The JOTW Virtual Potluck update for 27 August

The JOTW Virtual Potluck 27 August

*** From Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR

OK, here's the photos of the Funny Cake, test version

(See the photo at

*** From Susan Burnell, APR:

Thanks Jack & Ned,

The whole virtual potluck menu is wonderfully eclectic. Save me some Moroccan chicken tagine, a slice of pineapple zucchini bread and a couple of Maryland crab cakes. I’ll have to sample that Alaskan Amber too…

Thanks for making a place for the cookies, Jack!



Susan H. Burnell, APR

*** From Deborah Kaufman:

it's not a picnic, at least where I come from in the South, without ribs. Here's the link, and happy Labor Day y'all!!


*** From Michael Heavener:

I have it on good authority (from my friend Jerry, the training director

for the Gold Wing Touring Assoc.) that “Lady in Red” is the cat's meow of


Terri and I will be on vacation and have to miss the virtual fun, so

please sip (gently of this tender blossom) a decant or two on our behalf.

Michael Heavener

*** From Kile Ozier:

Damn, and I'm from Klamath Falls….rather, I escaped from Klamath Falls to pursue my own future, several hundred years ago… I'd love t'be back in Oregon for this potluck; but, instead, will be braving the hordes, out here in the East…

Meanwhile, though, the best Zucchini Casserole, ever:

The Best Zucchini Casserole, Ever

The original amounts of everything are lost to history; and I now do it by “feel”…

Ingredients are:

A Mountain of Zucchini – less than a bushel…

Sharp cheddar (grated) — lots of it.

Grated Parmesan – also lots of it.

One or two eggs, depending on magnitude…three won’t hurt, if you’re making a LOT

Seasoned bread crumbs, the toastier, the better (about two or three cups)

Much garlic — chopped. (that’s where the “lazy chef” garlic comes in handy)

Trust in your own sense of proportion and taste…


Cut the ends off the zucchini

Boil the zucchini

Drain em

Back in the pot in which they were cooked, slice ‘em up, unevenly, by savagely running a knife around, amongst and through ‘em. (this is especially therapeutic after a bad week)

Drain ‘em again.

Drop in the egg and garlic and stir ‘em up…

Add the cheddar and stir

Stir in the parmesan

These two can be alternated until it looks like it’ll taste good or until it actually DOES taste


Stir in the bread crumbs – this should soak up any excess moisture.

Now, it’s a nice, big, mushy, tasty mess.

Put it in the casserole (any size or configuration)

Sprinkle a little more cheddar across the top.

Bake at 375-ish for 30-45 minutes, until hothothot inside and crusty on top.

Eat it.

Call me.

(P.S. It is especially good, the next day, re-heated)

Kile Ozier

*** From Chelsea Marti:

Hi Ned!

I'll be bringing some beet and carrot slaw. A little twist on the original:


*** From Ray Atkinson, APR:

Ned, here's my favorite chicken recipe, an original I'll call Blackened Mesquite Chicken. I have to admit it sounds way too easy to be any good, but trust me, you can't beat it. Plus the prep time is essentially zero.

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts (Pilgrim's Pride, of course:

McCormick Grill Mates® Mesquite Seasoning (

Open chicken package and liberally sprinkle seasoning to completely cover one side of chicken breast. Place coated side face down on hot grill, then cover other side with seasoning. Blacken and turn, cooking to exactly 160 degrees. Remove, serve and enjoy.

Ray Atkinson, ABC, APR

Director of Corporate Communications

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation

*** From Lisa Everitt:

Greetings from Colorado. I'll bring a big vat of posole, which is

pork and hominy stew. There are as many ways to cook it as there are

cooks, but my recipe is derived from “The Fort Cookbook” by the late

Sam Arnold.

Brown three pounds of pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Put in your

crock pot with two big cans of Juanita's hominy (drained), a couple

of chopped onions, a couple of bay leaves, and six tablespoons of

chile rojo. Cover with stock or water and cook all day, until the

pork shreds and the posole have popped. Serve with flour tortillas.

It's border food … a traditional Christmas Eve dish in New Mexico

and Southern Colorado. In Pueblo people add raw veggies (sliced

radish, chopped cabbage, tomato, avocado, fresh onions) to make a

“wet taco.”

Es buena comida, which is Spanish for “good chow.”

See you at the picnic!


Lisa Everitt

Senior Public Relations Specialist

Metzger Associates

*** From Kim Hanson, ABC:


here is my jambalaya recipe. there are a lot of variations and it never comes out the same way twice, but everyone who tries it for the first time bugs me for the recipe, so here it is. Sorry no photo available at this point in time.

Basic recipe:

three boxes of spanish rice mix (I like to use Zatarains but have recently used Stop n Shop's brand as it has vermicelli in it, which is an interesting change of pace).

Follow directions on rice package and make as directed, just slightly reducing the amount of liquid called for – and add in either four large fresh tomatoes, or a 14 ounce can of diced petite tomatoes or if you like your jambalaya spicer, a full jar of your favorite salsa works nicely as well.

Add in some black olives, either sliced, whole or minced. also a 14 ounce can of beans – we prefer either black beans or dark pinto beans, but use what you like. Mix in about four or five dashes of tabasco as all the liquid cooks, or a very small amount of crushed red pepper flakes.

while the rice is cooking, either grill or pan roast your meats – we add a whole full link/round of chorizo sausage but any regional sausage is good (note to A in Copenhagen, here is where you can add all those meats you are smokin across the pond….). We also add grilled chicken and/or steak tips as well. The meat should be added about half way through the rice cooking and you should plan on a half pound of each. Note: if you are not grilling the meat (sometimes hard to do in the winter up north) – then pan fry but coat meats with flour and salt and pepper first to keep them moist.

If we are having guests who can tolerate seafood, then some parboiled shrimp and/or cleaned fresh clams are added in the last five to ten minutes of cooking. We also like to add corn – either fresh cut off the cob, or (in the winter) Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn. The sweetness and crispness are a nice complement to the spicier items.

other items you can add in include diced red or green peppers, or jalapenos – it depends on you and your guests tolerance for spiceness – we like to make it different every time.

Enjoy – this is a great pass around dish – also great for buffets – and tastes even better the next day.

Kim A. Hanson, ABC – Fairfield CT and South Kingstown, RI

*** From Shelley Gillespie:

Hi Ned –

I'm contributing my Three Bean Salad which receives rave reviews from

family and friends.

(Be sure to have Beano along if you have concerns with beans.)

Three Bean Salad

1 can each of: green beans, white beans (garbanzo, Great Northern,

etc.) and red beans (kidney or other)

2 scallions

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp of tarragon (dried or fresh)

1/4 cup of vinegar (Balsamic preferred)

1/2 cup of olive oil

Squirt or two of fresh lemon or lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Drain all of the beans and place in large bowl (preferably with a lid)

Add remainder of ingredients, stir gently.

Place in fridge for an hour or more to let flavors soak in.

Stir before serving.


Note: Feel free to adjust quantities to personal preferences. The

quantities can easily be multiplied for larger crowds.

Always have twice as much oil as vinegar and you're good.

Happy Labor Day!

Shelley Gillespie

*** From Jill Anderson:

Hi Ned

I would like to bring Orzo with Broccoli, Feta and Olives to the Labor Day Virtual Potluck. I'm looking forward to it!

Recipe follows….

Orzo with Broccoli, Feta and Olives:

1 1/2 C. Orzo

1 bunch Broccoli, cut into florets

1/4 C Olive Oil

3 Tbs Pine Nuts

1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

3/4 C Feta cheese, Crumbled

1/2 C Parmesan Cheese

1/4 C Fresh Basil, minced

1. Cook Orzo in Boiling Water until tender, but firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli and cook about 2 minutes more.

2. While Orzo cooks, heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add Pine nuts and stir until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

3. Drain Orzo and broccoli and transfer to a large bowl.

4. Pour Olive oil/Pine nut/Red Pepper mixture over Orzo and toss to coat.

5. Add feta, olives, basil, parmesan and toss gently. Serve warm.

* Note: this dish is also delicious at room-temperature and thus makes an excellent contribution to a Potluck.

Best, Jill

*** From Shonali Burke, ABC:

Here's my contribution – Shonali's Unbelievably Easy Chicken Tikka Kebabs, though you can use turkey or any other meat you prefer. This also works great with “paneer,” the Indian cottage cheese that many vegetarians love. Ang the best thing about this dish is that it goes with practically everything! – this is not a photo of my recipe, but it's close enough.


For every 1/2 kg of meat:

1 1/4 cups low- or non-fat plain yoghurt

1 heaped teaspoon ginger paste

1 heaped teaspoon garlic paste

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Note: for the ginger and garlic pastes, you can either make 'em from scratch or, if you don't feel like it, just use the bottled stuff – it works great!

Cut the meat into bite- or kebab-size pieces. Stir the yoghurt well with a spoon so that it is completely smooth, then add in the rest of the spices. Once the marinade is well-mixed, add the meat, mix well, cover and refrigerate (the longer the better; if you can refrigerate upto 24 hours, that will be excellent).

To prepare: you can either bake or broil these (and of course, you can always grill them over an open fire as well). If baking, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread meat pieces on a prepared, lined baking sheet/tray, shaking off as much of the yoghurt marinade as you can. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. If broiling, broil on high for 10 – 15 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through.

Serve hot, adding sliced red onions, tomatoes and lemon on the side… and enjoy!

*** From Jocelyn Canfield, ABC:

Ned, this sounds like a couples/family sort of event, and since I am

officially a KISSS, I was wondering if it would be ok to bring my dog

as my date?

For a dish, I would have to bring the peach upside down cake. People go

weak at the knees and lick their plate in public with this one…

Peach Upside Down Cake

Step 1 – Topping

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 c light brown sugar

2 T. nut liqueur (frangelico or amaretto)

2 15 oz cans peaches in juice (drain juice and reserve)

2/3 c. chopped nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Spray two 9-inch cake rounds

3. Mix butter, brown sugar and liqueur, divide and spread to cover the

bottoms of both pans.

4. Arrange peach slices over the bottom of pans and sprinkle with nuts

(if desired) Sometimes I cut the peach slices in half so they aren’t so


Step 2 – Cake

1 box (18.25 ounces of WHITE cake mix

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

1 c. sour cream

3 egg whites

1/4 c. nut liqueur (frangelico or amaretto)

1/2 c. reserved peach juice

1. In a mixing bowl beat cake mix, melted butter, sour cream, egg

whites and 1/2 c reserved peach juice on low for 30 seconds. Increase

speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down

sides of bowl.

2. Divide batter between prepared pans, being careful not to move peach


3. Bake at 350 for 4520minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

4. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.

5. Run a knife around the edge of cakes. Carefully invert each cake

onto a plate and remove pan.

6. Serve warm or at room temperature. Warm, of course, is better.

Jocelyn Canfield, ABC

*** Jack responds:

Ned –

Of course Jocelyn can bring her dog! My two – an oversized lab/rott cross with a lab personality and a rott's weight, and a dustmop low-to-the-ground-hound of a pomeranian – will show her pup where to find water and how to avoid skunks. This is great dog country! (Hey, look at me…)

Walk in Peace – Jack

*** From Kathy McHale:

Potluck is shaping up nice, but we need some dessert, so I'm bringing a big bowl of my peach cornbread trifle. Immodestly, I have to tell you that it's been known to make grown men tear up with joy, especially if they come from the South or grew up on a farm. Here's the recipe:

2 pounds very ripe peaches

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound cornbread either store-bought or homemade

Score the bottom of peaches with an “X.” Remove the skins of the peaches by dropping them in a pot of simmering water for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the peaches, set aside to cool in a bowl of ice water and then peel off the loosened skins. Remove the pits from the peaches and then finely chop the flesh. Put the chopped peaches in a bowl.

Pour the cream into a large mixing bowl. Add a 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla extract. Whip into soft peaks.

Cut the corn bread into thin slices. Layer the bottom of a clear glass trifle or other serving bowl with a third of the cornbread. Add a third of the peaches on top of the cornbread and then a third of the whipped cream on top of that. Repeat the layers two more times and crumble the final layer of the cornbread on top.

Refrigerate and serve cold.

I've been known to experiment a little with this….sprinkle some peach schnapps over the cornbread….use brown sugar in the whipped cream instead of white…add a few perfectly fresh red raspberries….

Can't wait!

Kathy McHale

*** From Robert Holland, ABC:

I'm bringing the tomatoes for Ken Frager's Maryland Crab cakes. But I'm not bringing just any old tomatoes. I'm bringing Hanover tomatoes, the juiciest, sweetest tomatoes in the world, named after my home county in Virginia. Just to show you it's not just Hanover natives who say Hanover tomatoes are the best, here is proof (in words and a picture) from a New Orleans-based blog:

Robert J Holland, ABC

*** From Danielle Earls:

Hi Ned –

I am a big fan of the JOTW week, however, this is my first contribution to the community. It is always much easier to introduce yourself when food is involved!

For the potluck, I would like to bring Crab and Spinach Dip. Crab dip is a Maryland tradition and spinach is always a great addition. I enjoy serving it with wheat thins but it also goes great with vegetables, pita chips or tortilla chips.


Danielle Earls

Crab and Spinach Dip

1 frozen package of creamed spinach

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

1/3 cup of parmesan cheese

1 8oz container of crab meat

Dash of hot sauce

Old Bay to taste

Thaw creamed spinach in microwave for 5-6 min on 50% power. Combine thawed spinach, cream cheese, and mayo until smooth. Fold in cheese and crab meat. Add hot sauce and Old Bay as desired. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

*** From Jill Parker:

“What a fascinating idea. I'm coming. Will bring the makings for s'mores.”

*** Jack Duggian is cooking up some buckeyes:

Ned –

Here's what I'll bring to the table. Family favorite, particularly over the winter holidays.

NOW – once I fire up the grill (we'll be using manzanita for full flavor), who's bringing the chicken/dogs/burgers/steak/etc. My bride will grill up some asparagus, zucchini, onions and whatever else is fresh at the local market(s).

Walk in Peace – Jack


1 cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

1½ cup crushed graham crackers

1 lb. powdered sugar

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix thoroughly in large bowl

Roll into balls

Refrigerate 4 hours

Blend in double boiler

½ block paraffin wax with 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Dip balls in chocolate coating and set on wax paper to firm.

Keep in refrigerator until ½ hour before serving.

*** More from Jack:

Ned –

Here's a shot of the picnic area, and our official greeter, the Little Man. We'll hang some streamers and make the area look as good las it did last year when we hosted 60-some folks for a big birthday bash. And yes, the tables are level, though it's tricky seeing level in these granite hills.

(See the Little Man photo and picnic site at

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