Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best Potluck in Town!

On short notice my father's family decided to have dinner together.  Since is was spur of the moment we thought potluck would be the best.  That way everybody would be helping and involved.  It definitely turned out to our advantage.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you the menu...

Generous Cheese Plate
Liver Pate
Hot Cheese dip
Five Bean Salad
Thyme Parmesan Crackers
Stuffed Flank Steak
Roasted Pork Loin with applesauce
Chicken Marsala
Aspargus rolled in Proscuitto
Tossed Salad
Pasta Salad
Lemon Coffee Cake
Chocolate Bundt Cake

My Mom and I spent most of the afternoon cooking.  My mom envisioned the stuffed flank steak.  I challenged her to do it based on what she thought would taste good instead of following a recipe.  It paid off big time. 

2 - 2lb flank steaks
1/2 cup of Italian dressing
(we like Ken's Northern Italian)
3 TBS of olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground pepper
1 box of spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
2 tsp of fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

Pound out the flank steaks and marinate in dressing for 3-4 hours.  Heat 1 TBS of olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.  Add the onions, garlic, peppers, and salt.  Once the vegatables have softened add the pepper.  Add the spinach and combine well.  Remove from heat and stir in the bread crumbs.  Use the 2 TBS of remaining olive oil as needed to bring the mixutre together.  It is ok if all the bread crumbs are not moist. Stir in the parlsey and pine nuts. Add half the mixture to each flank steak, covering about 3/4 of each one.  Gently roll the steak around the stuffing.  Secure with cooking twine.  Bake at 325 degrees for 70-75 minutes covered with foil for medium.  Enjoy!

I saw a version of this recipe a week or two ago on 5 Ingredient Fix.  It looked so good and super easy. 

Thyme Parmesan Crackers
2 cups of flour
1 cup of confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup of parmesan, grated
2 tsp of fresh thyme, finely minced
1 cup of unsalted butter at room tempature, sliced
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp of cold water

Place flour, sugar, parmesan, pepper, and thyme in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Add in the butter and pulse until it iresembles the consistency of wet sand.  With the food processor running, add in the water, 1 tsp at time, until the mixture starts to come together.  Pour mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap (it will be very crumbly, don't worry it will come out fine).  Roll into a log about 2 1/2 inches thick and 12 inches long.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Cut into 1/3 inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Cool on a rack.  Enjoy!

My mother has been baking this cake since I was very little.  It is a family favorite!  The original recipe came from a margarine box but my Mom altered it to make it dairy free. 

Lemon Coffeecake
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 TBS plus 2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of margarine, room tempature
1 1/2 cups of vanilla soymilk plus 1 TBS of lemon juice
1 TBS of lemon zest
4 egg whites
3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar
1 TBS plus 1 tsp of lemon juice

Mix flour, sugar, baking pwder, and salt in a large bowl.  Add margarine, soymilk (with juice), and lemon zest; beat until smooth.  In separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, fold into batter.  Pour mixture into a 10 inch bundt pan that is greased and floured.  Bake in a 375 degrees oven for 40-45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan.  In a small bowl combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice, stir until smooth.  When the cake is cooled, drizzle with lemon glaze.  Enjoy!

Lastly,  we made the asparagus wrapped in proscuitto.  It is no big deal to make but I really liked this picture.  Roast the asparagus with pepper and olive oil for 8 minutes at 425 degrees.  Wrap 3 stalks in one piece of proscuitto.  Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for putting the flank steak recipe in.
    That was very good.

  2. it looks like we missed out on some good stuff...but we got ziti


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