Two Roads, a Recipe & a Winner

Memorial Day

Before we get to the food let’s just take a moment to reflect on what the weekend is really about. God bless America, our fallen Veterans and their families. I hope you are gathering with your dearest friends and family this Memorial Day weekend.

Jezebel Salsa

Jezebel Salsa

Let’s continue on this path of Two Roads and A Recipe. This week we are making salsa. Not just any old tired tomato salsa, but Jezebel salsa. Jezebel??? Yes, Jezebel. You may have heard of the old southern Jezebel sauce typically served over cream cheese and crackers. It is a combination of pineapple preserves, apple jelly, dry mustard and horseradish; a favorite at church suppers and Jr. League cookbooks. My salsa is a fresh pineapple version of that sauce made easy and delicious with the addition of Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard. It packs a sweet heat that really compliments the pineapple and other fresh ingredients. This salsa is perfect served with grilled pork tenderloin marinated overnight in Saucy Mama Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing or if you want to travel a different road and just hungry for a snack….go ahead and try it over cream cheese and crackers.

spread a cracker with your favorite soft cheese and top with some fresh Jezebel Salsa

spread a cracker with your favorite soft cheese and top with some fresh Jezebel Salsa


Have a great cook-out this weekend

Have a great cook-out this weekend

Jezebel Salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1-cup small dice fresh pineapple

1 tablespoon Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard

2 scallions, chopped

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, seeded, minced red serrano or jalapeno pepper*

4 fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

In small bowl, combine pineapple and mustard stirring to coat pineapple with the mustard. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serves 4.

*for those who don’t like heat use red bell pepper

Saucy Mama and fresh ingredients are a perfect combination

Saucy Mama and fresh ingredients are a perfect combination

Now for our Saucy Mama Give Away. The winner is: Danielle!!!! Please choose 3 of your favorites from the list below and email me your address. I will forward the information to Saucy Mama. Congratulations and thanks for hanging out with me here.

–    Chipotle Mustard
–    Backyard Brat Mustard
–    Smoky Garlic Mustard
–    Champagne & Honey Mustard
–    Apricot Ginger Mustard
–    Tarragon Lemon Mustard
–    Dijon Mustard
–    Hatch Chile Mustard
–    Dill Mustard
–    Creamy Garlic Mustard
–    Spicy Garlic Wing Sauce
–    Jamaican Jerk Wing Sauce
–    Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
–    Honey BBQ Wing Sauce
–    Hot Wing Sauce
–    Lime Chipotle Marinade
–    Cracked Pepper Marinade
–    Sweet Heat Marinade
–    Parmesan Garlic Marinade
–    Sesame Ginger Dressing
–    Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
–    Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing
–    White Balsamic and Honey Dressing
–    Poppy Seed Dressing
–    Miso Orange Dressing
–    Four Leaf Balsamic Vinaigrette and Marinade
–    Honey Dijon Dressing
–    Creamy Horseradish
–    Zesty Cocktail Sauce

Saucy Mama Recipe Contest

Stir Fried Pork Grilled Cheese featuring Saucy Mama

Stir Fried Pork Grilled Cheese featuring Saucy Mama

I am delighted to announce that I am one of the 25 food bloggers chosen by Saucy Mama to compete in their 2015 recipe contest. This year Saucy Mama will be awarding the winner of this challenge a golden ticket and registration fee to The World Food Championships in Kissimmee, Florida along with a $1,000.00 travel stipend and $500.00 in cash. It would be an incredible honor to represent Saucy Mama at the WFC.

25 bloggers take the challenge

25 bloggers take the challenge

To top it off, Saucy Mama also gave bloggers the opportunity to choose 6 products from their delicious array of 29 mustards, sauces, dressing and marinades. AND the chance for you, my readers, to feel like a winner, too, with a generous give away (but more about that later). I could not fill out the application fast enough. It was a tough decision, but here are the products I chose: Apricot Ginger Mustard, Hatch Chili Mustard, Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing, Lime Chipotle Marinade, Sweet Heat Marinade and Miso Orange Sesame Dressing & Marinade.

the chosen 6

I was excited to receive the package from Barhyte Specialty Foods. Upon its arrival I immediately opened it and started tasting.

Now the challenge. To pick at least one of my favorite products and create an inventive recipe that will fit into at least one of the following WFC categories: Sandwich, Burger, Bacon, Pasta, Seafood or Fresh. The Fresh and Sandwich categories appeal to me the most. Sandwiches are easy to make and fresh and seasonal is the way I like to cook. Right now I have the most gorgeous cilantro and scallions in my garden ready to harvest and I knew I wanted to incorporate them into my original recipe.

Miso, Orange  & Sesame Napa cabbage slaw

Miso, Orange & Sesame Napa Cabbage Slaw

Do you love Asian food? Do you love grilled cheese sandwiches? Well, I sure do. Inspired by Saucy Mama’s Sweet Heat Marinade and the Miso Orange Sesame Dressing & Marinade I aimed for a very fresh tasting grilled sandwich reminiscent of my favorite Asian take-out. Tangy glazed stir-fried pork with a sweet heat, topped with a crunchy Asian miso, orange & sesame slaw, surrounded by melted pepper Jack cheese all toasted up in just minutes. It is extraordinary if I do say so myself.

extraordinary, family friendly and oh so easy

Saucy Mama and a few fresh ingredients make a fantastic sandwich

This is a most family friendly recipe. I do hope you will give it and all the other Saucy Mama products a try. Check out their web site to see all the fabulous blogger entries and other creative recipes. And don’t forget to leave a comment here letting me know how saucy your are, so you can be entered into the Saucy Mama Give Away. Barhyte Specialty Foods is providing one (1) package featuring three Saucy Mama products (except olives) as an audience prize. I will randomly pick a winner and announce on Sunday, May 24th. Best of luck to all of us.

Stir-Fried Pork Grill Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1-pound fresh ground pork

½ cup Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade

¼ cup chopped scallions

2 cups sliced (1/2-inch thick) napa cabbage

¼ cup fresh shredded carrots

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Miso Orange Sesame Dressing & Marinade

4 tablespoons soft butter

8 slices Italian bread with sesame seeds

16 deli slices pepper Jack cheese

In skillet, over medium-high heat, brown pork, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until fully cooked. Drain off all drippings in pan (I like to pour the meat into a fine mesh sieve over a heat-proof bowl.) Return pork to skillet. Add Sweet Heat Marinade, stirring until pork is fully glazed and sauce has reduced. Remove from heat. Stir in scallions; set aside and keep warm. In medium bowl, toss cabbage, carrots, cilantro and Miso Orange Sesame Dressing; set aside. Butter one side of each bread slice. Place bread, butter side down on griddle type skillet. Top each bread slice with 2 slices of cheese. Layer only 4 bread slices with an even amount of pork mixture on top of the cheese. Turn heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove cover. Top pork mixture with an even amount of cabbage mixture. Using a spatula, flip 1 bread slice, with just the cheese, over the top of each pork-slaw sandwich, placing it cheese side down. Gently press sandwich together and continue cooking until cheese is melted and sandwich is toasted.

fresh from the garden ingredients

fresh from the garden ingredients and Saucy Mama are a perfect combination

Good Grief & How do You Like Them SuperBowl Stuffed Apples

a variety of local farm apples

a variety of local farm apples

This week’s blog post is brought to you by a chance meeting with “a genius” at the Apple store. If you own an Apple anything you probably are familiar with all the friendly folks who provide such fabulous customer service and classes at your local store. I especially enjoy the “one-to-one” tutoring and yesterday I was learning about iphoto and photo organization. As I was working with Charlie I mentioned a small glitch I was having with the computer. He immediately signed me in to have a session with a repair associate and while I was at it he recommended I also meet with a business associate in case I ever wanted to turn this blog into a business. As a side note, GoodGriefCook will never be a business, but I was flattered.

pick your own heirloom apples getting a bath

pick your own heirloom apples getting a bath

Off to the “Genius” bar I go where Chris is now analyzing my computer. He is reading and talking in code and I fully understand how he’s earned the title of “Genius”. I have no clue what he is saying or doing, but I nod politely and go along with it. Meanwhile, the business associate joins us and asks me to tell him about my food blog. We chat for a few minutes and then I turn my attention back to Chris who has completed the diagnostics. It comes as no shock that he has figured out the computer glitch, but what he says next completely surprises me. He looks me straight in the eyes and says, “I am going to read your blog. You see I have been going through some things with grief that I don’t understand. It isn’t getting better “.

cranberries are the perfect bittersweet fruit

cranberries are the perfect bittersweet fruit

Gosh darn it if I didn’t feel like “the Genius” now. It’s not a job I trained for, but I sure could relate to what he was trying to figure out. I could not fix it like a computer, but maybe I could help in some small way. I hope I listened well and I hope that I did the best teaching of my life in that moment with Chris who was feeling so alone in the middle of that crowded Apple store.

that's Italian

that’s Italian

Are you anticipating a big crowd around your TV for the Superbowl? This recipe landed me a finalist spot in the Ocean Spray Tailgate recipe contest a few years ago and a trip to Gillette stadium where the New England Patriots play. I remember the judge, Chef Ming Tsai saying my recipe would be fit for a tailgate with Martha Stewart. I was flattered.

Big Game Cranberry Sausage Stuffed Apples

8 large Granny Smith apples

8 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup Ocean Spray® Cran•Apple™ Cranberry Apple Juice Drink

2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped plus 16 whole berries

1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Slice off 1 inch from top of each apple. Core apples, but do not go through bottom. Scoop out remaining apple flesh, leaving 1/4-inch shell. Chop scooped apple flesh.

Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink. Add onion and chopped apples; cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is softened. Add juice drink, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add chopped cranberries, egg, brown sugar, parsley, thyme and 1 cup cheese; mix well. Fill apple shells with stuffing. Sprinkle tops with remaining cheese and the walnuts. Top each with 2 whole cranberries. Place apples in large baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Ocean Spray Tailgating Recipe Contest Finalist 
Lisa Keys.