Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Put the Blame on James, Boys

Yes, I've been sadly remiss about posting these last few days -- but I have a really good excuse. I'm blaming my grandson James (with apologies to Rita Hayworth in her Gilda role) for the delinquency but please note it is a benign blame. James (see above) has been home on a surprise leave from Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (otherwise known as the Navy) and two of those nights he spent here.

It was great fun and, fortunately, I had whupped up a big batch of Snickerdoodles and an apple cobbler before I even knew he was home. Whew! That means I get to keep my Granny card a while longer. As we sat there at the dining table, talking until the wee hours, James inhaled the cookies and made short work of the cobbler which he artfully topped with whipped cream. Gotta keep that hollow leg of his well packed, don'cha know?

Yesterday I turned the culinary wheel in a different direction and made some soft cheese with a quart of Nancy's Plain Yogurt. Remember that trick? You just plop the yogurt in a cloth or paper towel-covered strainer and let it drain for several hours, then you use it like you would soft cream cheese. Today I decided what I was going to do with at least part of it. I got to feeling the hungries for a spicy sandwich spread to go with a freshly baked loaf of bread and the sliced ham in the fridge.

These are just rough guesstimates as far as amounts are concerned but the mixture went pretty much like this: about a cup each of yogurt cheese and finely grated cheddar cheese and a couple of tablespoons of dried onion flakes, a teaspoon of Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning and 2 tablespoons of ground Brazil nuts. Mixed it all together really well and taste-tested for quality control. That's when the infamous Domino Effect clicked in. You know -- as in "one thing leads to another." Instead of spreading the bread with my mix thus far and then laying the ham slices on it, I decided to run the ham through the chopper and add the ground results to the mix. So I did. Another taste test. Almost just right. Almost.

Aha! Another domino fell. I grabbed a handful of dried cherries and ran them through the chopper and mixed them in with all the other goodies. They turned out to be the perfect tart-sweet complementary accent for the savory ham and cheese combo.

I slathered generous globs of spread over two slices of bread, cut the slices into triangles and laid them out on a pizza pan. Slid them into a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes. Enough time for the bread to nicely toast and the topping to get hot.

I dutifully snapped the above photo and then sat down and ate every single bite of every single triangle. Coffee Mates, that is righteous chow, really. And I'm thinking that filling would be great on crackers or as filling in turnovers or -- oh yeah! -- topping on a big fat baked potato. A glob smacked down on a serving of steamed veggies would be nice, too.

And healthy. Don't forget yogurt cheese is healthy. Just don't tell your grandkids that.


John Bailey said...

Neat photos and story, Dee. And... I'm going to call in at the supermarket on my way today so shall pick up a tube of plain yoghurt. Yoghurt cheese! Whatever next!

kate et jim said...

I'm with John - I've never done that with yogurt before!

Now I've gone and learned my 'one new thing' for today! Thanks!

The Old Guy said...

"A glob smacked down on a serving of steamed veggies would be nice, too."

John... I'm surprised you didn't say you'd be globsmacked by the whole idea.

bonnie said...

Canoe Club, rotfl

I was surprised James had no tattoo. :-) Oh come to think of it Jack the retired Canoe Club doesn't either.

Dee said...

Good on you, John! Be sure to tell us what delightful thing you do with your yogurt cheese.

How 'bout you, Kate? Gonna do it? I just love leading friends astray.

Bill! My mouth was full of coffee when you glob-smacked us with that line!

No tats, Bonnie. Not yet, anyway. At least none he's willing to tell his Grannie about. (grin)