Tomato salad, steak, and banana splits…. Yum!

Dinner tonight was steak and tomato salad, followed by banana splits…

Tomato salad

  • Yellow vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 container Bocconcini cheese, golf-ball-sized, drained and sliced in half
  • 3 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and crushed
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ground pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • balsamic vinegar dressing*

Slice the tomatoes and all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently and set aside.


The steak was fried in olive oil with 1/4 tsp. of bacon grease

I added 1/2 cup of white wine, pepper and salt half way through the cooking time.

When the steak was almost done, I put the salad on the plates and added the dregs of the salad dressing to the pan with the steak and allowed it to cook down and caramelize.

Remove the steak and let it rest for 6 minutes before serving.

Banana Split

  • 1 banana per bowl, split and halved
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 chunks candied ginger per bowl, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground and toasted almond
  • 2 tbsp. dulce con leche

Assemble… eat…

This sounds wonderful…

I often check out the links that appear at the bottom of my posts as “suggested links”. You never know what you’ll find. This time it was “Whatever gratin” from “The Catskill Kiwi“.

Be sure to read the full posting because I like her writing style….

The recipe (which will be on the menu this week, Chez Mudhooks) is…

Gratin (these proportions will fit a 8 x 11 sized pan)

  • 3 yukon gold potatoes sliced really thin, as thin as you can get them
  • 2 zucchini (I had 1 green & 1 yellow), left over from our grillin dinner
  • 1 onion sliced,
  • 2/3 cup grated cheese (any kind) I used some kind of hard cheese, the label had fallen off
  • 1 1/2 cup cream, heated with 1 sprig rosemary, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 2 cloves garlic mushed (I used my favorite Trader Joes Dorot garlic) if you don’t have that, peel cloves mince really fine, then add a big pinch of kosher salt and using the back of a knife smear the garlic into a paste….. and if this feels to complicated just add minced garlic. Heat on low for about 3 minutes to combine and infuse.

Heat oven 375F

Caramelize onions in 1 tbsp oil, until golden brown.  Set aside.  Grease baking dish with butter, make one layer zucchini, one layer potato, one layer onion.  Pour half of the cream mixture over, sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese, sprinkle pepper.  Repeat.  Finishing with cheese.  Cover with layer of buttered parchment (this will stop the cheese from sticking to foil) then wrap the dish in foil.  Bake in oven 30 mins, take off foil and parchment and bake another 30 mins. It will be golden brown, bubbling and MOLTEN hot!  Consider yourself warned.


Dinner tonight was a zucchini casserole.

  • 1 Yellow and 1 green zucchini, thinly sliced (courgette, for the Europeans)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • white cheddar cheese cut into chunks
  • Gouda cheese
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Layer thinly sliced zucchini and onions, alternately with Parmesan cheese and cheddar, garlic and chopped tomato in a lidded casserole dish.

Add a little pepper and salt half way down, last layer of cheese and top with Gouda.

Bake at 400 until bubbling.

Remove the lid and broil to make the cheese nice and crispy… Enjoy.

Sorry… didn’t think to photograph it before we started on it!

Dessert was fresh pineapple all the way from Hawai’i, courtesy of Shirin (as was the dashboard hula dancer, below).

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Dashboard hula dancer

Tijuana Pie

I came across this recipe on a blog I visited (Jesus Has Two Daddies). Even if it tasted 1/4 as good as it sounds, it would be mighty delicious.  The blogger says that it was always a first-frost night meal when he was growing up. We’ve already had a month’s worth of frosts here in the Great White North, so perhaps I will save it for a first-snow night. And since making it for just Mom and me would be pointless, I will save it for a night when we have Ange and Ryan over.

If you try it before I get a chance to, let me know how it tastes.


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 medium-sized can refried beans
1/2 lb. spicy chorizo sausage – finely chopped.
5 large tomatoes sliced in big bite size pieces
8 Bell Peppers (all four colours: red, green, yellow and orange)
sliced into strips.
1 can smoked poblano chiles
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3-4 c. grated cheese
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can corn, drained
6 corn or flour tortillas (size depends on size of crock pot)

Brown beef, onion, garlic, and seasonings.

Wipe inside crock pot with oil. Place 1 tortilla in bottom.

Spoon on meat mix (mix the hamburger with the refrieds) – and a little sauce and cheese.

Top with another tortilla and layer on a bean, cheese and corn section.

Do a layer of nothing but fresh tomatoes and bell peppers.

Continue layers, ending with cheese top.

Cover and cook low 5-7 hours.

Serve with additional hot tortillas. (sour cream and guac feeding frenzy optional)


As an aside, I thought I would pass along something that I saw at a restaurant and have been doing myself, ever since.

If you make Nachos, to avoid having to do a major cleanup on your pan, place a flour tortilla on the baking sheet before loading it up with your tortilla chips, toppings and cheese. Not only will you not have to scrub your pan but you can eat the tortilla and simply wipe down the pan.

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