Potluck Party Post!

August 24, 2012

Goodbye corn. Goodbye beans.

It’s THAT time! The End of Summer Potluck Party Post!

The crickets are singing, the sky is turning moody and getting darker earlier, the kids have their school supply list to fill, the cool-loving lettuces and kales are making their appearance in the garden once more, and the tomatoes, basil and peppers are at their best as they wait to be turned into something that gets funneled into a quart-sized Ball Jar.

The once-green and frilly fernleaf dill takes on its new, more mature life with glee.

Try as we might to make this gorgies part of the year last just a moment longer, the seasons just keep stubbornly marching forward. So instead of having The End of Summer Pity Party (which I’m always tempted to do), we’re having The End of Summer Potluck Party!

We’re celebrating!

All the usual suspects are here. Plus a few new ones.

We’ve invited all the usual suspects plus a few new friends to the party. As usual, we love our friends who love to cook, or bring flowers, or just love to eat. Well, fact is, we just love our friends and we’ll miss them as the busiest part of the year pulls us away from these dreamy few weeks.

A good potluck always starts with dessert.

At least the pinwheel sausage from Fairway will keep feeding us throughout the year from the deep freezer.

Thanks to those of you who brought a dish. If your dish didn’t get included in this party, no probs — you can stop by last minute by adding your recipe and, if you want, a link to your blog in the Comments below. Nothing fancy, peoples! It’s The Muddy Kitchen after all.

If you’ll notice NO ONE BROUGHT DESSERT!!

So someone either needs to run down to The Berry Farm for ice cream, or whip up something sweet (in the Comments) quick!


A few dozen ears of corn from the stand at The Cottage restaurant. Half-steamed (the only way my husband likes corn), half roasted on the grill.

Miriam’s Cole Slaw – made from the brightest nubile bits in the garden.

Keith’s smoked chicken and ribs (since when can Keith resist making these for everyone in the neighborhood?!) with Amy’s BBQ Sauce

My fried zucchini blossoms

Benigna’s hummus

A couple loaves of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Kelli’s famous broccoli salad

Kami McBride’s ice tea with loads of lemon balm tossed in

Rose’s Spaghetti alla Haunted House

Scofflaw Cocktails for the grown-ups

Summer Dressed Kale and Nectarine Salad

Scrumptious Soba Noodle Salad

Laura’s Garden Quiche

Teresa, aka ‘Curly Top,’ from A Table in the Sun is bringing her Summer Dressed Kale and Nectarine Salad. Table in the Sun is a perfect blog for the adventurous Merced-ophile (believe it or not, I know a few!), who dreams of orchards, perky hens and life in the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free (mostly) slow-lane. Teresa’s a great, healthy cook – we’re so happy she could come by The Muddy Kitchen!

That looks soooo good, Teresa.


A Table in The Sun



1 leek, diced
2 tomatoes, cut into small to medium chunks
2 nectarines or peaches, cut into small or medium chunks
1 1/2 cups kale, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
crumbled goat cheese (feta would work too)
toasted pepitas (or any nut you like)

This salad is best dressed ahead of time in order to blend the flavors. Mix first five ingredients. Reserve cheese and nuts for topping when serving. (I like to toast my pepitas in an iron skillet with a bit of honey.)

Creamy Lemon Dressing

1/4 cup plain kefir or yogurt
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4tsp. – 1/2 tsp. stevia powder (or honey to taste)
salt and pepper
Pour dressing over salad. Top with goat cheese and roasted nuts at time of serving.

Joanna from Guavabelly is bringing her Scrumptious Soba Noodle Salad! Guavabelly is Joanna’s baby blog about food, fitness and a quest for happiness and health. It’s a gorgeous blog with lot of hypnotically great pics and inspiring lessons for life. She’s an inspiring friend striving, like most of us, to be healthy, happy and live her life out loud!

Second helping of Joanna’s Soba Salad anyone?




17 oz. cooked fresh soba noodles (3 individual packages), about 3 cups cooked -or- 2 pkgs cooked ramen noodles

16 oz pkg extra firm sprouted tofu (non-sprouted is fine but you will have to press it), cut into 1″ cubes

1 tbsp. sesame oil

3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 12 oz. pkg broccoli slaw

other chopped veggies of your choice ( I used baby summer squash from my garden but get creative here! edamame!  carrots! sprouts!)

1 ripe avocado

For the sauce:

6 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp sesame seeds (you can toast them if it’s not a million degrees in your kitchen)

1 tsp Agave or honey

2 Tbsp Far East Sesame Dressing (I used this because I ran out of sesame oil.  If you don’t have it, use more vinegar and sesame oil and you should be fine

Garlic Powder and Fresh ground pepper to taste.

  1. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil and 3/4 cup chicken broth in large wok or frying pan. Add soba noodles and let cook, breaking noodles apart with spoon. If using ramen, cook noodles until slightly under done, and drain of all liquid before going to this step. Use less chicken broth as noodles will not absorb it.
  2. When almost all the liquid is absorbed, add broccoli slaw, white parts of chopped green onions, tofu, and any other veggies you want.  (If using sprouts, I would wait to add those until the end so they don’t get mushy).
  3. Continue cooking over medium heat for a few minutes, until veggies are cooked but still crispy.
  4. Remove noodles from heat.  Let them cool while you spill an ENTIRE bottle of OIL all over your kitchen floor, and comically try to clean it up while sliding all around.  (oh wait, that’s just me).
  5. Whisk all ingredients for the dressing together.  Make sure you taste it!  It might need more a little something something.
  6. Mix dressing with noodles and transfer to a bowl to cool.  Once they cool down a bit, stick them in the fridge until they are just right.
  7. Before serving, top with remaining green onion, more sesame seeds, and fresh avocado.  If you are super crazy, top it with a poached, fried, or soft-boiled egg to let all the yokey goodness coat those noodles!
  8. Don’t forget lots of Sriracha, and enjoy!

Amy Roth is bringing her BBQ sauce from her soon to be completed family cookbook, entitled “The Queen Also Cooks”. Amy’s sauce will be great slathered on Keith’s smoked chicken and ribs. I can’t wait!

Amy’s sauce on Keith’s chicken and ribs?! Ouch!


1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C Jack Daniel’s
2 C ketchup
1/3 C vinegar*
1/4 C worcestershire
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C molasses
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 T salt
1/4 C tomato paste
2-3 T liquid smoke
1/3 tsp Tabasco, to taste

Combine onion, garlic, and whiskey in a 3 quart saucepan. Sauté until translucent, approx. 10 minutes. Remove from heat and light, flame for 20 seconds. Add rest of ingredients, bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes stirring constantly. Cool and store for 1 day before using. Keeps very well.


*Cider or red wine vinegar are both appropriate. Don’t use balsamic.

Laura Watts from Modern Pioneer Mom, is bringing her yummy garden quiche. Laura has passion for simplicity, living lightly on the earth, real food and healthy cooking, a loving home and old-fashioned values coupled with a modern lifestyle. We’re glad Laura n’ munchkin made it (just in time, I’ll add!) to the party.

Laura n’ munchkin

You call that a piece, Laura? I’ll take 2, please.


Modern Pioneer Mom

Easy Whole-Wheat Crust (From 100 Days of Real Food)

1½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup melted butter
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. In the pan, combine all ingredients and mix well with a fork. Use your hand to form a ball in the pan and then press into pan. Bring it up on the sides and pinch the top (with your finger or a fork). Then mix and pour quiche filling right into the raw crust.

… OR …

Brown Rice Crust (from The Tightwad Gazette)

1½ to 2 cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 egg
Preheat oven to 425º. Mix ingredients together in a 9-inch pie pan coated with cooking spray. Spread out to cover bottom and sides of pan. Bake 20 minutes until firm.

Quiche Filling

1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice, preferably from your garden!! (leeks, green onions, sautéed onions/ mushrooms/red bell pepper, tomatoes, etc.)
optional: chopped shrimp or ham or other protein
3 large or 4 small eggs, beaten (preferably from your own backyard chickens!)
1 cup milk
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
salt, pepper, fresh herbs to taste, dash of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350º. Spread chopped veggies and optional meat into bottom of crust. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set.

And from my brothers from some other mothers, aka Putney Farm, their blog about seasonal food, cooking and entertaining for family and friends, the pucker-perfect Scofflaw Cocktail.

We’re glad we have friends from Putney Farm who make delicious cocktails. Makes clean-up so much more fun!


Putney Farm

(Adapted from the The Savoy Cocktail Book)


1 oz. rye or Canadian whiskey

1 oz. dry vermouth

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. grenadine

1 dash orange bitters (Regan’s)


Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe’. Serve.


(Adapted from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)


1 and 1/2  oz. rye or Canadian whiskey

1 oz. dry vermouth

3/4 oz. lemon juice

3/4 oz. grenadine


Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe’. Serve.

When did these long days get so short?

We’ll that’s it unless someone still thinks we’re missing a dish or got caught in traffic (like there is any on our road) or has something sweet to add, for instance DESSERT! — you can always arrive last minute and..


If not, we’ll see you in the fall for the next potluck! I myself am staring at my Red Kuri squash, like watching paint dry, hoping I can clip their little bottoms off the vine soon and set them to cure in the sun on my porch. They’ll be on the fall menu.

Goodbye summer. We had a great time with you!

Take your boots off before you come in here!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Ziegler

Porch sittin’ and eatin’ is totally where it’s at! Love all the pic’s!


The Muddy Kitchen

Thanks, Madame! And anyone who hasn’t already checked out Jennifer on Pininterest they should run, not walk, to follow her schtuff: http://pinterest.com/zchick1836/?d

Girl’s got the best boards on the planet…a century’s worth of inspiration.


Jennifer Ziegler

OMGaaah! Thanks for the Pinterest compliment! 2 kind! I’m totally diggin’ ur boards as well!



Hi! I’m bringing dessert!
Here is the recipe for a quick, easy and yummy Lemon Posset from my blog: http://thegreedyfrog.wordpress.com

You will need (for 6):

6 lemons
375 g caster sugar (plus 2 tbsp for the blanching syrup)
700 ml double cream


Remove the zest off 2 lemons, slice thinly. Pour 250 ml water into a pan, add 2 tbsp sugar, bring to the boil. Add the lemon zest, blanch for 1 min, then drain and reserve.

Squeeze all 6 lemons, straining the juice into a saucepan. Add the sugar, and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Bring the cream to the boil, then immediately pour in the lemon syrup, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Strain the mixture into a jug (this is important as the mixture will curdle slightly when you add the syrup) and pour into 6 serving glasses. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the reserved zest on top.


Jennifer Solow

Thanks for stopping by Greedy Frog! What a long trip you had to get here! The Lemon Posset sounds delicious. Even the name sounds perfectly scrumptious – like something Little Miss Muffet might eat. Here’s your post that features it. http://thegreedyfrog.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/lemon-posset/comment-page-1/#comment-39

I’m a sucker for all things lemony and creamy like this. I will have to Google what 375 g of caster sugar is and looks like, but the Lemon Posset seems worth it!

Thanks again for coming to the party and bringing a sweet treat!



You’re welcome! Thanks for inviting me, I am loving the party; all the food looks delicious!



As I bid farewell to summer, I am so excited to try that BBQ sauce recipe. Nothing like sharing a meal with Jack.


Jennifer Solow

I like sharing the maple syrup making with Jack too! He’s excellent company!



Love, love this recipe-filled post! All those yummy salads (my fave), sticky meat, a head-swirling cocktail and that superb-looking brown-rice crust quiche (try saying the latter after having the cocktail :D). Lots of yummies to try,whatever the weather. But I would love to eat it on that porch – so sweet! Speaking of sweet, here’s an end-of-summer cakey, tarty thing – peach, honey and lavender tart (http://bit.ly/q9J7Q1) and an extra salad if there is room – tomato and skillet corn quinoa salad (http://bit.ly/Nn6xlz).


The Muddy Kitchen

Thanks for bringing the thing, you cakey tart…I mean, thanks for bringing the CAKEY TART, you thing! (Oops :-))

Lavender is a highly underutilized herby bit. I sleep with a mask of it. Dump it in my bath. Plunk it in the center of my table. Grind it up with salt. Baste my lamb chops with it. And now…add it to my (new) tart recipe!



Great post and thanks for the mention! We would travel quite a ways fot those Zucchini blossoms…and the nectarine salad is something we will try….

Hold on to east coast summer for a few more days…and then of course you get another summer sept/oct in norcal…not bad.


The Muddy Kitchen

THESE are the ones you must travel for, Putnuts! We’ll have to time your visit with the arrival of these gorgie babes: http://themuddykitchen.com/2012/07/15/duxelle-stuffed-fried-squash-blossoms/



I never know what to make for pot luck parties! This will give me plenty of ideas for the future though 🙂 Also, I never knew pot lucks were supposed to start with dessert!! Katie x


Jennifer Solow

Oh my, yes! No one told you? Potlucks always start with dessert!



I had absolutely no idea – you learn something every day 🙂


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