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Second Annual Twin Cities RFC Picnic

Damsel in dis Dress (Carol)

Yes, I wore a dress. Good thing I was covered nearly head to toe, because the sun was working overtime today, and all exposed parts are the approximate color of a ripe watermelon. Minus the seeds.

The picnic was held at a beautiful park, situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, just north of Minneapolis. The temperature was in the 90's, with very little humidity, and a gentle breeze. The sky was filled with butterflies.

If I counted right (I didn't take off my shoes, so anything over ten is an approximation), there were fifteen people and one Dalmation in attendance.

The culinary masterpieces (cough-cough-sputter) that I contributed were presented in a matched set of cranberry Pyrex bakeware that I got free for opening a checking account. As the only person who remembered napkins of any kind (to the best of my knowledge), I was the Hero of the Day with my roll of pristine white paper towels.

I had to leave half-way through the picnic, just as the desserts were being brought out, because my SO was not feeling well. Beth Jarvis was kind enough to bring my lovely cranberry baking pieces home with her and wash them for me. Now I suppose I'll have to wash some of HER dirty dishes! Well, it's only right, I guess.

The people who attended the picnic were so much fun! I'm looking forward to our next get together and seeing everyone again. My tummy is looking forward to it, too!

Thanks for the beautiful memories, everyone!

Spicy Peanut Lo Mein Salad

1/2 cup peanut butter; chunky
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. saki (rice wine)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1-1/2 tsp. hot bean sauce
5 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. fresh garlic; minced
3 tbsp. cilantro (coriander) leaves; minced
16 oz. lo mein noodles

  1. Combine all ingredients (except noodles) thoroughly.
  2. Cook lo mein noodles according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Immediately drain and rinse in cold water.
  3. Gently toss the sauce and the noodles together.
  4. Serve chilled. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top to serve, either in the serving platter, or on individual portions.

Use vermicelli instead of lo mein noodles.
Use creamy peanut butter instead of chunky.
Use 1 tablespoon dried cilantro if fresh is unavailable.
Increase hot bean sauce to 2 tablespoons for a spicier salad.

Yield: 2 qt casserole

Mahogany Chicken Wings

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup plum sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup saki (rice wine)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. garlic; finely minced
1 bunch (about 6) green onions; finely minced
5 pounds chicken wings

  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Cool.
  2. Cut wings at joints, forming "drummies," "sticks," and "tips." Discard tips, or save for making soup stock.
  3. Place wings in a container for marinating (Zip-Loc bags work great for this), then cover with sauce. Refrigerate at least overnight, up to two days. Turn occasionally.
  4. Line two large jelly roll pans with aluminum foil. Coat with vegetable oil or shortening to minimize sticking. Preheat oven to 375F.
  5. Place individual chicken pieces on pans and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove liquified chicken fat and juices from pan. Turn chicken pieces and baste with marinating sauce.
  6. Bake another 20 minutes, turn chicken and baste. Repeat twice more, watching carefully during the last baking cycle, so the sauce doesn't burn.
  7. Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 5 dozen

Chocolate Ginger Lychees

Adapted from the Chinese Cooking Class Cookbook

2 15 oz. cans lychees
2 oz crystallized ginger
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 bar paraffin wax

NOTE: May substitute candied cherries for ginger.

  1. Drain lychees. Place round side up on several layers of paper towels. Let stand until dry, about one hour.
  2. Cut ginger into slivers or tiny pieces. Carefully stuff the ginger inside the cavities of the lychees.
  3. Combine chocolate and wax in a small saucepan or in top of a double boiler over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. When chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and cool slightly.
  4. Dip each stuffed lychee in the melted chocolate, being sure to coat completely. Carefully lift the lychees out of the chocolate and place, round side up, on waxed paper.
  5. Refrigerate until cold. Transfer into bonbon cups for serving.

Yield: About 3 dozen

The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening. In the future, I will replace that with the paraffin wax listed in the recipe above. Within minutes of removing the candies from the cooler, the chocolate completely liquified. It was a terrible mess. The paraffin, which I also use when making chocolate covered cherries, makes the candies less susceptible to temperature and humidity conditions.

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