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Very Bloody Mary
Barbecued Oysters
Cajun Corn Soup
Arizona Desert Grilled Steak
Lemon-Garlic Potato Packet
Bajan Cabbage and Bacon Salad
A Memorable Meat Loaf (updated Oct.2011)
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Cajun Lima Beans
Great Italian Bread (Updated---again!)
Amaretto Cheesecake
VERY BLOODY MARY
Make sure Dad is propped up and comfy in front of his favorite TV program, and then hand him one of these. These are from around the Chesapeake Bay...it's the Old Bay Seasoning that does it!
Serves: 4
6 ounces vodka
12 ounces V-8 juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce -- or to taste
1/8 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning -- or to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash fresh ground black pepper
4 stalks celery
4 lime wedge
Combine liquid ingredients and seasonings in a large pitcher; mix very well. Pour into a large tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish with celery stalk and wedge of lime. NOTE: Any unused mixture should be kept well-chilled.
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BARBECUED OYSTERS
This recipe was inspired by my "Chesapeake Bay Cookbook", and yes, they're something like New Orleans barbecued shrimp---they aren't barbecued at all! Don't worry, Dad'll love 'em!
12 fresh shucked oysters
6 tablespoons homemade or commercial barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash Tabasco sauce
2 slices smoky bacon, cut into 6 equal pieces -- partially cooked
6 large oyster shells or scallop shells
Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 2 oysters with a little of the liquor into each shell. In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce; spread evenly on top of the oysters. Top each with a piece of bacon; bake 5-6 minutes. Do Not Overcook! Serve immediately, garnished with wedges of lemon and small sprigs of parsley
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CAJUN CORN SOUP
If you're giving Dad a big party, this is sure to be a success, and summer is the perfect time of the year to use some fresh corn instead of frozen. I found this in Taste Of Home Magazine, submitted by Sue Fontenot of Kinder, Louisiana.
Serves: 12
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup chopped Green Pepper
6 Green Onions -- thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic -- minced
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Flour
3 cups Water
1 can Stewed Tomatoes (14-oz.) with juice
2 cups chopped Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Paste (6-oz.)
2 packages frozen Corn (10 oz.each) -- thawed
3 cups cubed fully cooked Ham
1/2 pound fully cooked Garlic-flavored Sausage -- sliced
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne
Salt to taste
Tabasco Sauce to taste
In a large kettle, saute onion, green pepper, green onions and garlic in oil until tender. Add flour; cook and stir until smooth and bubbly. Add water, tomatoes and tomato paste; mix well. Stir in corn, ham sausage and seasonings; bring to a boil stirring frequently. Lower heat; simmer uncovered 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
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ARIZONA DESERT GRILLED STEAK
Dad will love this no-nonsense Southwestern favorite and lets him take over the grill, or this steak is terrific to take along on a picnic----keep in the marinade until ready to grill, and heat sauce on one side of the grill.
Serves: 4
Serves 4

1 large top sirloin steak, 1-1/2" to 2" thick
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
3 cloves garlic -- minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon instant beef boullion granules -- optional
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Place steak in 13x9x2 glass or other non-reactive baking pan. In a blender or food processor, combine next 9 ingredients; pulse until smooth. Pour marinade over steak; turn to coat well; cover and refrigerate 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill; bring steak to room temperature. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade. Season steak with salt and pepper to taste. Grill steak over medium coals 5-8 minute each side or until desired doneness.

Meanwhile, measure 1 cup marinade into small saucepan, discarding remaininig marinade. Bring madinade to a boil over medium heat. In a cup, whisk cold water and flour until well-mixed. Whisk flour mixture into the marinade imtil well-combined. Add boullion granules if using and mix well. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly reduced and thickened.

When steak is done, place on a platter, tent with foil and let meat rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

To serve, carve steak in 1/2" slices; drizzle some sauce over steak, and serve remaining sauce separately.
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LEMON-GARLIC POTATO PACKET
Throw this on the grill or into the oven before cooking the steak, it's great! And easy!
Recipe By : Good Housekeeping (8/99)
2 1/2 pounds medium red potatoes -- cut in 1" pieces
12 cloves garlic -- peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon salt
14 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until potatoes are venly coated. Wrap mixture in heavy duty foil, sealing tightly. Place packet on grill over medium heat and cook 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender, turning packet over once halfway through grilling.
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BAJAN CABBAGE AND BACON SALAD
Recipe By: Anne-Marie Whitaker of Barbados Anne-Marie says that this is not a low-fat recipe, and it tastes best made with her brand of hot sauce, "Tropical Inferno". By all means, use it to taste, or use any other hot sauce you prefer.
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 pound Bacon -- chopped
1 head Cabbage -- cut in thin strips
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
1 tablespoon Bonney Pepper Hot Sauce (Tropical Inferno)
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Salt to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok; fry bacon 3 minutes. Remove bacon from wok; drain on paper towels. Drain bacon fat from wok. Add remaining oil; stir-fry cabbage 4 minutes (cabbage should still be fairly crisp). Combine cabbage and bacon in a bowl. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, seasoning salt, hot sauce, paprika and salt; stir well. Add dressing to cabbage mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
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A MEMORABLE MEAT LOAF
(Updated October 2011) After many years, I found this recipe in 1996 in Cooks Illustrated Magazine where Pam Anderson and Karen Tack went about this recipe very scientifically----and came up with truly the most memorable meat loaf hubby and I ever tasted. Note that the meat loaf may also be baked in a 9-by-5-inch greased loaf pan, without bacon on top if preferred, but I have found that a foil-lined shallow baking sheet works best and it's easier to remove the loaf from the pan.
Serves: 6

GLAZE:
1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
MEAT LOAF:
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium onion -- chopped medium
2 large cloves garlic -- minced
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon corse ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tobasco
1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 16) or quick oatmeal
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
8 slices bacon (or more if needed)

GLAZE: Mix all ingredients in small saucepan; set aside.

MEAT LOAF: In a small skillet, heat oil and saute onion and garlic, sprinkled with alittle salt and pepper until just softened. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients. In a small bowl, beat eggs, then add thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and yogurt and mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, place meat, cracker crumbs and parsley. Add cooked onion and garlic and mix well. Add liquid mixture and mix well with your hands or fork until evenly blended. If time permits, cover bowl and chill about 1-2 hours to allow flavors to marry.

Remove meat loaf from refrigerator to com to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a shallow baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper.

Turn meat mixture out onto the center of prepared baking pan. Press and mold into and oblong loaf shape. Brush top of loaf with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices crosswise over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only the bacon tip ends under loaf.

Bake about 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let stand exactly 20 minutes. Meanwhile reheat the remaining glaze briefly and serve separately with meat loaf.

Nutrition information per 6 oz. serving (2 slices) (using 96/4 ground beef) Calories 298 Sugars 3 g; Total carbohydrates 5 g; Fat 10.8 g; Sodium 398 mg; Cholesterol 124 mg; Protein 46.4 g; Fiber 0 g; Potassium 200 mg

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GARLIC SMASHED POTATOES
You can't make Dad a meat loaf dinner without smashed potatoes, and these are the yummiest. Use only the freshest garlic.
Serves: 4
4 large Idaho Potatoes, peeled -- cut in chunks
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced
Water
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Butter -- softened
3/4 cup Warm Milk
In a large saucepan, place potatoes and sliced garlic in enough cold water to barely cover; add salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and partially cover; cook about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain liquid and mash potatoes and galic together with a potato masher until large lumps are gone. Add butter and combine well. Gradually add milk a few tablespoons at a time, mashing and mixing after each addition, until potatoes are "smashed". (Don't worry if there are some small lumps, it's supposed to be that way). Place potatoes in a serving bowl. To keep warm, cover bowl and place in a 300-degree oven no longer than 30 minutes.
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CAJUN LIMA BEANS
Lima beans are a natural with meat loaf and smashed potatoes---and these are no exception. Kicked up, just like my favorite N'awlins chef would do it (!).
Serves: 4
1 package frozen Baby Lima Beans (10 oz.)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium ribs Celery, with leaves -- finely chopped
1 small Red Onions -- finely chopped
1 large Garlic Clove -- minced
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons minced Fresh Parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried Parsley
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Coarse-ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, prepare lima beans according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, onion and garlic; cook about 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add cooked lima beans together with remaining ingredients; heat through and serve.
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GREAT ITALIAN BREAD
DeeDee's Mom won prizes with her bread recipe so I had to try it. I took her recipe and cut it in half, then adapted it for instant yeast and tweaked it just slightly. Now I make it at least once a week. This recipe makes consistently good Italian bread, much better and more flavorful than the ones in grocery stores.
Original recipe by DeeDee Henderson's Mom. Updated again by me on 2/15/08
Yields 1 large loaf or 2 small free form loaves

4 cups unbleached bread flour (17.25 oz.)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast *
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder -- optional
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (95-100 deg.F)-more if needed
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds -- optional
Cornmeal for baking sheet

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and diastatic malt powder. Add the oil and the 1-1/2 cups water. Using the dough hook on low speed, mix 3 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, dribbling in more water or flour if needed. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix 3 minutes or until the dough is soft and tacky but not sticky (dough can stick slightly to the bottom of the bowl).

Transfer dough to a floured surface, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes while you lightly oil a large bowl. Finish kneading the dough by hand for about 2 minutes. Dough should pass the windowpane test. Form dough into a round ball and put into the eprepared bowl, turning to coat the dough well. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot and let rise for about 1-1/2 hours or until dough has double in size.

If time permits, after 45 minutes, gently deflate the dough and stretch it out and fold like a letter on both sides. Re-cover the bowl and allow to rise for 45 minutes longer.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with coarse cornmeal. Gently transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, trying to de-gas it as little as possible (do not "punch down"). Shape dough into one large batard, stretching the dough firmly across the top of the loaf. If two smaller loaves are preferred, divide dough in half and shape each one into oval or round loaves. Place the loaf or loaves the onto the prepared baking pan. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a proof cover and let rise 35-45 minutes until almost doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a lame or very sharp knife, cut 2-3 slits aboout 1/4 inch deep in the top of the loaf. If topping is desired, beat egg with water and brush gently over the top of loaf and sprinkle on sesame seeds.

Bake 30-32 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 205 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer. The bottom of loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove bread to a rack to cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

* If using active dry yeast, in a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in about 3/4 cup of the warm water until foamy, 7-10 minutes. Add remaining water, olive oil, and about 1 cup of the flour and begin mixing. Add salt and begin add the remaining flour gradually until dough has pulled away from sides of the bowl. Proceed as described above..

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AMARETTO CHEESECAKE
This is most luscious way to really treat Dad to something special, with a special recipe I received a few years ago from a close friend, nicknamed "Mountain Man" or "Big-D".
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick butter -- melted
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
4 eggs -- lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Amaretto
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; press over bottom and sides of buttered 9-inch spring form pan; chill. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together ricotta and cream cheeses until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; beat until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until firm in the middle. Cool 20-30 minutes in the pan before removing. Chill completely before serving.
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Copyright 2008, Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved