Smoked Gouda Bites

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Savory often trumps sweet for little bites of something for any gathering. These goodies remind me of cheese and crackers, almost as simple but with a touch of fancy!  My almost 13 year old granddaughter loves smoked Gouda cheese, so I will make these for her at our next family gathering.

Smoked Gouda Bites

1 9 inch purchased refrigerated pie crust

4 slices smoked Gouda cheese

garlic salt, or your favorite seasoned salt

1 24 count miniature muffin pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Set refrigerated pie crust out for at least 15 minutes prior to preparation. Cut each cheese slice into 6 pieces, making 24. On a lightly floured cloth or pastry sheet, unroll crust then roll out very thin from center, leaving a rectangular shape rather than circle. Using a paring knife, cut  into 24 squares. They don’t have to be perfect squares.  Put squares into ungreased muffin pan, gently pushing down but leaving edges sticking up..  Place in  oven for 3 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and put one small cheese piece into each crust.  Return to oven for 8 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown and cheese is melted.

Remove Gouda bites from pan and serve. These are delicious when they are hot, but serve well at room temperature.

Curried Pineapple

IMG_3483Fresh pineapple is a treat well worth the trouble of slicing and peeling the prickly shell, but canned pineapple slices or chunks can be used for this dish if you are in a hurry or don’t have access to the fresh fruit.  I am not sure why I had never tried spicing it up with curry before, but it is probably because it is so delicious all by itself that fresh pineapple rarely shows up any other way on our table.  I was browsing through my Helen Corbitt cookbook recently and read her commentary on a baked fish recipe in which she recommended serving with fresh pineapple, sprinkled with curry and baked.  That interested me since we love curry on almost anything.  We will definitely add this to our list of sides.  .

Curried Pineapple

Amounts are completely adjustable.  Use as much pineapple as you need to serve!

2 cups pineapple chunks, slices, or spears

1-2 teaspoons curry powder  – I use a mix of Penzeny’s Hot Curry and Sweet Curry

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put pineapple into a buttered baking dish.  Sprinkle with curry.  Over the top scatter dots of butter and dust with brown sugar.  The brown sugar is optional since the pineapple is already sweet, but caramelizes and makes a beautiful dish. Serve hot alongside grilled fish or meats. This is also a surprise treat served in a compote for a breakfast buffet!.

Parker House Baked Turkey Reubens

IMG_3491I love Reuben sandwiches!  Years ago I found a suggestion for making several at a time in the oven with 2 identical baking trays (without sides) and that is the way I make ours now. Although we enjoy corned beef and pastrami for classical Reubens, I now often use sliced peppered turkey.  The sauer kraut that is used is a key ingredient.  I prefer to use raw fermented kraut that is found refrigerated in the grocery store.  HEB now carries delicious raw sauer kraut that has spicy ingredients added that we like.  Think Sriracha and Jalapeno and Onion!  If you don’t like that heat, use a product without it.

Makes 2 sandwiches

2 baking sheets without rims

4 slices Jewish Rye bread

6 thin slices peppered turkey breast

4 slices good Swiss cheese

2 cups sauer kraut, or less depending on your preference for thickness

Be sure to drain and press with paper towel so there is not much liquid.

dijon or brown mustard

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Use 2 identical baking trays without rims.  Heavy ones work best.  Spray with cooking spray or butter the top of  one baking sheet and the BOTTOM of the other baking sheet.  Set the second one aside while assembling sandwiches.  Lightly butter and place 4 slices of rye bread butter side down on baking sheet.  Spread with mustard of your choice.  Place one slice Swiss cheese on each

For each sandwich, place turkey slices on top of cheese,  Put a heaping scoop of sauer kraut on top of turkey and smooth out evenly.  Put the second slice of cheese and bread top on sandwiches.  Now put the second baking sheet on top and press down.  Put into preheated oven.  It helps to press the sandwich if you put a heavy iron skillet on top of the top pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until browned slightly and cheese is melted.   Serve hot with a slice of dill pickle if you want more crunch!  An apple sald is a nice touch, too.

Limeade

IMG_2827In our family, lemonade and limeade rank along with iced tea for cooling drinks.  When our boys were growing up, we lived in the Dallas, Texas area where there were Braum’s  restaurants noted for their great burgers and limeade.  This is one of those copycat recipes for Braum’s limeade. Now, my granddaughters enjoy making tall glasses of the tangy stuff.

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 lime

club soda

ice

cherry/cherry juice (optional)

Almost too easy to call a recipe – make a simple syrup by bringing 1 cup of water and a1 cup of sugar to a boil to dissolve sugar. Let cool.

Cut lime in half and press juice into glass. Add 1/4 cup simple syrup, club soda, and ice. Add cherries or cherry juice if you want a cherry limeade!  Put lime rinds back into glass along with ice.