Current Menu:

Apple Crisp
Asian Turkey Burgers
Beer Pancakes
Beer Crust Pizza
Beer Cheese Dip
Biscotti (Jane's)
Bill's Swedish Pancakes
Bread Pudding
Brie/Pesto Pizza
Caramel Pecan Rolls
Cheesy Crostini
Chicken Almondine
Chicken Wild Rice Salad
Chunky Chili
Corn Bread Casserole
Cucumber Pickles/Relish
Dill_Pickles (Mardill Pickles)
Duck ala Duct Tape
Family Secret Dressing Recipe
Feta Cheese Dip
French Onion Soup
Flourless Peanutbutter Cookies
Fish Stew
Grilling Hint
Grilled Salmon Secret
Ham Balls
Hot Artichoke Dip
Ice Cream
Julie's Crazy Cake
Krissie's Kowboy Kaviar
Oatmeal Cookies
Pesto (Kelly's Pesto)
Pollo Versatile
Potato Pancakes
Red Ants on Logs
Salmon Omlete
Sherrie's Velveeta Sliders
Smoked Salmon Spread
Swedish Cream (dessert)
Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Soup
Whiskey Burger
White Chili
Wild Oatmeal
Wild Rice Casserole
Zesty Carrots
Hey, Jim and Tim here.
We are no strangers to the kitchen!
Heck no!
We LOVE to eat!
So, we thought that we’d share a few of our favorite recipes with you. Most are easy-to-prepare. Not all of these require duct tape, but all have been tested and approved by the Duct Tape Guys.

So, belly up to the table and enjoy our Duct Tape Cuisine!

food video menu:

How to Peel and Mince Garlic using Duct Tape

How to create a Footlong Hot Dog using Duct Tape

WATCH Jim and Tim Cook at the Macaroni Grille Challenge, Tucson, AZ.

Sorry about the pun. (not really)

This is a recipe that we nabbed from a French Café in Minneapolis in the 1970s. It has been our benchmark for what constitutes good French Onion Soup ever since. The restaurant no longer exists, but, fortunately for you, this recipe does. It's nasty rich and tasty! This, a side salad and sorbet is all you need to impress your guests.

3 sticks butter
4 large yellow onions
Sautee chopped onions in butter until onions are clear (not browned).
Add: 2 bottles BV brand (beef concentrate)
2 cans Beef Boullion
6 cups water
Dry Sherry
to taste (we use approx. 1 cup)

Simmer until the flavors have melded then ladle the soup into in tureens and top with two toasted french bread slices (or croutons).

Top with shredded swiss cheese* (mound it up high - it will melt down).

Place bowls under broiler until cheese has melted down and is slightly browned. Serve bubbling hot.

This will serve four to eight people (depending on if you have Jim eating with you or not).

Hint: Refrigerate your onions before cutting to cut down on the tears.

*Provilone works well, too.

Duct Taped Coffee Can Ice Cream
from Everybody Loves Ice Cream © by Shannon Jackson Arnold
(Emmis Books,2004) Used with permission.

A great way to occupy the kids; they'll love getting involved in making their own ice cream. If the cans are tightly sealed, they can even kick the can back and forth.

Makes About a Pint

1 11.5-13 ounce coffee can
1 34.5 ounce coffee can
3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 pounds crushed ice
3/4 cup rock salt
Duct tape

1. Whisk sugar and milk in a bowl until completely dissolved. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour mixture into smaller coffee can until 75-percent full.
Seal can securely by placing duct tape around edges of lid.
2. Put smaller coffee can into larger can. Place a one to two-inch layer of crushed ice in the bottom of larger coffee can, then add about 1/4 cup of salt. Continue to alternate layers of ice and salt until you reach the top of the larger can. Seal the larger can securely by placing duct tape around edges of lid.
3. Roll, or kick, the can back and forth for 10 minutes.
4. After 10 minutes check on the ice cream mixture. If it's not frozen enough, scrape down the sides and reseal. If necessary, drain water out of larger can, and add ice and salt as necessary to refill can. Reseal and roll can for another five minutes or so.
5. Once mixture has the consistency of soft serve, scoop out of can and enjoy. If a firmer consistency is desired, ripen in freezer for two hours before eating.

Note: Dispose of salt and ice solution outside, away from grass or tender plantings.

Be sure you visit Shannon's "cool" web site and buy the book!

Flourless Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

These are so simple, you’ll laugh. But they’re GREAT!

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup sugar
36 chocolate kisses

Mix first three ingredients together and shape into 3/4" balls (cover your hands with duct tape first to ease your clean-up). Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the top of each cookie (unwrap the kisses first). Let cool. Makes about three dozen.

The best I've ever tasted - and I've tasted quite a few... The first thing you need is the right apple - I like Haralsons the best. They are a bit tart and hold up when cooking (they don't turn to mush).

Butter the surface of a 9" by 12" pan (glass works best)
Fill with six to eight peeled, cored and sliced apples.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1/3 cup water. Drizzle this over apples.

Sprinkle about 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon over the top of apples (or more to taste).

Soften 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
mix to a crumbly consistency with:
1 1/4 cup flour and 1 1/2 cup sugar
Loosely cover the apples with mixture.

Bake 350° for 40 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream or plain old vanilla ice cream (or a slice of cheddar cheese like Grandma used to).

A close second childhood favorite of Tim's (now pulling into first place as the favorite dessert to try at various restaurants when traveling) is Bread Pudding. This recipe is from Tim's grandma via his mom. The toppings and additives can vary as widely as your imagination. enjoy!

2 cups bread (torn or chopped into cubes)
4 cups milk - scalded (brought almost to boil)
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla
add raisins, cherries, apples, walnuts, etc. as desired

soak bread in scalded milk until soft

in a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until light
stir in the rest of the ingredients
mix in soaked bread

pour mixture into a greased baking dish which is set in a larger pan of hot water
place both into a 350° oven for one hour or until a knife comes out clean
(Tim's mom reminds him at this point that this is NOT the way to clean your knives.)
serve warm or cold with sauce of choice
serves 6 to 8

Hard Sauce:
1 stick of softened butter mixed with
1 cup of powdered sugar
add a bit of cream to desired consistency.
Optionally add 3 T rum, brandy, or vanilla for flavor

Lemon sauce:
1 lemon (rind only -- grated)
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup water

Cream together the butter and the sugar in a double boiler. Add the egg and the lemon rind, stir frequently. Cook for a few minutes while stirring. Add enough water to reach desired consistency.

Pour the lemon sauce over the bread pudding just before serving. This is best served warm.

This recipe can be made with ground pork also, but we prefer ground turkey for dietary reasons.

3 lb. ground turkey
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 egg
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
(Try to find Soy Vay - it's great!)
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Tablespoon Five Spice Powder
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Mix all this together in a large bowl - just stick your hands in there and mush it around until it's all mixed in. Form into patties and fry in a pan over medium high heat until cooked through.

Serve on a Wheat Bun (best compliments the flavor) topped with Asian Coleslaw.

Asian Coleslaw:
chop up about two cups of cabbage (red makes for a colorful plate)
mix with 1/2 to 1 cup of mayonnaise
add 1 teaspoon of five spice powder

Makes eight to twelve patties depending on how large you make the patties. Serve on a duct tape lined paper plate to avoid coleslaw juice leak-through.

Here is Tim's sister-in-law's recipe for a feta-cheese dip that she guarantees will bring rave reviews. This is a sure-bet for summer entertaining:

Marina's Feta Cheese Dip

1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. minced scallion
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, plus some more
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram or oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste (optional)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste (optional)

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Serve with bread, crackers, vegetables or cover and refrigerate
for up to a day.

Being from Wisconsin, we love our brats! Tim's favorite method of cooking them is to cook them slowly covered in beer and then finishing them off on the grill to give them a nicely browned and smokey flavor. Tim's brother, Dan, prefers to grill them raw basting them with beer while they are being grilled (he swears it's "The German Way"). Jim prefers Tim's method only he adds lots of onions to the beer mixture and returns them to the beer and onions on the stovetop after grilling to keep them hot and flavorful. What's your favorite method? Let us know and we may add it to our recipe file.

Your RECIPES: The absolute best way to cook brats is inside a pig. A friend of mine has a pig roasting business, and he stuffs the pig with brats before roasting it. They are always the best brats you will ever eat. - Jonderson

Tim grew up eating these things hot from the oven, loaded with melted butter and a glob of strawberry preserves. Of course you can eat them plain, or stuffed with chick ala king, as a side to prime rib au jus (aka Yorkshire Pudding). However you eat them, they're good stuff. Thanks to Joyce for the recipe.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 T melted butter

Beat 1 to 2 minutes

spray popover pans (heavy cast iron muffin pan or specially made popover pans) with non-stick spray and preheat pan for 1 to 2 minutes
put small amount of butter in each pan (optional)
bake 425° for 20 minutes reduce oven heat to 325° and continue baking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes

makes six popovers - double for twelve

The perfect way to impress overnight guests and give them a heart-healthy start a the same time.

Ever bored with plain old oatmeal, Tim has taken to adding good stuff to a basic oatmeal recipe.

It's easy! While you are cooking your oatmeal (according to package directions) just add chopped (peeled) apples, walnuts or pecans, raisins, shredded coconut, wheatgerm, a dash of cinnamon and whatever other suitable ingredients you think of. It turns a boring bowl of mush into a hot gourmet breakfast that would be proudly served at the finest B&Bs. To top it off the "Wild Oatmeal" try real Maple Syrup or honey.

Here's a recipe from Jim’s sister and Tim’s wife (yes, one in the same). A favorite of everyone who sticks a fork into it.

crazy cake (a no egg recipe)
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6T cocoa (1/3+ cup)
1t salt
3/4 cup oil
2T vinegar
2 cups cold water

mix dry incredients in a 9 by 12" pan
make three holes - into one pour oil, another vinegar and the third vanilla.
Pour cold water over the top and stir until mixed.
Bake 350 degrees check at 30 minutes - up to 40 minutes - check with a toothpick poke (when it comes out clean, it's done).

FFFFrosting (aka BGC Frosting)*
1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 t salt
Boil one minute or so and remove from heat - add 1 teaspoon vanilla - STIR off of heat while it cools and thickens.

*You may be tempted to eat this alone as fudge or spoon it warm over ice cream with a handful of chopped walnuts tossed on top.

This recipe was originally called Asian Peanut Spread. We used it at a gallery opening. It was an interesting spread on rice crackers, but was kind of messy for guest to prepare for themselves - so here's an afterthought recipe idea - a little twist on the old childhood lunch snack, "ants on a log." Since this recipe is rather spicy hot - we added the Craisins (dried cranberries) and called it Red Ants on a Log.

Asian Peanut Spread (to spread on Rice Crackers)
2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons lemon juice (more as needed)
1/4 fresh cilantro
1" piece of peeled fresh ginger
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dried pepper flakes
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 3/4 cup chunky natural peanut butter

Combine all ingredients (except peanut butter) in a food processor or chop into fine bits. Stir and mash into peanut butter. Best at room temperature.

Red Ants Version
Spread on sticks of celery and top with Craisins (dried cranberries) or dried cherries. Wanna make 'em extra hot? Give the finished sticks a light dusting of cayenne pepper.

Jackie's Beer Cheese Dip
We had this for the first time at an art crawl and held the artist hostage until his wife revealed her recipe. Thanks, Jackie. We couldn't have taken one more hour with Ernest.

2 Cups Cheddar Cheese-Shredded
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
12-pack of Beer of your choice* (1/3-1/2 Cup of which you add to the mix to create a consistency you prefer)
Chopped Green Onion
Extra Cheddar Cheese

Combine Cheddar Cheese & Cream Cheese and Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix. Add Beer until desired consistency is reached. 12 oz. can will get you a nice chip dip consistency. Garnish with Green Onion and Cheddar Cheese. Serve with pretzels, corn chips or vegetables (or just dip in your finger, pull out a big glob and pop it in your mouth.

*The eleven additional beers are to assist the cook(s) while stirring and serving the dip.

This is Julie and Tim's famous Chunky Chili Recipe from the 80s! It can be made with just ground beef, but the recipe calls for stew beef and pork sausage, so you get to choose...

Fabulous Chunky Chili
makes 16 servings

4 T veg. oil
3 t cumin
2 large onions
1 T  oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (1-lb) cans baked beans
4 lbs. lean stew beef, cut in small cubes
2 t salt ( to taste. this may be heavy on salt)
3 lbs. pork sausage
(we always use Jimmy Dean's sausage - sage adds a nice flavor)
2 t sugar
2 (1-lb. 12 oz.) cans whole tomatoes
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
2 (15-oz) cans kidney beans, drained
3 T chili powder( or to taste)
1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained

Heat oil and saute' onion and garlic until soft, but not brown. Add beef and sausage. Cook until brown; pour off fat.Add liquid from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes. Add to meat mixture with tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, baked beans, salt, sugar, and cocoa powder. 

Simmer partially covered 2 hours stirring often. If too dry add water. Stir in kidney beans and pinto beans. 
Cook 30 minutes longer or until meat is very tender.

Serve with grated cheddar, diced onions and sour cream for toppers. Also, we usually serve this with the "Nasty Good" corn bread casserole (recipe below). Be ready to be asked for these recipes!

Nasty Good Corn Bread Casserole
This is fantastic with chili! I don't think we've ever served it without someone asking for the recipe. Well, here it is:

2 large onions, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 (17 oz) cans cream-style corn
1 (1 lb.) package cornmeal muffin mix
1/2 pint (1 cup) sour cream
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F
Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish
Sauté onion in butter (or margarine) until golden brown
(set onion aside)
In a medium bowl, mis eggs and milk until blended.
Add corn and muffin mix (we use Jiffy brand)
Mix well.
Spread corn bread batter into the prepared dish.
Spoon sautéed onion over the top.
Spread sour cream over onion. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake 35 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
May be refrigerated or frozen and reheated.
Makes approx. 16 servings.

Zesty Carrots
These ain’t yo mama’s carrots... Well, actually, come to think of it, they ARE Tim’s mom’s carrots. And they’re a dang tasty way to get anyone to eat their vegetables... we usually truck this one out around the holidays as a pot luck offering. They’re carrots with a zing!

6 to 8 carrots - quartered in sticks about 2 inches long or so... Steam carrots until tender but not soggy.
Mix together:
1/4 cup water or liquid from carrots
2 Tablespoons of grated or finely minced onion
2 Tablespoons of horseradish
(better if straight horseradish, not the cream style)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Put carrots in a 9x12 buttered baking dish.
Pour mixture over carrots
Mix 1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and distribute over top of carrots. Dust with paprika.

Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Easy Cucumber Pickles
If you're like me (and I know I am), you buy cucumbers with all good intentions of eating them, then you find them about three to four weeks later growing a furry white and blue beard in the produce drawer. Here's an easy little recipe that will turn those cukes on the edge into tasty sweet and sour bites (or chop up into a nice little relish).

2 Cucumbers
skin (optional) and slice into quartersand de-seed by running a spoon gently along the seed bed
cut into 1/2" chunks
in a bowl mix:
1 cup Japanese unseasoned rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 piece (one inch) fresh ginger finely chopped*
dill weed to taste (start with about 1/8 tsp)

Add cucumber chunks and toss together with vinegar mixture. Cover bowl and set aside for 30 minutes - or, for a more infused flavor refrigerate for seven days.

Improvise! You can add hot peppers, red or green peppers, onion slices, tomateos, fresh beans, etc. to the mix for a more interesting relish.

*I like to buy candied ginger - it keeps longer and is fun to nibble on as a little snack. It also helps if your stomach is "off." It's great to slice up into stir fries, curries, etc. and keeps forever. If you prefer fresh ginger root, peel the root and place in a jar of sherry. Put this in the refrigerator and it will keep the ginger root from molding.

How to save bad pickles
My Aunt Mardelle had a way of taking an ordinary dill pickle and turning it into something that I always looked forward to finding on the Thanksgiving and Christmas feast table. I call them "Mardill Pickles." It's such an easy recipe and is a great way to use up those left over dill pickles from the family reunion or company holiday party. - Tim

1 Quart of Dill Pickles (preferably not garlicky)
cut up into chunks and toss with
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp celery seed

That's all there is to it! Let the flavors meld in the fridge for a few days and you've saved an otherwise boring dill pickle - converting it into a tasty "Mardill Pickle."

Quick and easy potato pancakes from our friend, Jane. We suggest serving them with apple sauce and a good smoky bacon.

Into a blender, put:
1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 small onion, sliced/chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder

And (to add in a bit):
2 1/2 cups raw diced potatoes

Blend until all ingredients (except potatoes) until smooth. Then with blender running on a medium speed, add the raw diced potatoes. Blend for three or four seconds so as not to over-puree them!
Bake on hot, greased griddle. Make the cakes 4/5 inches in diameter to be able to handle easily.
Makes about 12 to 14 cakes - serving three or four people (or Tim).

Here's another recipe from our friend Caroline. It's crazy good - and would be perfect for a summer picnic (though we had it during a late fall gathering with squash soup and it was danged tasty then, too!).

(Dressing) Combine and set aside:
1 1/3 cup mayo
2/3 cup half and half
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon

In a large bowl stir together:
6 cups cooked chicken breast, but into bite-sized pieces
6 cups cooked wild rice
1 bunch finely chopped green onions (or to taste)
2 cups of sliced celery
1 cup dried cranberries

Stir in the dressing and refrigerate for a few hours.

Before serving, fold in 1 cup salted cashew pieces and two cups of halved seedless green grapes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Taragon Chicken Salad Note: If you aren't into making this entire salad and dealing with the wild rice, Ina Garten has a great hint for making stand-out Chicken Salad for a Sandwich or served on lettuce. Her recipe is rather basic to any chicken salad, but she adds some taragon to the mix - and it makes ALL the difference. Try it sometime!

One of Tim's favorite childhood memories was spending time at his grandparents house. Grandma would always bring out some freshly baked cookies and milk when it was time to take a break from building something down in Grandpa's shop. These cookies were his favorite.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening (we use butter - grandma probably used Crisco or something like it)
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups coconut
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour

cream sugar and shortening
add eggs, vanilla, oatmeal and coconut
the add the flour sifted together with the rest of the dry ingredients

Roll in balls and press out with a fork (will flatten more when baking).
bake in a 350° oven until slightly brown around the edges (about 10 minutes or so)
cool on cooling rack


Fresh Veggie and Bean Salsa Dip
Tim's sister Kris came up with this amazing concoction!
Grab yourselves some Tortilla Chips, a cold beer or margarita and scoop up these little bits of heaven.

1 each green and red pepper - chopped
1 red onion - chopped
3 stalks of celery - chopped
mix with:
1 small can of chopped jalapenos
1 can of white shoepeg corn
1 can each of black bens, blackeyed peas and pinto beans

(bring to a boil and then cool before pouring over mixture above)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients, cool in refrigerator, pour off excess liquid and serve with corn chips or scoops.

Duck ala Duct Tape
Chef Joey Altman of San Francisco actually prepares baked duck encased in duct tape! - This is such an involved recipe that we devoted a whole page to it (with photos of us helping Joey prepare it). Click here.

Duct Tape Guys' Cooking Videos:
How to Peel and Mince Garlic using duct tape.

Create a footlong hotdog using duct tape.

Much Ado About Burgers
For a long time we have been adding ingredients at random to ground beef to make some killer burgers.
With the ground meat we've mixed beer, eggs, worchestershire sauce, garlic cloves, red wine, crumbled bacon, onions, all sorts of cheeses, olives, mushrooms, whiskey, brandy, apples, BBQ sauce... the list goes on. Here is our current favorite:

The Duct Tape Guy's Whiskey Burgers
Mix 2 to 3 pounds of ground beef (I like ground sirloin) with a couple of healthy splashes of whiskey - probably about 1/8 cup.
Chop up four to six cloves of garlic into little chunks (not finely minced) - and let it breath for a bit - this brings out all of the medicinal properties of the garlic (if you care). Chop a small onion into about 1/8 inch bits. Mix whiskey, garlic and onions into meat. Sometimes I'll add an egg and some bread crumbs to stretch out the mixture a bit, and add a few shakes (no, I don't measure) of Lawry's Cracked Black Pepper Seasoning Salt. Get your hands in there and mush it around. Form into patties and grill to your liking. Use a good hard roll or Kaiser roll instead of those flimsy hamburger buns.

GRILLING HINT: Nothing flavors up a gas grill better than some wood chips (use apple, pine, cherry, mesquite, oak, whatever...). Soak the chips in water or wine for a half hour or so before grilling and then drain off the liquid. Place the damp chips a little cast iron pan perched on top of the gas burners under the grilling surface. By the time your grill heats up, the smoke from the woodchips will add a nice light smokey flavor to whatever you are grilling. A charcoal purist might cringe at the thought of grilling with gas, but since we've added the wood chips to our gas grilling we have NEVER missed the wait, the mess, or the flavor of charcoal.
The Duct Tape Guy's Grilled Salmon
Jim and I travel a LOT and eat at a LOT of great restaurants. I often order salmon when it's on the menu, but I have NEVER come across a better grilled salmon than what I cook at home. This is so incredibly easy - but SOOOOO good - it melts in your mouth like butter! When we serve it to guests, it never fails to get favorable comments.

Preheat your grill to a medium high heat.
(I use gas Weber with some kind of wood smoker chips in a cast iron smoker tray (see above) - this may be part of the reason the salmon turns out so dang good!)

Coat salmon filets with extra virgin (or not so extra virgin if you can't hack the price) Olive Oil on both sides and place skin down on a fish rack.

Shake Lawry's Black Pepper Seasoned Salt on the top side of the fillets.
Lay rack on grill. Close grill.
Cook skin down the entire time - until the salmon flakes apart with a fork.
Remove from grill and peel off the skin before serving (fish skin just doesn't taste right).

I serve this with a blend of mayo, sour cream and dill weed with a little lemon juice.
(Note: I don't measure I just blob, shake, squeeze, stir and taste until it seems right.)

WARNING: Unless they have them duct taped on, you'll impress the pants right off of your guests!

Make more salmon than you could eat? No worries!
Leftover Grilled Salmon Omelet

Sauté a wee bit of onion and red or green pepper with little chunks of the leftover salmon - I use olive oil - but if you wanna go full-tilt - use butter.
Add some chunks of cream cheese to the sauté.
Set this mixture aside.
Make an omelet (I use eggs and a splash of water - which helps make 'em fluffy - and cook in olive oil). Cook on a lower heat so you don't make "dog eggs" (that's the way we describe the smell of over-cooked eggs), lifting the sides of the omelet and letting the egg run under until most of the liquid egg is gone from the top. At this point you can flip the omelet easily.
Lay the salmon mixture in a row across the omelet and fold in half over the mixture. Don't overcook!
Serve with a slice of lemon.
Dang tasty!

Tim was messing around trying to replicate a tasty fish stew that his wife ordered at an Italian restaurant... This came pretty darned close:

12 oz. raw drained scallops*
12 oz. de-tailed cooked or raw shrimp*
12 oz. salmon* (skinned) - cut in cubes
set aside

3T olive oil
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
medium heat deep pan - stir in:
6 to 8 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped mushrooms

add spices:
1T Italian seasoning (usually oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, savory, sage and basil)
1/2t Tarragon
1t black pepper
1t course ground salt
1/2 T. oregano
2T tomato paste

stir scallops and shrimp into sauté mix
14 oz (can) chicken broth
14 oz (can) vegetable broth
14 oz (can) diced tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh, chopped and drained and seeded tomatoes)
2 cups medium dry white wine
(I use Pinot Grigio)
stir in salmon cubes

Optionally add 1/8 cup of dry sherry

Cook over low heat until flavors meld - last five minutes prior to serving turn up to a simmer and add fresh chopped asparagus tenders (the tops) to the stew.

Serve with a loaf of good bread to soak up the wonderfully flavored broth.

Serves two (Jim and Tim)
or six to eight (without Jim and Tim).

*You can substitute other fish as desired - these proportions seem about right.

Beer Pancakes
Tim's premise is that you can add beer to anything and make it taste better - even breakfast items! Here's a quick way to out-of-the-box pancakes taste like buckwheat cakes.

Bisquick mix pancake recipe. Substitute half beer for the half of the milk called for. That's it!

You can make gutsier pancakes by adding wheat germ and chopped walnuts or pecans.

Beer Crust Pizza
Beer goes great with pizza, right? Well check this out... I've made a tasty yet extremely simple pizza crust using only two ingredients: Beer and Flour. 1 (one) part beer (any old beer - warm helps) and 2 (two) parts flour - and a bit of salt (not too much) will help the flavor. Experiment with different kinds of beers.

Mix together the ingredients and let it sit for while - then spread out on pizza pan using olive oil on your hands and the pan to work the dough. Top with whatever you like and bake as you would any raw dough pizza (most likely 350° for 17 to 20 minutes - watch it).

Caramel Pecan Rolls
Tim's German sister-in-law discovered this recipe. She's an excellent baker in her own right - but this time found a shortcut that stands up to anyone's best caramel rolls.

1/2 package of Rhodes frozen bread rolls (about 18 rolls)
1 small package (3.5 oz.) of butterscotch pudding (the cooking kind, not instant)
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup crushed pecans (optional - but why would you want to pass up pecans on a caramel roll?)

On the evening before baking
(assuming morning baking), place frozen rolls in bundt pan (greased). Sprinkle pudding mix over top. Melt butter, mix in brown sugar, pour mixture over rolls, then add nuts. Put pan with prepared rolls in cold oven overnight to let the rolls rise.

The next morning, remove rolls from the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes (they'll get golden brown on the top). Cool a bit and flop over onto a serving plate. That's it! You'll love 'em!

Tim's mom (Dorothy) made this.
It was so good, he ate it until he got sick. But that didn't stop him from asking for the recipe... Here it is in all of it's rich (but simple) glory:
Chicken Almondine

3 cups cooked chicken
(6 boned skinless 1/2 breasts)
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 oz can of mushrooms
(or 1# fresh sauteed in margarine)
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts drained
2/3 cup mayonnaise (real)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
8 oz pkg crescent roll dough
2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 T melted butter or margarine

cook above list of first eight ingredients over medium heat until hot

pour into 9X13" casserole
cover with crescent roll
(unrolled into two rectangles)
combine Swiss cheese, almonds and butter
spread over dough

bake until golden brown
20 to 25 minutes at 350°
Should serve 12 if you don't invite Tim

option: Add a splash of sherry to the hot mixture
you can also divide into smaller casseroles for individual servings (add some green peas to the mixture and it will be similar to the best chicken pot pie you've ever tasted).

Julie is Jim's sister and Tim's wife. This white chili recipe has gotten rave compliments everytime she cooks up a batch. She is a bit shy about sharing the recipe (because it's so darned easy) - but we got it out of her.

Chicken White Chili

1.5 pounds of chicken breasts (skin removed)
1 tsp. olive oil
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion

1 - 19oz. can cannellini beans (undrained)
1 - 15 oz. can Great Northern beans (undrained)
2 - 4 oz. cans diced green chiles (undrained)*
2 T snipped cilantro
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

shredded cheddar, colby or monterey jack cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips for topping

*for a spicier chile add 2oz of diced jalapinos

In a large saucepan, cook chicken breasts in three cups of boiling, salted water. Cook chicken until it is fork tender and juices run clear (20 minutes or so). Drain water, chop chicken into small cubes.
Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is tender (about four minutes) and add diced chicken, beans and chiles (both undrained). Heat through.

Serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/orr crushed tortilla chips.

Makes about 6 cups (so we usually double it when having Jim over).

Jim's sister Sherrie came up with these little appetizer/snack food gems. We think they kind of taste like White Castle Burgers with a gourmet twist. So, we call them Sherrie's Sliders. Believe it or not, they are made with four simple ingredients!

1 pound of ground chuck
1 packet of onion soup mix
3/4 block of Velveeta cheese
(or other brand of processed cheese blob)
Mix all together and smear little blobs on small rye bread squares
Bake in a 350° oven for 10 to 15 minutes - serve hot!

also from Sherrie:

This is a little, rich, gourmet hors d'oeuvre is based on a recipe from one of our favorite Door County, Wisconsin Chefs - Bruce Alexander. While he hasn't parted with the exact recipe, Jim's sister has come up with this close proximity.

Quantities may vary slightly with little effect
Small bag (1 1/4 cup) of shredded Parmesan Cheese
4 oz. container of crumbled blue cheese
4 oz. contatiner of crumbled gorganzola cheese
1 16 oz. bag of shredded ramano cheese
1 stick of softened butter
Mix all of the above together and stuff into vertically sliced french bread (small loaves are preferrable), Wrap loaf/loaves in foil and bake in a 350° oven for thirty minutes. Serve warm. Makes about six 6" loaves. (serves Jim)

Dot is Tim's mom. And this is, without a doubt and all bias aside, the best meatloaf recipe we've ever tasted. Try it, if you don't agree, we'd LOVE to see your better-than-Dot's meatloaf recipe!

2 slides of bread cubed
1 cup milk (soak bread in milk)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (we often use a mix of beef, pork and veal for an even better loaf)
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix ingredients and place in a loaf pan
Bake 1.5 hours at 350°
During last 30 minutes of baking time top with this sauce (after pouring off all fat)
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup (or catsup if you prefer)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons dry mustard

serves four or five people (or Tim)

This is a chicken concoction that Tim's mom discovered. It's one of those saucy meat dishes that you can do a lot with - serve it over rice, drenched on steamed broccoli, ladled over egg noodles, served on top of baking powder biscuits, or in pastry shells... See? versatile! That's why we call it Pollo (chicken) Versatile.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 8 ounce carton sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms (drained)
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste
1 (3 lb) chicken, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds or cashews
Variations: add garlic and/or curry.

Saute onion in butter until limp. Add cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, mushrooms, wine, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for five minutes. Combine sauce with chicken in a 3 quart casserole dish. Top with almonds or cashews and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (serves eight)

Grandpa Bill's Swedish Pancakes
Jim's dad made these with such pride - the grandkids still request the recipe to this day - therefore, we're posting it for them - and you.

Put the following ingredients in a blender:
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup flour
1 T sugar (Tim uses powdered - he thinks it blends better)
1/2 t salt

Blend then pour onto a hot greased skillet (and electric gridle works best if you have one). You can choose the size - from small dollar-sized to large squares. This is similar to a crepe recipe - so stuff them, or serve them with butter and maple syrup.

Julie's Hot Artichoke Dip
You can find artichoke dips are all over the place - and we always try them to see if they measure up to this recipe. Seldom have we found a serious contender.

4 4-oz. cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Fresh garlic minced to taste
Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce to taste
dust the top with paprika and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes

Serve with thinly-sliced, lightly-toasted bagette, plain melba rounds or bread sticks for dipping.

Swedish Cream
This is a recipe from Tim’s great aunt - we make it every year for Christmas. It’s a cool and refreshingly light desert that's perfect after the stomach-stretching Christmas gluttony feast.

1 package Knox gelatin
1 cup sugar
mix with 2 1/3 cups half and half
Cook over low heat until gelatin dissolves.
Allow to cool.
Stir in a large carton (16 oz) sour cream and
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Refrigerate four hours or until firm.

Spoon into dessert dishes or large wine goblets and top with strawberries or raspberries (either plain or in a light syrup.) Serves 8 to 10.

Brie Pesto Pizza

One thin crust Boboli - or flat bread.
Drizzle with EV Olive Oil and a sprinkling of sea salt (not much).
Smear crust with pesto
Top with slices of fresh tomatoes
(Romas hold up nicely.
Sprinkle with pan-toasted Pine Nuts
Add a generous helping of freshly cut Basil
and a touch of Oregano
Cover entire thing with thinly sliced Brie Cheese.
Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.

Kelly's Pesto
Jim's wife, Kelly, has a killer fresh, homemade pesto recipe. She uses her own, home-grown basil (yes, she's a gardener) and puts up a bunch at once - rolls it into little "logs" - wraps it in plastic wrap and freezes it until needed. You can easily cut off little slices and use it when needed and refreeze the unused portion. It will keep about a week in the refrigerator without freezing. But when it starts growing fur... put up a new batch.

Combine these ingredients in a food processor:
2 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil (chopped)
2 large cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup almonds (or, if you are feeling rich, pine nuts - walnuts also work)
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
1/2 cup (or less) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Jane's Biscotti with Nuts

2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
l cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup nuts, such as almonds, or pistachios, toasted

l. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray or wipe a lare baking sheet with vegetable oil.
2. In large bowl combine eggs, egg whites, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add the sugar, flour, soda, and salt; beat until a dough forms. Stir in the nuts.
3. Turn the sticky dough onto a lightly floured board. With clean floured hands and with the aid of a spatula or pastry scraper, knead the dough several times. Divide dough in half.
4. With floured hands, form the dough into two flattish logs; about 15 inches long and 2 inches wide. Place the logs on the baking sheet, 3 inches aprrt. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to 275 degrees.
6. On a cutting board, cut the logs diagonally into 3/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Turn and bake for another 10-12 minutes. Turn heat off, and leave the biscotti to crisp in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

If they are too hard, simply reduce that second baking time to 10 minutes and remove from oven.
(The original recipe says that there are 58 calories per cookie. That means that Jim and I can each eat 20 cookies at a setting and still be well within our daily caloric intake.)

Our friend Caroline made this for us, and salmon-lover that Tim and his wife, Julie, are, we just had to ask for the recipe. Great for entertaining - as an appetizer, or contribution to a pot luck. Caroline would like to credit Ina Garten for the recipe.

Combine in a bowl:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp.
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces smoked salmon, minced.
1 Tablespoon minced fresh dill

Blend together thoroughly and chill.
Serve with crackers or crudités.

Perfect for a fall or winter get-together. Thanks again to Caroline for sharing her recipe with us.

In a large cook pot, sauté 1 chopped onion in olive oil

When the onion is soft and translucent, add a generous amount of sliced and slivered fresh ginger (about 1/4 cup - or more if you are a ginger lover). Stir for one minute over medium heat to release the flavor.

Then add to the pot:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (around 2# size)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 large carrots, peeled and cubed
(Caroline notes: I suggest you prepare the veggies first and set aside…it takes forever!!)

Cover the veggies with Chicken stock (you will need about 6-8 cups….just to cover)

Simmer for a good hour until all the veggies are very soft.

Remove from heat.
Stir in 8 oz. butter.
Blend thoroughly with an immersion blender.
Season with copious amounts of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Ham Balls

A sweet twist on "ordinary meatballs"

1 lb. ground ham
1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 cup milk

Mix together these ingredients and make into balls - put into baking dish and cover with this sauce:

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
(optional - add grated chopped ginger - or chopped candied ginger to taste)

Bake one hour covered at 325°. Turn the meatballs over an bake uncovered 1/2 to 1 hour longer.

Auntie Mardelle's Wild Rice

This is Tim's Great Aunt Mardelle's Wild Rice recipe. Being from Cass Lake, Minnesota, Tim's mom's family was big into wild rice - long before it was popular (in wild rice soup, etc.). Although the recipe card has serveral changes on it, this is pretty close to what may constitute the fantastic casserole that there was never too much of...

Cook two cups of wild rice (mix in about 1/4 brown rice as desired - not necessary) per label directions - will take up to 45 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, fry one pound of bacon.
Save some of the fat/drippings.
Chop bacon and one medium onion.
Sautee onion with 2T butter and the bacon drippings.
When rice is done (has obsorbed the water), mix rice with sauteed onion and bacon.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put in casserole bowl keep warm until served.

Tim prefers it au naturale, although you can top with asparagus, cheese, or... (?)

Family Secret Dressing Recipe
1/2 cup Marukan Japanese rice vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil (canola recommended)
2 large garlic cloves - crushed
Oregano leaves - 1 teaspoon or less
Dill weed - 1/2 teaspoon or more
Salt - a few shakes
Pepper - a few grinds
shake or blend (blending is recommended as it mixes it better)