Beyond Trifle

I can’t make very many things, but the things I can make I like to think I make well. I like the idea of having a signature dish. The thing that when someone else is having a potluck they say, “You have to bring your (fill in the blank).”

I make a great green salad. Boring you say? Hardly. Strawberries and mandarin oranges. Or tex-mex themes with green chilis and corn. You get the picture, I spice it up.

For a long time my standby desert was trifle.

Then it became pumpkin cheesecake.

That’s my repertoire.

The end.

Except I don’t want it to be the end. I’d like to be able to make a fantastic side dish. Maybe a killer potato salad. What say you, Internets? What should I learn to make? What never fails you? And will you tell me you recipe?

I’ll offer you a little something up-front, in exchange. If you’re invited to an impromptu BBQ and don’t have anything to bring take one of your bowls to the deli counter at your local grocer. Have them tare the scale with your bowl and then fill it with macaroni salad or beans or whatever. They’ll put plastic wrap on it and hand you the scan tag. You go to the BBQ with something in your own bowl. No one has to know you didn’t make it.

ooh! Maybe a dip?

6 smart people left their mark:

  1. pamela, 15. April 2009, 10:50

    That is a fabulous tip.

    Do you like corned beef and sauerkraut? I have a wonderful reuben dip. Let me know, and I’ll email you. If not, I do have a few others up mah sleevesies.

    pamelas last blog post..florida changed its mind

  2. Lynn, 15. April 2009, 11:20

    I think a good casserole dish is always something to have in your back pocket.

    I throw together in a crockpot:

    Mixture of Organic Black bean chili, 1 can light cream mushroom, 1 can light cream of chicken
    Frozen chicken strips (1 bag, but you won’t use it all)
    Corn tortillas (about 9)

    Layer about 3 times and cook on low all day. Both kids love it.

    Lynns last blog post..Do You Remember Stimulating Adult Conversation?

  3. Leslie, 15. April 2009, 13:22

    My good friend Wendy makes this delicious chicken dip. It’s HER signature dish. When we moved away from her, I stole it. Here it is:

    Sautee a small onion in 1/2 stick butter. Combine with an 8 oz. package of cream cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 large can of white meat chicken. Put the mixture into a loaf of hollowed out Italian bread. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. You can cut the bread you hollowed out into cubes and toast them for dipping.

    So, so yummy.

  4. GP, 16. April 2009, 9:54

    Russian Beet Salad. Unbelievable; will convert anyone who does not like beets!! Super easy. Super popular and it’s BRIGHT PINK naturally so it’s a total talking piece. I served this at an 8-person dinner party last Saturday night and was asked numerous times for the recipe.

    * 8 beets
    * 1/2 cider vinegar
    * 1 clove garlic
    * 2 t honey
    * 1/2 c minced red onion
    * 2 scallions minced (greens and whites)
    * 1 medium cucumber (peeled, seeded and chopped)
    * 2 eggs, hardboiled and chopped
    * 2 T fresh dill or 1 t dried dill
    * 1 c low-fat sour cream
    * 1 c non-fat plain yogurt
    * salt and pepper to taste

    Boil beets until cooked, approx 45 min; they should be soft with a fork. Run under cold water and peel. Peel should just slide off. Chop into 1/2″ pieces and marinate them in vinegar, garlic and honey.

    Add all remaining ingredients, stir and chill.

  5. Abbey, 19. April 2009, 16:32

    The Mac & Cheese recipe that I make every single Thanksgiving is hands down THE BEST FREAKING Mac & Cheese EVER!!!!! EVER Do you Hear me?!?! And I love it so much, that I am willing to share it here even though I totally call it my signature dish.

    Enjoy People! :)

    Baked Mac & Cheese

    1 lb. rotini or cavatappi
    2 c whole milk
    8 oz cream cheese
    3 T unsalted butter
    1 t fresh ground pepper
    ½ t salt
    1 ½ c (6 oz) grated Sharp Cheddar
    1 ½ c (6 oz) grated smoked Gouda (keep in the fridge until RIGHT before you shred…makes it easier to shred since it’s such a soft cheese)

    -Cook the pasta and make the sauce: Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta following package directions. Strain, rinse with cold water to cool and set aside. Combine the milk, cream cheese, butter, pepper, and salt in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter and cream cheese have melted…about 10 minutes.

    -Assemble the macaroni & cheese: Toss the cheeses with pasta. Add hot milk mixture and stir till combined. Transfer pasta to 3 qt. baking dish and bake till mac is set and the top is golden brown – about 30 minutes.

    (I think I got this from *surprise, surprise* Martha Stewart)

    Abbeys last blog post..USPS One Better

  6. Kelly O, 21. April 2009, 9:46

    I guess my zucchini chocolate cupcakes are my go-to recipe; I have no signature side-dish. Hmm, I’m going to have to work on that. I’d love to be That Kind of Lady.

    Kelly Os last blog post..Advertising win