Cheryl’s Cuisine

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

November is a busy month for everyone.  Our thoughts usually turn to the upcoming holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

However,  there’s one day in November that we rarely think aboutVeterans’ Day. This day honors men and women, both living and dead, who have served our country  in the armed forces.  Some of these veterans’ families have lived around the world and formed their own communities of Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force “families.”

My father was a World War II Army veteran, who spent years in the European Theater of Operations.  My niece is a Navy veteran who recently returned from a tour of duty in Italy.  My husband’s aunt and uncle lived throughout the United States and Europe during  his uncle’s career in the Air Force.  While we were growing up we didn’t experience many vacations due to workaholic parents.   

There were day trips either to West Point Military Academy or Gettysburg Battlefield.  Continuing this tradition, this summer we visited Annapolis Naval Academy in Maryland  for probably the fifth time. My first stop traditionally is the gift shop. So this month I’m sharing some favorite recipes from military families.

When you’re shopping for Thanksgiving, buy an extra can of whole berry cranberry sauce for this favorite from Marine Family and Friends:

Cranberry Horseradish Appetizer

1-16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup fresh, minced onion
2 Tbsp. horseradish
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1- 8 oz. block cream cheese
Your favorite crackers

Stir together cranberry sauce, onions, horseradish, sugar and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often.  Simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover and chill. Spoon sauce over cream cheese and serve with crackers.


Fig and Goat Cheese Spread

1 pkg. Black Mission figs
1/2 cup port wine
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 pkg. goat cheese
Toasted baguette slices

Infuse figs with port wine until they are plump, adding more port, if necessary.  In small pan, add olive oil and saute’ the red onions until caramelized.  Add the figs with juice, rosemary and garlic.  Saute’ all until warmed through.  On toast, spread a bit of goat cheese and top with fig mixture.


Pork with Sauerkraut

Pork meats (roast, country ribs, kielbasa, franks, knockwurst or combination of meats)
1 bag sauerkraut
2 chopped apples
1 chopped onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup apple juice

Mix all ingredients well (except meat) and place in oven-proof dish.  Bake sauerkraut a total of four to six hours.  Keep covered for most of the baking time.  Add meats before sauerkraut is done accordingly:  Pork roast, two hours; country ribs, 1 1/2 hours, kielbasa, 1/2 hour knockwurst, 20 minutes; and franks, five to 10 minutes.


Now, from the Navy Lodge:

Burgundy Mushrooms

1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1/3 cup beef broth
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 thinly sliced red onion
16 oz. fresh halved mushrooms

In skillet melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and garlic cooking until smooth and bubbly.  Stir in beef broth; add remaining ingredients.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender.


Broccoli Cornbread

4 eggs
1 onion, chopped
1 stick butter
6 oz. cottage cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped\
1 pkg. Jiffy cornbread mix

Mix all ingredients adding cornbread mix last.  Bake in 400 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes.


Easy Chocolate Almond Pie

4 small Hershey’s with Almond candy bars
20 large marshmallows
3/4 cup milk
1/2 pt. whipping cream, whipped
1 baked pie crust

Melt candy, marshmallows and milk in saucepan.  Do not boil.  Refrigerate until set.  Pour into pie crust.  Chill until ready to serve.


From the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado:

Shrimp Appetizer

2 lbs. shrimp
2 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Progresso seasoned bread crumbs

Rinse shrimp in cold water.  In large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and Old Bay seasoning to a boil.  Add shrimp and stir.  Cover, boiling until bright pink, about 3 minutes.  Drain.  Peel and devein, if necessary.  Melt butter in large skillet until sizzling.  Add shrimp and saute’ briefly.  Put in baking dish.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.  Bake five minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve with toothpicks.


 This dish from the Air Force Academy just screams “autumn”

Braised Red Cabbage with Cranberries

2 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion
1 small head red cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1 cup cranberries
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground garlic

In skillet, heat olive oil and cook chopped onion until soft.  Mix in cabbage and cook about 10 minutes until cabbage is barely wilted.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and continue cooking until almost all liquid has evaporated and cabbage is completely wilted, about 15 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaf.  Serves 4.

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