Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome our guest, Laurie Cass!!!

Please welcome author Laurie Cass!

Laurie Cass grew up in Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a (mostly unused) Bachelor of Science degree in geology. Currently, Laurie and her husband share their house with two cats, the inestimable Eddie, and the adorably cute Sinii. When Laurie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or doing some variety of skiing. Laurie also writes the PTA Mystery Series under the name Laura Alden.

Take it away, Laurie/Laura:

* * *
From Laurie:

You know how it goes. There’s a church dinner or a family get-together or an office event or a neighborhood party and you’re called upon to bring a dish to pass. There’s no getting out of it; something must be concocted. This broccoli salad is one of the two recipes I’ve sweet-talked out of a friend and it’s now a standard potluck contribution (the other is bite-sized sausage-cheese balls, in our house also known as the Moist Balls of Fun). 

Warning: if you want to have any salad for your own family the next night, 
you’d better put some aside. There is rarely any left!


Broccoli Salad

2-3 large bunches of broccoli, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups, chopped)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 lb. crumbled bacon
1/2 cup onion (optional - personally, I never put it in)
Add salted sunflower seeds to taste

Dressing - add just before serving
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. vinegar  

Mix broccoli, golden raisins, bacon, optional onion, and sunflower seeds. Just before serving, add the dressing about 1/4 cup at a time until you reach the desired amount of goo-iness. Be careful not to overgoo.
This version has onion!

Make-ahead tip:  cook the bacon in advance, then freeze. And don’t thaw the bacon before cutting the strips into crumbly bits; it cuts up easy-peasy when still frozen.

Bacon cooking tip:  bake the bacon. Take a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top of the parchment paper, lay bacon strips individually across the rack, then cook in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees until desired doneness is achieved, 20 to 30 minutes. Longer if you’re using thick-sliced bacon.

What's not to love about bacon??! 

Note from Daryl (who invited Laurie) - um, where's the recipe for the Moist Balls of Fun???!!!  :)  Thank you for joining us!


  1. Looks very tasty, Laurie! My mom does her bacon on a cookie sheet, too, and she swears it's the best method. Lending a Paw is at the top on my pile, on deck to be read!

    1. Linda, thanks for posting and I hope you enjoy the book :)

  2. I'm always looking for the right broccoli salad recipe. Thanks for sharing this one Laurie and congrats on Lending a Paw!

  3. Yum, bacon! I'm making this for our next office picnic (which, given the snow, won't be until July probably). Thanks for joining us today, Laurie!

  4. I am convinced broccoli (anti-cancer super-food) is a secret ingredient to good health. Plus it's crunchy and fun and when it's fresh reminds me of corn on the cob. This recipe is definitely a Keeper, Laurie. Love the pic of you and Eddie, and big congrats on the launch of your wonderful new series! ~ Cleo

  5. It's great to see you here, Laurie! Just a week or so ago, I baked the bacon instead of frying it. I love it that way. Nice and crispy and nothing was charred. Thank for the freezing tip! That's worthy of Natasha and Sophie!

    Broccoli and raisins? Never would have thought of that combination, but I bet it's great! This is a recipe I have to try.


  6. Because I got this recipe early (Laurie's my guest) I was able to make this recipe EARLY and my husband saw what went into it. He salivated and then ate the whole thing!!! (Other than my portion) Yipes! That's how good it is!

    Laurie, thrilled with your new series. :)

    Daryl /Avery

  7. Thanks for the bacon tips. I'm not a fan of broccoli, so I want to hear more about the Moist Balls of Fun!

  8. Thanks, ladies! And a special thanks to Daryl, who invited me :) If I ever have a return visit, you can be sure I'll talk about the extremely tasty - and easy! - Moist Balls of Fun.

  9. Welcome, Laurie (you mysterious woman)! Glad to have you here and learn about your new series. I love your PTA series too.

    I can't wait to give January a big boost with this fabulous salad.