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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!!  Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008.  Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved.  Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.

[Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes]  [Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection]

(¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·-> Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection 18<-·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯)

December 30, 2001
from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection

Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site -  so you are getting a "sneak peak" of future additions. We hope you enjoy these recipes!!! Spike's comments are in [] brackets [].

Shalom, from Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress



1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 ounces cream cheese (about 1/3 cup)
1 (12-ounce) container cottage cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 (10-ounce) pkgs frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 (27.5-ounce) jar meatless pasta sauce(pareve)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350:. Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Beat the cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until smooth; add the cottage cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and eggs, beating well. Add the onion mixture and spinach, and beat well. Spread 1/2 cup of the spinach mixture in the bottom of a 13 x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over the spinach mixture; top with 1 cup of spinach mixture, 3/4 cup of pasta sauce, 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1 tablespoon of  Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 350: for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese; bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.


[] I have always thought that "toast points" is a really yucky way to serve things.

Why can't it just be "toast?" This stuff looks nice, and it may be good as a dip for potato chips, or maybe jicama spears. [] 

Serve this sweet and mild onion spread on toast points alongside a salad, or use it as a spread on sandwiches. Source: Better Homes and Gardens 

2 medium sweet onions, such as Spanish Sweet or Vidalia 
2 teaspoons olive oil 
2 teaspoons honey 
4 large cloves garlic, peeled 
1/8 teaspoon salt 

1. Peel and quarter onions. In a large bowl stir together oil and honey.  Add onions, garlic, and salt, stirring well to coat. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. 

2. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until onions turn golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; let cool. 

3. Transfer mixture to a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Serve on toast points or crusty French bread rounds. Refrigerate any remaining spread, tightly covered, for up to one week. 
Makes about 1/2 cup. 

[] I think "toast points" connotes for me a vision of very old females (called "ladies") at a tea, wearing ridiculous bird-cage-like hats and discussing the very idea that an electric refrigerator might be healthy. "There is nothing as pure as melting ice," said the iceman, just before closing his business. []


The caraway-and-pepper coating brings out the best in tender, juicy chicken.  Source: Better Homes and Gardens 

2 tablespoons caraway seed 
1/4 teaspoon whole black pepper 
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or regular salt 
1 3- to 4-pound whole broiler-fryer chicken 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
Lemon slices 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. With a mortar and pestle, slightly crush caraway seed and whole black pepper. Or, in a blender container combine caraway seed with whole black pepper; cover and blend on high for 30 seconds. Stir in lemon peel and salt. Skewer neck skin to back; tie legs to tail. Twist wings under back. Rub caraway mixture over entire bird and under skin of breast. 

2. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow pan. Insert meat thermometer into center of an inside thigh muscle. Roast, uncovered, 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours or until drumsticks move easily and meat is no longer pink or thermometer registers 180 degrees. Remove chicken from oven. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Carefully drizzle lemon juice over chicken before carving. Serve with lemon slices, if desired. 

Makes 6 servings. 

[] I believe you could process the caraway seed and peppercorns in a coffee grinder. The very small coffee residue would add an extra burst of flavor. []


This fruity sauce is luscious over angel cake, pound cake, or gingerbread.  Source: Better Homes and Gardens 

4 medium quinces* (about 1 pound) 
1 large apple 
1 cup apricot nectar or orange juice 
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1. Peel quinces and apple; core and cut into bite-sized pieces. (Should have about 5 cups cut fruit total.) In a large saucepan combine quince, apple, nectar or orange juice, sugar, apricots, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat. 

2. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until fruit is just tender, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use as a topping for cake or ice cream. 
Makes 4 cups (8 servings). 

*Note: Quinces are ripe when they are still quite firm, but no longer rock-hard. They have a strong, flowery aroma. 

[] I have searched this little city for quinces. Can't find any. It is a wonderful fruit. Ya can't eat it when it is uncooked; it is too hard and it tastes really bad.

Cooked, it is amazing! I like to cook one big quince with about 6 medium size apples, run them through my Foley food mill and make fruit butter. The same mixture of apple and quince also makes great jelly. This sauce looks like it would be wonderful - even on the dreaded "toast points!" []


[] This recipe is from the Los Angeles Times (12/26/01) and it is supposed to be a special dish for Hanukkah. I think there is no law against eating this lovely brisket at any time of the year. []


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 (6- to 8-pound) lean beef brisket
5 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 (28-ounce) can peeled tomatoes
1-1/2 to 2 cups red wine
1 head garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound pitted prunes (about 1 cup)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the garlic mixture to a large, heavy roasting pot and place the meat on top, fat side up. Add the carrots, parsley, the tomatoes and their juice, the wine and garlic cloves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and bake until the meat is tender, 3 to 4 hours. Add the prunes the last 30 minutes of baking.

Transfer the beef to a wooden board and slice across the grain. Return to the pot, squeeze the garlic from the cloves into the sauce, and keep warm until serving. L.A. TIMES 12/26/01


[] Here is another delight you can enjoy any time of year (even though they are "special for Hanukkah." []


1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
1 egg, separated
2 teaspoons orange juice
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
Oil, for frying

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with a dash of sugar and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Blend the margarine, egg yolk, orange juice and yeast mixture in the bowl of a mixer. Gradually add the flour, 2 teaspoons of the sugar and salt and blend well. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled,  about 45 minutes.

Place the dough (it will be sticky) on a well-floured board and knead it into a flat disk, adding additional flour if needed. Roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick with a rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter, cut out 2-1/2-inch rounds.

Place 2 teaspoons of jam in the center of half of the rounds; brush the edges with the egg white and put a plain round on top of jam. Pinch the edges to seal. Place them on a paper-covered cookie sheet, cover with a towel and let rise about 45 minutes.

Reseal doughnuts before frying.

Heat about 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep-fryer or heavy pot to 375 degrees. Fry 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time, turning them with a fork or tongs when one side is browned, and continuing to fry until brown all over, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Do this in batches until all the dough is used up. To serve, roll in sugar. L.A. TIMES 12 26 01


[] This last summer, I planted 6 tomato plants. Beefsteaks. They grew and were beautiful. On six plants, I got one tomato. It was smaller than a tennis ball, and even though it ripened, it tasted terrible. Next year, I will plant a different variety. []


If you can't find green tomatoes, substitute under-ripe tomatoes or ask your produce department to order them.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 pounds green tomatoes, diced (about 8 cups)
1 cup orange juice, heated
Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

Combine the sugar and water in a large heavy skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, mixing constantly, until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar begins to turn golden, 20 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, warm orange juice and zest, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the tomatoes are soft and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup, about 30 minutes. Cool. Makes 3 - 4 cups.  L.A. TIMES 12/26/01


[] Here is a very interesting article from the same L.A. TIMES issue from which I got some of the other recipes. It has nothing to do with anything Jewish, but I do not believe that there are any restrictions regarding the use of lemon grass. []


When Life Hands You Lemon Grass
The fragrant and elegant Asian herb drives some to larceny and others to Fresno. By DAVID LANSING, Special to The Times (L.A. TIMES 12 26 01) 

If you really want to hear about it, I suppose it all started several years ago, when I took some cold medicine because I thought I was coming down with something, fell asleep on the train to Berlin and ended up in Hanover. It was raining, and the train back to Berlin wasn't due for a  couple of hours, and the last thing I felt like doing, to be honest, was sitting around a damp German Bahnhof, staring at a bunch of drab businessmen holding wet fedoras in their laps and nervously tapping their fingers on the wooden benches. So I thought maybe I'd just hang out at a restaurant for an hour or so and have a bowl of soup. This was in April, which is only important because springtime in Germany is like National Spargel Season or something. Spargel is what the Germans call asparagus, and there isn't a restaurant in the whole country that doesn't make a big deal out of Spargel during the spring. They serve it with hollandaise, they stuff it into chicken breasts, they make soup out of it--you name it.

I found a restaurant near the train station called Sawaddi, which turned out to be Thai. I can get by with my German when I have to, but I wasn't having much luck with the waiter, whose grasp of the language seemed even worse than mine. "Spargel? Suppe?" He became agitated and pointed to a green chalkboard across the room, so I said, "Sure, that would be fine."

What I ended up getting was the night's special, which was a big four-course meal. Everything was made with lemon grass. Lemon grass soup, lemon grass asparagus, lemon grass chicken. Even the dessert was made with lemon grass. But the best thing was the asparagus. They took 
lemon grass leaves, tied them into knots and steamed them with the white Spargel, serving it with lemon grass butter. Between the cold medicine and a couple glasses of wine, I guess you could say I went a little crazy. I ended up ordering three more plates of asparagus with lemon 
grass. I think the waiter was starting to worry about me--while I was eating the last plateful, he stood next to another waiter, and the two of them stared at me as if I might eat the napkin or steal the silverware.

I don't want to use that experience as an excuse, but it's probably why I was driving slowly through Westminster in the middle of the night three months later, covertly looking for lemon grass, and why I ended up leaving my shovel behind in an unknown flower bed when a dog started barking and several lights came on in a pink stucco house. I decided I probably ought to get out of there before the dog got me or the cops showed up. Technically, I wasn't a thief. Before the dog started yapping and before I'd even started trying to dig up a little clump of lemon grass from the front yard, I'd left $20 tucked inside a bank deposit envelope beneath a little stone Buddha on the porch.

These days, you can walk into almost any supermarket and buy all the lemon grass you want, but there was a time when it wasn't so easy to get. Back then, I'd get a craving and drive to Orange County's Little Saigon just to buy lemon grass at the 99 Ranch Market. During these trips I noticed that a lot of people in the neighborhood grew the stuff in their yards, which is how I came up with the idea of "borrowing" a clump or two.

Shortly after, I found a nursery 50 miles east of Fresno that sold the herb in three-inch pots. "There are fields and fields of the stuff all along the highway from Fresno to our nursery," said V.J. Billings, the owner of Mountain Valley Growers, when I told her how thankful I was to locate her because I couldn't find any lemon grass in Southern California. "It's like a weed here."

I said I'd heard that it has been used in South America for centuries. I read once that native cultures of the Amazon use it as a contraceptive. She thought that Southeast Asian refugees, many of whom settled around Fresno in the early '70s, introduced it to California.

Like a nervous new father, I called her the day my two seedlings arrived to ask what I was supposed to do with them. Some people might be annoyed by such questions, but Billings, who sells more than 300 herbs, loves weird plants the way some people love old cars. Lemon grass thrives in fertile soil and, like all grasses, needs a lot of water, particularly during the growing season.

"It'll grow fast," Billings warned, "but don't start to harvest it until it gets several feet tall and starts to put out new pups." Then what do you do with it? "Cut the woody outer leaves off until you get just the bulb--like the white part of a scallion. That's the good stuff."

I planted a bulb in a weedy bed behind our backyard fence and another in a 15-inch clay pot that sat next to a potted Mexican lime tree on our brick patio. The lemon grass behind the house did just fine until someone dug it up without leaving any money or a shovel or anything, which just shows you how some people are. The one in the clay pot quickly wrapped its roots around the bottom of the pot and lifted itself up, drying out and dying while we were on vacation. When I told Billings what had happened, she said, "Yeah, they're weird that way." She explained that I should use half a whiskey barrel next time. But my wife doesn't like the look of whiskey barrels as planters, so I thought I'd try growing it in a south-facing bed on the side of the house, this time with larger plants. I didn't get around to planting until this summer, when a friend in San Diego, Su-Mei Yu, mentioned that she grows lemon grass, along with French lavender, in a bed in her front yard. She likes the smell of lemon grass, which is lighter, tangier and more aromatic  than lemons, and uses it in her cooking. She said I could have a clump of it, but I'd have to drive down to get it. I told Yu, author of the Thai cookbook "Cracking the Coconut" and owner of the Thai restaurant Saffron in San Diego, about eating three plates of lemon grass asparagus in Germany and how the waiters looked at me. Did she think I was a little crazy?

"Maybe because you were sick, your body was not in balance," she said. "To the Thai people, lemon grass is used as medicine as well as for cooking. It has a 'hot' property." In Thailand, she explained, they use it for upset stomachs, urinary tract problems and excess perspiration.

After giving me a great recipe for a lemon grass dressing, Yu suggested I call her friend Karen Caplan, the president of Frieda's, a Los Alamitos-based produce wholesale marketer and distributor. "Karen knows everything about lemon grass."

Frieda's is a family-owned business known best for taking a little-known fruit from New Zealand called the Chinese gooseberry, renaming it Kiwifruit, and persuading American growers to plant and market it back in the early '60s.

"There was a woman from Bakersfield--I think her name was Sherry," Caplan said a few days later, when I asked how she first heard of lemon grass. "She and her husband had a little farm there, and she started bringing us lemon grass around 1978, '79. But we didn't know what to do 
with the stuff."

It took Frieda's two years to figure it out and start selling the herb to grocery stores. "It was tough," said Caplan. "We had to convince produce managers that just because it was yellow and a stick, it was still fresh. Now every young hot chef in Southern California uses it in one dish or another."

Since then I've asked several cooks whether they've ever had lemon grass steamed with asparagus, once prompting a conversation about the equal rarity of Kaffir limes. They, along with lemon grass, are what give hot-and-sour Thai soup its aromatic smell. But Kaffir lime trees are almost impossible to find.

My lemon grass grows tall in a raised bed on the side of the house, away from the street. My wife once grew iceberg roses there, but, like I told her, roses will grow anywhere. The Kaffir lime tree, which I bought online from Four Winds Growers, is a year old and growing in a clay pot on the patio. As for the asparagus, I have my eye on the bed where my wife grows arugula from seeds she brought back from Italy. I haven't told her yet, but I'm sure she'll be fine with my taking out the arugula. I mean, if we're going to grow our own lemon grass and Kaffir limes, we might as well plant asparagus, right? Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times


We wish you a peaceful, healthful, and prosperous new year,

Shalom, from Spike the Grate


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