those in my kitchen my cast iron skillet will have to do. Any heavy bottomed pan will do the trick. Preheat it over medium (no higher) and brush with canola oil. Tear the dough into 7-8 pieces and roll into balls. Roll each one out just before its time to cook. Roll it out quite thin – about 1/4 of an inch. Keep an eye on it, but each bread takes about 2 minutes per side to brown and quickly gets darker after that. Best brushed with a little bit of melted (unsalted) butter, some salt and some fresh chopped parsley.

PS: I’ll have you guys know that I wrote out the entire naan recipe using ‘flower’ instead of flour. Terrible. I blame cauliflower. But really, no excuse.

Third Time’s the Charm Yogurt

It seems making yogurt is all the rage these days. I’ve recently come across posts from Tigress, The Girl’s Guide to Guns and Butter, Attainable Sustainable, and from Marcus Samuelsson. Yogurt is getting expensive – I believe the quart size Chobani in my local grocery store is now upwards of $7. You can buy cheaper yogurt, but a lot of it has pectin in it to change the texture, which I don’t like. I am a pure Greek yogurt girl – I want my ingredients to say “Milk, Live Active Cultures” and that’s IT. To top it all off, my friend Olivia has been making yogurt for a while, who on the scale of difficult cooking projects called this one “so easy it’s stupid.” So I had to give it a try.

Take One: Well, I’m sure you can figure out how this is going to go purely by the fact that its take one. It didn’t go badly – I just wasn’t satisfied with it. I didn’t start with much milk – in fact I used some lovely Beaver Brook Farm milk leftover from making ice cream. Whole, RAW milk – super rich stuff. I had been buying 2% Chobani. I also tried this in thermoses/travel cups – only about half made it – chalk that up to poor insulation. I probably didn’t care for this small batch because it was so rich. I also had to find a way to up my yield.

Take Two: I went all out on this one. I spent the extra dollar for a half-gallon of Farmer’s Cow 2%. I also bought a Chobani 2% – you have to get the starter cultures from somewhere. Making yogurt is fairly easy from all of the methods above – heat milk to 180° and leave there for a while, depending on how thick you like your yogurt. Then let it cool until it drops below 115° – stir in the cultures and keep it warm for 4-8 hours until it sets. You really do have to babysit it – this is why they have yogurt maker machines that you can buy, but I wasn’t about to spend money on a unitasker. I heated the milk to 180° for 10 minutes, then once it hit 115°. I stirred in the yogurt. While it was cooling, I put 110° water in my crock pot, and turned it on warm to keep it there. I put the yogurt in a metal bowl in the warm water, effectively creating a bain marie. There was only one problem – the warm setting on the crock pot is TOO warm! I had to set an alarm anytime it hit 115° and rush in to put in a couple of ice cubes. Needless to say – the batch did not turn out as yogurt, but more like a ricotta. If you go much over 115°, you kill the cultures – what makes yogurt, yogurt. I am going to try to see if I can salvage it today with some salt and make chicken rollatini and ravioli. But anyway – strike two. I fed the leftover whey to my plants, though – at least they get something good out of it.

Take Three: I just couldn’t bring myself to buy the $7 yogurt in the store, so I knew I had to try it again. Farmers Cow – check. Probe thermometer – check. Olivia offered her method of wrapping the warm milk in towels to keep it warm. I also thought about Sofya’s method of sealing it in the oven overnight, and Kris’ method of using a cooler. But given the past two strikes I wanted to keep an eye on this one, so back to the crock pot. This time, I put 110° water in the crock pot and didn’t turn it on. It gradually cooled – I could monitor the water temperature with a probe thermometer – and when it got below 90°, I added some additional warm water – never going over 110°. It sat for about six hours – and really firmed up. I strained it overnight to get the consistency I wanted. I woke up this morning to the most perfect thick, luscious yogurt. Finally! Breakfast was a small cup with the last bit of a jar of apricot amaretto jam from last summer. Perfection.

Homemade Yogurt
One half gallon of milk – your choice
One small individual serving of yogurt – your favorite

Heat milk slowly to 180° on the stove. I find stirring it often helps avoid forming a skin and also avoids burning the bottom of the milk. Leave it between 180-185° for 10 minutes. Let it slowly cool to 110°. While it cools, prepare your slow cooker with 110° water and a metal or otherwise oven-safe bowl (a bain marie). Once the milk has cooled, mix 1/4 cup of it with the individual yogurt, and then milk into the rest of the warm milk. Pour into metal bowl in slow cooker, put probe thermometer in the water in the slow cooker, and monitor. Do not go above 110°, but do not go too low either. Incubate 4-6 hours, until yogurt has firmed. Drain for thicker greek style yogurt. Use the very last bit of this batch to make your next batch. Never buy store-bought yogurt again!

Pesto, in the plural sense.

garlic scapes, of any amount, roughly chopped
a bunch of basil, stems removed, leaves fragrant
a handful of walnuts or pine nuts or such
quite a bit of grated Parmesan cheese
a sensible amount of salt, doubled
and some black pepper
in a food processor
with more olive oil than anything else.
presto
pesto

Source: A Pesto Poem by Tammy Donroe

Garlic Ramp Cashew Pesto. One of about four different pestoes in my chest freezer. What is the plural of pesto anyway?

I make all sorts of pesto during the year. Depending on what I need to get rid of I mean what’s in season, of course. Also a great way to save the flavors of summer for an April Fool’s Day Nor’easter, if you catch my drift.

1 part nuts. Cashews, walnuts, pignolis, pistachios… roast them.
1-2 parts greens. Basil, kale, garlic scapes, broccoli raab, artichokes…
1 part olive oil. Extra virgin, as green and fruity as possible please.
1 part parmesan. Real deal reggiano – accept no substitutes.
Salt & Pepper to taste

Most easily done in the food processor. Roast the nuts for added flavor. I’d love to do it old school with a mezzaluna but a) don’t own one and b) I’m pretty sure my Alaskan (tourist) ulu isn’t quite sharp enough. Chop nuts, remove. Add greens, chop. Add back in nuts. Drizzle with olive oil. If you want to freeze it, add only enough olive oil until it comes together. When thawed add more olive oil and cheese. As always, play with it until you find a balance you like. As you can see, I tend to go light on the cheese and heavier on the nuts. It really is good without cheese – I swear! Best served with carbs, really, but also good with proteins or veg.

Pesto inspiration:
Lunch at Sixpoint’s Arugula Pesto with Almonds
Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream
NY Times Asparagus Pesto
Smitten Kitchen’s Linguine with Tomato Almond Pesto

Options
1. Pizza or pasta. Enough said.
2. + Crusty bread + fresh mozzarella as an appetizer or tapa with a glass of wine.
3. Add extra olive oil and slather on grilled chicken or fish straight off the grill. Cheese optional here.

I’m always looking for new pesto ideas – please suggest some!

Saint Patrick’s Day Sauce

Being born and raised in New England, our March 17th is all about the boiled dinner. Corned Beef, Potatoes, Carrots, (optional) Turnips and Cabbage, all cooked together over many hours. Usually slathered with horseradish or mustard to liven things up. Well why not have both? In my family, its a tradition to make this sauce, and eat it with EVERYTHING on the plate.

How good is this sauce? Well, lets just say I am mildly lactose intolerant and I eat it anyway. Take a look at the ingredients – if that isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.

Saint Paddy’s Sauce
A secret family recipe

2 tablespoons butter
One large container sour cream
One brick cream cheese
Horseradish to taste (anywhere between 2-4 tablespoons)
Spicy Brown Mustard to taste (equal parts to the horseradish)
Additional powdered yellow mustard for color and flavor
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese. Once it is melted, add the rest of the ingredients. We like it moderately spicy – you are serving it with boiled food after all – but you can adjust to your palate. Trust me – totally worth the extra calories and dairy pain.

Forgive the lack of proper picture taking on this one, folks. I barely had enough time to whip up the sauce tonight, and I wasn't cooking, so there was limited opportunity. I do love that this picture could have been taken in 2011 or 1971, though.

I’ve thought many times about making it healthier. It probably doesn’t need the butter. You could sub Greek Yogurt for the sour cream, and not do all of the cream cheese. But every year I crave the nostalgia as much as I crave the taste – and I make it the same way its been made for years in our house. Maybe I’ll play with it next week – when all that leftover corned beef goes on sale.