Showing posts with label ham salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ham salad. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pittsburgh Dads, Kennywood Park, and School Picnic Memories from Cleo Coyle


It came! The first “coatless” day of spring. (Thank goodness.) My husband, Marc, who refers to our winter parkas as “space suits,” is not only cheered by the return of warmth, he’s downright nostalgic. 

I first met (and fell for) Marc here in New York City, but we didn’t grow up here. Our childhoods were spent (much like our amateur sleuth Clare Cosi) in small towns outside of Pittsburgh, PA, which gave us a common denominator of memories, including the culinary kind. 


Some of you may recall my past posts about recreating the Ohio Valley's Eat'n Park Fresh-Glazed Strawberry Pie or “Pittsburgh-style” Chipped Ham Sandwich... (Check out the comments on the Chipped Ham post and you’ll see a discussion that includes a bit of Pittsburghese.) 


My copycat Eat'n Park Strawberry Pie
For the recipe click here.
Well, when you grow up in Steelers’ country, the first warm day of spring usually means two things: excitement over the end of the school year and the annual picnic at Kennywood, a beautiful little amusement park that's been owned and run by the same family for over 100 years. (Along with New York's Rye Playland, Kennywood is one of only two amusement parks listed in the National Register of Historic Places.)


If you’d like to see what our annual
“school picnic” ritual looked like in this
adorable, landmark amusement park, watch
the “Pittsburgh Dad” comedy video below,
which was filmed on location at Kennywood… 

To play the video, click the little white arrow
in the center of the image below...






For those of you who grew up in the Ohio Valley, the comedian in the above video will have you falling off your chairs. I fell off mine and so did Marc. Although we didn’t grow up together, we both grew up with “Pittsburgh Dads,” and the video above looked very much like our school picnic with one exception—the food...
CARNIVAL NOSHING 

When we were young, we couldn’t wait to stuff ourselves with cotton candy, chocolate dipped ice cream cones, and bright red candy apples. Our parents, however, weren’t about to watch us turn green from riding roller coasters all day with a system full of nothing but sugar.

Their answer was the “picnic” part of the school picnic. They brought big coolers full of homemade food, and Kennywood provided beautiful shaded groves with old-fashioned wooden picnic tables for families to enjoy their own noshes. 




IN FOOD WE TRUST 

Cleo and her partner in crime writing,
her husband Marc. Together they write
The Coffeehouse Mysteries.
Speaking of nostalgia: Remember when you could plunk a big old basket down on a picnic table, spend a few hours on the park’s rides, and come back to find your food untouched, even the soft drinks still there? Okay, so the "good old days" weren’t always good—but the part where you didn’t have to lock every little thing down to keep it from being lifted? Well, I do miss that! 

As for my recipe today, it’s one of the items Marc’s grandmother always made for their family’s "school picnic" basket. With Easter dinner leftovers still sitting in fridges across the country, I hope this ham salad recipe comes in handy. If you make it, I sincerely hope you will... 

Eat with joy,

~ Cleo 



Cleo Coyle's
"School Picnic" Ham Salad

On school picnic day, the heavy steel cooler in Marc's family was packed with cold fried chicken, deviled eggs, potato salad, and (for dessert) homemade fudge. There was always another tasty treat in that cooler, ham salad and crackers for snacking. Here's our favorite recipe, based on Marc's grandmother's.

Too retro for you? No problem. Just call it "American Pâté" serve it with a glass of wine, and garnish those ham-salad topped crackers with slices of jalapeño and cured, pitted olives seasoned with Herbes de Provence. (Ooh là là!)



To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.


3 cups ham, fully cooked
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
2 heaping teaspoons dill relish (you can swap in sweet)
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 green onion, chopped (or 1 T. chopped shallots)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard (or yellow if you like)
1/2 cup mayonnaise



Directions: 

Grind your ham slices with a blender, food processor, meat grinder, or (use the method of Marc's grandmother), a pastry blender! (See our photo.) Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill and serve on your favorite crackers or slices of crusty baguette. 

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle


New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here
Follow me on twitter here.
Visit my online coffeehouse here.




To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

To learn more, click here. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Egg Salad and More Tasty Ideas for Your Holiday Leftovers from Cleo Coyle


Easter eggs are so very pretty.
Bright with spring colors,
they're fun to dye
and equally fun to photograph.



They're also delicious to eat. Will you be eating your Easter eggs? How? With a dash of salt or Tabasco? Or (ironically) as deviled eggs?

Here's how my husband
and I like to eat them:





Cleo Coyle, who always
appreciates a good egg, is author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries




Cleo Coyle's
Easter Egg
and Bacon Salad
To download a PDF of
this recipe that you can print,
save, or share, click here.


Makes 4 servings


 

INGREDIENTS:

8 hard boiled eggs
4 slices bacon
2 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
pepper to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
   or white vinegar (optional)


DIRECTIONS: Peel the hard boiled eggs and chop them into a bowl. Set aside. Place a small skillet over medium heat. Using kitchen shears, cut the bacon into slivers, fry them up in the skillet, and drain them on paper towels. Toss the bacon bits into the bowl with the chopped eggs. Add the fresh, chopped parsley, and mayonnaise. Because the bacon is salty, I never add salt to this salad. A bit of pepper is a nice addition. I sometimes add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. This brings a slight bright tanginess to the salad that you might like, as well.



Would you like a few more leftover ideas?
Click the links below for some
of my past recipes . . .  


Do you have extra potatoes and carrots on hand? My Autumn Potatoes are a healthier version of garlic mashed potatoes. The addition of carrots (and the use of very little butter) make it a tasty recipe with more nutrition and fiber than regular mashed potatoes. They're prettier on your plate, too. But the best part is this: The creamy, buttery potatoes are still the star of this side dish. You hardly taste the carrots.

Click here for the PDF of this recipe.



Is your fridge still full of holiday ham? Here are two ideas. Above is a classic ham salad recipe. Try it on crackers with an olive or slice of jalapeno. Click here for a PDF of my Ham Salad recipe.

Below is a picture of my Italian Easter Pie Palmiers, a very easy appetizer made with frozen puff pastry, a few other ingredients, and your leftover ham. The recipe is based on the flavors in my late aunt Mary's annual Easter pie. Click here for a PDF of my palmiers recipe.


Finally, if you happen to have extra turkey or chicken in the house, try my quick and easy pot pie with cheddar cheese crust. For a PDF of one of my favorite post-holiday leftover meals, click here.




Do you have a favorite
idea for leftovers?

Let us know in the
comments below, and . . .

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

 
Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An American Pâté by Coffeehouse Mystery Author Cleo Coyle






How we came up
with this recipe post...


A Play in One Scene
by Cleo Coyle





Click here for the handy PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share.



Marc: The holidays are over, honey, what do we have to eat?

Me: (Sticking head in fridge.) Leftovers. More leftovers. Slices of ham…

Marc: Hey, my grandmother used to make ham salad. How about that?

Me: Ham salad? Um… (As I contemplate my husband's suggestion, I break the fourth wall and address you, the audience)

Ee-gad, I’ve heard of ham salad. I know it’s been popular for years, kind of a retro Mad Men ’50’s canapé thing, but isn’t it on par with awful stuff like Spam in a can? Speaking of which, whatever happened to those adorable little cans of ham spread enveloped with that signature crinkly paper and the cute little devil logo? (Do any of you remember Underwood Deviled Ham Spread?)

By now, my husband groks my skeptical expression, if not my internal thoughts...

Marc: Oh, honey, you never had it made fresh for you. It’s delicious. Really, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Me: Okay, I’m game. So what goes in it? Ham. Obviously.

Marc: Mustard, onion, a hard-boiled egg, mayonnaise...

Me: I have an idea. Let’s see if anyone posted their grandmother’s recipe online….

(Sure enough there was a recipe here. We tinkered with it a bit and came up with our own particular version.)

Me: Problem. Nobody will click on this post if I call it Ham Salad.

Marc: Well, our version has Dijon mustard in it, and you’re serving it with jalapeno slices and dry-cured olives with Herbes De Provence.

Me: I’ve got it! We'll call the recipe Yankee Tapas, or better yet…


Cleo Coyle's American Pâté

For PDF click here.

3 cups ham, fully cooked
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
2 heaping teaspoons dill relish (you can swap in sweet)
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 green onion, chopped (or 1 T. chopped shallots)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard (or yellow if you like)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
 
 
Directions: Grind your ham slices with a blender, food processor, meat grinder, or (use the method of Marc's grandmother), a pastry blender! (See our photo.)

Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill and serve on your favorite crackers or slices of crusty baguette. We enjoyed topping ours with slices of jalapeno and cured, pitted olives.
 

Eat
(yes, even leftovers)
with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online home here.





To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 







The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)


The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 





Sign up for my newsletter!
Simply write an e-mail that says
"Sign me up" and send it to this address...

CoffeehouseMystery@gmail(dot)com 

This will also enter you in my weekly
Free Coffee Drawings.
Every week, I give away a package of
premium coffee to a subscriber.
Good luck!



* * *


And don't miss...


A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly


See the book's
Recipe Guide by

clicking here.


*** 



Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries

Free Title Checklist,
with mini plot summaries,