Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tapas for August 2017

Another month, another Tapas Night. 
Not quite, we missed holding one last month due to extenuating circumstances, but made up for it this month.
It's still summer here and hot as can be, and some people were out of town or otherwise occupied but we still had some great food brought and shared.
I got to share my award winning Crab Cakes with everyone, but didn't get a picture of the finished platter. sigh
I usually miss getting a picture of at least one dish, and this time round, it was mine.
Such is life.
We had some Shrimp on Cucumber Rounds,  I loved it. 
 Hot Corn Dip to be scooped up with some chips.  Sinfully good.
Bang Bang Shrimp, another guilty pleasure.
Bacon wrapped scallops, starting to think it was a seafood kind of night.

But then...The meat showed up.
Bourbon Meatballs, which disappeared, fast.
 More meatballs, and they were tasty
 We also had some Kibbeh ( I think I spelled that right)
 I made some Frikadeller which are Danish Meatballs (the recipe can be found in my cookbook)
 We had a Quinoa salad
 And another Lentil Salad

 Someone usually brings Stuffed eggs, which is always a great idea, cause they disappear fast.

Then more seafood showed up.
Fish Dips are always a popular item here.
Along with crackers.
I had fun putting out a plate of heirloom carrots and radishes and didn't tell anyone what they were.
And since I forgot to take a picture of the platter of Crab Cakes, here's a picture I did earlier. With a generous dollop of Remoulade sauce (which is also in the cookbook  Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes)

There were some desserts as well.
Carolyn has more fun with making frozen trifles and they're always delicious
There was a Pecan Pie

I made some Caramel last week, so I put that out. 
As well as some Mini Muffins.

I've washed and put away the wine glasses, sat down for a much deserved break and am almost ready to go again.
Det var en hyggelig aften med gode venner.
In other words, a cosy evening with good friends. 

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes is released

I'm so excited.  My cookbook came out on Amazon this week., complete with a big misspell right on the description in Amazon. sigh

But the rest is as correct as I could make it.    You can buy either a hard copy, well, it's paperback or get it on Kindle or even just borrow it on Kindle Unlimited and read it. 
You can find it here.
Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook

Inside the book are many of the recipes I grew up not only eating but learning how to make from my mother.
Who was a fantastic cook.
I've also learned a lot from my sisters and my brother who are all great cooks as well.

This is a full color cookbook with pictures of the finished dishes.
I don't know about you, but I like to know what my food should look like when I'm making a new recipe.

I've done some reminiscing here, I grew up on a farm, had a great life and it continues to be a great one.

Here are a couple of pages from the book:
Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook

Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook
Along with some of the many illustrations included.
From my childhood, also a favorite from my adulthood.
Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook
To Denmark's National Dish -
Stegt Flaesk in Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook
And plenty of Christmas stuff, such as these cookies, called Vaniljekranse or Vanilla Wreaths
Vaniljekranser in   Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook

I hope you take a look, and of course buy some. 

 Just released - Nibbles and Bites - A Compilation of Appetizers, Canapes and Finger Foods.  Available as both in book form and as an ebook.  
My cookbook Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes would be a great gift for any foodies in your life. Available as a Kindle e book or in paperback. Autographed copies are also available at the Danish Windmill in Elk Horn, Iowa or on their website.  

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Zuppa Toscana ala Sid for Soup Saturday Swappers

I joined a group called Soup Saturday Swappers a few months ago.  And I've had this recipe on my back burner for awhile now.
Every time I planned on making it, plans fell through or I got busy or... 
Life happened....
Zuppa Toscana ala Sid
I tasted some Zuppa Toscana at a potluck a few months ago,  and fell in LOVE!!!  It was spicy and brothy and yet hearty as well.
I love soup.  I can eat it year round and I do.   Even though it's not that cold outside.
I do live in Florida after all.
This month's theme is Copy Cat Recipes and it is being hosted by Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen.  

And my Copy Cat recipe is Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden,  but I had to put my own twist on it.  There was no kale or swiss chard to be found in my local store. sigh.
I however, had a package of spinach in the freezer.  So I used it.  I also  had a couple of sausages left over from a BBQ we'd attended a couple of days prior to, so they got chopped and added to the soup.
A good soup is all about adding good things to it.
Because I had that lovely sausage, I chose not to add the bacon as I was already getting a lovely smoke bacony flavor. 

Yield: 4 servings

Zuppa Toscana ala Sid

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 40 mins
This is a copy cat soup with my own twist, personally I think it's better than the original.


  • 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage, cooked and sliced
  • 2-4 russet potatoes, cut into large dice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (home made is best)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, tempered
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon + red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using commercial chicken stock)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water


  1. Brown the sausage in the bottom of a heavy pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just translucent. Then add the chicken broth to the pot and stir, adding the potatoes just as the stock comes to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are just done, adding the red pepper and tasting if it needs more. Add cornstarch slurry and stir. Then add the chopped spinach, and bacon and let come to a boil. Take a little of the broth and add to the cream to temper it, take the soup off the heat, and slowly pour in the cream while stirring. Serve immediately. You can always add more red pepper and in fact can add it when browning the meat as well.
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Salmon Cakes with Gravad Lax for #FishFridayFoodies

I've had adventures I tell you, adventures, in and out of the kitchen.   And I'm a little late here with my entry for the Fish Friday Foodies event this month.
Smoked Salmon Cakes
And I'm supposed to be the Hostess?  Sorry...
But I got such a great dish to share with you.
First though, the theme this month was Preserved Fish - Pickled, Canned, Dried or? 
As a Dane I love Pickled Herring, and eat a lot of it.  I also love my dried, or smoked fish as well, and in fact decided to use a favorite in my recipe this month.
Gravad Lax or Cold Smoked Salmon.
We Danes like it draped over hard cooked eggs, on Stjerneskud or Shooting Star, and as a topping on all kinds of open face sandwiches.
But I was wondering how it would be in a fish cake.  I did win (pats self on back and dislocates shoulder), the Crab Cake Cookoff last month, and it gave me an idea.
I had some cold smoked salmon in the freezer and I wondered how it might be if I made it into a fish cake.
Well, I gotta tell you, I think I done hit it out of the park on this one, again.    And best of all, because smoked salmon is so flavourful, you don't need a great deal to make a killer salmon cake.
Smoked Salmon Cakes

Smoked Salmon Cakes

Smoked Salmon Cakes

Smoked Salmon Cakes
If you'd like to join in the fun, just email email Wendy at Fish Friday Foodies.   We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month.   Visit our Pinterest page or our Facebook pager for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Yield: 12-14 Appetizer size cakes

Smoked Salmon Cakes

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 20 mins
These are extravagant, over the top, delicious bites of goodness, perfect for a special occasion. And best of all they won't break the bank, too badly.


  • 2 oz. Cold Smoked Salmon, diced finely
  • 1/2 - 1 cup crushed saltines or oyster crackers
  • 2-4 tablespoons mayonaise, I prefer Dukes brand
  • 2 stalks celery, fine dice
  • 1/4 cup onion, fine dice
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 cup flour


  1. Dice the onion and celery in a fine dice, then saute them in 1 teaspoon each of the butter and olive oil, just til the onion is translucent. Set aside to cool. Separate the egg, beating the white and setting aside. Mix the mayonnaise and egg yolk together. In a separate bowl add the diced salmon, onions and celery together with crushed saltines. Add the egg yolk and mayonnaise mixture to the fish and vegetables and stir together. Fold in the beaten egg white. Form balls the size you want to cook and serve using either a ½ cup scoop or measuring cup. Drop the salmon cakes onto a flat plate containing the flour and turn gently to coat the salmon cakes. Flatten them a little, Sauté the flour coated crab cakes in a mixture of butter and Olive Oil until browned, turn over and brown on other side. Serve with my Remoulade Sauce.
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Thanks for the comments, and pardon me for not replying, but for some reason I'm not able to do so at the moment, new computer and all, I need to figure out the settings again.  But I'm reading them all. 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

First Monday Favorites - August 2017 -8

It's time for First Monday Favorites.

Here's where you share what one recipe you made last month that surprised, delighted and amazed you and that you'll be making again and again.  Not the one with the most views either, but your own personal favorites.
I was missing in action most of July. Between finishing off my cookbook, editing it, and proofing it, and then a long road trip for a family funeral,  which took up half the month, well let me just say, I'm finally back in the kitchen again and there will be some new recipes and posts next month. 

Danish Remoulade Sauce on Crab Cake
In the meantime, here's my favorite from July.   I entered a Crab Cake Cookoff, and won the People's Choice award, woohoo!!!  But it's not the crab cake recipe I'm sharing, I actually haven't posted it yet.  But it's the sauce I made to serve with the crab cakes that I'm sharing.  Cause I'm so making this again and again and again.  In fact I made a special trip to the store to get another head of cabbage so I could.   This is the kind of sauce Danes dream of.   Really, they do.  Danish Remoulade Sauce.
Which goes so good on not only crab cakes, but also on various open face sandwiches and it will also be in my cookbook, Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes, which is coming out in the next couple of weeks.     But I'll tell you more about that in a separate post.
Crab Cake Cookoff First Prize
But the sauce I made for the crab cakes was so good, and people were very insistent that I give them the recipe, I had to use that as my favorite from July.  I made 5 cups of it, and there was NONE left at the end.  Hello, five cups of sauce for about 80 or so mini crab cakes?  Yup, it was gone.  
Now it's your turn. 
What one recipe did you make last month that amazed, delighted and totally blew you away with how delicious it was? 
Share it here. 

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

These little nuggets or bites of deliciousness were the people's choice winner at a recent Crab Cake Cookoff.
In other words, I WON, I WON, I WON!!!!!, second year in a row.  
Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Enough with the jumping up and down.
The Crab Cake Cookoff was to benefit our local Lighthouse, the Crooked River Lighthouse to help rebuild the 'Carrabella'  Pirate Ship which was torched a couple of years ago.  There were 7 fantastic cooks who entered the contest this year, and they were all wonderful.  I only got a chance to sample a couple of the other entries, and they were excellent.  
If you like or even if you don't like crab cakes, you need to try this one out.
At first glance it may look like it's got lots of fillers, and lots of veggies, but they just emphasize the sweetness of the crab.
Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes
I was featured on Miz Helen's Coutry Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.  And I got my second coveted Red Plate Award.

Yield: 8 Crab Cakes
Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

Sid's Lighthouse Crab Cakes

prep time: 30 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 40 mins
This crab cake recipe is moist, delicious and easy to make.  And not only does it taste great, it's an award winning recipe. 


  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced orange pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced (size of a tennis ball)
  • 2-3 stalks celery finely diced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs, separated - Whites beaten til stiff
  • 2 cups crushed oyster and soup crackers
  • 1/2 tsp. White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Israeli Paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp. Gulden's Brown Mustard
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, mixed with 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup ghee mixed with 1/2 cup Olive oil for frying
  • 1-2 cups unseasoned Panko Bread Crumbs


  1. Sauté the onions, celery and peppers in the mixed tablespoon of  butter combined with the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are just translucent. Remove and let cool. 
  2. Take the crab out of the container and place into a large bowl. Using your fingers, gently (and I do mean gently), tease the crab apart and test for shells using your fingers. Crush the Oyster/Soup crackers, not too fine, and add to the crab. Toss very gently to combine. They will soften from the liquid from the crab. Beat the egg whites until almost totally stiff. Set aside while you prepare the rest.
  3.  In a separate bowl, place the mayonnaise, pepper, paprika and egg yolks. Whisk together to combine. Mix in the sautéed peppers, onions and celery.  Fold in the beaten egg whites just until combined. Pour this mixture over the crab and crushed crackers. Using your hands or a spatula, toss gently to mix them together. 
  4. To cook: Form balls the size you want to cook and serve using either a ½ cup scoop or measuring cup. Drop the crab cakes onto a flat plate containing the Panko crumbs and turn gently to coat the crab cakes. Flatten them a little, to form a crab cake. Sauté the Panko coated crab cakes in a mixture of Ghee and Olive Oil until browned, turn over and brown on other side. This takes just a couple of minutes per side. Serve with some of my Danish Remoulade Sauce or your favorite sauce. 
  5. Note: You can make your own Ghee by heating a stick of butter over low heat until melted. Then using a gravy separator pour off the white milk solids and use the clear fat remaining for frying.
    You can also separate the milk solids from the fat by pouring them into a Ziploc bag, suspending it from your cupboard with one of the corners pointing down. Let sit for an hour or two and then just snip the corner of the bag, drain the milk solids out and use the remaining butter for frying. I try to keep some Ghee on hand all the time.
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