Neiman – Marcus Cookies

5 cups blended oatmeal                                      1 tsp. of salt

2 cups of butter                                                    2 tsp. baking powder

2 cups sugar                                                        2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups brown sugar                                              24 ounces chocolate chips

4 eggs                                                                   ( 1  ) 8 oz. Hershey Bar, grated

2 tsp. vanilla                                                          ( 3 ) cups chopped nuts ( your choice )

4 cups flour


Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place ( 2 ) inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for ( 10 ) minutes at 375*. Makes 112 cookies. Recipe may be halved for 4 1/2 dozen.

The story behind this recipe: A disgruntled woman faxed a copy of this recipe to every E-Mail address she had throughout the U.S. when she unwittingly was charged ( $250.00 ) by Neiman- Marcus for this recipe. She thought she was being charged ( $2.50 ). When the manager refused to credit her account, she got her revenge by sending this out to everyone for free. Frankie’s niece ( her sister Bobbe’s daughter ) named Dale, was married to the President of Neiman – Marcus. They are sure he was notified and received copy of this.

Pizzelle Cookies

1/2 cup butter, melted                                         1 1/2 tsp. anise extract ( or vanilla )

2/3 cup sugar                                                      1 tsp. anise seed ( optional )

2 eggs                                                                1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted ( optional )

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Mix eggs; add sugar; add cooled butter and anise extract. Sift dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Fold in anise seeds and ground almonds, ( if you are using ). Batter will be stiff. Scoop by teaspoon fulls and form into balls. Place them just behind the center point of a heated pizzelle iron and cook for 25 seconds. Lift off with a fork and cool on wire racks. Makes 2 Dozen – freezes in small packages. If cookies lose their crispness, bake in a 300* oven for 5 minutes. ,

Bean Dip

1 tbls. of salad dressing                             ( 1 ) can Progresso Kidney Beans

3 tbls. sweet relish, drained                        ( 3 ) garlic cloves, finely chopped


Wash and Drain Beans. Mix all ingredients together gently. The longer it is refrigerated, the stronger the garlic flavor.

Quick Clam Dip

( 1 ) Cup Campbell’s clam chowder                           ( 1 ) huge clove garlic, minced

( 8 ) Oz of Cream Cheese                                          ( 1/2 ) tsp. Worcestershire sauce

( 1 ) Can of minced clams, drained

Combine all ingredients, beat until smooth . Chill

Party Meatballs

Popular in the 1970’s – O.K …showing my age

2 Pounds of Ground Beef                                 1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 Cup of fine bread crumbs                            ( 1 )  12 Oz. Jar of Chili Sauce

1/3 Cup of Milk                                                   ( 1 )  10 Oz. jar grape jelly

1 Large Onion, finely chopped                            juice of ( 1 ) lemon

1 Egg, beaten

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine top ingredients ( ground beef through pepper ) and mix thoroughly. Shape and brown in a large skillet ( or ) place in a large casserole, brush with oil and bake at 400* until browned. In a large skillet, combine the chili sauce, jelly and lemon juice, cooking until jelly melts. Return the meatballs to the skillet and cook over low heat for about ( 40 ) minutes. Makes 40 small meatballs .


The Jofus Burger – Beef, Lamb, and Kaz

jofus_burgers_thumbnailEarlier this summer – at the antique tractor pull – Cousin Joe gave Grillaz a jar of Chef Kaz Sweet Mango Heat.  Labor Day was our chance to try it out, and it was awesome.  It is a little sweet and jelly-like with a bit of heat to make sure it is taken seriously.  We combined ground beef with ground lamb, some salt, and a few spoonfuls of Sweet Mango Heat mixed right in.  After grilling the burgers to medium rare, we backed them away from the heat and gave them a coating of the sauce.  Delicious.  And we call this “The Jofus Burger.”


D&J’s Fresh Kielbasa

kielbasa_D&J_thumbnailThe weatherman was mistaken this weekend, and that led to Grillaz getting their hands on the best kielbasa on earth.  With the “guarantee” of a torrent, we did not make any plans for the weekend.  When an unscheduled beautiful Spring day happened along, we spontaneously hiked the Arnold Arboretum.  Then we were hungry, so we drove to D&J’s Market in Dorchester (south of Boston) .

A Lithuanian friend had recently told us about D&J’s Market where his family shopped when he was a boy, and he fondly remembered how good all of the fresh, homemade Polish food was.  The place is small and unassuming – very old school – and offers delicious Polish meats and cheeses.  We grabbed a couple of fresh, homemade kielbasas for the grill and a couple “Moscow ham and mazurski cheese on rye” sandwiches to hold us over on the drive home.  The sandwiches were great.

These sausages appeared to be what is referred to as biala – or white – kielbasa (we wish we had asked about what went into these).  They were light in color, were not smoked, and had no nitrates because they were not to be preserved but instead cooked and eaten fresh.  They were meaty with a nice balance of fat (many butcher shops add too much fat), and did not cause a lot of flareups when we grilled them.  We cooked them to an internal temperature of 155 F – perfect.  They had a nice texture, being less tightly packed than store bought kielbasa, which sometimes have a bit of a “rubber hose” tooth to them.  The taste was pleasantly more subtle than we were accustomed to, with a hint of black pepper that came through because these were not smoked.  Absolutely delicious!

Extreme Beer Fest 2014

Grillaz attended the Extreme Beer Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA on March 22, 2014. The event showcased 250 fantastic brews to try. Below is a synopsis of what Grillaz tried.

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Imperial Boont Amber Ale star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Boulevard Brewing Company Foeder Project #1 0
Cape Ann Brewing Company Fisherman’s Dead Eye Double IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Founders Brewing Company Founders Doom star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Ithaca Beer Company Flower Power India Pale Ale star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Jack’s Abbey Saxonator Dunkles Dopplebock star_small_3star_small_3
Long Trail Brewing Co. Limbo IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Night Shift Brewing Viva Habanera Rye Beer star_small_3
Revolution Brewing Co. Red Skull American Amber star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Sosus Imperial IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Sue Imperial IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Uinta Brewing Co. Detour Double IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Victory Brewing Co. Hop Ranch Double IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Camelopardis Belgian IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Tarte Nouveau America Wild Ale star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3

Lost Abbey Merry Taj and Sierra Nevada Celebration at Gulu Gulu

LouieOrfanosGrillaz was planning on visiting Gulu Gulu Cafe this fall, but then Halloween rolled around and Salem was impassible. Long overdue, Grillaz recently had lunch there. We often hear Gulu Gulu referred to as a “hipster hangout” with descriptions such as “so hip it hurts”.  This is true, but all are welcome in the friendly atmosphere.  The bartender certainly fit the bill:  He was a tall, skinny boy with a couple piercings through his lips, and he included the expression “ya, totally” in every sentence he uttered

lost-abbey-celtic-crossOur bartender was a pleasant conversationalist and knowledgeable about his fine selections of beer on tap. After learning of the Grillaz love for IPAs, he recommended the Lost Abbey Merry Taj. I is a wonderfully hoppy beer with some citrus zing to it and, gratefully, is did not tend to sweetness.  This beer went right to the top of the Grillaz list.

The clientele at the bar were as friendly as the bartender, and we soon engaged in a conversation with Tony, a gregarious fellow with as much knowledge and appreciation of beer, bourbon, and Scotch as Grillaz. On his advice, we tried the Sierra Nevada Celebration. This is another fine beer, less hoppy that the Merry Taj but with a more complex taste involving citrus and pine.  Tony was right on.  Again, another beer went to the top of the Grillaz list.  This beer, by the way, was put to the task of washing down a hot, melty chicken cordon blue crepe.