Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Hat Trick of Appies to Open "The Season"

Now that Fall is here and the sun is setting by 6pm, I'm not spending that much time out on the golf course. Which means, you probably will seeing a lot more typing and food here. Fall also means the start of the season of my other sport passion, hockey.

I've been a hockey fan since I was six months old. Seriously. When I was a baby, my dad would give my mom a break in the evening by feeding me my last bottle of the day, burping me, and rocking me to sleep while listening to the Detroit Red Wings take on all comers on the radio. My first two dolls where named Crissy and Hockey. Really. I named my Chatty Cathy "Hockey".

Since I grew up in the UP of Michigan, we picked up the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario TV stations. Saturday night would find my dad and I perched in front of the black and white TV watching Hockey Night in Canada. A lot of times, my dad would turn down the volume on the TV so we could listen to the Red Wings on the radio but regardless, we were watching hockey!

Besides the Red Wings (yes, Peabody, I'm a Wings fan), I have always had a soft spot for the Calgary Flames. I also became a rabid Bruins fan while I was living in Boston and I'm trying really hard to like the Rangers but I suspect the Islanders will probably end up my NYC team owing to the fact the Rangers are the arch rivals of the Bruins.

Hockey has played an important role in my career. My job as designer of sound systems for stadiums and arenas has allowed me to watch games from the best seats in the house, the catwalks, in the arenas in Calgary (GO FLAMES!!), Toronto, Vancouver, Detroit, LA, and Boston

Nice curves baby!

A few weeks ago, my bud Ivonne, contacted me and the biggest hockey nut in the food blogging world, Peabody, about putting together a virtual meal in honor the first installment of Hockey Night in Canada of the 2009 -2010 NHL Season.

Faster than a good defenseman can walk a puck across the blue line, I found myself doing appetizers; which is perfect for me as I often can't decide when I'm at a restaurant whether I want to have an entree or just a bunch of appetizers for my dinner.

I decided to make three different appetizers that are perfect for using your fingers to eat and can double as menacing objects when you want to throw something at the TV because your goalie let one slip between the knees: Piggies in a Blanket, Potato and Onion Pierogies, and Spanakopita.

A Hat Trick of Appies: Piggies in a Blanket, Pierogi, and Spanakopita

Piggies in a Blanket are no brainers and stupid easy to make. Get yourself a can of crescent rolls and a package of little cocktail weenies (I like Lil' Smokies). Divide of the roll dough and cut each triangle of dough into 4 parts. Wrap the cocktail weenies in the dough bits, bake at 375 for about 8-10 minutes, and you got yourself addicting little morsels of meat and bread. I don't use a dipping sauce but a mixture of grape jelly, chili sauce, and ketchup makes a pretty good condiment.

I don't have a set recipe for the spanakopita other than chopped spinach, some feta cheese, garlic, dill, and a little salt and pepper. I then take six sheets of phyllo dough, cut the sheets into long strips, cut the strips into five smaller rectangles and just like folding the flag, wrap about a tablespoon of filling into the rectangle of phyllo. I then brush each pocket of filling with some garlic infused melted butter and bake them at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. These freeze wonderfully too. So make a huge batch and you have instant appies for last minute guests arrive to cheer on the Canucks, the Pens, or who ever.

I do have a family recipe for the pierogies. It's my Aunt Peggy's family recipe actually. I could share it with you but then I would have to find you and full body check you into the boards because I promised her I would never share it with anyone who wasn't family.

But, if want to try your hand at making these little dough pillows from heaven of potatoes and onions, you can find a really fantasitc recipe that I have used when I didn't feel like slaving for half a day and night in the kitchen making the family version at smittenkitchen! Careful going there though, you will find it three days later after you start wending your way through Deb's lovely site.

Well, there you have it, not only a real, honest goodness post on The Sour Dough but your first course of a "She Shoots, She SCORES the Hat Trick" of appetizers.

If you are done scarfing those down, head over Ivonne's for the main course and make sure you save room because the Mistress of the Stick and Sweets, Peabody has dessert (of course).

And to get you in the mood for the game, take a listen to one of the funniest voices behind the play by play radio calls in the NHL, Mike Lange, who calls the Penguins games.