Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

It’s kick-off time!  Football fans are raring to go… In our house, everything revolves around Penn State’s football schedule. My husband, a Penn State alum, who played football for Clarks Summit (now Abington Heights) considers game time “High Holy Days” in our house and discusses menus for his snacks as seriously as he does for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Years ago, when we attended games at University Park, he sent me to the college bookstore to look for Penn State cookbooks. Then, we went to the Creamery!!!  

So, in keeping with our tradition, here are recipes from Penn State for Nittany Lion Tailgating:

Beer Cheese

1 lb. sharp cheese
|1 lb. Swiss cheese
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. garlic powder (I use 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I use 2 tsp.)
1 cup beer

Shred cheese and blend with other ingredients.  Age 6 days.  Serve at room temperature with your favorite crackers.

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Seafood Sandwiches

1 cup shrimp, lobster or crab, boiled and chopped ( Note: I boil my shrimp and steam my lobster and crab)
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped and patted dry (optional)
3 oz. softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt
Dill weed
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients. Spread on bread that has had the crust cut off and cut into strips. 

NOTE: I usually sprinkle the mixed ingredients with a little Old Bay seasoning before making the sandwiches.

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Steak Salad

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
2 Tbsp. capers, drained
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 lb. charcoal-broiled steak, thinly sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely sliced
2 hard boiled eggs  (These are optional for me)

Combine salad dressing, capers and mustard, stirring to blend. Add steak and toss with dressing until well coated. Add tomatoes, onion and eggs; gent mix. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

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Chicken Wings

8 chicken wings or legs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp.  ginger, powdered
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 Tbsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. rosemary leaves
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. paprika ( I use 1 teaspoon)

Oil at 13x9x2″ baking dish. Rinse chicken thoroughly. Mix juices and pour over chicken. Mix herbs and spices together and sprinkle over the chicken. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes; remove foil and bake 20 minutes more. Let cool and refrigerate or freeze until ready to pack.

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Bloody Mary

4-46 oz. cans V-8 juice (you can get flavored ones, with black pepper, or Bloody Mary flavored)
1 qt. vodka
1-6 oz. bottle Worcestershire sauce
2 lemons, juice only
1 tsp. celery salt
Tabasco, to taste

Mix together and chill.  Makes 36 Bloody Marys.

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Cauliflower and Stilton Cream Soup

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup water
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, grated
1 quart half &half
1 stick butter
2/3 cup flour
4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. Stilton cheese

Cook cauliflower in water until tender. Drain and mash. Cook other vegetables in chicken broth until tender.  Stir in cauliflower. Add cream and heat until warm, but not boiling. Melt butter and stir in flour. Gradually add to soup to thicken it. Stir in cheeses. If you’d like a totally pureed soup, put all vegetables through food processor before adding the cream.  Serves 8.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: August 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

This month we’re featuring “fresh from the garden” or in my case “fresh from the Farmer’s Market” recipes.  As I walk through the Farmer’s Market in Scranton, I’m filled with amazement at what beautiful vegetables and fruits are available from area growers.  I not only admire their talent at growing, but I’m also in awe of the labor it takes to produce what most of us take for granted.

So, whether you grow your own, or buy as I do, here are some delicious ways to prepare fresh garden vegetables:

BROILED TOMATOES PARMESAN:

4 medium tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Paprika

Cut tomatoes in half crosswise.  Arrange, cut side up, on broiler pan.  Place tomatoes 6″ from source of heat and broil 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cheese, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix well.  Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on each tomato half and sprinkle with paprika.  Broil 1 minute or until golden.  Serve hot.

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BAKED HERB TOMATOES:

2 tomatoes, halved horizontally and seeded
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle insides of tomatoes with salt and arrange, cut side down, on layers of paper towels.  Let them drain for 1 hour. 

In bowl, stir together bread crumbs, onion, garlic, basil, thyme and salt and pepper, to taste and stir in oil.  Arrange tomato halves, cut sides up, in shallow baking pan and divide bread crumb mixture among them.  By the way, tomatoes may be prepared up to this point 4 hours in advance and kept at room temperature.

Bake tomatoes in upper third of oven for 10 minutes or until topping is golden.  Do NOT overcook or they will lose their shape.

NOTE: Once out of oven top them with the following mixture:

5 oz. Parmesan cheese
1/2 onion finely chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dry mustard

Mix above ingredients well and top baked tomatoes.  

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TOMATO AND BROCCOLI BAKE:

2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli, chopped
4 oz. cavatelli or elbow macaroni
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup parsley
1 tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Thaw broccoli, if using frozen.  In large pot, cook pasta, uncovered, in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes; drain.  In 3 quart saucepan, cook onion and garlic in butter.  Add fresh broccoli (if using frozen broccoli, add later), tomatoes, parsley, bouillon granules, salt, oregano and basil.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat.  Cover, simmer 3 minutes. Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  (If using frozen broccoli, add thawed now).  Transfer to 8″ square baking dish.  Bake, covered in 375 degree oven 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes more.

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ZUCCHINI ROQUEFORT SOUP:

3 oz. Roquefort cheese
8 cups chicken stock or broth
4 zucchini (all same size..7 inches), diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 stick butter
1 tsp. thyme
Salt, pepper
1/2 cup flour

In stock pot saute’ onion in butter until translucent.  Add thyme and flour, stirring continuously.   Then add chicken stock or broth.   Whisk vigorously and bring to boil.  Add zucchini; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Crumble in cheese.  Puree’ in food processor or portable blender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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ZUCCHINI “CRAB” CAKES

2 cups peeled zucchini, grated
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. grated onion
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sage
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.  Mix and shape into cakes.  Fry in vegetable oil.  Serve with cocktail sauce.   Note: can also be served as an appetizer.

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ZUCCHINI AND CORN CASSEROLE:

1/2 stick butter
8 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. zucchini, cut into 1/4″ slices
1-16 oz. can kernel corn, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in saucepan and saute’ scallions until soft.  Add zucchini.  Cover and cook until tender.  Do not brown.  Mix in corn.  Pour veggie mixture into greased baking dish.  Sprinkle garlic on top.  Stir cream into eggs.  Add 1/2 of the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Great party dish that goes well with any meat, fish or poultry.

Cheryl’s Cuisine: July 2021

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

As I’m writing this, we’re experiencing the early “dog days of summer” and our air conditioning isn’t working properly.  We’re on a two-week waiting list for repairs and I have fans and open windows in every room.  Right now I’d jump into a bucket full of ice cream.   However, I’m sure my doctors wouldn’t approve!

Today reminds me of a day not that long ago when I was still teaching…teaching in a school without air conditioning.  I left school and drove to Manning’s on Meadow Avenue in Scranton.  

A former student was waiting on customers and when my turn came, I asked her to give me the most refreshing flavor to help me cope with the oppressive heat.  Very confidently, she dished out the Orange-Pineapple Ice Cream and to this day, it remains a guaranteed solution. 

Well, we can’t eat ice cream all day, so we need other ways to keep cool.  In this month’s column we’re looking at family favorite “iced” drinks…both alcoholic and non.  So, get ready for some sweltering days!

Blueberry Shrub:

1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
Ginger Ale

Puree’ blueberries in blender or food processor or pass through a food mill; rub through strainer with wooden spoon.  Stir in lemonade mix; chill in screw-top jar.  To serve, shake well; pour 1/4 cup mixture into glass; fill with ice and fill to top with ginger ale.  

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Champagne Dazzler

6 oz. lemonade concentrate
1 cup orange juice
6 oz. tonic water
6 oz. vodka
2 cups ice cubes
Champagne

Blend lemonade, orange juice, tonic water, vodka and ice in blender.  To serve, pour 1 oz. champagne into each glass and fill with orange juice mixture.  Makes 6-8 servings.

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Orange Julius

1-6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6-8 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Serve in tall glasses.

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Mocha Cooler

1 cup coffee, brewed
1 pint chocolate ice cream|
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Pour coffee into blender.  Spoon in ice cream, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  Blend 10-15 seconds.  Serve immediately over ice cubes in tall glass.

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Frozen Strawberry Daquari

1-6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
6 oz. water
1-10 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries
4-6 oz. light rum
8-10 ice cubes

Put all ingredients into blender except ice cubes.  Blend together and add 2 or 3 cubes at a time.  Mixture should be frozen to a mush.  Serve with fresh strawberry, which has been coated in powdered sugar.

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Lime Slush
This is a great treat to keep in the freezer and use as you need:

3-3 oz. pkgs. lime gelatin
2 quarts boiling water
1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1-46 oz. can pineapple-grapefruit drink
1-46 oz. can pineapple juice
1-12 oz. can frozen lemonade
1-6 oz. can frozen lemonade
3 liters ginger ale

Dissolve lime gelatin in boiling water and cool to room temperature.  Stir pineapple, juices and lemonade concentrates into gelatin.  Freeze mixture in quart plastic containers or clean half-gallon milk cartons.  

To serve, remove from freezer about 3 hours before serving time.  Mix 2 parts slush with 1 part ginger ale.  Note: If you’re in a hurry, defrost 1 quart container of slush in microwave on Defrost setting about 8 minutes.  Makes 6 quarts.

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Orange Swizzle

1-12 oz. can frozen orange concentrate
1-12 oz. can water, chilled
1-12 oz. can ginger ale, chilled
Ice cubes

In blender container, put orange concentrate.  Add water and ginger ale.  Fill container with ice cubes.   Blend just until ice crushes.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6.

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My Favorite Virgin Mary

1-46 oz. bottle or can of V-8 Juice 
1 tsp. horseradish
5-6 shakes celery salt
2-3 oz. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Few dashes of Tabasco

Mix all together in pitcher.  Keep in refrigerator.  Serve chilled over ice.  Note: Now V-8 makes varieties of their vegetable juice with black pepper, spicy, or Bloody Mary mix.  Note:  Sometimes I add 1/4 cup dill pickle juice.  Serve with celery stick garnish.

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Frangelico Alexander

Frangelico
Brandy
Ice Cream
2-3 Ice cubes

Mix Frangelico, brandy and ice cream in blender.  Pour into glass with ice.