greens and cheese empanadas

Happy Cinco de Mayo – Empañadas Two Ways

We hosted an early Cinco de Mayo party at our house last night with three other couples: guacamole, flan, tamales and chiles rellenos were brought, and we made (another) flan and empañadas. I made two fillings — a traditional picadillo made from beef, and a greens and cheese one — the latter mainly because we have a vegetarian in our dinner group, but they came out very tasty.

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Extreme Easter Brunch

Extreme Easter Buffet

You’re probably saying, “didn’t he just post about Passover leftovers?” Yup, this atheist gets to host both religions’ spring festivals.  In style.

I’ve always fought to serve something other than ham (I’m not a big fan, and neither was Jesus), and since several of my in-laws dislike lamb, this year I suggested hosting it as brunch.

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Passover Leftover Upcycle: Eggs Benjamin

My sister brought a large-bore, skinless kishke* to Passover on Monday night. There was a lot left.

So take a couple big slices, toast them up in a pan with a little oil. In the same pan, saute a few stalks of asparagus, and fry an egg over easy.

Combine. Sigh. Think how many times you might be able to repeat it without a cardiologist. Maybe a picture next time.


* Kishke, also called stuffed derma, is sort of Jewish polenta, or stuffing, or maybe haggis. It’s poor-man’s food, flour (or matzo meal), broth and beef fat, usually stuffed in a sausage casing and baked. It’s delicious, but not particularly healthful.

Shrimp DeJonghe with Beagle

True love means no restaurants on Valentine’s Day

For many years now, we’ve decided not to fight crowds for “special” (read overpriced and overdramatic) Valentine’s Day menus, and made dinner at home.  Which is why we had Steak ‘n’ Shake the night before.

Often the Valentine’s Day dinner will be lamb chops (Costco’s loin chops the shape of the Great Pyramid of Cheops are a frequent feature)… this year I said, “Wow, it’s been a long time since we’ve had Shrimp DeJonghe.” The point is that it’s a lot more romantic to serve each other.

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