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  • Sangria
  • Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Balsamic Mint Ketchup
  • Fruit Leather
  • Basic Butter Cream Frosting
  • Chocolate Decorations
  • Sangria – Palos Verdes friend, Sue Winkler - served at Michael’s Bar Mitzvah August 1983

    1 medium orange
    ¼ cup sugar
    2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
    1 bottle dry red wine
    ½ cup Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur

    Cut the orange in half; cut one half into slices for garnish. Peel the other half and bruise the peel with sugar in a bowl to release the oils. Stir in orange juice and liqueur. Cover and chill. Remove the orange peel, garnish with slices, and add ice if you like.

    Vinaigrette Dressing – Birk’s mom, Rosemarie

    ½ cup olive oil
    ½ cup safflower oil
    6 tablespoons vinegar
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon each: salt and ground pepper

    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    3 green chopped onions

    Combine all ingredients and mix well. Can add garlic, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, sour cream, or Worcestershire sauce as desired.

    Balsamic Mint Ketchup – Palos Verdes friend, Cathy Zimel

    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    ¼ cup ketchup
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

    Serve with lamb chops. Costco has great racks of lamb. Cut into individual rib chops. Place them in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Grill them about 4 min per side.

    For 6 guests, I used 3 racks – 24 chops. Put the chops on a platter with the dipping sauce in a nice bowl in the middle of the platter.

    Fruit Leather – Sunset Magazine

    Line two 10- by 15-inch jelly-roll pans with plastic wrap; secure edges with tape or tuck excess under pan.

    In the container of a food blender or processor, whirl fruit and seasoning until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, spread purée evenly over bottom of pan. Place pans in an oven set at 150 degrees or Warm. (If drying more than one pan, allow about 4 inches drying space between oven racks.)

    Dry 6 to 8 hours or until leather is firm and dry to the touch. Remove plastic and leather from pan and roll up together while still warm; twist plastic ends to seal. Wrap with ad­ditional plastic wrap. Store at room tem­perature up to one month or freeze for up to one year.

    Spiced Apple: Combine 1 can (about 30 oz.) applesauce, 3 to 4 tablespoons honey, 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon.

    Apple and Pear: Mix 1 can (about 16 oz.) pears, drained; 1 can (about 16 oz.) applesauce; and 1 teaspoon ground cin­namon.

    Banana and Peach: Combine 1 medium-size banana and 1 can (about 18 oz.) peach halves, drained.

    Cranberry - Raspberry: Combine 1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce and 4 tablespoons raspberry jelly, or use 1 can (16 oz.) jellied cranberry - raspberry sauce. Add 2 tablespoons honey.

    Basic Butter Cream Frosting – Birk’s mom, Rosemarie

    ¾ cup sweet butter
    3 ¾ cups sifted confectioners sugar
    1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon orange or rose water or just plain water

    Cream butter for two minutes; add half sugar and egg yolk. Beat and add remaining sugar.

    Chocolate Decorations - Woman’s Day Magazine


    Melt 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces over warm water; stir in 1/2 teaspoon vegetable shortening until smooth. Line baking sheet with waxed paper; mark forty 1 ½ inch circles. In each circle place a rounded 1/4 teaspoonful melted chocolate. Spread thinly within circle; refrigerate about 15 minutes or until chocolate sets. Peel rounds off paper; store covered in refrigerator or freezer. Use to decorate desserts. Makes 40.


     Prepare chocolate and baking sheet as above, marking four 4.1/2-inch circles. Spread 1 rounded tablespoonful melted chocolate in each circle. Refrigerate 3 minutes or until chocolate just begins to set. Using knife, score each circle in 8 wedges. Chill until set.